I recently started re-reading a book by Christine Caine titled “Undaunted.” If you’ve never heard her preach or read any of her writings, I encourage you to do so. She is a great communicator of God’s word and fights for justice for women in sex trafficking with her organization, A21.
The tag line for the book is “daring to do what God calls you to do.” It takes courage to step out and do what you feel called to because often it is something that can take you out of your comfort zone. I have found that often when God calls us to do something there is trepidation. However, this book points out that no matter how unqualified, insignificant, or unwanted we may feel, God is bigger and will use us if we find who we are in Him.
The first section of the book is entitled “God Knows Your Name.” In it Christine recounts the story of how she discovered, as an adult, that both she and her brother were adopted. In learning this truth, she clung to the Word of God to remind herself of her love and worth because of who He made her to be. As Christine began to investigate into her family of origin, she discovered that her father was unknown, and she was unnamed. In an instant Christine realized she was unknown and unwanted. Although confused and hurt, Christine did not allow these truths to settle in her heart. She turned to God’s Word in Isaiah 49 which states in part, “The Lord has called me from the womb. From the matrix of my mother He has made mention of my name.” God had called her by name before she was born. She was not unknown or unwanted!
I love this story, because Christine reminds us that although we can’t escape the facts of who we are in this earthly life, the truth can prevail over the facts. We can allow the names we call ourselves to define us, or we can settle our hearts on the truth of what God’s Word says about us. Christine says, “if we want to find peace, then we need to do what I did that day. We need to return to the truth of God’s Word that will last forever, not meditate on circumstances that will change and fade” (page 57).
I meet with so many people who define themselves by a mental illness or a label they have been given or even given themselves. This often begs the question, does God (or anyone) even know my name? Meaning, does anyone really care? Does anyone really know the real me? The problem with defining ourselves by these earthly standards is that they do not express the full truth of who we are in Christ. If we would allow ourselves to see through His lens, we don’t have to be defined by circumstance or label. Our value and worth comes from the very fact that God created us and has a purpose for each of our lives.
Christine focuses on some of these truths that can settle our hearts, knowing God has designed us and prepared us for whatever we are called to do:
*God made each one of us.
*He names us.
*God chooses each one of us.
*He saves us.
*God is always with us.
*He is our Father.
My hope and prayer is that you will know that when you feel unwelcome, unloved, unknown, there is someone who knows your name. He sees value in you and has a purpose for your life. I encourage you to pick up this book. Even if you don’t know God and are just curious, or even if you know these truths but struggle to receive them. God sees you, He knows you, and He has called you by name!
Excerpts and quotes from “Undaunted” by Christine Caine