The last three months of 2017, I took a hiatus from reading and studying my Bible and from my prayer journal.
I’m a studier by nature. I’m one of those individuals who loves packing on classes and studies and reading multiple books simultaneously. Last year was a big year of doing those things. Until it wasn’t. I found myself overwhelmed with books I’d started and just couldn’t finish. I carried those books in my oversized (and very heavy) bag that I hauled to work every day. Included in the bag also were three different daily devotional books, three extensive Biblical study books, and my Bible.
I tried to play catch up and get everything done. But around the month of August, I decided I just couldn’t do it and manage my normal life as a wife, mom, librarian, and the many other hats I sometimes wear. I put it all aside. During those three months, I found myself feeling guilty. I wanted to be the person to finish what I started. We were attending the Revelation life group that semester and I knew our leader told us God is looking for people who are faithful and follow through with what they say they will do. I still carried the books with me to work every day. Upon occasion, I would try to get my prayer journal out or read some of the from one of the studies. But, it never worked out the way I’d envisioned. I kept hearing God’s gentle whisper tell me just to spend time with Him. And I kept putting that gentle whisper off.
It was New Year’s Day when I knew I had to do something different. I needed an accountability partner, someone to help me stick with a plan and remind me not to get overwhelmed. I opened my First 5 app and noticed a new study was starting on 1st and 2nd Kings. I decided this was the time to get back into the habit of studying. I presented the opportunity to my husband. I told him about my need for an accountability partner and asked him to be that person. We committed to spending time in God’s Word together.
A week into the new year, I made a new prayer journal, unpacked my bag of studies and books, and decided to start anew. Carl and I are twelve chapters into 1st Kings, right along with the First 5 study. I haven’t missed a day of writing in my new prayer journal either. The lesson I learned was what God had been speaking to me all along. I just need to spend time with Him. He doesn’t care if I have one or twelve books going, or if I have three or eight Bible studies going. It doesn’t matter if I stick to a specific study or just read random chapters in my Bible. He just wants me. All of me in exchange for all He offers. What a beautiful God we serve.