In Search of My Story
Over the last 10 years, I've spent time piecing together the details of my life story. I have been on a journey to answer questions about my foremothers and forefathers, my ancestors, my DNA, the streams of humanity that make up who I am today. I am not only interested in where I come from, but I am also interested in where I am going. I just finished researching and writing the story of the maternal stream of our family: the Garcia, Stevenson, Guerrero, and Villanueva families make up this stream. The story runs through Scotland, Mexico, and South Texas, with official records dating back to the mid 1700s. It is a fascinating story. I have yet to research and write about my paternal lineage as well as Belinda’s family to leave our three sons a history of who they are.
We all hunger for a life story that answers these questions: Who am I? Where did I come from? What makes me unique? Where am I going? What is my life purpose? Who is my family? Who is my tribe? Who are my people? At some point you will ask those questions and spend most of your life looking for the answers. Answers to these questions will help frame your story.
Dr. Leonard Sweet, author, theologian, preacher, semiotician, and historian, spoke to Buckner International's 2021 Board of Trustees Annual Retreat recently and posed the question this way: Who is the author of your story? Who is writing your story? He concluded that whoever the author of your story is also your authority for your life. So, let me ask you: Who is the author of your story?
Dr. Sweet points to Identity Markers to help answer the question of who we are. Where do you find your identity? Are you who you say you are because you say it or is there another point of reference for your identity?
Here is my answer. My primary identity is found in a relationship with Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus Christ is the author of my story. Therefore, he is my authority. I study his teachings, learn from him, and then try to imitate his ways. He holds the keys to my life, my future, and eternity. While I am far from perfect, I decided long ago to spend every day trying in some way to serve people by imitating Jesus. I am deeply grateful for the socio-cultural identity I bear. However, more foundational than my biological and historical identity is my personal faith in Jesus Christ and the presence of his Spirit in me.
Raymond Harris spoke to our Board at Buckner's January Retreat and said, “I am an eternal being.” I had not heard it put quite that way, but he is right. It is true. My life on earth will end, and I will transition to an eternal life with Jesus to live with Him forever. He is the author and finisher of my faith. He is the beginning and the end of me. That is my story, and I am sticking to it.