A few months ago, I attended a dinner celebrating the launch of a friend’s first book. It was a glorious night. A beaming yet humble hostess, delicious food, and fun conversation wafted the atmosphere creating an electric vibe of love and cheer.
During the evening, I chatted with two women I had never met, or even seen, before the party. We talked about our children, writing, balancing career and family, and of God’s infallible grace. We swapped stories about overcoming insecurities, how you couldn’t pay any one of us enough in money or chocolate to return to junior high, and how loving oneself is necessary, yet only possible with Jesus.
At the end of the evening, another party attendee approached me and jokingly asked, “You have no idea who you were just talking to just now, do you?”
A wave of embarrassment washed over me as I tried to assess if I did something wrong. Then reality took hold.
“Well, yes. I was talking with (I repeated the first names of both women) and they are both great.”
She giggled and told me the last names of each of the women. After realizing I had nothing to offer but a blank stare admitting my cluelessness, she laughed again. Not a mean-spirited laugh; rather, the type of laugh brought on by surprise.
“You’re so cute. You really don’t know! One is a bestselling author and the other belonged to a famous contemporary Christian band. They’re kind of a big deal.”
It was my turn to laugh.
“I still have never heard of them, but I can see why a lot of people love them. They are both incredible and I really enjoyed our conversation.”
The other guest was 100% wrong and 100% right at the same time. Those two women are a big deal. They are smart, insightful, funny, authentic, talented, Jesus-loving, brave, and kind. Made in the image of God, by God, and for God and God’s creation, each of those women are indeed a treasure. Yet, neither is no more of treasure than my next door neighbor who also is all of those things, yet known only to her friends and family. Neither of those two women are more important than the young women shuffling from one foster home to the next, longing for love and acceptance.
Notoriety simply means that more people know your name. That’s it. Nothing more. Nothing less. Being known — even if you’re both known and adored — by thousands or even millions of people doesn’t increase your value nor does it decrease the value of someone no one has heard of outside of her hometown.
Currently I am at a season in my life where God has called me to pay extra close attention to the big deals right around me in both a personal and vocational capacity.
On the personal level, this means spending less time behind screens and more time having face-to-face conversations and cultivating friendships with my new neighbors and coworkers. Every single one of them is a big deal to Jesus. And they are a big deal to me.
Vocationally, my family and I recently relocated to Texas and I am now overseeing a marketing and communications department of a nonprofit dedicated to breaking the cycle of child abuse. Every child we serve is a big deal to Jesus. And they are a big deal to me.
Because I believe wholeheartedly that God is asking me to focus more of my time on my family, my neighbors, my friends and the children of Texas, this is going to be my last post as a regular (in)courage contributor. But I wanted to make sure that before I become an “alum” (and I will forever be a part of this online family) that I tell you again that you are a big deal.
You are brave, strong, talented, smart, funny, beautiful and downright amazing. Don’t forget that. Don’t forget that you add immeasurable value to your community for simply being you. And your colleague, neighbor, barista, teacher … she’s also a big deal, be sure to remind her of that.
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Look at the birds of the sky: They don’t sow or reap or gather into barns, yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Aren’t you worth more than they? – Matthew 6:26
Bev @ Walking Well With God says
Oh Angela, please don’t go….
I love your posts because you are SO real and you do treat everyone the same – as beautiful daughters of God – no one better than the other. Your posts are so affirming and just know you will be greatly missed by me and by others. I know you will be wonderful in your job because where your passion is, success follows. Just know you’ll be missed. I hope you’ll pop in every now and then to guest post as an alum?! Loved this post. It just reaffirms that many people may be “known” or seen as a big deal by the masses, but the only One by whom we need to be known is Christ. If He knows our name, then all the other stuff is just the whipped cream on top. All the best to you in your new role. Go get ’em…you’ll do great!
Love and blessings and thanks for how your writing has impacted me!!
Angela Nazworth says
Oh Bev! I will miss you too. Your sweet comments always make my day. Thank you so much.
I chose the word “BE” as my word for 2017. Thank you for your words I it confirms that God has created each of us and equipped us to “add immeasurable value to your community for simply BEing you”. May God bless you as you celebrate those around you and help them see what God says the are!
Angela Nazworth says
I love that, Julie! Yes … more often than not we need to just BE in our surroundings.
Kelli McKnight says
Such a great post! I agree wholeheartedly with your observations and applaud your willingness to obey the call to pay attention to the big deals right around you. May we all do the same in 2017! Blessings on your new adventures!
