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In the classroom I answered to the name of Jessica, but as soon as we hit the playground for recess I had an alter ego, a code name. I was Crystal.

The playground was a place of transformation. We each took on new identities in our pretend games, telling our friends to call us by new names we imagined to be more adventurous-sounding than our own. As Crystal I was beautiful and super strong. I had long, flowing hair (in reality I sported a bowl cut for most of elementary school) and a pretend karate chop that was fierce. I could entertain at the most elegant tea party or run after bad guys and beat them up, just like in Charlie’s Angels.

The picture of whom I wanted so badly to be was vastly different from the little girl who always sat in the front row with the other short kids in class pictures. But calling myself by a different name produced a picture in my head that made me feel as strong and beautiful as I imagined.

The identity I created was an imaginary one. But what if there really is a new name, a new identity, for each of us—one that has been dreamed up in the mind of God? What if your future isn’t determined just by your best dream for yourself? What if you are becoming God’s best dream for you—a dream that, according to Ephesians 3:20, is far better than all we can ask or even imagine? My imaginings and dreams for my life have changed and grown with the years beyond my playground dreams, and I’ll bet yours have too. If we can dream big dreams for ourselves, imagine how great God’s dreams for us must be!

From Namesake: When God Rewrites Your Story by Jessica LaGrone ©2012 Abingdon Press.  Originally posted on www.ministrymatters.com.