I only opened one book this month.
If you were looking my usual first Wednesday of the Month book review blog where I review all 5-10 books I read this month, this isn’t that… well not exactly.
I’m happy to review the one book of books that I did read…except you have probably already read it… and also, that would defeat the purpose of this entire blog.
This month, I dug out my bible. I’m embarrassed to say that I had to blow a little bit of dust off of it.
This month, I felt compelled to open up to the New Testament, and read it, and only it, all the way through.
This month was weird… for me, and for the rest of the world. I’m not saying the world is ending. I’m not saying that we’re currently living Revelation. I’m not saying anything really about what I believe. I still don’t quite know what to make of all this, and I am certainly no Bible scholar with even the slightest bit of authority to tell you what to believe.
I am just a girl in my own battle, and I was tired of trying to fight with other people’s swords.
I grew up in church. I grew up in a family of fierce advocates for the kingdom. I went to a Christian college where I spent four semesters diving into the bible- annotating, translating, studying, you name it.
I have been immersed in the Word since I was a baby… and to tell you the truth, sometimes, I think this puts me at a disadvantage, because when I entered a season that required me to dip into my own faith, to establish what I believe, what my role is in this great big world, all I really had in my tool belt was what I had been taught.
Before this month, I knew the Word through filters. I knew the bible through snippets of sermons. I knew what I believed based loosely on biblical devotionals. I would read a chapter here and there when I felt particularly conflicted or when my bible study group was reading it together.
And there is nothing wrong with any of this. Bible studies, Sunday school, college level theological classes- these all gave me such deep and intellectual insight into faith.
But never once did I say, “I want to know what I believe based on my own research,” and that’s why I ran into road blocks.
This journey opened my eyes, and more than that, it equipped me for battle with my own armor, my own weapons. It allowed me to develop my own relationship with my faith- one that is separate from Sunday school, youth groups, the home I was raised in, and even my marriage.
I can’t tell you what to believe. If you are a Christian, I can’t tell you what to read, how fast to read it, or how to interpret it.
There are incredible teachers out there that can come along side of you and guide you. However, you have to remember that they are sharing their faith, their studies, their interpretations of an incredibly complex collection of words.
Yours may be, and probably is, totally different. I encourage you to put away your study guides, your lectures, your favorite Bob Goff book for a moment, and just dive into your bible.
You might find that you get something totally different than others get from it because you are bringing something totally different to it. You are bringing an entire life into these pages, and this life has your own unique stories and experiences that will make some parts of the bible that others skip over incredibly essential to your own story, your own faith.
You may or may not be in battle right now. You may or may not be facing life changes, illness, depression, worry. But you will. One day, you will be in a battle.
Learn from my mistake… when that day comes, enter the battle wearing your own equipment.