Did you get married?
That’s the question one of my former clients asked me today when she saw my name change on Facebook.
The answer is No. I didn’t get married.
Instead I’m continuing my family legacy, going back to my southern roots and returning to my maiden name, Wilsher.
For the first 23 years of my life my name was Dale Wilsher (check out the bell in those bottoms)
and now at age 50, I am Dale Wilsher once again.
My daughters are all in favor of the change and I am ready for it too.
You see, for me, even though our Wilsher family has a rich heritage, I no longer let my name define me as it once did. It is a continuation of our family legacy and yet my identity is in Christ.
Years ago I struggled with my first name, Dale. Frankly it was masculine (if I have to hear one more person tell me about their Uncle Dale…) and a little depressing. Dale means valley and that’s a low place to be. I’d think of the valley of the shadow of death that David walked through. Notice that he wasn’t skipping through the valley of hope and good cheer, no, it was as one translation put it, deep and sunless. Nice, huh?
But then one day I read a devotion about a valley. It described the valley as the greenest place on Earth because that is the place into which all the water and nutrients would flow. The valley is the place of the richest growth.
That is the first time I had ever heard of Dale meaning something positive. I latched on to it. My name became a symbol of my love and God’s love for growth and development, instead of a sign of hardship and tragedy. And all of the sudden my name didn’t matter anymore. It didn’t define me for good or for evil. It wasn’t my label and it wasn’t my identity. It’s just what you call me to get my attention.
So from now on, I will be known as Dale Wilsher.
Do you have a story to share about your name?