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This past year has been transformative for my faith. After years of feeling uncomfortable in church, noticing my faith slipping away, I looked for ways to get it back. However, none of this is by my own ability—God is the source of faith. He brought me back to Him.
Between August 2018 and July 2019, I attempted a year of 30-day challenges. A blogger I followed, who has since shut down her site, inspired the third challenge I undertook in October 2018. I hand-copied the entire book of Acts.
Acts is only 28 chapters, so I finished the “challenge” two days early, and I found myself hungry for more. So I continued hand-copying a few verses a day, moving through Romans and then into Hebrews.
By this point I’d started looking into “read the Bible in a year” plans and found one.
In the Beginning
I wanted to start on January 1st and read the entire Bible in a calendar year. I chose a chronological plan based on when the events took place. This plan did quite a bit of bouncing around because the books in the Bible aren’t placed exactly in sequence.
On Christmas Day 2018, I asked my mom if I could borrow one of her study Bibles. I wanted one that had the explanations at the bottom of each page. She ended up gifting it to me because she preferred her large-print study Bible!
So I started reading Genesis on January 1st, 2019.
What A Year in the Bible did to My Faith
Three-quarters of the Bible is the Old Testament, so it took nine months to get through the Old Testament. I kept track of what sections to read on which days by using a calendar in my primary note-taking app, Notion.
Before going on trips that prevented bringing along a gigantic study Bible, I doubled up on weekends so I wouldn’t be behind after getting back.
As my daily Bible habit grew, I evolved in other ways.
- I’m more patient. This is significant because I’ve “always” been an impatient person. My husband can tell you how impatient I usually am.
- I actively catch myself judging people and the awareness lets me stop. Instead of “that driver who cut me off is a jerk,” I can now think “that driver must be in a bigger hurry than me.”
- My feelings of gratitude toward the impactful people in my life have swelled up to overflowing.
- I’ve started noticing things through the lens of a believer, not the lens of a condemned human.
- It’s easier to halt negative emotive spirals and give my anxiety and worries to God in prayer.
This diving into the Bible every day made me want to spend even more time learning about God and the Bible. I found The Bible Project, a nonprofit out of Portland, Oregon which makes high-quality videos about each book of the Bible, themes in the Bible, and other things like word studies and how to read the Bible.
I wrote more extensively about embracing authenticity in this post. The gist is that I’ve stopped kowtowing to my people pleaser nature. My values, morals, and principles are more important to me than any human’s opinion.
And all those values, morals, and principles are based on my core belief in God.
Jesus is my Savior.
For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.John 3:16
The Future of My Faith
I want my faith to grow. To increase. And as part of that “plan”, I intend to read the Bible completely, every year. Next year I’ll read it start-to-finish. I also want to follow an in-depth study of specific sections of the Bible, based on themes or words.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?Romans 8:31
If this is how far I’ve come in a year, how far can I go in the rest of my lifetime?
God is with me.