Have you ever been asked what your “life verse” is? You know, the scripture quote that seems to speak to you directly – the one that holds a personal meaning for you. When I first heard of this concept, I was immediately overwhelmed. With more than 31,000 verses to choose from, how could I possibly select just one? How could one verse define my entire life? Even if it seemed to fit now, would it still encourage and strengthen me in 10 years?
That reaction is my typical perfectionist response to any sort of challenge or assignment. I had to remind myself that THIS IS NOT A TEST! That God wasn’t waiting for me to choose the “wrong” verse and then condemn me for failing a quiz. And that there was no rule preventing me from picking a new verse any time I needed one! (After all, there’s a reason there are more than 788,000 words in the Bible – we need to read them at different times in our lives.) With those comforting thoughts in mind, I set off to find my life verse.
Selecting Your Life Verse
The mission took me several months. I tried a few verses on for size in my mind. I read them aloud to listen to the message behind the words. Wondered how they would serve me as a compass. I couldn’t make a decision. It still felt like such a commitment!
Then one Saturday morning, I was at a women’s retreat exploring the relationship between creativity and spirituality. We were making Spiritual Vision Boards and we were told to begin with our life verse in mind. Naturally, I considered and debated long after everyone else in the room started working on their boards. I eventually settled on a verse – it was more of a random selection based on the pressure to make a decision quickly before the others noticed that I didn’t have a life verse (how shameful!). The verse I adopted was:
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” – Proverbs 3: 5-6
The weight had been lifted from my shoulders! I had a life verse and I was ready to create a Spiritual Vision Board to honor that verse and give it a prominent place to live in my home. Satisfied with my selection, I sat down with the other women and began to paint, cut, paste and shape my way into accepting this verse as my spiritual compass. I’m not much of an artist, but as the watercolors appeared on the paper, I felt a sense of relief.
I had been living with anxiety and depression for several years. As I wrote the scripture quote on my vision board, I noticed I was breathing easier and my heart was opening up to hope. I found myself writing the words “Let it go.” on the page. And I realized that my life verse was already doing its job – already speaking to me, guiding me and encouraging me.
I embraced the verse by hanging my Spiritual Vision Board in my home and promising myself not to critique the artwork, but rather, to focus on the meaning of the verse.
Over the next several years, the verse became a guiding force in my life. I contemplated the words anytime I felt fearful or confused. And each time I looked closely at the image I created, I saw the message it held for me…reminding me to let go of my worries…let go of my pain…let go of the outcome and turn it all over to Him. The verse liberated me…comforted me…and led me closer to God.
Four years later, the verse still holds a special place in my heart; and the Spiritual Vision Board is a permanent fixture on my bedroom wall. But I recently felt called to select a new life verse. I had been working on choosing a Word of the Year, and I heard God telling me to choose the word “Light.” He was commanding me to be a light for others. To stop hiding my own light. To seek his everlasting light.
This was so clearly a message from God and I felt compelled to not only accept this assignment, but to seal the covenant with a new Spiritual Vision Board. (It was the perfect activity for a new year!) So I spent some time in His Word…searching for the right verse to reflect my new mission. When I came to Sermon on the Mount, I knew I had found it:
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” (KJV) – Matthew 5:16
I sat down at my kitchen table with a cup of tea and Francesca Battistelli’s latest CD playing on my iPod. I combed through old issues of P31 Woman, other magazines, brochures, catalogues, and my own personal photographs, cutting out images that represented my calling to be a light for others. Carefully arranged on a poster board, these images began to form a new Spiritual Vision Board, with my verse in the center and its meaning surrounding it.
Now when people ask me what my life verse is, I not only have an answer, but I also have a story. I can tell people what my verse is, what it means to me and how I see it shaping my life each day. Pretty impressive for a woman who panicked the first time she was asked that question!
What’s your life verse? Share it with us here so we can be encouraged and inspired!