The Giants that Grow Quietly within Us – Interview with a Giant-Killer #5

hand-814694_640**So privileged to bring you my friend, Robin Luftig’s interview. She is truly a giant-slayer of the first order and I’m honored to have her friendship in my life. The title of her website ( says it all: Not only Surviving, but Thriving. Her testimony is proof that we can not only defeat the giants in our lives, we can thrive in the midst of the battle. God can use us when we’re prepared for the fight and also when we’ve been knocked down. Here is this week’s interview with a giant-slayer”

Describe the giant in your life and how you overcame:

My life was a good one. Wonderful children. Loving husband. Not a care in the world. I had spent years of making bad decisions but I knew I had turned a corner and my relationship with Christ had given me a new direction, a new purpose. But on the night of April 1, 2011, my life was held in the balance.

“I’m sorry, Mrs. Luftig,” the doctor said, “but you have a tumor on your brain about the size of my fist. Do you want a priest or could I call the hospital chaplain for you?”

Those were the words I heard hours after having a seizure out of nowhere that left my right side completely paralyzed. I later learned that they could determine my tumor had been growing between ten and twelve years. I had no headaches or significant signs of its existence until the seizure. Later the next day I was told I had ten days to put my affairs in order. I needed extensive brain surgery and they could not confirm my chances of survival or if I survived, what level of normalcy I would have. This ten-day journey took me through the darkest valley of my life. I found myself in the midst of a medical nightmare where my relationship with God had to be completely honest. I had to face the shock of my present, the fear of losing my future, and a time of reflection over a tempestuous past that I had allowed define me for too many years.

While hours ticked away, I fought to see God’s face and hear his voice. I spent hours writing notes to as many loved ones as I could, sharing my love astime-1485384_640 well as Christ’s love for them. I sought answers to unaddressed questions from throughout my past as to why God had left me, only to find that he had never left me at all.

And he continued to stay with me through the many hours of surgery as well as the weeks of physical, speech, and occupational therapy.

As shocking as it was, this is a story of redemption and triumph over brokenness. It’s a story about facing paralyzing (pun not intended) fear and discovering that there is no place so far from God that he cannot reach through and redeem a willing heart.

Describe how any of these traits mentioned in 2 Peter 1:1-10 played a role in slaying your giant – faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, steadfastness, godliness, brotherly affection, love:

I knew I may only have a bit more than a week to make a difference in the lives of my friends and loved ones. I came to accept that if God could use my death to impact Glory more than he could use my life, I had to be on board with that. The steroids I took to prepare me for surgery only allowed me to sleep two-three hours a day. I used those extra hours to contact people I loved to tell them that I loved them and that God loved them more than me. I shared my faith with as many people I came in contact with, to let them know that even though I was facing death I was not alone. So love, brotherly affection, and faith got me through.

sword-790815_640Was there a particular Bible verse or passage that was valuable to you in slaying this giant?

“We know that our God can save us [Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego speaking], but if he chooses not to, he is still worthy to be praised.” (Daniel 3:17-18, paraphrased)

How did other Christians play a role in your giant slaying?

God brought Christian brothers and sisters alongside me to give me hope. A man dealing with brain tumors visited our church the day before I was to have my surgery and offered me encouragement. I received a phone call from a woman In Oregon who I didn’t even know who wanted to pray with me. God met my every need.

Have you faced an impossible diagnosis and survived? Have you faced a possible diagnosis that is not going away but God has made it possible for you to endure, even in the face of the giant? Tell us your story in the comments.

If you haven’t checked out my new book, Jesus and the Beanstalk (Overcoming Your Giants and Living a Fruitful Life), I invite you to do that today! Here’s what reader had to say:  ”

“I’m happy to report that reading “Jesus & the Beanstalk” honestly felt like I was having a coffee/tea date with a friend. This book would be perfect to use in a small group Bible study. There are questions at the end of each section of the book for you to think about & answer. There are a lot of beautiful stories in this book that that will tug at your heart. I really enjoyed this book. I plan on reading it again, and then passing it on to my pastor to look over and either use in one of the small groups at Church or put in the Church library. I definitely recommend this book and give it 5 out of 5 stars, which I rarely do.” -C.Carney

You can learn more about the book by clicking on the Books tab at the top of the website and clicking on Jesus and the Beanstalk. Click on Equipped to Slay Giants Retreat Guide to find a free plan for using this topic in a workshop or retreat with your group!

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    The Conversation

  1. Pam Halter says:

    wow, Robin! I stand amazed. Thank you for sharing this. I know God doesn’t always “save” us – that meaning – keep us alive on this Earth. Sometimes He does use our deaths to further his Kingdom. I totally get that. But I’m so thankful He decided to keep you here to share your story.

    What I get out of this is to not wait until faced with death to tell people you love them and God loves them. That’s what I’ve been trying to do since last year when a friend died from cancer. She had been doing so good, too! And within days, she got bad and we lost her. I spent that whole weekend calling friends to tell them I loved them.

    Thanks for this blog series, Lori!

  2. Roxanne says:

    Wow! God is wonderful and so good to allow that wonder to spill out into the lives of His dear people. Blessings.