Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Be Bold

I mentioned yesterday how the last week of morning quiet time has been so beneficial to me.  I don't typically share what's going on in my faith journey, but I decided to share it today.  I was encouraged to just write. To be bold and honest about the wonderful ways God is touching me and changing my heart.  
I've always had a lot trouble relating to the Bible.  The stories were interesting and stuff, but with all the laws, and nations, and sacrificing, and hard to pronounce names, and being imprisoned...I just couldn't apply it to me.  Sure, as a kid, I could memorize verses, like I told you before, for the candy.  

As an adult I've been too overwhelmed and I didn't know where to start and I felt like I just couldn't find the time to read  or study the Bible like I thought I was supposed to.  Do I open and point?  Do I start at the beginning?  So I did practically nothing.  I read books about the Bible, books about God, those encouraged me to seek Him for who He is.  But unless I was in church or doing a Bible study, I didn't crack The Book open much.  It was more something I only knew how to do when I was assigned, or told where to go what to learn, and less something I knew how to get into for myself, or wanted to get into by myself.  

Over the last year that has changed quite a bit, as I have changed, and my understanding of God has grown.  I've been able to find practical advice and encouragement, in the Bible, among the verses.  The kind that I used to think people were just making up when they proclaimed it.  It sounded so cliche or fake to me.  Because I didn't get or feel what they seemed to be feeling.  I've been on the verge of "getting it" for a while.  But now I'm truly getting there, and it is amazing.  
Last Monday was the first day of the audit and also my first day of quiet time.  It was the day I was dreading, and the month I was dreading for the last several.  I woke up early to a quiet house, and the verse that I studied and journaled about and meditated on was Isaiah 41:10. 
So do not fear, for I am with you; 
    do not be dismayed, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you;
    I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.

I cannot begin to explain how full of fear I am.  So full.  But after spending all week with this verse last week, I feel less afraid.  God's got this.  and this.  and this.  andthisandthisandthis and every.single.fear.that.i.could.muster.and.believe.me.i.could. muster.a.lot.
Wow.  I studied the word dismayed a little bit, and found that verse in another version of the Bible translated as "do not anxiously look about you".  Yeah, so if there is something other than being afraid, anxiously looking about me is what rides next to me in my side car.  But God says to me: do not.  
Last week was one of the most peaceful weeks my soul has had in a long long time.  I was not afraid and I was not anxious.  And there was a lot of stress and a lot of turmoil, and I should have been afraid and anxious.  But I wasn't.  My wise friend told me that when we spend time in the Bible it isn't about how much we read or memorize, but about how much gets in our heart.  Until last week, I'm not sure that I really knew what she was talking about.  This was just one verse that I looked at, and I can say for sure I felt it really get tucked away deep in my heart.  
On Wednesday I read Romans 12.  In my (layman's terms) version of the Bible, verse 12 said: Be glad for all God is planning for you, be patient in trouble, and in everything be prayerful.  
The words that jumped off the page were Be Glad and Be Patient.  Two things that I want to be.  Two things that I am not.  But God says to me: Be.
I decided to look this verse up in the NIV version and here is what I found: 
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer
Wow.  Beautiful.  When I looked up affliction, I found it defined as anything that causes suffering.  

On Wednesday, as I read this, I thought about my friend, ShanRae who was going in that day to have outpatient surgery to have another mole removed, relieved that it was not melanoma this time, but still more surgery with 30+ more stitches, deep in her thigh.  Suffering with patience and joy and hope while praying.  

I decided to go back and read Romans 12 in it's entirety, and here is the list of the life lessons I journaled.  The ones I can use in my moments.  From the Bible.  That apply to my life as it is now.  Sorry if that is already obvious to you, but I am still amazed by this.  That the God who created the Universe, Who knows every star by name, cares enough about little ol' me, that He leads me to a verse written 2000+ years ago in Hebrew translated in a bunch of different versions of English, that can ease my fears and help me to live a better life.  Today.  In the moments, I mean, just. wow.

Be Glad
Serve Him
Love Others
Be Honest
Be Patient
Do not act important
Be Prayerful
Do not act lazy
Have faith

"When I don’t measure up to much in this life 
Oh, I’m a treasure in the arms of Christ" Chris Tomlin, Forgiven


  1. You just inspired me to get back into my quiet time!! xoxo

  2. Jenny - I SO appreciate this!!! My quiet time has been great the last week as well. I have grown in my walk with god - and have felt blessed that he put you in my path to help guide me back to Him. About an hour ago I learned something I wish I hadn't about someone I love - I can certainly use the word affliction here! Then I sat, closed my eyes, and remembered Isaiah 41:10. I remembered seeing your blog title this morning - well - Short story - here I am. Thank you!!!

  3. You are an amazing woman. Thank you for putting yourself out there for the rest of us to read about and learn from. I love you!


  4. Beautifully written my friend! Thank you for lifting me up in your prayers. Just this week I have once again been reminded of how wonderful it is to trust God and what he has in store for each of us. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths" (Proverbs 3:5,6).

    The past 7 months have been quite a journey through cancer - but I am grateful and my faith is stronger because I trust.

    Love you Jenny and I'm proud of you!