finding our identity: Mike's story
Hey guys! My name is Mike Kerr, and I am so excited to share a little bit of my story on this blog. I stress the “little bit” of my story, because for those of you who know my wife, I tend to be long winded and she calls me on it all the time. I’m a detail oriented person, what can I say? But, I promised Mandy I would keep it under a 5 minute read, so here we go! (Please read fast.)
If you remember one word from this blog, remember this. “Koda.” Got it? Ok cool. Remember that. Here we go. I am originally from Buffalo, NY, which is where I spent most of my life. I lived in snow country for the first 20 years of my life. With that, here are the common questions I get from living in Buffalo...SPEED ROUND. GO.
1. “Do you miss snow?” NO. 2. “Do you like chicken wings?” YES. 3. “Are you from New York City?” NOT EVEN CLOSE. 4. “Was it a forward pass?” YES. CLEARLY. 5. “Do you know what a tan is?” ONLY A FARMERS TAN. 6. “Do you use your blinkers when you drive?” ALWAYS. LEARN ABOUT IT. (I’m not bitter.)
All of that to say, I loved living in Buffalo, but 8 years ago, my family moved to Nashville and I’ve been here ever since! I grew up with my two parents, an older brother, and younger sister. That’s right people. Middle child. And I LOVE it. I never really got in trouble as a kid because I got to watch my brother do that. It was like a built in buffer. I never really was the baby, because my sister got to live that life. So, I just got to be the perfect one. Never too high, never too low. Just middle. It’s a great place to be. Shoutout to all my middle kiddos. You feel this. Overall, I had an amazing childhood, but being the middle child, I found myself struggling with an issue that I never really talked about until recently.
To be honest, I never really pin pointed what the issue was, but allow me to run this thing down. My entire life, I have always been something. I have always labelled myself based on what I have done. First, it was the baseball player that had the opportunity to play on some great teams, be a part of some great memories, and even had offers to play at a professional level. It was my life.
Then it was the musician, who led worship at church since he was 13, sang in all the choirs at school, studied music in college, and even moved to Nashville to be an executive at a record label, while touring the country with his sister, playing in some iconic places.
More recently, my identity was the husband, who fell in love at first sight, pointed out my future wife, got married at 22, and the rest is history. Now, it’s the fitness professional, who lifts weight up and down for a living, coaches group classes, and started a fitness business in 2018. All of that is really cool, but I would be lying if I said it truly mattered. I like to think it does, but it really doesn’t when I think about my true identity.
Here is what I know, I am writing this at 25, and I can say that I have done some amazing things. God has opened incredible doors, and I catch myself looking back and feeling dumbfounded by what He has done through me. But why have so many things changed in my life? Too often I catch myself getting wrapped up in what those things are, and not thinking about who I am. Let me be the first to tell you, things are not bad! In fact, have at it! Get all the things! But, never lose sight of whose you are. Identity is not wrapped up in things. We are identified as children of God who have been fearfully and wonderfully made! We should never lose sight of that!
Now, let’s get back to the word that you were supposed to remember. “Koda.” Well, you are probably wondering what this word means. I’m glad you asked! Well, it comes from the word “coda,” which can be defined as:
“The concluding passage of a piece or movement, typically forming an addition to the basic structure.”
In a piece of orchestral music for example, if you see the writing D.S. al Coda, it means to stop what you have been playing, and move to the new, special section of music called the coda. It is reserved to finish off the piece of music in a unique way, but when you see that sign, you know where to go.
I pray that my life mirrors that description. Because when God calls, I want to go. When He’s ready to move, I’m ready.
So why do I keep misspelling “coda”? Well, I’m glad you asked!
Colleen and I got married 2 years ago, and even going back to our dating life, we always wanted a puppy. We just didn’t know when we’d be ready. Well, about 2 months ago, we made the decision together to embark on the journey of puppy parenting, and started looking for puppies. Let’s be honest, we were looking, but we really wanted one in particular, but neither of us would admit it! At 8 weeks old, we ended up adopting a beautiful Australian Shepard.
On the drive to pick him up, we were talking about names for the puppy. So, me being a very deep thinker and a cerebral processor, I said, “What about Coda?” Colleen thought it was cute, but wanted to know why.
Here’s the context.
We have been going through a season of wrestling with the Lord, not fully understanding what is in our future. We know God is in control, but we have been called to stillness and patience as we wait on the Lord. When we saw the new puppy, we knew his name. Except we changed it to a “K”, because it’s a power name so BOOM (Koda Kerr), but actually because as a family, Colleen and I want to live expectantly for God’s codas. We want to be willing and ready to step out at any time, and to always place our identity in him regardless of what is going on around us. Our little pup is our constant reminder of the times when God throws in a curve ball, we just need to go with it.
At the end of my life, I hope people can see some amazing accomplishments. I hope they see a man that lived his life with integrity, humility, and who loved people well. But when people ask, “Mike, why did you live the way that you did?” My response will be simple. Every morning my prayer was the same.
Here I am Lord, send me.
It’s a dangerous prayer, but I will always strive to live a life worthy of the calling that Christ has set before me. I encourage you to do the same. Know whose you are and pray dangerously, because you never know when that “Koda” is just around the corner!
So, that’s a little glimpse into my life. If this sparks any questions, I encourage you to reach out. You are not alone. We were made to live in community together, so I want to give you that opportunity. Or come workout! Faith and fitness are interconnected, but that’s for another time. Enjoy the day, and live a life worthy of the calling that has been placed on your life!
P.S. If you want to set up some puppy play dates, hit me up because Koda loves people! Thankfully, he’s still small right now. He might not be as cuddly when he’s 60 pounds.