“Messy”

Sometimes life is just messy.

Living in a fallen world, we have to kind of accept that as part of daily life. Like walking through a rain storm and trying to avoid the puddles — you really can’t, but you try your darnedest to avoid the really big ones, because they’re just really messy.

This is my comfort in my affliction, That Your word has revived me and given me life. Psalm 119:50 AMP

I’m sure that you’ve had your share of messy moments — maybe you’re going through one or several right now. Take heart, Sister, our Mighty GOD not only sees, but He feels you.

I can sincerely testify to having walked through what I have considered to be some truly ugly and messy moments — journeys to never forget, I can also say I grew and developed through them. Pain in ways I never thought were necessary for anyone, much less me, to have to experience (especially at the time in my life that they occurred).

But GOD … savor those sweet words with me for this millisecond, will you?

In His infinite Wisdom and divine Purpose had already walked my Journey — and saw me and treated me as though I had victoriously come out the other end. I’ll admit, my attitude and actions may not have always demonstrated the “best” sides of me at all times — for those moments, I fall red-faced to the floor. Yet throughout my ordeal GOD was there — His Presence never left me. While He may have given me moments of “silence” with which to ponder and act upon in His Wisdom, I knew His Love was covering me from head to toe.

The tear-soaked pillows and countless boxes of tissue that were evidence of the events — they were proof positive of my humanity oozing out by the gallon. The prayer requests to dear friends for guidance and strength to keep going — they, too, ministered to my soul, as did the seemingly on target sermons from the pulpit at just those right messy moments.

Girlfriend, don’t hide — don’t even try to conceal — your need for sister-fellowship. This side of Paradise, we all live in and survive messy moments (weeks, years, whatever). But your Sisters-in-Christ have also gone through those; reach out and extend yourself so that you can receive and experience healing and wholeness.

I can tell you that sometimes we are allowed to experience messy for the sake of the Ones coming up behind us — because in our own GOD-gifted ways, we can minister to that One in her messiest moment, and bring her closer to her Savior.

Are you willing to let GOD take your mess and make something beautiful out of it?

Blessed [gratefully praised and adored] be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the God of all comfort, who comforts and encourages us in every trouble so that we will be able to comfort and encourage those who are in any kind of trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

2 Corinthians 1:3-4 AMP

She is wanting and waiting, Girlfriend ~~ will you meet her there?

I love you to Heaven and Back!

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

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“When Whispers Become Conversations.”

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You know that feeling … when God seems to speak to you and you just know He is specifically saying something to you … you can no longer debate or dismiss or discount even, the fact that He has spoken to your soul … anyone out there relate?

Recently I had been ‘going through some things,’ as we call it ,,. nothing bad and certainly nothing worth pulling the fire alarm.  Just ‘some things’ that I fully recognized as God stirring in me and developing in me — for ‘what,’ is yet to unfold — but I’ve come to trust in the All-knowing Power of God to take care of the details.  When I experience these moments, I treasure them so highly that I don’t even speak of them to my closest of girlfriends — I allow God to minister to me on this level and keep His Confidence between us.  Yes, Girlfriend, it’s totally okay to have ‘secrets’ with God.  There are just those specific moments in your earthly life that are meant to be shared with only your Heavenly Father.

When I rose this morning to begin the day, I went through my usual routine of having breakfast and quiet devotional time with Jesus.  It’s the one time of the day that I can truly listen without any other distractions — alone time with my Savior, listening to what He has to say to me for the day.  As I opened up my Bible to the selected verse of the day (as pre-selected by the app on my phone), I saw how it had echoed the silent prayer I had just ‘whispered’ to God.

The Lord GOD is my strength [my source of courage, my invincible army]; He has made my feet steady and sure] like hinds’ feet And makes me walk [forward with spiritual confidence] on my high places [of challenge and responsibility].  For the choir director, on my stringed instruments.   Habakkuk 3:19 AMP

Right away my heart was at peace — there were key words that instantly highlighted in my heart’s eyes: strength, courage, confidence, challenge and responsibility.

All of these words spoke to the ‘whispers’ I had just seconds ago, shared with God.  I had offered up to Him my concerns for matters that only He knew about.  I could only smile at the personalized way He responded to me.  As I studied the commentary that revealed the power of the Word I had just read, I felt as though a full-course meal was being served right in front of me — and I was being seated at the Table of my God, my Provider.

