"The stones inside your hand might be small
But watch the giants fall." Francesca Battistelli
After a year of #RISE where I learned to speak with purpose and step into my faith, the oneword for this year came to me first as a surprise. Honestly, my initial reaction was that I had already slayed the giant. I faced fear and left my career where I felt safe and purposed, stepping out where not many would go in a leap of faith and trust. Had I not battled through months of giants where I was searching for where God was leading me?
The answer is no. I simply rose.
Of course rising was not simple at all. When I wrote the post about my one word last year, I was full of trepidation to speak so openly about faith, and specifically about the Holy Spirit speaking life into me. After all, I had spent a chapter of my life muting that passion and living out of fear at times. What if people were offended or started calling me out? Placing myself out there as a person who leads with faith is vulnerable. I am not perfect. I am a sinner. Sometimes I feel ashamed of what others do or say in the name of God, and I struggled over the year thinking others would align me with religion over relationship. However, I see now how it has been the little steps of faith that have mattered even greater than the massive leap of faith that I took to follow His call on my life. And it is with those steps of obedience and trust that I have spent time rising over the year. I have not slayed the giants. Yet.
Part of what I have learned this year and heard repeatedly is that God loves my heart. I possess what many call a Heart of David. And though it is challenging to type that because of a continued struggle with worthiness, I know this to be true. Over the days and months of listening, refining, learning, reflecting, studying passages, and gaining in intimacy with the Spirit, I can embrace this truth with full clarity. David was a sinner. He was an adulterer. A murderer.
But at his heart, David loved and praised God publicly AND privately. Trusted whole heartedly in God's love, protection, and David worshiped with fervor in his greatest triumphs and deepest trials. David honed skills he would need to face Goliath in his work as a shepherd, a position from which he rose to honor God. When David's child with Bethsheba died, he mourned, accepted, and praised God. When Saul pursued him relentlessly, David trusted that God would protect him but also trusted that whatever was to come would be God's will. He wrote beautiful and heartfelt songs of praise to God in all circumstances. As King David, he knew deeply that the glory remained with God, and he never failed to understand that he was but human and God was worthy to be praised.
My life journey will not mirror David's. On any real level, and I am well aware of that. My battles will be different, station far less honorable in this life. However, my heart will forever be fixed on praise, worship, trust, and obedience. I pray that my heart will be open to whatever I am called to and that clarity is present as much as possible, but faith will remain in the caves too. And I can see after reflecting on it now that the skills I gained in school leadership and my life as a whole will help me with this year when it comes time to face the giants.
After processing what "Slay" will mean in my life, I am convicted, excited, and passionate to face my giants, knowing that it will never be my strength alone that ends up conquering any adversary. God has instructed me specifically in many spaces already for what Slay will mean for me, and I know full well more will come. When I look back on 2019, I have no doubts that I will be astonished by the strength He gives me to face fears and enter into battle with confidence that can only come from full trust.
After a year of rising, it is time to slay.
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