Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Journeying Through the Bible

I had a lot of thoughts at the beginning of the year, as one does. Thoughts about goals and habits to make and break. I wrote this long list, a manifesto, of all that I could and would do in 2014. But it was about a week into the year when I thought, "Wait, what do these things matter if I still feel as confused and distant from God as I did this time last year? What's the point of writing my first novel or reading this certain list of books when I haven't actually even read the entire Bible? What is going on here?"

I have a lot of things I still want to do and make with my hands and say, "Look what I learned how to do this year!" But, after an exhausting day early in the year of trying to figure out how to do all the things and make all my wildest dreams come true, I made a decision. I said to myself, "You know, if I accomplish nothing else besides reading through the Bible this year, that'll be enough."

There are words in my head begging to be written, songs I want to learn to play, people to invite to dinner and projects to complete for the apartment. Check, check, check off my list. But I'm trying to let God be the center of it all by immersing myself in his story, letting it challenge and move me and stretch my imagination. Stretch my image of who God is. 

I have no idea where, exactly, I should be in the Bible if I want to finish it by December 31. No clue. I'm not following a plan or doing anything special, I'm just reading it straight through. Cover to cover.  But right now I'm in 1 Kings, smack dab in the middle of all those favorite stories of the Old Testament. The Bible, though I've read most of it in bits and pieces since I could read, is surprising me everyday. Some of the stories made me cry - when Esau runs to his brother Jacob and embraces him? It tore me up as if I'd never heard the story before. Some of it has made me laugh out loud, the deep throaty kind when you're totally caught by surprise. Seriously, parts of Judges are downright comical. 

But what's really taken me by surprise is how much I get lost in these stories, the ones I so often skimmed past. How everything changes when I can see myself in the story, which helps me to see God at work in my own story. It's exhilarating. 

There are so many voices in Christian culture, so many good and true voices, thoughts, ideas, methods. But as I'm learning to truly study the Bible, I can't help but think This is all we need. Why haven't I really read the Bible for myself before? Why have I relied on pastors and cute devotional books instead of the Holy Spirit, who wants to breathe life into his Word and make it come alive in me. 

I'm embarrassed that, at almost twenty-five, this is all so exciting and new for me. But, if you're feeling stuck and uninspired, be encouraged that it can become exciting and new for you, too. Just ask him.


  1. I am so glad I decided to check out your blog while browsing thru the BH website, you have been such a breath of fresh air to read and follow, and an inspiration. Thank you for being so honest and transparent! I, too, am reading thru the Bible this year, I am in the middle of 1 Chronicles (although I am following a plan). It is really exciting to read thru these old familiar stories with fresh eyes and see God right smack dab in the middle of every single one of them!!

  2. Heather, these are such encouraging words that I needed to hear! I feel the same way when I look at my stack of books or search for inspiration elsewhere, when the very book in my lap contains all of the adventure, wisdom, and guidance of the world. I'm feeling grateful for those pages filled with God-breathed words, and it's all new and exciting for me too :)

  3. Love your blog, Heather! And especially this part of your post: "Wait, what do these things matter if I still feel as confused and distant from God as I did this time last year? What's the point of writing my first novel or reading this certain list of books when I haven't actually even read the entire Bible? What is going on here?"

    So often I find myself making lists of Christian books I want to read, and yet neglecting to actually read the words of God.



  4. After shamelessly browsing through most of your IG photos, feeling that beautiful surge of i-n-s-p-i-r-a-t-i-o-n that the lives of complete (yet grace-filled) random strangers sometimes provide, can I just say: I'm a fan. Please keep doing what you do! xo Kat

  5. I decided to read through the bible cover to cover almost 2 years ago. I am still working on it because I read a little bit and journal about what I thought about it daily. It means something to say that I started at the beginning and daily I am learning from God. It is a wonderful thing and keep it up :)

  6. I can totally relate to this! For me, I find that it is so much easier to be busy and doing something, than it is to just sit down and hear God speak through His Word. Thank you for the truth in this post, and for the reminder to simply let the Holy Spirit speak and convict through God's Word.

  7. Such a great commitment you have made. And I totally agree that this is all we need. Thank you for the reminder.


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