Goal Accomplished

Last night marked the end of a five year journey for me.  In February of 2010, I began studying the Bible inductively.  I set a goal for myself to compete the entire Bible studying that way.  Last night, I finished my last book of the Bible.  I was waiting for the sky to part open with a chorus of angels singing or confetti to fall down upon me I was so excited.  This is the reason I started this blog, actually.  Here is my very first post about this goal.  I set an unrealistic goal time-wise for myself looking back, but I finished finally!!  I had emailed Kay Arthur a while back about something and one of her assistants emailed me back and told me that Kay said to slow down.  hahaha.  Well, OK then!!

Studying God's Word in this way was life changing.  It was challenging, convicting, difficult, but transforming!  There were times that I spent up to two hours a day studying and then there were times along the way I went months without doing any.  After I had Lane was a difficult time for me to study.  Those were times that I felt spiritually dried up like a Rice Krispy.  Of course in any believer's life there are ups and downs, but when I got back into the Word any time after an absence of a few days or longer, there was a physical refreshment that I could not explain.  Nothing else can fill me the way His Word does.

I had done lots of other Bible studies before...all were great!  I learned in those as well, so I'm not knocking them.  We had a small group that met in my house that was a precious, treasured time.  There were women that were put there in my path at the very time I needed them.  One was Tabitha Merritt.  I would listen to her wise words and speak of what she was learning from a book of the Bible she was studying at the time....in addition to the study we were currently working on.  I was in awe.  I wanted that!!!  I craved to be able to read His Word and get something out of it myself without having to rely on someone else.  One day, I asked her about how she studied and I walked down to her house and she showed me exactly what she did.  She let me borrow one of her books. The first book I studied in this way was Philippians.  For the first time, I felt like I could study for myself and understand it.  It was a spiritual break through for me.  I felt empowered and excited!

For so many years, I have made the New Year's resolution to read my Bible through.  I tried and failed many years.  I would get bogged down because I didn't understand or I would get a few days behind so I just quit.  This may sound silly, but I prayed that Jesus wouldn't return until I finished the whole Bible.   I didn't want to get to heaven and not have read some portion of the Bible.  So now He can return (not that His eternal plan is revolved around me or anything).  haha.

I studied in a random order.  I usually went back and forth from the Old Testament and the New Testament.  Many times at the end of one study it would lead me into another.  

I was raised in church my whole life.  I always attended Sunday School where I heard many stories, but they were segmented for me.  I hadn't pieced them together.  Studying this way by book helped me to put together in order many stories.  For example, I knew the story of Joseph and his brothers.  I knew of Moses and Pharaoh in Egypt and the plagues.  What I didn't realize was the Israelites in Egypt for them to be brought out was tied to Joseph and his brothers selling him into slavery.  Also, there were many stories that I thought I knew really well that I didn't at all once I read them.  I either wasn't told the whole story in some or I didn't pay attention.  When I was studying Judges, I was shocked to find out that Samson died the way he did.  I knew he regained his strength back but I didn't know it was for his death!!  So for me, this was amazing!!  I also didn't understand much of Israel's history.  Studying the Kings and Chronicles was like putting together a huge puzzle piece that was missing for me.

I've gone through a few sets of color pencils in this journey, and there are a few nubs in this set. 

Landon has begun studying this way as well.  There is nothing more attractive that watching your husband sit down daily and read the Word.  It has changed Him too!  I love that we can discuss together!  
I thought these were fitting words at the end of the last book I studied.  Moses' last words in Deuteronomy were about the Word...indeed it is your life!  I can't wait to start all over again.  It's like an onion that you keep peeling to find new discoveries.  You think you know a story or verse so well and then you learn something new, or you are in a different place in your life and need to hear it right then.  I'm looking forward to peel new layers again!

If you would like to know more about these, I'd love to talk to you!  Message me and I'll be glad to help:)