Posts Tagged ‘Secret Stories’


under Secret Stories, Written on October 25, 2010

Every once in a while you read a book, and you just know that your life will never be the same. It feels like a personal message, meant just for you. And it becomes more than a book: it’s an experience. I’d like to share my experience with you.

Each of us, whether consciously or unconsciously, is seeking our purpose in life – our identity. We want to know who we are and why our life matters in the grand scheme of things. As we go through life, we are given labels or Given Names that describe how others see us; and then we often spend the rest of our lives trying to live up to or to live down those names. But God has a Secret Name for each of us, a name that describes how He, our Creator, see us. Discovering our Secret Name is a journey that leads us to a deeper relationship with God and the beginning of truly understanding His plan for us.

As author Kary Oberbrunner compared his journey to finding his Secret Name with the story of Jacob in the book of Genesis, I could not help but see similarities in my own life and realize I’d spent too long “playing the Name Game.” I learned very early in my life that I could get recognition by being an Achiever. The more awards I won, the more top grades I received in school, the more I improved my musical talents, the more people seemed to see me as a valuable person.

This worked well for me until age 16 when I suddenly became “The Sick Girl,” and I could no longer keep up with everyone’s expectations of my being “Most Likely to Succeed.” In my senior year of high school and through my freshman year of college I struggled just to get out of bed in the morning and stay awake through classes, but I did my best to put on a front that I had it all together as usual. But by the end of my freshman year I had begun to have major health problems and could no longer stay in school.

That’s when I first noticed that I was becoming Invisible. I worked hard at improving my health and would have periods of remission where I would force myself to perform at work or at church so that I could have that feeling of being special and important. But inevitably my health would fail me again, and I would begin to feel Isolated and Abandoned by my friends and family. There were times I was out of commission for up to 6 months at a time, but I rarely had a phone call, email, or visit from any of those people I’d been trying so hard to impress.

I felt Worthless and Forgotten, like I was a “Non-person.” And as my health issues began to affect my weight, I no longer even recognized myself in the mirror. Pretty soon I was just a Fat, Sick, Depressed Person who meant very little to myself or anyone else. In the midst of a two-year downward spiral in my health and a series of events that left me feeling completely Invalidated by everyone in my life, I decided that my life was no longer worth living. And I attempted Suicide.

Despite all the difficult circumstances over the past 17 years, I always felt God’s presence and would see His hand at work in my life. I heard Him whisper loving assurances to me and would often picture Him holding me and singing over me, as in Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is with you, he is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, he will quiet you with his love,he will rejoice over you with singing.”

When Kary asked us at the end of the book to picture ourselves alone before God and to imagine what name He would call us, I immediately heard God say:

I see you. I hear you. I remember you. You are precious to me.

I immediately was drawn back to Zephaniah 3:17 and discovered the name Zephaniah means “treasured by God.” That’s when He confirmed to me that the words I heard Him say all described me as His Treasure. When God looks at me, he values me as a precious treasure, of so great worth that He would never abandon, forget, or overlook me. And I don’t have to earn a list of achievements to be treasured in His eyes.

abandoned by mother

under Secret Stories, Written on October 15, 2010

Wow!  What a powerful book.  I want to thank you for sharing your journey, thoughts & what God has taught you.  I am blown away at the hope and encouragement I’ve received!

One of the most prevelant names I have taken on in my life is “ABANDONED“.  My Mom left our family when I was 8 years old and the pain of that and what followed shapes who I am a great deal.  My journey of healing began 13 years ago and still continues. 

At 40, after reading your book, I realize how I continue to hold onto that name at times.  As I read Isaiah 49:15, I cried: 

Though she may forget, I will not forget you.

El Roi.  The God who sees me.

There is much to process.  I am currently battling through some anxieties and the timing of my reading this is God’s.  I can’t thank you enough.  Your vulnerability throughout the book will touch many lives.  We have been doing this book as a study here in Dublin.  It’s been a blessing to many of the women.

