Although I was exposed to country music , during the early years of my life I did not have much exposure to “the things of the world”. This was probably because my momma’s dedication to the church had not yet been severed by the day they sent her daughter home with bruises. Before that day, I wasn’t allowed to read ungodly books, play with kids in my neighborhood or watch TV. I did read many of the classic children’s picture book stories, but not until I was older and could choose to read whatever I wanted. Although momma encouraged me to read, I don’t recall her reading a story to me. I do remember hearing stories in service. Adam and Eve. Noah and the Ark. Abraham and Isaac. The love story of Isaac and Rebecca. Jacob and Esau. Joseph and his coat of many colors. The Exodus. Joshua and the crashing of the walls at Jericho. I learned early that these were stories of great faith. Stories of a heritage that was mine through a spiritual birth. I loved all the rich stories of the Bible, but my favorite was always the story of David and Goliath.
It’s a classic good vs. evil story. David, a shepherd boy, the youngest of his brothers. Goliath, a giant, a champion. David takes food to his brothers in the battlefield. There he sees the armies of Israel tremble before Goliath. Goliath, the one who dares to mock the Almighty. David, whether he was brave or a little over-confident, agrees to fight Goliath. To show the mighty name of God will not be mocked. David is given the armor of King Saul, but it doesn’t fit him. David takes off the armor and proceeds to fight his way. David goes to a brook, picks out FIVE shiny stones. He goes to the battle and stands before Goliath. And Goliath? He looks at David and laughs. Here’s a shepherd boy facing the mightiest warrior. And he stands there with a sling? But Goliath is foolish…one should never laugh at the Almighty unless they want Him to show up. David takes those stones and places them into the sling. I always imagined this part of the story in slow motion. Around and around the sling goes and then David releases the stones. Those stones fly across straight into Goliath’s forehead. And in shock, he falls over. DEAD. David walks over, takes Goliath’s sword and cuts off his head. I agree. It’s kind of a gruesome story for a little kid to like. Really. But for a girl who desperately needed a David to show up in her life and take out Goliath it was my hope.
It’s an interesting coincidence that our LOL (Little Ole Ladies) group has been reading and studying Max Lucado’s Facing Your Giants the last couple months. It’s been encouraging to see how far I’ve come in facing the giants in my life. I felt confident…triumphant. And then I found myself facing a familiar giant. I had a flashback last week…something that’s never happened. It’s different than a trigger; a trigger just causes me anxiety. Basically, I was physically experiencing/feeling what happened as a girl. Psychologically it’s the most unnerving thing that’s happened. As I scrambled to wrap my head around it and find my way back to reality the aftermath landed on the husband. Leaving both of us emotionally reeling and pushing away from each other. Which angered me, but knocked me into what was really going on. I know evil and evil knows my name. I know how it feels. How it sounds. How it smells. How it tastes. What it looks like. And it’s a giant. I’ve been able to wound it before. When I declared that Jesus could have my brokenness it was wounded. But it’s still alive. And this week, it threw a fiery dart at me. And as I stumbled, others held me up. I was counseled to rest. And then Abba told me to prepare for him to take this giant out. Like David, I’m gathering up stones to swing at my own Goliath. And when those stones are freed, they are going to land squarely in the evil that bore me and my Abba, he’s going to take this Goliath out. For GOOD.
I was taught that the stones were a type of the five-fold ministry: Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Prophets and Apostles. That God uses those stones to take out the giants in our land. But, I’m not in *that* land. I don’t necessarily have a “pastor”. But I have an Abba and he’s showing me that my stones are indeed “ministry” just not how I used to see ministry. My stones have different shapes and forms.
Jesus. When he met me in the dark hour and stood beside, loving me through my pain, he became my Savior. He is the reason I stand, the reason I love, the reason I am alive to tell this story. Appropriately he is called the Chief Cornerstone.
The book. A book that contains 9 stories of brokenness and the healing power of Jehovah Rapha. My own story, chosen because Abba wanted the story included. A book that is changing the lives of women on the launch team and will change the lives of the women who will read it. Women who will be Surprised by the Healer.
The husband. The man who fell in love with a broken girl and never gave up, even when he had every right to give up. The man who in the midst of confusion and trying to make sense of the presence of pain, quietly, but defiantly defended me against the giant. Declared that if it planned on taking me out it would have to take him out first.
My family. Although the root of my family is evil, there is a fierce determination in all of us to rise above it. The arrest of my father could have torn us apart…it didn’t. Although we are all in different places of journey and healing and faith or unbelief and stages of life, there is still a strong bond that ties us together. And our extended families. Aunts. Uncles. Cousins. Who have stood by us and loved us and let us know that we are accepted and still part of the family. Never leaving us.
My friends. They have names and faces. Some I’ve met and some I’ve never met. The woman who is open when I arrive at a moment’s notice, pours a cup of tea or wine and helps me muddle through the chaos. Who loves me enough to be blunt. The woman who is my friend because Abba knew that I needed her and she needed me. The one who laughs at my obsessions and lets me laugh at hers. The one who can take the Word of God and use it in a way that is gentle but cuts into the heart of my pretenses. The woman who walks through intense grief and pain and reminds me that brokenness is where Abba works best. The one who taught me I could trust him as a father. The woman who was at one time my only friend in the world. The one who became, literally, my sister. Who will answer my text, no matter how weird and will defend me to the death. The women who knew me as a little girl and remind me of how far I go and pray for me and love me. The ones I don’t get to see nearly enough but will always be there for me. The women I’ve met through homeschooling and blogging. Who prayed and loved me through the dark hours. Faithful women who show me how to live life on one’s knees, fully trusting in the goodness of Abba. The women who love me and pray for me and laugh with me and cry with me and just let me be me. Too many to name, yet each one I cannot live my life without. And the women I’ve met and will meet through this book. And then, there’s the men. A special few. The man who was my big brother as a little girl who disappeared and broke my little heart. And when the loss of his sister broke his heart, Abba put us back into each others lives and we are helping each other heal. The man who is probably my husband’s best and weirdest friend. The one who makes me laugh and drives me crazy and has taught me that men are not the enemy. The one with a gift that Abba uses…a gift of music. As my soul bled, the fingers that strum the strings of his guitar, brought a simple melody that soothed the ache. These people are my support and my life line and my gift from Abba.
So, I gather up these stones. And it takes time. I’m not ready yet. But one day, one day these stones will be a part of what Abba uses to bring that giant crashing to the ground. When that day comes, I’m going to dance for joy and sing of a love that takes out giants.