The Blessedness of Being Nobody


I’m nobody! Who are you?
Are you nobody, too?
Then there’s a pair of us — don’t tell!
They’d banish us, you know.

How dreary to be somebody!
How public, like a frog
To tell your name the livelong day
To an admiring bog!

(Emily Dickinson, 1891)

It is such a freeing thought — to be a nobody.

Being a nobody means that I don’t have to pretend that I am somebody. It means pride gets checked at the door, and grace welcomes me into a Father’s embrace.

Being a nobody means removing the roadblocks to honesty. If what makes me valuable is not based on things I do, but is a gift from God, revealing my secrets will not destroy me.

Being a nobody means standing up to the pressure to put on a mask, close your mouth, and lie low. It means choosing to stay authentic, speak the truth, and stand up tall on what matters, even when it means losing it all.

Being a nobody means that I can step aside and Jesus can be made known. My brokenness becomes a canvas for His glory.

Today, I want to be a nobody. I want my somebody-ness to be thrown off.

For me, part of being a nobody means leaning hard into the truth and writing about it. It’s sharing who I have been, with all its ugliness, but also sharing who my Savior has made me to be. I’ve been so afraid to do that — to write about my life, with all its joy and pain. But even Jesus didn’t look like a Walmart smiley face sticker all the time. No. He wept. He was sorrowful, yet rejoicing.

From experience, facing the truth and digging down into it hurts. But I remember all that is true and beautiful does hurt. It hurts in the place where our hearts long for another, perfect world. It hurts in the place where healing happens. It hurts in the place where Jesus joins with our lives.

I’d rather be a nobody, singing the praises of One who is infinitely valuable, than a somebody, silently pretending to be someone I’m not.