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My Daughter With a Disability Knew the Value of Being Known

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When our kids were growing up, we lived down the street from a weatherman, (today I think we’re supposed to call them meteorologists) who did the weather on a local TV station. My youngest daughter tuned in almost every afternoon to see him, and without fail would inform anyone within earshot the very same thing, every single day. Enthusiastically, she’d shout out, “He knows me!”

When we attended church with our girl (where we know lots of people either involved in the church or working there), she’d scan the bulletin during the service and underline different names she recognized. Once complete, she’d show it to me and excitedly exclaim, “They know me!”

At the market, the butcher behind the counter always delighted her by giving her a taste of whatever was good that day. She’d thank him as we walked away, and explain to me the reason he gave her something  special was that he knew her.

She reveled in being known. She wasn’t afraid to admit it.

She didn’t say, “I know them.” She said, “They know me.” There’s a big difference between the two.

She put herself out there and got to know people. She put herself out there and made sure people knew her.

“They know me!” is something we’d all like to say.

“They like me!” is another.

“They love me!” is the ultimate.

She used to say what we’d all like to say –  but don’t or won’t (out of fear I think) of coming across as needy.

Wanting to be known and included and loved is human nature. We crave it. Yet so many of us feel unknown, left out, and unloved. (That’s real, I get it.) But so many of us are stuck and afraid to do anything about it.

My girl wasn’t. Her method was simple:

Be friendly.
Be kind.
Be you.

And don’t worry so much about what people think.

OK, I know that last part isn’t so simple. And I know that’s where my girl was blessed with a quality that most of us weren’t. She just didn’t worry. And not worrying is the hardest one, but the one that makes all the difference — especially if you’re following the first two.

My girl was right, she was known — she was loved, and she knew it.

Tell the people in your life you know them, it may be just what they need to hear.

“To be loved but not known is comforting but superficial. To be known and not loved is our greatest fear. But to be fully known and truly loved is, well, a lot like being loved by God. It is what we need more than anything. It liberates us from pretense, humbles us out of our self-righteousness, and fortifies us for any difficulty life can throw at us.” — Tim Keller

Getty image by Benjavisa

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