Our home in San Diego overlooked a major freeway. There was noise from the vehicles day and night. Right beside the freeway was a landfill. When we first bought our house, the landfill was a site for bulldozers and heavy equipment. In a few years it looked almost idyllic sitting beside the never-ending traffic. Where bulldozers once roamed the land, grasses grew, along with the California poppies in the spring.
Our family room looked out on the freeway and frequently I would stand at the window watching the vehicles whizzing down the road. This is also the room where I would have my quiet time and prayer time.
I had a season in my life while living there, that I struggled with my first name, Mary. That sounds silly, I know, but it was a real struggle for me.
I was raised a Catholic, and my parents named me after my aunt Jane. She too was Mary Catherine, but my Mom once told me they called her Jane because she was a plain Jane. Not a winning argument in me liking the name Mary.
My family called me Cathi. I was used to that. I like it. I had a rude awakening when I entered first grade though. Being a Catholic school there were many Mary’s. Mary Kay, Mary Ann, Mary Beth, you get the idea. Each of the girls was called by their full name. I was just called Mary. I dislike being called Mary. It’s a beautiful name, and I am finally beginning to like it, but I prefer my full name or Cathi.
It was during this season in 1991 when I was wrestling with God about my name. Often during my quiet time I would hear Him speak to me about my name. I wrote in my journal one day in October of that year that I need to accept that I am Mary. I needed to accept who I am. I continued to write in my journal the following: “You need to accept who you are. Just as you are a Rose- you are a wild one, not cultivated and pruned and restricted. You are an individual”. I remember after writing this looking out the family room window imagining a wild rose growing on the hillside of the landfill. A wild rose that no one really notices, but is there. I saw the rose as pink, I don’t know why.
Recently I went back in my journals and saw this entry. I went online and researched pink roses. Wild roses are likely to be pink; they are a symbol of love and admiration, and a carrier of secrets.
So many years ago I heard about wild roses. I had a deck full of cultivated roses, and I never thought of a wild rose. Years ago our Lord was telling me that I may not be noticed, but He noticed me. He loves me and He knows me.
Isaiah 43:1b says, ““Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine.”
I rest knowing that I am His.