“I believe I’m supposed to share this,” Joanne told me.
I smiled at my friend. She is a woman who weathered the premature death of her beloved husband, cared for her father and mother for years, and recently cried at her son’s memorial service. To look at her, you would think this attractive, stylish woman had it all together. She is part businesswoman, teddy-bear artist, miniaturist, and the creative spirit behind much that has been beautiful at our church.
Appearances can be deceiving. Even the most accomplished among us carry deep-seated regrets and remorse. When those black demons escape, rise up, we are powerless under their accusations. Such was Joanne’s battle one night.
“I had finished dinner and was cleaning the kitchen. There was nothing good on TV, and in the silence, I began to think and wanted to talk to God. I was going through a hard time and felt depressed.
“Catching sight of the fireplace in the family room brought back memories of the Halloween when I dressed as Cher and my son as Sonny. He was about ten years old at the time. We stood under the beam of the ceiling pocket light that shone on the hearth — our stage — and sang Sonny ‘n Cher’s song, ‘I Got You Babe.’ I looked at the fireplace and was so sad because I knew I could never go back to that time.”
Regret entered stage left and spoke his line. “Were you a good enough mother?”
I thought I was. What happened to him was beyond my control. He moved to Arizona. It’s almost like I lost touch with him. We talked on the phone, and he came back to visit, but it was not the same.
Remorse entered stage right. “And while you’re remembering, what about your mother? Did you care well enough for her?
I thought I did. I took care of her every need. Sometimes my patience was stretched to the limit. She was so irrational at times. But I loved her with all my heart.
“So I was beating myself up over everything that night. I saw myself as a failure, as someone not in tune with people around me. Maybe I could have done better, known better, been better. I was thinking about all the things I can’t, couldn’t, didn’t, wouldn’t, when suddenly it was like Jesus speaking to me.
‘You can do anything if you believe in me. You read scripture every morning. You pray. You do not think you are lovable, but yes, you are. You do not think you are creative anymore but yes, you are. Repeat YES YOU ARE, out loud, faster and faster.’
“The more I said it, the faster I said it, yesyouareyesyouareyesyouare,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,yeshua! Yeshua. I dropped to my knees and started to cry because, I said, ‘It’s your name Jesus. I love your name in Aramaic.” When I tried to come up with words, it was as if Yeshua said, ‘YES YOU ARE able, blessed, capable.’
“I went to my computer and after ‘capable,’ I wrote ‘deserving’ and also ‘dear,’ and then…
H Yes, you are healed
L Loving. Yes, you are loving. Sometimes love is not reciprocated, but you are loving. You can’t say you didn’t love your mother. You did, even though you lost your patience with her. You can’t say you didn’t love your son, even though he moved to Arizona. You loved him. You helped him.
M You are Mine, Yes, you are Mine
N You are necessary, necessary in My Kingdom
O You are original. There is no one else like you.
P You are precious in My sight.
Q You are qualified. I am qualifying you to pass this on.
R You are redeemed.
S You are saved through my blood. Yes, you are saved. Believing in me will give you eternal life.
T Be thankful. Yes, you are thankful
U You are undying. You won’t suffer death forever. There is eternal life for those who believe in Me.
V You are valid in My eyes. Your existence has worth.
W Just be willing
Tears threatened to fall and her voice choked. “That’s it,” Joanne said.
She wanted me to pass this on so everyone would know how much Yeshua loves each of us no matter what we are going through, what we did, or failed to do. You are unique in his eyes. Yes, you are.