Most people ask, “Where’d you get the name wrongwaylizzie?” Most commonly because my first name is not Elizabeth. Lizzie comes from my middle name, and that of my daughter, and from my grandmother on my blessed Italian side. Let me tell you about the wrongway part.
When my daughter was little, she would ALWAYS dart-off, headed the wrong way. I hate to use the word ALWAYS, it’s so emphatic and rarely true, but it’s the most fitting here. We’d be leaving the store and little Lizzie would run off in the exact opposite direction of the car. I would stand in the doorway, a bit dumbfounded, and then yell, “Lizzie—this way.” Indicating, of course, an area she was nowhere near. This would cause her to turn around and run even further back the other way.
I’ll never forget when we were at a condo in Florida. At the time, Lizzie was about three or four years of age. Each morning, after a light breakfast, I would take the kids to the pool while dad slept in. Every day, all seven we were there, when we left the pool, Lizzie would go the wrong way. By the third or fourth day, I was astounded. I turned to her brother, six years her senior and said, “I can’t believe she’s still going the wrong way?” It was there the nickname stuck. The remaining days, I’d yell, “Hey, wrong way Lizzie, this way.” And she come bounding along with us, many times running off ahead, now going the right way.
The interesting thing about this is she was never mad about it. She’d hear me, look at me, accept the direction, and merely turn around. It was as if, and it certainly seemed, that she realized she’d make mistakes and needed correction. Almost bigger than that, because she did it so much, she embraced the error. It gave her more time to run—more time to explore and a greater adventure.
When user names on the internet came into existence, I took wrongwaylizzie for me too. It’s my middle name as well. People had always commented on how fun and witty it was, but at the time, I had no idea how fitting it was for me too. I lived in this facade that everything for me was okay. That I was a “right way” doer—and to some degree, that was true. But when my life was falling apart, it was undeniable that I’d gone the “wrong way”. Even now, as I speak out about injustice and what our Savior really asks of us, there are many in my circles who believe this is the “wrong way”.
I hope to be like my daughter in this regard—to take correction with open arms. Embracing the adventure, running along in bliss, but if I realize I’ve gotten off track, simply turn around and go the other way. As I run along, hopefully going the right way, remember where those wrong ways took me so that moving forward I can handle life with greater grace, compassion, understanding, and respect.
From time to time, maybe more times than not, you’ll find grammatical errors in this blog. Point one, super sorry, but I am no literary scholar. Point two, this is about the message, not the method. Point three is probably the most important, perfection is not allowed in this space. Perfection still serves to shame me—and maybe you too—so I’m going to do the best job I can in any given moment. If you catch any errors, email me, email@example.com, and I’ll get them corrected. We’ll do a good job together.
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~~Si Deus Vult Illud~~