I Read the Bible for a Week, & Here’s My Experience

If I could describe my relationship with God in two words, I would say, “It’s complicated.” Like most Hispanics, I was born and raised in the Catholic Church. I was baptized as a baby and attended Sunday school classes for communion and even confirmation. When I left my cozy home life for UF in 2016, I didn’t bring my faith with me.

I was so focused on trying to create a memorable college experience that I didn’t realize the reality of feeling burnt out. I joined multiple organizations, took too many classes and put others before myself. This cycle of overloading and compromising my well-being was my reality until the fall semester of my sophomore year. My father had a life-threatening brush with cancer, and my world turned upside down. Fast-forward to spring semester, and my life is still changing just as rapidly. Now, I’m a student, an employee, a writer and a caretaker trying to find her footing in the midst of some serious growing pains.

I had no choice but to turn to the faith that I was raised with.

On the first night, I tucked myself into bed, cracked open my Bible to the Book of Psalms and hoped for the best. A quick 10 minutes spent with the Bible led to an overwhelming sense of peace and the best night’s sleep I had in months.

I woke up the next morning with the previous night’s verse swirling in my head. It talked about God’s promises for those who make an effort to establish a relationship with Him. I said a quick prayer and went about my day with an unexpected spring in my step and the motivation to check everything off my to-do list and more.

You might be thinking, “Cayela, that’s a result of a good night’s rest.” Although you’re right, I still credit God for my specific experience because for the first night since September of 2017, I didn’t need insomnia medicine to fall asleep.

On nights two and three, I began looking forward to what the Bible had in store for me. My eyes grazed across God’s steadiness and ability to mend the brokenhearted. I continued drifting into dreamland with no melatonin. I woke up in the mornings feeling energized and inspired to be the best version of myself that I could be.

On night four, I decided to spend most of my me-time watching The Office on Netflix. I decided to forgo reading the Bible because it wasn’t close enough to my bed. I ended up regretting it as I laid in bed while my mind was racing at 100 mph. I ended up groggily reaching to my nightstand for my regular sleep aid.

Night five was when I really committed to making time for the Bible into a nightly ritual. I moved the book to my nightstand indefinitely and even set a reminder on my phone for 10:30 p.m. to make sure I wouldn’t miss it. After night five, I was starting to see the return on the investment that spending time with my Bible created. I began to feel confident in myself and more at ease making decisions than I used to. The Bible became a tool to help me live life in a better way than I was living before.

After completing this week-long experiment, I’ve noticed so many positive changes in my life. It felt so good to spend some time reconnecting with a part of myself that I had unknowingly abandoned. I spent more time during my days living in the present moment instead of subconsciously mulling on the mistakes of my past and my concerns for the future. My head felt so much clearer. I found little rays of sunshine in my tough days as I reminded myself that circumstances are only temporary. I began to understand that there are pockets of solace to be found in periods of chaos. Not to mention the fact that I don’t need medicine to help me with insomnia. It was as if God’s word was a chill pill for my hyperactive mind. I hope to continue this challenge until I read every word that the Bible has to offer me. After all, it’s never too late to take a leap of faith.