Wednesday, November 7, 2012


My eyes are drooping, and from what my roommates tell me, the stress is written all across my face. I'm so close to break, but so far away. Four tests, four more 7:15 am work shifts, and four more 8:15 am breakfasts with my campus sister stand in my way. And in a few hours, those will be scattered throughout 12. more. days.

Twelve more days and I can

For a moment. 

Just a week.

Some time with close friends.

Some time to be chill with my homework (but still get it done).

Some extra time to spend with my Savior.

Some time to be thankful.

Thanksgiving is coming soon, and so often lately have I found myself selfishly anticipating the short amount of time I'll get to just "chill." To cast away my problems, forget about my busy early mornings, and my stress. And so often, it's all about me.

What stress I'm undergoing.

What my problems are.

And yes, I'm tired. I'm weary. I'm worn.

But so is everyone else. Everyone I encounter daily has a burden the size of the universe weighing them down. Everyone has stress, and nobody feels like they can make it through. We are all desperately crying for relief that won't come soon enough.

We are worn.

Everywhere I go on my college campus, I look into the eyes of my peers and see heavy souls and weighted hearts. We are all people. People who are learning that life doesn't stop just because we left home for a few months. People learning that sometimes 16 hours in class doesn't always mean a 16 credit load. It often means more. People learning just how few hours in the day there really are. People who just. can't. get. it. done.

People in pain.

People ready to give up.

But we are also people who everyday wake up and have hope.

Hope that comes from the same Savior I know the majority of us have a personal relationship with, because friends (those at my school), we are on a Christian campus. 

We can wake up each morning with new hope and new mercies, knowing that God is still God and that He is still in control. 

I know what it feels like. We all know what it feels like. But most importantly, God knows what it feels like, and what you are going through right at this very moment. He knows that F on that really important test was a soul-crusher. He knows you feel torn and disconnected from that situation at home and you have no idea what to do. He knows you just broke up with your boyfriend or girlfriend and you're standing there, left in the dust, having no clue what went wrong. He knows you struggle to even wake up in the morning. He knows work and/or classes are stressing you to the max and that you can never seem to get all your homework done at night.

And God knows inside and out just how much your heart hurts right now because you feel trapped and don't know what to do or where to go next. 

He wants to give you hope. 

This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope. 
The Lord is my portion, saith my soul; therefore will I hope in him.
Lamentations 3:21, 24

He is offering you mercy.

It is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not
They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. 
Lamentations 3:22-23

And He will not fail you.

And David said to Solomon his son, Be strong and of good courage, and do it: fear not, nor be dismayed: for the LORD God, even my God, will be with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee, until thou hast finished all the work for the service of the house of the LORD.
 2 Chronicles 28:20

Please, do not give up. Wait on the Lord, be of good courage, He will give you strength and you will mount up with wings like eagles! 

Whether you are with me at college, or somewhere else in the world, please, rest in the knowledge that you are God's child and He loves you. He has a great and mighty plan and He is not finished with you yet. He is just getting started.

And if you are not God's child, I pray that you would realize your great and desperate need for Him and come to a saving knowledge of Him. It will be the best choice you have ever made, guaranteed

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Can I Have a Wish?

I don't normally use my blog to speculate about my future, or to share the random little wishes I have for my life. But today, I can't hold back. Today is a day of insight and a little peek into my mind, should you continue to read.

I'm a bit of a people watcher. Especially when I go to Starbucks. There's just something about having an Econ textbook in front of me that makes my eyes wander. Clearly this is merely a requirement, "get me through this so I can get an A and forget about it" course for me. It's interesting, to be sure, but so are people.

The day is a beautiful rainy Sunday. I'm sitting by a window with a clear view of the people pulling into the Starbucks parking lot and coming in the front door. I've seen a young family, college students, and several young teenagers. But one older couple has caught my eye.

I spotted them when the wife stepped out of the car. She has a walking boot on her left leg and is using a cane. Her husband came up next to her and guided her inside. They go up to the counter and place their order. I notice they are both carrying books. The husband sits his wife down at the table in front of mine. I watch him set his coffee down and go to retrieve hers when it is ready. They each pull out a small snack and open their books. I smile to myself as I watch them together. They don't talk, just sit: nibbling, drinking, and reading. They are comfortable in their silence. Content to become lost in their individual books while sitting in the presence of the one they love.

The years of mutual love and trust are evident simply in their quiet contentment. Many different people come to Starbucks for many different things. Studying, socializing, internet access. But this couple, they are different. They came simply to enjoy each other on a rainy Sunday afternoon. As I watch their occasional conversation and quiet company, my heart swells. Watching them, I see a window into what I want my later years to be like. What I want my marriage to be like.

Sitting in front of me is an older couple in their retirement years, content to simply enjoy each other. They don't feel obligated to clutter up the atmosphere with pointless, continuous conversation. The years of love, togetherness, and struggle has given them a closeness many merely wish for. And that, that is what I wish for. That someday, when I am old, when my smooth skin has grooved and my multi-colored hair has turned to gray or even white, I will still have the love I had when I was young.

I may not know his name, or his face. I don't know where he will come from or what our life together will be like. But I know that if fifty, sixty years from now, I can sit quietly with him in a coffee shop, reading a book and sipping cappuccinos, simply enjoying his company, and loving him all the more, every struggle we encounter will be worth it.

My wish is for someone who will love me through the good days and the bad. When I am no longer beautiful, I want him to be the kind of man who will still look me in the eye and call me beautiful--and mean it.

But what if sixty years from now, my coffee shop scene is me alone? What if there is never "him"? What if I never wear a white dress, and never say "I do"? Some may say my wish did not come true. But I will say it did. Because sixty years from now, I will still have my heavenly Savior. Whether or not I ever marry. God loves me when I am lovable and when I am not. I am His beautiful creation, no matter how old I get.

Sixty years from now, maybe you'll find me in a coffee shop. If you see me there, old and gray, enjoying a cup of coffee and a thick book, you'll know I'm enjoying a date. Either a date with my husband or a date with my Jesus. And I will be content.

Single or otherwise, I choose to be content.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Lord, teach me to trust You.

Therefore I say unto you,
Take no thought for your life,
What ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink;
Nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on.
Is not the life more than meat, and the body raiment?

Behold the fowls of the air:
For they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns;
Yet your heavenly Father feedeth them.
Are ye not much better than they?

Which of you by taking thought
Can add one cubit unto his stature?

And why take yet thought for raiment?
Consider the lilies of the field,
How they grow;
They toil not,
Neither do they spin:

And yet I say unto you,
That even Solomon in all his glory
Was not arrayed like one of these.

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field,
Which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven,
shall he not much more clothe you,
O ye of little faith?

Therefore take no thought, saying,
What shall we eat? Or,
What shall we drink? Or,
Wherewithall shall we be clothed?

(For all these things do the Gentiles seek:)
For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need
Of all these things.

But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
And His righteousness;
And all these things shall be added unto you.

Take therefore no thought for the morrow:
For the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself.
Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

[Matthew 6:25-34]

Come unto me,
All ye that labour and are heavy laden,
And I will give you rest.

Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me;
For I am meek and lowly in heart:
And ye shall find rest in your souls.

For my yoke is easy,
And my burden is light.

[Matthew 11:28-30]

I'm okay.
That's what I've been saying.

But really...
Maybe I'm not.
But maybe...
I am.

Is it possible to be both?

I know that God is in control.
And with that, I am okay.
But I still hurt.

Because I am a person.
With feelings.

I honestly can't say my world has come crashing down around me.

Because my world does not solidify in people or things.

It solidifies in my Savior.
The only One I can truly rely on.

People disappoint.
They are not perfect.
That is the moral to this story.

God's ways are not my ways.
His plans are not my plans.
And I am going to trust Him.

Because if what I just lost wasn't what is best...
Then what is best is something incredible.
And I'm willing to wait for that.

Lord, teach me to trust You.
This is my greatest desire.
But I am weak. I am human.
And I will fall.
Please keep picking me up and brushing me off every time I fall.
Teach me to trust You.
Because that is the one thing I know that will bring me lasting peace.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

What I Needed (And What I Wanted)

I have returned.

To college.

To the blogging world (anyone miss me?? Hahaha).

To work.

I'm getting back to my favorite routine. Classes start next week. The big chunk of students gets back this weekend. Studying will start soon (well... it kind of already has). Life will pick up at the high-speed pace college gives it. I am slowly but surely becoming reunited with friends I have not seen for four months. And I have a job.

Some of you may remember a post I wrote closer to the beginning of the summer about wants and needs. Since that time, I got e-mail after e-mail vaguely detailing what was going on, finally got paperwork, and sent it off.

Then there was the waiting.

Ooooh the waiting.

Anyone who knows me well can tell you about my stubborn streak that never seems to end and my subtle but fire-y temper. But anyone who spends an afternoon with me will probably be able to tell you about my lack of patience. My get it done now attitude. In some ways, it's a good thing. I get stuff done. But in other ways, it's definitely a sin problem that God has been mercifully (but firmly) teaching me through. I am constantly going. My mind whirring, looking for the next thing to do. Being bored is not an option. When I have nothing to do, I find something to worry about and fixate on it. Not good. I am legendary in the way I drive people crazy over this.

Once again... not good.

This summer God used my work situation and other situations to show me just how wrong my impatience can be when applied to situations I have no control over.

I constantly worried about work. And God taught me a lesson through that.

When I was waiting on my application paperwork, it was still unknown whether or not I would even receive the paperwork. I knew down to the day when it was supposed to get to me.

Or so I thought.

On the evening of the day I thought I was supposed to receive my application, it had not arrived. I sat up in my bedroom, sulking. Poking around on my computer trying to get my mind off not having a job. But God has a (wonderful) way of stepping in and joining one's thoughts. Reminders kept coming into my mind.

Rose, aren't I in control? Don't I know exactly what you'll be doing next semester? Don't I know your needs?

And it was then that I let my stubbornness slip away. I won't lie, it was not easy. Because my instinct is to worry, and whine, and panic. But as I have learned on many occasions, as a born sinner, my instinct--my automatic response to anything in life--is wrong. And I must (through the work of God) change how I respond to anything in life.

And I chose to do that. That night, I gave everything over to God. I told Him I would be happy with or without a job. Because in the great, grand scheme of things, I don't need anything but my Savior. And I already have Him. As far as earthly needs go, God has promised in His word to supply every single one (Philippians 4:19).

The next day I got a wonderful surprise. As I jumped into my mom's car when she picked me up from work, I spotted a large envelope on the dashboard. I picked it up, and there it was: my paperwork. I practically came out of my skin with excitement.

