**I initially wrote this on December 20th and I was reminded today to identify my Goliaths so that I can stand in faith, like David, that the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, God my Father, will prevail. I encourage you to do the same and approach everything you face in faith.
David asked the men standing near him, “What will be done for the man who kills this Philistine and removes this disgrace from Israel? Who is this uncircumcised Philistine that he should defy the armies of the living God?” 1 Samuel 17:26
Heyyyy y’all!! I pray you all are blessed and well! Christmas is upon us, and I’ve been spending the last 3 weeks just in thanks, praise and worship during my days (outside of my laughing at the silly videos I see and working like a slave for both my finals and work) because God has been so good. He has gotten me through so much this year, and I am truly, truly grateful.
So I’ve been hearing about David a LOT. A devotion I read a few weeks ago, the scripture of the day last week and a song I’ve been listening to, and even again today with another devotion, the story of David and Goliath has been there for a reason. There is so much in the story of David’s life. How he was overlooked by his own father, how he was criticized by his brothers, he was a shepherd–dirty, smelly, and unkempt, how he was pursued in anger and jealousy by Saul after David killed Goliath and became the favorite of the people. There is so much! But this morning, I kept hearing, what is your Goliath? What is your Goliath?
So I ask you today what is your Goliath. Is it a person? A relationship? A mindset? Health issues and challenges? How you were raised? Things that happened during your childhood? Your job? A generational curse? Your supervisor and/or co-workers? Moving? What is it?
Looking at David, everyone second-guessed him. No one felt he had the strength to do it. He got Saul’s approval, who tried to put his armor on him. But even then, he took that off. (That is another lesson, whew.) But David had already been prepared. As a shepherd, David had gone to great lengths to protect his flock. The sheep trusted him, they followed him for their every need. It was just him and the sheep. In that isolation, several things happened: He came to know God and to respond to His voice, he had to endure some trying situations to protect them, he killed a lion and a bear, but more importantly, he had to make decisions for the well-being of others (here the sheep) which qualified him. It was these things that prepared David to kill Goliath, to elude Saul, and to ultimately become king over the children of Israel.
I know I don’t just speak for myself here. I know we have all gone through things that have prepared us for those circumstances we face. In the midst of the situation, you don’t realize how you have already been prepared for it. I was overcome with praise earlier, just thinking about how God prepared me for the Goliaths and Sauls I have faced so far in my life. Just to give you a testimony…here are some:
- pledging. Becoming a Delta prepared me for so much. I prayed and asked God if it was His will for me to become a member and I am so grateful that He used it to make me stronger, wiser, and dedicated. During that time, I had to overcome so many things within myself: mindsets, weaknesses, trusting others, putting others first all the time… It was the lessons I learned during that period that helped me to go through the most trying experience in my life at that time: my kidney diagnosis.
- kidney problems and lupus nephritis diagnosis. That diagnosis changed my life. But I refused to accept that God would not heal me. God’s way of healing me was through my transplant and its has almost been 5 years since that! I never had a true lupus flare up, my tests and serologies have all been negative ever since. I never had to do dialysis.
- the relationship from hell. No pun intended. In that relationship, I forced myself to love unconditionally, but more importantly it taught me to trust that I hear God’s voice. Everything within me told me not to stay in it, but I thought it was me. I thought I was being fearful and being scared because of my trust issues. I learned to trust God for who He has for me, instead of trying to force it with the wrong person. That relationship affected me in every area…and I’m so grateful it is over! God even showed me how I could have been the one to be abused…and how He kept me from it. Now I know that when it is my time, it will be nothing like that.
- bad financial decisions. Because I always tried to help everybody, I have made some decisions that were not so wise, one time in particular, I heard ‘Don’t Do This’, my stomach felt sick and everything…and I did it anyway. In turn, I was almost not able to get a car. But God made a way with that and I have been diligently climbing out of debt…soon to be out of the majority of my debt minus Sallie Mae of course.
- different situations at work. I had a co-worker tell me they were going to mentor me and help me get my promotion. Instead, I was thrown under the bus, ran over, and reversed over. That situation prepared me for what I went through here in New Orleans with work. I know I’ve been the product of discrimination both racially and gender-wise. I still haven’t been promoted, but I trust God and I know that He has taken care of me: I survived furloughs and a self-imposed pay cut this year and still have been able to travel and go home.
- my daddy’s death. That was the worst thing I have gone through but it prepared me for so many things. I think the biggest Goliath that came out of that was unforgiveness. To move forward I had to forgive; I’ve been working on that through writing this book…which manifested another Goliath–defeating the need to hide behind this face. Now I am not afraid to share my testimony and the things I have endured. I hid behind my smile because dealing with the things I experienced at the hands of others and as a result of my own choices hurt too much. I would preach these things at others but would seldom put them to practice.
- being molested and how that affected everything about me. I had so much anger about this. But this tied in with so much…the guilt, shame, and insecurity I felt, my distrust for my extended family (well, this became more apparent after my daddy’s death), even addressing the shroud of secrecy and how it keeps a person in a prison. But releasing those feelings through forgiveness and extending them grace has been a Goliath. I couldn’t even trust my memories, because I did not know what was real anymore. But with God I have overcome this. I am not afraid anymore.
Even the little situations have prepared me. Learning to speak up for myself immediately instead of brushing things under the rug or ignoring it, having to be bold and say some not so comfortable things to people, even living in crazyland away from all my family and close friends has prepared me for moving closer and learning to focus in so I can be successful. I have learned patience in being here–especially with desiring to get married and have children–that I can’t force it myself if I say I trust God. What is meant to be will be. I overcame the giants of shame, guilt, insecurity, judgmentalism, so much!! I really love myself for the first time…and I do not allow anything to keep me down. There is no thing that I cannot do, as long as I have God.
So again, today I ask you what is your Goliath. I ask you that and I ask you to identify the things you have overcome. Trust and know that the power is within you to overcome. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 tells us that in our weakness we are strong through the power of God. God will get you through. Ignore the naysayers, whether it be your enemies, your family, your friends. All you have to do is rest in Him and trust that He will get you through. Whether your Goliath is generational curses, the enemy’s thought injection, or not trusting that you can overcome your past…you can. I’m here to tell you that you can. Look back at what you have overcome. You may have gotten beat down in some situations but you are still here, so that means you have a victory to praise God for and a reason to celebrate. You will get through this and Goliath will be defeated. He cannot defy the Lord–he cannot steal God’s purpose and destiny for you unless you allow it.
I love you all…be blessed this holiday season as we celebrate Christ’s birth.
So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine’s sword and drew it from the sheath. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword. 1 Samuel 17:50-51