Saturday, April 4, 2009


I was the 4th of 4 children. I am Fred & Terry Wilder's son. I am Shannon and Erin's youngest brother. I am Nathan's only brother. I am one of Will, Lauren, and Sarah Mickler's cousins. I am a nephew of Gil & Debbie Davis, and Bill & Julie Mickler. I am the grandson of Helen & Foster Davis, and Fred & Thelma Wilder.

When I moved to Nashville, I became Ben Wilder.

No longer someone's brother or cousin or son or nephew. People know me as Ben Wilder and what those people know of me is not based on anyone else but me. I can't even begin to explain how much freedom there has been since I stepped out of any shadow I was in. That's what Nashville and Tennessee mean to me. This city is forever a symbol to me of personal freedom, of taking on challenges, of making a life on my own. I am continuing to find my own identity here, a journey that started the day I packed my things and left Florida. If you ever wonder why I love Nashville so much, mostly it's because I feel like it's mine. Not my brother's, not my sister's, no one else's but mine! It's part of my adventure that I will treasure for the rest of my life.

Think about what you treasure deep in your heart, secrets only shared between you and God, gifts he's given you, blessings that only you know, the things that make your heart melt, events that affect your life. Well, something happened when I moved to Nashville, it's like a veil was slowly removed and I've been able to see me for the first time. I began to understand more about myself. To see me more how God sees me, as a unique creation that he loves. I slowly stopped comparing myself to my brother, and I think, for the first time, not be in his shadow. Funny thing about shadows is that to have a shadow, there has to be a light and now I am in it. That's why it's easier to see myself differently than ever before. My life is turning out different than my brother's, than either of my sister's, and unlike my cousins. And that is ok! In fact, it's awesome!

I have my own shadow now. If you want to see my shadow, it's in Nashville, Tennessee.


  1. You were right... I very much appreciated that one! Probably one of my favorites now. :o)

  2. I know EXACTLY what you mean.

  3. fabulous post!

  4. Ben, this post hits home for me for sure. :) My dad was a pastor, I had three sisters, a twin on top of that. I was Kaye's little sister, Misty's twin, a Dyer girl, and the preachers daughter... blah, blah. Sometimes it was overwhelming. I was never just Christy. I never felt like life was about Christy, but maybe that is the way God intended it. Our identity should be found in Christ not ourselves but anyway. :) Just before I graduated college I went to Colorado by myself for the summer to do summer missions. It was the first time I was independent from my family, from my sister. It was a great experience and the Lord really strengthen me in that. I then graduated college, my twin got married and I moved to Louisville. I gained that independence in a few steps which was good for me, I am a bit emotional sometimes. ha. It would have been too much otherwise. But I love not being in the shadows of my sisters or family. However, I do love being in the shadow of the Lord, and knowing that His character is shaping my own. I love having my own friends, my own place, my own church, etc. Its freeing to be the person that God created CHRISTY to be!! :)