God knew even before I prayed that my paperwork was on its way. He knew that I would have the job. He knew what I didn't know. He simply asked for my patience and my trust. And receiving my paperwork the day after I "gave in" and chose to trust Him was one of the most wonderful feelings. Yes, my paperwork was coming regardless. But the victory was so much sweeter knowing it came straight from the hands of God--who I had chosen to trust completely.

Weeks went by, the paperwork was filled out and sent off and I had to wait... again. The day I was supposed to get a formal job offer came and went. I started to panic again. And I will admit, really struggled to completely trust God. During those last few weeks, I had done a bit of figuring and had realized that this job was not just a want--it was a definite need. I began to question God. Wonder why He would leave me in the cold like that. He knew I needed a job, so why didn't He deliver?? Isn't that what the verse in Philippians said???

But there's more to that verse than just "God will give you everything you need." In a way, this verse is one of those verses that people take out of context as a "magic solution verse." In context, this verse comes at the end of Philippians 4. Paul is thanking the Philippians for their generous care for him (being that Paul was a missionary, I tend to think theirs was a monetary gift). He uses this as a way to encourage the Philippians. He reminds them that whatever state they are in, they need to be content. He also reminds them that while God will supply their needs, the way He does it will be for His glory.

Unfortunately, that last paragraph is a good reminder that hindsight is 20/20. Because while I constantly prayed for the ability to trust God, I often caught myself not really trying at all.

Because a Facebook conversation and an e-mail later... I found out I most definitely had the job. And I'll admit, I felt pretty silly for worrying. It's times like these that I wonder what God is thinking when His children are once again humbled by the reminder that yes, He is still good and He is still in control. And that there was no chance He had ever left us out in the cold.

And it's times like these that I find myself even more thankful for God's patience with His children. The way He brushes us off after every time we fall--even if we were going directly against Him.

And God supplied my need. For His glory.

And I returned to school early. And arrived at training, knowing I was retail division, knowing I'd probably be working at my "second-choice job." Because while my need had been fulfilled, I still had wants.

Isn't that how we always are?

Hey God, I know you're making sure all my needs and stuff are taken care, and I don't really need such-and-such, but you know, you're big and awesome and stuff. Can't I just have that too?

All the time.

God, I'd really like so-and-so to like me. Can I have this person on my hall? Why does she have to be in my room this year? Artist Series is coming up, I want that guy to ask me. Oh, and could you just suddenly transform the way my body works so I can be skinny now? Yeah, that'd be great.

I know that sounded silly. But in a way, that's kind of what we sound like sometimes. Acting as if God is some sort of magic genie who has given us unlimited wishes that will be granted instantly. In truth, we need a lot less than we think we need. Now, I'm not saying God doesn't like giving us stuff we merely want, but what is our attitude when we ask for these things?

Because something I really wanted was to work in the coffee shop. To be honest, while the Snack Shop was nice, I wasn't thrilled. I've always [wanted] to try being a barista (this is seriously a bucket list thing for me). The coffee shop on my college campus was a perfect opportunity! Right? Well, if that's where God wanted me. And I battled with that too. I really, really wanted to be in the coffee shop. But what if God had something for me in the Snack Shop where He wanted to use me for His kingdom? What if there was something He wanted me to do for Him there?

And so the morning of orientation, I prayed. I admitted to God (well, He obviously already knew all this, but there's something to be said about saying something yourself) that I really, really, really, really wanted to work in the coffee shop. But I knew that He might have something else planned. And so that morning, I gave it up to Him. I told Him wherever He placed me, I would be happy (but, um, I really really would like Cuppa Jones. If that's okay).

I wonder if God ever thinks, "silly girl" when I'm debating between my wants and needs when I'm talking to Him. In a way of, oh, Rose, you will see what I have for you soon enough. Just relax and enjoy the ride. Don't stress, I've got this.

By that afternoon, I had learned that there were openings in Cuppa Jones and 24 hours later, I had my work hours scheduled. Exactly where I wanted to be.

I don't believe in the Prosperity Gospel. There are a lot of holes in that way of thinking. We are not always going to get what we want and life is not always going to be rainbows and sunshine and ponies. But I do believe God delights in delighting His children with certain things in life that they may not necessarily need, but do want. We will always be supplied with our needs. We will not always get what we want. I firmly believe that makes when we do get something we merely that much sweeter. Those times when we do get we want are God's way of saying I love you and love seeing you happy. What you want is not always best for you. But sometimes it is, and I love seeing the joy that comes to your face when you get it. 

God is not some grouchy old man that begrudgingly hands us what we need and doesn't ever think about our wants. He knows the wants are what make life that much more enjoyable.  Don't expect every little thing you want to be handed to you, though. That's not how He works. He gives, He takes away.

And whether He has given you something recently or taken something away, please never forget to praise God. He has a reason for everything He does. Wait patiently on Him and He will give you an unexpected (but wonderful) end.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Living Dangerously.

The danger in becoming a Christian and living for Christ is persecution.

The danger in growing up is discovering that your parents are not perfect.

The danger in having close friends is knowing their flaws.

The danger in love is getting your heart broken.

The danger in discussing beliefs is discovering you are wrong.

The danger in walking outside your front door is encountering people you don't want to encounter.

The danger in reaching out is rejection.

The danger in being transparent is rejection.

The danger in being yourself is people wanting you to be someone else.

The danger in change is the action of it.

The danger in telling the truth is losing friends.

The danger in stepping out of your comfort zone is encountering things you've never tried before.

The danger in trying something new is being stretched beyond imagine.