Then again, as usual, I picked up my daily devotional: “My Utmost for His Highest,” by Oswald Chambers and read the assigned reading.  And as if ‘whispers’ became audible (if you get my drift), I read the follow excerpt: “Beware of paying attention or going back to what you once were, when God wants you to be something that you have never been.”

Did someone drop the mic?

Without unfolding the precious details of this personalized message to me from God, I can say that His Whispers transformed into full on conversation.  It was as if both forms of the written word became alive within me and I knew the indelible responsibility to obey was mine to choose.

Girlfriend, when you consistently walk with God — notice the emphasis here — there is no doubt as to what the Will of God is and what you and I are commanded to do.  Obedience always precedes the blessing.

“Has the LORD as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices As in obedience to the voice of the LORD?  Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.”  1 Samuel 15:22 AMP

It is not your imagination and it is never what the world calls ‘coincidence.’  So do not doubt — if you hear those ‘whisperings’ of God, Sister, it is your responsibility to respond.. How you should respond is based on the situation; but always remember this: your actions and response must align with the Word of God.  If any part of your behavior is off kilter or askew, you must not do.  Obedience to His Commands are found in the written Word (in case you need reference material).  

If any part of your behavior is off kilter or askew, you must not do.

Anytime you find yourself trying to ‘reason’ or excuse or explain your actions, you are out of alignment.  The Word of God is very specific and leaves no room for modification to suit your or my needs.  It cuts to the very core of who we are and who He is transforming us to become (if we let Him).  He is Absolute, the Alpha and the Omega.  Period.  

I encourage you, Girlfriend, stay close to the One Who ‘whispers’ to your soul.  Let His very Nature transform yours.  Let His Love cause you to love more.  Let His Compassion bring you to the realization that you have something to offer those coming up behind you.  Let His Grace change the lens of your vision to reach out to those you otherwise would not welcome.

And see it all unfold in front of you … and hear the sweet conversations that only you and He will share along your Journey on this side of Paradise.

Is there yet ‘some thing’ undone in your life?  Have you been hoping and praying for ‘some thing’ to occur or manifest that has not come to pass?  Shhhh! Listen … lean in … and learn to obey to the point that those ‘things’ become secondary to your Relationship with The Lord.  He will indeed surprise you beyond your imagination.

The LORD is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him, To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].  Lamentations 3:25 AMP

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend,

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

 

“Thank You”

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Oil and perfume make the heart glad;  So does the sweetness of a friend’s counsel that comes from the heart.  Proverbs 27:9 Amplified

In recent days, I’ve made the conscious decision to ‘pause and ponder‘  in the wake of overwhelming to-do’s and demands.  I came to a resting point in the midst of some very challenging days and the tasks that were required of me within those days.  In the deep of that resting point, was the reflective thought of gratitude.

Reflecting upon the myriad of blessings that had been gifted to me from God, I started to walk down a path that led me to an unexpected place.  But come with me, Sister, in this thought process ~~ the blessing of Friends and the Friendships that poured out as a result of relationship.  This is the first highlight I want to share with you.

Feast on our Scripture verse above.  The aroma of a true friend’s counsel is likened to oil and perfume.  And not just a superficial comment of flattery or trite passing text messages, but counsel from the heart.

In this digital world of ours, it’s all too easy, and it’s expected of you, to simply ’email’ or ‘text’ your thoughts, emotions and responses.  In a recent meeting, I discovered that I was the only person who actually wrote things down ~~ everyone else captured all their tasks and projects into digital format.  And while this may be ‘efficient’ in the world of business, it takes away the ‘personal accountability’ to one’s own words and work.  In fact, computers (be it the smartphone, tablet, laptop or desktop version) are designed to be intuitive and will ‘complete your sentences for you.’  The benefit to the editor is the lesser amount of work, but now the author need not think in terms of complete or whole thought processes.  We’ve nearly eliminated the need to master the art of English writing skills.  The end result is fragmented thoughts and equally fragmented relationships.

Writing is not an ‘art,’ as much as it is a means to communicate ~~ directives, responses, inquiries, emotions, etc.  I tend to view the works of a writer as their thoughts and ideas.  So I cherish reading ~~ allows for me to embrace what another person has to share.

