Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pleased to Meet You

December 23 Reverb: 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?

Well, my first thought is that I would introduce myself as Princess Consuela Bananahammock.  This is (a) because over the course of the past decade I have spent WAY too much time watching Friends, so my automatic responses to certain questions inevitably come from the show; and (b) not true.  I wouldn't actually want to introduce myself that way, my brain just needed to get the Friends response out of the way.

  I like this question.  I think about names a lot ... my name, my son's name, names I would want to give our future children, why people do or don't change their names after they get married, etc.  If I could introduce myself by another name for just one day, I wouldn't.  I would introduce myself as Stefanie Lawson.  Mrs. Stefanie Nicole Lawson, if they wanted the whole shebang.  I think names are so important, and I love the name my parents chose for me.  Stefanie means "crowned one", and Nicole means "victory of the people".  I have known for as long as I can remember that my name indicates that I am a victorious daughter of the King of Kings; and as I have gotten older I have learned to view my name as a call to help lead others to that same victory.  Why would I want to call myself something different?

  As for the Lawson part - I think a lot about why people take their husbands last name, take their wives last name, or hyphenate both together.  I know there are lots of broad philosophies as well as specific, personal reasons behind the decisions newlyweds make about which surname will represent their new family.  For me, the decision to take the Lawson name as my own was simple and beautiful.  The New Testament repeatedly references the Church as being the bride of Christ, and also points to earthly marriage as a symbol of the union that is to come between the Church and her Savior.  Marriage, therefore, is to be a rich allegory of that future reality.  One small symbol that I think is especially meaningful is the taking on of a new name: a new identity.  Isaiah is my favorite book of the Bible, and one particularly lovely passage is found in Isaiah 62:

  For Zion’s sake I will not keep silent,
   for Jerusalem’s sake I will not remain quiet,
till her vindication shines out like the dawn,
   her salvation like a blazing torch.
2 The nations will see your vindication,
   and all kings your glory;
you will be called by a new name
   that the mouth of the LORD will bestow.

3 You will be a crown of splendor in the LORD’s hand,
   a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
4 No longer will they call you Deserted,
   or name your land Desolate.
But you will be called Hephzibah,[a]

   and your land Beulah[b];

for the LORD will take delight in you,
   and your land will be married.
5 As a young man marries a young woman,
   so will your Builder marry you;
as a bridegroom rejoices over his bride,
   so will your God rejoice over you. 
Thanks,  BibleGateway , highlighting my own.

   I love that the Lord bestows on us a new name, and that who we are changes as we identify ourselves more and more with Him; instead of with our old selves, whom we allow to die.  Now, I don't think there was anything wrong with my maiden name.  I don't believe that in marriage I should completely abandon who I was before I was married and the way I was brought up in order to adopt the way my husband's family operates as my own.  I do think marriage is a collaboration and that it takes a lot of work to blaze the trail of your new family unit.  However, I love that when I hear my new last name and remember that it has not always belonged to me; it reminds me of other things about me that have been made new by Someone Else who loves me, and I am full of gratefulness that He did not leave me to be called deserted and desolate.

1 comment:

kristina said...

i think this is one of my favoruite posts of all time. not just your blog, but any blog. well thought out, well written and very good thoughts. well done friend. well done.
(the post at one point did make me think of little nikki...remember that nickname?)

oh, and merry christmas!