I can honestly say this will shred most teachings I have heard to bits, tiny little bits to be exact! I promise this will be the most revealing I have ever been, and offer insight that if applied can place you high above all your circumstances into the arena of victory!
Before I go into some personal stories of when I felt like a victim, I want to clearly explain why I put those stories in here! I put them in because they tie into the conclusion! I also put them in because I remember very clearly having a perspective that did not allow me to listen to stories of victories, because the person speaking had never been through what I had been through! I want to erase everyone’s excuses for getting beyond the victim mentality into the realm of becoming a victor!!! I felt that these stories would help build your faith, that if I can be a victor you can too! NOW….READY…..SET…..GO!!!
I grew up, as I said in many other blogs, in a very dysfunctional home! Today I will share some childhood trauma’s that left me bound, for years, in a victim mindset! My goal is not to make someone sound bad, but to reveal some of the ugliness I had to overcome! So understand I love everyone I will talk about and I hope you see that they too saw themselves as the victim!
My dad had a lot of wonderful qualities but because he had not overcome the victim mentality, everyone he came in contact with was a potential threat. You see, when you view yourself as a victim, everyone else is a potential “bad person”! You are always on guard and ready to defend yourself or others!
One time my brother and cousin David, who is no longer alive, was teasing me! I don’t even remember what they did! My dad came in the room where I was feeling victimized and I told my dad what they did to me! My dad smiled and said, don’t worry Shellie honey, papa will take care of it! Understand when he spoke to me that day, he spoke with kindness, and as a protector of other victims!
In moments I heard the grunts of my dad beating my brother with his belt! My dad was a supreme athlete and the strength of each blow on a five year old child, could not have been anything but painful! My brother was black and blue from the back of his neck all the way down to his ankles! It took weeks for him to recover physically!
Imagine what it was like to grow up in this! Try to imagine what it is like to never know when bad will strike without notice! Again I want to repeat myself, my dad seen himself as the victim, he could only view everyone as a potential threat! When we are victims as children, when we become an adult, sometimes we will do whatever it takes to not be a victim anymore! Sadly taking justice into our own hands keeps us bound to that victim mentality! Unfortunately my brother paid for what was done to my dad, not me!
The pain of knowing my words helped bring forth the sentence, made me never tell my dad of any injustice that happened to me ever again! I went inward and blamed myself every time an injustice happened! My mother told my dad that if he ever touched any of us again she would leave him! This one incident happened when I was three, my brother would have been five! I will now fast forward to twenty years ago!
My mother had died and it was the first Christmas that I had without my mom, we went to our dad’s house, who had been remarried for years! Three days after spending time at my dad’s house with my children, boyfriend and siblings and their children, I was told to never come over to my dad’s house ever again! I was told that my kids and I were disrespectful! Me and my 2 and 5 year old son’s were not allowed over anymore! Victim mentality cost us a relationship with my father and my children lost a grandfather that day! We paid the price of my dad’s dad leaving his family, after a life of dysfunction never to see them again! Now my dad after years of dysfunction left us too!
The moments that followed that phone call were by far the lowest moments of my entire life! I cried for weeks and if I had not had two small children to care for, not sure what I would have done! The words, why me, what did I do to deserve this, along with many, many, many other thoughts and words came forth! How can a person disown their own adult child???
I was not a drug addict, homeless, alcoholic, poverty stricken, sit on the couch and watch soap opera’s all day gal! I am not saying that you should disown someone if they did those things, it just did not fit who I was! I worked 16-20 hr days and had ridden horses with Olympic riders and believed I could be in the Olympics one day! I was a single mom raising two wonderful boys, who were trying to adjust to loosing a grandma, and having parents get divorced! How does something like this happen to someone who has given all she was to rise above the circumstances of her past! I gave all I had to my kids and everyone else I came in contact with, I had determined to not be who I grew up with! Not fair, not right, no, no, no!
Let’s fast forward, after that extreme day that I was rejected by my dad, months later, I was accepted by Jesus Christ in my living room! He had taken the rejection, scorning, criticism, judgmental-ism along with unforgiveness, self hatred, and injustice and wiped the slate clean! I had a new heart and new life, unfortunately not a new mind! I remember for years being fine one minute then like a flood, crying uncontrollably, while a different part of a painful past was being removed!
I have a nephew, his name is Joe, his life has touched my heart from the moment he was first born. He reminded me of my brother! I wanted Joe to experience the freedom that I had found so bad! I want children to be free! I became the aunt that sent bibles to everyone at Christmas! I prayed relentlessly for years for all my kids, niece and nephews to, what appeared to be, no avail!
