Coach Tiff, or rather, Koach Tiff. The name I used, answered to - the label I wore, the title that I displayed. The foundation on which I built the last 13 years of my life.The floor on which the hollow framing of confidence was erected. It’s what they called me. It’s what shaped, secured and strengthened me.
The label told of my position, told them my purpose, gave them insight to the plan for my life. Coach replaced with a K because of the importance of their cultures influence on my beginning - proudly representing IT not realizing I was feeding the hidden need to be seen. I shared my title and my achievements and they were impressed. I would always correct them when they called me by my real name - giving them my title. It was important that I told people I hated my real name as I rolled my eyes at how silly and weak it sounded. An 80s one hit wonder, jewelry I’d never be able to buy- who wants to be called something frivolous when they get old?! I avoided my last name as much as possible for the similar reasons - Filbert sat on my tongue as a waste product of what was in my heart. The dreaded F - fear, fail, freak, father.
I have shared bits and pieces of the transformation God has done in the last two years of my life. I sit here in an awe that never ceases, overwhelmed with joy, Coffee in hand and cheeks that are feeling the constant smile that spread on my face last night. A word was shared called “For the Culture” by Rylie Silva. I went into the evening ready, expectant and excited for what God would say to me like He has so many times sitting in that particular chair - the end of the second row. For the Culture - a look at the book of Daniel. The story of one person who radically stood and shifted the spaces he walked through as he boldly claimed his name when the culture tried to relabel his identity. Daniel - God is my judge. A man who lived in a culture not created by the Kingdom where his citizenship was bound to. A heart that carried confidence as he walked in the room and shifted the air around him. A man who knew his name and chose to carry out His cultures customs confident His true King would work through him to make a difference. A man who chose to do what was important rather than impress the culture he was called to shake up.
But Daniel made up his mind that he would not defile (taint, dishonor) himself with the king’s finest food or with the wine which the king drank; so he asked the commander of the officials that he might [be excused so that he would] not defile himself.
Daniel 1:8 (AMP)
A few weeks ago, I sat in my car drenched in tears with a heaviness on my chest I could not get off. I went to what I knew would defeat these feelings - I called my Father and I confessed I needed help. I couldn’t understand why I felt this one week home from an amazing trip to Ecuador. After I had been blessed by the healing between Julie, Courtney and I. Why did I feel this when He had shown my a vision 6 days before of where He was taking me?!
I knew that I was to keep my ears closed to those I normally would have called. I knew I had to use my words and share my situation with my sister. The one who always feels like she has nothing to offer my insight or in-depth thoughts. The one who gets frustrated because she feels like she doesn’t comprehend when she compares herself to others pruning process or growth rate. God delivered a 2-1 in that happy hour by prompting her to nonchalantly tell me, “Maybe you should stop coaching at that gym”. My first reaction was offense and fear. “What am I suppose to do?!” I said back as tears flooded my eyes at the thought of not receiving the little check every two weeks. Immediate lies came flooding in about what I needed to provide for and perform for. All the old survival and protector flags went straight up. “Do I just give up all my coaching Danielle?! It’s all I have LEFT!!!” I took two steps and then God grabbed my heart as He whispered, “I’m all you need. You will lack nothing. Peel it off. It’s time”
Never doubt that God won’t use or speak through you to change someone else’s life or deliver a word He wants them to have. God used Danielle that afternoon to gently remove the last label, the last title, the last false idol I had not yet yielded to Him. I thought it was JUST a story of “radical obedience”....but He has now shown me another revelation about that moment.
He promises to hear your every cry, to bring your hearts desire to fruition, to make your dreams a reality. He desires to be in partnership with us. We are encourage throughout His word to remember that we are called, chosen, marked. How can we fully answer His call when we are still answering to a label culture has defined for us. When we do not know our name or the voice of the one who calls it? Daniel stood steady while culture tried to claim and change his name. He was able to confidently walk and shake up a foreign culture because he didn’t answer to his label or reject his original citizenship in the land of confusion.
God gives us His word to live in clarity, not confusion. He wants us to know His word so we can recognize His voice when he calls our name to step into what He has perfectly planned for us to accomplish and enjoy. He calls us by ONE name for clarity on WHO we are. He gave us a name so He can give us a future.
“You changed your IG handle! No more Koach Tiff huh?!”
“No more coaching....like forever?”
“What are you going to do?”
“But I can call you in a few months right?”
My label, my tag, my title has been tossed to the wind. The unfolding of His word has given light to the name in which He has always called me. When I finally answered to my real name, He gave me understanding. Now that I know the why, I can confidently claim the what.
My name is Tiffany Pauline Filbert. My name is a secret and special message of the purpose and calling He delicately designed for my life. It carries with it power and authority and a future but only if I make the choice to accept it and answer to ONLY it. God is so patient and faithful. Thank you Father for your grace and love as I step into the name “Tiffany Pauline Filbert”- manifestation of God in the small with a shield that is thick and bears edible seed
This morning I have never been more proud to stand up as He called my name to go forward to shake and shift a culture - speaking out boldly for those hurting, hidden and hopeless. It’s time.