I’m back from my 6 WEEK FLORIDA TRIP! I traveled there & back by myself, by car & what I first off have to say is I DID IT!! I did it with God!! It happened!! What I said repeated times to others happened & even better than I planned!
How to Navigate Change is one point from my traveling experience!
Florida is FILLED with majorly TALL & long bridges! My experience with them began while traveling to Florida & a friend suggested driving through & enjoying Savannah, Georgia rather than the crazy traffic of Atlanta! I said, “Sounds great!” as I envisioned Scarlett O’Hara in her fanciful gown with Rhett Butler in his fine, formal stud suit from Gone with The Wind strolling about the grounds of columned homes. I pictured people of Southern hospitality serving me home-made peach pie with ice tea on platters. Everything was going well in route there until the approach to downtown Savannah where my eyes enlarged like saucers & my heart skipped beats!! Ahead of me on the road stood a HUGE…HUGE bridge to get to Savannah! Suddenly, peaches didn’t matter…I only cared about my LIFE!
In those very moments, I was forced to decide. Was I going to turn around & forfeit seeing Savannah? What route would I take after backing out of this situation? Or would I SOMEHOW go over it & survive? I was tired from driving a full day & my eyes were desperately searching for a spot to pull off & turn around. But at a certain point, I passed the chance to do so & headed up that bridge!
I drove up & over that bridge whispering, “Look at Jesus. Look at Jesus” all the way up & over. I thought how are they gonna’ get me outta’ this place afterward, cuz’ I am NOT gonna’ wanna’ come back over THIS! They’ll have to helicopter me out! Of course, that wouldn’t happen. No one would care; I’d just be stuck there while everyone else’s life proceeded on. Thankfully the way out Ft. Lauderdale afterward had a different route. Thank you, Jesus…I escaped.
Then, there were southeast Florida’s freeway transitions & big bridges. I saw Freeways up ahead that looked like they were driving up into the sky. Sometimes I didn’t have to go on them. Sometimes I looked ahead & thought Thank Heaven GPS isn’t taking me that way! And then GPS certainly did direct me onto that curving ramp up into the sky! The freeway transitions had inclines so steep & were so curved like a chocolate curl on top of a cake! I had anxiety of driving off the outer edge! I had to PUSH on my gas pedal the road was so angled! I felt like I was on a roller coaster slowly creeping up to the top of the first hill where all you see is empty sky ahead, ready to plummet down the other side at 90 mph!
I had to decide, was I going to avoid these bridges & highways or take them on & have victory over them. What would I be willing to miss out on if I allowed them to be superior to the strength God is within me? I planned to do this trip for a year, was I going to miss seeing cities because of fear? Was it real fear? Would I feel shameful for avoiding them?
People were telling me there was a bridge I’d have to go over if I wanted to get to Tampa called the Sunshine Skyway Bridge. Nothin’ sunny about this bridge in my opinion. Sadly, it is the #4 bridge in the country that people give up their life from. I didn’t understand where it was going to come up in my travels, but it did. I went out with friend one night from the area & thankfully she fearlessly drove us over it like a pro…in the rain!
But there came the day when I had to conquer this 4.14-mile-long monster myself. I took it on…I said, “If Jodie can do it, I can too! And I hauled my car over that bridge declaring “Fear not for I am with you” & some other techniques too.
So, how do we navigate change in life…getting over the tall bridges or mountains to where we have to go for better & fulfillment? For one thing, there can be illusions. You’re not going to drive off the edge during your travels or in your problems. There is pavement coming down the other side of that hill or tall problem. Sometimes we have the option to take the change slowly, but not always.
I found these things helpful to overcome:
Maybe you need a sister who has already crossed over the bridges you’re facing right now. Maybe you need someone to drive over those bridges with you the first time while you build your confidence to do it again next time. Maybe you need a Coach on this journey with you?
Part of my Life & Relationship coaching is for people who are in places feeling afraid, tired or uncertain of what to do next. They can’t see to the other side of the bridge that will land them safely onto land again. They face such a high road ahead & don’t know how or can’t go up it.
That’s where I can come in. I am here to coach you over & through situations. I am a helper & a hope helper to help you get to the other side of problems…go over the bridges. Navigate the bridges…navigate change to good land.
