Share-Your-Story Friday. Janet from TX

Janet Pope
In 1991, a cross-country move landed me in a foreign place. At first, I didn’t have a single friend, but many reached out to me, welcomed me, and brought me into their circle. After about a year, a growing sense of disappointment loomed over my heart. I wasn’t where I wanted to be, and I knew it wasn’t a geographic longing.

About that time, four of my new friends invited me to go with them to a Christian Conference in Chattanooga. Needing a break from the mom routine I signed up. One morning of the conference I was inspired by a woman from the audience who was called up to the front spontaneously and asked if she would share some Scripture with the group. She then shared from memory the entire book of Colossians.

It …was … awesome!

As I sat there mesmerized by what I had just heard, I wondered what it would be like to really know God’s Word, to have it so imbedded in my heart and mind that I would carry it with me wherever I would go. I wondered what it would mean to my relationship with God if I really knew His Word.

On the six-hour drive home I cried out to God, asking Him to help me make a change. With two small children and a never-ending list of things to do, there were no extra time slots in my day. But I reasoned in my mind that if God wanted me to get to know His Word, then He would make a way. He wouldn’t ask something of me and then make it impossible to achieve.

I began memorizing the book of Ephesians one verse at a time while doing household chores: folding laundry, doing dishes, ironing, vacuuming, driving my kids around. I found that I had many pockets of time when my hands were busy but my mind was free.

That was more than twenty years ago, and God has kept me memorizing book after book – 15 so far. Why do I keep at it? It gets my eyes off myself and onto God. It draws me into communion with my Savior and keeps me walking closely with Him. I’ve found an oasis for my soul, and a source of joy when the bottom drops out and life swallows me up.

18 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Janet from TX

  • Natalie

    Proud of you, Mom. Proud to be your daughter and of the legacy of faith and action that these 22 years have been. Love you!

  • Richie

    I for one am so glad that you took that trip, that the lady just happened to be called out, that she chose to quote the whole book of Colossians, that it impacted you profoundly, that you in turn decided to memorize books, that you wrote a book about it, that I got invited to your bible study and was exposed to this concept, that I was influenced to try it for myself, and that I too have memorized several books and have a friend for life in you. I marvel as I look back and see God’s hand in every detail. Happy new year!

    • I think the saying goes something like this, “I was just one beggar telling another beggar where to find food.” In our case we found a FEAST. And the supply is never ending. Yippee!

  • Christal

    Hi Janet, I am another that was so inspired by your testimony years ago. And although I did not memorize as you have (chapters and books), your message has forever cemented in my soul the value and life-giving eternal substance in God’s precious Word. When all of the bottom has fallen out of life, it is the one unchanging hope forever settled, and God is faithful to His promises.

    • Christal, It means so much to me that I could help anyone else. I really only began to memorize Scripture for myself, never realizing that God would use me to inspire others.

  • Ginger

    Dear Janet, Thank you for sharing your story! You have so encouraged and challenged me. Also, thank you for having this blog for us to hear the stories of like-minded believers. It truly inspires me!

    • Thank you Ginger, The response to the blog has been far beyond my expectations. I have loved getting to know the others in the community and benefitting from the mutual encouragement.

  • Chérie

    Janet! You’ve taken your story and turned it into a chain of stories by sharing it so faithfully, and never wavering from the purpose of memorizing—to know God better. You’ve shared the wisdom you’ve learned through this process and the struggles you still have—which we all identify with. When I began memorizing 4 1/2 years ago, I didnt know anyone who was memorizing chapters and books of the Bible like I was. In fact, I had met with some disbelief and negativity when I shared what I was doing, which made me re-evaluate some friendships. One person I found had once memorized books of the Bible, but said it was… “just a passing phase they went through “.
    That scared me to death? I never wanted that to be me? Out of sheer frustration, I one day googled, “PEOPLE WHO MEMORIZE BOATLOADS OF SCRIPTURE….” 🙂 Up popped the name—Janet Pope…
    ( I remember thinking,.. “Pope…? the Catholic Pope?”) And oh how I loved the person who wrote the book once I read it! My somewhere over the rainbow plan is that someday, (when I’m not a homeschool mom on code-red-budget), I want to attend a conference you are speaking at and thank you in person. Since that wont be anytime soon, thank you Janet for continuing to share your passion, and also hosting this community of memorizers. You are deeply loved.

    • Hi Cherie, Such kind words, I hardly know what to say other than to God be the glory. You have also brought great joy into my life through your participation in the community. And you’re obviously a very fun person. I can’t wait to meet you in person too. Even if it never happens we’ll have eternity to share stories and marvel at all that God did. And the awesome thing is that God lets us have a part in his work. Wow, how can that be? Grace upon grace.

  • And I am yet ANOTHER one who has found the “feast” because of your
    inspiration! Thank you Janet!!

  • Susan Jakelsky

    Thank you Janet for inspiring me to know God’s word. It has changed my life. I no longer have the cares of this life dragging me down. When I get discouraged, my thoughts turn to GODS WORDS, no one can take that away from me. To know GOD’S WORDS in my mind and my heart is so encouraging in a life that is full of gloom and despair. Thank you so much for your book and your testimony. Susan

    • Hi Susan, What a joy and privilege it is for me to hear that God used me in your life. And we have never met, but God uses books and internet and all media to spread enthusiasm for his Word. Thank you for sharing your story a few weeks back. Each story is different and reaches different people. Let’s keep pressing on, knowing that others are out there who need our encouragement.

  • Kathryn Ludrick

    Thank you, Janet, for your encouragement and leadership in these precious endeavors, and for blazing a trail for so many, and for the awesome legacy you are giving the body of Christ!

    Cherie, as a new Christian I was told that I would get over my zeal for Christ, as if it were some phase I was going through or a disease that needed a cure. Yikes! I thank God for His zeal that inspires, even compels, us to know His word, to know Him, in a greater way.

    • Kathryn, I am blown away by your comment and those of others. God can use anyone, even a reluctant leader like me. And I love your comment to Cherie. Let’s hope we never get over our zeal for Jesus, the One who gave everything for us. The world’s promises can’t begin to compete with what God has to offer. God’s Word breathes life into lifeless souls and feeds us with the bread of life.

    • Chérie

      I agree with every fiber of my being. I repeatedly tell my adopted children that God picked them up by the seat of their preemie diaper (ha) and plopped them in a family where they would learn about Christ —whether they liked it or not— though it is their choice to accept or reject Him. I’m so glad Kathryn that you proved those who rolled their eyes at you wrong—and are standing firm in your Faith. 

  • Kathryn Ludrick

    Cherie, Ha! You made me laugh with the premie diaper.

    May our great God and Savior bless our endeavors and Janet’s blog. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood.