It was just the other day, during a phone conversation with my 90 year old grandmother, when she asked, “Who are you?”
I paused for a moment and said, “Grandma, it’s me. Becky. Don’t you remember?”
She snorted in derision, “Do you think I’ve gone senile? I know your name. I was just wondering if you’d figured out who you were yet.”
“Well,” I answered. “I’m Ben’s wife and the mom of 7 children.”
She muttered a bit under her breath. “Maybe….but I think that that’s more who you are to other people, and how the world sees you.”
She paused for a moment
Then she continued, “I’m not speaking about your relationships with other people. I was a wife and mom, too. Then my husband died and my kids grew up. That part changed…..but all my life I’ve been a farmer. I put my hands into the dirt, I tend the baby plants, I pull the weeds, and I pick the things I grow and peace sets into my heart. I stand there in the sun and I know that I am exactly where God wanted me doing exactly what he made me to do. It’s when my actions become almost a prayer and I am who I am.”
“I write.” I whispered to her. “I write and my world makes sense. I would rather be writing, even on the days when the words won’t come than doing anything else in the whole world. It’s where I find my peace.”
“So you’re a writer?” She asked me.
“No, not really. Not yet. No one is paying me for this. I just do it because I love it.”
She laughed to herself. “How did your mother raise a stupid child?” Then she laughed some more. “You may not be a professional yet, and you may never be one. That doesn’t mean that you’re not a writer.”
“I know, Grandma, but the rest of the world…”
“The rest of the world can jump in a lake. Why do you write? It’s because God gave it to you to do.”
“And if no one else ever reads it?”
“Then you know you’re lucky. You’re writing solely for the entertainment of the King of Kings.”
It’s a conversation I’ve thought about often in the last couple days. Thinking over who I am and who exactly God has meant me to be. Not a person in relation to anyone else, but just me by myself. Who am I?
It’s a deceptively simple question. It’s more than a title, or what we do to pay the bills. It’s not what anyone else calls us. It’s not even what we want to do. It’s what we need to do. It’s what makes our souls sing out in joy and contentment. For my grandmother, it’s coaxing life out of the dark, fertile soil. For my grandfather, who earned his living doing manual labor, it was being a carpenter and creating fantastic creations out of blocks of wood. For me, it is words poured out upon a page. For a friend of mine, it is seeing a baby she’s just delivered snuggled into its mother’s arms. It is living in the place where God has placed us to be, and offering that work and the song of our souls right back to Him.
[author] [author_image timthumb=’on’]https://www.ignitumtoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/03/Rebecca-Frech.png[/author_image] [author_info]Rebecca Frech is a Cradle Catholic who came back to the Church in 2000, and thanks God for it every day. She lives just outside Dallas with the brilliant Computer Guy, their 7 not-quite-perfect children, and an ever-multiplying family of dust bunnies. When she’s not teaching math, neglecting housework, or reluctantly training for a marathon, she’s blogging at Shoved to Them.[/author_info] [/author]