My friend Grace has started calling me AB. I love this nickname, y’all. I just eat it up.
Some of my friends at school this past year also started calling me AB. We kind of joked that I could be Anna Beth Nass off “Heart of Dixie” because she’s basically who I want to be when I grow up (from her hair down to the shoes), but I think the nickname says something so much more about me.
I’ve only had a few nicknames in my life: Booger, given to me (affectionately) by my father; Bundy, because when you’re on a sports team your friends don’t get terribly creative; and now I get to add AB to the list.
I just love when people write cards to me and address it “AB – “. It’s so personal. People have chosen to lovingly refer to me with a name they’ve picked.
I think about these nicknames and can’t help but think about how personally God knows me. More than anyone else knows me.
In Isaiah 43:1, the Lord says, “Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name. You are mine” (NLT).
God knows each of our names. He formed us in our mothers’ wombs, and more than that, He “calls us by name.” It’s an affectionate calling.
Exactly like when each of us were in trouble when we were younger and we just knew how much trouble when our parents would use our names: first name, first and last name, or (if you were in a lot of trouble) the whole dang thing.
However, when we’re not in trouble, there’s a pretty good chance our parents will use our fun nicknames. No matter how they were created, you are labeled with that from your loved ones.
I love the voicemails from my dad. Shorter than ten seconds, they always say, “Hey Boog. Give me a call. Love you, bye.”
It’s this moment of intimacy with my dad where I know he is claiming me.
Just like when my friends call me AB. They create a moment between the two of us that says, “Hey, I love you,” without actually having to say any of that.
God does the same thing. “Child.” “Anna.” “AB.” “Booger.” “Beloved.” These are all things I know that the Lord uses to refer to me. “I have called you by name. You are mine.”
On the days when I crave physical touch (which isn’t often), become homesick, or find myself in the crippling feeling of loneliness, I run to the cards I have saved that all address me with nicknames. It instantly brings me back to a feeling of love and security, no matter where I am in proximity to my family and friends.
Likewise, I run to Isaiah 43:1 when I am feeling separate from God. There is nothing that can separate me from God, but loneliness and staleness in my relationship with Him can mask as a pretty good boundary.
What nicknames give you great joy and security in your heart?
God created the people who call you by those names. We are able to see Him through the moment of interaction where we step into relationship with each other, lovingly reaffirming our love for one another.
I will forever be grateful to those that call me by my nicknames, and to see God through that person is an even sweeter deal.