May God continue to bless you through your ministry!  Thank-you for blessing me.


under Secret Stories, Written on October 14, 2010

Hi, I am writing to let you know that I have just read “your secret name” and think it is one of [if not the best] Christian spiritual books I have ever read.

Easy to understand, yet at the same time very deep. It really has changed my life. I can so relate to the concept, and to some of your earthly names [including cutter]

I have always been fascinated about how in the bible God gave some of his followers new names, I always wondered if God thought of all of us by a different name.

I would recommend your book to all Christian people, it really does help free us from names [or as some would call them labels] amongst my names are fat, cutter, depressive, chocoholic, depressive…having read your book I now realize none of these are helpful and none can be how God thinks of me.

I am looking forward to learning my secret name and have sent an email to take part in the fasting too….I thank  God that you wrote this book, I believe all Churches should read this to their congregations, it has the power of the spirit in its words and truly can and will change lives.

Your sister in Christ.


under Secret Stories, Written on October 11, 2010

If you read one book this fall, please do yourself a favor and make it Your Secret Name.

Kary Oberbrunner has written what is surely his Magnum Opus. This book is an eye-opening look at the story of Jacob. Interspersed with his own journey, Kary leads you on a Biblical discovery of your Secret Name.

We were all given names at birth. From there, as we journey through life, we are given other names as well. Some of my given names were KLUTZ, REJECTED and FEARFUL. It took many a year before I discovered my Secret Name. This is why I find this book to be so powerful. Kary doesn’t shy away from the pain of his own journey.

I cannot accurately describe how blessed you will be by reading this book but I want to encourage you to check it out for yourself. You can also go over the books website and take the Secret Name Test.

Watch this video and then go check out Your Secret Name today.


under Written on September 14, 2010

I started cutting after my senior year of high school. I was tired of feeling alone. I didn’t let anyone in. I put on a mask of happiness, love, Christianity, and joy. You could have asked anyone at my church, my friends from school and even my parents and they would have told you that I was the “perfect Christian girl.” I mean I didn’t smoke, drink, or do drugs. I went on missions trips, went to youth group, and went to church camp every summer.

Deep inside I knew I was missing something; I just couldn’t put my finger on it.

I was yearning for love, but I was looking in the wrong places. I looked to the people of this world to find my joy and happiness and acceptance, and when I didn’t find it…

I struggled with EDNOS which is an eating disorder that isn’t classified as anorexia or bulimia, though it contains parts of both. I starved and if I ate, it didn’t stay down for long. I considered myself ugly and fat and unlovable. I had friends, but none that were really close that I really trusted. Eventually I just started blaming myself for anything and everything. That would be when I started to cut. If I cut a word into myself, it was ugly. I hated my appearance.

It’s really hard to explain exactly why I cut because honestly I don’t have to words to say how I was feeling. I cut really deep a couple times and realized I should probably stop, so for a while I did. Then I relapsed.

I had a guy friend that I shared a lot with. He helped me feel needed, but he took advantage of the situation and raped me. I felt completely hopeless and alone. I was so angry at myself for being there and not stopping him.

I had a friend that called me the night I relapsed with cutting just to make sure I was alright. I hadn’t told him anything had happened. The Holy Spirit used him to lead me to the Lord.

My Father who loves me unconditionally! He has helped me so so so much to see just how blessed I am and that I am free!

I still feel the need to cut at times, and to be honest, I have relapsed since then. What I really need is to fully embrace His forgiveness; I just haven’t yet. But I know that God’s got me. He will protect me and he cares about me! I’m His child and He will never leave me!


under Video on September 11, 2010
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under Written on September 8, 2010

The first time I was called a slut I was 12. 

I am not sure why they called me that. I wasn’t flirtatious and I still looked like a little girl.  At 14 my sister called me a whore because some boy like me instead of her.  But I stayed pure. 

