Archives For identity

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Usually when people ask me what I do, I answer with a generic “I work at XYZ” or “I do XYZ.”

But, my background is way more extensive than this.

I’m a writer. I’m an artist. I’m a licensed and ordained minister.

I also have a background in Broadcast Journalism and have spent a lot of time in videography and photography.

As my interests and passions changed, I learned to give more simple answers to what I do versus who I am. I’ll never forget the time I mentioned what I did when someone asked me only to berate me for having such an extensive line of things to mention from my previous career experiences.

Haters gonna hate, right?

So, over the years, I have given my answer a 3 word response as far my background:  Author, Minister and Cartoonist.

Boom! Done!

I say “author” because I’ve been published and am publishing. But, I suppose the more accurate title would be “storyteller.” In fact, storytelling is something that has fit my overall experiences as a Journalist as well as a writer and media guy.

And, between you and me, the term “storyteller” is something that the Lord kept bringing up to me over and over again to this day.

While all of this is well and good, I’m actually desiring to make a point here.

Sometimes we get everything in our lives confused as it relates to what we do and who we are. While yes, you are a writer, a cook, a minister, a doctor, a lawyer, a construction worker or whatever.

But that’s just right now!

You’re not your job!

Your job or career is what you DO right now! That could change at anytime!

And for some people, that is horrifying! For others, it is a welcome opportunity to embrace and experience the other many activities that you might not have known you’re good at.

This is a scary reality for many.

A lot of people base their whole lives on a job or a way of life and are left devastated because they have centered their whole identity around said career choice.

So many people try to chase after a career or a pathway to success but forget that they should focus on what kind of person they should become or are becoming.

My personal faith in God and my relationship with Christ keeps all of this in perspective for me.

I’m first, a Christian, before anything else. I’m a follower of Christ before I’m a doctor so-and-so or reverend whomever or lead whatever. From that relationship, my identity is shaped. And, I learn of my greatest strengths and my greatest weaknesses from that.

What I do is what I do today. It could change. In fact, I anticipate their to be some change.  And it is okay!

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made

 

It was early in the morning. About 1am to be exact.

I was still awake, feeling a bit out of sorts. I was begging and pleading to God about how I struggled with seeing any value in me and in what He thought of me.

It was a journey that began days prior with God making me acknowledge that I needed to spend more time in my Bible.

I was led to Psalm 139 and upon reading the entire Psalm I specifically focused on verse 14:

“I will praise you for I am fearfully and wonderfully made, marvelous are your works…”

After reading the text, I was struck with a feeling of disappointment.

“Really!?” I thought. “God, surely there’s more to it then that!”

I spoke again to God, asking Him to show me where I’m wrong. I knew I was wrong…but I was willing to let the Lord point out what was up with me and my heart.

In frustration, I headed to my bedroom to finally try and go to bed. The minute that my head hit the pillow, I heard the following message:

“Stop trying to get your value from people and things.”

It started making sense. Tears welled up in my eyes and I got up immediately. I asked the Lord to forgive me…how foolish was I to totally miss what God was REALLY doing.

Verse 14…David’s praise to the Lord…His worship of the Father. He Loved the Lord and throughout Psalm 139 before you we even get to verse 14 he acknowledges that the God knows every single thing about Him and had his entire life lined up before he was even existent.

David knew God. He loved God. He worshipped Him. Your value and mine comes from my relationship with God…as Father…as the one who sent His son Jesus…and Provider…as Protecter…as Creator… and so, so much more!

I couldn’t appreciate what God was saying because it was a matter of “Praise,” or more specifically, “thankfulness.” I had to learn to be thankful for God making me as He did.

Then note what else David said…”I am fearfully and wonderfully made.” “Fearfully” would be defined simply as “respect” or “with respect too” and “Wonderfully” is “unique” or “complex.” It could also mean “set apart.

God created you for a purpose…to Glorify Him and to do it through daily acknowledgement of Him and His son Jesus whom he sent to take our place on the cross. God has also given you purpose and life and abilities and opportunities to be all that you were created to be. You may not be able to do “everything” and “anything,” but you have the God-given capacity to do certain things.

For me, this became a pretty big deal!

My view began to shift as I considered all of the ways the Lord made me…how He set me apart…created me…the kind of gifts and abilities he gave me.

In fact, that night began a whole new shift in the way I saw myself and what I had to learn regarding what God thought of me.

There was more than enough reason to respond and react like David…with praise and thanksgiving to God.