Angela Nazworth says
Thank you so much, Kelli!
Kathy Cheek, Devotions from the Heart says
Welcome to Texas from a Dallas, Texan, I am definitely no big deal, but I love I God who is! May your work with the non-profit be richly blessed and thank you for sharing your beautiful words with us these many years!
Happy New Year,
Angela Nazworth says
You ARE a big deal!! I hope our paths will cross in Texas!
Michele Morin says
Praying right now, Angela, that God would give me eyes to see – as He does – that everyone He brings across my path is a big deal to Him. And for grace to honor them accordingly!
R. Abbott says
Your blog resonated the voice of God to my heart this morning. It’s been a long while since anyone told me I was special, important–a big deal but my devotional reading encouraged me to find meaning in a connection to Jesus. Thank you, heavenly Father, for reminding me that You do love me and that I am special to you.
Angela, I have always loved your heart and the way you see people. You make everyone feel like the most important person in the room because you take the time to really listen and care about their story. To me, that means far more than any “famous” accolades that might be attached to someone’s accomplishments. Love you, friend – YOU are a wonderful treasure to all of us who are blessed to know you. xoxo
Angela Nazworth says
Oh friend, thank you so much for these amazing words of love and affirmation. You are such a big deal … to me, to God, to others. Love you!
Your message and your faithful friendship is a big deal to me! We love you and how you are (in)courage to every woman you meet. Cheering so hard for the work you’re doing for kids and praying for God’s rich blessing on you and your family, Angela. So much love!
Charlotte Barnes says
So very well said. Thank you for confirming what has been on .Y heart for a while now. Blessings to you in this next path life.
Thank you so much for your words. I’ve just recently joined this community and probably haven’t read anything that you wrote prior. But they are words I needed to hear. We all are important to God, no matter what our lot in life is. I’m slowly learning this.
Missy Robinson says
I will miss you, Angela. Thank you for so much encouragement!
You, and your words have been a blessing here. Thank-you for sharing them, and yourself with us. I wish you the very best as you move on to the next chapter……You will be missed.
May you be blessed always,
Hello Angela: Thank you for your timely post. I also believe that God is calling me to pay attention to the folks around me but where do you start? My thing is that I am good at ministering to others, or being there from a ministering setting but not so much when it comes to establishing a friendship. Friendships start wonderful and then they hit a dry patch and it fizzles from there. How are some ways that you are looking to accomplish you new mission for this season in your life?
I sure hope to meet you one day as who you are, not what your position or title name you as. You know what I mean. I was brought up in a culture where status, position, power and money meant a lot. It caused much pain to many and myself included. Since then I’d shunned meeting people except those I felt comfortable with. Reading your post encouraged me tremendously that truly there exist good people. It’s time for me to repent and change my perspective about people and like you wrote ‘spend less screen time and more face-to-face conversations…’. It’s my New Year’s challenge. Thank God for His great love and patience with me, waiting for me to open my heart to cultivating relationships once again. Thank you for your transparent sharing which is gently pushing me in the right direction. Have a blessed day Angela!
Alexandria Perse says
Thank-you so much for making this point. I am often a bit disappointed in how this culture classifies the value of people based on their accomplishments, and even if it is working for the Lord, an innumerable amount of Believers are doing the same all over the world and like you said, they may only be “known” by close friends and family. Let’s stop judging the value of people by their positions and accomplishments and instead see how God placed such great value in every soul on earth because of how He created them to be. We must remember that the “little toe” is no less important than the “hand” and that we are all part of the body of Christ. The Lord says that He shows no favoritism and that He loves us all equally. I applaud your decision to invest in those around you in real-time instead of online…God bless you as you seek to serve Him in Texas!!
Angela this is so beautifully written. Love this sweet reminder that regardless of what path or purpose God has designed for us. We matter to him and that our worth is not found in fame but in knowing Him. All the best to you as you follow Him.
Keri McCue says
This message is so important! Something I think we all need to be reminded of every now and then. I have the tendency to think others are “big deals” and I am not. We focus so much on job and title! I look at people who are in full-time ministry or full-time blogging and I become hard on myself or feel less important because I have a 9-5 job while also trying to squeeze in ministry and blogging. But I am no less important. And my workplace IS a mission field! Thank you for this reminder today and your words will be greatly missed!
