Guest Post: Origin stories, superheroes and what defines us

17 Oct

Today’s guest post comes to us from Lisa Bartelt whose blog Living Echoes chronicles her journey as a wife, mother of two, writer and avid reader.  The Bartelts moved to Lancaster a few months ago, and have quickly become part of the family of Faith Church.  Lisa’s husband, Phil, is an EC Pastor and part of the Faith Church teaching team.   

Phil and I like to unwind by watching television, and one of our new favorite shows is Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., a comic-book spinoff of the popular Avengers movies and characters. A couple of weeks ago, the show featured the “origin story” of a villain I’d never heard of. The promo for the show was “every villain has an origin story.”

What little I know of comic books and their characters, I know that the origin story is true for the heroes and the villains. According to Wikipedia, it’s the “back story revealing how a character or team gained their superpowers and/or the circumstances under which they became superheroes or supervillains.”

Bruce Wayne sees his parents murdered by a mugger and becomes Batman to root out crime in Gotham City. Peter Parker is bitten by a radioactive spider and gains spider-like powers, which he uses to fight crime to alleviate the guilt he feels for his uncle’s death. Doctor Bruce Banner becomes the Incredible Hulk through exposure to gamma rays and transforms into the raging green monster whenever he’s angry. And on and on and on. (Check out Wikipedia’s “origin story” entry for more.)

But you don’t have to be a superhero (or a supervillain) to have an origin story. We all have moments, good and bad, that contributed to who we are today. You know your origin story. Does anyone else?

On Sunday, Phil and I will pick up where Joel left off with the second part of our Stories of Restoration mini-series. You’ve seen us at church for the past three months. You’ve met our kids, Izzy and Corban. You’ve heard Phil preach.

But you don’t know our story. Yet.

We’ll tell you about the moments that shaped us individually, and as a couple, into who we are today: our origin stories.

Unlike the superheroes and supervillains, though, our origin story doesn’t have to be the whole story. As Christians, those so-called defining moments, which make the comic book characters who they are and what they do, don’t have to define us. God can use even the most painful experiences in our past to bring about something new.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” – Isaiah 43:19

Are you in the wilderness in some area of your life? Do you feel like everything around you is a wasteland?

We’ve been there, too. Join us on Sunday to hear how God made a way in the wilderness for us and to be encouraged that He is making all things new.

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