Photo circa early 90's
It was 1994 and I legally changed my name. Its a shame A Series of Unfortunate Events was already written because this could easily be my book title and this particular subject would be part of the story.
What made me reflect back on this?
First, have you heard the analogy that 'men are like waffles, women are like spaghetti'? Men's thoughts are very compartmentalized like waffles, there's a box for each subject. Women's thoughts are more like spaghetti freely flowing from one thought to another yet all inter-connected. It's the best way to explain what made me think of this event in the first place. So I'm serving up some Spaghetti, follow along, if you can:
- In my morning study time, I scribbled the following note in my bible study :
"This is such a healing word for the child in us who wasn't loved. It explains that Jesus loved us all along despite what happened to us. It hurt His heart even more than ours because He knew the bigger picture and the long term effects of
our abusewhat happened to us." (Reference Matthew 18:1-10)
As I wrote this, I immediately crossed out the words "our abuse" because it inferred something that no longer 'fit' me - like an over sized coat. I really don't see myself as defined by the abuse I experienced anymore. It's just what happened in my life but its not who I am. But that wasn't always my story...Parmesan with your Spaghetti?
- My thoughts traveled to a time when my identity was the sum of all my bad experiences. Experiences from the hands of others as well as those that were self inflicted. I didn't like my past and I didn't like my present. If a person could swim in self-loathing, then I was literally drowning in it. Then I did something so...bizarre. I can't think of a better word. I legally changed my name. Legally changed from Myra Jane Davidson to Julia Dianne. Julia was my new first name. Dianne was my new last name. No middle name. More Spaghetti please.
- As I continued to reflect on the past, I wondered 'exactly what year was that?' It seemed sooo long ago and I'm sooo old now, haha! I shuffled through a file cabinet looking for a file with "Name Change" scrawled at the top. Found it. Held the official document and looked at the date; November 3, 1994. Realization struck......20 years ago...TWENTY YEARS! A lifetime ago...
- I had to share the moment with my BFF who would fully understand the impact of such a moment. A snapshot of our conversation:
- How about a dash of Crazy with that Meat Sauce? This part is even crazier. I don't know where I got the...kahunas (can I say that?) but I handled this legal proceeding myself. I researched "legal name change" at the library, typed up the legal forms, filed the paperwork at the courthouse and represented myself on my court date. No attorney present, just me, standing in front of a judge in a court room full of people. Who did I think I was?! I honestly laugh at the absurdity of it all when I think about it!
- If I could go back and do it again - I wouldn't. I didn't know it at the time but changing my name only created more chaos, some of which is still felt today. It depends on who I'm spending time with and the name they call me by- I cringe at the 'teachable moment' coming up one day with my son. Spaghetti heartburn anyone? Ugh.
- As my thoughts returned to the present, I was humbled at the thought that over time my identity did change but it had nothing to do with my name. Instead, it had everything to do with discovering Jesus and letting his Truth heal all the hurts and regrets of my past. Consequently, as his Truth was applied to who I am as a person, I was transformed by a renewing in my mind and it set me free in a way I had been searching for all along.
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."
Now was that some bowl of spaghetti or what?! : )
(in order of appearance)
Myra Jane JD Julia Dianne Davidson Hull