Have you ever heard the song “Living Testimony”?
If not, here ya go:
The words are “I am a living testimony. I couldve been dead and gone, but Lord you let me live on.”
Well, let me tell you about a fella named Shaun Livingston whose career should’ve been dead and gone.
Im just saying.
Nov 27, 2015; Phoenix, AZ, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (left) reacts alongside teammate Shaun Livingston against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. The Warriors defeated the Suns 135-116. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Livingston was a straight out of high school first round draft pick in 2004. He turned down an offer to play at Duke in exchange for the NBA draft. He was the 4th pick overall, and considered the number one point guard in the nation in his draft year.
Life was looking good for young Shaun Livingston until…..
You guessed it. He got injured. Just 3 short years after his draft year, he suffered a massive knee injury. Im squeamish, so when I saw the video of the injury…
Well, lets just describe the injury:
Torn ACL, Torn PCL, Torn MCL, and a dislocated knee. Injuries so dreadful that doctors thought they would have to amputate his leg. AMPUTATE HIS LEG!!!
That would mean no walks in the park, no bike rides, and most importantly no basketball using his own two feet. It took Livingston 3 years to fully recover from this trauma to his knee.
But even when he was back on his feet, he fought JUST TO STAY IN THE NBA.
Listen guys. Livingston’s history with the NBA is so complicated, that I just refuse to write it all here. Lets just say this…Brother, would get picked up and dropped by teams that barely would win 20 games a season. No one wanted him. So bad that he went to the NBA’s D-League (Development League)..not for long, but he went.
Sidebar: Did you know his teammate Fetus Ezeli played in the D-League, too? I didnt. . Also, his teammate Steph Curry’s little brother, Seth Curry, played in the D-League and was signed by the Sacramento Kings. (I knew that one)
Anyway, back on topic. What an incredible journey! Im so impressed with his determination to not abandon his dream. If you have time, go check out his history in the NBA. Its tough. I can only imagine the feelings that come with constant rejection. Especially coming from a young man that was a first round draft pick.
One minute you’re a franchise player, and the next no one cares.
But in comes God…
He puts Shaun Livingston on the Cleveland Cavilers for part of a year, then the Brooklyn Nets for a year, and finally settled with the Golden State Warriors. There he won his first Championship in 2015 AGAINST the Cleveland Cavilers. Oh, the irony!
God is funny. I wonder if Livingston thought he would ever become an asset to a team again? I mean, in Game 1 of the 2016 NBA finals, he came off the bench and scored 20 points. Yeah, those prayers worked :).
God always finds value in us. He values our time, our efforts, our talents, and who we are as individuals made in His incredible image. Fearfully and wonderfully made, he says (Psalms 139:14).
He understands our pains, our daily struggles, our lack of self-worth, and even our sins.
Most importantly, he understands the journey. He is Alpha and Omega. He knows the Beginning to the End, and he sets everything in motion. He doesnt allow anything to come our way that we cant have victory over in His mighty name.
We are the evidence that he exists, and that he’s in the miracle making business. Shaun Livingston should not be playing basketball in his second NBA Final. He shouldnt be walking on his own two feet. He shouldnt be on the same team with the best 2 shooters in the world (Steph Curry and Klay Thompson), but he is because He is.
Did you catch that?
God wants to do and be something special in your life. He wants to open doors for you, offer forgiveness for all the shame you hide in your closet, bid you an opportunity to do great and marvelous things, and ultimately make you a living testimony of who HE is.
You are made in His image. That means you’re exceptional, and He desires to give you a purpose to match His ideal. Lets be honest, we cant even think on that level.
“Higher than the highest human thought can reach is God’s ideal for his children.”
We dont know why God allowed Livingston to have such an awful injury, but we do know for sure that “All things work together for the good for those who love the Lord.”
That’s Totally Supermom
Check out what Shaun had to say about his experience.