Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Forever Lost In His Love!

He puts His tender arms around me and begins to wipe away my tears.  He whispers love songs in my ear and reminds me of His love for me.

I weep violently and almost vomit from the pain.  My heart has been ripped out from me.  I don't want to go on.  The world seems dark and ugly.  I no longer have his hand to hold or his shoulder to cry on.  How am I to face this world without him.  The grief is so great I feel like my heart will stop beating.  All I can think about is the loss and the pain.

People try to give me words of encouragement, prayers and hugs.  They mean well, but it doesn't take away the stabbing pain in my chest.

I begin staying busy and stuff my feelings away on the shelf.  Being raised to "suck it up and deal with it" made it easier not to face the heartache.  I keep myself busy and find myself beginning to feel numb.  This helps for awhile, but I know eventually I will need to face reality.

Reality that my life has dramatically changed.  I am lost, lonely and in a fog.  I don't think my life will get better.  I feel destined to this life until death takes me home.

Days, weeks, months and years pass.  Slowly I begin to see the light.  Slowly I begin to smell the flowers, bask in the sunlight, listen to the songs of the birds in the trees.  Spring has sprung and what appeared dead is coming to life.  I look at the new buds on the tree and am thankful.  

New life has begun to well up in me.  I see a hope for the future.  I begin to feel again.  I allow the tears to flow and I say goodbye.  I begin a new journey with joy and anticipation.

I truly have felt like I walked through the valley of the shadow of death and have been reborn.  I will cherish the time and memories, but now it is time to start fresh.


I dig deeper into the Word of God.  I begin worshipping Him.  I slowly realize that He has become the one my soul loves!  I still have a bridegroom; one better and greater than the one I had on this earth.

His Beloved Warrior Bride,

Johanna

Friday, March 10, 2017

The Battle

I look down at my combat gear and see the white dress dirty, tattered, torn, drenched in my tears and blood stains from the battle.  My boots are covered in mud and full of holes.  The soles are down to bear threads and my sword is dull from all of the hours and hours of yielding it against my enemies.

I am sitting bent over exhausted from the onslaught of one attack after another, realizing it has been days since I have had time to rest!  Yet, my soul cries out in deep anguish for those still in enemy territory unable to fight on their own.

Lord, renew my strength so I can return to the front lines, I pray!

He gently takes my hand in His and guides me to HIS resting place.  He reminds me that this battle is His and the assignment has gone to someone else today.  It is time for refreshing in order to return to the battle he has commanded me to fight.

I take off my boots and begin to gently clean my swollen, bloody feet.  I dip my hands in the stream beside me and watch blood and dirt trickle away into the stream.  I gently pat the deep gashes on my face with the cool water.  It is all so refreshing!

Thank you Lord for reminding me to rest and retreat from the battles that are not mine and to remember I need renewed and refreshed to keep fighting my assigned battles.

I am forever,

Your Beloved Warrior Bride


Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Our Promise Land

Would you be willing to wander in the wilderness for forty years to get to the promise land?  Moses wandered that long leading a rebellious and ungrateful group of people who kept messing up over and over.

He spent his own time in the wilderness after forty years of a pampered life!  God called him out of his forty years of wilderness into a new season wrought with resistance and hardships each step of the way.  He kept moving forward because he was called for such time.  Moses knew his call and kept going!

What call on his life!  What legacy!  What true devotion!

We are nothing compared to him yet God whispers in our ear and beckons us forward to walk in the call He has for us!  He is not asking us to slay a dragon although some may slay demons!  He is not asking us to be perfect, but to be real.  He is not asking us to have all the answers, but to lead others to the one who does.  He is not asking us to wear sackcloth and ashes, although it may be good for us to do sometimes to keep us from getting puffed up.

The Lord gently whispers, "come and follow me and I will give you the nations as your inheritance". The Nations!  Every face we see, every hand we hold, every ear that hears us and eye that sees us are part of our nation.

Our inheritance in the kingdom is to show them the way of the Lord!  We are to be like John the Baptist and cry in the wilderness reaching out to every man, women and child with the peace and love of the ever present peace maker; The Holy One, The Messiah, The Lord, The Everlasting King!

