I am often asked,
“What do you like to be called, as I see that you sign your name both as Lisa and Elisa?”
Definitely, I prefer to be called Lisa.
But let me explain.
On a practical level, Lisa is just easier for people to say and remember, and I especially appreciate when people call me by name. However, the real reason I prefer Lisa is that it is a “stone of remembrance” for a work the Lord has done on my heart. At a key moment in my life journey when I reached a total frustration at the legacy of abuse my family has battled for over three generations, I poured out my heart to God. I begged him for a new beginning, a new way of responding to life. I had been a Christian for more than a decade at that point, attended plenty of Bible studies, devoted myself to ministry, read Scriptures daily, and prayed time and time again to see real change in my life. But there was this bit of anger that kept brewing up. In that moment of desperation, when I turned to the Lord, I sensed the Spirit saying to me,
“Take off this cloak of anger and put on my cloak of righteousness.”
According to the New Testament Scriptures, we are a new creation in Christ when we have been saved. What wonderful news. However, I had been living like the old woman instead of the new woman. In my minds eye, I could see myself walking around with a matted down, dirty, smelly fur coat. In some strange thinking, I believed the coat was valuable, simply because it was what I had always worn. Taking it off would make me feel naked. But it would also removed a stench and weight from a life I was no longer burdened to live. It was time to become new, on the inside and out.
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.
…”In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold…
Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love, just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.
Names are significant to God. He gave me the name Elisa, but much like how He changed Abram to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah, and Saul to Paul, I believe the Lord ushered in a new call, a new life for me as Lisa, to be a precious reminder of His work in my life.