Archibald Family

Archibald Family

Thursday, August 24, 2017

Through Loss … I see I Have Gained!

I had a huge scare that started this past Tuesday.  Some of you it is no big deal … but to me it was HUGE.

I lost my Bible.

I am a woman of routine and I looked through all the spots that it could have been and then all the spots that it would more likely not be.  We were in a rental car this week, and I had my husband search the car.  It wasn't there.  Then as any woman would do, I went to look through it … even twice, and even a third.  It wasn't there.  It was officially lost.

I had it Sunday.  We had an event at church where 26 people were baptized!  We had a celebration, and had lunch at the church.  Could I have left it there?  Possibly.  But I thought I remembered carrying it throughout.  

We just started attending this church a little over a month ago.  We have been in a season of Lack - connection, identity and even it began to pull on our hope and caused hurt and pain (that we are still working through).  I began to question if God even cared where we worshipped.  It has always been laid on our heart to be part of our own community.  I can't explain it, but the pull on our heart is GREAT.  We know with all our being that this was put on our heart by God himself.  This church is walkable, and I can't explain how surprised we are to find exactly what we have been looking for - and in our backyard!  

I remembered a few months ago, that my Bible was collecting a bit of dust (at least in my eyes).  Yes, it would be picked up for church and I would fumble through the pages in the sermon.  I would even pick it up on occasion to find a verse that was in my mind.  But the actually reading of the Book, I just was too tired to do so, and was frankly a bit bored with it.  When I realized this attitude that was within me, I prayed that my hearts desire would change and I would long for my Bible again.

Ever since we moved I have longed for an in depth Bible study.  I would find women's get togethers but not a study like I had longed for.  I was even willing to lead one if that is what it took … but then the issue would be "who would come".  Hopelessness started to wear it's toll on my heart in this area, and I started to just accept how we have to make the church more inviting and "friendly" to woman and connect differently.  I accepted it, but missed my studies where God became real and even more powerful that I have known Him to be.   I never prayed about it.  I guess I figured God knew what He was doing and it was time for an "update" for my longings in the area of a women's study.

Courtney came to me and asked if I would do a Bible study with her.  She wanted to learn more about the pages she was reading, and understand its meaning.  My heart soared.  I borrowed a Beth Moore study from the church we were going to, and we have been in the word ever since.  I have been doing bits and pieces of my study and work, and when I'm looking up my scriptures I use my app on my phone.  But Tuesday night I wanted to open the actual pages, hear the crinkle of them when I turn them, smell the pages, read the gazillion notes and perhaps even add to them.  But it was no where to be found.

Wednesday morning on my way to work, I stopped by the church that was still unfamiliar to me.  I greeted those who greeted me with a smile, and asked if my Bible was found.  After giving a description and us looking at all the possibilities it was just not to be found.  My heart just sank.  But I was invited to cooperate prayer that evening … I mean it was a genuine invite.  And it was refreshing to receive.

I arrived to work, and this particular day I was my happy self, but just deeply saddened inside.  I never knew how attached I had become to this Book.  I remembered the dates of dedications and baptisms that were in there.  I thought back and realized that this was my very first study Bible that my husband helped me pick out.  It has to be 25 years old.  That means there are 25 years of notes in the margins and highlighted verses.  I might not know what my Bible references are, but I knew where to find them on the page in my Bible.  There were ripped pages, and tear stained pages.  It is this Bible that I would read scriptures that would leap of the page at me, and help me realize that the God I have is a loving, gracious companion and has everything under control.  This Book brought me hope in the times when I felt hopeless, encouragement when I was down, and offered prayers when I didn't know what to say.  I found many answers in this Book.  I also took it for granted.

I realized yesterday my Bible had become more to me than I ever imagined.  My Bible had become a long time friend.  My Bible was my lifeline.  And now it was lost.

I had even prayed that I was willing to let it go, if it would make another's life richer.  But my heart still broke within.

With all the demands of work and errands, I still felt prompted to go to prayer.  I didn't understand why I was prompted, and even questioned if I heard the prompting right.  Afterwords, I saw someone I knew and I told her that I was a bit down as I had lost my Bible.  She helped me look one more time. The usual places.  And I saw some people that had smiles on and hearts of warmth and would greet me in my search.  Genuine people.  Happy people.  I even ran into the pastors, and they would keep their eyes out, and gave me encouragement - except when they were empathetic, which only made me realize more of what I was missing.  Upon my leaving, another pastor came in our path, and the lady mentioned about the loss of my Bible.  He had saw it.  He picked up something that wasn't it, and my heart sank even lower - and he looked in an unusual spot … and then handed me my Bible!  I hugged him, as I hugged my Bible.  

This morning I look at my Bible and know the comfort and strength I have because it is near to me, and I have it available to go to.  Yes, I could have used the other Bibles in the house, but they weren't enough for me.  This Bible and me go way back and we have taken many journeys through valleys and mountain tops together.  

It was through this journey that I realized God hears my deepest prayers, the prayers that I would call even the silliest prayers.   God made me long for my Bible and made me see the value within the pages and made me see even the value I have with Him through these pages.  

And within the last 48 hours I have seen that God has answered the deep cries of my heart.  There are crevices that I would cover, thinking they weren't necessary to bring to God.  But God has shown me through Bible study, through a new church, and the journey to recover my Bible He cares about the little stuff and the spiritual walk we are on.  I'm so thankful He does!

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