That’s a phrase we know, and maybe we think it’s a bit cliche.
But I do like that it holds in tension two truths: God is real and active in our lives, and struggles are a part of life, even a life of faith.
When we’re struggling with something - whether it’s anxiety, wrestling with questions, overcoming insecurities, breaking an addiction, forming healthy habits, or discerning the next step - we can feel alone, we can feel like we’re not “Christian” enough, we can feel discouraged.
But struggling in something doesn’t mean I’m not walking with Jesus. And walking with Jesus doesn’t mean I will never face hard stuff or have questions or be tempted or wrestle in my faith.
I love reading my Bible. But that hasn’t always been the case.
When I was around 12, I confessed to my dad that I actually didn’t really like reading my Bible. This is not something a pastor’s kid, a regular church attender, a “good girl” should say.
But it was true.
I wanted to like reading my Bible, but I found it hard to understand, and there were often other things I would’ve rather been doing.
Let’s be honest, reading the Bible can be hard, and we don’t always like to, or want to. But we need to, because God’s Word is powerful. Through reading and studying the Bible, we come to know God more and are transformed into who He created us to be.
Reading is my favorite pastime. I love books and words and stories. I enjoy getting to know characters different from myself, and ones that remind me of myself. I enjoy traveling to a different time period, traveling to a different place, or traveling to both at the same time. Most of all, I enjoy how stories help me grow - challenging my perspectives, sparking conversations and connection with others, speaking truth and hope to my heart.
Since reading is something I’m passionate about and a way God has helped me become more the woman He created me to be, I wanted to share just a bit of my reading journey with you.
This past year was hard. It was good, but also hard. I struggled with anxiety, discontent, and feeling stuck/purposeless a lot more than I would like to admit.
But I’ve seen my faith grow, even when I didn’t think it was growing. I’ve seen my joy become more steadfast, even when I didn’t think it was being strengthened. I’ve seen God’s goodness, even when it didn’t seem like He was working.
One area of my life that helped me grow, brought me joy, and shined God’s goodness, was the time I spent reading.
Reading is my favorite pastime. More than just enjoying stories and getting to know characters and places and time-periods, reading brings me rest and renewal, connection and community.