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A Reflective Journey is a self-reflecting journey for the main character, Barbara, that starts in a dream in which the Lord is speaking to her inner most spirit. When she awakes she reflects on specific times in her life that God has touched her life and reminisces about the special people He has put in her path... 

The most magnificent aspect about this story is that it has no end... for, if it be God's will, it is only the beginning of our journey through God's Hands, My Hands!

This story is dedicated to my friend and coworker, Joe Ann, for all her proof reading expertise, but more so for her humble words of wisdom and  encouragement "through it all"... to which I am sincerely thankful!

Written by: Barbara Ann Hall

“Barbara, you have journeyed many, many miles with me. Your hands have become my own. My voice you hear. My will you obey. You know my spirit fills you, because you alone could do nothing. 
There was a time I walked among men and hand chose them to follow me and become fishers of men and an echo of my voice; to witness and preach of me as I have taught them. But times have changed and few men walk with me as they should. They confess me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. They have become worldly and self focused. They reason away the truth of my Word and recognize me not for who I am.

It’s rare to find one eager to seek my face and do my will, but you do and for no apparent reason other than you love me. Through times of loneliness and heartache, confusion and uncertainty, turmoil and torment, you have clung to me, for long before you recognized me, I have outstretched my hand to you.

I called you by name, out of the burdens of bondage and  washed away your sin, lifted you up and brought you to a place of understanding; a place where you are able to be my hands upon the earth, through all that you touch and the words that you write. I am able to become the author of your creations because of who I am, but also because of who I have made you.

Yes, I continue to call people to do my will today, but only few hear my voice and answer the call with gladness of heart. I choose people to teach and to preach and to bear witness of me through the recognition and sharing of the blessings I have bestowed upon them; for their voices to be heard throughout the land as a people who love and believe in me; to me my faithful and obedient children. I delight in those who delight in me and their reward shall be greater than those who obey with resistance; for I am not a God of bondage, but of free men and those who serve me with gladness, I call friend.

It’s lonely in me, but not with me. Men will despise you, because they too despised me. Worry not about what men lack, I will bring you through all darkness. Continue to believe in me and do my will with gladness of heart. I will not allow you to fall, for I am always with you. Awake now my child and continue your walk with me, for we have many more miles to journey together!” 

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I sat alone high on a hilltop in my dream as Jesus spoke those words to me. I couldn’t see Him, but His words formed a vivid image of His presence in my mind and a comfort in my heart. When I awoke I remembered back to a night when I was about ten years old. As I lay in bed, something brought my attention to the bedroom door and when I looked, an arm, draped in white robe, slowly swept through the door’s frame into the room. I was so frightened I could barely breathe and quickly pulled the covers over my head. Is that what Jesus meant when He revealed to me that long before I recognized Him, He outstretched His hand for me? I truly believe that He called me that night, so many years ago, to become His hands upon the earth and to tell of our journeys together.

Too, I remembered a night when I was twenty-five that I heard my name whispered softly in my ear, causing the hairs on the back of my neck to stand up and instantly paralyze me with fear. I tried hard to convince myself that it was only the whisper of the wind, until I so clearly heard it again! I believe now that it was God calling me by name out of worldly bondage and closer to Him.
I’m sure those fears of my youth where justified, as someone who knew not the Lord, but my fears gradually faded to understanding. For fear of the Lord is not fear at all, but most certainly understanding.

I remembered the times God taught me how to recognize His voice and obey His will, and how good it felt when I quickly learned. After all, the teacher is the success of the student, and I had the best of the best!

I am sincerely grateful for His mercy, for there was a time when I wandered about aimlessly, with a heart full of discontentment and bitterness, before God lead me out of utter darkness and revealed His will for me. In such a refreshing and uniquely unimaginable way, He took me somewhere beyond the treetops and showed me who I had been, who I was, but most importantly, who I would become; His hands upon the earth! At that time, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would achieve such a tall order, but He never left me. He continued to teach and guide me as we walked onward down the path of life.
Momentarily, a heavy sadness overshadowed the abundant joy and contentment I felt in my heart for being so very fortunate to know and live God’s will for me. That sadness entered in with a thought of the one too many people who have ignored the call of God in their own lives. Or just the opposite and even sadder, lived much of their lives answering it, only because they felt obligated to do so. Almost as if a hint of bitterness lingers above their testimony. Perhaps I can understand the concept that they, despite their own free will, put aside their personal desires to obey those of God, and I can even understand feeling an obligation to Him. But, I truly believe that God would much rather us answer His call and do His will without resistance, but instead with an eagerness and excitement in our hearts.

As for me, I love my Heavenly Father and so very much enjoy our walk together, and although there are many times our journeys are long, they are never quite long enough it seems. I accept my purpose with appreciation and abundant gladness of heart, for what greater joy is there than knowing what your life’s purpose is and being able to fulfill it? And even more so, being able to fulfill it with God cheering you on and walking by your side every step of the way! 

As I embraced those memories, others came to mind that deeply filled my soul with an inner peace and happiness. Like a day back in mid October when the colors of autumn blew about on a cool and gentle breeze, and I sat watching the many colored leaves dancing on the wind. They reminded me of all the people God introduced to me during our journeys together; each one unique and colorful in their own special way and I marveled over how much a part of me they had actually become.

I took a moment and reflected on those who impacted my life the most: Ruth, who helped me recognize that God’s timing is always right on time; Russy, who in his innocent little way confirmed to me that God so loves His little children; Cindy, who helped me believe that God’s love can unlock the doors to our hearts desires; Clarence, marvelous, wonderful Clarence, who taught me how to see God in all things!; Tony, who, in himself, is a living example of God’s foreknowledge and wisdom; Ryan, Michael, Christi and Cynthia, who all helped me recognize that God really does have a plan and purpose for our lives laid in place from the foundation of the world; Heather, who helped me understand the true power in the name of Jesus!; Harold and his big black goofy looking dog Shadow, who proved to me that even diligence in unrecognized faith can be honored and rewarded by God; Dennis, Leah and Shannon Rose, who are living examples that God enables us to forgive and do what’s right, even in times of heartache and uncertainty; The Campus Preacher, who cautioned me that all who come in the name of Jesus, aren’t always what they seem; and of course Bob, who proved to me that even atheists can be open to the things of God when Christians remain patient and courageous in faith, and truth, and purpose. And last, but certainly not least, Leona, who I will always consider to be the youth of my own soul. May God bless them all richly and fill their hearts with peace and joy!

It still makes my heart smile when I think of the numerous times God has reassured and comforted me. Like the time I was so weary and tired and He blessed me with the comfort of Edna’s presence, my grandmother, and the vivid recollection of Preacher. By bringing me back to our special days together and specifically, the day I was baptized and filled with His spirit, which rejuvenated me deep within my soul. And the time I became overwhelmingly discouraged because I felt that I wasn’t doing all I could for Him and that I was very insignificant, like a tiny lifeless dot in a huge and life filled universe. But, God reassured me that through all times, both big and small, I needed never to doubt Him, by doubting in myself, and that I may not always understand the importance of my life or the significance that is often found in little things, but that He was always with me, and that I needed to continue to walk by faith. And I have come to realize the wisdom in that; that life itself consists of a series of, what seems like insignificant little things, but collectively make up the years and the memories of our lives and ultimately paves our path home!
As I sit here, it makes me smile to know that once again God is comforting and encouraging me through His gift of this reflective journey. Yes indeed, many a paths we have traveled together, and it brings me great joy to know that we have only just begun!