Wednesday, July 30, 2008

"Nobodiness"

I just wanted to write about something that I'm thinking about this morning. It's about my "nobodiness". I made that word up this morning. When I'm around "somebodies" I see my "nobodiness" in all it's nobody glory. I've made the point before that I never finished school, had a job and I don't even want to mention it, but I've yet to get my license. But I'm being completely honest here. I don't like saying these things at all, but I feel it's good for everyone of my friends to know and understand exactly who I am. A nobody. This isn't meant to just be me belittling myself and self-pity. Please don't take it as that. I want it to encourage you that if God loves or thinks of someone like me as having meaning to Him, how can He not love you or place value on you?

First off, right around my 5th birthday I was diagnosed with bone cancer in my left leg (tibia). I don't remember everything as I was only 5 years old, but I remember practically living in Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC for about 2 years until I was finally released, having the cancer gone into remission by having radiation and chemo treatments. And so for the next few years of my childhood I lived pretty normal. But I would fracture my leg often because my bone had been made weaker because of the radiation treatments I received. But before long, I could no longer put any weight on my leg. It started growing deformed and my leg lost all muscle because I couldn't use it. So finally the doctors decided the only other option was to amputate. So, when I was 12 years old, we had my leg amputated through the knee.

Back up to my childhood...While I was in school, I was never very dedicated. But up until 3rd grade I did give some effort. But when 3rd grade came and we started learning multiplication and division, we had a chart on the left side of our classroom of who ranked where on our mathematics. It started out at the 1's and 2's of multiplication and went up to simple division. I slowly started seeing my name on the chart getting left behind by everyone else. I felt I couldn't do it and I had no real help at home, and being a kid, not wanting to do school work anyway, I just gave up. I felt it was just too difficult for me. And so 3rd grade was the first grade I flunked.

The next year, repeating 3rd grade was the same way for the first part of the school year. But after the holidays, I really started trying harder. And I remember for the first time, I had gotten the highest score in the class on a math test. I really believe my teacher Mrs. Dove was a Christian and prayed for that year. I can't say she was for sure though.

Anyway, after that year, I did absolutely nothing in school. I have no idea why the put me in 5th grade. But I had my amputation done while I was in the 5th grade and wasn't there at all during the later part of the year because of my surgery and recovery. So they bumped me up to 6th grade. I also did nothing in 6th grade. I basically had my mom talk my way to the 7th grade. I did nothing in 7th grade and I bullcrapped my way to 8th grade. I didn't even attend high school. I went for a few months to Adult Ed and finally dropped out when I was 17.

And so my education in school really goes only to the 3rd grade. And growing up, I was told I was lazy just like my father. He didn't really want to work or anything. He died of cirrhosis of the liver when I was 10 because of his addiction to alcohol.

So...I've never had a job. I never got my license and I won't go into detail why it's been difficult for me to get my license. I am still completely dependent on people right now. (I'm being more honest than I care to here).

I am a nobody in society. I don't matter. Yet I know God loves me and wants to use my life and I'm very excited about it. If He can love and use someone like me, I know He can love and use any one of you. He truly uses the weak to shame the strong and the unwise to shame the wise.

18 comments:

AmyC. said...

Matt,
I just love your honesty and rawness. I also want to encourage you. I'm a nobody, too. I say that, like you, not with condemnation, but of utter humility and simplicity.

Sigh...I can so relate to your blog, more than you probably can imagine.

I've also been struggling lately some things. I'm currently unemployed. I've been looking for a job for what I feel is "awhile" now, but no offers. It's been a rough ride with applications, job fairs, interviews...but nothing.

I know, for a fact, that Father has something in-mind for me, that I just don't understand with my limited human mind. I think Father has definitely been using this season to "grow" me. It certainly has stretched my Trust in Him, patience, security and caused to to really turn to Him more than ever for His love, guidance and Grace as I experience different feelings.

I will be praying for you, Matt.
Will you also pray for me?

(And anybody else, I guess, reading this comment).

