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Pictures from Cec's Toronto trip in May
with Melony Teague (L) and Carol Ford (R) at the Word Guild workshop
with Mary-Grace Knox and John Knox after speaking for the Tree of Life Congregation
with a Sudanese family at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, Ontario
with a new friend at a book signing
Who Am I?
I wonder how many times during my life I've pondered, "Who am I?" I first asked when I was 21, and in searching for the answer I met God and my life changed.
That's when I realized that my life had meaning and I had purpose. But occasionally, the question arises again. Who am I? Isn't that the struggle most of us have all through life? We wonder if we'll ever figure it out. (We won't.)
Many times I've turned to Dietrich Bonhoeffer's poem in which he agonized over his identity while he was in a Nazi prison. He wrestled with whether he was a hypocrite—pretending to be a stalwart believer while trembling inside—or if he was truly the heroic Christian his guards observed. Here are his closing words:
Who am I? They mock me, these lonely questions of mine.
Whoever I am, Thou knowest, O God, I am Thine.
Like most people, I've changed identities many times in relationships. I was Sam and Annie's boy or Ray's kid brother. I've named myself through my occupation. At various times I've been a public school teacher, a missionary, a pastor, a professional writer, and a public speaker. Or I could refer to being a husband, father, grandfather, and now a great-grandfather.
None of those categories fully defines me. But perhaps the intensity of the query isn't to give myself a satisfying answer. Maybe searching for an answer keeps me self-examining, which is another way to speak of growing.
Bonhoeffer's words bring me peace because God accepts me as I am. Yet the lurking uncertainty has a positive effect. As I define myself, I can use that as a starting place to make life adjustments. I don't have to remain who I was or who I am today.
Perhaps that's why this issue continues to jump into my life. It's not only to embrace who I am, but also to make me aware that who I am right now is no longer whom I want to remain.
Maybe the better question is, "Who am I becoming?"
Personal News
  • On June 17, the Southern Christian Writers Conference in Tuscaloosa, AL, will award me their first annual National Award for the Encouragement of Writing. “The purpose of the award is to recognize people who have been important in encouraging others in their writing ambitions and careers.” I’m honored that they would choose me.

  • On Father’s Day (June 19), I’ll preach at my home church, Clairmont Presbyterian Church, Decatur, GA.

  • I’m busily engaged in writing the story of Mariam Ibraheem, a Sudanese woman condemned to death by hanging because she refused to deny her Christian faith. (She’s now free and living in the USA.)

  • I received a last-minute request to speak at the Hope for Wholeness Conference on June 3, at Ridgecrest Conference Center in NC. Their website states, “Our desire is to shed light on the complicated issues of sexual and relational brokenness.” 
Cec spent a few days with Mariam Ibraheem and her husband, Daniel Wani, in Virginia Beach, VA.
Mariam Ibraheem's interview on Fox News
To watch Megyn Kelly's exclusive interview with Mariam Ibraheem, click on the picture above.
The Twila Zone—Words from My Assistant, Twila Belk
Cec stayed busy with events and made lots of new friends while he was in the Greater Toronto Area for eight days in May. We're grateful for Allison Restagno's and Helena Smrcek's good help in coordinating the details. I've posted a few pictures from his trip in the left column above. 
If you like books, book clubs, and learning about authors, you might be interested in The Book Club Network. Cec has an article in each month's edition of Book Fun Magazine. In the May issue, he wrote about great expectations. You'll find his article on page 210. 
On a personal note: I've had a number of challenges in May, but I also have many things to be thankful for. If you'd like to know more, here's what I wrote for CarePages on May 22: Challenges and Choosing Gratitude.
For those who would like to follow my periodic updates, you can access my CarePages site after creating an account to log in. My link is http://www.carepages.com/carepages/TwilaBelk.  
Gotta Tell Somebody, Inc. | 5672 Appleton Road | Bettendorf, IA 52722

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