Has Pain Stolen a Piece of Your Identity?

Erik Cooper —  January 25, 2012 — 5 Comments

Dead, dormant, or perhaps cryogenically frozen. That would probably be the best description for a very special part of me:


I’ve been in Colorado Springs since Sunday night. Spent Monday in the home of one of our City Community Church overseers and his wife. Tuesday with our partners at Mission of Mercy.

But the next two days are personal. I’m here to find something I lost.

Between 2001 and 2008 songwriting was a normal outflow of my life. My buddy Nathan and I wrote songs. A lot of them. A few were even worth keeping around. Over time, a culture of songwriting actually began to emerge amongst our church community. It was a beautiful era.

But a series of painful transitions and new responsibilities have left my piano mostly untouched for the last few years. It just hasn’t felt right. So when Jared Anderson sent me a personal invite to a two-day songwriting collaborative, I immediately told him no. Didn’t even have to think about it.

“I’m a pastor now, not a musician. Those days are behind me.”


“I don’t want to face that pain. Please leave the giant millstone tied securely to that gift.”

That was an unfortunate form of self-protection. Songwriting goes far beyond recording albums and working with record labels. It’s an unmatched form of human expression. Glenn Packiam would even call it a spiritual discipline. One I allowed to be stolen from me.

I’m here to get it back.

Today starts two days of collaborative songwriting sessions with 25 other writers from around the country. I feel incredibly vulnerable. Anxious. Rusty. And I can’t wait to see what happens.

Has pain stolen a piece of your identity? Is there a gift buried deep inside that you’ve simply stopped expressing?

Go get it back.

5 responses to Has Pain Stolen a Piece of Your Identity?

  1. Hey Eric,
    I can relate. When I started to put myself out there as a photographer, I basically had a meltdown. I am still sort of having it even after almost a year of tapping into it. My passion for photography is a two edged sword. It breathes life into the hidden parts of the true me, but it exposes the hidden parts also, leaving me vulnerable, anxious, and exposed. Yep, pain has stolen a large piece of my identity. Funny how tapping into those gifts causes that pain to surface. I guess when you live out your authentic you, there is no hiding from it. I know this: there can be peace in the pain and joy in the sorrow. Praying your two days are filled with the healing presence of Christ.

  2. Good stuff man. Your soul will thank you for it.

  3. I love your resolve with “I’m here to get it back.”

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The Great I Am | Beyond The Risk - Erik Cooper - February 2, 2012

    […] February 2, 2012 in Church,Family,Life,Spiritual Life with 0 Comments Hello there! If you are new here, you might want to subscribe to the RSS feed for updates on this topic.Powered by WP Greet Box WordPress PluginLast week, I found myself sitting in the basement of Jared Anderson’s house in Colorado Springs, Colorado. He had invited me to a two-day songwriting retreat he was leading, and even though full-time music isn’t in my job description anymore, I felt God nudge me to go. […]

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