The danger in living is dying.

Every day when you wake up, you have to ask: is it worth it?

And every day you must find a reason to say: yes.

The reward in living for Christ is knowing you are furthering His cause and will one day get to see Him, your Savior, face-to-face.

The reward in growing up is accomplishing your dreams and learning from the wisdom of your parents.

The reward in having close friends is having people to lift you up and you can lift up.

The reward in love is that not everyone will break your heart. There are those who will return it.

The reward in discussing beliefs is discovering new perspectives

The reward in walking outside your front door is discovering a big wide world waiting to be explored.

The reward in reaching out is being able to show God's love to others.

The reward in being transparent is not longer harboring burdening secrets.

The reward in being yourself is being the best you you can be and thus being truly happy.

The reward in change is becoming more like your Savior.

The reward in telling the truth is learning who your true friends are.

The reward in stepping out of your comfort zone is discovering and doing new and exciting thing.

The reward in trying something new is becoming more rounded.

The reward in truly living is dying to self and becoming alive to Christ.

Seize the day. Take chances. Make mistakes. Get messy.

Love God, love others (this includes your enemies).

Live for Christ in such a way that you recklessly abandon all doubts and fears and jump in both feet first. Face your fears head on and prove to them you are no longer afraid. Let the cause of Christ be your battle cry. Live in His strength.

Live dangerously for Him. You will never go back.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012


I used to hate myself.

It's the truth.

For too long, I believed the lies that were fed into my mind by both advertisements and people who had no place in my life. The lies were planted, and I watered them. I let them grow. I allowed them to consume my mind like kudzu. This killed my confidence. And, in a way, it killed me. [if you're interested, this post relays basically my entire story. I have numerous other posts pertaining to my story hiding in my archives. If you have an hour or five to kill and want to sift through the deep recesses of my blog, be my guest. But I don't expect it. This blog's been up for over two years now. There's a lot on it. But, I digress.]

What do I mean... killed me?

What I mean is, it killed my spirit. The creative, happy, confident person God created me to be. In a very real sense, I gave up. At age 14, I considered myself largely a failure. My freshman year of high school was riddled with examples of my apathy towards life and success. It's a true miracle that my mother only made me repeat one or two classes. And the classes I had to repeat I wasn't required to have four years worth of in order to graduate from high school. That meant I still graduated right on time. God's grace is so evident even in that. He could have made me stay back an extra year. But he used my brokenness, apathy, and sinfulness to teach me and bring glory to Himself. Approaching my sophomore year of college, I look back on this time and am in awe of how magnificent my Savior is and how much He loves me. 

But even four years later, I am still picking up the pieces. In one year of apathy, I lost nearly everything about myself that made me me. I replaced my love of reading with an internet addiction. I merely went through the motions with my art and music. Things I absolutely loved and was created with the ability to excel in (things that would last) were cast aside for the immediate. I discovered the "magic" of logging onto any internet site and getting immediate satisfaction. I found numerous pictures and comics all containing funny quips, quotes, and observations that I could spend my time laughing at and relating to without having to do any real work. I created a new world for myself in an online game that became more important to me than my real life. I neglected what I loved because I had to work for the satisfaction. I thought immediate satisfaction would be better.

As I'm sure you can deduce, it wasn't

And in abandoning my earthly hobbies and past times, I ended up turning from my Savior. Yes, I believe that when I accepted Christ at the age of 11 that was the real thing. In that time, I did grow some and did learn more about my Savior. But I kept one part of my heart "off-limits." Obviously there is no place that is off-limits to God. But I resisted Him working in that part of my heart. And that part I wouldn't give up was everything I just relayed to you.

I need to pause and say something. As one who has been there, if you're reading this and you are there, do not give up. Please, do not believe the lie that says that fighting isn't worth it. It is. It takes work, but that's why it's worth it. Please, trust what I am telling you. Because what I am saying is coming from someone who has been through this. And I can tell you it gets better. Read on.

Through several different circumstances that opened my eyes and heart, I began giving God back every bit of my heart. I would be lying if I told you it is not a near-daily struggle to leave everything in God's hands. As far as I've come, as confident as I am again, there are some days I look in the mirror and wonder if anyone cares. I know people do. But I am also very much aware of how small I am compared to the rest of the universe. The fact that Someone so great as God loves me enough to know the exact number of hairs on my head, gather every tear I cry and call them precious, and listen to and answer every prayer I pray is astounding. Every time I think about it, I become awe-struck. And it is then that I remember that no matter how few people there are on earth who think I matter (or how few people I tell myself there are) nothing compares to mattering to God. The love of man dims in the light of being loved by God. If I had no one on earth, I would still have God. And He is enough.

He created me with a specific plan for my life. He knew exactly what my name would be, what I would look like, who I would marry, what my job would be, and who and what I would love before time even began. Every second of my life was already made known to Him. Incredible, isn't it?

There is no one else on earth exactly like me. There may those who share my name (with the unusualness of mine, this probability is lower for me than others, but it's still very real) but there is no one out there who looks exactly like me, is just as tall as me, has all the same quirks, hobbies, experiences, likes, dislikes, friends, family and so much more all put together. I may share bits and pieces with others, and that is often what makes them my friends. But there is no one else like me in the entire world. 

There is only one Autumn Rose Johnson, born October 16, 1993.

Her eyes are colored a mix of her mother's and father's eyes... blue from her mother and speckles of green from her father.

Her hair is mostly brown mixed with black, blond, and red.

