I had the most amazing experience yesterday! Our ward, even though we have been asked to attend the Spanish Branch, held a ward fast on behalf of our family. Wait, let me back up a little…since Thursday, when we got the new that we were positive in the lungs, I had really been struggling. I was angry. Oddly enough, I wasn’t angry that death was coming, I was angry it wasn’t coming quicker.
Yep, you read that right. I can do death. It doesn’t really scare me. I know that Dad will be there greet me, making the transition easy. I’ve read it’s a pretty peaceful place. Honestly, my curiosity was a bit peaked as to what I could really find on the other side. It was living that felt too tough.
Now, I know that was not the best way to see things. I have a good man supporting me and two kids just getting started. Logical and rational were still there but strength was not. So, I did what I do best. I told my Father in Heaven I needed some help.
Sunday morning, I woke up early. Who am I kidding? Lately, I haven’t really been sleeping. Normally, I get up and start doing things. However, Sunday morning, I was tired. It didn’t take much (about 35 minutes) and I was ready to go back to sleep. In my half sleep (I say “half sleep” because I could hear Marina coughing most of the time) I was brought to reflect upon the story of David and Goliath.
I woke up, found the story in 1 Samuel 17 and away I went. Ironically, my Goliath is microscopic and not publically calling me out but challenging me from within. Nonetheless, David left is sheep with a keeper (20) and went away for a while. For a boy whose entire rearing had been based on learning to be a shepherd and knowing that his sheep responded only to his voice, it must have been scaring to entrust them to someone else. It is one of the things that most worries me. I worry about being away from my kids. Who will be their keeper? Will they do okay with a new voice? Are they as tough as I hope? Will they get enough love? All the things a mom worries about.
But David went. He didn’t just go. He arrived bearing food and gifts for his brothers. And then, his young, faith-centered attitude asked “…for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God (26)?” Such a statement must have seemed so arrogant to his brothers and surrounding soldiers. Here was this little shepherd boy wondering why no one had taken on this giant who did not believe in God.
David goes on to explain that if the Lord can deliver him the “paw of a lion, and the paw of a bear (37)” he can certainly beat a big man. David didn’t even see Goliath as a giant. To David he was just another Philistine.
David was offered armor that was too much for him. He went back to what he knows. “And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine(40).” David went down to meet Goliath and be taunted by, what I would call, trash talk.
Now the part I love. “David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine (48).” He wasn’t screwing around. He was there to get things done and get them done he did. He did not waiver in his faith nor his diligence to get done what needed to be done. “And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth (50).”
So a doctor tells me there is a giant threatening my life. To which I respond, “who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?” I know that I have things to accomplish in this life. I know that because my Father in Heaven has told me that I do. Unfortunately, he has had to tell me on more than one occasion but I listened. I will let no Giant tell whether or not I am going to get them done. I know that the Lord as already taken me through tough things. These things have prepared me for what he requiring of me now. My lion and my bear paws have past. Had I not run that relay, with all those encouraging but overachieving friends, I never would have believed that I can do physical hard things. I certainly wouldn’t have learned how much physical endurance is just in your head. Had I not learned to face my worst fears and accepted by part of failing relationships, I never would have learned what I am capable of emotionally.
So, I need no armor. It won’t protect me from the giant inside of me. I will take my staff: my husband who has walked beside me all of the way, never missing appointment. When I needed him most he has risen to be the priesthood holder I needed. I will choose my five stones out of the brook: my closest friends (you all know who you are), my ward, my faith, my diligence, and the scriptures. Finally, I will take up my sling: my family whom I have never seen so closely united. I have felt of their unconditional love and unity from day one. They have supported my little herd more than I ever knew possible.
And now we haste…David needed one good shot. He didn’t have time to aim. He just did what God said to do and trusted that the stone would do the rest. So bring it on, Goliath! I have my weapons of war. I have what I need. My little sheep will be fine, for a time, in the care of all the shepherds that will be tenderly watching over them. But I have a battle to fight. I have war to end. I will not let this uncircumcised Philistine tell me how to live my life. I’ve never let anyone tell me, so, why start now?
I would ask, to all those that read this, please take advantage of this trial that we are about to embark upon. Learn what you can about it. Learn about yourself, your God, your ability to go beyond what you thought you could do. Just learn everything you need to learn. I say this because I only intend to fight Goliath once. I don’t want to have to do it again because someone didn’t get a life lesson the first time. However, if we find ourselves fighting it again, which we may, I will pick up my staff, my stones and my sling and we will haste, but you better believe you’ll all be with again.