At 20 I married my husband and I were both virgins. But those names would not go away. I always wondered if that was what I really was. Then one day a few years later, something horrible happened. 

I blamed myself. 

I felt what everyone was saying about me was true.  After all if I wasn’t a slut and a whore, it would never have happened to me.  I never told anyone for 7 years. When I did finally tell, my husband was wonderful. However, our pastor didn’t believe me. Even though the man who victimized me had victimized others.  He told me I was to blame.

They ostracized our family. 

I lost all of my friends.

Even my sister said, “She is just my sister, but you are my pastor.”

The rejection was horrific. We finally moved away from the small town.  Yet, the Lord was faithful. I began working for a ministry that helped to heal me.  Yet, my self-esteem sank.  I could not trust people. I kept men and women at arms length. I felt betrayed that God would allow such a horrible thing to happen to me. I kept him at arms length.

But He refused to let me go. He sent wonderful people into my life.  He slowly drew me back to Him.

Then tonight I discovered, I was never a slut and never a whore. These were lies. That is not who I am. Christ knows who I am. He gave me the name Beloved. The test gave me the name Washed

I am His Beloved and He has Washed me from from the filth I thought was me. He has known all along that was never me. 

He knew.  He loved me, even when I didn’t believe He loved me. I am no longer a victim. I am no longer in prison. He knows my name. He knows my heart. He knows who and what I am…clean and loved.

Miscarry, Sex Addict, Alone

under Written on August 31, 2010

PERSON 1- I have been struggling with my identity in Christ for a while now. Our current situation has left me without purpose, or so it feels. It feels as though I am at a complete standstill and I am struggling to find purpose. We miscarried early in the summer, we are looking for a new home while living with friends because of an ugly family battle over a house that was left behind after the death of my mother. It seems that everything that I was used to is now turned on it’s head.

PERSON 2 – I spent years struggling in sexual addiction, and I am on the other side at this point.  God has done amazing things in my life, but I still find myself lost in shame over my past.  I have let it go and moved on countless times, but I still come back to that place where my guilt overwhelms me.  I know God has forgiven me, but I can’t forgive myself all the time.   Who I was is still haunting who I am, and I can’t seem to shake it. 

PERSON 3 – My husband has left, my children have graduated from college, and I am alone.  I am trying to figure out who I am by myself, and what God in mind for the second half of my life.


under Written on August 13, 2010

God has been after me, trying to give me my name for so long, but I’ve been too stubborn. Instead I’ve clung to unsatisfying  names that others bestow upon me or that I grasp at on my own. I’ve tried to run from those names, but without my TRUE name to replace them, I always return.

These names are the faults, shortcomings, and failures that others see in me and the failure, inadequacies, and struggles that I try to hide and cover. Complaining, self-loathing, depressed, afraid, angry, mean, failure, trash. All of these, and so many more that I’m not yet brave enough to share here. It’s better to have a horrible identity, than no identity at all. But these names don’t offer healing.

Through a question in the middle of the night, a postcard in a bookstore, a facebook connection, and a gracious gesture from a person that I have never met, but I am honored to know even the least bit now, I am seeing how God has been pursuing me with this for so long. I have a name, my TRUE name.

I am hesitant to say I know it, although I believe I do. It is beautiful, but if I try to look at it from the perspective of what I am capable of doing on my own, it is daunting. Only through God’s gracious gift of His Son and His continuing work and strength in a person so fallen, will I ever truly be able to embody this beautiful name: REDEEMED.

Did you ever look at all of the meanings of the word redeem? To buy or pay off; to buy back; to recover by payment; to exchange for money or goods; to discharge or fulfill (a promise); make amends for, offset; to obtain the release or restoration of, as from captivity, by paying a ransom.

Do you know what the opposite of REDEEMED is?


If any of you know me, truly know me, you know that I have felt abandoned and have been abandoned in various ways. I have felt the weight of that abandonment. For a long time it led me to question whether or not God really cared for me at all. I truly believed that God existed. I believed wholeheartedly that God loved other people. But, somehow, that God simply couldn’t love me, not if He really knew me the way everyone insisted He did.

