Learning to Follow the Shepherd

Hello dear ones, it’s time to sink into the word again, to allow the Scripture to wash over us and show us new revelations of Jesus. It’s time to do the SLOW Word Movement. Know anyone else who may need this gift?

 

A friend sent me this piece from the interwebs. It wrecked me a bit…then came the lectio divina. Here’s my response, a gathering of a story from last week:

 

I sat on the leather couch feeling like the wind had been knocked out of me and if I’m honest, a tad bit angry. Our Journey group which had traveled through this last year of a spiritual direction program was saying good-bye. But that’s not what had me angry. That was tender. We were passing out parting gifts, blessings really. One of our members has a prophetic gift and spoke the word he saw for me. But here’s the thing. It’s a word that’s been spoken over me three times in the past three years. Different metaphors. Same message. They feel like signposts, signposts which whisper of blessing but when I’m straining here in the seat of disappointment, these signposts sometimes scoff. Because today as a homeschool mom in a ministry setting that’s deeply humbling, I couldn’t feel farther away from that word. It’s as if I’m walking a labyrinth and the path has turned away from the center. Cold. Colder. Colder.

 

These days I feel completely hidden.

 

I received the word and then gave it back to the Lord. “You can have it. If this is Your will, You accomplish it. Please don’t let me place walls in the midst of the path You have for me, but I refuse to idolize the sign.”

 

Because it’s easy to walk out of shame, to fear that I’ve missed the trail somewhere back there. Shame feels like a second skin. And shame has always been easier for me to wear than freedom.

 

I exhale. Stay on the path, I hear. Deep inside I know that the true journey is a pilgrimage to the center of my soul where the war battles.  There’s still a lot of work to be done. There’s cleaning to do. Where do I find my value? There are gates to swing wide to the Spirit. There’s an infant trust that’s recently been born but still naked, fragile. A necessary humility has begun to spread my arms out cruciform, wide enough to love the broken. But, some days I still feel the fight. Like today.

 

If I’ve learned anything on this road, here’s the extravagant reward of the struggle: my Shepherd’s love is fierce and if I get silent a while, I can drink deep of that love. That’s when I remember that He Himself is completely worth the uphill trek I’m hiking. It’s the Via Dell’Amore, the hard road of love. When all is stripped, and we’re alone on the trail, there are no other voices. No other faces. Alone and listening to the Voice of Love I discover again that it’s Him I desire…not the thing, the ministry, the story, the sign.

 

The Shepherd.

 

And yes, every once in a while I notice, when I learn to follow the robes of the shepherd closely,

 

He fills the frame and I no longer need to look where He’s taking me.

 

Dear one, in your spiritual life are you in a season of hiddenness or adventure?

 

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4 Comments

  1. Summer,
    So blessed to sit with a new slow word from the Shepherd. All that you shared has ministered to me this weekend.

    So often I have confused my “calling” with an independent mission away from the sheepfold. I’m reminded that a calling is always a FOLLOWING of His lead. A calling is a long journey of waiting, being prepared, being stripped, being loved, being molded, being refined. He shows us the calling through a word or a glimpse of glory, and then requires a long season of laying down the glimpse of glory. In so many ways, that post from Beautiful Upheaval is MY story, and your response to it is very much like my story. What comfort I find to know that others are being hidden by Him, that this is indeed HIS way of doing things…not my punishment, not my disqualification.

    More than nine years ago He gave me the same exact word of calling/spiritual identity three times, from three sources, and showed me glorious things. Then He shut me away in the hiddenness of homeschooling. Lately He has been asking me to believe again in the word He gave me so long ago. Over the years I laid it down…even buried it at times to keep my heart from breaking and to keep my eyes on Him. I am determined not to worship the word or the signpost this time around. I will put all my effort into trusting Him and following Him. And then we shall see what He will do.

    1. Wow Jaime, such a precious description of the heartache of hiddenness. No, it is not your punishment or disqualification. This is the lie, is it not. Thank you for your faithfulness in commenting, Friend!

    1. Oh Bettie G, this blogpost is gorgeous! I’m just celebrating the lovely stillness you’re developing between you and the Lord. I’m humbled to be on this journey with you, my dear!

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