I can’t remember a time when I didn’t know the name Jesus. My father was a pastor, so Jesus’ name was a high-frequency word in my home. At every meal, before bedtime, you name it. The name Jesus was there.
To me, Jesus was a name I sang about, a name I prayed to, and a name I believed in. But it was not a name that was connected to a person – a real, living person.
Then a series of tragedies befell my family. One was irreparable, an accident that resulted in my brother’s paraplegia, after which, my father left the faith and left his family. I was 14.
My teen years mostly resembled a lost kid who probably appeared shell-shocked to any outside observer. So even though I knew the name Jesus, it wasn’t until I was 17, and I met Him, alone on a mountaintop, that I knew Jesus as my Savior.
In my twenties, another series of unfortunate events – some of my own doing and some not – led to what I now refer to as “the dark decade.” It’s a long story, one I’ve not given full words to yet. Some things may be better left unsaid. I don’t know.
But I do know this: Jesus reached down and rescued me from a darkness that was meant, I am sure, to kill me. Without a doubt, Jesus was my Deliverer.
By my thirties, Jesus had transformed my life into another one. A new one.
I had met Jeff, and through God’s amazing grace, we built a family. Intact. Whole. And for the first time in my life, one entire year passed when there wasn’t something traumatic happening. Then another year. And another. And with each passing year, I grew to understand Jesus as my Redeemer.
Only Jesus can take the broken and redeem the pain.
In hindsight, my life comes down to this:
In my teens, I knew Jesus as my Savior.
In my twenties, I knew Jesus as my Deliverer.
In my thirties, I knew Jesus as my Redeemer.
Not too long ago, I was praying, and remembering all that Jesus had done for me, and so I asked Him: What’s next for us?
I heard a familiar Voice speak to my spirit: I want to be your Friend.
And that is where I am today. I know Jesus as my Friend, the One True Friend, who knows my heart, and knows everything there is to know about me, and loves me.
In Colossians 1:13-14, Paul says:
“For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”
I know these words to be true. I have lived them.
Jesus is more than a name to me now.
Thank you, Jesus.
Thank you for being . . .
72. my Savior
73. my Deliverer
74. my Redeemer
75. my Friend