Of all the wonderful stories in the Bible, the story of David and Goliath remains one of my favorites. Just imagining this young boy loading a small stone into a slingshot and stepping onto the battlefield in the name of the Lord strengthens my own resolve to be courageous.
The reality is that we all face different kinds of giants in our lives. The question isn’t whether they’ll show up; it’s whether we’ll have the courage to load our own stones into our own slingshots when the time comes.
Several years ago, I decided it was time to face a huge giant in my life. That giant’s name was Fear. For me, facing this giant meant risking my reputation as a “put-together” mom, author, and speaker by sharing one of my most personal struggles: the childhood trauma I faced, along with the years of crippling anxiety I experienced as a result.
I’ll never forget the first time I stepped onstage with the intention of telling the truth about this tender part of my life. I knew God had asked me to address the very real problem of domestic abuse within the church while speaking to a group of homeschooling women. The only way to do it with authority was to be honest about the abuse I’d experienced growing up.
I prayed for weeks in advance about what I’d say, and every time I even thought about it, Fear (and his henchman, Adrenaline) would hijack my mind and my body. My hands got clammy, my heart raced, and my anxiety soared. But all the while, God was teaching me to recognize the spirit of fear and reminding me to remain in Him.
The day I took the stage to share what had previously been known only to close friends and family, it felt very much like I was picking up a stone and chucking it with all my strength at the giant that had held me hostage most of my adult life. Sometimes the only way to do something is to do it afraid.
Do you know what happened when I took aim at that giant? God showed up. When I obeyed the Lord, something miraculous happened: He began to set me free. As I testified to God’s unfailing love in the middle of my trials, I saw tears rolling down the faces of many of the women in the audience. The response was overwhelming.
That day I learned that the devil doesn’t want us to share our struggles. He wants us to feel that we’re all alone. Isn’t that what the devil does best? He tries to keep us from knowing the truth. To my surprise, I was learning that I was far from alone in my struggle. God wanted to use my story, including the broken parts, even as I was still finding my own healing.
We all have different fears we battle against. But one common characteristic about most fears is that they stem from the lies we believe. Maybe Satan has whispered some of these lies into your ears at some point:
You’re not strong enough.
Your past has determined your future.
Everything depends on you.
You’ve failed too many times.
You can’t do this right.
You’re screwing up your kids.
Everyone else’s kids are doing better than yours.
When I say these statements out loud, I know they’re lies, but somehow in the quiet of my heart, they sound different. They sound believable.
As a young mother, I struggled to differentiate between the voice of the enemy and my own insecurities. I had grown up hearing stories about the lineup of courageous people of the Bible. I knew all about Joshua and the battle of Jericho, I could tell you all the ways Mary was brave, and I could quote a whole bunch of verses about faith—but it was just “Christianese.” I knew the stories of courage, but I couldn’t translate them into power for my own life.
Can you relate? We need a giant-sized slingshot to face the giants in our own lives. Thankfully, God supplies slingshots when we ask Him to. He’s good like that.
I know all this talk of courage can sound kind of cliché, so let me unpack it for you just a little. MomStrong moms recognize that courage isn’t the absence of fear; it’s the decision to act in the face of fear. When we face our fears in faith, what we’re really doing is allowing the Holy Spirit to be who He says He is: bigger than our fear.
When we pick up our slingshots and take aim at our giants through the power of the Holy Spirit, our aim will be sure. Fear is no match for the Lord of heaven’s armies. According to the Bible, God is pretty good at helping amateurs like David to make their aim count. It took only one stone to take down the giant Philistine.
The same is true for us. When our trust is in the Lord, courage finds its feet. My grandmother once said, “God is faithful, or He isn’t. He’s good, or He isn’t.” There’s no such thing as halfhearted faith—we need to go all in. The way we respond to trials is our opportunity to put feet to our faith.
If you’re struggling to find courage in the midst of a battle, it’s okay. Our faithful God knows every part of you. He sees every hurt and knows every detail of the fears you’re facing. MomStrong moms have uncommon courage, because their courage comes from God Himself. Where God’s love is found, His courage is not far behind, because the Word tells us that perfect love drives out fear (see 1 John 4:18). Uncommon courage is God’s gift to every fearful mom who decides she can take Him at His word, not matter what she is facing. Watch and see—He will prove Himself faithful.
Adapted from Becoming MomStrong: How to Fight with All That’s in You for Your Family and Your Faith by Heidi St. John.