I said “No” many times, over and over… never out loud, just silently in my head.
I said no, year after year of uncompleted books at Awanas. I couldn’t concentrate during memory time on Wednesday nights because the other girls were so noisy. I didn’t get motivated to learn many verses during the week. No, I can’t memorize; no, I will never do anything with memorization again.
I said no, after my mom coached a team. No, those people are wayyy too nerdy. No, the team t-shirts they wear are too weird! No, I would not be good at that. No, I would not enjoy that. No, I will never do Bible Quizzing.
And then, the one time I should have said “No” out loud, my people-pleasing, easily swayed self jumped in:
“Frances! You know what? You should be on the Bible quiz team we are starting! We’re doing John!!” -my youth pastor’s wife
“Uh, yes, sure.”
But it was too late. The “yes” was spoken, it was out there, I was committed. And just like that, my junior year of highschool I found myself on a team of kindof weird people, wearing goofy shirts, and struggling in a defeated way to memorize not just a verse or two but an entire chapter in a month, John 5.
I still remember the first time I jumped,
the first time I had a chance to answer a question from the chapter I had
I don’t remember whether I got it right or wrong. But I do remember sitting back down afterwards, all adrenaline and courage and sweaty hands, heart pounding, thinking, “Whoa. I did not expect it to be like this.”
I had no intention of saying Yes.
I did not want to commit to something big and new.
I did not anticipate being good at it.
Or remotely excited about it.
I did not realize that I would always look back at that month and think,
“That’s when life got good.”
This month I am going to be doing something a little different around here… writing every day on the same topic. This is where I got the idea: 31 Days Challenge. You can feel free to join! I chose Memory as my theme because I haven’t memorized anything for a long time, and I want to use this as a way to get back in the habit. It’s very similar to exercise, except with your mind and heart instead of muscles.
I’ve landed on 1 Peter chapter one. 25 verses in 31 days? Hmm! Every day I will give at least a short update on how it is going. (Or not going! To be honest I’m nervous about this commitment! Life doesn’t magically slow down to make room for these things.) Along the way, I will share my hard-earned tips on how to memorize, and some favorite memories of memorization (wow!).
It’s more than just starting a habit or doing a good thing by memorizing the Bible. Hopefully I will be able to show you how it is intensely personal for me, how I have been changed, how at my highest and lowest moments I have been held and sheltered and pulled through. Maybe, you will be encouraged to say “Yes” to something avoided, to take a little step in faith.
It’s also the perfect subject for if I forget a day- I can just write about that itself and it will fit right in!