I have had the same Bible for at least the past twelve years and I am loath to be rid of it. Not because it is the most comprehensive or best reviewed translation. No. I will keep this Bible until it falls apart and maybe even then because it is full of memories and reminders for my heart.
For instance, Proverbs of my favorite book of the Bible. My high school teacher would go through it chapter by chapter, day by day, a few months a year, and I was always amazed and blessed by how she could pull meaningful and relevant interpretations from a centuries-old text. So I still continue the practice today in my personal devotion and prayer time. If a particular verse strikes me, I usually mark it with that day’s date and it’s rather amazing to go back and see how often verses come back into my life with a new relevance, a new poignancy. Sometimes I can match verses and dates with entries in my journals and it’s always eye-opening to review just what was going on in my life at that time and how those verses were relevant to my process and growth.
This Bible is full of note cards with specific prayer requests from college Bible study groups. A thin purple ribbon that a best friend once tied around my finger marks the beginning of the book of Philippians, right next to Paul’s joyous prayer for his friends, what I have now come to call my “Ribbon Prayer”. There is a sticker/picture of the Russian pastor and his family with whom I and three other young women worked ten summers ago. I remember that family and their enthusiastic smiles and kindness and exultation in life and in us. There are notes that I have written in any spare white space I can find in this Bible’s pages, thoughts on my life and on these words of God and their impact, as well as prayers, interpretations, and reminders.
Yes, I think I will hold on to this Bible for as long as I am able, if for no other reason than to be able to pass it on my daughter with my journals, so that may be able to see a glimpse into the process and growth of her mother’s life and faith.