Meet my friend, Lori. Lori Wilhite is the founder of Leading and Loving it— an amazing resource and Re:Treat for women in ministry and pastors’ wives (PS: if this is you, COME to the event this fall. You won’t want to miss it.) She’s married Jud Wilhite, Senior Pastor at Central Christian Church in Las Vegas. They have two amazing kids, Emma and Ethan.
One of my favorite events ever is Re:Treat. The ministry Lori and Brandi offer is a gift.
But a couple of years ago, one moment from this event is seared in my brain. It had me in tears. I’ll let Lori describe it, and you’ll understand why:
I’ve been called many names in my lifetime. My dad calls me Kiddo. My mom calls me Sissy. My husband calls me Babe. My kids call me Mom. My church family has called me a variety of names, including Mrs. Pastor.
We all have names we carry around with us. Some of them are wonderful and we wear them with pride. Others, not so much.
My son was recently asked which animals best describe each of our family members and why. He declared that his sweet sister was a cat—a really annoying cat. His dieting dad was pronounced a hippo—a hungry, hungry hippo. And his loving mom was… *drumroll, please*…
A sloth?! Oh no he didn’t.
Of course, I immediately told him to choose animals that reflect the positive qualities of our family. Try again, dude.
His sister transformed into a cheetah, since she is a much faster runner than him.
Dad became a lion, due to his strong leadership. And his precious mother was a seal, a happy seal—an annoyingly happy seal.
While I don’t exactly own the name Sloth, there are other names that I’ve embraced over the years. I’ve taken on names like:
Maybe you carry names like that around too. Ever wanted to trade those names for a new name? I certainly have.
Tucked away in Revelation 2, Jesus promises, “I will give to each one a white stone, and on the stone will be engraved a new name that no one understands except the one who receives it” (verse 17).
A new God-given name engraved on a white stone? Sign me up.
Ancient Romans awarded white stones to the victors of athletic games. The champion of a contest was given a white stone with his name inscribed on it. This stone was his “ticket” to an awards banquet and earned the winner special privileges.
On a warm October day in Vegas, 650 women gathered at a conference ready to exchange our old names for new ones—the names we were created for. We held black river rocks in one hand and gold Sharpies in the other, and we made ourselves vulnerable as we jotted our old names on the stones. We laid down old identities and traded them in for white stones of victory. An incredibly powerful moment.
A few days later, while the ladies traveled back home, I sat on the floor of my church surrounded by names written on black stones.
Good 4 Nothing
I read stone after stone. I held each one in my hands and prayed for the woman who felt defined by that name. I felt compelled to help women ditch those old identities and find strength, freedom, and joy in who they were made to be. Thus, My Name Is Victorious was born.
When we dig into this book, we will trade in the names that have haunted us, followed us, and held us back. We will grasp new names and embrace the fact that Jesus has declared us victors, overcomers, women worthy to be awarded a white stone.
Together, let’s declare: “My name is Overcomer. My name is Conqueror. My name is Champion. My name is Victorious!”
I’m so grateful for Lori, the Leading and Loving It Conference, and the transformation that will happen because of this book. Don’t miss it.