How many times have you been Blessed by the sweet counsel of a dear Friend?  If you’re like me, you can’t even count!  A lifetime of raining Friendship and when times were difficult and I felt knee-deep in mud, true Friends pulled me out.  They pulled me out of my wrong-way thinking and set me on the right path; even when it was hard to receive.  Tears streaming down my face, soaked tissues surrounding my lap, the advice of a true Friend has always been my greatest comfort ~~ Jesus in skin.

So my ‘pause and ponder‘ behavior led me to take that pen in hand and scribe the words deep within my heart and onto paper.  Yes, stationery paper and envelope.  I made the commitment to not waste the opportunity to express those treasured moments of appreciation and gratitude ~~ life is like a vapor, here and gone the same instant.  And I put genuine effort into this ~~ went to the store specifically to buy note cards that outwardly represented me (the chosen colors and designs).  Each opportunity that God presented me  ~~ He Whispered ‘write.’  

It has been an awakening and stirring of emotions that I didn’t realize were tucked away in that closet of hidden treasures.  Employees who had resigned and were no longer going to be part of my everyday work environment. My massage therapist, Patsy, who lovingly and skillfully takes great care of my body.  My Friend, Jackie (the world’s greatest Avon Lady), who has done life with me for two decades.  Believe it when I say that tears welled up in my eyes with each note that I penned.  This only proved to me how valuable each person has been to me.  That being said, I will continue to express in this manner ~~ no matter how ‘outdated’ or ‘old-fashioned’ or (ready for this one) ‘old-school’ this gesture may appear to some digital masters of the keyboard.

The second highlight of this practice leads me to the foundation of why this blog exists: For The Ones Coming Up Behind Me.

With each note I include specific memories that were shared with the reader.  When their note is tucked away and forgotten in some drawer or box, it will one day be found and read again.  Hopefully, it will trigger fond memories of me and them and will cause a smile to surface ~~ in some cases, outright laughter.  But also embedded within my personalized messages are glimmers of hope for a bright future ~~ whether it is with or without me.  The goal is to impart hope.  When there are those who face an uncertain future, the best thing we can give and share is hope.  And that is exactly why living the life of a Follower of Christ is so important ~~ it may be the only view of Him they receive.

The young ones (in my ‘now years’ I refer to the young adults as the young ones) have much more to develop and work towards in becoming full-fledged adults.  Paving the way for them to choose to live a life that would be fulfilling and satisfying is always on my heart.    You may think that the reader will ‘fade away’ into the sunset, but only God knows if your paths will once again cross.  Inscribing some simple words of meaning may result in a deep-dive of life-changing events ~~ all because you took the time to write and connect.

I encourage you, my Sister, to take that extra opportunity and consider it a privilege to be Jesus with skin and express that thank you.  I guarantee it will go a long way.

My dear Friend, MJ, once told me that she keeps all her thank you notes ~~ from every occasion ~~ and when times are difficult, she opens them up to remind herself that things aren’t going to remain as bad as they presently seem.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if one of those notes came from you?  You could lift someone’s spirit in the future!

The third and last highlight I want to pass along to you is this: too often we wait until it is too late to say thank you.. It’s like the flowers at the funeral ~~ the deceased cannot appreciate your gesture of kindness nearly as much as if you would present them while they can enjoy them.

Leaving a legacy of gratitude and authentic appreciation will go down in history.  If you’re going to spend eternity together, no better reason to start practicing singing songs of joy and thankfulness this side of Paradise.  And you can begin by committing your words to paper.

I pray that I have planted some seeds of thought for you to water, Girlfriend.  

Who will be the first recipient of your note of thanks?

I love you to Heaven and Back ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

PS: All of my Girlfriends know who they are ~~ they’re reading this right now.  So if you haven’t received your thank you note, it’s soon to be delivered.

 

“Who Am I?”

But by the [remarkable] grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not without effect.

1 Corinthians 15:10a Amplified

Daughter of the Most High God ~~ I suppose that makes me a ‘princess’ but my behavior doesn’t always exemplify this fact. And you know what they say, “behavior is a byproduct of one’s attitude.” (sigh)

Our Scripture verse says that by the remarkable grace of God ~~ and I will be first to second that emphasis ~~ it is all too true that God’s grace extended towards me is certainly remarkable; I don’t think that I would do that for me if I had the choice. I know way too much about me to be that generous.

