“For The Ones Coming Up Behind Me”

  
Legacy ~~ that’s a pretty huge word to me.  I guess because it feels like it carries a lot weight.

Doesn’t it almost sound like: “Let us see?”

Funny, the contrast between the two.  To me, a “legacy” requires intentional thoughts and deliberate actions; and everything woven together with threads of purpose.  Whereas “let us see” sounds like a sloppy and carefree shoot- from-the-hip sort of attitude; whatever comes, whatever goes.

Both depict an approach to how I can choose to live my life.  One requires effort.  One requires that I simply show up.

“What kind of approach have you chosen for yourself?”

“What does your decision require of you today?”

I’d love to hear from you ~~

Hugs & Blessings ~~

Linda R Johnson

T2T Visionary

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“The Hard Spots Beneath Your Feet Are Buried Treasure”

  
Are you in a hard spot right now?

I know that feeling ~~ that awful ‘gnawing’ feeling in your soul that just makes you want to scream ~~ you wish it were all just a very bad dream and that you’ll soon awaken to a bright new day.  But it’s not a dream ~~ and it won’t easily go away.

If you were to look at me today, you would think that I’m a fairly healthy individual.  But the outward appearance can oftentimes be quite the opposite of what lies beneath smooth skin.  You would even think that I’ve always been a confident and happy person.  Deep inside this little individual are the marks of one that has lived a difficult life.

My confident exterior is the byproduct of GOD’S Divine intervention.  By nature, I’m terribly insecure.  It comes from issues of abandonment and rejection.  Believing the lie that I was unwanted, I was always fearful that people would reject me if they got to know me.  So I avoided getting to know people at a young age.  I buried myself in academics and other ‘solo activities.’

That was the beginning of my ‘trial’ in life.  My companions were fear and insecurity.  Not the kind of companions that a young girl should have while trying to make sense of the world around her.  So I made some not so good decisions.  

When I finally met up with My Savior, Jesus Christ, my life received new meaning.  But I still wrestled with my companions fear and insecurity ~~ they didn’t seem to go away immediately even though I had told them Jesus was now The Lover of my soul.  Somehow, I was not yet living as a new creation. 

2 Corinthians 5:17 This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun! 

I had to walk a Journey of faith ~~ several years ~~ to fully understand who I am in Christ.  It has been a Journey that could not have happened all in one night, nor in one year ~~ because the Journey was the place where GOD developed my character.  THIS is where I came to know Him intimately.  How?  The life lessons He provided for me along this Journey enabled me to receive His strength, His love, His wisdom ~~ these became the essential tools with which I would continue on in the Journey and become useful.

Girlfriend, the Journey is often filled with hard spots.  Speed bumps, road blocks, even potholes!  But we don’t stop and stay there; we keep going.  Sometimes we weep and mourn in the hard spots; but we lean on our Savior to keep going.  There are hard spots where it hurts so bad that we don’t know where to look.  Let me help you here: ‘Look UP, Sister, LOOK UP!’  

James 1:2-4 Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing

This is what happens along the Journey; we lean in closer to our Savior, we recognize His Voice, and we depend upon Him to get us through the hard spots.

And when it’s all said and done (before the next Journey begins), we will have a Testimony to share with the world.

You see, somewhere between the Trial and the Testimony lies the Treasure.  That Treasure is your Relationship with The Lord Jesus Christ.  It’s in those hardest spots in our life that we cling to Him the most. It’s during those ‘I can’t go through another day like this’ times that we truly experience Who He is and how deeply He loves us.  And then with eyes wide open we see Him treasure us!

I encourage you, Sweet Girlfriend of mine, reach out to a strong Sister during this hard spot in your life ~~ pray with her ~~ let her love you with the Love of Christ, and you will be able to give Testimony of the greatness of God ~~ and you, too, will behold your Treasure.

I love you to Heaven and Back!

LindaRJohnson

T2T Visionary

“Relational Mentoring”

  
Can I just say I love my Girlfriends?!

Some of them I’ve known for decades, and some I’ve received in just the past year or two.  Some have seen me with uncovered grey and bedridden in a hospital.  Some have watched me go through an emotional PMS moment and a burger and sweet potato fries to top it off.  Some have seen me in a full meltdown and offered a shoulder and box of tissues.  Some have seen me humbled by the use of a walker and a cane and didn’t blink an eye of judgement.  Many have been front row center to the ups and downs of my life ~~ and they still love me!

