22 Apr Who Am I?
I’ll be honest with you. I wanted to post a verse to start this off. It’s my first blog entry. I have to do it right, right? So I go onto Google and search “Bible verses on IDENTITY” and up come the links. 10 Scriptures to War for Your Identity in Christ and 20 Encouraging Bible Verses about Our Identity in Christ show up in the list. I mean it’s just a matter of copying and pasting one at the top and I am good to go. Isn’t that what we do? We constantly look to see what the next person is doing to make sure we do it like them because that’s the “right” way. In the end are we just carbon copies of one another, but slightly different. There’s some sort of comfort in trying out something that worked for someone else. We would love to think of ourselves as unique but we are always taking ideas and adopting as our own. We all know Psalm 139:14 that says…
“…I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”
But let me not get off topic. Who was I? Back home, I was a worship leader for around 7 years. I started at the young age of 22 (I am now 32). As a young, passionate leader in the church I was met with many challenges. I encountered multiple people, young and old, that would want to join the worship team; some with personalities that required great patience and wisdom. I got to lead a congregation and worship team every week. I was respected for my skills in music and leadership. I gained a great amount of experience in those years. I was the go-to guy, the man people depended on when it came to ushering in the presence of God… I was so full of myself. Let me fast forward.
At age 29, I decided to step down from my position as worship leader. I had so many questions about why I was in the position I was in. The amount of detail about how I felt at that moment is far too complex to explain here. However, to try and concentrate how I felt into one phrase: I felt like a hack. I did not feel like a worship leader. I did not feel like a man of God. In all those years it felt like I was just doing the same thing week after week. Why did I feel this way? The answer is simple. I was not praying and reading God’s Word, order was not in my home, and Christ was not at the center. I was pushing forward solely on God’s grace and mercy. He used me and I praise God for that, but I was not even close to where I needed to be. I was not chasing after Him.
Years pass. Lessons come and go. We move to a whole new state and we start a whole new life (you can read about that here). We start attending a new church where I am employed as the Creative Design Director. In the beginning, I was so excited. I was given the opportunity to lead worship with the worship pastor. I even got to play the keyboard and bass-guitar from time to time. It was great. I was back where I belonged. This is who I am! This is my identity! So why did I feel like my battery was losing charge after 4 months? I began to feel down and even angry at times. I was not the leader, but instead I was just the “keyboard player”. My demeanor began to change. I looked miserable playing and singing. Everything was so forced.
I later stepped down from the worship team once again. I set some time to talk to my worship pastor. The worship pastor and I have a great relationship and he was transparent with me. He shared how he understood what it is to be accustomed to being the “A guy” and not having control. I shared how insignificant I felt and he just looked at me and said “Maybe that’s a good place to be”. We hugged and I left the office not having many answers. I still felt insignificant and wondered why that was such a good place to be. Later, I get a text from a pastor friend. He asked how I was doing and I was very transparent. I told him that I did not know who I was anymore. What he wrote next would change my life right there and then. He wrote “Jason? I love my wife and my wife loves me, but when I sing riffs or play a neapolitan 6th chord, she does not care. She knows it’s nice and appreciates these things I can do, but all she cares about is that I am available to her as a husband. All she cares about is that I am in my position as the priest of my home. God is the same way. He is not looking to be impressed. He just wants you to be available to Him and in Him is where you will find your identity”. I cried as I walked to my office. I was so caught up in position, title, and talent that I didn’t even know who I was anymore. I was so busy trying to be someone I thought I should be and all this time my identity was in Christ. I was so busy chasing “position” that I was never in the position God needed me to be so that he could fill me.
Who Am I? If all my abilities to be a creative were taken away, what would I do? If my sight, voice, or the ability to use my hands ended… These questions ran through my mind daily.
Now I am a man chasing after the heart of God. I am still far from the goal, but I am so much closer than I was before. I can say that I daily strive for peace in my home. I still enjoy music ministry and I know it’s a huge part of my life. Right now, my focus is on being available to God and my family. My biggest focus is being the priest of my home. I have been married 8 years and it is now that I feel I am confidently leading my family with God’s help. There is so much I am learning and still much to learn, but I am loving every part. If you feel this way too, I hope that this encourages you. The truth is, as time passes things change. We change. We may sometimes try to force the way things used to be; but don’t force it. It is important to step back and be in tune with God. Try and feel out where He is leading you.
I am reminded of King Saul where the Spirit of God departed from him (1 Samuel 16:14); yet, he still tried to operate under the anointing. If only Saul listened to Samuel. If only he stepped back and just tried to get in tune. But instead, he was so consumed with the position of being king. I don’t ever want to be in that position. Instead, I need to be in the position that allows God to constantly pour into me. Be blessed.