Nonetheless, His Grace has transformed and continues to transform me into who I am and who I am becoming ~~ until I reach Paradise and am fully completed.

What strikes me are those last few words: not without effect.

I am no scholar of the Word, nor do I purport to have the intelligence to write commentary on Biblical concepts. But those few words grab me and shake me up.

Has the Grace of God ever gone without effect in my life? Have I ever disgraced God and shown disrespect for His Sacrifice?

Of course, in all honesty I would have to say a red-faced ‘yes,’ and too often to keep track.

But God …

In His Merciful Love and unlimited forgiveness, continues to wrap His Loving Arms around this dependent child of His and reassures her that while she may fall short of the glory of God, He will forever love her and keep her in His Care.

Not without effect …

God’s Power within me reaches through to those in my sphere of influence ~~ in the unique way that only I can affect their lives and situations. And the same goes for you, Sweet Sister of mine. That’s the beauty of fully embracing who you are. The uniqueness of your spirit and personality, formed by the life experiences that were all God-ordained for the good to all those whom would eventually come in contact with you ~~ these things were necessary to exist for the sake of those precious ones whom would come up behind you.

That is your effect on others, Girlfriend; exactly as God has created you to be his beautiful Masterpiece.

Avoid the temptation to compare yourself to others ~~ be uniquely you and by the power of the Holy Spirit, you will have impact on those around you ~~ releasing the presence of the Spirit of the living God in their midst. God has placed those ones in your presence for that purpose ~~ that you may minister to them in the way only you can ~~ which is exactly God’s prescription for their life at that moment.

Have you been effectual today?

I present this challenge to you at this moment ~~ maybe it’s time to take an internal inventory ~~ how effective have your Spiritual Gifts been used to minister to others?

As a ‘princess’ of the Most High, I am required to be as effective as my Father has given me power. So what holds me/you back? Why am/are I/you lacking consistency?

These questions can be answered in a truthful and sincere pursuit of coming clean and confession of my idleness. Spiritual Gifts are meant to be used, developed and multiplied ~~ all to the glory of God. To keep ‘unused gifts’ in our spiritual closets would be sinful ~~ nothing shy of disobedient.

Are you guilty of occasionally wishing you were as eloquent a speaker as so-and-so? Do you secretly desire to have another person’s skills and talents?

Stop.

Read our verse aloud.

Again. And again.

Let those Words penetrate and permeate your soul ~~ until you wrap your entire being around the fact that you are exactly as you should be for this season, to impact and to be of effect to those around you. Who you will be as you continue to grow will be another stage of development that God will cause ~~ and you will yet go on from there.

Let us commit to being more of who God made us to be: effectual and prayerful princesses with the purpose to serve, allowing the love of God to transform us while we pursue Him and reveal Him to others.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Where You Are”

I have come to understand that God meets us in our circumstances ~~ right where we are.

As I was shopping the other day, I came across this ~~ and if you’re anything like me, Girlfriend, you HEAR the Voice of God in reminders such as this. Loud. And clear. There is no mistaking when God connects with you in a manner that only you would recognize ~~ a child knows the Voice of her Father.

27 The sheep that are My own hear My voice and listen to Me; I know them, and they follow Me. John 10:27 – AMP

It is in these fine details of my life that reassure me that my Father in Heaven sees to the tiniest of needs of my earthly life. But it is in the constant “connectedness” that I can see His Care for me. This flow and ribbon of connectedness is seamless through prayer.

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, Ephesians 1:18 NIV

Recently, I had the sweet pleasure of having coffee with my dear friend, Julie. She’s one of those Girlfriends who, even though you may not see one another for a span of time, you can pick right up where you left off. I thank God for these types of Friends ~~ these are your true Forever Friends. We’ve done life together.

Without boring you with the minutia of our conversation, I will share this: she is exactly the type of Friend I hope that I am to you.

Julie listens with intent ~~ and shows with her eyes, genuine love and care. Her warm smile and embrace are authentic ~~ and her wisdom is timely. We’ve cried and laughed together. We’ve watched our children grow up and go out into the world. We’ve prayed together and we’ve watched the Lord meet us ~~ right where we are.

God knew I needed someone to be skin on His behalf ~~ so Julie “just happened” to call me for coffee. The world would explain this as a coincidence ~~ I call it Divine Appointment.

