Yes, this is my name.
Given to me by my mom and dad.
I know it's different.
I know it's unusual.
I know it's just so super stinkin' hard to get right.
And if you happen to be a junior high boy trying to be cool and want to say, "What up, LINDA?" as you geekily strut by at church, that's okay. I'll still smile and say, "Yo-yo dude."
And if I've ordered food for my children and you call out, "LONDON, LONDON, YOUR FOOD IS UP, LONDON!" I'll still come forward and claim that food for my hungry babies.
And if my husband is introducing me to a table of pastors and one of you chooses to gufaw and snort thinking he's made some sort of joke out of my name, it's okay. It really is my name. Please hold your laughter.
And if my mind takes me down memory lane and remembers the time I was 16 and won a cool award in 4-H (it was cool, quit laughing) and the emcee announces to the large crowd of peers, "The award goes to LEONA NELSEN!" I'll still slink up to the stage and accept that award.
And if you're a missionary to inner city San Diego and calling me YOLANDA makes you feel more at home, go for it.
And if you're my brother and like to stretch out my name phonetically to LAWWWN, DUH. I'll still try to kick you in the shin and get in trouble from dad.
...because it's my name.
You may not be able to get it right.
You may think it's acceptable to call me RHONDA just because it's close.
I'll still answer.
Whatever you want.
Because really, it's just my given name.
Yes? Did you need something?