4 Ways To Turn From a Victim into a Victor

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I grew up in a very healthy home environment.

I never once questioned my parents love for me and I felt very safe in talking with them about anything that was going through.

Which is what makes my story somewhat atypical.

We can choose to live in a victim mentality or we can rise up in the strength of God, embrace His grace, and turn from a victim into a victor. #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #victim #victor #abuse

You see, I’ve lived with a broken area of my life that God has healed, but I’ve not publicly spoke about until now.

As I have been embracing my identity in Christ, I’ve realized that there are many women out there who need to hear my story of brokenness and healing…

who need to know that their brokenness doesn’t have to define them anymore!

Your past and present circumstances do not have to determine your future or your identity. - F Dean Hackett #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #whoIaminChrist #onlineWomensBiblestudy #onlineBiblestudy #Bible #JesusChrist

I sat on the kitchen counter in my dorm room, it was late – very late – and I was the only one up.

As I sat there weeping and begging forgiveness from my boyfriend for things long forgiven in my past, I didn’t realize that this was only the first of such scenarios I’d endure in our relationship.

He had demanded that I give him details from my past relationships. I was hesitant because I knew he tended to be jealous, but he insisted…and slowly I began to recite for him less-than-stellar moments.

To be sure, I hadn’t ever gone all the way in any relationship, but I’d gone far enough….and what ensued was a flood of words:

Whore
Disgusting
Immoral
and more

I wept and wept that night, begging his forgiveness and pleading with him not to break up with me. He wouldn’t promise anything…but as it turned out, he didn’t break up with me.

We can choose to live in a victim mentality or we can rise up in the strength of God, embrace His grace, and turn from a victim into a victor. #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #victim #victor #abuse

It would have been better that he had.

It would have been even better that I possessed even a shred of self-respect and realized that what I had just endured with him that night was the first signs of the psychological abuse that would leave deep wounds in my mind and heart.

But for some reason my self-respect was blinded by his tall, lanky form….the quintessential cowboy. The Dr. Jekyll I had fallen for blinded the Mr. Hyde that would show his face more and more often.

Controlling every aspect of my life:

What I ate
What I wore
Where I went
With whom I spoke
What music I listened to

And when I didn’t do things his way he’d lash out with anger and then withdraw and not speak to me for days.

Against my father’s wishes, we got engaged one snowy December night. Yes, my dad gave his reluctant blessing because he knew that it was what I wanted, but he had very serious reservations about the man I’d chosen.

From that night things only went downhill, and what should have been the happiest time of my life was a nightmare.

What should have been the happiest time of my life was a nightmare. #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #victim #victor #abuse

I was so terrified of his anger that I would begin each day resolute that I’d not do anything to make him angry.

All day long I’d second guess even the smallest things…such as whether I was bending from the waist or the knees – because even this small thing could send him on a tirade.

At night I’d lay in bed and rehearse every moment of the day in detail, picking through every little thing I’d done to be sure that any information relayed to him about my day wouldn’t make him angry with me.

It was a horrid cycle of fear, anxiety, begging forgiveness when I “failed”, and working to calm my hysteria with resolutions to do better next time.

Failure is an event, not an identity. - F Dean Hackett #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #whoIaminChrist #onlineWomensBiblestudy #onlineBiblestudy #Bible #JesusChrist

The horrible thing about abuse is that once the physical wounds heal, the psychological scars remain. And they can fester for years!

4 months before our wedding I gathered what courage I had – with the strong support of my parents – and ended our engagement.

I thank God that He rescued me that night, because after he walked out our door for the final time, more and more information began to surface about my ex-fiance that left me with a mixture of incredible relief and terror at what I’d almost committed myself to for life.

Over the next several years God would slowly and lovingly heal the wounds in my heart and undo the psychological damage done to my mind.

He replaced the horrible names with a new name written in glory.

He replaced fear with an assurance that I was loved just as I am.

It has been 15 years since the day I walked away from that abuse and into a life of freedom and true love. God has given me a man who truly cherishes me.

He has allowed me to share with him about the things I endured – but the glory of that is that, even as I write about it today, it’s as if I’m recounting someone else’s story.

And truly I am!

You see, I’m not an abuse victim.

I’m a new creation in Jesus Christ. He took that pain, the terror, the second-guessing my worth and value

…all of that garbage from the pit of hell and replaced it with healing, love, and assurance of my worth and value as a daughter of the King of all kings

….and all of the riches of heaven!

