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Your friend says to you, “I talked to God last night. He gave me a new name and I want you to call me that from now on.”
What would your reaction be? A blank stare? Nervous laughter? Check for a fever? Call their next of kin?
I can only imagine those were some of the reactions Abram’s and Sarai’s friends had when they told them God had given them new names (Genesis 17). Abram “Exalted Father” became Abraham “Father of a Multitude” (in spite of the fact that he had one son. ONE). Sarai “Argumentative” became Sarah “Princess” (I like that. You can feel free to call me Princess any time).
I mean really, picture the conversation: “I’m sorry, we don’t answer to those names anymore. From now on we are Abraham and Sarah. Why? Because that’s what God calls us.”
In spite of the inevitable flak they knew they would receive (and surely did), Abraham and Sarah embraced these new names and the promises they contained. They called themselves, and each other, by these names. They spoke them. They walked them. They lived them. They owned them. And they were right. Within a year, Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the child of the promise.
God has given me several names over the years. Debbie of course, Wife, Mother, Dancer, Drummer…those were easy for me to own. A few others, Writer being one, have been more awkward to claim, but thanks to some amazing friends I’ve come to believe it. The latest new name, Filmmaker, is difficult for me to say with any measure of confidence.
I mean, its’ easy to say I want to be a filmmaker. It’s difficult to say that I am one.
But, encouragement from friends and words like these help me believe:
An apple tree will produce apples because of what it is. When it is young, it will have no apples; but it still must say, “I am an apple tree.” Is it lying at those times? No. It would be lying to say anything different. (Steve and Wendy Backlund, Igniting Faith in 40 Days)
I know I am meant to make movies. I’m meant to write at least one. I’m meant to work on them, in whatever capacity that may be.
I am a filmmaker.
There. I said it.
(Hmmmm. Better, but still a little shaky)
I am a filmmaker, even when I don’t feel like it, even when neither the world nor I can see evidence of it. It would be lying to say anything different, just as it would be lying for Abraham and Sarah.
So if your friend Debbie quietly tells you she is a filmmaker, don’t chuckle nervously or dial 911. Just hand her an apple. Then tell her your new name, and grab an apple for yourself.