Being A Light During Pain ~ It's In My Name
I have wrestled with my middle name for years. Mostly about my first 20 years and certainly during my teens. I spent nearly a year going through every name book to find a different name that I could change it to. But I never did. And so it stayed "Delight".
I remember being on the "El train" in Chicago with my newly minted, extended step-family. They were all trying to guess my middle name. I gave them hints like "lightbulb". We all laughed for an hour straight as no one could guess. Then, upon telling them, they didn't believe me. My go-to joke has always been, "Thank God my parents didn't name me Cherry ~ then I would be Cherry Delight". I asked my father how he and my mother decided on "Delight" as my middle name. He told me a funny story of it being "Hippy" times, my mom being on some good drugs to numb pain right after birth, and it became totally up to him to put the name on the birth certificate. Great. Hippies, drugs, and keeping my mother out of it is how I landed the name that would be laughed at the rest on my life.
“Thank God my parents didn't name me Cherry ~ then I would be Cherry Delight”
Now, I understand. I am a "Delight" in every sense of the name. However, it has been a process. It has been a hard name to live up to, especially during the pain. With any pain ~ mental, emotional, spiritual, physical ~ learning to be a light in any of it has been one of the biggest challenges of my life. My default to handling pain is anger and control. I get angry when the things I do have control over aren't as they should be. I get snappy. I get bossy. I get bitchy. I organize a lot! It is cathartic for me. When everything is where it should be, there is a peace, albeit a shallow peace, that settles in for a while knowing what I am in control of is neat and tidy. I also clean a lot. When I am stressed, I clean. It also is cathartic for me. So along with the organization that I have done, I can create what looks like a perfect environment. Always clean, always organized. And that is what people see. That is what I want them to see.
What's really going on? My cleaning and organizing are my ways of crying out for help. It is me cracking under the pressure. Behind closed doors, the work and stress I put on my family to get everything perfectly in it's right place, everything organized, even the calendar, is not fair. That was the old me. I had to let go because I was in so much physical pain, a perfectly clean and organized home and life was just not possible. It goes back to being forced to rest. If I wasn't in pain, if I wasn't forced to learn to rest, I would steam roll everyone in my path. I would continue to put an unmanageable amount of stress and pressure on my family. But, what was I supposed to do with my stress and pain now? Well, I learned to let it show. I learned to allow people to see my cracks. By allowing people to see my cracks, they were able to also see the light from within, shining brightly through those cracks. I once heard Naomi Judd tell her daughter, Wynonna Judd, to "let people see the cracks because it won't be until you do that they will see your light". That resonated deeply with me.
In the last five years or so, I have learned to rest. I have learned to allow people to see my cracks, my flaws, my pressure points, and my pain. By doing this, people get to see the real me. I have come to a place of transparency with everything, truth always. It usually catches people by surprise, knocks them off their game, and sometimes even offends. But I don't mind. They are still getting the real me and they are still getting the truth. Beyond me, once they receive it, how they receive it is up to them. It is freedom for me. I have nothing to hide. I don't have to make up fluff in conversations. I don't have to remember what I have said or done before. I have learned how to be softer because of this. I have learned how to listen more and further develop empathy.
In my pain, in my suffering, in my stress, and under my own pressure, people get to see a light. It's a glow that goes with me wherever I go. Usually, people don't understand what it is that they are seeing, they just see something different. I am more patient, I am more kind, I am more gentle, I have a peace that covers me, and I have Grace that flows through me to others. Like my scars, I have come to love my cracks, my fissures, my canyons. My light shines through them, lighting up the darkness. Darkness can never overcome light. Light always overcomes the dark. It is in my name. I am a delight to others. I am a "Delight".
Psalms 37:4 says, "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." That is where my name comes from. I was the desire of my fathers heart. And so that is what he wrote on my birth certificate. I have learned to love my name. I have learned that I am the desire of The Father's heart. I desire more of Him to show through my cracks than me. My light is temporary. His light is eternal. And so, I have passed on the name to my daughter. She was the desire of my heart; she still is the desire of my heart. But she is also the desire of The Father's heart. She is learning to show her cracks to the world and allow the light inside of her to shine.
Remember that everyone has cracks, canyons, scars, and traumas. Yet, because of these, it can allow their light to shine through if they would only let it. Your light can shine through. Let people see who you really are. Allow yourself to be genuinely known. Allow your light to illuminate your path in the darkness. Be that light for others, but also shine your light for yourself. It will be freeing.
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