She is near-sighted. Her left eye is the weaker eye.

She is completely left-side dominant (save her left eye).

When she smiles, you can see her slightly crooked, lopsided teeth. One of the front ones has a natural chip.

She loves music. She took piano lessons for over ten years, violin for a year and a half, and wants to teach herself guitar. She can often be seen with her headphones in, music flowing through her mind.

She loves art. She took oil painting for over six years and owns an extensive collection of colored pencils as well as a sketchbook waiting to be filled.

She loves to be active. Every time she goes out and swims, runs, or bikes she returns with the satisfaction of having completed a good workout. 

She is a health nut. Vegetables are her favorite food and she could probably subsist on purely those if it weren't for steak, bacon, grilled chicken, chocolate, cantaloupe, and frozen yogurt.

She loves books. She can consume an average-sized book in one day.

She loves to learn. She looks forward to school so she can glean knowledge from teachers she looks up to and admires.

She has odd little quirks about her that make her awkward, nerdy, and (she hopes) lovable.

She is known by multiple funny nicknames, her favorites being Otto and Leprechaun.

She is a happy girl with an unbreakable spirit.

But most importantly, she is a child of God. She was created to fulfill a specific purpose to further the cause of Christ. She is completely in love with her Savior and wants to live to serve Him.

That is the me that almost completely disappeared. Some of it (the music, the art, the activeness, the heath nut, the reader, the learner) has not yet completely come back yet. The habits I had formed as a child (besides the exercise and health nut. That's relatively new. But much needed) were broken one by one in my year of apathy. But with God's help, I'm bringing them back. I have consumed many books this summer and look forward to consuming many more before summer ends. I pick up my sketch book on occasion, and often (okay, always) doodle in the margins of my hand-written class notes. I have begun listening to music again although I am still working towards sitting in front of the piano and picking up my guitar again. I am eating healthier than I have ever eaten in my entire life. I have an exercise plan ready once my needed resources are before me (and they will be in a month or less. I can't wait). Slowly but surely, bit by bit, God is giving me the strength to reconstruct me.

So if you're still reading this, if you made it to the end:
Please realize I didn't write this to tell you how cool I am
Or why you should think I'm awesome

I wrote this because I believe this something God does not want me to keep to myself.
My battle is one that thousands of young women fight every day.
If you're reading this, and you are one of those who is fighting this battle:
You are not alone.
I have been through this--I understand how it feels.
But I also know that it can be overcome.
But it's not something you can do on your own.
You need strength that can only come from God in order to overcome.

God is empowering me to be the best Autumn Rose I can be. And it's all for Him. 
He wants to empower you too. Run to Him. His arms are wide open. Waiting.

To God be the glory, for He has done, is doing, and will continue to do great things.

I will extol thee, O Lord
for thou hast lifted me up, 
and hast not made my foes to rejoice over me.

Lord my God, I cried unto thee, 
and thou hast healed me.

Lord, thou hast brought up my soul from the grave: 
thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit.

Sing unto the Lord, O ye saints of his, 
and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.

For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: 
weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

And in my prosperity I said, I shall never be moved.

Lord, by thy favour thou hast made my mountain to stand strong: 
thou didst hide thy face, and I was troubled.

I cried to thee, O Lord; and unto the Lord I made supplication.

What profit is there in my blood, when I go down to the pit? 
Shall the dust praise thee? shall it declare thy truth?

Hear, O Lord, and have mercy upon me: Lord, be thou my helper.

Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: 
thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

To the end that my glory may sing praise to thee, and not be silent. 
Lord my God, I will give thanks unto thee for ever.

Psalm 30

To be nobody but yourself in a world
 which is doing its best, night and day, 
to make you everybody else 
means to fight the hardest battle 
which any human being can fight; 
and never stop fighting. 
e. e. cummings

Friday, July 6, 2012


There's a reason God doesn't give us what is fair.

The reason is that He loves us. So much. And He knows what fair really is.

If life was fair, you'd be a lot worse off than you are now.

I just needed to say that.

Both for myself, and for anyone who might have stumbled upon my little corner.

Life isn't fair. Be thankful.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

He Gives, He Takes Away

Take just a minute to let your mind wander. But with a purpose. Direct it to a specific person in your life. Not just any person. The one person you count yourself closest to. The person who knows your secrets. The one you trust the most (besides God) to know your thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams. The person who has shared their secrets with you. The one you could not imagine your life without. The person God has blessed you the most with. It could be multiple people. Family. Your best friend. Heck, even a special pet.

Now take them away.

Take them out.

Mentally remove them from your life as you currently know it.

What do you feel? What are you thinking?

If God took away the person or persons in your life that you are closest to, the one(s) you deem most important, would you be okay?

Think about it. Really, truly think about it.

What is crossing your mind?

I can't imagine life without them. God wouldn't do that to me. He knows I need them. My life would be a mess without them. I need them.

Do you?

I know that may seem harsh. But do you really need them?

My grace is sufficient for thee.

Lord, show us the Father, and it sufficeth us.

Our sufficiency is of God

These three phrases are straight from God's Word. Friends, isn't He enough? Isn't God sufficient to meet all our needs?

This is the part where I get brutally honest about myself. This post is for me just as much as it is for you. This topic has not been on my mind for just today. It's been all year. More than that. Months on end.

Every day, God has been asking me...

Autumn Rose Johnson. Aren't I enough? 

And every day, I answer...

Yes, Lord. You are enough.

