What Shapes Your Identity

For today I would like to take you back to a couple of “firsts” in my life because those “firsts” have helped to shape my identity.

The first “first” (what a mouth full, lol) is my first car accident.

I had just started dating Jenna and was a junior in high school.  A few months before I started dating Jenna though I had gone out and bought a little Ford Ranger that was only 4 years old! 

I found a screaming deal on it.  it had a few quirks, but all in all, it was in GREAT shape for a high schooler!

Fast forward a few months to right after Jenna and I had started dating. I had gotten up early to pick up a kid on the other side of the county to go to an FFA deal for the day.

So I was up earlier than usual.

We did that for the day, then I took Jenna out on a date after that but we didn’t stay out too late, because I was a little tired.

Then on my way home, about 5 miles from the house I fell asleep and drifted off the road. 

All that I remember from the accident was, opening my eyes when I jumped a county road. literally jumped it Dukes of Hazard Style. Then I closed my eyes again because I didn’t want to see what was coming next.

Then again a few seconds later I opened my eyes when the truck was in mid-roll over and I was upside down.

When it was all over I opened the door and looked for my cell phone (I actually had one, remember rollover minutes? Yeah it was back then lol).


I couldn’t find it.  At the time I was part of the volunteer fire department, and so was my brother. So, I called him on the radio and calmly asked that he come up by the little school to give me some assistance.

Luckily it wasn’t too late, about 10:30 pm.

He didn’t bat an eye. Grabbed his gun, because he was sure I hit a deer and hauled his butt up to where I was.

When he got there I was cleaning off the road making sure that I didn’t cause another accident with any debris that might have flown off of my truck.

Shortly after Russ got there, I used his bag phone, remember those bad boys???? To call Mom and dad to let them know that I was all right, but I was in an accident.  No need to worry, I’ll be home soon.

After that, we called dispatch to have an officer come out and tag the truck so that they didn’t get a ton of crazy calls on it.

Then I hopped in Rusty’s truck, and we headed back for the house.

This one event gave me several identities.  One of those was the fact that I could have died that night. But God chose to save me.  He wasn’t done with me yet.  It really set the fact that God was REAL as one of my identities.

The second was that you don’t ask questions when someone needs to help you. Even if they need help because the decision they made was not GREAT. You just help them.

The second “First” that I want to take you back to was when our first son was born, Billy!

Jenna and I were fairly young when we had our first child. You see we started dating our junior year in high school and then right after graduation we got engaged and a year later we were married.

So, by 19 we had already been together for 3 years, bought a new truck together, and were married.

Right after getting married, we talked and made the decision to start our family right away. 

We got married in June and were pregnant with Billy by August.

He was actually due on our 1-year anniversary. He didn’t come out on our anniversary. The little crapper was a few weeks early. but that’s ok we still love him. Lol

William Robert Greer (aka Billy) was born between 3 & 3:15 PM in Durango Colorado on 6/3/2006.  That moment forever changed my identity.

From that point forward I was a FATHER. 

I know that I was really a dad before that, but in my mind, it was sealed on that date that I was now a father!

I still remember it like it was yesterday.

The first night Billy was born I didn’t sleep hardly at all. This would be the only night for the next 10 years that Jenna would sleep through the night. But I didn’t sleep hardly a wink.

Billy was in our room and I would walk over to this bassinet thing that the hospital uses for newborns, and just watch him.

I was so excited about the future.

Watching him learn to walk, to talk, his first 4-wheeler ride, teaching him to drive, going on trips, fishing, hunting, watching him grow older and wiser, watching him start a family of his own, and so much more.

All of these images flashed through my mind.

I was also TERRIFIED! This human is now MY responsibility. I was charged with doing everything I could to provide a GREAT childhood for him and give him a loving home to grow up in.

Teach him how to treat people, just like my parents taught me.  

I could feel the weight of the world on my shoulders for this one little baby that wasn’t even 24 hours old yet.

You see in those moments my identity was forever changed.

As one of my all-time favorite country singers, George Strait says in his song The Breath You Take, “ life’s not the breath you take” “But the moments that take your breath away

My point is that those moments are the ones that shape our identity. 

They make us who we were meant to be.

Today I want to encourage everyone who reads this to pause and take a DEEP breath in and look at the moment you are currently in. How is God working in your life right now, at this moment, to shape your life?

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