Who I Am

Feast of the Holy Martyrs Adrian & Natalie

Elijah_Square.jpegMY NAME IS Nyleen.

I have had to explain who I am to everyone I’ve ever met. For my entire life.

I spell myself, I alliterate and rhyme myself, I assure people that I really DO have a namesake; I’m not just stitched up from old alphabet parts like Frankenstein.

Because my name is Nyleen.

Lately, I changed my Lacy last name to Lenk. It sure was fun wearing that dress!

But it’s rendered me more unspellable, more indecipherable.

I am sick of explaining who I am.

But because I changed my Lacy to Lenk, I’ve found myself explaining who I am, not just to strangers, but to this Husband Man. This Husband Man who matters most. I explain who I am to him on a deeper level than to the strangers; deeper than I thought possible. This level cuts near the bone.

Truly, it’s a delight to be asked! I spent decades wishing someone would ask who I am in this way; to play my “song for the asking,” as the philosophers Simon and Garfunkel say.

Sometimes I am happy to discover the answers I can give this Husband Man: I am generous, kind, wise.

Other times, it turns my entrails and freezes them. Who I am in the bad moments is not to be borne.

And although I’m glad to be asked, a weariness comes. I get tired of explaining who I am.

The only antidote, of course, is to sit with those who already know who I am.

Better yet would be to sit with the only One who can tell me who I am.

“To pray is to descend with the mind into the heart, and there to stand before the face of the Lord, ever-present, all-seeing within you;” St. Theophan the Recluse says.

In this world made of accessibility and screens, we spend so much time trying to explain who we are.

The need to still oneself, to truly pray, is greater than ever. To rest. I feel it. Do you?

“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light;” Jesus says (Matt. 11.28-30).

Maybe, just maybe, as we stand with our minds in our hearts, we will find a rest. We will have a remembering—an anamnesis.

Although it refreshes our souls to sit with the One who can tell us who we are, what matters infinitely more is communing with who He is.

“The LORD said, ‘Go out and stand on the mountain in the presence of the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.’

Then a great and powerful wind tore the mountains apart and shattered the rocks before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake. After the earthquake came a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire. And after the fire came a gentle whisper. When Elijah heard it, he pulled his cloak over his face and went out and stood at the mouth of the cave” (I Kings 19:11-13).

So, this is the need. This is the hope. To get still enough to hear. Because what I hope to hear is not more of who I am. I am sick to death of who I am.

I want to be with my mind in my heart and meet Him there; to rest, to pull my cloak over my face. I want to stand at the mouth of the cave.

Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?”

God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”


Nyleen Lenk reads, writes, worships, and teaches people shorter than she is. To her, the most important thing is wonderment; and this is why she hides her life with Christ in God. She lives in Wichita with her husband the photographer, her stepsons the gamers, and her cat who is channeling Marmie from Little Women.

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