But I don't necessarily apply it. Truth is, I have been struggling to apply it.

Every time I have embraced a friend going through a trial, reminding them that God is enough, I have been speaking to myself as well. Because, friends, I struggle with this too. So much. I daily teeter on the dangerous edge of believing I need "God and." God and my best friend.

I have been battling the mindset of believing that I need my Perfect, Holy, Undisappointing God plus a fallible, imperfect, disappointing human who struggles with sin just as much as I do. I have been adding on someone who will not fail to disappoint me into my room-for-one need category.

Don't get me wrong. My best friend is an incredible person. I have been blessed to have this person in my life. But I should not need him. He is just as human as I am. Thus, there will be (and have been) times in my life when he will (and has) disappoint(ed) me. Because he sins, he falls, and he makes mistakes.

The only person in my life who will never, ever fail me is God. The only person I truly need is God.

So what am I doing putting up someone doomed to fall above my infinitely perfect God?

Who is the greatest treasure in my heart? God? Or my best friend?

For where your treasure is, there where your heart be also.

Nearly every single day since late January, early February, a question has echoed through my mind.

What if God took him away? What if he temporarily or even permanently was no longer apart of my life? Not necessarily dying, but just no longer being a part of my life? Would I be okay?

I would constantly knee-jerk respond.

I'd have to be. I'm not a best friend worshipper. I'm a Christ-worshipper. Of course I'd be okay. I'd have no choice.

Am I?
Would I be (okay)?

And that, friends, is where I am always stopped.

Who do I worship?

A guy I admire and look up to in my life as my closest friend?
Or God--the ultimate example, the perfect and holy one, my Savior?

A friend can't save me. A friend will fail me. A friend sins. A friend disappoints.

God has saved me. God never fails me. God never sins. God never disappoints.

I'm skilled at excuses, though. It's a being human thing. You can probably relate.

God would never take him away. It's not gonna happen. I don't need to worry about it.

I can just imagine God's sad laugh whenever I thought that.

Because, friends, God took away my best friend.

God saw my rebellious and wayward heart, and knew what needed to be done.

It is only temporary. A not only physical, but emotional separation. God has given him a season in life that I cannot truly understand. It is a time for him in which it would be cruel and selfish of me to ask him to prioritize time for me. Because that is not in any way what he needs to be doing. His family is, and always will be first. And I have to respect that.

So God has taken away my best friend. One of the "I couldn't imagine my life without" people in my life. And I have two choices.

I can sulk, think about how unfair life is, and go through the motions of life, jumping every time my phone buzzes with a text message or someone chats me on Facebook because I think it's him. I know because I've done it. I've been doing it. Pretty pitiful, eh?


I can live. Pray for my friend and rejoice in how good God is and draw closer to Him: my perfect Savior. I can devote time to others. I can give more time and thought towards God, because He deserves all my time and thoughts. And with this choice, friends, is the one in which I will be truly happy.

It will not be easy. It has not been easy. I must make a daily choice to not allow my missing a close friend to consume my thought life. My thoughts, actions, words, and attitude must be filled with God.

When God is my #1 priority, every other want and desire will slip away. I will view them as I need to view them: nice, but not necessary.

Everything. Yes, even an earthly best friend.

Because I have a Heavenly best friend who will never go away.

What more could I ask for?

Naked came I out of my mother's womb, and naked shall I return thither: 
the Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
Job 1:21

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Want vs. Need

God has blessed me richly in my life. Especially in the area of college.

I'm attending a spectacular Christian university that sets the standard in education. I had an incredible freshman year that, while was not without its trials, was also not without triumphs. My parents have been kind enough to pay for my tuition. I, in turn, pay for my textbooks and any other expenses I encrue.

For freshman year, I really wanted a job to help my parents with tuition. I'm fully aware college is not cheap, and I wanted to help in any way I could. My mom asked me to hold back at least a year so I could get my bearings with college life. So I respected her wishes and did so.

Towards the end of the school year, I started to determine where I wanted to work on campus starting the next semester. I was referred by a friend to the work supervisor for the school's snack and coffee shops. My work preference was the coffee shop, but I ended up in the snack shop where I was happy to be. Hey, I had a job, right??

But at the end of the semester, everything change. I received an e-mail from my new supervisor, stating that the school's food services were being outsourced. What did this mean for student workers? We may or may not have jobs for the next semester. I could've cried. Actually, I did. I had just landed a new job, and here I was set up to possibly already lose it!

So not fair.


After a series of e-mails I've received throughout this first month of summer, I finally received an e-mail this morning explaining the process for re-applying for jobs. I sent out a confirmation of interest e-mail just now. So now, I wait.

Every time I think about this, I'll admit, I get frustrated. Sometimes, okay, often, I question God's purpose in possibly taking away my job. I've struggled even at home to get a job. I put out tons of applications and got no response. I'm back working at my dad's office. This may not seem so bad, in fact, it's a good job in a great work environment. But it's been discouraging because I wanted to get a job because I went out and looked for it and offered myself for hire. Not because the boss is my dad. Even though someone was needed in my position.

It's a logic that can only be completely understood by independent minds like mine.

Constantly I've been questioning God. Asking Him, don't you want me to work?? You created me with the desire to do something so why all these barriers?

But the problem isn't with God.

The problem is always, 100% with me.

