changed my surname and relationship status yesterday.
According to the South African government and Home Affairs, I am legally Mrs Wild. It was a simple process: we met in the church office with our two witnesses, answered two simple questions and were pronounced husband and wife. And yet, we do not consider 20 December to be our Wedding Day – that’s happening next week Friday, the 28th. Why? Because as Christians, we believe that marriage is not a legal piece of paper declaring my name change, but rather a covenant between ourselves and God – it is a holy commitment to love each other, be faithful to one another and keep God at the centre of our relationship. And until that covenant has been made and celebrated with friends, we are spending the week ‘un-married’.
But that didn’t stop us from enjoying yesterday…
Before the meeting (we use this word deliberately, because it was not a ceremony or special event), we went for a walk on the beach – yip, the same beach where it all began. We had to marvel at how much has changed in 8 months; how many tough challenges we have had to face, how much we have grown – both relationally and spiritually… its been a season of huge acceleration for both of us. We then got married, enjoyed coffee with friends and went home – to wash dishes and pack away my laundry. You know, married people things… and then I was blessed abundantly by Kristin Swan, a super lovely make up artist in the city: she did my hair and make up as a ‘blessing from Jesus because He wants you to celebrate’. I cannot adequately express how special that was or how much I needed it – that in the midst of our unconventional and difficult engagement, I would be given such an amazing gift. And obviously, G loved the transformation… which we embraced with a photoshoot on the beach (photos to hopefully come soon once they’ve been edited etc). And then we got to celebrate with a couple who God has blessed us with – we love our new friendship with them and have been able to share the highs and lows and lessons learnt through our season of marriage prep; it made sense to get to share our celebrations with them last night. God is so good.
Instead of focusing on the change of relationship status, Holy Spirit reminded me of something else – the significance of a name change. I’ve always loved my name and God has used it time and time again to remind me of my Identity in Him – that no matter how much credit my parents may take, He named me. And the meaning of my name has had such significance for me.
Lauren Joy Vercoe.
Lauren means ‘crowned with laurels; victorious’ and well, Joy is pretty obvious. My surname, apparently coming from French heritage can be split into two french words: Verite (truth) and Coeur (heart). I’ve always loved that – ‘being true to one’s heart’. And for me, it meant being true to my heart after God. On the way home from my SOZA session last month, Holy Spirit explained how I was stepping into a new season and how significant my name change would be. Although my ‘foundation’ will always be ‘true to my heart’, a new season of Freedom and Reckless Abandonment (in God) was on its way – that I have been granted permission to be Wildly, Joyfully Victorious – living in the Fullness of Jesus’ Victory, Freedom and Healing – His Grace.
I don’t know the details of this New Season, but I am expectant of God doing great things – to His glory.