The New Living Translation
Introducing Renee Johnson

“Come, let us return to the Lord. He has torn us to pieces; now he will heal us. He has injured us; now he will bandage our wounds. In just a short time he will restore us, so that we may live in his presence. Oh, that we might know the Lord! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring” (Hosea 6:1-3, NLT).

This verse will forever be etched in memory as the first day I read the NLT Bible. My mom was sitting beside my hospital bed in San Diego reading to me from Hosea 6:1-3 as the doctors bandaged my wounds. Due to severe eczema, I was missing the skin on my face and feet. At fifteen years of age there was no hope for a future.

Or so I thought.

I remember being inspired through my mom (also my hero), that there was a verse for my specific condition. And I desperately wanted my own promise, thank-you-very-much. I made a vow to God to read through the entire NLT Bible to find my own promise. Eleven months and twenty-six days later, I found it.

“In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation” (1 Peter 5:10, NLT).

I’ll never forget the day I learned the value of suffering. Like emotions, suffering is not permanent. It is for a season. “After you have suffered . . .” Waiting for the suffering to end was the hardest part. I’m not gonna lie. I thought the “after” part would only take a year.

Six years later I was healed.

To sit here and write for the same translation that saved my life is. . . . Well, words cannot describe how I feel. I gave God my life and He healed me. And then He healed me again. And again. I’ve continued to read that NLT One Year Bible that my mom gave me as I laid in that hospital bed, every year since. That’s it in the picture above. If it weren’t for my daily Bible readings I wouldn’t be here. Fact.

You see, I can try to do things in my own strength, but that only gets me so far. With God and the power of the Holy Spirit, “It is finished!” Done. Over. Complete! I wouldn’t give up my suffering for a day, not even one minute, because it changed me into the person God wanted me to be all along.

An instrument for His glory.

Now I get to write and speak to my generation. My first devotional book, Faithbook of Jesus: Connecting With Jesus Daily released this year with NavPress. I launched a new ministry for the 20/30-somethings called Throw Mountains, and I’m working on my next few books currently. I am counting my blessings and the promises of God (there are many), because He who calls is faithful.

Please join me here each Wednesday as I share stories, verses, and encouraging words to connect you–the reader–to God.

18 Responses to “Introducing Renee Johnson”
3rd November, 2010 at 11:47 am

You go girl! Wonderful testimony!!!

3rd November, 2010 at 11:57 am

I have been following you for a while. Excellent work. God is using you!

3rd November, 2010 at 12:00 pm

Renee! Congratulations and thank you for this devotional.

3rd November, 2010 at 12:02 pm

Suffering is for a season and you are well seasoned! I’m so glad that you are using your life message to bless others, Renee.

Dave Gillis
3rd November, 2010 at 12:04 pm

πŸ™‚ Nice, keep it coming.

3rd November, 2010 at 12:21 pm

Oh, Renee! I am in tears! I am s-o-o-o-o happy for you! It is such a pleasure and honor to know you and pray for you. I am thrilled down to my toes for you! May the Lord bless every word you write!

3rd November, 2010 at 12:28 pm

@Ed – Thanks so much!
@Philip – Thanks for the follow and encouragement πŸ™‚
@Jennie – You’re welcome, thanks so much.
@Dawn – Thanks Dawn, I appreciate that.
@Dave – Thanks friend, I will!
@Lynn – Awwwwwww πŸ™‚ You make my heart sing!!

Chelsea Monroe
3rd November, 2010 at 1:08 pm

This is awesome Renee!! I’m so excited to hear what else God blesses you to say!

Lynn Severance
3rd November, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Hooray, Renee! It is so exciting to see your first NLT blog posting. It is so fitting for you to take us back to your beginnings with NLT to now. I will look forward to each Wednesday with you!

3rd November, 2010 at 4:34 pm

Love, love that Hosea verse. Great to see you here, girlfriend.

3rd November, 2010 at 6:29 pm

@Chelsea – Thanks friend. So glad you’re cheering me on!!!
@Lynn, thanks so much for the encouragement. Glad you like it and hope you’re encouraged by future posts.
@Susan – I love that verse too πŸ™‚ Thanks!

Donna Beiriger
3rd November, 2010 at 7:07 pm

I came to your blog by means of a friend’s posting on Facebook. Wow! God has gifted you with writing and I am just silenced by the beauty of your words and love for God. Keep going and I’ll be looking for your book! I can’t wait to share your blog with others – God bless you!

4th November, 2010 at 12:28 am

Renee – Congratulations on your new launch. You are reaching the multitudes.

4th November, 2010 at 7:39 am

You inspire me!

Bernie Bergen
4th November, 2010 at 8:45 am

For so many years we’ve watched your passion for biblical writing, so seeing that mature, blossom and bear fruit is very special. As you stay dependent on Him through the mountains and valleys I can add – well done!
Uncle Bernie

4th November, 2010 at 11:37 am

@Colleen – Thanks Colleen, and to think you were the first person to truly inspire me to WRITE!

@Sarah – You inspire me girl πŸ™‚

@Uncle Bernie – Aww, thanks very much. That means SO much to me!!! Love you!

5th November, 2010 at 4:23 pm

i’ve always taken the word and made a personal application but now i’m thinking i should seek out more specific verses. thnx for being transparent. it helps.

5th November, 2010 at 9:16 pm

I think it’s amazing that stories like yours remind us that Gods word really is “alive”! So encouraging! Blessings Renee!

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