How Studying the Bible Changed My Life

Our Soul Friend Monica Bard joins us on the blog today to share her personal testimony about the impact studying the Bible has made in her life.
My life was spiraling out of control, so what could it hurt? My sister had been encouraging me to attend the retreat for several years. Now my best friend joined her bandwagon. Things were tough in all aspects of my life, especially my marriage. My precious daughter was soaring away at college, and my nest was empty. At my wit's end, I agreed.

Jesus met me throughout this seventy-two-hour retreat. In the chapel, the conference room, in bed at night as I pondered where I had gone wrong, on the steps outside the chapel in the wee hours of the morning, and as I lay down my bitterness at the foot of the cross. Jesus revealed to me His love, His goodness, and all that He offers. Most importantly, Jesus knew the hurdles I had to cross before I could fully embrace a mature relationship with Him.

Satan’s lie had to be dismantled: my belief that I was unworthy of Jesus’ love, grace, and mercy. Jesus tenderly planted the seeds to begin ever-so-gently eroding Satan’s grip.  


A SPIRITUAL AWAKENING

I left that retreat surrounded by a community of believers who encouraged me to live my life following Jesus. Weekly I met with a small group for accountability; each month, I attended the community gathering for fellowship and worship. Something unfamiliar was happening as I devoured the materials I had accumulated at the retreat. I engaged in lively discussions with my sister and best friend. We explored more deeply the fifteen principles of Christian leadership presented at the retreat. Four resonated deeply within me--living life in piety, grace, growth through study, and Christian action serving as Jesus’ hands and feet on this side of heaven.

As I devoured each resource, I craved more. I experienced a hunger that refused to be satiated by resource materials and devotions. I longed to know God’s Word. It was a spiritual awakening. I had an insatiable desire to personally know and understand God’s Truth.

I longed to study the entire Bible. That was the only cure for my craving, but I had no idea where or how to start. I had convinced myself all I needed to know was that God equaled love, and I somewhat feared the Old Testament because I hadn’t wanted to know God’s vengeance and wrath. But everything was different now in this awakening. All those thoughts and images were based on what others had told me and what culture heralded. I desired to read the inspired Word of God for myself, for my own knowledge and application to my life.

“All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness.” 2 Timothy 3:16, ESV.

Being fully committed to this task, I searched and ultimately discovered a new Bible Study app, a curriculum that planned to study each book of the Bible one at a time and make its way through the entire Bible. The timing wasn't a coincidence; it was God’s perfect timing. I downloaded the app, bought the study guide, and embarked on my personal journey through the Bible in the book of John.


WHEN WE PLACE OUR FAITH IN JESUS, WE AVAIL OURSELVES TO HIS HEALING

My hunger to know God’s word was satisfied daily, but I didn’t expect to confront my emotional issues and the conviction to finally deal with them. That insistent piercing felt akin to opening Pandora’s box, and I feared that. But as I worked through the Bible, I slowly experienced an assurance. Everything would be alright.

“And great crowds came to Him, bringing with them the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute, and many others, and they put them at His feet, and He healed them." Matthew 15:30, ESV.

You know that unworthy issue? It still plagued me. I eventually realized it was the root of the many problems in my broken marriage, my dependence on my daughter to fill voids, and hindered my relationship with Jesus. My daily time in God’s Word convincingly gave me the courage to take two critical steps. First, to acknowledge my emotional baggage, and secondly, to address it rather than hide it.

As I continued studying God’s Word and prayed over these issues, the focus turned to me and my need to grow and mature. It’s human nature to blame others for our relationship problems, and I’d been blaming my husband and others for a long time, but God lasered in on me. At first, this was difficult because I wanted a quick fix for my marital problems, but I learned patience and trust tethered to God’s Word.    

I lingered during my quiet times with God as I enjoyed newly discovered peace and calmness. Time for self-reflection, journaling, and prayer was carved into my daily itinerary. Then God opened my eyes to a passion for writing the messages He placed on my heart, messages that shared the peace I was discovering in Christ. I read Christian books on the issues I struggled with and connected with Christian women who served as mentors. These hours with Him were cathartic and healing, a balm to my emotional wounds.  

