How I Found Myself as a Nobody
Not until I learned how to be a nobody did I step into the strength of who I really am.
I don’t know if it always has to be this way, but it wasn’t until everything around me crumbled that I came face to face with the reality of my true worth. If you are living in the rubble of betrayal, ruined relationships, isolation and broken dreams, you are in good company.
The truth is, I want recognition, not the unhealthy kind, just the normal acknowledgment of my presence and value. I think we all do. And I have had that recognition and I haven’t had it. We are known for what we do, where we live or who our family is. And when people meet, they often make small talk by asking questions to find out who we are. The only way to do this quickly is by asking about all the little outward details. Where are you from? Where do you live? What is your job? Do you have family? Are you married? Do you have kids? And wait for it… where do you go to church? But being known in connection with a group, location, who our family is or being known by other people for what we do can mask who we are. What feels like security for being “known” can actually hinder us from discovering the depth of our value.
Jonah discovered who he was down in the belly of a whale, Joseph found his purpose and identity in prison and Daniel, while he was trapped in a den of lions. Easter felt abandoned after she was taken against her will into the palace, but displayed bold confidence when she fully understood who she was and what she was supposed to do. Each one found God was present in their entrapment, isolation, danger and in situations that were far from ideal.
I have to admit, sometimes I forget how God’s Kingdom works. It does not depend on if I move up any type of ladder like in the business world. Man does not promote me or open doors for me, only God does. Yes, He may use others but they do not have the power to open heavens door for me. I am only successful if I stay on the path God has me on and cling to Him on my journey. My success in life, value as a person, and identity rests in Him alone. I have been both known and I have been invisible. While being known was easier and at the time, made me feel like I belonged, I discovered the rich freedom there is in being unknown by people but known by God.
When He leads me to do what is counter to my thinking, my culture, the system I am in or my own plan or expectation, I follow because I desire to stay on His course for my life. But many times this has looked like failure or going backwards, but I will not let that deter me. Things are not what they seem and I know God rarely leads us from point A to point B in a perfectly straight line, but He does perfectly lead us. He leads us out of darkness, through the peaks and rocky cliffs, through the wilderness, the valley and even through the shadow of death. He is very good at leading us. Therefore, I can trust Him even when I don’t fully understand. He has proved this over and over to me in personal ways.
It’s not what I do but who I am. Even during the times I do not know who I am and others do not know who I am, I am known by God. And when that familiar lie whispers, “who are you? You are nobody”, I confidently say it does not matter! It does not matter if anyone knows me and the confidence I have in myself does not matter. I do not have to try to be anyone or do anything special because my confidence is only in The Great I Am. His Words to me are my confidence. His eyes never leave me. He delights in walking with me. He has adventure planned for me and is eager to lead me to it. Life is not boring. I am not alone. He has lavished me with His love and healed me from hurts and the desire to be known by other people.
Do you want to be successful? Do you want friends? Do you want to “do something of value”? Learn to live in the place you are and to be content without what you envision as success. Release everything that you desire and ask God what His perspective is about you. Ask Him who He is and who He says you are. Then ask God to heal your heart and remove everything that is preventing you from receiving His love.
…I will never desert you, nor will I ever forsake you. Hebrews 13:5
You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. Psalm 16:11
But the path of the righteous is like the light of dawn, That shines brighter and brighter until the full day. Proverbs 4:18 NASB