the shepherd

I've struggled with what to write next... how to put my thoughts into words, and how to let my writing point to the One who gave me the words in the first place.

Right now, I'm in a place of rest. I graduated from seminary in May with a Masters degree, but now I'm waiting. Waiting on the Lord to open the right door. I heard a pastor preach through Psalm 23 one Sunday this summer, and I keep reflecting back on that passage. It's so familiar, but it's easy to disregard it on the good days. The Psalmist wrote, "He makes me lie down in green pastures..." and I honestly never thought about its meaning until this summer. Shepherds know their sheep. They know when they need water, when they need rest, and they know when one has wandered away. The pastor shared that sometimes a shepherd will strain the tendon of a sheep's leg so that the sheep has to lie down and rest.

This is exactly where I find myself. The Lord has given me a season of rest and lie down in green pastures, and it's hard. I'm a "doer." I love to be busy, I work well in high-stress situations, and I have a complete fear of missing out (also affectionately known as FOMO). I've found myself at home with my parents over the last couple of weeks, just waiting. Waiting on the phone to ring, waiting on a job, waiting on the Lord. The Shepherd has strained my tendon and has caused me to lie down and rest.

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on the last few years... on friendships, ministry, choices, family, relationships, and my personal walk with the Lord. I've spent the past few years going fast all the time. I've moved 5 times in 5 years, worked crazy hours, written countless papers, and traveled the world. I've been exhausted, but haven't had a second to stop and rest. I guess I'm making up for lost time now :)

I know that the Lord has purpose in this season. I believe it's a season of preparation for whatever is next, and I'm trusting him with each day that goes by. Don't think that I'm superhuman and don't have bad days... I threw myself a pretty good pity party earlier this week, but it came and went. When I pause to reflect, I can't help but think of the goodness and faithfulness of God, even in this season of uncertainty. He has and always will be faithful. I am thankful that I am not walking through this alone... He is with me, and I'll go wherever he leads.

Psalm 23

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.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
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.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD


Jan Hamilton said…
Mary Margaret, take this opportunity to rest and enjoy the time with your family. You have plenty of time to move on with your career. You have worked hard and deserve the down time. Do the things you have always wanted to do but haven't had time! I am very proud of you and your hard work, dedication, and love of the Lord. He is blessing your with this time and will continue to bless you with great things in the future. Love you, Aunt Jan

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