Joyously SONfilled,

His Beloved Warrior Bride

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Beauty from Dry Wall Dust!

Kitchen Island Remodel
DUST!

I hate dust!  It is everywhere and gets in and on everything. The haze it leaves on furniture drives me crazy most days!

Imagine a dust hater who decides to have a kitchen remodel. My biggest concern wasn't how the remodel would look, Oh NO!  I was most concerned the contractors wouldn't cover everything well enough in plastic to keep the dust down.

My worst nightmare was realized when I walked into the house after leaving the electrician alone to put in the new pendant and pot lights.  WHAT!  NO PLASTIC!  I saw drywall dust all over the counters, floors, in all my dishes, pot pans, silverware, you name it!  These particles even had the audacity to take up residence INSIDE closed cabinet doors.

My OCD went into overdrive and I began the laborious job of dusting, washing and mopping everything in the kitchen, breakfast nook and family room.  I could not even enjoy the progress that was being made because I was caught up ridding my home of the tons of dry wall particles that had invaded my space.

I spent several hours cleaning the kitchen area and fell into bed exhausted!  I woke up the following morning and walked into the kitchen.  I stood in awe as I saw the beautiful lights against the sleek white cabinets. What a transformation!  Out with the old and outdated and in with the new and more modern!

The previous night I had gone to bed thinking about all I had left to clean up and get in order.  The morning brought a different perspective.  My focus was on the beauty in front of me and not the work behind me or ahead of me.  I was able to look beyond the clutter and dust remaining in the other rooms and just see the kitchen.

Life can be so much like drywall dust.  It can consume us, stress us and keep us from seeing the beauty right in front of our eyes.  Yes, I felt accomplished when my tasks were done, but I did them with an ungrateful, disgusted and misdirected heart.

Today I look at the dust and the tasks ahead of me with a heart full of thankfulness and peace.  The work remains the same, but my eyes now see the beauty amidst the dust.  I have given myself permission to get off of the OCD train and just enjoy watching the transformation unfold!

Let's continue giving ourselves permission to get off the train and enjoy the beauty within the dust!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Wait!

I woke early yesterday morning to Isaiah 40:31 coming immediately into my head.

"But they that WAIT upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint! KJV

The words "wait upon the Lord" were impressed deeply into my mind!  I looked up the meaning of "wait" and read several different commentaries on the verse.  I wanted to find the deep spiritual meaning behind this word since it was the first thing on my mind when I work up.   After reading, pondering and praying all day and into the evening, I still had nothing thought provoking or deep revealed to me.  I was feeling disappointed and then  suddenly realized there was no deep, hidden message in this verse for me.  The Lord was simply saying:
  • Take time to wait on the Lord and hear from Him.  Don't rush it!
  • If you slow down and wait on the Lord, He will renew your strength!
  • The strength you will gain in waiting will be like the wings of the Eagles who soar effortlessly through the sky! 
  • The Lord will give you the ability to run and not be weary if you take time to wait on Him and quit relying on yourself!
  • Days when even walking may seem difficult, the Lord will make your steps lighter if you have waited on him!

Try starting your day by waiting on Him!  You may be amazed to see the journey He will take you on as you learn to Wait!

Continuing in the SON,

Johanna

Monday, October 31, 2016

Mold Me, Shape Me, Heal Me, Send Me!

Reviewing my journal, I came across a post from August of 2014. I had spent June and July in Ohio with my oldest son and his family and was now home again in Tucson.  I was just coming off a Spring and Summer of additional grief in losing my niece to cervical cancer in April.  She had lived with me from the fall of 2013 until her passing.

My life is laying shattered on the marble floor below me.  The hour glass of time emptied May 3, 2013 when my beloved entered his heavenly home.  I look at the pieces and want desperately to pick each of them up and glue them back together.  As I try, slivers of glass get into my fingers and toes causing excruciating pain.  What am I to do?  There are too many pieces.  Where will I get the strength to pick them up and put them in the trash?  I scream out in agony!  I don't want to throw them away!  It is most of my life staring back at me as each piece glistens in the sunlight.  I hear them saying, "hold on to me, don't let me go, find a way."