I’m so glad I went over all the bridges, conquered them & ENJOYED MY FULL VACATION & DID ALL GOD WANTED ME TO DO IN FLORIDA!
“But encourage one another daily” (Hebrews 3:13).
Suicide Prevention Hotline: 800-273-8255
Choosing Dates & Mates
Have the types of dates & mates you've chosen through the years changed? If not, you may not have grown spiritually, emotionally or relationally.
A hope is that over the years as we come closer in relationship with Christ, we would become more like him in nature…in our character, transferring over to our actions & treatment of others. A hope is that we would fall more in love with God, Jesus & the Holy Spirit. A hope is that we also would have sought wholeness, healing & deliverance for ourselves. The first does not automatically take care of the last. Sometimes people hold back from further healing due to lack or knowledge of what they’re really carrying or where to receive such help from or having pride not to disclose hurts or hangons to others. We choose better dates & mates much like when we decide to put healthier food into our own bodies, we become a better grocery shopper.
The hope is that after being transformed in those ways ourselves first, we would desire another that has the fruit of Christ & has resolved and received healing from inner wounds, great doubts & behaviors that don’t model Christ. I spoke with a person who was asked “What did your former spouse & people you dated all have in common?” The common denominator lead the person asked to a realization of what trait(s) to avoid upon becoming involved again & to take responsibility to not move forward in that case. The common denominator lead the person to committing to changing themselves to make a better future selection.
If one hasn’t courted/dated in a while, what is the reason? Is it because a male/female hasn’t been found with those qualities? We really do have to be praying for the walk & growth of our brothers & sisters, don’t we? Has one found themselves keeping better company in friendships? Has one’s inner circle become filled with love & strength rather than unnecessary drama, people acting out of the will of God or hurtful people? Those are good signs that a person has reached a deeper maturity in Christ. Is it that one has fallen so much in love with Christ that they feel content with Him alone? That’s great too! So many would love to be able to say that, but haven’t come to that place yet. Contentment is beautiful.
So our goal for ourselves should be to chase God & seek wholeness & healing first & if lead, to pursue or wait to be pursued by another with the same heart & spiritual, emotional & relational health in terms of romantic relationships. Choosing the right relationships saves us hurt & increases our joy.
Is there something you want to do that you know you should not? Is it fantasizing over a hot
looking girl or guy? Have you been having a little fun with letting lustful thoughts of them stay in your
mind? Are you finding it difficult to give something or someone up for the sake of honoring God and the better intentions and direction He has for your life? Is there a way to live better according to God’s word that will not be easy for you as far as the discipline required on your part?
Whatever it is you find challenging at this point, know that whatever you are not wanting to do, but do… or whatever you find hard to be without, but carry on forward without it, you can offer the challenge, the pain or the discomfort up as a sacrifice and offering to God.
Numbers 28:1-3 NIV says:
“The Lord said to Moses, 2 “Give this command to the Israelites and say to them: ‘Make sure that you present to me at the appointed time my food offerings, as an aroma pleasing to me.’ 3 Say to them: ‘This is the food offering you are to present to the Lord: two lambs a year old without defect, as a regular burnt offering each day”.
Let’s pull this apart and look inside at it.
Verse 2: “See that you present to me at the appointed time the food for my offerings made by fire,
as an aroma pleasing to me.” So you’ve got something "ungood" I’ll call it going on. it's a struggle inside of you. If you give it and consider God’s feelings above your own (that’s the sacrifice and offering part) God is going to take it as something good…”an aroma pleasing to me”.
Verse 2: “an offering made by fire”…Are you going through the fire right now? The situation is hot and trying you? If you are responding right to the fire, or right to the conviction you are in (by God’s ways), you are being purified. You are being made more into His image and going more to where He wants to take you.
Verse 3: “as a regular burnt offering each day”…Each day you give it all to the Lord as an offering…”Lord, this is (whatever you feel), but I’m offering up my plans and taking on yours instead.
May you find me and my offering pleasing to you like a fine aroma.”
God will find this pleasing. It smells good to Him. It refreshes Him you may say. And whenever you do something toward God, He rewards you.
What makes a man feel comfortable:
~ Obviously, a man feels comfortable with a woman when he feels like he can be himself around you.
