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Who Are You?

What you do copy


by Shawn Johnson

Recently during the Mastermind Series, Pastor Cory asked these two questions:

Is who you are determined by what you do?

Is what you do determined by who you are?

Almost three years ago I would have answered this as I am who am because of what I do, no hesitation. I honestly thought that is how it was. I mean isn’t that the way it is? Don’t we believe our identity is because of what we do? Wife, mom, daughter, friend, big wig business lady, daycare provider, nurse, teacher, pastor, server, student etc….you get the picture. So when Pastor Cory posed these questions, I knew my answer was different.

I spent 27 years in the healthcare field working my way through all of the ins and outs of a Physician Practice. I eventually got my AA in Psychology and BS in Healthcare Administration and finally was promoted to Operations Manager after working for 22 years in healthcare. Woohoo! At this time I had been with Lee Health for 13 years. For the next five years, I ran a Cardiology Practice, Endocrinology Practice, and Rheumatology Practice. I was chosen for special projects and helped oversee the construction of two new buildings. I was chosen by my boss to serve on several committees within the organization. I had made it…or had I?

That was almost three years ago and then poof…it was all abruptly taken away from me. I tried to convince myself, at the time, that this is what I wanted. It was time for me to make a change or so I thought. And for the first few months, it was pretty good. It helped that this all happened right before the holidays so I was busy with all the chaos of the holiday season. Then the new year hit and the chaos of the holiday season was over. Now all I had were my own thoughts. That is when the depression set in. For the next two years, I silently suffered in my thoughts that I was no longer a somebody.

But how could I think that I was a nobody because I lost my job? I mean, I am a Christian and I know I am my Father’s Daughter, so how did I get lost in those thoughts? Because society would have us believe that what we do determines who we are. Jeremiah 29:11 says, ‘For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Really? This was the plan God had for me? To put me in the depths of sorrow, hurt, anger and self-pity? Psalm 139:13 says , “For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb”.

Yes, it was because in those two years I was forced to lean on God. I was forced to look at who I really am and what that means. I have discovered that what I did was determined by who I am. Ephesians 2:10 reminds us, ‘For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do”.

It took two long years for me to realize that what I did was because of who God created me to be. I got to do all those things and have those accolades because of God. I had to change the way I looked at myself and the situation with losing my job. I had to listen to God that I am somebody and I still have a lot of His work to do. It just was no longer with the health system. As Pastor Cory stated in the message, I have had to build new off ramps which have led to new roads. It has not been easy and still isn’t on some days but “I can do all this through him who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:13

So I will ask you again:

Is who you are determined by what you do?

Is what you do determined by who you are?

Don’t let what you do determine who you are. In Christ, what you do is because of who you are.

Rejoice in that my Beloved Ladies, I am.

Shawn Johnson is a woman who lives her life with faith, energy and a “nothing is impossible” attitude. She is a wife, mother, business leader and is the First Impressions Ministry Lead at Cape Christian. One of my favorite things about Shawn is her smile. When she smiles, you believe that nothing is impossible too. Your heart will be filled as she encourages you today. 

  – Cindy Grasso

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