October 1, 2012

How I Got My Life Verse


The winner of Jody Hedlund's new book, Unending Devotion, is ....

Ganise!

Congrats, Ganise. I'll email you for your address so Jody can get you the book. You'll love it!

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For the last several years, I’ve heard people talk about their “life verse.”

I’d scratch my head and go, “Huh? What’s that mean?”

Well, according to shareyourstorynow.org, “A life-verse is a verse or passage in the Bible that is significant to you.  It may define your life, give you inspiration or direction, be something that you hang onto as you face difficult circumstances, or it could even be the passage of scripture that brought you to a belief in Jesus Christ.”

I always wondered how someone knew a verse was supposed to be the one they lived by forever.

Well, now I know.

Because two weeks ago at the ACFW (American Christian Fiction Writers) conference, God gave me mine in the clearest way I could have imagined.

It was Friday. I had two editor pitch sessions coming up. (For you non-writers, this means I sit down for 15 minutes and tell them about my book. They can ask questions or say they aren’t interested. You really have no idea how it will go.)

I’d never pitched before, so needless to say—I was nervous! (I mean, I love food and I barely touched breakfast AND lunch. Such a bummer.)

I had a few friends who offered to wait and pray with me, but I needed a few moments to myself. At this particular conference, they set up a prayer room. So I headed in there.

I just felt…overwhelmed.

Not because I was THAT afraid or anything. Maybe because I was there…finally. Maybe it was a huge mixture of fear, and joy, and worry, all rolled up into this ball of emotions that threatened to spill over.

Anyway, so I sat down and started praying, but felt like I needed the comfort of God’s words. I pulled out my iPhone, and scrolled to my Bible app.

I didn’t know what verse I’d even pull up for comfort.

But I didn’t need to know.

Because the verse of the day popped up, and when I read it—kid you not—I burst into tears.

Here’s the verse (same translation as on the app):

“There has never been the slightest doubt in my mind that the God who started this great work in you would keep at it and bring it to a flourishing finish on the very day Christ Jesus appears.” (Philippians 1:6, The Message)

Seriously, God?

I cried, prayed, ran out to show my friends…and tears came to their eyes too, because they know me. And they know that above all, the hardest thing I struggle with is WORRY.

I worry I won’t succeed at this whole writing thing. That I’ll never amount to anything.

But as God likes to continually remind me (as He did just last month; see this guest blog post I wrote on Jessica Patch’s site)—He’s got this.

I mean, He plopped that verse in my lap. I believe in that little prayer room in the bottom level of the Hyatt Regency in Dallas…God met me.

And He showed me the verse that will always be most significant to me, because of who I am and what I struggle with.

He’s started this work in me—whether it be my writing life, my personal life, my spiritual life—and He’s gonna finish it.

He’s. Got. This.

And I’m so, so glad.

Your Turn: Do you have a life verse? If not, what’s one of your favorites?

*Photo courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

28 comments:

  1. Lindsay,

    Love that verse - love the promise and the hope it holds.

    My life verse(s):

    Hosea 6:1-3 "Come let us return to the Lord
    For He has torn us but He will heal us;
    He has wounded us, but He will bandage us.
    He will revive us after two days;
    He will raise us up on the third day,
    That me may live before Him.
    So let us know, let us press on to know the Lord.
    His going forth is as certain as the dawn;
    And He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain watering the earth."

    This is the story of my salvation. He is the Spring Rain that waters the parched earth of my heart. Every day He renews me.

    Blessings,
    Becky

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    1. Beautiful, Becky! I didn't remember that passage. What truth.

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  2. Ohhhhhhhhhh!!
    I got chills, Lindsay!!!
    Seriously, whole body, up and down CHILLS!!!!
    And they're still 'a rollin!!

    It's like God sat you down, looked right in your eyes and said "Lindsay, STOP worrying and here's My promise!!"

    Mine? Is 40:28-31

    "Do you not know?
    Have you not heard?
    The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
    He will not grow tired or weary,
    and his understanding no one can fathom.
    29 He gives strength to the weary
    and increases the power of the weak.
    30 Even youths grow tired and weary,
    and young men stumble and fall;

    31 >>>>>but those who hope in the Lord
    will renew their strength.
    They will soar on wings like eagles;
    they will run and not grow weary,
    they will walk and not be faint.<<<<<

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    1. Ooo, I love that passage. I've been weary before, and that passage comforted me.

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  3. I have a yearly life verse if that makes sense. This year is Psalm 84:5-7 and I've been feeling it every minute.

    "Blessed is the man whose strength is in You, whose heart is set on pilgrimage. As they pass through the Valley of Weeping, they make it a spring; The rain also covers it with pools. They go from strength to strength; each one appears before god in Zion."

