The end of one year and the beginning of another is always a time for reflection: looking back, planning ahead, making resolutions, choosing goals or words for the year. As I read people’s thoughts on this last week, my blogging friend Linda shared a question which helps her reflect: What saved my life last year?
It’s an interesting question to think about, and undoubtedly one of the things that has saved my life over the last couple of years has been She Reads Truth. If you haven’t encountered She Reads Truth before, it is a plan for daily Bible reading available through the website or as an app, with helpful written reflections on the passage each day and a wonderful community of women who comment, discuss and pray for one another. (He Reads Truth is also available for men.)
I discovered She Reads Truth in late 2014 at a time when I desperately needed it. A long and difficult couple of months supporting a friend with mental health issues had left me exhausted physically, emotionally and spiritually. I was struggling to read the Bible or to pray- I tried but nothing was sinking in- and I was finding it difficult to trust God. I felt like I was clinging on to faith by my fingernails but gradually losing my grip and running out of strength to hold on.
Then I saw an image from She Reads Truth shared by an acquaintance on social media. I had no idea what it was, but something drew me to click on it. I read one of the devotions and for the first time in a while it felt like something was getting through to me and there was a spark of hope that maybe I could hold on.
I continued following the reading plan: at first I was only managing it two or three times a week but I persevered and six months later I was doing it every day and even looking forward to it because I felt that I was connecting with God again. She Reads Truth has been a part of my life ever since, and I am so grateful to God for leading me there.
Towards the end of last year, a book was released: She Reads Truth: Holding Tight To Permanent In A World That’s Passing Away. It is written by Raechel Myers and Amanda Bible Williams, the founders of She Reads Truth, and it shares something of their stories and how God’s Truth has impacted them at different stages of their lives and in different situations.
As a regular reader of She Reads Truth it was interesting to learn more about the women behind it, but this book is so much more than just a memoir. While Raechel and Amanda share their stories, they do so in a way that points beyond them, to God’s Word and to his Big Story.
“There is truth (our present circumstances), and there is truer Truth (the history of God’s unwavering, faithful, covenant relationship with His people).”
(Chapter 1: What’s In Your Cup? Raechel Myers)
They affirm the truth that while everything else we may put our hope in is temporary and uncertain: our promises and good intentions, our health, our plans, our own power, even our faith, God’s Word is secure and eternal.
“When our will is weak, God’s Word is true.
When our faith is fragile, God’s Word is true.
When our hearts are heavy, God’s Word is true.
When we wonder if we even believe it, God’s Word is true.”
(Chapter 8: Truth in the Dark- Amanda Bible Williams)
As I read the book, it reminded me of why She Reads Truth was exactly what I needed at the time I discovered it.
At a time when I felt anxious about the difficulties and uncertainties I faced, weary from trying to hold everything together, weak, fragile and struggling to hold on, it reminded me of God’s grace- that we don’t come to Him on the basis of what we can do for Him but because of what He has already done for us.
In our uncertainties, He is our anchor and our solid ground. In our fears, He is with us and He is stronger. He is the one who holds everything together, not us. He carries us in our weakness and even when we struggle to hold on to Him, He never lets go of us.
All of our stories are different, but God’s Big Story is the common thread running through them, and in the midst of our changing circumstances and the ups and downs of life, there we can find a hope that is steadfast and secure.
“By holding tight to the Permanent Thing, you are trusting Him to hold on to all of the rest…You aren’t holding them together- you are holding tight to Him alone, asking Him to carry the rest. You are finally holding tight to Permanent in a world that’s passing away.”
(Chapter 9: Decaying Treasures- Raechel Myers)