More Than a Victim #ChosenandWorthy
When we live as #ChosenandWorthy children of God, we can no longer live as victims. Today, I share with you a woman I deeply admire. I still remember the first day I read her work. Her message spoke directly to my heart and I couldn’t get enough. She’s inspiring, smart as can be, authentic, and fueled by a passion to share the freedom and hope found in Jesus.
Today, Gretchen Fleming is sharing her story of walking away from a broken identity. The enemy tried desperately to make her believe she wasn’t worthy … But God.
I am MORE than a victim.
Although my first two memories in life are sexual abuse and a vicious dog bite to my face,
I am MORE than a victim.
Although I continued to grow up around my extended relative who abused me, never knowing until a young adult that I was believed or worthy of intervention…..
I am MORE than a victim.
Although I improved after 7 plastic surgeries on my face from the dog bite as a 4 year old, I am left scarred for life. But that does NOT define me.
Throw in my parents’ divorce and later their financial loss as I was in high school, along with a generational tendency for victimization, and I am ripe for the final verdict of “victim” as my label.
Even with the miscarriage of my daughter’s twin, the struggle with a child in rebellion and one with learning disabilities, I am MORE than that…….
I am MORE than my suffering, my injustices, my baggage.
And so was Jesus.
“He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him. He came to that which was his own, but his own did not receive him.” John 1:10-11 (NIV)[bctt tweet=”I am MORE than my suffering, my injustices, my baggage #ChosenandWorthy #identity #worth #notavictim #victory @followinghard” username=”lori_schumaker”]
As Jesus began His ministry suffering the rejection from His own family and people, He did not live His life as a victim. He refused the identity the world gave Him and instead, persevered with the identity and purpose the Father had given Him. Undaunted that others did not validate Him, He moved forward without needing their recognition, much less their labels.
I love how He overcame the identity and shame of it all, to ultimately bear the burden of it later on the cross. Persevering would be a necessity if He were going to fulfill His purpose.
He did not let what had happened to Him define Him. He refused to allow the world to label Him, knowing that if He did, His future would be compromised.
How could He save others if He gave way to the “victim” mentality? How could He persevere to Calvary, bearing the weight of ALL our sin and shame, if He Himself lived as a victim.
He was MORE than that.
And because of Him, so am I.
I am a NEW CREATION.
No longer defined by my past, but rather by my Savior.
“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view. Though we once regarded Christ in this way, we do so no longer. Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” -2 Corinthians 5:16-17
My identity has been redeemed by Jesus Christ. Therefore, I am no longer JUST a victim.
It is my choice not to allow any excuses from my past to dictate my present or my future. I choose daily to shirk the shame and insecurity as a victim, and instead put on my new identity in Christ.
I am His!
Acceptable![bctt tweet=”It is my choice not to allow any excuses from my past to dictate my present or my future! #victory #identity #notavictim #ChosenandWorthy @followinghard” username=”lori_schumaker”]
My enemy would love to see me allow what has happened to me, become what defines me. He tempts me to live continuously as the “victim”, instead of the VICTOR Christ claimed me to be. By choosing to reject the thoughts or images that pop into my head, refusing the devil a foothold into my identity and God-given purpose in this world, I overcome.
Otherwise, how could I move forward with the future God has planned for ME, if I remain living in the past? How could I be of any value to His Kingdom, if I give way to living as a victim?
Is it easy? No
Is it simple? No
But is there any other worthwhile option? NO!
It can be all too tempting to keep “picking at” the trauma from our past. Even if our history is littered with injuries from others or unavoidable circumstances, it is our choice to continue living with that “wounded” mentality.
Jesus tells it to us straight in John 16:33,
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” -John 16:33
I don’t know about you, but I want that peace.
I want it more than the right to blame others or allow circumstances to validate my “issues”.
Finding fault with others for the excuses of our own behavior can become almost addictive, as much as it is self-destructive. In the end, I am allowing my enemy to take advantage of my past to commandeer my future. The devil wants God’s children to lose sight of the Way to victory.
