I'm pretty sure I've mentioned before that I've had the same Bible since I was a sophomore in high school. So, like, eighteen years. Or whatever.
Look at it, won't you? Note the dusty rose/mauve Bible cover. That's clearly not of this decade. It's not even of this century. It's solid early 90's Christian Culture Chic. Through the years, the Bible cover and the Bible's covers have grown attached to each other. Literally. It's quite unhealthy. Co-dependent, I think.
Kyle bought me a new Bible for Christmas. And, to be honest, I was offended.
I didn't ask for a new Bible.
I didn't want a new Bible.
He had the audacity to suggest that I needed a new Bible. I think he might have said my old Bible was "embarrassing." I did not "take that well."
What if you're called on to read from the first chapter of Genesis?
Okay. So the first three chapters of Genesis are all torn out and in disarray. I don't know when that happened (possibly around the time Dacey was a toddler and possibly when we were learning that Toddlers Destroy Things).
But, you know, those first three chapters of Genesis . . . they cause so much division. So much rancor. So much disagreement. Maybe it's sort of symbolic that I can't read to you from the first three chapter of Genesis. Maybe?
But what I needed for him to understand is that my old Bible was much more than, you know, God's Holy Word spoken to us. It was a record of days for me.
I still remember exactly where I was when I first stumbled on Ephesians 3. I remember taking my ink pen and underlining and starring it. I was a senior in high school. I needed to know how high and long and wide and deep is the love of Christ. I needed to know that the God who loves me can do things I can't even dream up in my wildest dreams.
Consider, if you will, the book of Daniel. Does your book of Daniel look like this? Possibly. (If you've taken Beth Moore's class on Daniel.) (Like I have.) (Twice.)
One of my favorite pages from my old Bible. On the morning of January 27th, 2005, I was nine days passed my due date with Dacey. We were to wake up early, call the L&D floor at the hospital, and if there was room, I could come in for an induction.
And alas, there was no room. And once again, I had to wait on the LORD:
(but I did go into labor later that day. God's timing. You just never know about these things.)
Page after page is marked up, circled, starred, noted . . . I can hardly read a passage without taking a tumble down Memory Lane.
But it gets better. Oh, yes.
In the back, there are scads of old church bulletins and notes and random pieces of paper, some carefully tucked away, some thoughtlessly shoved in for no apparent reason at all.
Here's this one from when we lived in Fort Worth, years and years ago, years before we started our family, those years I spent as a Coach's Wife, the one who sat alone in church.
I entertained myself with baby names:
And this one? Oh, this is just one long note passed between bestie Jaime and I circa 1993. Maybe 1994. Righteous, upstanding young women that we were, we should have been taking sermon notes.
But we were sixteen-ish, and our thoughts rose far above the church pews and stained glass and swirled with dreams of leaving home and college and career and and and . . .
I put a heavy blur down on that one to protect the innocent, of course. Jaime and I were nothing if not innocent. *snort*
I keep that one because it makes me cringe and laugh and remember who I was when that Bible was crisp and new, when my faith was taking baby steps, when I knew nothing of the bruised knees and forehead bumps that my beliefs would endure in the years to come.
My husband, the one who loves clean lines and no clutter, the one who doesn't write in his Bibles, the one who is responsible with church bulletins, he bought me a new Bible for Christmas:
And there is Genesis, all intact and complete (and still controversial).
And there's Ephesians, pristine and glittering with the same promises:
And there's Daniel, all maps and puzzles and knots to be untangled and words that find fulfillment in Revelation:
It's a little sad, you know. Putting that old Bible away and using a new one. This one is even a new translation, y'all! This NIV-born-and-bred girl is tripping on two left feet through the New Living Translation.
But the timing feels just right. I am thirty-three-and-a-half, after all. The passages I have already underlined in my new Bible didn't catch a star in the old one. My faith, while most definitely not fully matured, has made it through the wobbly years and feels good in its skin.
It did take me a few days to warm up to the new Bible, the one I didn't ask for, but it wasn't long before a gentle Voice spoke:
For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland. (Isaiah 43:19) (In the N. L. T.)