According to the TV show Joan of Arcadia, which I recommend buying on DVD (for some insidious reason, it got cancelled), St Augustine wrote, “To know yourself is to know God.”
Telling our stories is an adventure. We might know what has happened in our past, but as we write or tell it, new insights and meanings come clear. In the process of telling our stories, we discover our lives.
As storytellers who draw on our experience, we see evidence that life isn’t a random collection of events. Rather, it appears to move in accord with some larger plan that forces us to confront our fears and weaknesses. We remember strange happenings at crucial moments. Events we once saw as catastrophes now appear as blessings.
Our life stories may become a foundation of our faith. In his essay “Faith and Fiction,” Fredrick Buechner maintains that our faith has the same beginnings as our fiction, in “the awareness of events in our lives that lead from one to the other and thereby give each other meaning. The ups and downs of the years, the dreams, the odd moment, the intuitions.”
The plots of our lives are foundations of our faith as well as the germs and cornerstones of the stories we write. Never mind whether we call the stories fact or fiction.