Let me tell you about a girl named Margaret. For almost forty years, she lived with word-inflicted wounds that nearly destroyed her life. From the first day she attended her one room schoolhouse, she and her teacher, Ms. Garner, didn’t get along. Ms. Garner was harsh, bitter, and cruel, and could not tolerate Margaret’s childish idiosyncrasies.
Margaret was nine years old when she frantically raced into class, late again. As she burst through the doors, she faced her peers jeering at her maliciously.
“Margaret!” Ms. Garner shouted. “We have been waiting for you! Get up here to the front of the class, right now!”
Ms. Garner ranted, “Boys and girls, Margaret has been a bad girl. I have tried to help her be responsible. But apparently, she doesn’t want to learn. So, we must teach her a lesson. We must force her to face what a selfish person she has become. I want each of you to come to the front of the room, take a piece of chalk, and write something bad about Margaret on the blackboard. Maybe this experience will motivate her to become a better person!”
One by one, the students wrote their life-smothering words, slowly extinguishing the light in Margaret’s soul. “Margaret is stupid! Margaret is selfish! Margaret is fat! Margaret is a dummy!” On and on they wrote until twenty-five terrible scribblings of Margaret’s “badness” filled the chalkboard.
The venomous accusations taunted Margaret in what felt like the longest day of her life. After walking home with each caustic word indelibly written on her heart, she crawled into her bed, claimed sickness, and tried to cry the pain away. But the pain never left.
Jesus understands what it feels like to have people call you names. People called him a blasphemer (Matthew 9:3), the prince of demons (Matthew 9:34), an evil spirit (Mark 3:30), and a law breaker (Mark 2:24). His own family said that he was crazy (Mark 3:21). Yes, He knows what it feels like to have a broken heart—figuratively and physically.
A paraphrase of today’s truth says it this way: “We don’t have a priest who is out of touch with our reality. He’s been through weakness and testing, experienced it all—all but the sin.” (Hebrews 4:16 MSG). He understands.
Let’s go back to Margaret for a moment. After four decades of depression and anxiety, she had finally sought help from a psychologist. Two long years of weekly counseling helped Margaret to finally extricate herself from her past. It had been a long and difficult road, but she smiled at her counselor as they talked about her readiness to move on.
“Well, Margaret,” the counselor said softly, “I guess it’s graduation day for you. How are you feeling?”
After a long silence, Margaret spoke. “I…I’m okay.”
The counselor hesitated. “Margaret, I know this will be difficult, but just to make sure you’re ready to move on, I am going to ask you to do something. I want to go back to your schoolroom and detail the events of that day. Take your time. Describe each of the children as they approach the blackboard; remember what they wrote and how you felt—all twenty-five students.”
For forty years, she had remembered every detail. And yet, to go through the nightmare one more time would take every bit of strength she had. One by one, she described each of the students vividly, as though she had just seen them, stopping periodically to regain her composure, forcing herself to face each of those students one more time.
Finally, she was finished, and the tears would not stop, could not stop. Margaret cried a long time before she realized someone was whispering her name. “Margaret. Margaret. Margaret.” She looked up to see her counselor staring into her eyes, saying her name over and over again. Margaret stopped crying for a moment.
“Margaret. You…you left out one person.”
“I certainly did not! I have lived with this story for forty years, and I know every student by heart.”
“No, Margaret, you did forget someone. See, he’s sitting in the back of the classroom. He’s standing up, walking toward your teacher, Ms. Garner. She is handing him a piece of chalk and he’s taking it, Margaret, he’s taking it!
Now he’s walking over to the blackboard and picking up an eraser. He is erasing every one of the sentences the students wrote. They are gone! Now he’s turning and looking at you, Margaret. Do you recognize him yet? Yes, his name is Jesus.
Look, He’s writing new sentences on the board. ‘Margaret is loved. Margaret is beautiful. Margaret is gentle and kind. Margaret is strong. Margaret has great courage.’”
And Margaret began to weep. But very quickly, the weeping turned into a smile, and then into laughter, and then into tears of joy.”
For forty years Margaret had limped through life with the pain of a broken heart. But finally, she allowed Jesus, the Healer, the Comforter, the Great Physician, to bind up the broken heart and allow it to heal.
Jesus calls you names…and they’re all good. What is Jesus writing on the chalkboard about you today?
You are chosen.
You are dearly loved.
You are holy.
You are beautiful.
You are pure.
You are my bride.
I have your name engraved on the palm of my hand.
Dear Lord, thank You that I am a new creation in Christ Jesus. I can almost picture You walking to the front of the room and writing my new identity in Christ on the board. Help me to see myself as You see me and never believe the lies that tell me otherwise. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Do you see yourself as God sees you? Holy? Chosen? Dearly loved? Pure? Righteous? Having the mind of Christ?
