I used to dislike my name.
It took years to get over having several people besides me answer to the call: “Lisa.” Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chic option of going by my middle name. To me, it’s hideous. I understand my mother’s reasoning, but it doesn’t redeem the name for me. So, Lisa it is.
As a young adult, I learned that Lisa means “consecrated to God.” Talk about what’s in a name! Every time someone called my name, they reinforced my purpose and the reason I exited the womb. God wanted my attention, so He made sure I was named with a constant reminder of Who I belong to. These days, I celebrate other Lisa’s, hoping they are as excited about their purpose in Him as I am.
Reflecting on my own name makes me curious how many names are called out each day that don’t shake purpose awake when they ring out. How often are external circumstances being confused for an enduring internal purpose? Take Florida’s nickname, for example. It’s known as “The Sunshine State.” Imagine. Each time I visited the park that would hold my spring Florida wedding, there was bright sunshine and I was concerned about my guests being too warm. My reality: it POURED raining and required moving my outdoor wedding indoors!
Despite my own personal tragedy making me feel that “Sunshine State” was a bit overstated, I couldn’t protest changing the name because of my rained out wedding. Florida’s tropical climate almost guarantees more than 60 percent of its days will boast sunshine. And many times, there’s little evidence even after a rain because the sun comes out, the sky clears and the ground dries. Therefore, to fully comprehend Florida’s nickname, we have to look at the big picture. Though rain pours for a time, sunshine persists and prevails.
Are you allowing storms of life to suggest that your life isn’t primarily filled with sunshine? Is your demeanor reflective of the majority of your life’s circumstances? My life was ripe (rife) with poor decisions, abuse, divorce, financial woes and at times, sickness. But those temporary circumstances didn’t make me any less “Lisa.” Every time sound of “Lisa” hit the atmosphere, it was a reminder that more than 60% of my days reflect the Son and my belonging to Him. That truth renders storms temporary and dries the tears that those storms provoked.
For the record, Florida actually means “Flowery Easter.” But how many people know that? Likewise, you have an option of what you’re known by. Case in point: the local news recently decided to name a tropical storm after me. Didn’t bother me one bit. I personify the definition that’s consecrated to God.
Take it from me…you can change your name, your state and how you’re known. I still identify myself as a Chicagoan, although I physically live in the Sunshine State. However, I permanently reside in the state where storms don’t last and the Son always rises.