Hidden in My Heart

As a child, I attended a small Christian school where weekly Bible memory verses were part of the curriculum. During my school years, I memorized hundreds of verses, all in the lyrical King James Version. Each year, memory verse assignments became increasingly long, so that by the time I was a senior in high school, I knew long passages by heart.

Rob grew up in a similar way, committing passages of Scripture to memory throughout his childhood. As a teen, he participated in Bible memory competitions where he learned to recognize a verse from just its first few words. Throughout our marriage, Rob took great pride in being able to recall verses he’d learned many years before. In the months before he died, Rob recommitted himself to Bible memory and memorized the book of I John, a book I’d memorized in college when I translated it from Koine Greek for a class.

The night I learned Rob died, God brought one verse from I John into sharp focus, even as everything else in my life began to blur in pain. Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God. And that is what we are. I’d memorized this passage as a child, sung along to a Maranatha! children’s music cassette tape. As I look back, I see how God ordained those words to be mine in that darkest moment. Surrounded by loved ones who were enduring the agonizing news of Rob’s death with me, God reminded me of my identity as His beloved and of the fellowship we shared even in the midst of suffering.

Over the last eight months, five other verses have played on repeat in my mind beside this verse from I John. I still suffer from the effects of grief brain; it is hard to receive and retain information. But in the brilliant design of our neurobiology and in the beautiful grace of God, these verses I committed to memory years ago have not faded. They continue to be accessible to me, even in — especially in — the fog of grief.

Everything in the world seems so uncertain now. The fear and anxiety I see around me feels uncomfortably familiar. These days remind me so much of the first days after Rob died. I’ve been turning to these verses for the last eight months and especially now as I walk through grief and pandemic at the same time. I look to them every day to remind me of who I am and to Whom I belong.

If your hours are quieter now because of quarantine and your heart is more frantic than usual, consider committing these to memory, rehearsing them in your mind until they are engraved upon your heart. I hope they will bring comfort to your spirit as you receive God’s words of love for you. And who knows? Perhaps they will return to you another time when you need their words of truth.

When I need to know I’m beloved …
The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:17

When I need stability …
Lord, You have been our dwelling place through all generations. Before the mountains were born or You brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting You are God. Psalm 90:1-2

When I am afraid …
What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee. Psalm 56:3

When it’s hard to sleep …
I will both lay me down in peace, and sleep: for thou, LORD, only makest me dwell in safety. Psalm 4:8

When I need to know there’s hope …
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

Published by Clarissa Moll

Discovering grace in grief

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