Tuesday, August 25, 2009

An Old Friend


Have you ever had something that meant a lot to you? A treasure of sorts that held precious memories, helped you get through the rough times, something you just couldn't let go of?

I have a long sleeved t-shirt I got my freshman year of college, just about twenty years ago, that I still dig out of the drawer on a day when I just need a little comfort or I'm sick. There are holes all in it, the letters of my alma mater are all faded, yet it is like an old faithful friend. Every time I put it on, it just makes me feel better. Yet, I know the day is coming, real soon, that it will have to be discarded. It's value diminishes with every wash.

The other day, on our way to church, my son looks down and says;

"Mom, it is about time you get a new one."

I look down at the object that has captured his attention... my Bible.

The leather is worn. The binding is barely surviving. The pages no longer shine a brilliant gold.
The Bible was given to me by my parents in 1991. I was in college and had asked for a study bible. Being the note taker that I am, well there are precious reminders, notes to self and stars marking that special verse found.

I love looking through it's pages during a sermon and compare notes of two different points of view over one verse. I love the ease at which I can find favorite scripture. I love to reread the prayers I've written in the margins as reminders of promises I've made to my Lord. I love all the memories this precious book has held for me through the years.


Memories of college life and soul searching. (I rededicated my life to Christ while in college.)

Moments of young married life that were tough. (Like putting my hubby through seminary, while working at a very stressful job.)

Working through the fear of pregnancy and parenthood. (Receiving two precious blessings and the strength to deal with the loss of another.)

Wisdom as a minister's wife. (Knowing how to be "quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry." during the extreme joys as well as in the really tough times of ministry life.)

Dealing with the loss of those who are very near and dear to our hearts. (The death of three grandparents within one year can be brutal.)

Dealing with self and my total imperfectness. (If you have read my blog for any length of time, you know I have my days.)

But most of all, growing in my relationship with the Lord. (My Heavenly Father, my faithful friend, my guide, my protector and my salvation.)


I look up at my son and simply say;

"Jordan, I don't want a new one. I think I will keep my old faithful friend, if you don't mind."

I had to explain to him that it is not about needing a new Bible. Shoot! I'm a minister's wife, we have every kind of bible in every size imaginable lining our bookshelf as I type. But rather it is about the precious memories and treasure that THIS bible holds for me.

I might need a new case from time to time. But I can't stand the thought of discarding it. Unlike my shirt, it's value DOESN'T diminish with every use. In fact, it only seems to get more valuable with time.

I think I will keep this Bible for now.

But I was thinking about whether I could make a pillow or something out of my favorite old shirt..."

"For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." Matthew 6:21

16 comments:

Heart2Heart said...

Mich,

Mine is the very same way. I have had it since 1985 and I love how I can keep coming back to something I have written or highlighted and it takes me back to a time where I needed that assistance.

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Amber said...

I'm with you. Mine's all marked and highlighted and dogeared...

just like I like it.

And that shirt. I'm smiling...because I can see it in my head.

love you.

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Oh how precious is your Bible! The worn edges speak of its worth to your heart and life.

Precious post!

Kristin said...

I love that! Maybe one day, my Bible will be well-used. I'm only beginning.......

Gretchen said...

I'll never give up any of my bibles. It was both good and hard to start using a brand new NLT study bible this year. My hubby got it for me for Christmas, so of course I'm thrilled. But still...that old NIV I purchased from Walmart had kept me company for a long time.

Jim said...

Sis,
How really "ap.pro.po" to talk about your Bible as you did, and one that we gave you makes it even more special. Tonight I started my college class in Old Testament Survey with 9 students that "run" the gamet of age and experience. My prayer is that I am causing them to begin to see the Bible as a special friend, too.

Your blob is an affirmation of what I tried to convey in 2 and one half hours of sharing. You are something else, you know that?

Wow! I get inspiration and encouragement from 3 special women in my life - you, your sisaroo, and your mommaloo, too.

Love you,
Jim-Dad

Jim said...

Sis,
X-cues me! I didn't mean "blob" - your BLOG is definitely not a BLOB.
Jim-Dad

Hope said...

Hello Mich,

You just can get rid of such an old friend! It would take YEARS to get back what you have in those pages. I still have my Bible that my father gave to me when I was 14.

♥Hope

Pilar said...

I understand how you feel. It is always hard I don´t know why. I finally change Bibles because the other one had way to many things written down and underline and was keeping me from seeing anything new. My eyes went directly to what was already there :) It was distracting to the people I was sharing verses with (I don´t know why) because instead of listening they were trying to read what was written.. heheh

Andrea said...

AMEN...Like you, I have them in all shapes and sizes..but the one I LOVE is full of my notes, diagrams, etc. My hubby affectionately teases me by saying, "your bible looks like a coloring book." I mark words with special symbols and in different colors. His tease is really a compliment and I thank him for it.
Great post!
Blessings, andrea
PS: you have an award at arise 2 write

Five Moms & A Blog said...

I totally agree with you on that! My Bible is an old Oral Roberts version, which has some sweet pictures of him in a 70's leasure suit...but I can't seem to part with it. It was one of the 1st student Bibles and I still LOVE IT!!! So, stick by your old friend..besides, who else knows you better?
Tarah

christy rose said...

I have a Bible that is falling apart too. The cover is gone and Genesis and Exodus are separated from everyone else. But I continue to use it everyday and even teach from it. It is kind of embarrassing sometimes getting up in front of everyone with a Bible and no cover. But Hey! It shows I read it huh? :)

He & Me + 3 said...

I agree, my old Bible is written all up in. It holds so many memories. I wouldn't trade mine for anything either.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Four years ago, I had to get a new Bible; it nearly tore me up. Now, after 4 years of a steady work-out, I need a new one! Can you believe it? I don't think the publishers really think we're going to use them. What's that say about consumers of God's Word? Anyway, can't part with it yet. I just keep picking up the pieces when they fall to the floor.

Precious memories and landmarks indeed!

peace~elaine

PS: My husband did buy me a new ESV study Bible at Christmas. I just haven't been able to make the switch yet.

Becca~TimeWellSpent said...

Beautiful post! I truly think most things in this life get better the longer we've known them, including our Bibles and especially it's Author!!

whimzie said...

My Bibles are like people. Like you they represent times and people in my life. I've had to break down and break in some new ones over the years, but sometimes I go back to one of my old ones and it's like a needed visit with an old friend. This was a beautiful post.