Because, as crazy as this sounds, maybe it's because I merely want a job. Do I need a job during the school year? I'm not paying my school bills. I have already become a master at saving 60+% on my textbooks. I don't really need to go to Starbucks or Genghis Grill so much (those things too often make fatter anyway). I don't need a whole lot of food in my dorm room (once again, enough of it will make me fatter. I'm on diet, people!!! The curse of the Freshman 15+). I eat in the dining common. The only time I truly need a job is for two reasons:

To keep me busy during summer and winter breaks.
To pay for textbooks.

Everything I need (three square meals a day, a place to sleep, and of course an education) is on campus and covered by my tuition cost.
Everything else is a matter of want.

So, whether God allows me to keep my job or not, I will not speak in respect of want, for I have learned and must continue to learn that whatever state I am in, I must be content. (paraphrase of Hebrews 13:5)

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


There have been many times in my life when I have raised my voice Heaven, my heart screaming why. This isn't fair, God. Why does it have to be this way?

There are two things about God I have the hardest time grasping.
1) We are not always meant to know the reason why He does things the way He does them.
2) His plan is much great and better than ours.

I question everything. I have to know why. I am an organizer. I plan everything.

I all-to-often cling to the misconception that I must have control of the situation and know why something is happening at all times. I have come to realize (multiple times) that if I try to explain the ultimate why to any situation, I won't get anywhere besides "because it is a part of God's plan."

Many times, God chooses to withhold the why from us. When He does this, he asks us to simply trust Him. But He doesn't leave us out in the cold. He gathers us up in His arms. He wraps us in a warm blanket and holds us as we cry. He gently wipes away our tears and stores them in special jars, labeled with our names. And He remains good.

Often, we don't feel like He is good. But God is not a God based on feelings. If He was, we'd be dealing with an inconsistent and unstable God. But we are not. God is a firm, unshakeable God. He is a God of truth. Action. Constancy. Truth is, whether or not we feel like God is good... He is.

I've been hooked on two songs lately.
"Before the Throne" was in a playlist sent to me by a friend.It constantly reminds me not only of Christ's perfect sacrifice because of His love for imperfect people (psst! That's us) but also of the way God is right there with me always. The One who forgave our sins is also the One who is with us through it all.

One of my roommates introduced me to "Times." Whenever I hear or hum it, I am reminded of God's constant, unchanging love. In good times and bad times, He is there for me.

Tonight, as I began to once again ask why, my heart's cries were interrupted by a flow of Heaven-sent reminders straight from lessons I learned in my childhood.

God is so good (He's so good to me).
Great is thy faithfulness oh God my Father (there is no shadow of turning with Thee).
What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee (I will not fear what flesh can do to me).
My God is so GREAT (so strong, so mighty).
There's nothing my God cannot do (for you).
He is able (to carry me through).
Jesus loves me (the Bible tells me so).
This world is not my home (I'm just passing through).

You. Yes, you. I know what you're thinking. You're in the midst of a trial. Everything seems to be going wrong. Nothing is going how you planned it. You feel alone and forgotten. But God has not forgotten you. He is putting a perfect plan in motion. A plan that is best for you. A plan that will ultimately bring Him glory.

Keep clinging, He's still there.

Whom have I in heaven but thee? 
and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 
My flesh and my heart faileth: 
but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever. 
For, lo, they that are far from thee shall perish: 
thou hast destroyed all them that go a whoring from thee. 
But it is good for me to draw near to God: 
I have put my trust in the Lord God
that I may declare all thy works.
Psalm 73:25-28

Thursday, May 31, 2012


I was at a nursing home the other day, and a lady came up to me in tears. She said to me, I'm terminal. But I couldn't help but be reminded that we're all terminal. We're all dying. We're all going somewhere.

That is an excerpt from a conversation I had with an older man one day at work this week. It was prompted by a simple question on a sheet I asked him to fill out.

Would you appreciate prayer today? (circle yes or no)

I get a lot of different responses from this question. Most people stop in surprise. Those who circle yes usually say something like, "Prayer is always a good thing." The people who circle no either say "Prayer is always good, but I don't need anything specific today." or don't say anything at all. Some don't even respond.

This kind looking older man came to my work station on a slow Tuesday afternoon. He greeted me with a  smile, and I began doing what I needed to do.

I don't know why, but I especially love it when I get older people. They're so sweet. They call me "hun" and smile, just happy to be there. My usually quick hands become much softer around their fragile bodies. If I'm lucky, they might even spontaneously recall a piece of their history. Those times are my favorites. I could sit and listen for hours to an older man or woman recalling their bits and pieces of their life. They have so much wisdom, gathered from years of experience.

I asked this older man to fill out the sheet, and he soon came to the prayer question. He smiled and circled "yes" with confidence.

"There is no such thing as too much prayer," he told me. I smiled a voiced my agreement. "We can't truly do well without God," I said. "His way is perfect."

"That's exactly right. Everyone needs God. We can't get through life properly without Him."

And as I finished what I needed to do, he told me a story from his childhood. He and some friends had gone rifling through a dump, looking for treasures. They came back home with what they thought was a glorious find: fireworks. They were setting them up in the yard, and were just about to light them when his older brother came home. He rushed to stop them. "Those aren't fireworks! They're dynamite caps."

Had this older man's brother come home any later, he might not have been sitting there recalling that story.

He shook his head, lost in the memory.

We could've been blinded. Or worse... dead. God's timing is absolutely perfect. I should be dead right now.

There's a certain magnitude of that I just can't ignore. Not then, not now.