Angela, this story, just like the many others I’ve read of yours has blessed me greatly. Your words are always soaked in love and I am so grateful that God led you to incouage. God bless your new ministry greatly. I pray that through this ministry many children are helped and brought closer to Jesus. Thank you for your kind words and for sharing Jesus’ love with us all. God bless and sending love from Philadelphia xoxo ❤
Corena Hall says
Go with God Angela for His ways are never ours. I wish you well and thank you for the reminder that Notoriety is NOT the same as being a child of the Most High God, a welcome privilege to know Him, for He is Lord over all. Blessings in this new season of life.
Thanks for inspiring message.
God’s Blessings in your new engagement. I do some work on child protection Kenya. Maybe we can link up some time.
Lisa Appelo says
Wish I could like and love your words today. What truth and what life — I’m going to be mulling them over today. May I always have a big enough heart to see others as the Big Deal that God sees them as — and extend that grace to myself. Many blessings on the next chapter God is writing for you!
Dawn Camp says
Angela, I loved this so much, and I love you too! I’m grateful to call you friend.
Lauren Griesmeyer says
Thankkyou for saying these things….they helped my day and spirit….I wish you the best
whatever you do…..God bless! Lauren
Rebecca L Jones says
I don’t know a lot of Christian writers or singers either big deal or small fish in a big pond. But, I happy that your situation went well, some friend’s laughs aren’t funny and I know so many people who’ve let their lives be defined by rejection, not fitting in, not seeing that they are a treasure to God. I know God will bless your efforts, I have seen first hand the effects of drug abuse in the lives of these children. Can you even imagine a four year old who thinks he’s a know it all teen with a foul mouth? Even a therapist told my mother that foster care was not good for someone with mild autism, but I think it’s more nurture than nature. I pray God blesses you to make a difference. It is easy to love the lovely, so ladies, make sure you let each other know you’re treasured. And together, with His grace, we can let the not so lovely see His presence.
Sheila Qualls says
My first post is your last? I’m sad.
Thank and you so much for your words. I needed them today. sometimes there is nothing more frightening than being ourselves and expressing our ideals to the world. To express that clarity of values and keep yourself accountable is refreshing. It gives power to showing up in who you are and whose you are. God Bless you and may the graces keep flowing.
That was beautiful and really encouraged me..and I’m just 18 🙂
Beth Williams says
Congratulations on the job! I know you will do well because it is your passion! We here at In (Courage) will greatly miss you and your writing! You are a big deal to all of us!!! This culture seems to value those of influence, wealth, power. God values everyone! I do my best to treat everyone the same-as if I were talking to God. One way I do this is by going to assisted living and saying hello to all the residents there. I want them to feel valued and loved.
Blessings 🙂 Have a great 2017!
Oh my goodness!!! Yes yes YES!!! I have been meditating on this so much lately too!! Thank you for putting it into words so eloquently!!!
And bon voyage in your new endeavors! I will miss hearing from you here on (in)courage. What a blessing you have been!
Christy Minard says
I love this, Angela. I’m so encouraged to know that you are taking this big step in a new direction. I am so so incredibly proud of you. You have been such a lovely and constant light in my life for so long. Love and many blessings on you as you go your new way.
Diane Bailey says
You are so on target here. We all want to have our name known.
I hope the nonprofit is very successful this year in making each person known, and to know they are worth being loved.
Angela, Thank you for your words and encouragement! May you be blessed as you move into whatever God has next.
So amazing. I just loved this. It was right on time. Thank you for being an instrument of God! You are a treasure!
Julie Garmon says
LOVE. LOVE. LOVE!!
My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory. For if a man wearing a gold ring and fine clothing comes into your assembly, and a poor man in shabby clothing also comes in, and if you pay attention to the one who wears the fine clothing and say, “You sit here in a good place,” while you say to the poor man, “You stand over there,” or, “Sit down at my feet,” have you not then made distinctions among yourselves and become judges with evil thoughts?
Angela, I love this!! Thank you for such a good reminder on so many levels. May God richly bless you and yours in your next adventure!
Nancy Ruegg says
As I read your post, the names and faces of some people in my life came to mind. They are the “big deals” that God has brought into circle of influence. He’s planted in my heart the desire to encourage and nurture these dear ones. And that is enough to give MY life value. Angela, we will miss your heartfelt posts but are excited for the opportunities awaiting you. God speed!
You don’t know me but I am gonna miss your articles here, big time. I hope you will still update your blog though. God has spoken mightily to me through you, through the years. 🙂 Prayers for your new endeavors!
I am just going through my email and read this great post, Wow, this impacted my life so much, you will do great where ever you go. God has equipped you for a time as this. Thank you, Congratulation in the new job.