How do I talk about what day 365 feels like? How do I tell you what 365 days of reading the Bible has done to my heart, my mind, my soul... my whole life?
I don't know.
On September 20, 2017 when I started this project I felt intimidated by it all. Committing to reading the Bible every day? And even more than that... I committed to writing in this blog every day (which turned into 250 posts, not exactly 365, but whatever). Even today I'd tell you I think I was a little crazy to make that commitment. It was a lot. But on September 20, 2017 I knew that the Word of God was powerful and awesome and that it was going to change me. I knew on September 19, 2018 I would feel different, I would see the world different. I knew I would be transformed. Even though I could not imagine what that would specifically look like.
And today I am telling you, I was right.
The Word of God has accomplished so much in my heart, mind, and soul and it is affecting those around me too. So much of the Bible wasn't new to me...I'd already read most of it! But the daily-ness created space for the Word to affect me so much more profoundly.
"'This is what the kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, whether he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how. All by itself the soil produces grain--first the stalk, then the head, then the full kernel in the head. As soon as the grain is ripe, he puts the sickle to it, because the harvest has come.'"
I am more full of faith. I am more determined to be obedient to God. I am more focused on God. I am more convinced that He is the one and only desire worth pursuing. I am altogether more ready to keep giving everything I have to Him.
I am overwhelmed with gratitude for the Word of God. He doesn't have to reveal Himself to us, but He does! He gives us His Word! I am moved by it all because of how much being in the Word this year has meant to me but also because I know that I am not done with the Bible. I couldn't be...reading the Bible has only made me more hungry for it. And the Bible isn't going anywhere. It stands true forever.
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God will stand forever"
And I think that's why this post is hard to write. Because I feel like there has to be a sense of finality. I want to celebrate the fact that I finished this project! I read the Bible in a year and like my brother-in-law said to me, it's not common for people to actually complete a Bible-in-a-year reading plan! And I am proud of myself as weird as that might sound. I know that this is an accomplishment.
But that's actually such a small point next to THE point and THE point is what I have learned from this process...what the Word of God has taught me. And there has to be something that comes next. So there is a sense of finality...but that's actually kind of artificial...because really today is just like any other day. It's Wednesday, I went to work, I prayed, I read my Bible, and tomorrow is just another day too. I need the Word of God tomorrow too and I'm going to need the Word of God for the year 2019 and every year after that. I don't think I will do another Bible-in-a-year plan for awhile (because it was intense haha) but I need to stay in the Word every day, and I feel confident I will. I feel confident that this year has created an appetite for truth in me that I will not be able to ignore. So tomorrow I will read my Bible.
The other thing that reading the Bible has inspired me to do is to pray. I've talked about that a little bit. But I've decided that's really what I want to dedicate this next year to. I want to pray everyday. I want to pray true things. I want to pray for others. I want to see God make prayer a fixture in my daily walk just as He has made reading the Bible.
And I also don't want to stop blogging. If for no other reason than I really like the name of this blog, haha! But I enjoy writing and even if I only have a few readers every once in a while it has been a blessing to have this outlet. Reading the Bible has obviously been powerful in my life but this blog has allowed me to see the transformation in a much more tangible way. I can see the growth. I can't believe some of the things I have written! I have been inspired to write truth in ways I didn't know I was capable of...Holy Spirit, You are so gracious to me!
June 1, 2018
"I'm the daughter of the God who loved and loved and loved a murderer like David. I'm the daughter of the God who gave His own Son's life for mine. He wants me, truly. And I know I'm not able to show it as well, but I want Him too."
October 21, 2017
"I know the joy that comes when I obey God. I have known the joy that comes when I hear the Word of God in my own voice."
November 24, 2017
"I am not alone. I am not god, thank God. Thank God. I am me and if I am wronged, if I am hurt, if I am mistreated...I will see justice. I have already been fought for."
April 28, 2018
"What could be scarier? What could be worse? Jesus dying on the cross! And yet it is doused in goodness, joy, love, grace...not only did it mean you and I and everyone else is forgiven... but Jesus rose from the grave: Jesus defeated death. So yes, God, "have Your way" because it is very good."
December 1, 2017
"When Jesus died on the cross and rose again, darkness was defeated. Though it was still allowed to occupy space it's living situation became 100% temporary. The eviction notice was posted... 'When I come back, you. are. gone. Sincerely, Jesus Christ.' Darkness is passing, the true light is already shining."
March 31, 2018
"The day you believe in Jesus, is a special, victorious day. Heaven rejoices! It's the beginning of a new chapter, the most vibrant and exciting chapter possible: life following Christ. It's the day you immediately go from the baptized to the baptizer. And I can tell you after being a baptizer today, it rocks. It seriously rocks."
January 5, 2018
"Lord Jesus, thank You for being LIGHT. Thank You for giving me a light...help me to let it shine. Help me to know that whatever light I have and whatever awe, curiosity, encouragement I have in You, is very personal but is not private. Thank You for the sanctity of fellowship and the power of Your Word out loud."
I could cry for all that God has taught me and moved me to say and believe this year! God's Word is capable of so much!
Looking back on my year I can see how the Word prepared me for so many experiences and situations I walked through. My spirit was stronger and my faith was readier. I have a long way to go...I'm far from perfect. I experienced depression and doubt. I got overwhelmed and moody...but I still felt steadier and more sure than ever before. The truth of the Word of God steeped my daily life and experiences.
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
If I could summarize what the Bible has taught me this year, I would put it in two main points. Though I don't think I am fully living my life like I believe these things: I believe these two things.
I believe that there is only one thing for me and that is to trust God.
And I believe that with God nothing is impossible.
These two points have become abundantly clear to me as I have read the Bible and they are becoming my most deeply held beliefs. I mess up, I forget to trust God, I get doubts, but I know these things are true in the same way I knew on September 20, 2017 that reading the Bible every day would change my life.
I don't know what blogging will look like starting tomorrow, I don't know where I am going to open my Bible to to keep reading, I don't know what God wants to do with my life...but I know He can accomplish what I believe is impossible and I know that there is only one thing for me: to trust Him.
Thank you readers for joining me on this journey!
And thank You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit! You have been so good to me and I know You always will.