Thursday, April 23, 2009

He Restoreth My Soul

Psalm 23:
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures,

he leads me beside quiet waters,
he restores my soul.

He guides me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

This is one of the most famous Psalms quoted, ever. Yesterday I realized that God is making this come true in my life, and out of praise to my Yahweh, I want to tell you about it.
First, a little background:
For most of my life, "stuff" going on. The details aren't really necessary, but suffice it to say, since I started to kindergarten, I've never really had peace. A lot of rough things have happened over the years; life has always been a challenge ever since I was a kid. As an adult, I had a calling on my life to take care of children, and I became a special education teacher. During the 12 years I taught, I had an interesting mix of bosses, who often turned their heads away when I needed help in my classroom. Often the children in my class had severe behavior problems. I was often hit, sworn at, had large objects thrown at me; sometimes I spent hours restraining a violent child who was my size. One time a child hit me in the head so hard I blacked out. I've been kicked in the stomach and chest a few times, had my wrist, knee, and arm broken. Add to that never-ending paperwork, meetings, and grouchy parents. Not to say there were not rewards: I LOVED these children. Loved them like they were my own. It was just a very challenging job.

Enter present day: After literally begging God to give me a new life, I now work as a nanny for a 7 month old girl who is as precious as can be. I LOVE her, love her family. I'm treated like family. They are wealthy, and have a huge beautiful home and yard. Where I once spent my time chasing a classroom full of 4 year old autistic children, I now spend my days reading stories, going for walks, and playing in the garden with a beautiful baby girl who also takes 3 hour naps. I'd do anything for this little girl. I LOVE my job so much. ;)

Yesterday, playing in the English garden with my sweet girl, I realized something: God is using this job, this place, this time, to restore my soul. Time stood still for a moment yesterday as the baby explored some flower petals in her hand. The sun was shining warmly through the trees. A lovely sound of water trickling in the pool behind us was pleasant to my ears. We had all day to sit there if we wanted. The baby was perfectly content to sit and explore all day. I looked around and saw dozens of different flowers, trees; the handmade swingset; vines twisting every which way. There I was, in green pastures, beside still waters. My mind, although it has often been down this week and in torment, was at that moment, still, thinking about the goodness of our Lord & Savior, and how beautiful His creation is, how creative He is. So different from a year ago. He has brought me graciously to this place. A place where my mind and soul can be restored, and it so very much needs it. I am so grateful.

4 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.
5 You prepare a table before me

in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me

all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the LORD

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