Posts Tagged ‘sick’


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.