by Emily Conrad

I changed my Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest handles this week from @novelwritergirl to @emilyrconrad, because the truth is, I outgrew novelwritergirl years ago.

Simply by reading this blog, you know I write more than novels. Also, I write for women, and I’m striving to be a mature woman of God myself, so calling myself a girl undermined who I want to be and reach.

For these reasons and others, the more I saw it, the less I felt novelwritergirl ought to define me.

So, despite the pull of old habits and the initial confusion a name change can cause, I made the switch. I have to say, emilyrconrad looks a lot more professional to me and feels a lot less limiting.

Unfortunately, as I reflect on outdated names I call myself, I’ve noticed more serious problems than my Twitter handle. It’s just that not all names I identify myself by are quite as obvious as the ones I spell out on social media day after day.
You see, though I don’t often call myself names outright in my thoughts, the fact that I’m thinking certain things signals I’m living under outdated names Christ replaced a long time ago.

When I beat myself up for my mistakes, isn’t that like calling myself Unforgivable? My real names? Forgiven. Redeemed.

He delivered us from the power of darkness and transferred us to the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13-14, NET

When I fear, I might as well be calling myself Abandoned, but my name is Beloved. And if I’m loved by the all-powerful God, what do I have to fear? Nothing. Not even death.

For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor heavenly rulers, nor things that are present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in creation will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:38-39, NET

When I am overwhelmed by the problems I face, that’s like calling myself Weak when my name is actually Empowered. Empowered by God to do His will, regardless of daunting circumstances.

I am able to do all things through the one who strengthens me. Philippians 4:13, NET 

The list could go on, but the basic truth remains the same: Jesus longs to replace all those limiting, outdated, and negative identities that inspire dark thoughts in His daughters with His love, redemption, and truth.

Maybe those old names were true of me at one time. Maybe they were true of you. But when we come to Christ, His blood erases them all and His love bestows new names on us. Redeemed. Forgiven. Beloved. Empowered. And on and on, changing not just our names, but our entire identities.

So then, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; what is old has passed away – look, what is new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17, NET

Changing my handle from novelwritergirl to emilyrconrad has been a process—there are still loads of old blog posts with Tweetables featuring the old handle and I suspect there are links to my old profiles in places like the short stories I have on my website but haven’t yet had the heart to check.

If such a superficial name change involves so many steps, you can bet changing our thoughts to match our new identities in Christ is a process, too. It’ll happen one thought and one habit at a time, but this name change, more than any other, is worth the hassle.

Changing the Names I Call Myself via @emilyrconrad