I had a conversation with a friend a few days ago. It was one of those short, pass in the hallway, how are you doing chats. But my friend dropped some serious statements in it.
"I feel like I'm being unfaithful with my gifts."
"I think I'm having an identity crisis."
Since I'm not a great friend, I let the conversation slide. But it hasn't left me, and I've been wrestling with what I should have done (like moving it into an actual conversation) and how to help my friend through this kind of a transition.
What happens when who you are, is more than you thought you were?
Have you ever had that happen? Where someone detonates a bomb in the middle of your identity and you're so surprised that you don't know what to do with it. It's as if someone brushed the dust off this part of your heart that you'd never seen before.
You should write more.
You are an artist.
Someone did it to me once. He called me innovative. My initial response is yeah, whatever. Then it sinks in, maybe I am. Maybe I do push boundaries and try new things. Maybe I use things in a way they weren't meant to be used. I guess maybe I am an innovator.
What do you do with that?
You know yourself to a certain extent, but you are not the best judge of the quality of your own work. Listen to a trusted source. Weigh their response. Is it true?
If you've decided this idea may be true of who you are, it's time to embrace or you will endure frustration until you do. Make it a part of your life. You may not be able to quit your day job, but you'll need to make changes where you can.
While you'll need the support of family and friends, you'll also need a community of creatives with which you can talk. You will be surprised at how well they understand you, and share your struggles. Without this community, this journey could be unbearable.
Start working in your gift. Start creating and sharing it with others. Let fellow creatives review your work. They won't be as hard as you think. Odds are, you are better than you think.
What about you? Have you gone through this kind of an identity change? How did you navigate it?
On a related note: have you been the one to drop an identity bomb on someone? What sort of responsibility does the dropper have? Should there be "discipleship" of a sort?