My sixteen-year-old son is really into superheroes. He loves all things superheroes: movies, comic books, the posters, and even t-shirts. According to Keaton, in order for a superhero to be great, he has to have a great “backstory” or “origin story.”
Think about it, every superhero has one. Batman’s parents were murdered. Spiderman was bitten by a radioactive spider. Captain America was a sickly little guy who wanted to do more, so he agreed to be injected with a serum to make him a super soldier. (I sound like a major nerd right now, don’t I?) These characters’ origins help to shape who they became. Their background made them compassionate to certain people, and motivated them toward certain actions.
Did you know that you have a backstory or an origin story? Your backstory has helped shape who you are today. Your backstory makes you compassionate toward certain people and motivates you toward certain actions, as well.
Maybe you were a “bus kid” who rode the church bus every week.
Maybe you were a church kid whose parents had you in church every time the doors were open.
Maybe you never even heard the name of Jesus until you were an adult.
Maybe you were raised in a home with atheistic parents.
Maybe you were a pageant girl, or a basketball player, or a musician, or a high school drop-out, or a teen mom, or a valedictorian . . .
Whatever your backstory, GOD is the ultimate author of YOUR story.
Whatever your backstory, GOD is the ultimate author of YOUR story, and HE specializes in endings. Remember the story of Joseph in the Old Testament? His brothers intended to destroy him, but God used what they did to Joseph for Joseph’s GOOD!
My mother-in-law grew up in a large family and her parents were not believers. Families from a local Nazarene church came by her house and picked her up for church every Sunday. Her home life was not peaceful and loving. It was a very abusive and chaotic household. My mother-in-law says that she gave her heart to the Lord as a teenager and prayed that one day God would give her a Christian family.
As an adult, she became an elementary school secretary and those kids who came to school without having eaten breakfast, wearing shoes that were falling apart, were her favorites. She snuck food to them and brought them shoes. She brought as many as she could to church with her every week. My husband tells stories about how they never knew how many people would be eating dinner with them every night or how many people would be in their car on the way to church – she was always cramming more kids in – washing their faces, feeding them, and telling them about Jesus.
Of course, my mother-in-law credits her backstory as the reason for these actions. She was the little kid with the dirty face and empty stomach. If the family from the Nazarene church in Gans, Oklahoma hadn’t reached out to her, where would she be today?
It is very likely that your backstory will cause you to be compassionate or relatable to someone who is going through what you went through. It is also very likely that your backstory will cause you to be motivated to a great action for the cause of Christ’s Kingdom! So, whatever your origin or backstory it, don’t be ashamed of it. Don’t hide from it. Drop any pretense or embarrassment about your backstory and allow God to use it for His glory!
My Real Backstory is Entry One in our December 2018 blog series, The Real Me. Join us each week throughout this month as we feature four entries from Sanctuary team member, Martha Fouts.
Martha Fouts and her husband, Kevin, of 23 years have three boys, ages 17, 16 and 14. Her primary passion in ministry at Discovery Church (Yukon, OK), where the couple are lead pastors, is to serve wherever she is needed, from women's ministry to hospitality. But her personal passion is to write. With four books to her credit, as well as a blog, Martha has a wide variety of offerings for the female reader. When she manages to find free time between her taxi services to three active boys, Martha loves to go shopping or snuggle up with a good book. Looking for a new book to read? Martha has recently published a new book! You can find her works at Amazon or your favorite e-book retailer.