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“This is the Lord being my shepherd”

August.8.2010

My affections are regularly torn. I love spending time alone to think, pray, process, read, listen, and just be – and my soul needs these times like oxygen – but it seems as if I only allow myself to take them when a) I am absolutely craving it, or b) There are no other options for me to be with people. I am a very extroverted person. I feed off time with people so much so that it hard for me to stay awake if I’m by myself – so naturally, my default is being with friends. I see most of them on a daily basis. I live with a family with four young children (and twelve chickens) that have captured and invaded my heart intricately. However, when I do sneak away and make myself take those times, alone, with the Lord, He’s so faithful. He teaches me. Deeply. Freely. Poetically. He allures me back to reality – to the hopeful, anticipatory, incontrovertible truth of His love, covenant, and grace. Therefore, most of the time, I am divided as to which is more important at each specific moment – time with people, loving them, serving them, enjoying them; and time alone, with the Lord, breathing deeply in his goodness.

So, background: if you haven’t yet heard I’m moving to Temple, Texas. Yes… Temple, Texas. I’ll be teaching first graders at a school there called Central Texas Christian. I’m elated to have my own classroom and teach under a Principal whom I respect greatly. The Lord continues to place possibilities, plans, projects, and ideas in my mind for the class each day and it’s absolutely thrilling. But in those moments I’m not thinking of ways to improve my future classroom, the weight of leaving people I love in the B/CS hits me like a corpulent man lolling on my chest.

Which brings me to yesterday. I was driving back from bringing most of my material possessions to Temple and the Lord decided He would teach me – set things straight in my spirit once and for all. Psalm 23 came upon my lips, bringing with it the sweet taste of His truth.

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“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul. Even though I walk through the Valley of Deep Darkness, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Only goodness and steadfast love shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall return to dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”

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This has been one of the most comforting* psalms to me ever since I memorized it last spring. But this time – this car ride – something was different. He started showing me how to recognize these truths in my life, in situations that commonly seem as burdens or hindrances. He taught me to start claiming these circumstances for good, for truth, for His glory. To say, “This is the Lord making me lie down in green pastures,” or “This is the Lord leading me in a path of righteousness – for His name’s sake,” or “This is me walking in the Valley of Deep Darkness and the Lord walking with me, so I can fear no evil.” He showed me that this new branch of life – moving and teaching in Temple – is good. This is the Lord being my shepherd. He moves me where He knows I need to be. I shall not want; He provides all I need. Selah.

I can rest in this truth. This time in this unknown city will be ferociously beneficial to my soul. I will not have to choose, to be torn between decisions of how to spend my time. He has moved me into a city where I don’t know a single person and chosen the decision for me. In those clear moments when I see this reality, my soul rushes wildly in me, splashing refreshingly onto the breakers of my heart.

Or I should rather testify, “This is the Lord restoring my soul.”

I’m excited!

———————–

*and here I mean comfort as in the oldest sense of the word – to strengthen, support, and encourage

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7 Comments leave one →
  1. Sue permalink
    August.9.2010 6:45am

    Amazing Grace How Sweet The Sound
    Praise Him From Whom All Blessings Flow
    You Are Holy
    His Mercy Endures Forever
    I Will Rise When He Calls My Name
    His Love Endures Forever

    …….Love you bunches, my sweet daughter,

    Me

  2. Lane Mabray permalink
    August.9.2010 6:46am

    Tiffany, You are an inspiration to ALL generations and what an opportunity to teach those precious little ones that the Lord has sent to you. Shalom!! Lane

  3. Susie Tassin permalink
    August.9.2010 7:01am

    It was good to read about how God is working in your life and it’s good to know that God is using you to tell the next generation about His goodness. Isn’t it amazing how God uses His written word to speak to us so powerfully and real? He has taught me and spoken to me, too, through Psalm 23 in recent months in wonderful ways. I memorized Ps. 23 when I was very young and am glad I”ve had that in my mind all these years, but, now God has really spoken to me through it and it’s so much in my heart in a new way. I am looking forward to hearing how God will work in you in your new situation. God bless you!!

  4. Kelli Jackson permalink
    August.9.2010 9:51am

    You have such a wonderful gift, the gift to teach and write! You will do such a wonderful job in Temple….keep you heart open to what is waiting for you there. We are all scared to do something new….that is normal. I am so glad that you share your thoughts with us, you really inspire me and your parents have done such a wonderful job raising you and I am excited to know that God is with you every step of the way! 🙂

  5. cloisteredaway permalink
    August.11.2010 8:02am

    Blythe asked today, “when is Tiffany coming home?” ” She’s not,” I responded. “She moved to Temple to teach school, remember?” “Well. (crossing her arms and stomping her foot to the ground) I want Tiffany HERE. If she doesn’t [come here], then I will be very. mad.”
    I just wanted you to know that your three year-old house-mate misses you as much as we do.

    hugs, kisses, and tantrums from Bryan

  6. Kelly Humphrey permalink
    August.11.2010 9:53pm

    Wow!!!! I am so excited to have you ministering with us at CTCS! He is going to (and is doing) MIGHTY things! We are going to have so much fun in 1st grade!!!

  7. November.23.2010 10:54pm

    I enjoyed this post just as much as I enjoyed the presence of you and your colleagues at the ACSI conference. While “Nerds” is not my game – and I DO want a rematch now that I know the rules – spending time with Christians, who remained joyful in spite of a common departure from home, was a welcome respite from the somewhat grumpy mood I developed over the weekend.

    Oh and Psalm 23 is of course amazing. Perhaps you’ve heard Jon Foreman’s version: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoXWIK1lfyo Also great.

    Anyway, I hope the rest of your year is grand. Judging by the wonderful company I shared with you and your team at that table in Dallas, I’m sure the months ahead will be joyful. I’ll be praying for you guys. God bless.

    -That dark kid with the beard who annoyed you at the Hyatt
    (Is that specific enough?)

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