~ When he believes the woman has a genuine care and concern about him. But not the kind of care where he feels the woman may have a great romantic interest in him that he cannot return ...this would make him feel uncomfortable instead.
~ When a woman gives him ample time to talk, while you listen to his heart. So become a better patient listener than a talker.
~ Being respected.
~ Being honored.
~ You acknowledging that you like his ideas and what he brings to the table in your relationship, circle of influence and the body of Christ.
~ Before your company commences, setting an atmosphere through prayer and going into the presence of God yourself.
~ During your company, allowing an atmosphere of humor and laughter.
~ Use his name. Most people whether they realize it or not, love to be called by their name in conversations. Think about it from a spiritual aspect as well...God called you by name.
“I have called you by name” (Isaiah 43:1 NLT).
~ Be a balanced and stable woman of emotions. Frequent changing highs and lows rollercoaster rides should only be at the amusement park. This means you are dependent on God and His word to transform you into this beauty.
~ Let him know and prove that you are trustworthy. You are going to keep the personal information and the feelings they share safe, not sharing it with others. A safe place makes it easier for him to open up to you.
~ Have a tender heart.
I’m typically not a light sleeper; I roll into bed, fall out, get
my rest and am not bothered by much. A month ago I had trouble sleeping for a few nights in a row. One of the reasons was a most ANNOYING, disturbing noise the commode was
making throughout the night. Just when I started to fall asleep, it would make this loud HISSSSSSS noise that would stretch out for about 5 very long seconds. Back to square one…starring at the ceiling was I. I awoke in the morning groggy, irritable and worn out. I didn’t keep my lack of sleep and agony a secret. My friend said, “That’s not normal. There’s something wrong in the tank. The fill valve is broken. Water is filling in the tank when it shouldn’t be. Yeah, that needs replacement.” So I called Maintenance and they replaced the fill valve.
Do the dynamics of this story sound like you? You’re not perfect, but you’re a caring person. You roll with things, you’re easy going and don’t make much into issues? But what about when
something really does bother you? God gave us triggering emotions that sometimes let us know something is wrong and not up to par. Perhaps an example would be when you’re in a relationship and it’s not feeling right or good to you. It’s hurting you. Maybe you feel you’re not treated with honor and respect. Maybe it’s keeping you awake at night; you're losing sleep. Maybe something about the other person or relationship is yelling at you loudly in the face. Maybe something’s not right. The relationship isn't God honoring? Maybe there's a broken part; maybe it’s broke.
Have a heart to heart with God about what to do--repair or replace. Then follow his voice and direction. Make the call. Get your rest.
I never thought I’d be writing about a toilet part and certainly not in relation to relationships.
Are you an analytical person? I am. I’m learning to balance this with prayer and trust. Some of us have a tendency to over think things to get it all right and make sure we are in the perfect will of God before starting things. Wanting to be in the perfect will of God is good! It’s good and brings great benefits! But sometimes if we’ve pondered and pondered something over long
periods of time with some double mindedness, doubt or fear, we may just have to “go down that road” to test the waters. I’ve heard three godly men recently making points to not over think things. I’m inspired by them. It’s all a balance.
We can even over-analyze prospective relationships too much. A relationship expert once shared with a woman who was ambivalent in going forward with a man, “Have fun with this too. Don’t miss the beauty of falling in love by overthinging it .” Yes, be prayerful, wise and cautious. God will stop you before you get to the next city if the relationship is not to be.
“Falling in love” is a many splendored thing too. Enjoy it like you would the scenery along the way to Tennessee--the volumes of lush trees, the grand mountain sides, the beautiful open sky they set
against. Enjoy stretching your legs at the stops along the way for your favorite coffee and snacks—your favorite things you learn about each other. Enjoy even getting a little lost on the drive to Tennessee or getting in a little misunderstanding. Even a slight misunderstanding can be memorable and better when you’re on your way to somewhere good. You’ll pray and watch the signs (right way or wrong way) along the way.
Enjoy falling in love. Don’t miss the bliss of it. Enjoy the ride to Tennessee.
Wisdom & encouragement to share with others!
Denise Flynn writes about Singleness, Relationships, Goal Obtainment & the Christian walk. Order