A story of love and of honoring.
I realized, a little while back, that I have never shared the story behind the first name "Mary Joy" that I have chosen as a writer either...it is a story that is very dear to me. A journey, actually, behind the name...
So here goes...
Will and I on a date while he was courting me July 2009
Will and I met in May 2009, on-line, on a Christian single parents website. I had never tried something like it before. I was actually looking to meet some other single parent friends when we stumbled upon each other. LOL (this is a story I will save for another day). The reason I share this with you today is that is where the "Mary Joy" started.
While I was on that site I went by my old email address name "Joyfullivingeveryday". That is the name that Will knew me by when we met to chat and later talk on the phone. My privacy was VERY important to me as a single mama of two young boys. Will shortened this name to "Joyful" at first and then to "Joy". Joy is a name I have always loved. My love for God has turned my life to joy even during the hardest times...so I really loved being called "Joy".
I enjoyed it so much that I didn't realize that I hadn't told him my actual first name until after we had been chatting on line for several days and then on the phone for about a week. Then one day he asked me...so do you think you will feel comfortable telling me your real name sometime...with his deep chuckle. I was taken by surprise! I hadn't realized that I hadn't! LOL I told him that hearing him call me "Joy" always made me smile.
It was then that I shared with him that my actual first name is Mary. And he did the most touching thing...he told me that he thought Joy fit me. So as far as he was concerned...I would always be Mary Joy (sometimes shortened to "MJ"). My heart leaped at his words.
From then on...he called me "Mary Joy"...later to become "his Mary Joy".
While he was courting me, he invited me to join him as a contributing writing on the blog he was publishing at the time. Since I was still living alone with two young boys and had come from a previous marriage that wasn't safe...my privacy was very important to me. Together we prayed about it and decided that I would go by "Mary Joy"...which is very different from my actual middle name. I LOVED the idea and Will still believes that it fits me much better than "Mary". And so being known as "Mary Joy" began.
Will and I at our marriage April 10, 2010
Over the last year and a half...I went from blogging with Will while we were courting to him launching me into my own blog as a wedding gift. I was so excited and was already becoming known as "Mary Joy" so I decided to keep it.
Blogging on my own was a lot of fun! And I learned A LOT some fun lessons and some very difficult ones.
Over the last few months of blogging on my old site, Seeds of Encouragement Sewn with Grace, I began to realize that, by not using my amazing new last name very often in the blogging world that I was focusing more on "me" and "my blog"...I had started to see hints of selfish goals in this way. Some days I found myself more focused on my success as a blogger "on my own" instead of the greatest role I have of being Will's help meet and our children's mother. Ouch!
God began convicting my heart of this "ego issue" and called me to surrender it to Him.
So when Will invited me to join him on his new blog, "Learning to Live a Surrendered Life" I was so humbled and blessed to be given an opportunity to work WITH him and joining him as his teammate in this dream. I asked him to forgive me for becoming selfish with my writing and thanked him for the honor of standing at his side as his help-meet and team mate in our dream of sharing our journey of surrendering in this blog.
In appreciation for the beautiful gift of writing with him that he has blessed me with, I wanted to find a way to honor him that would be very special to him and show him that I am committed to bringing honor to him in my writing as much as I am in our every day lives.
It was then that the Lord spoke to my heart and gave me the answer...I shared my idea with my Will and his eyes lit up with joy as he accepted the gift...and he told me with such love and appreciation in his voice...that he would be honored if I began signing my name and being known as Mrs Mary Joy Pershing in the blogging world.
Praying during our "church elopement" wedding ceremony
The day he married me was the most incredible days of my life! I am so proud to be his wife and to have taken his beautiful name in marriage...I was humbled by how much it meant to him that I would be signing my name as Mrs Mary Joy Pershing. I want to honor him as my husband in everything that I do. I am so blessed to be able to do it through my writing too...
Question: What are some ways you honor your husband?
Joyfully dancing with my husband at the foot of the Cross,
Mrs Mary Joy Pershing
You can find more encouragement for your marriage at: Marriage Mondays on Come Have a Peace.