this is who I AM // week one

Today, one full week of 2017 is already history.

One full week without sugar and with a much healthier diet - and I'm still having headaches, but not really any cravings, thank God.

One full week of intense and yet rejuvenating yoga every day - and I love coming out of my workouts feeling better than I went into them, not completely wiped out like my old program left me.

One full week of our 180-day Bible reading challenge - and I'm just floored by the intricate threads that weave God's story and shout to His people, "This is who I AM."

Ever since the Bible came to life for me at GCBI, I've wondered how I ever survived the years I spent reading the Bible like a dull, dusty history book, full of names I didn't care about and stories I didn't understand. Where did I go for comfort when God's Word was like a stranger to me? Where did I go for certainty when His character was a mystery to me? We've finished the whole book of Job and the first 19 chapters of Genesis thus far, and already I can see the gradual unveiling of God's character through every divinely inspired word in these books.

Creation - a picture of both God's creativity and His sovereignty, as He takes the blank canvas of the universe and sets up a world just as He wants it, every atom and molecule delicately held together by His careful hand.

Man and Woman - God's relational and emotional nature stamped into living, created beings.

The Fall of Man - a sobering reminder that God, as Creator, is therefore the Lawmaker of this physical realm, and His justice requires no less than every trespass debt to be repaid.

The Great Flood - a stunning portrait of both God's grace and God's justice acting together to rescue the human race from utter defilement and destruction, faithful to His promise in Genesis 3.

The Life and Suffering of Job - proof that God can stand up to our raw emotions, our hardest questions, and our furious accusations, and still offer us His grace.

The Promise to Abraham - God's amazing faithfulness and power displayed again and again in the life of a flawed man with less than ideal life circumstances - a comforting reminder that God values a humbled heart above all, even when that heart makes a lot of mistakes.

In just 61 chapters of reading (with 1,128 yet to go), I am already amazed by God's creativity. His sovereignty. His desire for relationship and community with His creation. His holiness. His grace. His justice. His incomprehensible being, His absolute faithfulness to His Word, His power to make His will come to pass. His delight in walking with us.

And this list barely scratches the surface, for the story goes on.

I can't wait to read the rest.

Hallie Liening

Olympia, WA

Hallie grew up on a small farm in rural eastern Washington. At 18, she moved across the country to go to Bible school, and then married the Boy Next Door at 20. Now 22, she is a graduate of Great Commission Bible Institute with a Certificate in Biblical Studies and resides in Olympia with her husband and her two cats. She survives the claustrophobia of living near the city by making frequent trips back home to visit her family and her horse, writing sentimental blog posts about the countryside, and by filling her house with photographs of Mt. Adams sunsets.