“… In the very place where they were once named Nobody, they will be named God’s Somebody.” Hosea 1:10 (The Message)
She greeted me as I entered the cafeteria on Parents’ Day, with a voice as warm and sweet as hot chocolate. Our eldest son, Clayton, was a college freshman and this was the first time we’d been back to visit him. We’d met faculty members, the dorm resident director and lots of his new friends. So, when this woman greeted me, I politely asked, “Now, tell me who you are?”
The woman hesitated. Her pause made me wonder if I had said something wrong. Maybe she wasn’t accustomed to being asked this question. Maybe, I thought, I should know who she is. I imagine she looked down and saw my white cane and realized I was blind, and that might be why she answered in such a kind tone: “Oh, Ma’am. I’m nobody. I just clean tables.”
I reached toward her and found her hand. “You are not a nobody! You are not just a table cleaner!” I told her. “My name is Jennifer. What’s yours?” She laughed and told me her name.
As I said goodbye and walked with my son to our table, I thought to myself, That woman is not a nobody! Nobody is a nobody!
And it’s true, isn’t it? Nobody is a nobody, and nobody is just a table cleaner. Or, just a mom. Or, just a clerk. Or, just a housekeeper. Or, just a teacher. Or, just an … anything! But we often find ourselves in places or seasons of life where we feel like a nobody. It can be hard to see our own value if we feel constantly overlooked, or when we associate our value with our virtue. You know, if we are good, we are worthy of being acknowledged. If we behave, we merit attention.
There was a woman who lived back in the 8th century B.C. who probably felt like a nobody. Her name was Gomer. I bet if someone asked, “Who are you?” She’d probably shrug and say, “Oh, I’m nobody.” Or, she might say, “I’m a mess. I’ve got a past I’m ashamed of. I was a prostitute. I’m nobody.”
But her answer should be, “I am not a nobody, I am Gomer. I am loved and accepted and, yes, I am prone to wander.”
Gomer had been a prostitute, but she became a prophet’s wife. Her identity changed when she said “I do” to Hosea. When you declared “I do” to Jesus, you received a new identity, too.
You became God’s somebody! When you are in Christ, you are a new creation!
You are not your current failures or your past mistakes. You are not your successes or your virtues. You are not what you do, what you did, what you haven’t done, what you should have done or what you wish you’d done. You are not what you have gone through. You are not what someone else has said about you. You are not a nobody! You are a chosen, loved woman whom God calls His beloved.
His beloved … that is who God sees when He looks at you. Can you begin to accept the you God sees?
Just like Gomer, you are a somebody — a loved, significant somebody. God chose you even when you felt like a nobody. He loved you while you were still a sinner (Romans 5:8). God didn’t choose to love you because you were some spectacular somebody. He didn’t choose to love you because you were already lovely. He loved you and, then, you became lovely. Your value comes from His inherent value.
You’re already loved, so you just need to embrace how God sees you. Yet, how do you do this … especially on those days when you feel like a nobody?
Here’s one sentence — just one little sentence — packed with big truth to help you when you feel like a nobody. Write it down, memorize it and repeat it to yourself: How I feel is not who I am.
Now, say it to yourself out loud! How I feel is not who I am! Good job! Say it over and over. How I feel is not who I am!
From one somebody to another, let’s remember the truth that we are not how we feel! We are God’s somebodies!
Have a ThirtyOne-derful day!