Monday, May 25, 2009

Facing My Giants

Last night, I spent the evening with my extended family watching the movie Facing the Giants. For those of you not familiar with the movie, it's a faith-based film loosely illustrating the David and Goliath story using a losing high school football team to show what faith can accomplish. As far as storylines go it could be considered highly sappy, but on a spiritual level it once again spoke to me in unexpected ways.

What spoke to me this time was the idea of placing your trust in God and letting Him work out the details. Grant Taylor, the main character in the story, finds himself losing in every area of his life. He's a broken man without much hope. When he realizes that he can do no more on his own strength, Grant is finally ready to let go and let God. As Grant continues to study, pray and ask for guidance, he comes up with a new strategy for his football team (which also happens to be a good approach to life in general). It's simple really--give your best in everything you do and trust that God is going to bless your effort. From that moment on, things change for Grant. Miracles even occur.

To a realist, the movie would seem hokey at worst and a little too optimistic at best. However, I know from past experience that miracles can happen when you place your trust in Him. I believe the movie was God's way of prompting me to remember all the times He has worked things out for me when I believed they were hopeless. It was His way of redirecting my focus.

I find myself asking, "What are my giants? What are the things in my life I need to overcome?" The first and most overwhelming thing on my list is no longer having a job. I have been so burnt out on teaching. Even though there are aspects I enjoy, it's time-consuming nature has taken it's toll. I don't feel I am able to take care of my family as well as I would like, and none of it leaves me time to fulfil my dream of writing. I think of all the time it takes writers to make a living at their craft. Many are not even able to support themselves on their writing efforts alone. Still, after many long conversations with God where I detailed all my pain and my desire to be free of it, I've heard Him tell me that I could quit my job and to trust Him to help me meet my needs.

I have other giants as well. I cannot stand my house. It's a three bedroom/two bath trailer that was fine when I was a single mom and my children were small. Now that I am remarried and my children are all teenagers it is a tight fit. It's also ugly, cramped and dirty (conditions not helped by my reoccuring bouts of depression). I never invite people over anymore because I am embarrassed over how things look.

My daughter is out of control. Yes, she will be 16 tomorrow, and yes, she has been diagnosed with ADHD, but I am convinced there is much more to it than that. She gets into these rages when told no where the anger seems to perpetuate itself until something intervenes to distract her from the subject that set her off in the first place. When this happens, she is without any type of rational thought--it is pure emotion. She does go through periods of depression, which is why I took her to the psychiatrist in the first place. Prior to that, I had her in weekly counseling sessions for almost a year. I loved the counselor and what she did, but it had no impact on my daughter. I worked as a residence counselor in a group home for emotionally disturbed children for almost three years, and I've spent another twelve years working with children in daycare/teaching settings. Her behavior is not normal. I am in the process of finding another psychiatrist for her because her current one thinks her behavior is all my fault.

Sometimes, my giants seems so overwhelming. It can be so hard to find the strength to stand up to them. I often feel afraid and alone. Still, when I take the time to listen to God in the quietest reaches of my heart, He speaks to me. He tells me I am not alone and that I need to trust Him to take care of my needs. With Him at my side, how can I fail?

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