Impossible!!  The life I led is no longer the same.  I have memories to cherish, but the road ahead is paved differently.  I MUST go forward carving out a new life.  What will it be?  I don't know!  I only know that it will be molded and shaped by God.

Filled with the SON,

Johanna

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Why Beloved Warrior Bride!

Why Beloved Warrior Bride:


Many many many years ago the Lord put the call of Ezekiel 2 and 3 on my heart.  He told me I was called to a stubborn and obstinate people.  Those not unlike the Israelites who, although experienced miracle after miracle, still continued to turn their face from the Lord.  I was called to a place of briers and thorns.( I moved to Tucson in 1999 from Ohio).  I quickly found that I was and can be stubborn and obstinate.  The Lord led me to learn more about myself during this transition while helping others like me in the process!

Upon my arrival in Tucson, I was immediately connected to a dynamic group of women who loved to pray and worship.  We became know as forerunners and watchman on the wall as we pounded the heavens in fasting and prayer on behalf of our families and other women!  We prayed, cried, laughed, had visions and dreams and waited upon the Lord! The Lord taught us to take putting on the Armor of God seriously!  We became Warriors !  We battled on behalf of those experiencing regret, loss, shame, brokenness and other lies of the enemy! This is where I became a Warrior Woman for the Lord!!! This season ended and a new one began.

LAMb International USA was birthed:  Lambinternational.blogspot.com; www.Lambinternational.org or Lamb International USA on FB.)

 LAMb International was birthed in 2002 out of a desire to teach, train and assist lay leaders and pastors in the work of the ministry and help widows and orphans.  My husband Don, along with my sister Ruby and brother in law Lynn came together and began our teaching and training ministry. LAMb International grew and today LAMb has charitable status in Canada and the United States. LAMb has Ministered and Trained individuals in over 30 countries.

My husband and I were actively involved in the ministry together.  We not only ministered together, but spent all of our time together aside from Ministry.   Then in May of 2013 he passed away and with him went a huge part of my identity. I walked around in a daze for over a year. Although we had talked about death many times and were as prepared as we could be for it, I still did not know how to be complete without him.  We were highschool sweethearts and had been married for 33 years.  I found it hard to know who I was without him at my side.  I stayed with my kids and grandkids and traveled with our Ministry trying to distract myself with doing.  Finally, the Lord very firmly told me I needed to go home and deal with my grief.  Wow!  I was good at stuffing feelings, but when I got home all the grief and pain came flooding out like a tsunami.  I spent days crying and walking from one end of the house to the other in a fog.  Depression started to set in and loneliness like I had never felt before took over quickly and violently.  I slowly began to realize that the more I prayed, cried and worshipped, the more healing was coming!  I gave myself permission to grieve and grieve I did!

The ups and downs of my grief journey continued and the end of 2014 I journaled the following:

December 13, 2014:  Journal Entry

Proverbs 18:14-16(NIV)

"The Human Spirit can endure in sickness,
But a crushed spirit who can bear.
The heart of the discerning acquires knowledge,
the ears of the wise seek it out!
A gift opens the way for the giver and ushers
him into the presence of the great"

Make way for the Gift!!!  The Lord was telling me to make way for the gift, seek it out and allow myself to be ushered into HIS presence!

I wondered how I was going to make way for the gift and His presence when I was still struggling with who I was as a widowed women!

The answer began unfolding three days later:

December 16, 2014: Journal Entry

Hosea 2:16a : "And it shall be in that day, that you shall call me ISHI(my husband)"  The Lord went on to give me part of the Song of Solomon 3:4 that says, "I have found the one whom my soul loves."  I saw myself in a white dress as the Lord took my hand and began leading me as a  Bridegroom leads His beloved Bride. Wow, HIS Bride!

I spent a few months researching, praying and even purchasing a ring with the inscription on it in Hebrew and English, ""I am my beloved's and He is mine"!  

I have walked through many ups and downs since that day, but am here today to say, I am HIS Beloved Warrior Bride!


Thus the name of the blog!


Filled with the SON,

Johanna