Victim to Victor

Sometimes we endure a tragedy and we acquire the label of a ‘survivor’ or perhaps ‘victim’.  We fall prey to a traumatic experience: death of a loved one, lengthy illness, accident which leaves you permanently disabled, suffered the hand of abuse, or found to be a victim of a crime. Thankfully, we lived through it…? Nevertheless, we did, but still, the very life has been drained from our bodies and souls replaced by a poisonous venom.

After becoming the victim of a horrific experience, we often have trouble ever rising up from the ashes of the event that we survived.  Every decision we make from that moment on is tainted by the venom flowing through our veins.  We live in fear, which holds us back from taking risks and attempting to live life.  Walls are built up in hopes of protecting us from never having to experience that pain again.  

Sometimes we try to move on, believing that if we just try to forget what happened, it will all go away.  All the hurt, all the memories, all the images imprinted in our minds… maybe they will just disappear, after all, “Time heals all wounds!” Or become an actor…put on a show for those around us so we no longer have to be the recipients of their pity and charity.  In the end, it doesn’t go away… sometimes it feels as if it never even shrinks and often feels like it grows, lording over us, threatening to repeat the nightmare with a vengeance.

How sad to have your life sentenced to this invisible prison!  Deceived into believing that no one cares and no one would understand if you even tried to reach out for help.  So many tears have fallen from your eyes that liquid no longer flows, but you are still crying.  Life no longer has meaning, yet you stay busy so you don’t have time to stop and think, in the event that you might just fall apart once and for all.

ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This is no way to live.  It would be nice if someone picked us up, cleaned us off, erased the memories of the event, and we were able to go on our merry ways…but that doesn’t happen.

One thing we all have in common is a heartbeat.  We have physical evidence that we are alive.  No one is able to live that life for us.  It is our responsibility alone.  It is putting one foot in front of the other and taking that first step followed by millions more just like that. 

Don’t try to go back to the way things were.  They are not that way anymore, never will be, and that’s not always a bad thing.  We have to begin our lives from today.  Accept the fact that the past can never be changed, but the future can be extremely influenced by the effort we put forth today.  Use the pain as a motivation to be active.  In our physical bodies, we will lose the use of our muscles if we don’t use them and the pain we have will eventually lessen if we are consistent with a routine of activity that helps to improve our circulation and range of motion.  Similarly, our emotional lives become stagnant and begin to rot if we do not engage in positive activities that help improve our emotional health.

All of us are dealt a hand that was not our choosing.  Fair or not, those are the cards we were given and will not have control over the cards that continue to come our way as the game of life continues.  The only thing we can control is whether we fold our hands and give up or if we continue to play the game, taking our chances that if we just continue to play, we still have the opportunity to win.

No effort is too small except for none at all.  We have to focus on any positive element of our lives no matter how trivial they may appear to be.  Even when we fail, and we will fail, don’t give up, just get up and go on, trying to see what we can learn from the mistake.

Do not feel pressured.  You may feel like no one understands, and truthfully, no one will ever completely know how you feel, but some genuinely want to help.  They will often make attempts to hurry you along or claim to know what you are doing wrong.  Good intentions may actually be at the root of  these attempts, but regardless, the bottom line is that you alone know and can recognize what methods of healing will work for you and what timing is appropriate for this process to take place.  Wouldn’t we all like to hurry the process along if we could, but the important thing to realize is that we are not in a race.  What is important is to know that everyday we are in prison, we lose another day that we can never get back.  Time does not stop just because we aren’t ready to join in.  Kids continue to grow taller, events such as holidays still take place, and our bodies continue to age.

Find someone to talk to…a friend, clergy, a professional, a stranger who shares a common bond, but it truly is the first step in walking out of the prison that never had any walls, bars, locks, or chains… just  fear.  If that person grows weary, don’t get upset, find someone else.  God is always a patient listener…

As a Christian, we have an ultimate, common goal of Heaven that we will reach if we just determine to continue day by day.  But victory does not have to be something we achieve only after we die.  The victory of a champion begins the moment he decides not to give up. Victory is often decided daily.  Every day that we make the choice to continue on in our efforts we are victorious.  If we can grasp this concept, how exciting life can become. Victory is not a final goal, but instead is a collage of every single decision we have made along the way not to quit.  The beauty of this competition is that we are not competing against anyone else.  Just the same, we also cannot determine  our progress by measuring our lives against the struggles of our fellow-man.  The only deciding factor is whether or not we are still in the game.

Personally, I am ready to live life again to its fullest.  I have missed out on so much.  I have hurt those around me who have only tried to help and have wasted anger on those who could care less if I lived happily or died tomorrow.  Although wisdom seems to require a price of blood, sweat, and tears, it is the great treasure that lies on the other side of each trial we survive.  Each and every moment of our lives is precious, never to be reclaimed again once it is gone, so we must be mindful of this fact.  Priorities are essential and time has a way of helping us sort out what is truly important.

We were placed here by a Creator, our God in heaven.  He holds my life in His hands and will be the final judge of my destiny.  He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and the wind and sea obey Him alone.  We have a void in our lives that only He can fill.  It is pointless to ever try to put anything else in His spot.  My life with Him may seem hard at times and often unfruitful, but life without Him is no life at all.  Death is the choice we make when we walk away from Him.  God does not allow anything to happen to us that He doesn’t have the power to heal and compensate for. We may never know the answer to the question, “Why?”, but when we get to heaven, it really won’t matter at all.

Whether you agree or not does not change whether or not something is true.  Please do not spend or waste time trying to find answers for your problems that do not include a relationship with Jesus Christ.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. (I Corinthians 15:19) First, find your reason to live (in Christ alone) and have the courage to live it, one day at a time.

I know that I can make it
I know that I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands

With Jesus I can take it
With Him I know I can stand
No matter what may come my way
My life is in your hands 
 ~Kirk Franklin


1 Comment

  1. Very profound and at the same time very simplistic. Awesome! True! A great reminder that the prison we live in from our pain has no walls, bars or chains! Love that thought!

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