Since I was young I have been taught to hold God’s Word in the highest regard. My daddy, a preacher, was often heard to begin a sermon, “I do not apologize for reading from God’s Word. It does not contain God’s Word, it does not become God’s Word, it IS God’s Word. And when we hear God’s Word we should pay close attention.” It was in this context that I was taught to study God’s Word and the value of spending time in it each day. When I went off to college and truly began to “own” my personal walk with our Lord, I quickly learned that having a plan was integral to consistent time in His Word. Whether it was working through Kay Arthur’s plan for studying Jude or going through Philippians verse by verse it was more likely to happen if I had a plan to work and a journal to write in.
The year before I had providentially stumbled across Rachel Wojnarowski’s blog while searching “Bible Reading Plans” on Pinterest. I clicked through and once I saw pictures of her precious daughter and read a bit of her story I was convinced the Lord had placed the link in my feed. Our stories are very different but Rachel’s first-born had special needs and she had walked roads that made her feel like a kindred spirit. I didn’t reach out to her at that time but printed her monthly reading plan and glued it into my journal. I didn’t think much else about it until I was faced with Little’s Big Heart and the truth that she might soon go to be with Jesus.
I had just finished a Bible study with some girlfriends and our visits to the hospital were becoming more regular. By April the length of our visits were growing and though I kept my Bible with me I didn’t have the energy or presence of mind to know just where to read and find comfort. Many dear friends and kind strangers sent me verses they personally found comforting and they soothed my soul but I knew I needed to be in His Word more consistently if I was going to survive … so I turned to Pinterest! I mean isn’t that what you were expecting me to do? I purposely searched to find the link to Rachel’s blog and then I looked and found her plan for April. It “just happened” to be built around the theme of “Soul Secure – Winning Over Worry.” I printed it out and taped it into my journal.
We spent three weeks of May in Children’s and so I searched for Rachel’s plan for May. When I saw it was curated around the theme “Confident Trust – Believing God’s Plan is Best,” I printed it out and taped it into my journal.
At the end of May Little was put on the transplant list and I went straight to RachelWojo.com and printed out the plan for June: “Perfect Peace.”
By the end of June I was growing weary and teary and printed out the July plan from the wrong year!! I didn’t even realize it was the wrong month until I sat down to write this post!!! Turns out the Lord had directed my clicks and I providentially printed “Purposeful Pause – Waiting On God’s Perfect Timing” and taped it into my journal.
Are you getting this??? Do you see this way our Father showed He knew my needs?
Then Little’s heart gave out at the end of July and God provided a new heart for her in the last hour. We were discharged eleven days later andi f I am honest I must admit that my fears then increased exponentially. Once again it seemed our personal and loving Father had gone ahead and planned to use a stranger/sister-in-Christ and the reading plans she had created to sustain me:
August: Magnificent Power – Recognizing God is Bigger Than Anything
September – Never Alone – Remembering God is With Me
October – No Fear
November – With Thanks
2018 ended with our Little doing so well, the family adjusting much better than I anticipated, and my relationship with my Heavenly Father deeper and stronger than I could have imagined; His words to me were present because I had a plan to follow.
2019 has found me systematically and compulsively cleaning out room by room. (A consequence of living for months in a small space with only a suitcase of belongings!) And while my laundry game is STILL off (just can’t get back into a rhythm), I do have a new plan for being in God’s word this year. (This post is already too long so I will have to write about this year’s plan another time.)
***I remember going to my daddy’s office while on a college break for the specific purpose of asking him about HIS plan for personal study. I knew His view of God’s Word but couldn’t ever remember seeing him doing personal devotions. He shared with me his specific plan and it was both encouraging and freeing to see just how different his plan was from anything I would ever do. It made me want to know what kinds of plans other folks in my life use. Would you be willing to comment and share?***