Silencing the Chaos :: A Guest Post

Friday, February 01, 2013  ::  

Having guest posters for Moxie Memorizers is a spectacular idea, if I do say so myself! And this gem that you are about to read, proves it. 
My friend, Erin, is a light to those around her. She exudes joy, tenderness, and grace. The humility with which she carries herself draws people to her. The words God gives her to encourage others often shocks me. The Spirit of God has heavily gifted her to be able to encourage individuals, and I have seen Him use this gift in her life to encourage our church body. 
I had the privilege of hearing Erin quote a whole chapter of scripture at a dear friend's wedding. Instantly, I knew I should ask her to share her journey with us. Please read and take in every word.  

Whenever I see the women around me quoting the Bible verbatim, I’m like, “I want that.” I admire the power Angel displays in her reciting of Scripture, and each time I memorize a new verse, I feel that power deep in my soul.  I feel a change and a growth. And then God uses it, and I’m like, “Hello! Amazing!”
So, back in September, I met with my dear friend Kelly (then Thompson, now Jones). We usually laugh together and celebrate what God is doing in our lives, but on this particular day, my eyes were filled with tears. My plans for a relationship had failed. I was filled with loss, regret, and doubt of myself as a woman and follower of Christ. I felt broken, unsure how to go on. She listened intently, encouraged, and supported me. Then she asked me to stand up in front of everyone at her wedding and read Isaiah 61.
I felt a spark ignite. “What an honor! Of course I’ll do it!” 
Almost immediately the doubts set in. What? Me? There is absolutely no way. But I kept quiet, said goodbye, and my mind churned over this new challenge. 
As the weeks went on, the doubts persisted, and my anxiety kicked in. It’s so long…what if I’m crying? What if I have an anxiety attack right before and can’t do it? What if I can’t breathe? What if…
To silence the chaos, I decided to start memorizing and see if that helped. Suddenly, I felt a rush of power. 
“The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted…”
Bind up the brokenhearted! Like me! 
“To proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners.”
Freedom. Release. No more darkness. No more sin. No more shame. No more confusion.
I was determined to memorize the whole thing. I didn’t think it was possible to actually recite it at the wedding. My nerves, the pressure... But memorizing it was helping me deal with my emotional turmoil, so I continued. I brought index cards with me while I went hiking (which I love to do). Hiking and memorizing is like surrounding yourself with God. It’s amazing. I’d reach an overlook and spread out my hands.
“To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God! To comfort all who mourn and provide for those who grieve in Zion. To bestow on them a crown of BEAUTY instead of ashes, the oil of JOY instead of mourning, and a garment of PRAISE instead of a spirit of despair!”
No more sorrow! No more tears! A crown of beauty!
But as the weeks went on, the doubts festered. So many lies ran around in my head. Some of them told me I was inadequate, others told me that reading the Scripture was bad…At one point I even told Kelly she needed a backup plan. But God knows my heart, and every time those doubts crept in, so did Isaiah 61. 
“They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.”
God does the work. I can glorify Him just like a tree, my leaves clapping and my soul rejoicing. He will make Himself known in my life. He will use me to display His splendor. What an honor!
I wish I could go through every twist and turn of the story and the significance of each line of Isaiah 61. But God used amazing people, experiences, and many ups and downs to lead me to Kelly’s beautiful wedding on December 28th where I stood, knees shaking, heart pounding, praying my breath wouldn’t give out. As a harp gently played and the gorgeous trees around us clapped their hands, I read the Scripture…for a few verses until I just had to look up and speak it as the Truth that was now so hidden in my heart.
“Instead of your shame, you will receive a double portion, and instead of disgrace, you will REJOICE in your inheritance. And so, you will inherit a double portion in your land, and EVERLASTING JOY will be yours.” 
It isn’t about me. It’s about Jesus! Yes, I have a screwed up past. Yes, I have made mistakes and make more every day. But more importantly, I am God’s child, a believer in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who came to free the captives, release prisoners from darkness, and avenge evil by dying on the cross. HE ROSE FROM THE GRAVE TO DEFEAT DEATH. He is freedom! 
How grateful I am that He works beyond my doubts, insecurities, greed, envy, pride, and everything else that goes on my crazy heart and mind. He uses my imperfections to show His perfection. And as Tori eloquently described in her testimony on Women’s Retreat, He is a God who wastes nothing. He wastes nothing. We can give Him everything, because He will make Himself known through it. Our struggles, our darkness, our memories; He uses all of it, no matter how horrible it seems.
“Your descendents will be known among the nations and your offspring among the peoples. All who see them will acknowledge that they are a people the Lord has blessed.”
What a promise. 
“I delight greatly in the Lord, my soul rejoices in my God, for He has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of His righteousness…”
God gives His children a new wardrobe. No more rags from Satan. Robes of righteousness.
“As a bridegroom adorns his head like a priest and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.”
Like Kelly shone so radiantly at her wedding, decked out in her bling (I love bling), we are meant to shine brightly for our Savior. No hiding under bushels. I’m gonna let it shine!
I deeply encourage memorizing a chapter that speaks to you. It’s intimidating, but it will change your life. If I can do it, you can do it!
“For as the soil makes the sprout come up, and a garden causes seeds to grow, so the Sovereign Lord will make righteousness and praise spring up before all nations.” 
I second that amen, Erin! Thank you so, so much for sharing. 
As I've shared before, memorizing scripture for me is much more difficult than it was. Please know this difficulty is not causing me to curl up and quit. I'm still working hard on it. I won't give up. 
I'm still working on Colossians 2:6-7. I can tell you exactly what it is about, but I struggle with quoting it. My plan is to keep working on it, but I'm going to add another one to work on.
Isaiah 40:11 
He tends his flock like a shepherd: He gathers the lambs in his arms and carries them close to his heart; he gently leads those that have young. 
Friends, post what you are memorizing and please share a little comment love for Erin. Let's encourage our friend who so often encourages us! 

