Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path (Psalm 119:105 ESV)
My name is Angela Garcia; some of you have heard me speak about studying God’s Word effectively, but I did not arrive at this point using some willpower, magic words, or mantras. You also may know me as someone very fond of Bible journaling.
I am not new to the Adventist Church; I was born and raised in the church, was baptized at twelve years old, and by the time I was twenty-four, I had left the church. Why did I leave the church? I do not have a horrible story to tell you; looking back, I was tired of checking a list of dos and don’ts.
One day I was on God’s nice list, the next day on the naughty list. According to the legalistic view of my upbringing, I was never going to measure up to God’s expectations.
The strange thing is that I never stopped believing in God or the SDA doctrines but started to question some of the teachings.
I Returned to Church
About five years ago, I decided to go back to the Adventist church when I lived in San Diego, CA.
I attended church regularly but studying the Bible was not a priority. I found myself reading the old familiar passages and saying ‘I know this’.
Deep down, I wanted to learn more and understand God’s character, but I did not know how. One day I googled ‘studying the Bible’ or ‘the best books to learn how to study the Bible’. I came across the book titled “Living by the Book”, bought it and I started reading. I felt like I have been reading the Bible with the wrong reading glasses.
One of the most important things I have learned from the book is to read a chapter or passage slowly as many times necessary until I understand what I am reading.
My Bible journaling journey has not been perfect, and sometimes I struggle with focusing on God’s. Not understanding a particular passage can be frustrating. There are times I spend more time coloring and decorating my Bible, but that’s OK because I think illustrating my Bible is a way to worship God. My prayer is that you feel the need to study God’s Word and create a journal. The journey is worthy.