Go back up the list and ponder how God sees you. Are there any names that you need to erase from the chalkboard of your mind?
Leave a comment and tell me one name that means the most to you!
Do the voices in your head tell you that you are not good enough, smart enough, pretty enough, or just not enough, period? If so, it’s time to stop listening to the lies that sabotage your confidence and replace them with truth. Check out my book, Enough: Silencing the Lies that Steal Your Confidence and start believing the truth about who God says you are.
© 2023 by Sharon Jaynes. All rights reserved.
 Adapted from: Ron Lee Davis, Mistreated (Portland, Oregon: Multnomah Press, 1989), p. 86-89.
You are loved.
I see you
I have your name engraved in the palm of my hand. You are dearly loved. All honor and glory to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
This is a great way for us to remember that circumstances do NOT identity us nor does what other people say about us.
I will use this in our ladies’ study- have them write names that circumstances have allowed them to believe as their identity and have “JESUS” affixed to the eraser… Then write the beautiful names that He calls us…
Thank you for sharing your heart and Margret’s story.
I am pure.
You are chosen and dearly loved! This is what I hear today.
I was in a marriage where I never felt chosen. I never had my proper place in my husband’s life. He was self-focused and had sexual addictions that were hidden from me until after we were married. I know the truth is that it had nothing to do with me. I know this in my mind, but convincing my heart was difficult. My heart said I am not enough. I am not loved. I am not chosen.
Knowing how much God loves me has gotten me through some very difficult circumstances. Not only does he love me, but he has chosen me as His! And that IS enough!
I love this exercise of writing these things on the board and seeing God erase them to replace them with what He says. Thank you for this!
I have spent years being told I’m stupid, a devils child, a miss fit, unwanted, that I should ha died it’s my fault
I’m so sad for you, Maggie. Will you erase those hurtful sayings and write on your heart what Jesus says about you? “You are loved. You have value. You are MINE.”
Write them down.
Say them aloud.
That is truth.
You are smart, Maggie. You are God’s child, Maggie. You fit in God’s arms, You are wanted, Maggie. You are alive, Maggie, and God loves and adores you.
I am deeply loved.
I am an incest survivor and my mother told me the she wished I was dead often as a young child. By the time I was 18 I believed that the only was out of my pain was suicide. After numerous attempts, moved to an area with a wonderful Bible Study Fellowship. I could see after that first year that God never lies. I am indeed His child, and He loves me. I will pray Maggie that you also can find a teaching group so belief in God’s word can overcome the lies. It took me a long time, and it is possible to overcome the devil’s lies. Anne
Thank you! I so needed to hear these words. All my life my Mother called me hateful, selfish & ugly. The man I married & thought loved me told me “No one will ever want YOU, your friends don’t really like you they are just too nice to tell you what they really think of you!” He abandoned me. My only daughter joined him & said I was an embarrassment to her. I feel like a failure. A total failure. I am a believer but it seems I can never FEEL good enough to even THINK Jesus could ever use me. I am selfish, self-centered & all the things my Mom saw in me as a young child. I just tried to hide it from people. Who needs me? No one. I read words of LOVE but do not believe it is for me.
I read something somewhere whenever you get an attack of these lies that the evil one keeps bringing up to take them immediately and hand them over to Jesus and ask him to heal the pain of the memory Picture yourself releasing the pain of the memory by opening your hands and letting them go and seeing Jesus hand receiving them. This is helped me so much through my stuff and to release it there have been many many painful memories and this has helped me so much I pray it will help you also
Do not ever believe that it is not for you. Jesus loves you more than you will ever, ever know! Please find someone to help you believe this.
The man you married lied to you. What he said is a classic narcissistic phrase. That man was not speaking the truth. You are reading this devotion, which tells me you are not a failure, but a seeker. Your mom was wrong. No one created by God is ugly. Can you imagine Him creating you and making a mistake? NO. He is a creator of beauty. We will never be “good enough” for God, and that is beautiful, because He doesn’t wait for us to measure up or to become perfect. He died for us “while we were still sinners.” It’s refreshing to me to know I don’t have to work for His approval. Since you are a believer, when God looks at you He sees Jesus. Jesus is enough, and because of that we are seen as worthy in our Father’s eyes. We all can be selfish and self-centered. We have to trust that Jesus loves us enough to change us and make us new. The Bible says that we are “being made” to be like Jesus. It’s a process for every single person. It’s a journey with bumps all along the way. The truth is that God isn’t calling the perfect. He’s calling the sick, the lonely, the hurting, the sinners – which is all of us. I pray that God will heal you Cece, and that you will know the truth. You are God’s girl, His beautiful creation, His joy. He has written your name in the palm of His hand. Do you see your name there? It’s really there, and He will never erase it.
Cece, you are chosen, you are loved, you are special! Our Lord Jesus is the best! He is perfect and in him, we are perfect too! I pray for your healing and that you will accept Jesus as your Lord and savior. Amen 🙏
I pray God’s truth will speak louder than the lies. and that you will see the light shining in the darkness drowning it out. You are so loved, we need you, God wants you.
Dear Sharon, thank you for your ministry!
I think since I hear those old voices I’ve retaliated and throw them at those I love then go to them and have to apologize. God forgive me and change my heart to a kind and caring loving pure and holy child of God. Stop me before I say or do the wrong thing.
Thank You for Your Grace and Mercy Jesus.
My name is written on the palm of God’s hand – the palm where the nails were driven as he was hung on the
cross for my sins…for ALL the sins of the world.
Do you have a scripture reference?
Your devotionals are such a blessing.
How does one become a Girlfriend in God and help write devotionals?
Thank you ever so much for sharing this post today Sharon. My heart aches because I so honestly relate to this post.To much to text but I am praying to Jesus with everything in me to believe and receive his wholeness. Please pray for restoration of my emotional being, wholeness of heart and faith to truly believe and take God at his word daily. This state has affected my marriage and my relational being among my family and others. In need of total wholeness and confidence in Christ alone in Jesus’s name.
You are my bride…..
I am significant!
Thank you for this…
Timing is everything
As a child and teenager, my father would always give us things to do but they were never good enough in his eyes. I have lived with that for 60 years and have strived to be perfect (to a fault) in most everything I do because of it and when I fail, I seem to think that he was right. So, “You are Chosen” would be the name I long to hear. Being “chosen” means that I am good enough even when I fail miserably. I AM GOOD ENOUGH! You simply cannot be perfect in an imperfect world! Thank you Jesus for accepting me as I am!
I Belong to Him! I’m accepted
I’ve never felt loved. I’ve always felt I was never good enough. But Jesus’ words “You are dearly loved” have touched my heart.
Not only are you loved, but you are liked. I’ve struggled with feeling like I could not measure up. Then a few months back I realized that God more than loves me…He likes me. We’re required to love others, but not required to like spending time with them. God actually likes spending time with us. Even though others may not like us or we don’t even seem to like ourselves sometimes. He likes us! He gets us! He loves us! You are loved, liked and wanted by God!
I am chosen.
This resonates deep within my soul since my husband of almost 25 years just walked away from the life and family we built together.
He chose someone/ something else but the Lord and my Beloved Jesus chooses me each and everyday!
I wept as I read this, I am loved.
It took me many years to feel loved. I’m so glad Jesus Loves Me!
I have your name engraved in the palm of my hand.
Redeemed, Forgiven, ALIVE!
I wasn’t a mistake – Jesus loves me just as I am!
I am chosen, and dearly loved unconditionally!
I am the bride of Christ. ❤️
Thank you I really needed this today! Chosen, for all of the times I was over looked, or looked down on cause I wasn’t any bodies first choice, but I am now through Jesus . I give Him praise for the best gift ever. Being valued, even treasured!
I see you. I love you. I understand your pain.
My name IS Margaret, and I have been through times similar to your Margaret here. Thank you for writing this. I am Chosen by God, and no rejected. Thank you Jesus.
I also went through hard times in my life. Never had a earthly father. Step-dad was abusive in every way.
Then just a few weeks ago I was listening to the Song He Knows My Name. I knew the word said my name was written the palm of His hand. So I said to my Father what name is written
He said to me it says
Never mean called daughter it broke that wall for me I am a daughter.
Cindy, that is beautiful. You are his daughter!
I am chosen, by God.
I am accepted into His kingdom and forgiven.
I will not be disappointed when they talk mean about me:
Since I am specially chosen and held and wrapped in the mighty arms of the might king
There are many names that I love to hear. Chosen is one that always warms my heart, as I am adopted and some days the scar of this runs deep as the Liar loves to tell me I am not good enough even for my parents. But then I hear the wise words of my dad… Your parents loved you enough to give you up. As a little girt that was a balm to my broken heart and I don’t exactly remember what else my dad said to me on that car ride, but I remember his tears as he told me those words. So I knew my question hurt him deeply. Yet he was able to give me words of life that helped me to never question him again.
The other words that are a healing balm to my soul are the words Mi hija (my daughter) in Spanish. Why Spanish….. because I was a short term missionary to Mexico. These words are a reminder of how God was with me in a foreign country. He helped me learn a new language, forge relationships and even worship freely in that language. So I hear these words and it brings peace and calm to my soul. I know that because I am the daughter of The King I can do just about anything.
Beloved… so just be loved! 💜
You are beautiful!
Thanks Sharon for this story!
It is powerful!
April 5, AT 4; pm
I am loved by the lord!!
I am dearly loved. Dearly. Loved.
Thank you Sharon for speaking life to us all.
I am redeemed!
I am dearly loved and remembered!
Thanks Sharon,while reading a song kept going in my head
When He sees me He sees the Blood of the Lamb,He sees me as worthy
& not as I am. He views me in garments as white as the snow, for the Lamb of God is worthy & He washed
me this I know!!
As one who came out of a home of physical & emotional abuse, I have continually struggled with my self image. I was told that I wasn’t the son my parents wanted & later that after my birth, that’s when my mother’s mind snapped. I was sexually assaulted by a family friend & I never told a soul. When my parents divorced, there was a short break in the mistreatment. Things changed for the worse when he met wife #2. She continually gaslighted me, told lies to my father so he would beat me, continually criticized me, & betrayed my trust. Through all of this, I still tried so hard to perform at school & I managed to make good grades. It was the only thing I could do “right”. I thought that until I heard the words one day, “she’s book smart, but she has no common sense”. Add to that, the words, “you’re stupid, you’re the mouth of the south, you’re ugly, you walk crooked (I had scoliosis that I had corrected later as an adult)” etc. My entire life I have seen myself as worthless. I’m married & have 2 beautiful daughters, but it’s still a struggle. This week I resigned (without another job, but I’ve been searching actively since August) from a work environment where I was being micromanaged & gaslighted. I just couldn’t take it anymore. Add to that a husband who says off the cuff cruel things without warning (he is older than me & having health issues now). I’m tired, defeated, discouraged & nearly done with it all. The only reason I’m still here trying at all is my kids. I’m a Christian & I know I shouldn’t feel this way, but it’s hard. I know my life pales in comparison to Jesus’ suffering for all of us & know He understands. I try to do all I can to minister with encouraging words to everyone I can, because I know words can heal when used in the correct way. I appreciate this story about Margaret & her counselor more than you know. It gives me a semblance of hope! I don’t want pity or anything remotely close to it, but I would appreciate prayers. Thank you so much!
Chosen. I can really relate to always being late. Had nightmares about it growing up. To this day I’m still late . Now I know only what’s done for Christ will last.
This was phenomenal! What healing this message brought to my heart! I experienced similar ridicule when I was an adolescent. That image of Jesus erasing the hurtful words and replacing with loving words is priceless! Thank you so very much!!!
I am chosen
Thank you, Jesus! What a beautiful name!
Sharon, the story of Margaret touched my soul. When I was in 6th grade, I sat in the front corner seat. My teacher was a large woman with a foreboding presence. She sat on a stool in front of my corner of the room, arms crossed in front of her, when she addressed the class. One day, while waiting to dismiss the class for the day, she asked me about the activities I was involved in. Thinking she was proud of me, I listed band, choir, piano and guitar lessons, Campfire girls (none of which were crazy demanding). Then, she asked when I went to bed. Although she may have said the next sentence from a place of genuine concern, (?), it didn’t really feel that way. “Well, you need to cut out some activities and get to bed earlier. You are starting to look like a worn-out dishrag. Your hair is messy and not neat like “Susie X” over there (and pointing to Susie X). (I will admit to thin static-prone hair in the best of times while Susie had shiny hair that somehow stayed neatly in place even swinging upside down in the playground!) 🤣 The crazy thing is that I didn’t tell my Mom until 8 years later when my baby sister had that same teacher. I thought I would have been in trouble. My mom was mortified that I hadn’t told her and was so upset with the teacher. (In hindsight, I appreciate the mommy button that got pushed, because mom always made sure we were bathed and dressed neatly). Anyway, this is something I still remember to this day, even though I can look back and just shake my head at the moment and laugh at how I may have appeared (hey, I was a compassionate recesser!). I am thankful for life-affirming people around me. And I am most grateful to know Jesus. Thank you for sharing your gifts with us, Sharon!
I have called you by name
You are mine
I spent so much of my life thinking I wasn’t enough – not enough for my Dad to stay or come see when promised, not smart enough to get straight A’s, not pretty enough, etc. I was always trying to prove I was strong enough, smart enough, just enough. I looked into the meaning of my name and my middle name means “worthy of love” and I held onto that and reminded myself that even if I am not getting straight A’s or fall short of anyone’s expectations, I am always worthy of love. I learned to love myself and it isn’t always easy and some days I don’t love myself very much, but my name in itself says that I am worthy of love.