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  • Writer's pictureJohn Whitehead

Being Known

In a world filled with billions of anonymous people, I find it interesting that many of us need to be known. Where this need comes from and why is different for each of us, but the reality is that “being known” matters to most of us.

I believe it started when we were children in school and watched the popular kids, who always seemed to be seen and heard, while some of us felt like we were invisible.

Of course, we were not invisible. We were just not seen and known the same way as the kids who seemed to get all the attention and recognition we craved.

The question is, why did we crave attention, and why do we carve it today?

The answer is different for each of us. It starts by recognizing that “being known” matters; when we feel we are not, we can feel isolated and alone. A myriad of things can cause the need for attention. It may have started in our homes, where we felt ignored and overlooked by our parents or our siblings.

Perhaps our position in our family was the cause. Maybe we seemed overlooked because we were the youngest or felt forgotten because we were the oldest. If you were anything like me, I was always expected to do well. This often led to pressure, which, though unintended, was isolating and overwhelming at times.

For most people, what we experience as children carries over into our adult lives and is still with us today. This can be why we compare ourselves to those who seem noticed in a world where we have often felt ignored and overlooked.

Is this situation real? Of course, it is. But it does not have to define us.

We cannot know that those we compare ourselves to may be comparing themselves to someone else. This circle continues unbroken because “being known” is often the only way many people find meaning in their lives.

This leads me to the purpose of writing this post.

I want to remind anyone who struggles with “being known” or comparing themselves to someone else that you are known fully by a God who created you and loved you enough to die for you.

You are special and unique, and you matter. Whether you believe this is true or not is up to you.

Does all this mean there will not continue to be other people who get more attention or more recognition than you? Of course, there will be. It would be best to remember that they are struggling to be known, too. Maybe even more than you.

Let’s give others their time in the spotlight by realizing no one can fill the space in that spotlight meant for us!

Psalms 139:1-4, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me! You (know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.”

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