• Courtney McLane Mize


took this picture last night as I was reviewing the lesson that I was about to teach. Every Wednesday, as some of you may already know, I teach an eighth-grade girls Lifegroup and get to share in the laughs, tears, and growth of the sweetest girls in Tennessee. As I prayed through my lesson and began sharing the notes I had jotted down with my 8A class, I felt compelled to share what my girls were learning in that moment with anyone else who wanted to listen. So here is a little story. My story. Well, part of it. This story is raw. This story is real. This story has a happy ending. This story is why I am who I am. This story is why I will never stop clinging to Jesus.

I have had the same Bible since I was in the sixth or seventh grade. Yes, the Bible in the picture above has been with me for over ten years now. The front page has officially fallen out. There are notes scribbled all throughout the pages. There are verses highlighted in every color of the rainbow. I am not exaggerating when I tell you that this book is barely hanging on by the seams. That’s the beauty of this book; after all these years, it’s still hanging on.

I was raised in a Christian home, and always had a strong awareness of Jesus. I’m not sure how much time I spent intentionally reading and studying the Bible prior to this night, but I know that from this night forward, I have never quit holding tight to my Bible, because it is single-handedly the only thing that has never changed. Despite the past decade of triumphs and trials, it’s still with me.

I was fourteen years old (like most of the precious girls in my Lifegroup). For those of you who don’t know my family or our story, you should know that until my Freshman year of high-school, I never remember hearing my parents fight. I never fully understood what divorce was. I grew up in a beautiful house, with two beautiful parents, and spent endless weekends in ballet shoes, cheerleading uniforms, and Limited Too outfits. All of that to say, for the first time, my family was not in a good place. We were walking through the early stages of my parent’s separation. In the middle of the night, I was woken up with loud yells and frustrated voices. I laid in bed, somewhat dazed and confused, trying to understand what was happening downstairs. Within minutes, my mom came into my room in a panic asking for my cell phone. I instantly sat up, and after telling her it was turned off, watched her run downstairs. More angry words, more nervous breaths, and there I sat. Unsure of what was happening and unsure of what to do. After this escalated and continued for what felt like an eternity, a door slammed and suddenly, I heard nothing. Silence. At this point I was paralyzed with fear, so naturally, I grabbed my Bible. I got out of bed, grabbed my Bible, and walked into my sister’s room, making sure she didn’t wake up. I quietly made my way over to her window, peeked between two blinds, watched all that was happening in the driveway below, and literally held my Bible to my chest as if it were the only thing that would save me in that moment. I don’t know why I grabbed that book. At this point in my life, I wasn’t on a daily reading plan. I didn’t spend time studying God’s word. I knew Jesus, but that night, I physically reached out for Him in desperation.

Three days later, I went to a youth conference with that Bible in hand and put my trust in Jesus. Needless to say, my life has never been the same.

So why am I sharing this part of my story? Why is that night such a vivid memory? Because from that night forward, my life was turned upside down. I can genuinely praise God for all He has done and the grace that He has given my family. I am abundantly blessed with four parents, seven siblings, seven grandparents, and a love from all of them that is deeper than the ocean. But that Bible that I clung to so many years ago, that Bible that I wasn’t even reading, that Bible that I held in my hands because I simply didn’t know what else to do, is the same Bible that I read from teaching my lesson to my 8A Lifegroup last night. Through every season of life, it has NEVER changed. Every scuff mark, tear stain, and wrinkled corner has yet to alter the text. When I don’t think I need it, it’s there. And when I fall to my knees before Jesus, it’s there. The promises in that book have never changed on account of what I say or do, what my family situation looks like, or what zip code I find myself in. Over the past decade, longer than that really, this book has never changed, even when my circumstances have. When life has proved to be painfully inconsistent, the Bible has always been consistent. We are not promised tomorrow. But God is consistent. No one is perfect. But God is consistent. Everyone has their own struggles. But God is consistent. I can confidently say without a shadow of a doubt, that no matter what roads this life leads me down, my God is consistent. He is strong. He is the King of redemption. He is hope when we are hopeless and joy when we are burdened. He.IS.CONSISTENT. If He wasn’t, then I wouldn’t be here sharing that truth, and that precious book wouldn’t have lasted this long.

“The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God will stand forever…” Isaiah 40:8