As Christians, I believe we are called to the ecumenical spirit and not only rejoice that God is indeed everywhere, but that other denominations have something valuable to share for our spiritual growth. I feel blessed to have attended the Chosen Women’s Conference 2019 at Seacoast Church in Mt. Pleasant. One speaker, in particular, spoke to me — Hosanna Wong. She spoke to our true identity in Christ and how we must reclaim our true name.
This was powerfully illustrated when she read one by one the names that God has for us in scripture. We were told to stand when we heard the name that resonated to our true identity in Christ. The majority stood when “chosen” was announced, including myself. The next name announced was “messenger” and I said “Oh, no, that’s me.”
The lesson was revealed. We are more than one purpose in serving in God’s Kingdom. I am a “child of God,” “chosen,” “messenger,” and so much more. I am not the names that others have wrongly assigned to me nor the false stories they have told about me or the multitude of women standing with me at the conference.
I am not “liar” because I spoke truth to the actions of my childhood sweetheart, the boy-next-door who deeply betrayed our history and generations of family ties and devotion. I am not “crazy” because I was heartbroken because he took advantage of my trust and innocence and did not honor my body or soul. I am not the “silent one” because he told me to keep his secrets. I am not “childless” because I suffered a miscarriage. I am not “homeless” because the home I lived in was set afire and I stood outside barefoot watching all my belongings burn to the ground. I am not “fatherless” because my father passed away or “motherless” because my mother passed away. I am not “grief stricken” because I cared for my mother with brain cancer. I am not “victim” because a family member has targeted me with her jealousy and greed since my birth as she stands behind the mask of virtue. I am not “abandoned” because my godfather did not have the mercy to stand with me in my suffering after my accident and the collapse of much in my life.
I no longer carry the fear or shame of holding my secrets or the weight of what others have done to me. Freedom. We are children of God and His love truly sets us free. For the first time, I can speak with an incredible freedom of spirit and the courage of the Holy Spirit. I already knew that nothing was hidden in the eyes of God. But I also know that there is no burden too heavy that cannot be given to and healed by God.
“But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.” — Isaiah 53:5
The Lord is our healer and restorer. Our story doesn’t end at the point of our trauma, torment, suffering, abuse, misuse, mistreatment, cruelty, loss, betrayal, sorrow and grief. His hand is upon us and washes every shadowed page of our history with His Light. No one has the power to name us but God. Our wounds are turned to victory. Aptly, the theme of this year’s Seacoast Chosen Women’s Conference? Victory.
He is the author of each of us, if we surrender our lives to him. And the paradox or sacred mystery perhaps is that once the Light is shined into the darkness — it shines upon everyone. “And the Light shines in the darkness; and the darkness overcame it not.” — John 1:5
Everything is revealed and everything and everyone will now have the opportunity for accountability, redemption, forgiveness and healing. What a merciful God we have. And to Him the glory, always.
Jackie Morfesis has a BFA in fine arts, MA in liberal studies and teacher certification from Rutgers University. She held a Rotary Scholarship to Greece in the arts and humanities. An artist, poet and educator, she is a Greek Orthodox Christian and involved with prison ministry in the Charleston area.