They did not want the gifts I gave them! When opening up my gifts, they seemed like I had given them the worst gift ever! Looking back I can understand their point of view! I just kept praying and believing someday they would find the greatest treasure like I had! Other than my nephew David, Joe’s younger brother, no one seemed overwhelmed to chase after Jesus! If they did, I was unaware of it!! Joe seemed pretty against the whole idea actually! I remember him actually giving me many reasons why he had no interest at all!
I was overwhelmed with sadness!!! I could see glimpses of my childhood being relived through others and I wanted so desperately for the cycle to end, but I was at a loss! The ugliness I grew up with came back in waves, sometimes knocking me down, other times knocking others down! I want to see the effects of that victim mentality completely destroyed!
About six weeks ago, right after my son Joshua got married, we all received Facebook friend requests from my nephew Joe! We all had lost contact with him! I was so excited I accepted and then ran out the door to go to church! When I got out I grabbed my phone and pulled up Facebook, I wanted to see what he looked like! The moment I pulled it up, his post jumped out at me! I had never read a post like that before in my life!
I have tried to be a person in his life, but part of this ugliness causes us to push people away! When we feel like a victim, we push people away! We trust no one! We feel much safer alone! Well he had written something in his post that convicted me to write all this! He wrote...thank you to anyone who has taken the time to know me. Even if you intentionally tried to ruin my life, (my words), thanks for taking the time to at least do that! I remember thinking wow, I want to be like him! (I wrote what he posted in my words)!
Last week, during one of our prayer services, one of the pastor’s was talking about how we need to eradicate this victim mentality out of the church! My heart began to soar, I thought, yes, yes, yes, let’s get this garbage out, once and for all! That was the last thing I remember him saying! The next thing I remember was; seeing my nephew Joe’s post, and I felt like the Lord was saying, you know Michelle all though your concern for Joe is good and right, it comes from a perspective of thinking you are in a better place then he is! Then He continued saying, see what he said in his post…………………..?? He actually is in a better place than you! .…… Selah.………………stop and pause and think about that!
He showed me how when, we hold on to past hurts or any injustices …..etc., and view ourselves as a victim, we actually believe we are better than others! He was saying to me, the one who forgives their abuser, false accuser, back biter, wrong doer….(fill in the blank), and views themselves in a lower position than the one who brings them harm is actually in a better spot than the one who sees themselves as better than the wrong doer!
I was changed in that instant, and I am now free from the pain of all the false accusations, and wrong treatment….etc. Although no one should harm another, if we can’t forgive and see them as someone who is hurting too, we are not any better! There is a passage in the bible that talks about two men both in prayer, the sinner says Lord have mercy on me! The Pharisee says, Lord thank you that I am not like him, a sinner! The Lord says; I tell you the truth, he will receive mercy, you won’t! (My translation)!
This is very humbling, and sobering stuff! Something that could be talked about in much more detail!!! Let me ask you some questions: Do you enjoy being by yourself rather than other people? Do you have trouble relating to anyone at a deep level? Do you have problems with all your relationships? Do you find yourself rehearsing past hurts, justifying that you had a right to be mad at so and so? Do you tell the world how so and so did you wrong??? The list of symptoms are endless, here is one, when your child does something wrong, do you nail them to a cross and throw away the nail puller?? What about your spouse, do they know who you are?? Can you even be real with anyone?
If you even responded honestly and said yes to any of these you too need help from the victim mentality that holds you as a prisoner!! I pray we all get better! I pray that we will let this soak in and bring a freedom like we have never experienced before!
I am thankful for my dad! I am extremely grateful to anyone who has done me wrong! I am eternally grateful for my nephew Joe, who’s words pieced my soul and revealed who I needed to be! Please understand, I am sincerely not trying to point a finger at anyone but myself but felt I needed to expose the ugliness of my sin by exposing other ugliness! I believe that God is doing a new thing and that instead of being a victim we can finally become the victor! Go run your race to win!
I am telling you today that if you begin a walk of forgiveness and right thinking you can be victorious in all that you do! You can leap ahead and finish your race strong! Get ahead by seeing who you really are and how this mind-set has held you captive! People are not holding you back, your mindset is!! Be free to view the world as Jesus does!
Lord free us from the victim mentality, let us see people the way you do! Let us love like you love, and forgive and forget the way you want us to! Let us be wise in choosing friends who don’t intentionally harm us! Let us love the ones who only know how to harm from a safe distance! Let us learn how to safely interact will all of humanity! Teach us how to be safe people who bring love and healing to a hurting world! Make us whole, make us fit for the Kingdom Lord! Amen!