Naomi was returning to her home after losing her husband and two sons in another country. As she entered her hometown, she was greeted by friends and relatives who exclaimed, “Is it really Naomi?”

But Naomi corrected them,

Don’t call me Naomi,” she responded. “Instead, call me Mara, for the Almighty has made life very bitter for me. Ruth 1:20 NLT

Naomi’s name means “pleasant” but Mara means “bitter”. Keep in mind that no one else identified her as Mara (bitter), God didn’t call her Mara (bitter) rather she chose to be identified by her bitterness. She wanted to make certain that everyone knew her as bitter! 

I’ve never experienced a loss as profound as Naomi, therefore I can’t speak to her grief, however I’ve experienced tragedy and loss. I’m no stranger to pain, as I imagine those who may read this blog are equally (perhaps more so) familiar with disaster, pain, and loss. I am in no way suggesting that she had no right to feel pain, anger, or bitterness, nor suggesting that recovery is instantaneous; my concern is how she continued long afterwards to choose to identify with her bitterness, even as much as to call herself Bitter.

We are given the opportunity to choose each day how we will identify ourselves, whether we will continue to focus on pain, hurt, or depression or each day begin by asserting that we are NOT defined by the circumstances, rather we are MORE than the pain, we are more than the hurt!

Don’t let tragedy define your life!

How will you identify today? Will you choose to be known asPleasant, Beautiful, Radiant, or will you choose to be known as Bitter, Pain, or Depression?

You choose.

What’s your name?