“We have good news and we have bad news,” the immigration department said as I got my papers inline for my exit out of Bolivia last week.
To my surprise, laws had changed. Now anyone born in Bolivia must have an official ID. So being the obedient chica, visiting my own country, I inquired about the process.
The good news is you can get an ID, but you have to update your birth certificate. The bad news is that you need to follow a legal procedure to change the name on your birth certificate to match that of your passport. The process takes time… (and money to race through the bureaucratic maze, I thought).
They were correct. When my family and I became U.S. citizens, my parents changed my name from “Jannetth” to “Janet.” Thus, with the discrepancy in the name, both documents, although with the same birthdate, indicated in essence they were two different people.
I gave a silent grin. Of course, they are two different people. I had been “Jannetth Perez Arenas” as reflected on my birth certificate. But now I’m Janet Eckles as shown on my passport.
Thank you, Lord! Little did they know the change was more profound than what appeared on paper. I had been that shy, little girl leaving the comfort of her home in La Paz, Bolivia. And that scared 12-year-old girl soon adjusted to the American way, its requirements, demands and expectations. But years later, she would find herself shoved into dark moments, devastating episodes, and tragic times.
But each step, each painful experience made me a different person. My name had indeed changed—I had been that little girl, in search of dreams to come true. But now I’m the daughter of the King of Kings. And as a new creature, I can walk no longer on shaky ground, but on the solid foundation, the land paved with God’s firm promises to sustain, to strengthen, and lift us to victory when facing adversity.
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! (2 Corinthians 5:17).
Father, thank you that through your son Jesus, the “new” has come into my life. And I relish in the new me, in my new identity, the brand new way to live each day. To cherish the new land of peace when stress comes in waves, tranquility when storms barge in, and calmness when demands pile up. IN Jesus name. Amen.
- What marks your identity?
- Are you still holding on to old things for reassurance?
- Where does your certainty for tomorrow come from?
Thank you for reading this message. If it resonated with you, consider inviting Janet as your next speaker. Here are her speaking topics to inspire and delight those who attend your next event.
Janet’s dynamic presentations before professional and faith-based groups are based on her books:
- Simply Salsa, a sassy yet profound inspiration from God’s Word.
- Hola, Happiness, a perfect Bible study for small groups enhanced with engaging videos.
- Trials of Today, Treasures for Tomorrow, Janet’s story of trials to triumph.
- Salsa En Español click here.
Janet has prepared even more servings of inspiration for you. Please visit her website.
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