Be Strong and Courageous...

The cover of this book tells a story no one knows but Jesus and me. I doubt I could ever tell the whole of it. Too much would be lost in translation. But I will tell the story of the day I found this journal.

It was the last day of finals of my Sophomore year at CIU, December 8, 2017. My last final being at 5:00 p.m. I met three of my boys in town for dinner. After a very long day of going in and out of the cold, wet weather, I wanted to go straight home. My youngest, however, wasn't ready to call it a day. He wanted to stop at one of his favorite shops on the way home: BAM (Books-a-Million) or World Market. BAM won out.

Perusing the inspirational book aisles, I decided to peek at the journals. This one caught my eye. I reached for it, and as I did the Word printed on it took hold of my heart. Like tossing a pebble into a pond, my mind and heart rippled back to a young girl of 13 reading a letter from a pen pal who had shared his life verses during a time of desperate need for her. Joshua 1:8-9. Paul had no idea the profound affect that letter and those verses would have on me. 

The amazing thing about ripples is, they are never in one direction and I found this verse rippling into my future, as well as my past, seamlessly connecting them by a beautiful thread called promise. At the close of my first Sophomore semester, it was as if God were saying, "Look! See everything I have brought you through? KNOW that the same courage I have given you throughout all your yesterdays is the same courage I give you both today and all your tomorrows. Be strong. Be courageous. Do not be discouraged. I am Jesus. I am your Father. I AM and I am yours. I will be with you wherever you go, every step of the way." 

There is power in the Word of God and I felt His power that night. With His power came peace that only He can give. I admit that I am not particularly looking forward to a Spring filled with difficult classes. I want to learn, yes. Learning in such a time crunch is another matter altogether. But, just as my Father has been with me through every other semester, I know he will be with me in this one, as well. He loves me. He is the one who called me to this path. He will not call His servant to a place where He does not go or where He will not provide all that is needed. 

"Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief." Mark 9:24

Part of my calling is to to become a professional counselor so I can help others in ways I have been helped. Another part of my calling is to share with others, through writing fiction, articles, or blog posts, what the Lord has taught me through my personal experiences. A question one of my dear writer friends put forth on her wall this week was, "If you could tell your 20-year-old self one thing you wish you'd known then, what would it be?" My answer to her question was this:

"I could write a book on things I would tell my 20 year-old self. The biggest thing would be to keep obeying God no matter how much pain it brings into your life because that pain is far easier to bare than suffering the consequences of even one disobedient choice."

I had no idea this would set my mind to listing several things I wish I could advise myself at the age of 20, but when I sent a list of seven things to her via messenger, she said, "That's a blog!!" And so here I am, blogging about it. There's a story behind the answer I've given here. It's the story I refer to in my opening paragraph. There's too much to tell and, if I told you, too much would be lost in translation. But, perhaps I can tell you parts of my story a little at a time. Are you game?

Linnette R. Mullin is the author of Life-changing Romance. Her debut novel, "Finding Beth," is a multi-award-winning novel which may be purchased at or It is available in paperback and Kindle. You can visit her full website by going to or clicking the "Home" button. You can also find her on Facebook. Linnette is a mother of four amazing sons, the owner of one beautiful mini-rex bunny, and a full-time student working toward her Masters in Clinical Counseling. Jesus is her Hero!

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