So this last Friday was my 27th birthday. And I decided to do something I had always wanted to do but never actually thought I would go through with. I got a tatoo!! Yep… small Hebrew Symbols on the back of my neck, right under my hair line. The only thing I was scared of was my poor diddy who is not a tatoo fan. And I love him enough to scrape it off with sandpaper if he never comes around 🙂 but i’m really hoping he will not mind so much since that would be an awfully painful process. In truth, after the accident and Vietnam i’ve come to a place where I know… don’t do tomorrow what you can do today. You are not promised that tomorrow. And though that does not changed your responsibility or give you the excuse to live “foolishly in the moment” I have opportunities and choices, and I hope that today I can make them well.

MY REAL REASON…

Some know me and my blog because of Vietnam, but pain, trial, struggle, determination, compassion, mercy… all things that started 27 years ago. And there was a time in my life when I finally realized the full meaning of the Gospel… when I read Isaiah 62.

The time I read this scripture was the same time all the fried apple stuff was happening, the reason I titled this blog as I did. And I had been reading about the nation of Israel and how they struggled. They constantly turned from God and became indifferent to God’s love. But Isaiah 62 resounds with fight… the fight in God for a people he loved and would not give up on.

Isaiah 62

Zion’s New Name
1 For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your vindication,
and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.
3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.

If this scripture was true for Israel, it had to be true for me.

vs 4 “No longer will they call you Deserted,
or name your land Desolate.”

See what especially caught my attention… no longer deserted… no longer desolate… a new name. I realized that is how I was living. As if I had nothing to give. I might have well just changed my name from Shelby to beaten down drop out. Some of you may remember Naomi in the book of Ruth. She was so broken that she changed her name to Mara, which means bitter. Many people without knowing, let their names change. Not what your friends call you, but what you call yourself. Or what you BELIEVE yourself to be.

I believed I was no longer worthy of love. It’s true… I actually believed that at a time in my life, and have struggled even since.

Isaiah 62 gave me hope… read on.

But you will be called Hephzibah,[a]
and your land Beulah[b];
for the LORD will take delight in you,
and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
so will your God rejoice over you.
6 I have posted watchmen on your walls, Jerusalem;
they will never be silent day or night.
You who call on the LORD,
give yourselves no rest,
7 and give him no rest till he establishes Jerusalem
and makes her the praise of the earth.

8 The LORD has sworn by his right hand
and by his mighty arm:
“Never again will I give your grain
as food for your enemies,
and never again will foreigners drink the new wine
for which you have toiled;
9 but those who harvest it will eat it
and praise the LORD,
and those who gather the grapes will drink it
in the courts of my sanctuary.”

10 Pass through, pass through the gates!
Prepare the way for the people.
Build up, build up the highway!
Remove the stones.
Raise a banner for the nations.

11 The LORD has made proclamation
to the ends of the earth:
“Say to Daughter Zion,
‘See, your Savior comes!
See, his reward is with him,
and his recompense accompanies him.’”
12 They will be called the Holy People,
the Redeemed of the LORD;
and you will be called Sought After,
the City No Longer Deserted.

The words made me feel the way you do at the end of the love scene when braveheart rescues his girl, or when Hugh Grant gives his speech at the end of 2 Weeks Notice… like I was worth something…

I was sought after By God

Given a new name… A new name. I say it over and over and remember the tears that dripped down my face when God whispered those words in my ear. I was no longer reading this scripture but hearing God sing it over me. I can never get across the way I felt that day. The way everything I had ever learned about God became real… real in the flesh.

It was not something I could change or understand fully. But even after Isaiah was long gone… Jesus came and died so that I could be fulfilled and completley Redeemed. He is the end of my love story. He rescued me. Making everything that God said true… bringing his words of promise to completion. Making my new name legit.

Now I call myself redeemed, rescued, loved… no longer deserted. And if people ask

Sought after.

Sought after by God. A furious love that no man can change… not even I, even when I falter.

In Hebrew- דָּרַשׁ

My love story. It’s branded on my heart… and now on my skin.

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