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I laid in bed and thought about all that could go wrong. It’s a bad habit and one I couldn’t seem to break for quite some time – thinking about the bad, the unknown, and the scary.
Oftentimes, when I try to fall sleep is when my brain revs up and starts spinning. It can feel like a curse and a heavy weight. When it’s time to sleep, I think of the bad.
It was during one of my mind-revving-up-thinking-about-the-bad moments when I decided it was time to take a stand against the evil thoughts and replace them with something sweeter, something truth-filled and grounded, something encouraging and comforting.
Memorizing Scripture is something I have done before. When I was a child, my mom had me memorize passages. When I attended private Christian school in high school, I had a weekly memory verse.
Yes, I’ve memorized Scripture in the past. But in the moments of fear and anxiety – thinking of all things bad and ugly – I was having trouble remembering any of the verses I had memorized.
I think it’s because this is how I memorized Scripture as a grade-school girl and high-school perfectionist:
On the morning of the quiz, I would read the passage several times. Then, I would repeat each phrase about seventeen times. You know – “Peace I leave with you” “Peace I leave with you” “Peace I leave with you”… fifteen times later… “my peace I give to you” “my peace I give to you” “my peace I give to you”…
This was not effective. I would remember the verse for about half of the day (until right after I took the quiz), only to get confused about wording or forget the reference in those moments of fear and anxiety.
I’ve seen posts about memorizing Scripture that say “read it eight times, say it eight times, write it eight times.” While I don’t disagree that this might work for some people, not everyone will truly learn the verse this way.
It is downright difficult to remember something you’ve only studied for thirty minutes on a weekday morning.
In the times of fear and anxiety, anger or bitterness, it is essential to have solid Scripture in your back pocket to comfort, equip, calm, encourage, or challenge. This type of reinforcement will only come with meaningful study of God’s Word designed to help you remember all of the verse for those much-needed moments.Your words are not enough to get you through the deep of life. You need the Words of Life.… Click To Tweet
After realizing that my childhood trick to get a 100% on the quiz was no longer working, I tried something totally new, and this is how I now memorize Scripture. It takes longer than 30 minutes, yes. But stick with me and I believe you’ll learn to enjoy the process.
Enjoying the process is a key part of the process. Memorizing Scripture because you want to memorize Scripture. Memorizing because you need the comfort, the calm, the encouragement, the truth. And memorizing because your words are not enough in those moments of fear, anxiety, anger, bitterness, and frustration.
Here is a simplified way to memorize Scripture:
- Start by buying (or making) a little 3×5 notecard book.
- Choose 5-10 Scripture verses that you want to memorize. John Piper calls these “fighter verses”.
- Write your fighter verses on the notecards, starting a new card for each verse.
- Carry this notecard book with you in your purse, the car, the doctor’s office, the school pick-up line – really, anywhere you go.
- Anytime you have a few minutes (time when you’d normally get out your phone & check Facebook or Instagram), flip through your fighter verses and read them either to yourself or out loud. Make sure to read the reference each time.
- After you’ve memorized the first five verses, add five more.
- Repeat the process over & over & over again.
I told you it was simple, didn’t I? It will take longer than 30 minutes. It takes time – real time that you would normally spend scrolling through Pinterest, reading a magazine, making a grocery list, etc.
But I promise you that the truth you saturate your mind with today will impact your tomorrow.
I have several 3×5 notecard books filled with verses that I’ve come to love. I know almost all of them by heart – the result of realizing that I can’t get through the anxious and fearful moments alone.
Now, when I’m lying in bed trying to sift through all of the thoughts of the day, the scary happenings that didn’t really happen, or the list of to-dos for tomorrow, I calm myself by remembering what I’ve memorized.
Here’s a bit of a disclaimer: I am in no way the “perfect Scripture memorizer” or the “most spiritual person” because I know Bible verses. The reality is that sometimes I still forget, and I still get anxious, but my notecard books are only a few feet away. I flip through them often.
So, please don’t think that I always choose to flip through my notecard book when I’m waiting at the doctor, because sometimes I choose Facebook.
Just know that your words at not enough. You need the words of God tucked deep into your heart.
P.S. I would love for you to subscribe & join the community here! I won’t spam your inbox. That’s a forever promise. I will, however, give you access to a free library of resources to help you grow in your faith! One of those resources is a list of A-Z verses for fighting anxiety. Sign up below.