Who am I? 

Siora Photography on Unsplash

Hello me luvvers ow bin yer?   …translates …(Hello my friends how are you?)

This is a good question to ask our families and friends at this time, and as we know, and we have heard it said through some of our on line services, there are many answers to the question.  Our answers will vary from day to day and sometimes even hour to hour, as we continue to live though “lockdown”. 

Some of our answers may go like this…

  • I ay tew bad ( I am not too bad )
  • I’m bostin ta  (I am doing very well thank you)
  • I’m goin nuts cos cor gew ahrt (I am going crazy because I can’t go out)
  • I’m gutted cos I cor see me babbys (I am really upset because I cant see my children)
  • I cor cope no mewer (I can’t cope any longer)
  • I cor even gew shapping (I can’t even go out shopping)
  • I doe arf miss me mates and gewin to church (I really miss my friends and going to church)
  • Me ‘airs that lung I’m startin to look like an oss (My hair is so long I am starting to look like a horse)

I am sure being in lockdown as raised so many different emotions in all of us and possibly when anyone asked you or me “how are you” we may have responded with one of the above answers, but I feel lockdown has raised in us many more questions than just “how are you”, I know for me it certainly has.

Earlier this week a Christian brother and mentor asked me “how I was” and followed through with “because you don’t seem to be yourself”

On the same day Nick G asked me if I felt I could write something for this Blog, my immediate answer was to say I didn’t think I could do it as well as others have….Nick then said “Just be yourself”!

As I thought about this and pondered on the two phrases that had been used about me…”You don’t seem to be yourself” and “Just be yourself”…. it caused me to reflect on one of those deeper questions that sometimes the Holy Spirit asks you to ask yourself…..so I began reflect on just who is “myself” or “who am I ”?

Well, as you may have guessed,  I am a Black country wench” and like most of us I have many other  “titles”, wife, mother, grandmother, sister, friend, retired nurse/lecturer, Reader (Lay-minister) and a few others….all good titles some requiring harder work than others, but I am truly blessed by God to have been given all the family, friendships, love and opportunities to serve Him that these various titles have given me over many years.

I started to write this blog on day 36 of the governments lockdown, its day 42 for my husband and I because we started a little earlier than Boris told us to. During that time I have not been able to wholly fulfil, in the way that I normally would, any of my roles other than perhaps the “wife” one??…..  the Bible says of a good wife “When she speaks her words are wise and kindness is the rule when she gives instructions” (Proverbs 31:26)  so you had better check out my claim on that front with my husband, for I know there are “Rats in my cellar “  too (see Nick’s last blog).

It’s been hard facing up to not being able to be as involved with family/friends/church life as I usually am, and some days I have felt more than a bit useless. Lockdown has stripped us back and laid us bare in so many ways that we have never had to think about before and it would be all too easy to fall in to the “slough of despond” (the swamp of despair) that “Pilgrim” speaks of (see Pilgrims Progress by John Bunyan), or with the writer of Ecclesiastes  to say “It’s all meaningless” !  So I am grateful to the Holy Spirit who led me to “get real” with myself before God and ask the deep question “Who am I?” and then, blessed, very blessed, that He further led me, through a walk in some local fields playing worship songs through headphones, to remember that my true identity is not in the many titles the world bestows upon us no matter how good they are, but that our true identity as Christians is in the title He willingly and graciously freely bestows upon each us.  God reminded me on that walk and through a worship song, and he wants to remind all of us in this time and always, that I am, and you are….WHO YOU (God) SAY I AM.  I am a child of God.

This is a song I heard a couple of years ago and one I have played much but am daily playing it now as it has come to mean so much to me. So I share it with you.  Find it on you tube here or just read the words available on that same link.

A final thought taken from my daily studies in Lectio 365 (put together by 24/7 prayer movement and available as a free app on your phone).

Covid-19 has stripped us of many “façades and defences.”  In Luke 18:9-14 The tax collector “kept it real” when talking to Jesus. Jill Weber writes

“As I reflect on this passage I think God’s invitation is to bring our real, unvarnished selves into his presence."

Anne Lammott in her book called “Help, thanks and Wow – the 3 essentials of prayer” writes:

"It takes much courage to get real, really real with God…”

But when we do He always, but always finds ways to show us, even in lockdown, we are not forsaken, but are chosen and loved and valued by Him for “just who I am”.   Let’s go on using this lockdown time to “get real” with God who longs for us to do just that, for our benefit and for His Glory.
Love and miss seeing you all.  Yvonne

Yvonne Binder, 05/05/2020