“Pwy dach chi?” in Welsh is the question “Who are you?” I share this question because it was a part of this week’s lesson, and because it has been a question that I continue to find myself answering.
If you did not know, in the past couple of years I have moved around a lot. When you move to a new place, the question most people naturally ask is “Who are you?” and it is very quickly followed by “What do you do?” and “Do you have social media?”
These questions are initially innocent and they can be tools people use to learn more about another person. In fact, sometimes before we even ask these questions, we have already collected visual information and created a stereotype. Oxford languages shares that a stereotype is “a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a person or thing.” I remember learning in a college psychology class that stereotypes were not considered bad, but actually a stereotype was our brain’s logical way of organizing data in order to process information quicker. (It is amazing at how quickly the body adapts to new information!)
Unfortunately, our minds are also twisted by sin. As a result, I have seen people use the information gained by those same questions to build dividing walls, establish status quos, and create and propagate false identities. So, while these questions are helpful for learning information, I have also wondered:
I know that no one asked for my thoughts, but in light of June being Pride month and an ongoing struggle to answer these basic questions, I began to wonder. What if the questions “Who are you?”, “What do you do?”, and “Do you have social media?” are actually a reflection of people searching for something more? What if people are actually searching for an understanding of their identity? Or, what if people are actually searching for acceptance?
I mentioned that I get the questions “Who are you?”, “What do you do?”, and “Do you have social media?” often. Well, every time I move to a new location the things that I do shift. Who I am cannot be determined by what job I have or how much money I earn, because it changes with each life transition. Furthermore, what is seen on social media is not a full picture of who I am as a person. Social media is limited to captured moments in time. So, do you see my dilemma? In my mind, these simple questions do not have simple answers because I am a complex person. I want to be known and I want to be accepted, but my answers to those specific questions do not give you a full picture of who I am.
So, who am I? What is my identity? I love the Welsh translation of the answer. “Brittany dw i” Literally translates to “Brittany am I.” I love this response because it reminds me of God’s given name, “I AM WHO I AM”, typically seen in our Bible as LORD. And as I have thought about the other questions more and more, God has reminded me that my identity is rooted in what He says about me. Specifically, this month he has reminded me:
- I am a chosen and beloved child of God. (1 John 3:1, 1 Peter 2:9-10, Isaiah 43:10)
- I am seen. (Jeremiah 1:5, Psalm 139:1-5, John 1:48, Jeremiah 31:28)
So… Pwy dach chi? Who are you?