Over the years I have closed my eyes and said it in a firm voice before walking into court rooms where we fought to keep a child. I have spoken it to Harper when she was nervous about starting something new or woke up scared after a bad dream. I have chanted it as a victory praise when The Lord has seen me through different things.
I am grateful. Because this verse has been His reminder and charge to me in lovely and terrifying times. I pray it over my newborn baby as a promise to him, trying to teach him about how great our Lord it. I have looked deep in a daughter's eyes and said it with a quiet intensity knowing I had nothing as important as that to tell her as parting worlds. I have whispered it in a husband's ears as he slipped out of this life. Those words are a blessing. A benediction. A lifeline. I am so desperately thankful for the truth in those words. The promise. The comfort.
How wonderful He is to share His beautiful words with us and let us store them in our hearts to use whenever we want to.
This year at Harper's Meet the Teacher night her teacher told us that each year she picks a verse to pray over her students. A different one each year. This year she chose Joshua 1:9. Isn't that perfect?
When she recited the words my eyes teared up. I caught hold of the past part and cheered inside. The Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. I like the thought of Harper marching into second grade each day this year with those words flying over her like a banner.
I have some fears I can't seem to let go of. Fears about something awful happening to my family members. Or to me, leaving Harper and Everett without a mother. And when I am totally rattled by them I lean into the comfort of His mandate.
"Be strong. I'll be with you-- wherever you go."
I am trying each day. To be strong and courageous. To not be terrified or discouraged. It's hard, but He is with me. And so I try.