One of the biggest hassles for women in getting married and/or divorced is the name change process. It seems to take forever and the more ‘established’ you are in life, the more of a hassle this process is. Men, most of you will not have to endure this hassle – be thankful.
So I have been divorced for some time now but I have just finally, finished the name change process. For a young woman, this is similar to wearing a scarlet letter alerting the entire world of your personal business. This is particularly humiliating process because when your name changes in your late 20s/early 30s, everyone assumes you have just gotten married. Never mind the fact that you are NOT wearing a ring…I cannot tell you the number of times I have been congratulated on getting married. What newlywed bride doesn’t wear her ring? Seriously…can the world demonstrate a little situational awareness? Or at the very least, be slow to jump to a conclusion on a situation? I was at the social security office the other day (what a scary place!) and when I submitted my name change application, they lady asked me for my marriage certificate. I responded, “I would prefer to submit my divorce decree and return to my maiden name if that would be okay with you.” My response to these situations varies based on the state of my sense of humor for the day. Some days I respond patiently and some days I fail miserably. I consider the day at the social security office a “fail” in patience and understanding.
A good friend of mine has also went through this experience over the last couple years and we were discussing the endless times we were faced with these awkward moments. My friend made me laugh because sometimes she rolls with it and responds to the congratulations with “thank you”. I guess, in hindsight, my divorce was something to be thankful for…it’s definitely opened up a bright and exciting future I had previously lost. Anyway, the name change experience has highlighted for me the fact the world is quick to make assumptions and judge a situation. In general, we see what we want to see and maybe the world would be a better place if we took a breath and stopped assuming. Life is tough and there are so many people going through horrible circumstances. Maybe we would see less sorrow in the world if we supported one another a bit more and jumped to conclusions a bit less. Just being aware of the situation prior to opening our mouths might be a good first step. Don’t assume you understand before listening to the other person.
So the next time you are faced with an opportunity to jump to a conclusion…the homeless man on the street, the pregnant teenager, the married couple without children, the heavyset child, the young lady sitting alone in church, the cashier in a lousy mood or the young woman with the name change application…be slow to jump and quick to listen.
2 And the Spirit of the LORD will rest on him- the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the LORD. 3 He will delight in obeying the LORD. He will not judge by appearance nor make a decision based on hearsay.
Offer a smile and remember there may be more to the situation than you ever realize.
Situation, judgment and patience,
Just a few reflections about everything God is teaching me in this life...a journey deeper into His purpose for my life.