I had someone call me Melanie yesterday.


This happens to me all the time. It can be Melanie, or Melissa, or Belinda, and yesterday’s incident made me think of a time, a few years ago, when someone called me Melissa all day. Even after being corrected. After trying a few times, I finally just gave up and went with it. I became Melissa. I answered to her name, did the work assigned to her and gave an opinion when she was called upon. It may seem like no big deal, and in some respects I guess it wasn’t. I mean, I was never going to be around these people again. What did it matter?

But it did matter. I felt like a total imposter. Melissa doesn’t fit me. Melissa doesn’t have my personality, my life experience; she doesn’t have my memories, or know my personal joys and sorrows. Melissa is NOT me. And for that entire day, because I made the choice to just go with it, I had to endure the discomfort and miss out on the true comfort of just being me.

Never was I so glad for a day to be done!

That said, isn’t it interesting that we sometimes (I daresay often) choose to be someone we’re not? We decide that, for whatever reason, we are not enough on our own, so we take on characteristics that don’t fit us and feign experiences that aren’t really ours, just to fit in. And this is not just for a day, or around people we’ll never see again. We build relationships this way, struggling to keep up our story and this charade of a life we’re portraying, and getting so deep into it that we would look ridiculous if we showed up one day and said, “Hey, just kidding.”

We were given our personal experiences, characteristics, and personalities for a reason. They are ours to fit us perfectly for this time in history, and make us exactly suited to be effective in this life. While they may not look like much to us, or may even be the source of pain and disappointment, they are given as tools to make a difference. There may be success achieved as someone else, but it will always be hollow because it’s not ours.

I know how ill-fitting another name can be. For all my faults and imperfections, I’d really rather just be me. It’s not as exhausting, because I don’t have to keep up with someone else’s story. (Actually, with hitting 50, it’s kind of hard to keep up with my own story, but I digress…) It’s real and comfortable – even the painful parts – because it’s true, and I know God will work through it because He planned it out this way when He knit me together.

And really, you want to know the best part of all? He’ll never call me by the wrong name.

Why, you ask?

Because it’s engraved on the palm of His hand.



For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.” Ephesians 2:10 NLT

See, I have written your name on the palms of my hands.” Isaiah 49:16 NLT

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
    and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
    Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
    as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
 You saw me before I was born.
    Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
 Every moment was laid out
    before a single day had passed.” Psalm 139:13-16 NLT