If He knew my facade, maybe He could love me, but not if He truly knew all of the dirt. Then during my first semester of sophomore year, while in my Exploring the Bible class, God allowed me to hear. I didn’t learn His name for me that day, but I did find my name for Him.

Genesis 16:13- “You are the God who sees me.”

In the desert, alone, running away after being mistreated by her master for bragging up the fact that she was pregnant, God met Hagar. He saw her. He knew what she had done, He knew what Sarai had done, He knew that she was pregnant and not with the child He had promised Abram. But He SAW her. He comforted her and promised that her son would also become a father of a nation.

He saw her. He knew her. He comforted her. EL ROI- the God who sees me.This name impacted me so much that I now wear this reminder permanently in black ink on my wrist.

I have my name for God. I have His name for me. It is a large name to live up to. In fact, there is no way to embody that name on my own. God is the only one capable of getting me there and I know it’s going to be a long and hard journey.

Thank you, to everyone that God has been using in my life, and continues to use in my life, to bring me to the place of knowing my SECRET NAME.

Some of this might be confusing to some of you. I had never thought of such a thing as a secret name before, even though it’s mentioned in the Bible. Not to mention the fact that I’ve been trying to carve out a name for myself for years, not knowing the whole time I was merely seeking something to fill the gap that was meant for true name.

Anyway, this might clear a little bit up and maybe, if you don’t already know God’s name for you, begin the journey of finding it. 🙂


under Written on August 9, 2010

My new life in Christ only started a year ago.  I had plenty of time to taste what this world has to offer and I must say until 12 months ago it was exactly what I was looking for.  In my younger years I grew up in a “Christian” home.  Church every Sunday, bible study every weekday. Church was just another place for my parents to be parents and me to be a kid.  My father used to go door to door preaching the urgency of salvation to those he felt Christ was leading him to, and my mother was right there with him sharing the Lords work.  My parents were very Godly people.

When I was a teenager my father became very “ill”.  He injured his back severely and was heavily medicated for years.  These medications were not your typical medications. He was given oxycotin, methadone, and every other pain medication.  When you get on these types of medications there are very serious side effects. My father began to psychoanalyze everything he came in contact with. He was in and out of hospitals all the time.  He began to question his faith and the existence of God himself. 

My entire teenage years I was obligated to explore what life really had to offer.  I did as I pleased. Because of my father’s illness God was certainly not an option. I was angry that He let one of his servants suffer.

I chose a path of release. Drugs.


Just the word makes my back tighten up and a shivers down my spine.  Drugs were my sweet escape.  I started to smoke pot when I was about 15 until I got out of high school.  I drank from time to time but Mary Jane was all I needed. I went off to college at the university of Ohio State Mansfield after high school with one thing on my mind….freedom. 

And it was then I discovered alcohol.  Weed just wasn’t cutting it anymore, and alcohol was cheaper and I found I had what I thought was a gift at the time of “chugging” or slamming beer. Later I find out it wasn’t much of a talent at all more or less a prerequisite to vomiting.  After one year in college I flunked out to due to not attending classes or tests.

I worked at a pizza place for a bit just to make some cash for my booze and pot.  I then enrolled at a community college in Toledo and moved in with 3 of my stoner buddies right on Toledo’s campus.  I was on cloud 9. 

It was in Toledo that I learned of my true love. 


My life was now in surrender to it.  At first it was one line or two a week just for fun.  I was a social snorter I guess you could call it.  But with cocaine it doesn’t stop there, because when you run out you must find more.  It’s your oxygen; it’s the air you breathe.  And once you get on cocaine there is no turning back. Next it was vicodins methadone, oxys, percocets, flexerils, darvecets… anything I could get my hands on that could send that rush to my brain.

