Lydia isn’t the name I was given by my parents. However, I feel it is the name I was born with….or should I say reborn with! My faith is strong and recently I started finding out who I really am – the woman God knew I would become.
In the New Testament, Acts 16:13-15, Lydia is described as a seller of purple cloth.
“On the Sabbath we went outside the city gate to the river, where we expected to find a place of prayer. We sat down and began to speak to the women who had gathered there. One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home. “If you consider me a believer in the Lord,” she said, “come and stay at my house.” And she persuaded us.”
I never remember a time in my life when I didn’t love purple. I wore purple clothes when they weren’t in fashion and felt very stylish. Purple, has always been associated with royalty, richness and majesty. Now I am in no way implying that I am rich, royal or majestic, but I have always loved the colour. Among other things I have had purple clothes, a mauve bedroom, a purple bicycle, and at one time purplish black hair. I even named our dog Violet; though in truth that was more to do with a wrong number asking for Violet at the moment when we needed a female name for the puppy we were getting than with my love of purple. Violet has various shades of purple in her accessories such as bowls, collars and her leash.
But I digress. As you get to know me you will learn that I have had a lot of challenges in my life and I have associated my birth name and difficulties with those challenges. Why would I decide to write under the name of Lydia? Because I can! Because it is fun, dynamic and exciting to be someone else! But I am not really trying to be someone else. I think I have always felt more like a Lydia than my given name. And I am Lydia in my heart, not just my bi-line. People in my life all have to get used to this being my name.
It fits in other ways as well. Whether you take my first name and maiden name, or my first and middle initials, I am LP. A Canadian rock group known as the Collectors came out with a song in 1968 called “Lydia Purple”. The significance of this was never lost on me, even at the tender age of 10 when it was on the radio.
Now I am not upset that my parents did not name me Lydia, the name I have is a perfectly good one. But if I were to have chosen my own, I believe this is what it would have been.