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    1. I like the idea of a yearly verse. Kind of like the one word New Years' resolutions.

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  4. I have two from two very significant times in my life...

    High school, when my parents were divorcing and I was struggling:

    2 Cor 4:8-12 "We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be manifested in our bodies. For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh. So death is at work in us, but life in you."

    And then as an adult going through hard times in my personal life and marriage...

    Psalm 37: 3-4
    "Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
    Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart."

    God is the Good Shepherd. He knows His sheep!!

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    1. Have you ever heard the praise song taken from that first passage? I love it!

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  5. Yay, I love this story! And I love that I got to be there right after God gave you the verse...I'm one of the friends who teared up. :) (I feel like I teared up constantly at ACFW...in a good way! So many good things!) I love the truth in your verse--God never starts something He doesn't intend to finish!!

    I didn't have a "life verse" until just a month or two ago...I wrote a post about this awhile back. Pretty sure God plopped it in my lap! 2 Thess 1:11-12: Because we know that this extraordinary day is just ahead, we pray for you all the time—pray that our God will make you fit for what he’s called you to be, pray that he’ll fill your good ideas and acts of faith with his own energy so that it all amounts to something. If your life honors the name of Jesus, he will honor you.

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    1. I'm so glad you were there too!!! It meant so much that you were there praying for me. :)

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  6. Lindsay, what a great story! I'm so excited by the way God is working in your life and the way you're doing even the scary stuff obediently and with joy. I'm glad we'll be working together at My Book Therapy!

    I have a life verse, as well. "Yet who knows whether you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this?” Esther 14:4

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    1. I'm so glad we'll be working together too. :)

      And that verse from Esther is amazing. Such a sense of purpose in it.

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  7. I love that verse, Lindsay! Praise God for giving it to you at the exact moment you needed it.

    One I go to often, particularly when I'm discouraged with writing is Hebrews 12:1-3: "...let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
    Sorry...I guess that would qualify as life verses! ;)

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    1. I love the encouragement to not lose heart!

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  8. Oh wow, that's so cool! And I love that verse. Thanks for sharing this story, Lindsay. I don't have a life verse so I'm going to think about that :)

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    1. I think God will give you one in His time! And isn't that verse amazing? I love it!

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  9. What a beautiful story! I would say my life verse is Romans 8:38-39: For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

    Every time I read it or hear it I just want to stand up and cheer or fall down on my knees and thank Him. It just stirs something inside of me like nothing else does.

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    1. It's definitely powerful. One awesome thing I've heard about that verse is that not even WE can separate ourselves from Christ...no matter what we may do.

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  10. God has definitely showed me some interesting verses I'd never noticed before during this waiting stage of the writing game!

    Glad He met with you and gave you that needed encouragement for the pitch sessions! And for those of us who weren't there--do tell, how were they? Intimidating? Wonderful? I'd love to have a glimpse into one!

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    1. You know, they weren't as intimidating as I thought they'd be. Honestly, since I knew my story so well and I'd practiced my pitch, I was able to answer the editors' questions and have an honest conversation with them.

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  11. What a wonderful story of how the Lord spoke to you in such a special way, Lindsay, giving you just what you needed just when you needed it. Isn't He great that way? I'd love to have been one of those who saw you outside the prayer room. I'd have wept with you--tears of joy!

    Fear is something I've wrestled with most of my life, so the verse that speaks to me is Isaiah 41:10. "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

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    1. I know you would have cried with me, Keli! :) You're awesome that way.

      And oh fear...isn't it great to know we really, truly have nothing to fear?

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  12. I loved this story and all these life verses! How beautifully diverse the Kingdom of God is!
    Mine is from Song of Solomon 8:5 "Who is this coming up from the wilderness LEANING on her Beloved?"

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    1. That verse has never stood out to me, but WOW, it's awesome!! Thanks so much for visiting and contributing to the conversation today.

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  13. Esther 4:14B--(my translation)--'How do you know that you were not created for just such a time as this?'. The LORD has impressed this on my mind many times, especially after I had seen evidence of Him working in a situation that could NOT have possibly been due to anything I had done.

    It's a reminder of His leading, His timing, and His provision--His constant reassurance that He has a plan for me in His Kingdom. WOW!

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    1. I know, doesn't that idea just amaze you? Thanks for your comment today. :)

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  14. Loved your story, Lindsay. God is so good. I love when we He gives us what we need, just when we need it most.

    Jeremiah 29:11 has always been my life verse.
    "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."

    There were times when I was very young that I didn't know that I had a future...

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    1. I love that one too. So many awesome verses in the Bible to encourage us and remind us that God has a purpose for us.

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