Following the Shepherd’s Lead

I want to start off today by sharing a moving poem by Daryl Madden. Check it out here. Daryl wrote this specifically for my one word of the year – Shepherd! I was truly touched and I really love the words. (And by the way, Daryl shares a poem every day. So if you enjoy insightful poetry, I recommend following Daryl’s blog.)

AND before I dive into my post, I wanted to wish my parents a very Happy Birthday! (Yes, they share the same birthday.) Here’s to good health, many blessings, and happiness in the year ahead! 😘💕🙌🥳 (And if you want to wish them a Happy Birthday as well, I can tell you that my father will see this. My mother might if she didn’t have an array of challenges with technology. 😁)

And an admin note before I move on – If you follow the Christians Read blog, you might have noticed that I have not been posting there the past few weeks. This may be a temporary thing? That is what I foresee right now. There has been a lot on my plate recently, and I had to make some adjustments. Regarding this blog, I do hope to post weekly. But this might not always be possible, as I continue to juggle things around. So thank you in advance for your grace. I am trying to follow the Shepherd’s lead, which is what we are talking about today…

Here are a few things that have been on my mind and heart over the last few weeks…

1 – When we remember that the Lord is our Shepherd, this means we follow His lead. It means we listen for His directives and proceed accordingly. This should be true whether we are on the mountain top or in the valley. But in different seasons of our lives, the ease of this might change. In good times we run the risk of forgetting we need a Shepherd. And in the bad times, we run the risk of growing cold in our relationship with our Shepherd. No matter what season you are in right now, take the time to listen for your Shepherd’s voice and follow His lead. This is a daily decision. Maybe even a moment by moment decision.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths. – Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV

2 – When we follow the Shepherd’s lead, this might not make sense to other people. We might make decisions that some will disagree with. And sometimes the path doesn’t make sense to us either. But we have peace because we heard the Shepherd’s voice, and we are following Him. We can seek godly counsel and we can seek God in prayer to make sure we heard right. Then we follow His lead. In a way, this is similar to what we talked about last spring, to live for an audience of One. We cannot live to please people. We must live to please God alone.

Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ. – Galatians 1:10 NIV

3 – Allowing God to be the Shepherd might mean stepping back and adjusting our focus. This will be a time of going back to basics, and removing distractions. We choose to be intentional with our time. The lures of the world don’t sway us. We know He is all we need. With some of the things I have been dealing with, I have many unknowns ahead. And that is true for all of us. This can be scary. Yet, in a way, this is also ideal. God knows what lies ahead. So we have an opportunity to focus on the Good Shepherd, follow His lead, and learn to trust Him.

Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust Him, and He will help you. – Psalm 37:5 NLT

4 – No matter where you are, our Shepherd is there beside you. He will guide you and encourage you. But sometimes this means being intentional about looking around. Over the last few weeks, I have been encouraged by reading other people’s blog posts, reading my Bible, prayer, and much more. These all remind me that God is with me, even when I don’t feel it. Sometimes encouragement might come through other people as well. My husband and I received a Christmas card in the mail that was so special. And it wasn’t the card itself that hit me, but what the sender wrote on the inside. When I attended college, I worked in the library, and Gloria was my boss. I haven’t seen her in over two decades, yet we still exchange Christmas cards. On the inside of the card, she wrote: “Dear God, Give them joy, love, laughter and peace! Amen.” This touched me so much because she had no idea that we really needed that. But God knew! In the words of my friend and fellow blogger, David, “God seeks us out before we even know we need Him.” It is comforting to know that God is always near, ready to encourage us.

I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence! If I go up to heaven, you are there; if I go down to the grave, you are there. If I ride the wings of the morning, if I dwell by the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, and your strength will support me. – Psalm 139:7-10 NLT

I know the year ahead will be long. Seasons and circumstances will continue to fluctuate. It is easy for me to seek the Shepherd now because I am still in the quiet lull that follows New Years. But as things change, I hope I can remember to continually follow the Good Shepherd and listen for His voice. Thank you for taking the time to read my post today. I spent more time than I want to admit writing and deleting 😅, as I tried to organize my thoughts and share some of the things that were on my heart. We are just getting started in 2023, but I hope in the months ahead, we will grow and learn together. 🐑 (And as you can see, I am having fun with the emojis. Hey, you gotta live a little!)