9 important comments so far. What are your thoughts?

Kelsi Somers said...

And this my dear friend Erin is why I love you so dearly and am so thankful for our friendship! You are truly a blessing. Thank you for sharing your heart. I love seeing how God has been using your story for his glory!

The verse I have been working on:
Isaiah 40:28-31
Have you not heard? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He doe snot faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who had no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weak; they shall walk and not be faint.

Emily said...

SUCH a wonderful word Erin! I love your heart, your authenticity and your love for Jesus. Thank you for sharing your journey with us.

Still working on Romans 12. I'll try to get verses 18-21 done this month, which will finish this chapter!

If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord. On the contrary:

“If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink. In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Unknown said...

Erin I was blown away by you at that wedding. Thank you again for sharing.

I've been off the wagon for a while, but I'm climbing back on and working on Hebrews 6:19-20, partly because it is the scripture that inspired one of my favorite worship songs. But mostly because I like to say Melchizedek. ;)

"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

Unknown said...

Thank you for sharing! Hearing your joyful and bubbly heart about Scripture makes me so excited to keep moving forward :)

Psalm 51:3-4
For i know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have i sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgement.

Lauren said...

Thank you Erin for sharing and for your encouragement to me the last couple weeks, you have a beautiful tender heart!

John 1:12-14
To all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name he gave the right to become children of God, not born of blood, nor the will or the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.

Anonymous said...

Isaiah 40: 31
but those who hope in the Lord    will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles;    they will run and not grow weary,    they will walk and not be faint.

I had this verse on a flash card for Drew to read to me while I was in labor and it has really spoken to me recently, I don't have a lot of strength right now so I'm depending on God's strength. -Missy Montague

Erin Fabry said...

Thank you for allowing me to share and for the support. I am so grateful for the women of Second Mile and for the ways God uses friendship to show His love.

I'm liking 1 Peter 5:10.

"And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm, and steadfast."

Hilary Andrews said...

Wow what a post! Thank you for sharing Erin-- so cool to see the impact & value in memorizing scripture. And how God can use it to transform our lives. I'm encouraged :)

Im also working on 1 Peter 5:10 along with Ps. 51:10--

"Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me."

clepeau said...

Erin-I love how clearly I can hear you in this post. Thank you for sharing the journey (possibly the pilgrimage? :D ) your heart traveled through the process of memorizing Isaiah 61.

Time and again I find myself looking up Psalm 119:169-176. I will spend the month locking it into my heart.

May my cry come before you, O Lord, give me understanding according to your word. May my supplication come before you; deliver me according to your promise. May my lips overflow with praise, for you teach me your decrees. May my tongue sing of your word, for all your commands are righteous. May your hand be ready to help me, for I have chosen your precepts. I long for your salvation, O Lord, and your law is my delight. Let me live that I may praise you, and may your laws sustain me. I have strayed like a lost sheep. Seek your servant, for I have not forgotten your commands.

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