This is another "area" I see Father stretching me. It's always been somewhat of a "struggle" to actually "reach out" and ask others to pray for me. I tend to have that mindset that my issues aren't important enough to mention to others to ask for support and help.

~Amy
www.myspace.com/amyinsurprise

Tracy Simmons said...

Matthew, man, what a hard journey you have had. I cannot even imagine. Thanks for sharing it with us.

If you've not already been reading it, you may want to check out Pam H's blog. She's doing a 10-days series on ordinary people, basically that God sees and loves all of us "nobodies." I think she's on day five, so you may want to back up and read all of them:

http://godmessedmeup.blogspot.com/

Hugs,
Tracy

Matthew Daelon said...

Amy, I appreciate your honesty as well and I will definitely pray for you. Don't ever think your problems are too trivial. That is just a lie from satan. One of my favorite sayings from the Shack is, "If anything matters...everything matters".

There is no "big" in the eyes of God. It's all small to Him.

Matthew Daelon said...

Tracey,

Thanks so much for the link. I will definitely check it out. :)

Bino M. said...

Matthew,
It's so wonderful that you decided to share some of the 'weak' sides (in the site of the world) with us.
I am glad that we are friends, though we haven't met yet (may be one day we will! :) ).
I was so touched, encouraged and inspired by your post. God loves people like you, brother.
The world's scale of success is perverted and so many are so deceived to think that it is their money, job, physical abilities, achievements and possessions what makes them successful.
But the crucial question remains:
What good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his soul?
No schools will ever teach us this. Instead, they will teach that we were evolved from monkeys.
It's pathetic.
God has plans for you and what ever it is big or small, He will accomplish it through you in due time.
Rest in the fact that He is in total control of your life, His precious child.

Karen (SoCal) said...

Wow Matt, I'm humbled by your honesty. Thanks for opening up your heart to us and letting us see inside. I consider it such a privelage....you honor us by doing so. We are really all in the same boat as you are, none of us is superior and if we think we are, it's just in our own minds. We're al nobodies, but that's a paradox too because God placed ultimate value on us. I pray that we will all walk in the fullness of who He calls us to be. karen

Only Look said...

wow! I was terrible in Math. I understand the feeling of being left behind. My GT or Iq test was horrible going into the Marines and my recruiter could only put me in the grunts(infantry).

I am very encouraged by your testimony and love the fact that Jesus tells us to come to him just as we are. Truly when we are broken and weak we understand what faith and repentance truly is and we learn that nothing is impossible with God as well. Weak vessels have no choice but to give glory to God when He does impossible things in our life.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Matthew Daelon said...

Bino,

Thank you so much for your encouragement brother. It means a lot to me. I too hope that we can meet some day!! If not on earth, then at the kingdom!

Karen,

I appreciate your respect. I really do. Thank you for reading. You're right...There are no superiors. Some people just put on a better show than others. ;)

Brian,

I don't feel so bad now lol!!...kidding. :) I'm glad I was of some encouragement to you! You have encouraged and refreshed me many time, brother. I'm very thankful for you and I continue to pray for the things that go on at your job. You're exactly right about repentance and faith. It takes brokenness. I do not think someone who is under the Law cannot come to full faith in Christ until they renounce all that they have. They have to count the cost. A lot of people think they have counted the cost and are willing to buy Jesus. But had they truly counted the cost, they would have found out what the man in Jesus' story found out too late. That he didn't have enough.

Christ is our only sufficiency. And that is true humility. True humility doesn't make us feel righteous. It just makes us feel humbled.

Nicole said...

Matt,

what a joy it is to know you and hear about your story... You have had a rough childhood, but have grown into a person of integrity and great wisdom regardless of how much "education" from the public school 'system' you attained... We may be nobodies to society, but what really matter's is we are a somebody to Father and His love is far more abundant than what anyone can give to us in this world...

I think I have told you this before, but you are brave and vulnerable with a huge honest heart behind all of what you said here today. It blesses me to see that in you...

You are loved brother!

In Freedom, Nicole!

Nicole said...

ohh, and one more thing, you are not the only one who sucks at math... I failed the G.E.D twice because of the math section, and, once I got to college I took college algerbra 3 times before I past it... As they say, 3rd times a charm...

lydia joy said...