There are 4 Ways To Turn From a Victim into a Victor

If we are going to truly walk in our new identity in Christ, we have to realize that our past doesn’t have to dictate who we are today.

We don’t identify with the traumas in our past, we identify with Jesus’ work on the cross.

I don’t identify with #metoo, even though I have had sexual advances made to me by a co-worker, because I have an identity that is more powerful than that – and I don’t have to bear the pain or shame of the things that were said to me that day.

I don’t identify with the painful rejection I endured as a child, because the powerful love of Christ I feel erases those painful moments of my childhood.

Forgiveness isn't just something we do for ourselves. Forgivness sets both you and the other person free! #alittlerandr #identityinChrist #forgiveness #grace #bitterness #onlineBiblestudy

I am who I choose to identify with.

I can continue to identify with my messy past, or let God turn it into a message.

I can continue to identify with the victim I was in that moment when that person stole my innocence, my self-respect, or my sense of security, or I can rise up in the strength of God, embrace His grace and become a victor!

1. Fill your mind with the Word of God.

Each day we live we accumulate information and what we choose to fill our minds with shape our world view.

If you want to replace negative self-talk, a damaged soul, a wounded heart, a mind filled with fear and pain, you need to start by filling your mind with God’s Word.

Here are some articles about how to read the Bible effectively.

2. Meditate on God’s Word.

Meditation takes the scripture we’ve filled our minds with and plants it down deep.

The biblical term for meditation means to mumble under your breath, repeating God’s Word to yourself over and over.

This begins to reshape the concept we have of ourselves and our identity until our concept begins to agree with God’s Word.

Here are some articles on how to memorize and how to meditate

3. Speak truth to yourself.

The worst thing we do is speak lies to ourselves; and we do it so often and in so many ways. Negative self-talk is so destructive to our identity in Jesus Christ!

The Bible says, “Whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.”

These are the things we need to speak to ourselves. But let me caution that these things need to be things from the Word of God.

Speak the truth of Scripture to your heart, because it is what has the power to change!

4. Replace old defaults with new patterns.

The Bible calls this renewing the mind.

When we begin walking in our new identity, it is easy to default back to old patterns when stuff goes wrong. When someone is critical of us, it is easy to default back to anxiety, fear, insecurity, or anger.

Whenever we see those old defaults creep back, we need to replace them with new patterns from Scripture. reminding ourselves that this old default is the old man trying to be resurrected, but that is not who we are anymore!

We are a new creation, we have a new identity, a new name!

Here are some articles on renewing the mind.

And as I’ve practiced these four things over the past 15 years, it has made me a completely new person, so much so that I don’t even relate to that girl so long ago cowered in the corner in fear and intimidation!

My pain has become a platform for my testimony!

I stand before you today sharing my story for the first time in a public forum, not because I feel everyone needs to know that I was once a victim of the enemy’s evil plan but so that you can know this one thing:

You can be free!

You can live as a new creation!

You don’t have be a victim any longer!

You can be so free that you can look back on today and say, “I can’t believe that was me! I am so different now!”

Do you want to live free from your past?

Do you want to live free from your pain?

Do you want to live free from intimidation and fear?

Do you want to live free in your mind from the negative thoughts and self-talk?

Do you want a new identity?

My parents played an integral role in my journey, not just because they were there for me in the darkest moment of my life, but they lovingly pointed me back to what God’s Word says about me.

My dad has gathered these words into a 3-part series called The Freedom Series which includes Discovering True Identity and Agape. He has written the third volume, which will be launching this week.

This post was originally published in January 2017 and has been updated and republished.


More Resources:

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Other resources for building your identity in Christ:

Begin building your identity in Christ each day with these 30 powerful verses for your war room. | A Little R & R | Rosilind Jukić | Christianity | Christian living | Christian blog | Christian faith | Identity in Christ | Quiet Times | #christianblog #christianfaith #christianliving #spiritualgrowth #warroom #warrior #identityinChrist #Bible #God #Jesus #momlife #mom #quiettime #SOAK #biblejournaling #biblestudy


 

For more articles by me on your identity in Christ, click on the links below:

3 Things The Bible Says About Our Identity in Christ

2 Powerful Ways Our Children Learn Their Identity in Christ

4 Ways I’m Embracing My Identity in Christ

10 War Room Verses About Your Identity in Christ

The Ephesians Experience

4 Truths About Our Identity

3 Things You Need to Know About Failure

One Previailing Reason Why Bitterness Destroys Your Identity in Christ

3 Steps to Understanding Your Identity in Christ

Why Positive Affirmations Are Not Biblical

Understanding Our True Identity in Christ

Rosilind
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Comments

  1. Deb Wolf says

    Rosilind, Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for all you experienced and so thankful for the healing God has given. I know your words will bring courage and hope to others struggling with the wounds of abuse. Many blessings!

