Have you ever gone through a big change in your life and wondered how it would work out? Despite my history of working with teenagers, I’m not actually talking about puberty.
I think my biggest struggle with my current career transition is how I assume people will perceive my identity. (Should my current colleagues read this, they should understand completely that this has nothing to do with them. They are an amazing team of people who are nothing but encouraging.)
This struggle is about moving from a church job to a non-church job. I imagine the struggle was going to come no matter what I found myself doing. After all, what surprised me most was not what I found myself doing, but I found myself not doing. I assumed I would be continuing as a youth pastor...somewhere.
When God opened up unexpected doors, it left me with gratitude...and questions.
Did I burn out? Did I become uncalled? Did I not have what it takes to be a lifer in ministry? Did I sell out? Was it too hard?
Yeah, I’m not going to answer any of those questions. At least, not in this post.
But I struggled with these questions and the perception of my identity nonetheless.
So I did what I encouraged countless numbers of people to do when they would come to me for pastoral counsel.
I prayed. I asked God to remind me who I am.
I’m His child. I’m a child of the King of the Universe. Do you realize what that means? I wonder, because I think most of us rattle off these scriptures as if they were mere platitudes. To be a child of the King means I am a prince. I’m royalty.
I’m a co-heir with Christ. As I understand inheritances, that means I’m going to receive a prized treasure, along with Jesus.
I’m loved. I’m cherished. I’m prized. I’m part of the cloud of witnesses. I’m justified. I’m being sanctified. I’m bought for and I’m redeemed.
My salvation is secure and my future is reserved.
I haven’t even mentioned all of the human relationships in which my identity has absolutely nothing to do with the work I do for 40 hours each week.
Identity crisis? There’s no need. Who am I? The name is Rick Nier.
I know, with my mind, who I am in Christ. When my heart forgets, as it is prone to do, I need to remember to come back to the only Word that eternally matters.
Oh, and by the way, this holds true for you as well. Never let your heart forget.