Matt,
I love reading your blog, you are one of the most lovable, real human beings ever!!
I just know God is going to use you as a beacon to light up and magnify His love and acceptance grace to many others!!! Bless you!!

"He truly uses the weak to shame the strong and the unwise to shame the wise."

Amen! I feel much like you, I have no idea why on earth I passed high school, I never studied, or did well, I dropped out of college, and all of that too....but God is using my weakness. His grace is sufficient for me, for His power is made perfect through weakness.
I am sorry for all the hard things you have gone through, but I am so grateful to see you clinging to Him confident in who you are in His mind!! It's wonderful to be free to be who you are in Him!!
I love what Bino shared also, it really is true, success by this worlds standards is not success in God's economy!!
I want to be foolish for God!!!
Thanks for pouring out your heart!! Much grace and peace to you!!

Joel B. said...

Matthew,

From one nobody to another (and to all the others!), thanks for sharing all this. You've shared bits and pieces from time to time, about your life, but this was truly a time in which you bared a lot of stuff and as you can see you've inspired a lot of people... including many who haven't commented, I'm sure.

This can be a cruel, cruel world when it comes to having to measure up to the "standards" of others. Whether it's health, looks, money, education, social 'status,' etc, etc. The good news for us is that while man looks on the outside (all of the above and more), God looks on the heart and He sees what He has made us to be, not what the world expects us to be.

There's so much freedom in just being who you are, resting in Him.

Only Look said...

Amen Joel! Wonderful words brother.

Another thing Matthew. I barely remember Hong Kong from ages 1-4 after leaving Sha-tin, but we spent a year in the states and my folks put me in kindergarten there. When we came back I was just turning 6 and so the principal of the school talked my mom into making me skip 1st grade and go into second to stay in my age group since the British and Chinese stay a year ahead of the Americans.

Man I remember the day they dropped me off at Beacon Hill. I was horrified. There were Brits, Muslims, Buddhist and Chinese children everywhere and all I remember is balling my eyes out as my parents left the playground. How would you like to go to China and be dumped off by your parents at a school in the middle of nowhere?

I couldnt stay up with any of the teachers and their was this Muslim boy named Mohammud that gave me all the math answers...so I figured I was safe with him. I didnt really know any better at the time. Then one day he got sick and I was paralyzed so I guessed at all the answers. The teacher angrily put a big red x on the whole paper and handed it back to me. I didnt know what to do. All I knew was I was in an impossible situation and was a failure.

I stayed behind in classes for years and all I could remember was a bunch of angry teachers, but I never thought I could do anything to stop it. So I just winged it somehow with my C's D's and F's and would try to always hide my papers.

After joining the Marines...well they did teach us that we could do things we never thought we could and I actually started to believe my Drill Instructers even though they were yelling at the top of their lungs they did actually seem to care about us as we were the pride of their work and they didnt like to have to report failure themselves. I got sorta good at firing my M-16 and got expert a couple of times and so they sent me to coach school also telling me that I could sign up for sniper school because I had high scores. We had to take tests and that scared me, but I ended up scoring high and one of the other Marines said I must have been one of those brains in High School, but clearly he had no clue.

One of the Sergents encouraged me to go to college after I got out but I told him I would fail. He told me I might be surprised.

So I went. I did seem to do well in Bible and Psychology and was even able to take other courses and still make the Deans list; however I had to take a basic Math course to get a credit and I still struggled with that.

I can remember being in Psych 101 with close to 300 students and at the end of the semester looking for my score. I was looking somewhere near the middle because I knew I got a good grade but did not know how good. Then one of the students asked for my student ID number and he pointed to number 9. I finished 9th in a class of nearly 300. I couldn't believe it.

Unfortunately I dropped out of college due to family problems and my dad falling in the ministry. It was a horrible trial and God was showing me that he was still needing to get sanctify sin out of my life and teach me not to get a big head just cause I did good in a few classes. It was a horrible crushing experience, but God has been very gracious and kind.

