Today's Bible study at the Reynolds' house was about the importance of names. The story of my name is rather interesting.
My parents, when they were in college and after they first got married, had an older couple who were their friends. They seem to have been everyone's friends, actually. Anywhere you go in that area, you can find people who know and remember this couple. The woman's name was Elizabeth Joy Wilson, and she went by Betty. My parents liked that name (and her herself!) so much that that is the name they picked for me.
Elizabeth Joy means "joyfully consecrated to God;" unless I am much mistaken, I believe my parents also picked the name because they wanted their first child to be dedicated to God (I could be wrong about this, but I think maybe not). I never went by my full name, but my family always called me Betsy. One time when I was in about first grade, a girl at a camp asked me what my middle name was, and when I told her, she said it was a dumb name. For years afterward, I hated my middle name.
At one point in my life, I had only one or two friends in my life...except on the internet, where I was fairly popular. On-line, I went by the name Joi, a spelling of my middle name that I made up while trying to register for AOL instant messenger. Soon I identified with the name Joi more than the nickname Betsy; it simply felt more me, even though I was going through severe depression. When I came to college, I used only the name Joi. After going through a time of difficulty and taking anti-depressants, I finally began to grow into my new name, and began to learn to be truly joyful again (Joyful is actually one friend's nickname for me).
I recently made a very difficult decision regarding the direction of my life. since it will no longer be spent in the way that I had always thought it would, I am planning to dedicate my life to my friends around me, to serve them and help them on their journey.
And so we come full circle. I plan to dedicate my life to helping those around me, behind-the-scenes as it were, just like my namesake.