The Word of God says, “A good name is to be chosen rather than great riches, and favor is better than silver or gold.” Proverbs 22:1. For all of these years that I have been divorced, I continued to wear the last name of a man who was extremely abusive to me physically, mentally and emotionally. Not only that, but even now his family is just as toxic. But, nevertheless, I was so thankful to come out of the marriage alive that I did not even think about going back to my maiden name of “Bell.” I went on to write my first book Always, Now and Forever and my literary career took off. As I wrote book after book under the name “Shelia E. Lipsey,” I pushed the nagging thought about my last name aside. I was never comfortable with it because it was too much of a harsh reminder of how stupid and insane I was at that time to enter into such an ungodly union. As time went by, each time the thought about going back to my maiden name came up, I pushed it aside because I was established in the literary industry under the name “Shelia Lipsey.” I was worried about changing to my maiden name “Shelia E. Bell,” because I thought that I would lose readers and fans who know me by “Shelia E. Lipsey.” But God. God knows what he is doing. He leads and guides his children.
A couple of weeks ago, reminders of my horrid past came back to haunt and attack me in shocking ways that I won’t go into. I know blessings and deliverance can come in many forms, and the fact that I was confronted by my past, and someone who I thought was near and dear to me was responsible for it, has shown me that now is the time for my release. Through this incident, it is clear that it is time that I truly forget those things that lie behind and move forward into the favored future God has for me. It became clear that in order for ME to gain total healing that I have to let go of that name in order for me to let go of the past.
This morning, I received clear direction from an interview of my dear friend and sister in Christ, Kendra Norman Holmes. Those of you who know Kendra, know that she is a gifted writer, speaker and an anointed woman of God. She doesn’t know it but God used her interview to give me confirmation. Here is a portion of the interview:
The Interviewer asks Kendra: “Why would you decide to revert back to your maiden name? I would think that you would continue to use the Norman-Bellamy for your writing if nothing else. Since that’s the name that identifies you as a writer, aren’t you afraid that you could lose readers who might not know how to find you now?”
Here is Kendra’s response: “Any success that I’ve obtained as a writer is not now, nor has it ever been based on my name. All of my accomplishments are because of my Father’s name. And I’m not talking about my natural dad…I’m talking about my Heavenly Father. Regardless of what my name is, it’s His name that draws.”
Thank you Kendra Norman Holmes! God used your words to speak to me this day and give me the final answer I was praying about.
I already feel at peace about it. I feel free from the pain of my past mistakes, free from all of the negativity connected with the name of Lipsey. I now know that I can boldly step into the rest of the future that God has planned for me.
So, over the next few days and weeks, you will see the use of “Shelia E. Lipsey” give way to Shelia E. Bell, as I go about making the necessary changes to my Facebook pages, email addresses, other social media sites and of course on all future books that will be released. Today as I legally go back to my maiden name, Shelia E. Bell, I know that greater is in store, greater is coming! Thank you God for loving me.
Thank you friends!
Shelia E. Bell, God’s Amazing Girl!