I love the movie "Facing The Giants"

Have you seen it? Go watch it!

I still think you should write a book. There is nothing impossible with God. Moses put his leperous hand in his cloak and drew it out and it was made whole again. God says:

I AM THAT I AM!

There is nothing impossible with God. We can ever depend on Him and He will do great things in us to accomplish His purpose. What an amazing thing and that goes for all of us nobodies here.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Matthew Daelon said...

Nicole,

Thanks so much for your encouragement. It really blessed me. Those GED tests are quite long...I would hate to take it twice!! But a lot of the teachers I talked with at a tech college here have said that the people who have gotten a GED are more desired than those with a high school diploma for the simple fact that everything is fresh in their minds. So then, GED's, or as Chris Rock says, "Good Enough Diplomas" are the thing to have!

Lydia,

You are too sweet!! Thank you so much. I'm glad you enjoy my blog. Your desire is my desire. I want to be myself, however idiotic I may be and allow God to show other people who never thought they were worth anyone's time that God loves them without end and doesn't use people because they are strong, wise or noble. He uses them exactly for the opposite. He uses the unwise, the weak and the failures. They are the ones willing to receive as children as they know they have nothing at all to give.

Matthew Daelon said...

Hey Joel,

I had said little things before I think, but I felt I wanted to just put myself out there, not worrying about what some may think. I wanted my friends on here to know who I really am without being able, over the net, to put on a show and give you guys a false idea as to what I'm really like. If I can encourage people by doing that, great. If not, great. I just wanted the people I know on here to meet the real Matt. Nothing special, nothing inspirational, nothing unrealistic.

Brian, your story is amazing, brother.

I could not imagine going through that as a child, as I was very shy and I was a mama's boy. I hated not being around my parents. I can imagine how traumatic it was.

But, in the words of Beavis and Butthead "I'm angry with numbers because there's so many of 'em and stuff". I absolutely hate it and have no interest in it. That is probably why I was so horrible at it.

I also definitely agree with Joel writing a book! Every time I think he has gotten just about everything from a verse you can get out of it, he can pull out even more revelation for us. I'm guessing the title could be "Grace Roots"...?

Only Look said...

A GED got my brother in law to community college to study in the medical field and now he works on the Hanover Fire department in Richmond Va as a paramedic and a fire fighter.

I would have never thought as he was so quite as a kid and teen and seemed very slothful but not so. He surprised us all.

What I like so much about you Matthew is your contentment in finding your identity in Christ and not feeling you have to perform to get God to love you. Know that he has great things in store for you as well brother and He loves to take the weak and do amazing things so that all the glory goes to Him and everyone stands back in amazement. When he spoke the word "I Am" as Judas came to betray Him the soldiers fell backward and when He rose from the dead he broke forth and the tombstone rolled away from His spoken word. He has great things in store for you brother.

Grace upon grace,

Brian

Joel B. said...

Speaking of a book... I think A.W. Tozer already wrote my book 50+ years ago. :) I just received a copy of "The Root of the Righteous." Aida had linked to it on her blog and I was drawn to it immediately. I ordered it and it arrived yesterday. I'm probably going to post some quotes from it soon.

Roots - yeah, the church today (and 50 years ago, apparently), is so focused on the fruit that they have no time for the Root, and therefore church life becomes a big outward performance show that has nothing to do with the Root.

Free Spirit said...

Wow!!
Thanks for the sheer guts it took to write your story. I am so touched by it. Papa doesn't care one bit about your education level, and neither do I. Just knowing truth about Him and His transforming love tells me you're worlds ahead of the "smartest" people who don't know of it, and who will put their trust in their own "accomplishments." I see you as being in such a beautiful place, to let the light of Christ be the power from which you draw, and from which, your life will defy all manner of worldly sufficiency.

You are SOOO big, in His eyes, and there is NO limit to what He will accomplish through you, if you'll choose to believe!!
I believe He will use every area you mention here, that you see as a weakness, to confound the wise.

You know what? He just doesn't make nobodies; He wouldn't know how, if He tried. It's too far beneath Him.

Love you, dear brother in Christ!!