Maybe I've never mentioned this, but I should be dead. I should not have lived longer than 30 seconds. The only explanation I can give for my breathing is God and His grace.

Really, God's grace is the only reason any of us are here. You are alive and reading this because God is full of grace and mercy.

This summer, I am learning about reality.

I know, that's a really odd thing to say.

I can hear your thoughts now...

She's learning... about... reality... what??

As an idiom, reality simply means in fact or truth.

This summer, I am learning to face the facts. To face and be aware of what is true, and shatteringly real.

Take my conversation with this older man for instance. The reality he left me with. We are all terminal.

We're all going to die. Life is terminal. It's the leading cause of death. It is the cause of death.

We're all going somewhere after we die.

Where are you going?

Is your destination Heaven?

Neither is there salvation in any other: 
for there is none other name under heaven given among men, 
whereby we must be saved.
Acts 4:12

Friday, May 11, 2012

{Food Experiments} Pizza

Fridays are the best days for dinner in my house. It's been our tradition for about ten years now to have pizza for dinner on Friday nights. At first, I was going to hunt around for a gluten-free pizza recipe. But then, I found a gluten-free pizza mix. Assuming it would be easier to make, I got it. And it was... interesting to say the least. But, it's delicious, so I must've done something right! ;)

recipe from Glutino

Entire bag of pizza mix
Enclosed yeast packet

Here's kinda what the box looks like...

1 3/4 cups lukewarm water or milk (depending on wether you have any dairy issues or not. I went with milk)
1 tsp cider vinegar (I substituted rice vinegar. Mostly because I didn't have cider vinegar.)
1 tbsp honey or sugar (I went with honey)
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup vegetable oil or melted butter (canola oil, vegetable oil, same difference...)
2 eggs plus 1 egg white or 1 egg and 3 egg whites, lightly beaten (I went with the first option and forgot to beat them. Whoops. It was still tasty.)

Baking Instructions:
Pour mix and yeast into large bowl. 
Combine remaining ingredients. 
Beat 2 minutes using a heavy-duty mixer.

The recipe says you should scrape the dough into a bread pan.
It's super sticky.
And not worth the time.
Cover it with saran wrap and let it rise for 40 minutes.

See, I was dumb and transferred the dough into a bread pan.

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
Spread dough on lightly oiled cookie sheet(s) or pizza pan.
It's probably gonna be really sticky. Be ye warned.

Cover with delicious toppings.
I'm one of those people that loves a classic pepperoni pizza.

Put in oven.

Bake 15 minutes or until edges of crust are brown.

And then... eat!!

Om nom nom nom nom...

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

{Food Experiments} Banana Bread

Something not many people know about me is that I have Celiac Disease (for those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, basically, I'm allergic to gluten). This is partially due to the fact that I only found out about it around October 2011. It was not the most enjoyable thing to find out about right after I started college, but going gluten-free has been the best thing ever for my health. God has sustained me and has been sufficient through every time I felt sick and just wanted to go home. I'm learning a lot about being healthier and how much I need to rely on God for everything. I can praise God for the ways He has grown and stretched me. While learning to how to drastically change my lifestyle as far as food goes was not top on my list for things to do in college, I would not take the past year back for anything. God's perfect plan is always better than our own.

So, all of this leads up to now. I am staring at four months of summer break. I will (God willing) be working, volunteering, doing a summer class, and spending time with friends. I also want to experiment with gluten-free recipes and chronicle these recipes and my experiments.

Today I began my food experimenting. With banana bread.

Aaaah, banana bread. There are many childhood memories infused into that delicious word. Whenever my mom said, "I'm making banana bread!" it was cause for excitement in the house. I can remember my younger brother and sister and I eagerly anticipating a warm slice of the tantalizing bread as the aroma wafted through our small military base house. Banana bread was my favorite treat. And it still is. My mom makes the best banana bread. So when I found bananas on the counter this morning, waiting to be turned into the delicious bread, I got excited. But then remembered... I can't have bread. But then the wheels in my head began to turn. I had for a couple weeks planned to experiment with gluten-free recipes. Why not start with banana bread, my favorite childhood treat? And so I opened my computer and began searching. I found a couple recipes and "pinned" them to my gluten-free board on Pinterest. Finally, I settled on one and, after my mom hit the grocery store, began baking.

Banana Bread
Recipe from Taste of Home


  • 2 cups gluten-free all-purpose baking flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups mashed ripe bananas (4-5 medium)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

  • Baking Instructions:

    Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. I often forget to do this step first when I'm baking... remember to do it first!! It saves you a whole lot of time in the end.

    In a large bowl, combine 
    the flour, baking soda and salt.

    In a small bowl, whisk the eggs, bananas, sugar, applesauce, oil and vanilla.

    Stir into dry ingredients until just moistened.

    Transfer into two 8 in x 4 in loaf pans coated with cooking spray. My mom has these really neat stoneware pans from Pampered Chef. I like using them because they supposedly bake breads better. 

    The recipe calls for you to put chopped walnuts on top of the batter after you put it in the pans. I was out of walnuts, and my dad loves pecans so I substituted pecans. 

    Mmmm.... chopped pecans... :)

    After you get the batter in the pans, put them in the oven that you have already preheated to 350 degrees for about 50 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean). 

    After you take the bread out, 
    let it cool for about 10 minutes. 

    Then you can take it out of the pans 
    and put it on wire racks. 

    And then the best part... 
    slicing it up and enjoying it! 

    My family and I loved it. 
    As you can see...