This was such a hard thing for me. Mostly because as I’ve said before - my journey is not yours. So who am I to assume that what resonates with me will do the same with you? Did you know that there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament??
Here are some other numbers and a little background to geek out on. A total of 31,102 verses are in the bible. That works out to an average of a little more than 26 verses per chapter. There are 39 books in the old testament that are commonly grouped into five categories. The New Testament has 27 books grouped into 4 categories. The authors of the bible didn’t divide their books into chapters and verses originally. This was done by Stephen Langston (1150-1228) who was an English Cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church and Archbishop of Canterbury. All this means is that whether your journey is supported by New or Old Testament text, there are 31,102 chances for me to pick verses that don’t resonate with people. So that’s a win for me in the anxiety department.
Back to the process of actually choosing verses to focus on! My thought process was that if I compile short lists based on several different strategies that I could see where there is the greatest overlap and consolidate based on that. First, I made a short list of verses that I liked. Easy enough. Then I put out a poll of sorts to people I know and different social media groups and asked them to let me know what resonated with them. Then I just flat out went online and read articles and looked at Pinterest boards, and searched bible verses by hashtags, and read all of my favorite influencers social media feeds to see what versus people were talking about and where the repetition was. Then lastly, I made a short list of emotions, events, feelings, and words that could be easily associated with these three different lists of verses.
After looking at all of this, I started the process of seeing where the repetition was. And here is where I will for the first time (And not the last) disclose that you should NOT consider me a spiritual expert or guide. I didn’t start 29 AND 11 to be that person. There are a thousand ways you could dissect my process as wrong or incomplete. What you wear and how you communicate your journey of faith is deeply personal. AND there is a chance that 29 AND 11 isn’t a part of that journey. And that is SOOOO okay with me. Again, just giving you a little VIP tour of my thought process to be as transparent as possible!
Okay, back to the repetition. There were some obvious verses that really repeated themselves in this process:
- Philippians 4:13 - I can do all things through him who strengthens me
- 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 - Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
- Jeremiah 29:11 (Obviously!!) - For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.
I had around 20(ish) in total and so I started looking at them as a collective. I realized that there was some duplication in terms of the emotion that could be associated with them (Anxiety, Love, Strength, Trust, Loss, and more). So I went ahead and associated that feeling or an event or an emotion with each verse. I pared the list down to 9 verses….out of 31,102. This felt wrong and right at the same time. Wrong in the sense that I was 99.99% definitely leaving out verses that someone had seared on their brain, or even tattooed on their arm because it meant so much. But right in the sense that it meant there was a chance that these would resonate with people, even if they weren’t their own personal mantras. And maybe if they didn’t resonate at the moment, they could in the future.
The possibilities are endless, and I think there is a 100% potential for 29 AND 11 to figure out how to personalize things as we grow and conceptualize things better. But for now, maybe I can show you guys why we think these verses are awesome, how these might represent where you are at in your spiritual journey, and also give you hope in looking at all the promise that He provides us with chapter and verse to guide us in our daily lives.