Thursday, December 23, 2010

Reverb 10: Day 23 - A New Name

Today's Reverb 10 prompt:

December 23 – New Name

Let’s meet again, for the first time. If you could introduce yourself to strangers by another name for just one day, what would it be and why?

(Author: Becca Wilcott)

I've thought about this prompt off and on since it popped into my email inbox late last night.

My thoughts run in several directions.

There's the friend I once met who was a telephone information line operator.  They didn't use their real names, so she'd pick a new name for each day.  One day she would be Faye, and the next Kathy, and so on.  A new person, every day.

But the thought that is most prominent is that it's taken me an awfully long time to make peace with my name, and I don't think I'd change it.

My parents named me Lisa Christine.  They picked the name for it's meaning.  Lisa, a derivative of Elizabeth, means consecrated or dedicated to God.  Christine, quite simply, means "Christian."  It was a name they felt appropriate for their firstborn - "A Christian, consecrated (set apart) to God."

I hated that meaning for a lot of years.  It felt like a heavy burden, particularly during the many years as a teenager that I struggled with depression and wanted nothing so much as to escape as far as possible from the Christian upbringing that felt burdensome and lacking in joy.

It's hard to be the one questioning God when your day is a pastor and your parents decreed you a believer, set apart for God, from birth.  I felt like I was failing not only God, but disappointing my parents with my inability to live within the boundaries of my name.

It's only in the last couple of years that I've begun to see my name as the blessing my parents intended it to be.  Hopes and dreams for their child, spoken over me.  A blessing and prayer spoken each time they called my name.  In those years I've met Jesus deeply, and today I can truly declare that my heart's desire is indeed to be follower of Christ, set apart unto him.

Having finally made peace with that name, I don't think I'd change it.