What treasures are safely stored inside your Bible (s)? When snow came to town, I was ecstatic with time at home to do some of my favorite things: read in front of the fireplace with hot cocoa, rearrange furniture, write stories, spend time in my prayer room, and sift through treasures stuffed inside my books and Bibles. Oh, how wonderful winter days at home can be!
With my favorite Bibles resting beside my recliner, I acted as if I had all the time in the world while reading passages, cleaning out old bulletins, and being blessed by handwritten notes on the pages of my favorite book. Reading messages from many seasons in my lifetime took me down sentimental lane. How thankful I was for every notation that shared what the Holy Spirit had stirred throughout seasons of my life. The Bibles we take time to read and personalize will become treasures for our children and grandchildren when our Bibles become theirs one day.
One of my favorite Bibles that belonged to my mother blesses me every time I use it. It became mine when she passed away in 2001. Mother had marked scripture and written notes that meant the world to us as we adjusted to life here without our momma. She even put a special bookmark in Corinthians where words warned her children not to have contentions among us but to get along peaceably. And we do! I have read mother’s little messages in the margins over and over, wondering when she wrote them and thanking God that she did! Have you found treasured writings in old books or Bibles that have blessed you also? Then, you understand the joy of reading the Word and finding loved ones words within the chapters that tell the stories of His love…and theirs!
Finding a thank you note in my Bible from Denise Scronce – dated March 2012 – was in God’s plan. Denise’s neatly written thank you card was tucked within the pages of Habakkuk, where I was reading about God’s vision for our lives. Reading her words, ‘…thank you for allowing my students to interview a real person to give them a fresh, new perspective. Thank you for your willingness and love of children… Denise (and Robin) and children”, reminded me of spending time with her sixth graders and being blessed by each child’s handwritten note that accompanied their teacher’s thank you note. I thought of Denise’s Christian witness to His little children and teaching them the power of the written word. I thanked God for her card being preserved in my Bible and for the golden friendship our families share. Then, I bowed my head and prayed for Larry and Denise, asking God to give them another miracle and testimony of how great is our God and His healing power.
Deciding Denise’s note was still a keeper, I placed it back in my Bible but a stirring prompted me to look deeper. Not understanding but heeding the Holy Spirit’s nudging, I turned her card over to find another treasure dated, Jan. 6, 2013! My heart raced with joy while reading sermon notes and remembering James and I sitting on the chapel pew holding hands on the day after we were married. Our first Sunday as man and wife, we joyfully worshiped on Epiphany Sunday at Emma Anderson Chapel on Topsail Island.
Rereading my handwritten notes on a frigid January night fanned flames of faith that warmed my heart and love that grows greater through time. It was no coincidence finding the note in my Bible on Jan. 7, 2018…two days after our wedding date in 2013! God was giving me a kiss of eternal to show He has me (and you) engraved on the palm of His Hand and will care for us as He does the sparrows. I read words I scribbled on the back of Denise’s note that Sunday morning-feeling like a blushing bride in a wonderful world…and wept!
“ 1-6-’13 – Emma Anderson with my husband. Thank you Lord for bringing us together. Flowers in church in memory of Tim and Sarah and honor of a new beginning for James and me. Scripture: Matthew 2. Visit of the Magi – King Herod in crucial political center – afraid of God. Ordinary People (Magi) they had faith to begin a journey – they saw the star. Led them to center of Power – Jerusalem – God not there…they went out w.out knowing – on faith – to go out on a hunch – a dream – a Journey led by God that led to God. How do we survive? We follow the SPIRIT!!! Keep on Keeping on the Journey to Jesus. In a time of brokenness and destruction, we must continue our journey in faith. Thank you Jesus for our journey joined together in covenant with you and one another. I wanna leave a legacy…How will they remember us? The Word of God is our legacy. This we can be Lord…Not well traveled, well read or well to do…Just wanna hear…Well Done. We love you Lord. We are so happy!”
Resting my thank you card from Denise with notes from a red letter Sunday for James and me on my lap, I replayed in living color and delicious details our wedding day. Little did James and I know our journey together would be a short one, but oh what a wonderful journey it was! Many unanswered questions could open doors for the enemy to torment and take away joy on our journeys! We must stand strong and journey on in faith, as He heals our hearts and binds our wounds. Then, we can be so happy!
Still in awe of how God worked miracles in our lives and still crazy in love with Him (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and them (Tim and James), I keep on keeping on my journey to Jesus! And I am so happy!
We must keep moving forth on our journeys, even when heartbreaks and hard times can keep us captive in desolate places. I pray you will be inspired to cherish loved ones and serve the Lord with passion and purpose as you journey to Jesus and…BE HAPPY!
Becky Spell Vann is the owner and operator of Tim’s Gift and The Learning Station.