This post has been excerpted from Pursuing Christ. Creating Art. and adapted for Echo Hub by author Gary Molander. This blog was originally posted on EchoHub.com.
When I pastored in a church, I made the mistake of making my ministry and my identity the same thing. I allowed my job to become my heart. I suffered through this mistake until the day I resigned. Because when I stopped being a pastor, the false identity I had created was also stripped away.
Seventeen years of living with a false identity blew up in a heartbeat.
The next morning I woke up and cried uncontrollably on the living room floor. It was that gross, snot-streaming, please-help-me-because-I-can’t-breathe crying—the kind where my wife wondered if she should call 911. My cry sounded something like this: “If I’m no longer a pastor, then who am I?”
Finally God had me right where He wanted me, because the rebuilding process could begin.
I know some things about you:
I know that you are not your art.
I know that you are not your church.
You are not your technical expertise, or lack thereof.
You are not your voice, even though people love it when you’re on stage.
You are not what your authority figures believe about you.
You are not your blog posts, or your readers’ insane responses.
You are not your Twitter count, or your Facebook friend total.
You are not your impact.
You are not your successes, and you are not your failures.
You are not that thing in your life that didn’t work out.
You are not that thing in your life that worked perfectly.
But I also know this about you:
I know that in Christ, you are a child of God.
My friends, there will come a day when you no longer create art. There will come a day when the software you use is no longer in existence. There will come a day when you no longer serve in that church, in that ministry. There will come a day when he’s no longer your boss, and they’re no longer your Elder Board. There will come a day when you quit blogging, and when people put Twitter and eight-track tapes in the same category. There will even come a day when your impact wains.
But there will never, ever come a day when you stop being a child of God.