Throughout our conversation (which I view more of as a monologue since I dominated the time), Julie listened with her heart. And this can only be done if you are both of the same Spirit and mind. Her God-given ability to “feel” with me and to still yet objectively speak to me is uniquely Julie.

Again, God met me right where I was.

Girlfriend, I cannot express the importance of having your world filled with godly presence in an effort to fully experience God’s Presents. His Blessings are not man-made ~~ His Blessings come straight from His Hand to yours..

So, my very dear friends, don’t get thrown off course. Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light. There is nothing deceitful in God, nothing two-faced, nothing fickle. He brought us to life using the true Word, showing us off as the crown of all his creatures. James 1:16-18 Message

My only remorse is that it has taken me this long to grasp this ~~ ‘Father, how long suffering You have been with me!’

Make no mistake, Girlfriend, your Relationship with The Lord is imperative and a prerequisite to full awareness of His Presence and Presents ~~ without Him you cannot experience the other. I will lay my life down on that principle.

You must be born again.

Jesus: I tell you the truth, if someone does not experience water and Spirit birth, there’s no chance he will make it into God’s kingdom. Like from like. Whatever is born from flesh is flesh; whatever is born from Spirit is spirit. Don’t be shocked by My words, but I tell you the truth. Even you, an educated and respected man among your people, must be reborn by the Spirit to enter the kingdom of God . The wind blows all around us as if it has a will of its own; we feel and hear it, but we do not understand where it has come from or where it will end up. Life in the Spirit is as if it were the wind of God. John 3:5-8 VOICE

Girlfriend, if you’re wrestling with where you are, feeling as though all of this doesn’t make any sense, you have need of the Savior ~~ you have yet to meet Him. It is then and only then, that the scales will fall from your eyes (and like the Apostle Paul declared: “I can now see) and you will understand that He had been there all along.

Right. Where. You. Are.

I sincerely invite you to invite Jesus into your life ~~ and I guarantee a change in your life (if you are willing to allow it) ~~ of huge proportions. You will be utterly amazed at what God will show you, teach you, do for you.

Above all, you will begin to realize His Love for you.

Then get into a small group of Sisters ~~ these are gifts with skin ~~ and they will help you remain accountable while they love on you. This is Family.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Bosom Buddies”

He who walks [as a companion] with wise men will be wise, But the companions of [conceited, dull-witted] fools [are fools themselves and] will experience harm.

Proverbs 13:20 – AMP

She’s the one you immediately reach out to in those life moments — you know, when you’re up and flying high, and when you’re down so low that all you see are the scattered used tissues from balling your eyes out.

Your BFF, your Ace, your #1 — you text, call, or drive on over — and she’s always there with open arms for you.

Our Scripture verse today warns us about who we choose to fill those shoes 👠.

Are we intimate with the ones whom God has led us to for growth and development?

It’s so easy to be persuaded by our present emotions. To get caught up in the moment and make decisions that would impact our lives (and ultimately the lives of those in our immediate circle of influence) by reaching out to the first person available — but caution, Girlfriend, that she be a Sister-in-Christ. Otherwise, her ‘good intentions’ may only be worldly.

As you grow in Christ, you will begin to recognize ‘Spiritual Family Members.’ As with your earthly family, you will see ‘spiritual resemblance’ with true members of God’s Family. Comfort and guidance will be based on The Word of God and not carnal (fleshly) knowledge.

Surely there are people in the world who are ‘earthly’ wise — but when bearing your heart and soul, take great care to receive wisdom and assurance from a Spiritual Family Member. She will pray with you through your situation. She will point you to Christ at every turn. She will minister to your soul as guided by the Holy Spirit.

I pray for you this day, Sister, that you have that Someone who comes alongside of you — that Bosom Buddie — Who is truly Heaven Sent!

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Candidate for Heart Transplant”

 

It’s no secret, that time of year has begun to rear its head and the fact is that the future, the new year, is about to look us straight in the eyes.  For some of us, it’s a welcomed opportunity to begin fresh and anew, embracing the adventure of new endeavors and the unknown.  For many of us, it’s plain scary ~~ knowing that deadlines loom overhead and the fragments of unfinished projects and unfulfilled goals lay at our feet (or in our inbox) and we must address them before the bells toll at midnight.  And yet there are some of us who are in a place of uncertainty of bigger proportion ~~ a place of spiritual incompleteness ~~ a place of longing to be whole.