I can never get enough hang time with my Girls ~~ I’ve learned so much from so many ~~ how to ‘relax’ and let God plan out my day (much less my life) ~~ how to ‘step back’ and appreciate the blessed experience of being a mom to children who actually love and respect me ~~ how to ‘lace my words with grace’ so that I can communicate the way God intends for His Message to go through me to others ~~ how to simply ‘pause’ and see the one standing in front of me and wrap my arms around her in sincere love and genuine care when she needs a friend most ~~ relational mentoring.

Many of us have ridden tidal waves that would knock the most experienced surfer off their board.  And some of us have actually fallen off that board.  But by the grace of God, there was a Sister standing on the shore to help pick us up, brush the gunk off  and get us standing back up.  

A friend is always loyal, and a brother is born to help in time of need.  Proverbs 17:17.  NLT

In the same way that iron sharpens iron, a person sharpens the character of his friend.  Proverbs 27:17.  Voice.

To be there for ‘her’ in her time of need ~~ to help her gain clarity for a situation ~~ to help her sort things out so she can make those hard decisions ~~ to share your life’s lessons from your past so that she can avoid those same mistakes ~~ transparency, vulnerability, and a lot of love.  

Sometimes it’s to offer a safe place where she can ‘unpack her bags’ and just be herself without being judged.  

This is my hope ~~ my dream ~~ for this forum ~~ that in the nurturing love of Christ, we may come together to lift UP a Sister who may not have a Girlfriend nearby, but is able to ‘connect’ here ~~ in this safe place.

Thank you for stopping by ~~ I hope to hear from you before you leave this page!

Linda 

“Why me?”

  

Before you start to judge me ~~ just remember: there’s a baby picture of YOU laying around somewhere that’s equally precious!

Most of my life I have wondered, “why me?”

Why did I have to grow up under these ‘special circumstances?’

Why did I get the ‘short genes?’

Why do I have these limitations?

One day, I came across the story of Queen Esther.  And then God showed me a different perspective of my life.  He changed my lens so that I could see things His Way.

You see, Esther lost both of her parents at an early age.  She was orphaned as a child.  But the love of a distant relative, her father’s cousin, prompted him to step forward and take on the responsibility of raising Esther.  While we don’t know if her uncle (that’s the relationship the Bible gives it during that era), Mordecai, was married or if he had any children of his own,  we do know that he took a step of obedient FAITH to fulfill a calling he believed to have come from God.

Mordecai raised Esther as best as he could; I’m sure he made a few mistakes along the way.  But he managed to train up Esther to embrace his faith and belief in the One True God so that she made it her own.  She learned all the customs and traditions of her people the Jews.  

But part of me can’t help but think that at some point Esther may have had thoughts like, “Why did God have to take both of my parents away from me so soon?”  In essence: “why me?”

And as we find in the Book of Esther, she becomes Queen in a Persian country by the “selection” of King Xerxes.  Again, “why me?” may have echoed through her mind.

Then as the story tells us that the fate of the Jewish people are in the hands of Queen Esther.  She has to make a hard decision. (You can read all the details in the Book of Esther.). The deciding moment of her lifetime ~~ the main reason she has been immortalized.  And I can be certain that “why me” echoed through the chambers of her fast beating heart.

Who knows?  Maybe you were made queen for such a time as this.  Esther 4:14 The Message.

I embrace my Sister, Esther ~~ her obedient FAITH took her places and taught her that at all cost, rely upon God first ~~ and He will bless you.  God did not explain ‘why’ her circumstances were as they were.  But Esther continued to walk forward.

For such a time as this ~~ maybe all those painful days of yesteryear were available to me and you for character building.  Maybe God knew that we would wrestle to hang on to the very threads of His Garment ~~ but that tested us to the point of strengthening our grip.  Maybe the pain in feeling abandoned and neglected were permitted so that you and I could learn to embrace tightly around the One Who said we’re worth dying for.

For such a time as this ~~ could it be that your present struggle(s) have been ushered in to allow you to develop a greater dependence upon the One Who’s calling you out ~~ ‘come take this step with me.’

Sweet Girlfrind of mine ~~ I encourage you today ~~ examine where God has brought you and the talents and gifts with which He has given you ~~ for maybe ~~ just maybe ~~ you have been brought here for such a time as this.

“When someone has been given much, much will be required in return.  And when someone has been entrusted with much, even more will be required.”  Luke 12:48b. NLT

Why me?  Maybe because you have been blessed with so much that can be used and shared and given away ~~ talents and gifts and blessings.  It is my prayer that you will not ask why me, but rather say use me.

The photo above was taken of me at the age of 4.  I was the designated flower girl for a wedding.  At the very last second, the ring bearer bailed out.  My grandfather placed the pillow in my hands and said “go.”  

Are you being told to go?

May you have a magnificent day, Girlfriend!

Linda