Do you ever stand in front of the mirror and try to figure out who you really are? Do you ever lament about being “somebody’s something” without having a real identity of your own? If you are like me, you have been “identified” in terms of other people.

In my case I have been known as:

“Roland’s daughter” – my dad managed hotels and supper clubs  and we lived for a time in the hotels that he managed, thus being introduced to people who came and went.

“Cecile’s oldest daughter” – I am the oldest of 7 children and so I am not just “Cecile’s daughter” for I have 4 sisters, but “Cecile’s oldest daughter.”

In school, I was “Gerry’s older sister” and I think he hated that more than I did.

As my sisters entered school, I was “Michelle’s sister,” Paulette’s sister,” “Rachel’s sister,” or “Denise’s sister.”

When my littlest brother was born I was dubbed “Raymond’s second Mama,” since I was 13 when he was born and my mother was bedridden for a time and then worked a second shift. So my responsibilities with him were motherly in nature.

Forty-five years ago I married my husband Paul and have been known as “Paul’s wife” or if he is introducing me “my other half.” (Half of what?)

Then came 5 boys and in each case I was identified as their mother.

“Paul’s mother,” “Chris’ mother,” “Leon’s mother,” Ben’s mother,” or “Walter’s mother.” It is never a good feeling when someone says “Oh, so you’re ______’s mother”. It always sounds sinister, threatening or even embarrassing.

And now I am “Caleb’s Grammie,” “Caroline’s Grammie,” “Joshua’s Grammie,” “Elisa’s Grammie,” or “Sammy’s Grammie” for my grandchildren in Colorado, or “Madeline’s Grammie,” or “Anneleise’s Grammie,” here in Georgia.

So my list of “somebody’s something” has gotten quite long and continues to grow.

And I haven’t mentioned things like “Marietta’s friend,” “Michaeleen’s friend,” “Peggy’s friend,” “Carolyn’s cohort,”  or “Margarita’s mother-in-law,”  “Joy’s mother-in-law,” or Angela’s mother-in-law.”

If I have ever been introduced as just myself with no attachment of “somebody’s something,” I don’t remember when it was. So to my best recollection I have never had an identity of just me; I’m always “somebody’s something.”

After all this time I have adjusted to being “somebody’s something” since that is part of life that will never go away. But I am most grateful to be known as “God’s Redeemed Child.” I don’t need a name or an identity of my own, I belong to Christ, He has redeemed me and I am a “joint heir” with Christ and my “identity” is “hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3

So while I am all of those “somebody’s somethings,” the best and most important thing is I am “God’s child.”  If you are a redeemed Child of God, I encourage you to join me as we endure, tolerate and even enjoy all of those other identities as “somebody’s something” because being “God’s child” is THE most wonderful “somebody’s something” and it will last for eternity.

Sue Bishop
(Dare we say DSM’s Accounting Assistant?)