With no one looking, right where you are, Girlfriend, what is your answer to this?

I’ll be the first to tell you that ‘coming clean,’ is not easy ~~ but transparency before God is what is necessary for us to begin the road to real fulfillment ~~ wholeness.  And I’ll even go so far as to tell you that it took me years before I fully understood this; even as a Believer in Christ.  A true and genuine heart transplant is a spiritual surgery that God performed in me and continues to perform in those who trust in Him ~~ through the workings of The Holy Spirit.  And as we continue our Journey, this non-stop transformation causes us to become authentic Followers of Christ (not just Believers).

But I warn you, Girlfriend, it is not for the faint-hearted ~~ spiritual muscle is necessary for the Journey.  So if you’re up for it, strengthen your faith while you are able.  Eat of the Word, study it, absorb it, drink it ~~ it will give you the life you need to go the distance.

In the beginning [before all time] was the Word (Christ), and the Word was with God, and [the Word was God Himself].  He was [continually existing] in the beginning [co-eternally] with God.  All things were made and came into existence through Him not even none thing was made that has come into being.  In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men.  John 1:1-4 AMP

Jesus is the Word ~~ He is the Transforming Word that takes us, makes us, and brings us back in right relationship to the Father.  By the power of the Holy Spirit, unity with Christ (Messiah) starts the Transformation process ~~ tenderizes us, Sister (and sometimes that translates into a bending and molding that we would not have chosen) ~~ prepares us for the heart transplant.

If you’ve ever had the opportunity to go to the doctor (for well or sick visits) and wait for results, you’ll know the experience of your anxious heart wanting to know that all is good and well.  Sometimes the visit requires laboratory tests, X-rays, scans, etc.  However it is conducted, you’ll reckon those times of having to slip into the infamous hospital/examination gowns (those undesirable back-open-won’t-close-freeze-me-til-you-come-see-me things).  And beneath the sheath is, well, nothing ~~ you are barren and fully exposed.  

And that is precisely how God would have it ~~ just you and Him ~~ fully exposed, barren, with nothing between the two of you.  This is exactly what I speak of when it comes to being revealed before your Maker ~~ transparent.  You may think you are covered by the sheath of your garment (your accomplishments, talents, status, titles, position in. life) ~~ but God sees all and knows all.

Moreover, I will give you a new heat and put a new spirit within you, and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.  I will put my Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statues, and you will keep My ordinances and do them.  Ezekiel 36:26-27 AMP

It’s mind-blowing to think that the God of the universe would take such notice of us in this vast and complex galaxy of His ~~ on an individual level, that’s astounding to even begin to comprehend.  However, within the same context of personal attention, is also the overwhelming and ecstatic delight that just pours over me when I consider that God wantspersonal and intimate relationship with me!  Looking back over the messes I’ve made (and that’s using the word liberally) throughout my lifetime, I don’t know that I could look into the mirror and say that of me.

Here’s the Good News, Sister, no matter how messy your life or my life has been (or presently is), we can still be a candidate for a heart transplant and allow God to create the most unbelievable and amazing beauty from the ashes.  There is absolutely nothing that He cannot transform ~~ but He does ask us to be willing to be revealed ~~ in our nakedness, in His examination room.

If you’re in a place where even looking into a 360-degree mirror is frightening (can I get an ‘amen’ on this?), take heart, Girlfriend ~~ those folks whom you think are ‘looking’ at your imperfections and flaws, God made them, too.  He knows that all are in need of His Perfecting Touch.  

There is no mess that God cannot redeem and bless for His Purpose.

Wherever you are, Girlfriend, God is there. You may think it is a dark and ugly place right now ~~ but God sees all of that.  He knows the agony, anguish, painful feelings and thoughts that you have had to endure in that place.  

You have taken account of my wanderings; Put my tears in Your bottle.  Are they not recorded in Your book?  Psalm 56:8 AMP

Your tears ~~ my tears ~~ He has saved them, collected them, treasured them.  This is over-the-top for me.  What does this do for you?  Knowing that the God of all creation has taken the time to take notice of your ugliest of times, moments, years, experiences ~~ and collected all of the tears that have flowed from our puffy eyes ~~ and put them in a bottle and recorded them.  

This is love.

