I was reading a book What Happens When Women Walk in Faith: Trusting God Takes You to Amazing Places by Lysa TerKeurst. One of the assignments she proposed in the book was to look up the meaning of your name.
This assignment had some importance because in the book she talks about 5 key things that facilitate the preparation of walking a life in faith. One main principle is that you must leave. God will ask of us to leave something behind in order to move forward with what's in store for us as he directed Abraham in Genesis 12.
After God asked Abram to leave his country later on in Genesis 17 God changes his name to Abraham, which means father of many.The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.[a] 3 I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you. ”[b]
4 “As for me, this is my covenant with you: You will be the father of many nations. 5 No longer will you be called Abram[b]; your name will be Abraham,[c] for I have made you a father of many nations. 6 I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you, and kings will come from you. 7 I will establish my covenant as an everlasting covenant between me and you and your descendants after you for the generations to come, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you.I'd felt the tugging of the spirit to move in a different direction in my life and I felt that the assignment to learn the true meaning of my name was not just a coincidence. After doing some research on the name Latoya, I discovered something very surprising.
The main one that stood out to me is "Victorious One". Now until this point I've never really went around claiming victory but now when I look back over my life I know that I am victorious by the grace of God indeed!
I'll give you the short version of my testimony. I'm not afraid at all to share my rags with you because it is a true testament to what God can bring us through.
People of my past may remember me as...
A quick, hot tempered, devil personified, little black girl lost. Little black girl lost in a world begging for acceptance from many different men. A girl who longed for love only God can fulfill. A girl who gave her innocence away way to early. The girl who made several attempts on her own life before the tender age of twenty three.
A girl dumbstruck over material possessions. A hateful girl with only negative things to say about others. A girl who made it her life's mission to gain a new enemy rather than a friend. A girl who took delight in the hardships that came upon someone else. A girl who ran away from God because she was ashamed and thought He could love her no more.The people in my past may remember this and for some this will be all they will ever see. They never saw those moments behind closed doors when I was curled up in a corner in complete despair, not knowing where to turn. A girl who was mad at God because she thought He no longer cared. A girl that begged for peace but thought it was something she should be able to give herself. This cry from David below feels like it embodies everything I was feeling, but only if at the time I had had the hope displayed in versus 5 and 6.
1 "How long, O Lord? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? 2 How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? 3 Look on me and answer, O Lord my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death; 4 my enemy will say, "I have overcome him," and my foes will rejoice when I fall. 5 But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. 6 I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me." Psalm 13:1-6Even in those moments God heard my every cry. He loved me and had a purpose for every single ounce of pain I felt. It wasn't in vain. He knew indeed that I was victorious. I just had to claim it.
Fast forward 5 or 6 years later and I do recognize and claim my victory in the Lord Christ Jesus. For God's grace and mercy brought me through what I considered the darkest times of my 28 years here on Earth.
These years were not meant to break me. God didn't intend for me to be defeated. God intended for me to leave behind the old Latoya and walk forth as Victory. Bringing and sharing my testimony as a way to bless others during their darkest hour.
Friends I have no clue as to what you may be going through at this moment but I do know that I, Victory, can share my story with you and encourage you because Jesus has already won the battle for us. We can walk in the victory because Jesus has already paid the price for us.
17 The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles. 18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. 19 A righteous man may have many troubles but the Lord delivers him from them all". Psalm 34:17-19God hasn't left you but He is molding you for the next season of your life. All you have to do is leave and walk forward in your new God given identity!
What has God renamed you? Discover your purpose through His direction. Seek Him during all times and claim your victory!