- What is your name and what does it mean?
My name is Emily which, according to Google, means ‘industrious’ or ‘rival’. My middle name is Louise which, so Google informs me, means ‘famous warrior.’
- Do you think your name suits who you are and/ or what you do?
Perhaps, inasmuch as I do sometimes see my illness/disability almost as an enemy I need to work hard to rival and (hopefully) conquer.
- If you were born in biblical times, when names were given as prophesies, what would your name mean?
My friends jokingly – I think (!) – call me ‘Planning Queen’, so perhaps my name would be to do with liking to know the plan. More seriously, perhaps ‘writer’ or ‘speaker’.
- Which of God’s names or attributes resonate with you the most? (give up to 3)
That’s hard! I want to say them all! Today, I pick:
Jehovah Nissi – The Lord my Banner
Jehovah Shammah – The Lord is Here
El Roi – The God who Sees
- Is there an experience/s connected with these aspects of who God is to you? If so, please share one if you feel comfortable doing so.
As a teenager, my life underwent a huge change, as I suddenly went from being a fairly high achieving allrounder, to a person experiencing hospitals, operations and disability. In this whirlwind, I felt more and more defined by my symptoms, and less and less defined as me. During that time, during many times since, God did – and does – remind me that He sees me. He sees past all the damage illness has caused, damage I see every time I look in the mirror, and He sees me. That brings me great comfort.
- Have the names/attributes of God that you most relate to, changed due to life circumstances such as illness or disability? How so?
I don’t think they’ve changed as such, all of God’s names are meaningful to me, but I’ve come to appreciate ‘El Roi’ more, as I mention above; to increasingly value being seen by God. To be honest, I probably took being seen by God a bit for granted: it never really occurred to me, until my life turned upside-down, and I didn’t want anyone – including myself – to see me. I didn’t think anyone would want to. And, as I said above, God showed me I was wrong! And I learned – and am learning – to actively live in the immense privilege of being seen by God.
- Are there any of God’s names that confuse you or that you struggle with? Which one/s and why?
I suppose an obvious one for me to pick might be Jehovah Rapha: The Lord Who Heals. Despite specific prayer for physical healing, I’ve not been physically healed. Yet, as I live in this broken body of mine, each day I learn more of the meaning of 2 Corinthians 4:16: ‘Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day’. I am outwardly wasting away and, at the same time, I am being inwardly renewed – even healed – day by day.
- Which parts of God’s character would you like to know better
Maybe Adonai: Lord. Hudson Taylor is quoted as saying, “Christ is either Lord of all, or is not Lord at all”. To truly have Him as Lord in charge of every part of my life, to know Him as Lord in practice as well as theory, is a challenge and a goal.
- Which part of the Trinity do you feel closest with and why do you think that is?
Probably partly because of my upbringing, in which I was encouraged to know and relate to God, I’d say God. As an adult, whilst I would still say God, I do find I feel closer to Jesus, too.
- How do you think that knowing and using God’s names in prayer and conversation might help us?
I think that they help us pray to more of Him. If I were to only talk to my sister about clothes (perhaps a bad example, I’m definitely not a clothes person!), I would miss out on so much of who she is. She is more than a stylish dresser. What about her job, her humour, her interests and hobbies, etc? If I only knew she likes clothes, how would I know about our shared love of chocolate?! The more we know of God, and Who He is, the richer our relationship with Him will be. And that can’t be a bad thing, can it….
Emily Owen is an author and public speaker. She began writing following a medical diagnosis which turned her life plans upside-down and, among other things, left her deaf.
After publishing her first devotional books, in the 30 Days series, Emily published her memoir, Still Emily. Her speaking, and more recent writings, combine her personal experiences with biblical teaching and reflections.
Emily is surprised to describe herself as a writer and speaker, but she has no hesitation in calling herself a fan of flowers, candles, purple, stars, and making her nieces and nephews giggle.