Photo by Pawan Sharma on

© Bridget A. Thomas 2023

27 Comments on “Following the Shepherd’s Lead

  1. I really enjoyed your post, Bridget! If the Lord is our Shepherd, we should follow Him. Sounds like a no brainer., but I’ve actually tried to be friends with God before without following Him. 🤷🏻‍♀️#doesn’t work.

    I don’t even remember writing the quote you shared, but I love it! I’m gonna claim it as inspired by God. 😃

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a special blog today, my friend! Daryl’s poem was a divine compliment! Your word is powerful and you will lean on it daily in the good and the bad, in your highs and your lows and merely on a daily basis for your Shepherd is there in all ways and at all times. Wishing you a joyous and peaceful 2023, Bridget. Now, in the meantime, HAPPY BIRTHDAY to your Mom and Dad!!! May the happiness and celebration be twice as grand as you celebrate one another’s birth once again! Blessings to you BOTH!!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Bridget, a beautiful post and a lovely poem by Daryl. Following our shepherd’s leading is easier said than done. As you have mentioned, as the year goes on I too hope to follow the Lord’s leading through the fluctuating seasons of life.
    Happy Birthday to your mum and dad.
    And blessings to you my friend 💙💐

    Liked by 1 person

    • Very true, it is not always easy to follow our Shepherd’s lead. Circumstances, fear, distractions, and many other things can take our focus away. One bright side that I have found is that it gets easier the longer we walk with Him. But there is always more we can learn. And I hope we learn a lot this year. Thank you for the birthday wishes! My parents will appreciate that! Blessings to you too, my friend 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love what you shared about things that have been on your heart and mind. What a blessing that we share with one another the things God is teaching us so we can spur one another along. This was an encouragement to me Bridget!❤️it actually made me realize that I should have a “blogging notebook” where I write down the good things I learn through other’s posts!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I like that idea! And actually I often do add things like that to my gratitude journal. I am so glad this post was encouraging. Thank you so much for commenting. It is always good to hear from you. I hope you have a good weekend! ♥️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday to your parents! 🎉
    I enjoyed the poem by Daryl! Thank you for sharing what’s been on your mind and heart. The points you made are helpful. Following the Shepherds lead is something we have to be intentional about. May God bless you and your husband in this new year as you continue to trust and obey. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • You’re right – we do have to be intentional. But it is well worth it. Thank you for the birthday wishes to my parents. And thank you for the sweet blessings. And may God bless you this year too, my friend! 💜

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Bridget, I promised last week that I’d pray for you each time I read about our Shepherd and you got a lot of prayer! So cool! I love having my special code word for Bridget! 😃😘❤ Not to mention, thinking about Jesus each time too. Happy birthday to both your parents. That is so unique!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow! Thank you! I am so honored and I sure won’t turn down prayer. You are amazing. I am adding you to my prayer list also. Please let me know if there is anything specific you want me to pray about, or if you have a key word / phrase I can use as a trigger. And thank you so much for the birthday wishes for my parents. ♥️ I hope you are having a good weekend!


      • How about the key word “the”? Haha Then I’ll be getting prayer every minute.. ha Seriously, thank you, how about “rise above” bc I want to rise above so many difficulties that come up in my marriage?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Haha! I will think of you every time I see the word “the” now!! 😁 And I love the phrase “Rise Above!” There is definitely much we can learn and hope for with that, whether it’s in marriage, our Christian walk, or life in general. Thank you for sharing. You will be in my prayers ♥️

        Liked by 1 person

  7. My one word for 2023 is LOOK, so #4 of your list resonated with me, Bridget. The more intentional we are to LOOK for God’s influence and presence, the more likely we are to notice, and the more we notice, the more impact his influence can be in our lives. Besides, it’s downright delightful to see, hear, and/or feel his presence (Psalm 16:11)!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love you word for 2023. What a great reminder to Look around for God’s goodness and blessings. I agree – the more we look, the more we notice. I pray the word Look provides many revelations for you in 2023.


  8. Pingback: Week Three Learn of Me | The Project: Me by Judy

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: