Share-Your-Story Friday. Karen from Florida


Fourteen years ago I reluctantly agreed to memorize Psalm 119 with a friend. And now, years later, I’m so thankful that I took the challenge. This relationship of hiding His Word in my heart has been significant beyond words, and life-changing for me! I have memorized Romans, Philippians, Hebrews, James, 1 & 2 Peter, Jonah, the Sermon on the Mount, and a multitude of other passages. I keep going because the vibrancy of my relationship with God (and everyone else) is so distinctly alive when I’m planting new material in the soil of my being. I don’t want to stop.

God wired our bodies to require daily nutrition, and likewise our spirits require spiritual food and drink—on a daily basis. Our human nature will accept imitation food but when you’ve tasted the real thing, then stopping would seem like settling for freeze-dried, processed, artificial nutrition.

I feel amazed, grateful and content. I am amazed at how meditating and pondering on a passage until it is embedded in my memory has strengthened my daily experience of walking in faith.

God’s Word is alive and speaking to me at every turn.

I am grateful for the strength and courage that blossomed in the face of my husband’s leukemia diagnosis. Our lives were turned upside down and slammed by the stormy waves of treatments and health issues, but my heart and soul were anchored in God’s Word.

As I look to the future, even though the world is brimming with chaos and confusion, I sense an ever-growing contentment with His will for me—delighting to embrace the circumstances that come my way. I am so thankful for the challenge to dig deeper and plant His Word in the innermost recesses of my soul. I am indeed reaping a rich harvest.

Karen Burroughs, child of God, wife, mother, sister, full-time CRU staff member, resident of Orlando, citizen of heaven.

18 comments to Share-Your-Story Friday. Karen from Florida

  • Melissa Donovan

    I enjoyed your article and most especially your paragraph at the end. The peace and contentment that comes from having His word in our heart when the World is changing so much and not necessarily for the better.

    I am motivated to keep plugging along and to not give up what I have started. Thank you for your letter today.

    In Christ,
    Melissa D. SC

  • Karen, Wow! And you started with Psalm 119 – the Psalm that has 176 verses! Maybe you could suggest for some of the rest of us that – let’s say Psalm 23 with 6 verses would be a good place for us to start? Loved your post and love your example and love your walk with God!

  • Karen Burroughs

    Your comments bless me! I am so utterly convinced that the habit of cultivating God’s word in our souls is foundational to reaping the harvest of the abundant life that God longs for us to experience. Memorizing is a tool, like a hoe or a spade. And tools get easier to handle the more you use them. I always get a sore muscle or blister when I use something for the first time, but after awhile it becomes more comfortable.

    Bob, I think picking something a little more challenging than 6 verses is strategic! The impact of whole portions of Scripture is motivational toward building the habit. Go for the 176 verses! 🙂

  • Elizabeth

    Karen, I loved reading your post! It is so encouraging to me! I love these share your story Friday’s! I just began memorizing passages after reading Janet’s book- so far Psalm 1, Psalm 103 and today I began 1 Peter… It is really exciting to read stories of women who are still memorizing after 10+ years! I pray this will be me! I love hearing how He has used Scripture memory in your life- especially loved what you shared about how it has strengthened your daily experience of walking by faith- and how it strengthened you through your husbands battle with leukemia…His Word really is an anchor for us! Thank you for sharing!

  • Karen Burroughs

    Thanks, Elizabeth! That encourages me! Just this morning I was reviewing a portion of Psalm 119 and the verse, “your word, O Lord is eternal and your faithfulness continues through all generations,” caused me to ponder “faithfulness” which reminded me of Romans 3 “will their (or my!) lack of faithfulness nullify God’s faithfulness?” which makes me think of 1 Peter 1:25 “the word of the Lord endures forever.” And the mental cross referencing continues with the more “meat” I have chewed on. Enjoy the feast!

  • Mary Pedrick

    My dear friend Karen, In my world, you are a person admired, loved and basically a hero. Your walk with God thru Pat’s health struggles has been on my mind so much these days. Thank you for paving the way as an example for such a time as this. May God continue to bless you with great peace and contentment!

  • Karen Burroughs

    Mary, your heart for God is a beacon for everyone. Psalm 34!

  • Ethan

    Thank you for sharing your story. I really like your comment about “planting new material in the soil of my being”. Reminds me of what Jesus said about the good soil, “this is the man who hears the word and understands it; who indeed bears fruit and brings forth, some a hundredfold, some sixty, and some thirty.” (Matt 13:23) Karen, it is obvious from your story that you are the one bringing forth much fruit. You have not let the “worries of the world” cause you to become unfruitful. Keep digging deeper in the word and bearing more fruit. You have encouraged a lot of people by taking the time to share your story and how important God’s word is in your life. I am confident that God will continue to use you in great ways. Thanks for showing us how to stand on God’s word in the middle of “storms, chaos and confusion.” Continue to reap the harvest.

  • Barbara

    Karen, So inspiring to hear your story and mostly to be reminded of how God’s word strengthens us in times of trials and suffering. Thanks for sharing! I’m on Cru staff too.

  • Karen Burroughs

    Thank you Ethan and Barbara,
    I feel God has given us the opportunity to steward amazing resources. Thank you for all you are doing in the vineyard!

  • Sheri

    What an encouragement it was to read your story today! As I read it, I realized that your life is full of hope, faith, and courage. You look at life through a different “lens” and I know that you attribute that to hiding God’s Word in your heart. I too am on Cru staff and realize that the enemy would love to lull especially those who are in full time ministry to sleep. Committing to memorizing scripture helps you to not only see life as God sees it, but to fight the good fight with God’s very words! he IS THE GREAT … I AM !!!

  • Karen Burroughs

    Thanks, Sheri! Are you at Lake Hart? I’d love to get a group together to encourage each other. Janet gave me the idea and I’m looking for people who would want to talk about it.
    Thanks again!

  • Susan Turner

    Karen, you have such a beautiful way with words. I so identify with your description of our need for daily spiritual food and drink. “My soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry and weary land where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

  • Richie Malone

    Hi Karen:
    What a terrific story about your scripture memory beginning and progress and the way it sustained you through your husbands illness. I have memorized several of the same books as you have and appreciated your comment about the way they cross-reference each other. I agree. One book confirms another. And the more we have in our heads, the more we have to draw from in times of great need. Press on, Karen, and keep bearing much fruit as Ethan mentioned!

  • Melissa neufeld

    I just love these stories. I am from Lethbridge Alberta Canada. I am just so happy to meet people who love memorizing as well. I only wish the stories were way longer so I could read more. It thrilled me when I memorized my first book 14 years ago at age 18. I started with James because of the verse at the beginning about trials because I was experiencing constant pain which turned into fibromyalgia which I still have and just kept memorizing until the end. When I got to the end, I was so excited to start another book. It just encourages me so much to read about other people who have the same joy

  • Karen Burroughs

    Thanks, Richie and Melissa, for your comments! You have encouraged me. Hearing how God’s word has sustained you through literal physical pain is SO affirming. What an absolutely wonderful testimony to His power. God’s Word is life-giving in so many ways!
    Thank you for sharing.

  • Debby Thompson

    I am so thrilled to share the joy and the journey! You bless me to His glory. I love you in Jesus, Debby
    Psalm 115:1

  • Karen Burroughs

    Debby, your encouragement strengthens me!