As God lifted the shroud of darkness from my heart, I dared not think He would do more. My marriage was still in pieces, but to my amazement, my husband decided to attend the same retreat. He, too, returned home filled with a spiritual awakening. That’s when the healing of our marriage and our family began. We celebrated our 30th anniversary that year filled with renewed commitment, along with newfound love and hope for our future together.


Over the next few years, the healing sped along faster than I could’ve imagined. I finished studying the Bible and began my second round, knowing there was more to glean and learn from the pages.

We were happy and thriving, but I had one last hurdle…placing my daughter above my marriage “just in case” things fell apart again.

Then she met the one. My husband and I were ecstatic, but a moment of discord with my daughter in the early wedding planning ripped through my heart as I drove home in silence and tumbled into darkness. Christ met me there, reminding me I was loved. He reminded me of His promises yet convinced me I needed more--something I had intentionally avoided and talked myself out of for decades. With His assurance, I felt calm and no longer feared any shame when I met with a Christian counselor that same week. I began learning tools to help me cope and maintain a healthy relationship with my daughter as she journeyed toward marriage and helped me grow as a Christian in all my relationships.

None of this life-changing healing would have occurred if I had not grown in the knowledge of God’s word and studied each book of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. Jesus knew healing had to first happen within me.  

Today, my daughter is happily married, we are blessed with a gifted and loving son-in-love, and we’re happily growing old together. Our family time is precious, filled with love and laughter. At the end of each day, my hubby and I sit together, dreaming about God’s plans for our future together.  


EMOTIONAL HEALING BRINGS ABOUT PHYSICAL HEALING

Our omniscient God knew emotional healing must happen before my physical recovery. The same lie that undergirded my emotional issues prevented my physical healing. Sadly, I just didn’t believe I was worth taking care of. As God brought about emotional healing, I finally let go of Satan's deeply entrenched lie. I believed, "I am worth taking care of!" That revelation led me on my current medical journey.

Doctors diagnosed my medical issues and developed a surgical plan to repair my issues and lead me to the healthiest adult I've ever been. Because of studying the Bible, I was entirely at peace as I succumbed to anesthesia for my nine-hour surgery. I've stayed grounded through the ups and downs over the last year because of the promises I learned in studying God's word. Because my relationship with Christ has grown and matured through the study of the Bible, I could assure my daughter I was at peace and confident, regardless of my surgical outcome--because my eternal home is in heaven.

Examining the Bible in depth from Genesis to Revelation completely changed the course of my life. Before studying the Scriptures, my faith was like a house built on sand. Now, my faith is built on the solid rock of Christ.
 Jesus’ primary rescue mission? He came to earth for our salvation. His secondary mission? To offer healing and hope to all. Studying Jesus’ mission, revealed and woven throughout the Bible, motivated me to respond to God’s word with faith and obedience. God’s word does indeed change the course of our lives, and that’s when our healing begins.

Blessings Soul Friends

Monica

Diving Deeper

Whether you are just beginning or wanting to enhance your time studying the Bible, considerg taking one of these next steps like Monica:
  1. Attend a Bible based church led retreat
  2. Engage with a community of believers
  3. Join a Bible Study group
  4. Set aside time to study the Bible with your spouse or family
  5. Dedicate time each day for study and prayer
  6. Make use of Bible centered study materials

Resources

Topical Scripture Reading Lists, downloadable Bible Study journal pages, and printable Study Guides are just some of our Bible Study Resources available to you as free instant downloads.
You might also like these blog posts about Unlocking The Bible.
MONICA BARD: Perseverant. Resilient. Overcomer. Monica’s life summarized. Along the way, she discovered she didn’t do this alone. She couldn’t. Today her little family enjoys the sweet times of restoration and redemption--because God loved them and pursued her. When Monica was hanging by a thread, God carried her. She prayed too little, but God answers big!
Connect with Monica at MonicaBard.com

No Comments


Recent

Archive

Categories