  2. Denyse Saxton says

    Thank you for sharing this Rosilind. It was almost as if I was reading about myself and the things I have been through. I thank God every day for you and your blog. Love in Christ!! <3

    • Rosilind says

      Thank you so much for your encouragement. I am sorry you had to walk through this, too, but I pray that who you are in Christ becomes even more of a reality each and every day!

  3. Toni says

    Thank you for your encouragement of being able to leave the past to a bright future in Christ. I am currently where you were at in the past; past sins being held over me and doing everything I can not to make my spouse angry. Thinking that if I give my spouse more love and more of me, I can “fix it”. Questioning my every move and word, and at the end of the day asking if I did or said anything that I shouldn’t have. I know that the battle isn’t mine, it is God’s. Satan uses some days to bring me down, and try to control the battle. I have found crying out to Jesus brings peace. Thank you again for sharing your story.

    • Rosilind says

      At some point we have to recognize that we can’t fix it. Only God can fix it. All we can do is learn to embrace who we are in Christ and walk in the joy of that, no matter what the other person says or thinks. It’s not easy, it is downright hard, in fact. But at some point we have to release ourselves from the burden of “fixing” and controling the thoughts and emotions of the other person. I am sorry you are having to walk this journey. I am praying that God will raise you up from that so that you can walk free, no matter what others try to throw back in your face!

  4. Teresa says

    I think too often we get hurt because we’re seeking approval from people, and not acknowledging that we already have God’s approval. And since I have God’s approval, I can love and approve of myself no matter how anyone else tries to define me.

    • Rosilind says

      Yes, I believe you are correct. I know I battle with that a lot, as a firstborn. It has been a long journey learning to value God’s approval over man’s approval.

  5. Amanda says

    I loved your post. It took everything in me to not cry because I’ve been where you’ve been. About seven years ago, I was in a relationship with a guy who treated me just like that. I remember one specific moment where I begged him to stay after I admitted to him that I had a sip of alcohol with a girlfriend of mine when we were broken up (my parents broke us up because they clearly saw him for what he was, but alas I did not, and rebelled). He almost broke up with me, but he didn’t. That happened too many times to even count. After a year or so more of that and other abusive tactics, he broke up with me, and I was devastated, up until the day my rose colored glasses finally fell off. I’m so thankful that it ended and I didn’t end up with him. How miserable I would be. I went through the very process that you’re writing about. It surely works! I’m now happily married and have known true love that God blessed me with for about 5 years.

    • Rosilind says

      Oh, Amanda! I am so glad that the Lord rescued you as He did me. Sometimes we get too caught up in our own desires for who we WANT that person to be, and our own emotions, to see reality. But thank God for His grace to do more than just rescue us. He RENEWS us! I am blessed to read your story!

  6. kimberly says

    Love your blog. Thank you for sharing. So many of us woman have suffered in our identity somehow and I love your advice.

  7. Marie says

    Thank you for sharing your story! It mirrors my own. I grew up in a loving Christian home. But ended up in an abusive relationship. The focus of our whole relationship WAS the relationship. Trying to make it work. The only thing we really had in common was a physical attraction, which really makes me sick now. He “broke up” with me constantly. Usually over things that I had done that he felt proved that I was unfaithful. In the end, I would look down at the ground when I walked because if I even happened to glance in the direction of a few people that he was “sure” that I was interested in, he would go into a tirade. I had no friends. I NEVER talked to other guys. I totally lost my identity to him. Whenever he didn’t like something that I did, wore, said; I would Immediately try to change it. He threatened to physically harm me if he thought I cheated. All this …. and we got engaged. In the end, he broke up with me. That always bothers me. I wish I had the backbone to break up with him. But the important thing is that I escaped. All of this took place at a Christian College. He was a professing Christian, desiring to go into the ministry. I don’t think I truly realized how toxic our relationship was until a few years ago when I saw a poster that outlined an abusive relationship. Our relationship fit it to a T. Thank God, several years later, I met a wonderful man who loves me just as I am and puts no stipulations on his love for me.

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