Jenna Bush Hager, daughter of 43rd president of the United States George W. Bush, shared with her TODAY co-hosts Hoda Kotb and Savannah Guthrie on Thursday (March 16) that her father texts her a Bible verse every morning.
Bush Hager said the tradition actually started with her fraternal twin, Barbara, after she experienced a bad relationship breakup. Since then, Bush hasn’t stopped sending Bible verses and has since begun texting Jenna every morning as well.
“I actually wake up every morning to a text from my dad that’s a different Bible verse,” Bush Hagar revealed. “I wasn’t included at the beginning. It started when my sister had a bad breakup and my dad just started texting her every morning. And it was something really small but something very steady that she’d look up to.”
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The 41-year-old mother of three sometimes shares the verses her father sends her with others, including her co-workers. In fact, Kotb said that her co-hosts “have each texted me something full of faith and meaning at a time when I needed it the most.”
Some of those texts are Bush Hager relaying her father’s morning Bible verse to her friends as a reminder of the truth found in God’s Word, which provides joy, encouragement, and hope.
Former president Bush credits the late Billy Graham for changing his life, sharing in a 2018 Wall Street Journal op-ed that in 1985, Graham sent him a Bible with the inscription, “And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns,” a quotation of Philippians 1:6.
“God’s work within me began in earnest with Billy’s outreach,” Bush said. “His care and his teachings were the real beginning of my faith walk—and the start of the end of my drinking. I couldn’t have given up alcohol on my own. But in 1986, at 40, I finally found the strength to quit. That strength came from love I had felt from my earliest days and from faith I didn’t fully discover until my later years.”