When did you become you?
Although you may define yourself in many ways and see yourself differently in different stages of your life, there is only one you. You are unique in all the world – there has never been another you and there never will be. And you have always been a human being, right from the beginning. When was the beginning? Well, that’s exactly what this particular reflection answers through reason and faith, with the help of science and religion. Although the beginning of human development may seem grounded in mystery because of the hidden nature of the first nine months of life, it is also grounded in fact. And the facts are beautiful.
I re-present this post as the first of nine consecutive reflections on early human development – the development of you.
This is a picture of you.
This is what you looked like after the first day of your life.
In all the billions of galaxies in the universe, there is only one you – and you started as just one cell, about one tenth of a millimeter in size, which divided into two, and then more, and more….
It may be strange for us to think of ourselves with such a tiny beginning. But this is the miraculous truth of human life. Created in the image and likeness of God, we are yet humble creatures. Each of us begins with the divine spark of life, formed in the womb, following the design of our Creator. You and I are, indeed, fearfully and wonderfully made (Psalm 139:14).
The answer to the question of when you became a human being is simple. You became you at conception…
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Although crippled by disease, I am fully alive in love. I write about the profound wonder and terrible beauty of life while living with physical disability and severe dependency. Unafraid to ask life's big questions, I was briefly an atheist and considered other religions before finding, in God's choice to intimately share our humanity, what it truly means to be fully human. A revert to the Catholic Faith, I blog weekly and have written a book called It's Good to Be Here.