It is Love that desires to draw you near to Him ~~spiritual imperfections, flaws, wrinkles ~~ all is sin ~~ and sin is what blocks that nearness.  Is it pride, thinking that we’ve already ‘come clean’ at the time of salvation; said the Sinner’s Prayer, asked Jesus into our hearts ~~ but not given Him true reign of our lives?  Is it fear, afraid that God will require us to ‘do something’ that we would never want to do and certainly don’t want to run the risk of being viewed as ‘overboard Christian?’  Is it arrogance, having mapped out how we want our lives to be, including the lives of those in our immediate circle of influence, and the determination to ‘maintain control’ of all that ‘goal’ entails?

Girlfriend, here is where I want to reach out to you, in these remaining days of this closing year.  

In your ‘place’ of inward reflection. Wherever that ‘place’ is.  However that ‘place’ appears at this very moment.  

You. Are. In. It.

And God is there in it with you.

Are you willing to be a candidate for that much needed heart transplant, knowing full well that if you refuse, you will relive this ‘place’ or worse yet, not leave this ‘place,’ where you are at this very moment ~~ and continue to hide from the Living God Who loves you so much that He felt that you were worth dying for?

Gracious is the Lord, and [consistently] righteous; Yes, our God is compassionate.  The Lord protects the simple (childlike); I was brought low [humbled and discouraged], and He saved me.  Return to your rest, O my soul, For the Lord has dealt bountifully with you.  For You have rescued my life from death, My eyes from tears, and my feet from stumbling and falling.  I will walk [in submissive wonder] before the Lord In the land of the living.  Psalm 116:5-9 AMP

While the rest of the world ‘resolves’ to ‘turn a new leaf,’ or make promises (that it cannot keep) for a fruitful new year ~~ you have the opportunity and privilege to start with a new heart and allow the God of all Creation to set your feet on solid ground, to cover new ground.  Ground that you would not have ever imagined possible, Sister.

And I speak that from my own heart.

Remember earlier, I said that it took me years to understand and to come to terms with the fact that God requires transparency in a real Relationship with Him.  To simply say that you’re a Believer is not a ‘qualifier.’ Did I step on any toes?  To become a Follower ~~ now, that’s the deciding factor, Sister.  To declare Fellowship with the Holy Spirit is where the surgical process begins ~~ and the effects of the transplantation will reap its workings ~~ but not without the deep dive of the spiritual scalpel (the Sword of Truth).

If this rattles your cage a bit, then I know The Holy Spirit is speaking straight to your core.  If this makes you uneasy, then there’s unfinished business between you and God.  If you feel that God is calling you to a deeper Relationship, then by all means drop whatever you’re doing and go to that prayer closet and deep dive into conversation with your Savior.

But if you’re in a ‘place’ where you have nothing to reveal ~~ I pray most earnestly for you.  Because you’ve taken yourself off the candidacy list and shut yourself off from transplant opportunity ~~ and transformation cannot occur in your life.

We all must daily ~~ not just at the end of the year or at the end of our wits ~~ be transformed.

And do not be conformed to this world [any longer with its superficial values and customs], but be transformed and progressively changed [as you mature spiritually] by the renewing of your mind [focusing on godly values and ethical attitudes], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His plan and purpose for you].  Romans 12:2 AMP

Are you willing to go there, Girlfriend?  I ask not in the tone of sorority or social community ~~ but in the Fellowship of Christ, as one who has been gifted with the heartfelt desire to bring out the best in you by imparting the love of God toward you ~~ here, in this safe place.  Come.

I invite you, Sister (and this Invitation is only for the one willing to come up behind me and then alongside of me), to take up the Call that God has placed in front of you. Be bold in your walk, stand firm in your faith, and be strengthened in the Power of The Holy Spirit.  Muscle up, Girlfriend, because the ultimate best is about to happen ~~ if you are willing and able. Cardio like you’ve never experienced before, awaits you, but only if you have spiritually prepared and trained yourself for the Challenge that will result in phenomenal proportions.  Again, this is not for the faint-hearted.  If you accept the Invitation to experience the Change and Challenge(s) of a lifetime, then come and go with me to a place(s) where only God can take you (and me).

He will blow your mind.

And will blow away all the debris from the fallout of your current mess(es).

Are you ready?  Then let go and let’s grow ~~ into the Love of Christ and let the transformation begin.

I love you to Heaven and Back, Girlfriend ~~

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary