Thursday, June 29, 2017

Who Do You Think You Are?

By Debra DuPree Williams @DDuPreeWilliams

This has become not only the name of a popular television show in recent years, but a question asked on social media as well. As more and more of us delve into the tech-world and engage more and more people in the latest-greatest inventions like Instagram and Twitter, just to name a couple, we are finding groups of people who tell us, “Hey, we’re related.”

I admit it. I was hooked from the beginning on the television show, but I was also mesmerized by my family Facebook groups.

Have you seen the show? The hosts of the show follow a celebrity as they track their ancestral roots from one location to another. With some frequency, they wind up on the other side of the globe. After all, many of us got to America by means of an ancestor who ventured forth many years ago from the other side of the world.

Tracing My Roots
That was my family story. At least it was what I thought was my family story. It was the story each of
Andersonville Cemetery, GA
my parents took to Glory with them. Mama passed away twenty years ago, long before the truth of her roots began emerging. Daddy joined her in 2012. He knew that Sis and I had traced our roots to France on his father’s side and that we had even found that his three-times-great grandfather was a Patriot in the American Revolution. But that was only the beginning.

If I asked those of you who know me who you think I am, I wonder what you would say. Some of you would name me. Some would say I’m Jim’s wife or perhaps you would name our four sons, citing that I am their mother. Some would say I am blonde and blue-eyed. Some would say white-Anglo-Saxon-protestant. While those are certainly true in part, they are far from who I am.

Look to the person next to you. Go ahead, they won’t know you’re being nosy. They’ll just think you’re checking out the scenery or the room you’re in. If you’re alone, let me suggest you go look in a mirror. Tell me, who do you see? Could you describe the person? What words would you use?

This exercise and this post are all to say that the outside, what we may look like, doesn’t begin to say who we are. With the advent of DNA testing, we can delve even more deeply into our identities, going back as many as ten-thousand years. My parents, and certainly my grandparents and earlier generations, could never have imagined this.

The Truth of Who I Am
So here is the truth of who I am. I am English. I am Irish. I am French. I am Scandinavian, I am of the
I Am All of These, and More
Iberian Peninsula. I am Jewish. I am Native American. I am African. In other words, I am of the world. In all likelihood, so is the person sitting next to you or even the one staring back at you in the mirror. Does this change your perception of who I am? Who you are?

I would hope that when you see me, that first you will see a child of the King. That, to me, is the most important descriptor of all. Quite simply, and primarily, I belong to Jesus. I am the creation of my loving Heavenly Father, created in the image he had of me. I was wondrously and fearfully made and knit together in my mother’s womb. He knew me, before I was created, as I existed in His mind and heart. All of the things, the different ethnic groups that make up my being, were created by God.

There is so much hate and strife in the world today. If we would all do a DNA test and find out the many different peoples of the world who make up each one of us, I think we’d find we are far more closely related than we ever imagined. Armed with this knowledge, can’t we all just learn to live together peacefully? Can’t we replace the hate with love?

Hello, Cousins
Look at that person next to you one last time. See him or her as your brother or sister. In all likelihood, they are at least your cousin, a part of the family of human-kind, created in the image of Father God, Himself.

So, who do you think you are? Have you done a DNA test? Were your results what you expected? Share your experience with us.

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The person  next to you is very likely at least a distant cousin @DDuPreeWilliams (click to Tweet)

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