My body and mind stop taking such a likeness to what I was doing to myself.  My fixes turned into hallucinations, my drags turned into anxiety attacks, and my breaths turned into gasps for life.  I then had realized I was now under total control of the product I built my life around.  I would lie in bed for hours wondering how I was breathing, why was I here what was life.  I began to analyze things like my father did and the shear thought of death made me puke.  Where was I going what could I do?  I then decided to quit cold turkey.  When they tell you it takes 3 days, they lied. 

For 6 months straight I suffered from manic depression and suicidal thoughts….a few failed attempts made me realize I wasn’t even worth trying to kill myself because the simple thought of “what’s next” scared me more than the thought of a gun to my head.  I was in my own personal hell.  I couldn’t talk, sleep, or eat.  I weighed 200lbs at the beginning of that year and by this time I weighed merely 150.  And of course the so called friends I had with me didn’t seem to notice, the only thing they saw was “hey less people to share with”. 

I was ready to die.

I have a brother, his name is Ben and he went through a few similar things but he got “saved” by God. At this time that was just kind of funny to me.  Saved? From what his sins? Good luck with that.  But through everything Ben went through he was always smiling always so content and that really made me mad.  Here I was suffering and he was totally fine because some invisible son of God saved his soul. 

Ben always used to tell me about Christ and the things he did. He ensured me that if I came to church and just listened it wouldn’t hurt, it may even save my life.  So I did.

I went to church with him and his wife Emily, and while I was there I felt free again, the restrictions were off and I could breathe. I could look up into the sky and think I’m ok.  That’s all I wanted, I didn’t want to be scared anymore, and I wanted my life of fear and anxiety gone. 

My only problem was that I wondered, “Where is the proof?” 

I continued to go to church; I quit everything I was doing.  No more sex, drugs, beer, and even cigarettes. I went every Sunday twice and Wednesday night… Every service they had to offer.  And I even prayed a few times for God to heal me.  But nothing…….I  wasn’t being healed.

About 3 month into going to church one night we had a camp fire at the pastor’s house and we were sitting around the fire singing and having a good time when I saw my brother Ben venting about work.  I asked him what was wrong and he said “I need a cigarette”. 

Ben was a smoker but he promised me he would quit if I came to church. I told Ben “you promised me Ben, I gave up a life of sin for you so you can give up this”.  I love Ben so much and was so thankful for him that I couldn’t stand to see him kill himself that way. 

Disregarding my efforts to talk him out of his sweet surrender he decided to light one up.  At that very moment I walked away in anger, furious at my brother’s selfishness.  But within seconds I found myself crying like I did in the days of my withdrawal, lashing out at the evil around me. 

I looked up to the sky and said “this is for whoever my brother praises day in and day out, to the one he calls his father, keep my brother safe”. 

And after that 3 second prayer I walked back to Ben, his cigarette was gone.  Now those of you who do smoke  know that a cigarette takes more than 30 secs to smoke, but his was gone, nowhere to be found. I asked him “did you need one so made that you smoked it that fast”.  He said with a tear in his eye. .. “no Dane, I took one breathe of it and felt so convicted it made me sick, I threw it in the fire”. 

I walked away in disbelief…”did God just do that?” 

It finally hit me, I prayed my first True prayer, I KNEW God would care for him because he trusted in him and I did as well.  I prayed not for me but for someone I loved.  I called out to Ben away from the fire and I said, its time….. We gathered together in a circle I could feel the arms lifting me up.  I asked for forgiveness …… I was free. 

My depression is gone, I have a new life.  Someone to live for and serve.  My journey has just begun and only gets better.  This past year has been greater than any moments in my life combined.  I am now in a praise and worship group. I helped teach the teens and just got married to the love of my life. God sure does bless those who trust in his name.

Thank you for letting me share my story, a lot of tears of joy and sadness were laid out writing this but I have to give glory to God for those tears and giving me my TRUE name.  FULFILLED

But those who trust in the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up on wings as eagles. They shall run and not be weary. They shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31