A few days ago a friend asked me if I knew the meaning of my name. She was talking me off my ledge of self loathing and I responded that I did. At various times I have loved and loathed the meaning. Victory for the people, kind of inspiring to think that. Yet my story has mostly been that I’m more of a childish curse.
The conversation got me to thinking though and of course Google helped out. I stumbled on saints; St. Nicolas and St. Collette, or Nicole. Their stories are interesting and exciting. Of course St. Nicolas is famously known throughout as the joyous giver of toys, but one of stories I found described him as a kind of ancient day ally to stop sex trafficking of daughters who were born into poverty. Wow! He is also the patron saint of sailors which I didn’t dig far into that but…It did make me pause and consider that maybe he wasn’t afraid of roughnecks or profanity. And then St. Nicole, she’s the patron saint of lost family members. So maybe she was one of the early church sisters begging mercy faithfully for her kin.
I identify in no way as either of these characters but I think in this journey to see myself in a new light I can draw upon the better story here, I can be inspired to believe that there is a better nature in me. My Savor devotional for today was based on the verse Psalm 107:2-3. Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story—those he redeemed from the hand of the foe…..
In my life time & time again I’ve been given repeated reasons to be grateful. That I’m alive, that I have children healthy and growing, for a remarkable steady loving & forgiving man…. And so much more…
It’s easier to embrace the whiny, victim, “I can’t,” mindset that is like first nature. But if I keep doing that I might rob myself, my family, and the world from the real me that is in here. I’m not perfect. The story I’m writing and working hard to rewrite is one where I can accept that hard things happen and have happened and I can whine or curse but I can also choose to show up, be seen, celebrate, give thanks, edify others, and be strong in the redemptive work of God’s love for me….that victory becomes mine and that love lets me find worth and meaning that I can also share and give to others.
So today I don’t feel like embracing those ideas, they feel lofty and untrue…yet I can choose them. I can be better than a childish curse and more of an advocate for my children, myself, and others. I need forgiveness and need to forgive both things I’m capable of doing. That’s the person I am writing into being. The woman who chooses to accept forgiveness and give it, because that is the remarkable story of what God has done for me. Today I’m alive and his love is still available, for all of us.