thewordsofreallife

As the year is drawing to a close, it’s amazing to look back at the goals I had in mind last January. One of those goals was to abide in Christ and to make memorizing scripture a priority. To that end I joined Beth Moore and all the Siestas in the Siesta Scripture Memory Team to memorize two scriptures each month. In January, I’ll be traveling to Houston for the celebration and can’t wait to meet some friends there as well as make some new friends!

What I didn’t expect was how much each scripture I chose throughout the year would play into some lesson or reminder that God wanted me to hear. I mean, I should have known, right?  But as I look back on all my verses, I’m amazed at how they have so intricately woven into my life and my heart.

Here’s what my year in scripture looked like…and I apologize in advance for how long this post is but it is the testimony of all that God has done for me this year through his word!

January 1 – “Your statutes are my heritage forever; they are the joy of my heart. My heart is set on keeping your decrees to the very end.” Psalm 119:111-112 (NIV) This seemed like a great place to begin this year as I memorized the verses and prayed to continue seeking God’s word. I’ve always loved scripture but am convinced even more now that God’s words must be the absolute joy of my heart.

January 15 – “‘Because he loves me,’ says the Lord, ‘I will rescue him. I will protect him for he acknowledges my name.'” Psalm 91:14 (NIV) As my severance package came to a close at the end of this month, I was glad to hold on to this verse and anticipate how God was going to rescue and protect me in the job search. It took quite a few more months and I was so glad to have this reminder of God’s faithfulness.

February 1 – “Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.'” Isaiah 30:21 (NIV) This verse brought great comfort as I wondered and wandered throughout my job search. It’s always good to know that God has our backs!

February 15 – “The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace.” Romans 8:6 (NIV) The war that goes on in our heads sometimes is absolutely exhausting! And for someone who has struggled with sin’s strongholds in the past, it’s so easy to fall back into that mindset when life is stressful. This verse helped me remember every day to let God control my heart and mind and decisions.

March 1 – “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3 (NKJV) When life is so uncertain, as it is when you are out of work, it’s so reassuring to hear God’s voice…and to know that He has all the answers.

March 15 – “I pray also that the eyes of your heart may enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints.” Ephesians 1:18 (NIV) This verse and prayer helped me to focus on an eternal inheritance rather than the current situation and my immediate future.

April 1– “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 (NIV) It is hard to bear up under life’s hardships sometimes, but clinging to the transformative work that God is doing in all of us helps us see a purpose behind all that God allows to touch our lives.

April 15 – “Before I formed you in the womb, I knew you, before you were born, I set you apart…” Jeremiah 1:5 (NIV) On the days that I wondered if I would ever be useful in the kingdom again, I would remember this verse and God’s promise that I was indeed set apart to do His will.

May 1 – “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  Psalm 73:25 (NIV) Putting your entire life into storage is a difficult thing for most women. We like our homes and are comforted by our things. In May as I boxed up my life, and headed out of town to live with family, it was comforting to be reminded that nothing on earth matters as much as being in relationship with God.

May 15 – “The purposes of a  person’s heart are deep waters, but one who has insight draws them out.” Proverbs 20:5 (NIV) God was so gracious throughout this year to continually confirm His calling on  my life and this verse was one of those ways I heard Him speak. Ministering to others was going to continue to be my calling.

June 1 – “Are you so foolish? After beginning in the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort?” Galatians 3:3 (NIV) This verse helped me remember that while I have to put forth some effort in whatever circumstances I am in, God is still in control of it all. My human efforts aren’t what is going to make all this work out!

June 15 – “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give  us the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.” 2 Corinthians 4:6 (NIV) Halfway through the year and now out in CO living with my daughter’s family and I really needed this reminder to keep looking into the face of Christ for the glory of God to be revealed.

July 1 – “In your unfailing love you will lead the people you have redeemed. In your strength you will guide them to your holy dwelling.” Exodus 15:13 (NIV) Since redemption is the theme of my life, this verse just jumped out at me when I first read it. God is not going to fail me. He has redeemed me and has promised to see that redemption through to the eternal end.

July 15 – “Go now, write it on a tablet for them, inscribe it on a scroll, that for the days to come it may be an everlasting witness.” Isaiah 30:8 (NIV) A verse just born for a writer’s heart. On the days when the blank pages just stare at you and  you wonder if anyone will ever read anything you write, God graciously gives us a reason to keep on writing!

August 1 – “But as for me, it is good to be near God. I have made the Sovereign Lord my refuge; I will tell of all your deeds.” Psalm 73:28 (NIV) This verse helped me remember that God is indeed my refuge, not to mention all of the good deeds He has performed in my life. It was in this verse that the idea for Testimony Tuesday began to take shape.

August 15 – “You did  not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to bear fruit – fruit that will last. Then the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.” John 15:16 (NIV) As Christians, we have a job to do – to bear fruit for the Father. It’s easy to jump to the giving-whatever-we-ask part and skip right over the bearing fruit part. It’s not a magic formula. But for me it helped me remember my responsibility to bear fruit for Jesus regardless of my personal circumstances.

September 1 – “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Psalm 9:2 (NIV) Some days all you can do is make yourseslf sing the praises of His name.

September 15 – “Listen carefully to what God the Lord is saying, for he speaks peace to his faithful people.” Psalm 85:8 (NLT) Almost 3/4 of the year is gone…still living with my kids…still no permanent job in sight. It’s often darkest right before the dawn. And the only thing that gets us through is God’s peace for his faithful people.

October 1 – “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.” I Timothy 6:17-18 (MSG) Finally in the month of October, God reveals the next step as He calls me to go to a rural and economically depressed area of NC to minister to young adults there. It’s going to require putting my hope in God yet again…and a willingness to get out of myself enough to share daily life with a new set of friends.

October  15 – “Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give him the most pleasure.” Philippians 2:3 (MSG) In any transition, there are always hiccups. It can be physically tiring and emotionally draining. I loved this verse because it reminded me that I’m not doing any of this in my own strength.

November 1 – “Lord, you have assigned me my portion and my cup, you have made my lot secure. The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; surely I have a delightful inheritance.” Psalm 16:5-6 (NIV) This verse sustained me during the several days (okay, maybe it was a couple of weeks!), that I just wanted to give up and drive back to CO! God’s provision for us is always secure.

November 15 – “Enter with the password: ‘Thank you!’ Make yourselves at home talking praise. Thank him. Worship him.  For God is sheer beauty, all-generous in love, loyal always and ever.” Psalm 100:4-5 (MSG) Thanksgiving is fast approaching and all I am reminded of is what God has done to sustain me this year and to bring me to this place. Thank you hardly seems like enough!

December 1 – “When anxiety was great within me, your consolation brought joy to my soul.” Psalm 94:19 (NIV) And so, as we enter the last month of this year, I’m reminded of all of God’s consolations throughout the year and how he has carried  my soul on to joy.

December 15 – “The Word became flesh and dwelt among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.” John 1:14 (NIV) During this Advent season, as I look back and see the supernatural works of God throughout all these verses, I can’t help but look ahead to the celebration of Jesus’ birth and all the promises next year will hold.

I’m sharing today with Jennifer Dukes Lee for #TellHisStory:

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One word: Miracle
Impress them on your children