My name is Elizabeth Anne.
Why would I ask you to call me Joy?
While attending a workshop in February of 2017, a participant asked me my name. I misheard the question, though. I thought I was being asked how I felt. Exuberantly, I responded, “Joy!”
When I heard the reply, “Nice to meet you, Joy,” I knew I needed to restart my portion of the conversation.
It was the winter of 2017. My 41st birthday was approaching. And I was feeling Joy for the first time in my life.
Don’t get me wrong. I love my given name.
Elizabeth is a beautiful name! I am grateful to have it. The name Elizabeth reminds me that I find my satisfaction in God and that God has made (and keeps!) promises to me.
Anne is equally beautiful. And its significance is just as stunning! Anne means grace. What a wonderful reminder—built right into my name—that God gives me grace upon grace upon grace, unendingly.
I wasn’t always this happy with my name, though.
As a child, I was called Beth. My last name began with a D. That made my initials B.A.D., and I really did think I was a bad little girl.
While I was growing up, multiple abusers harmed me sexually, emotionally, mentally, physically and spiritually. They taught me that the abuse was my fault. My initials seemed to back up the abusers’ claims. I was BAD.
I spent years faltering under the weight of untold shame and pain. I resorted to compulsive behaviors and addictive substances to numb my feelings and dull the memories. I alternately hoped and doubted that God loved me.
Finally, I got the help I needed to recover from the abuse. That recovery led to the astonishing experience of Joy.
After four decades without it, I have lived with Joy for over a year now. I can’t contain it! I have to share it with you! And this blog is the perfect platform.
Call me Elizabeth Anne. Or call me Joy.
Either way, I’ve been called to share my Joy with you!