40 and Counting

As I write these words I have five more days to just be 4-0 before I officially start my climb up the 40’s ladder.  But if the next 9 years are anything like my first year in this new-to-me decade, I would truly be thrilled!  Forty has been one of the best years of my life.   

There are many things I’ve loved about this past year, including the ages of our kids.  

Part of me wishes they could stay 11 and 13 indefinitely!  They are so much fun and are just wonderful people.  I also loved our 2 week family vacation together out west this summer.  Additionally, this year has brought some great times with family and friends, and Greg and I have been blessed to enjoy all of these blessings together.  My job at Cornerstone has been going well and I’m so thankful for the opportunity to continue my writing endeavors.  And yet, for all of those wonderful aspects of the past year, there is another reason it has been my favorite. 

On January 1, 2022 I decided to read through the book of Proverbs each month this year, reading 1 chapter per day.  (As there are 31 chapters in Proverbs, this works out almost perfectly!)  I also decided to read a Gospel each month, again, reading one chapter per day.  (The 4 Gospels have 28, 16, 24, and 21 chapters each.  When I finished one Gospel I would then read an epistle of the New Testament through the end of the month. Then, on the 1st of the next month I would start the next Gospel.)

Under this reading plan I read the book of Proverbs 12 times, each Gospel 3 times, and most of the epistles.  Although in years past I have been intentional to consistently read the Bible, this is the first year in which I read the Bible every single day.  

Please know that I say none of this to boast.  In fact, it is only the grace of God that enabled me to do this.  But the interesting thing about this year of Bible reading is how much I began to look forward to this daily reading time.  The more I read, the more I want to read!  I have come to love the book of Proverbs and its teaching on godly humility and wisdom.  Proverbs also taught me about the power of the tongue, the value of self-control, and the sovereignty of God.  Additionally, each month I was challenged, convicted, and encouraged by Proverbs 31, that famous chapter about the character of a godly woman.  

With each Gospel reading, I saw more and more of who Jesus is.  I saw his love and compassion as well as his boldness in speaking truth and calling out sin.  Reading a monthly Gospel was also a continuous reminder of the great price paid for my redemption.  Each month as the chapters built to the crucifixion, I felt myself experiencing a sense of sorrow and tension- and equally, a feeling of relief when I read the resurrection chapters.  And while I loved reading the great letters of Paul, those rich writings unpacking the depth of the gospel, I found myself looking forward to again opening Matthew, Mark, Luke or John.  I wanted to keep reading the actions and words of Jesus, to be reminded again and again of his purpose in coming to earth.  

By the power of the Holy Spirit, this past year in the Word has yielded fruit.  I have felt more consistently patient and joyful and have earnestly prayed to bear the fruits of the Spirit.  Additionally, I have a deeper love for Scripture, prayer, and God’s people than I ever have before.  Certainly, my sin is more distressing to me and I have come to a greater realization of my daily need for Him.  And while I see this growth, I yearn for more, knowing very well that I have so much growing yet to do.  

All of this is why the year of 40 has been my favorite.  I share this post both to give testimony to the power of God’s Word and to encourage you to seek this discipline in your own life.  Truly, there is no better way to know our God and Savior.  And not only that, but His Word does not return empty, for it will accomplish all that He purposes (Isaiah 55:11).  Because of this truth we can be assured that through His Word we will be sanctified, and that in all He will be glorified.  

And so, I look forward to 41; to pruning and growth, to diving deeper into the Word, for another year of walking in light (1 John 1:7).   

Published by Nicole Byrum

Hello! I have been a therapist in the community mental health field for the last 13 years. During this time I have worked with numerous women in recovery from substance abuse. It was this work, along with my relationship with Jesus, that inspired me to write my first book, Remade: Living Free. I have found writing to be a joy and it is my aim through this website to continue to share my faith, insights, and hope with my readers. Some fun facts about me: I have been married for 15 years and have 2 children; I love to read, run and cook; Even though I have lived in Ohio for most of my life I am not a fan of cold weather!

One thought on “40 and Counting

  1. Wonderful post! To have this grasp at the young age of 40 is a blessing. Thank you for passing on the wisdom and encouragement you have gained. I am sure many will be equally blessed by it.

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