Letitia means joy.

October 6, 2008

My friend Erin sent me this picture a couple days ago:

I saw this while walking around in downtown Philly a while ago and thought of you (for obvious reasons…)

I wonder if the neighborhood people pronounce it Le-tee-sha Street or Le-tish-a Street …

About a year ago, I was talking with a friend in the car, and we talked about how our parents gave us “challenging” names — challenging in terms of what our names call us to be.  Mine, joy.  Hers, grace.  In a world like ours, with hearts like ours, joy? grace?

How easy it would have been to live up to my name if it was something like Slow-to-Change, Absent-minded, Self-absorbed … (not that I wish they named me those things!)

But no, joy was what they chose.  In spite of anything and everything, joy.

A couple of nights ago, when I was feeling anything but joyful, I read Philippians again.  God gave reminders about joy through Paul, who was imprisoned for his faith but rejoicing and exhorting the Philippians to rejoice, too.

How was Paul able to genuinely, continually rejoice?  Why did he rejoice?

Because he counted “everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus [his] Lord” (3:8).

Because he clung not to “a righteousness of [his] own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith” (3:9).

Because he set his heart to do one thing … “But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus” (3:13-14).

Because his hope was secure, knowing “our citizenship is in heaven, and from it we await a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body to be like His glorious body, by the power that enables Him even to subject all things to Himself” (3:20).

Because he knew that “the Lord is at hand” (4:5).

Because he had “learned in whatever situation [he is] to be content … in any and every circumstance,” not by his own strength or determination but “through Him who strengthens …” (4:11-13).

I want to rejoice like that.  I want to know more deeply the God in whose hands there are pleasures forevermore.  And in rejoicing in Him in any and every circumstance, I want to bring glory and honor to the name of my God … not because I’m strong (because I’m not), but because He strengthens me.

“Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice.”
(Philippians 4:4)

“The LORD is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot.  The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.  I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me.  I have set the LORD always before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices; my flesh also dwells secure.  For You will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.  You make known to me the path of life; in Your presence there is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
(Psalm 16: 5-6-11)


4 Responses to “Letitia means joy.”

  1. garnet Says:

    my name means a silicate gemstone!!

    that makes me a confused girl.

  2. tia Says:

    hahaha … maybe your parents weren’t intending the name’s meaning so much as they intended the beauty of the gem … or maybe garnet just sounded pretty (because it does!) :]

    can i just call you Silicate Gemstone from now? perhaps SG for short? hehe.

  3. Patrick Says:

    Letitia means joy? ~P

  4. tia Says:

    i realize i must give credit where credit is due (hahahah): it’s because of Pastor Patrick (from LBC) that i created my gmail account AND started saying “Letitia means joy.” IN DEFENSE!

    … Pastor Patrick means shepherding green leprechaun.

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