But in Christ, I am MORE than a victim. I am a CONQUEROR![bctt tweet=”When we live as #ChosenandWorthy children of God, we can no longer live as victims. #identity #notavictim #victory @followinghard” username=”lori_schumaker”]
Here is a ready-made resource for you the next time you feel in need of a little more strength to fight for your identity in Christ. The Word of God is our best weapon to counter the lies we are prone to believe. Use it for all it’s worth!
Gretchen’s passion is to follow hard after Jesus, knowing He is the treasure of a lifetime and worth every minute she commits to Him. God’s Word has been life-giving to her through the most trying times—a great source of strength, wisdom, and truth. She’s a speaker, writer, and Bible teacher who loves to see Jesus change lives as He’s changed hers. Gretchen is also a wife of 28 years and mother of 3 young adult children, in this season of full time ministry. She would love the opportunity to come speak at your next retreat or conference! Join her on her blog for more info and her community at Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest.
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Gretchen, this post is like braille on my heart. We have walked down a very similar path – including the destination where little “v” became a big “V” for Victory. Amen, sister. God bless you and all souls seeking wholeness and healing. Jesus is for us, with us, around us, behind us, before us.
Amen Shelby! Praise His Name for the victory He purchased on our behalf! Were it not for Him, we would still be enslaved . Blessings to you friend as you walk in His freedom:)
Amen, Shelby! I always love envisioning those scriptures that tell us He is for us, with us, around us, behind us, and before us!
Gretchen, Thank you for sharing your story and a truth we all need. I am victorious in Jesus and that’s all I need to leave the past behind and live with hope knowing “it is well with my soul.” God’s blessings!
Absolutely Deb! Our past no longer defines us! So thankful for our new identity in Christ! Thank you Deb!
What a powerful testimony, Lori and Gretchen!
I believe many will be blessed by this story of overcoming in Jesus!
Thanks, Melanie! Both Gretchen’s testimony and her beautiful way of teaching and storytelling is such a blessing! Love everything about her and am praying her words reach many!
Thank you Melanie:) My prayer is that by being willing to share, others can know of the hope and healing possible through Christ. His grace makes it more of a non-issue than I thought possible. I do see how certain vulnerabilities I have trace back to events from my past but God has connected the dots for me so to speak, and therefore I am much more equipped to overcome now.
This might be a different take away than others, but my first thought was surprise to hear about the dog bite! And then to read about the abuse was heartbreaking. I’ve seen your picture on multiple social media platforms and my first thought has always been, “she is just so pretty!” I think that must be what God sees when He looks at us! He doesn’t notice our scars, but only sees beauty! I love your writings! Thanks for sharing your story with us!
Thank you Lauren for your gracious words:) I have grown accustomed to my scar but I know it is obvious to others, especially if they don’t know me well. I had my last surgery before I married and from then on, I have accepted the outcome as lasting, for what it is. I agree what may be obvious to some is not seen at all by others. What is so encouraging is how far God can take each of us, from our darkest moments, to His glorious grace where we find spiritual, emotional, and physical healing. The old has gone and the new has come! Blessings my friend!
I LOVE your takeaway! I’ve always thought the same thing about Gretchen! She’s beautiful inside and out and that is exactly what God sees ♥ Thanks so much for joining us!
Blessings and smiles,
I’m always happy to read you two ladies words! We aren’t short of things to read in this world…. please know y’all bless me!
Thank you Lauren?
Oh Gretchen, if I could, I would give you a great big hug! Thank you for sharing your story, and giving us a powerful Word. I wish I could hear you speak this message, because I know you would PREACH! What the devil meant for evil, God meant for GOOD–and for the saving of many lives! I am reminded of 1 Cor 15:55 where Paul speaks to death, saying “Where is your sting? Where is your victory?” The victory is ours through Christ Jesus!
Amen Christin! What hope there is in Him?! He has the power to turn every testimony around to His glory! Blessings to you friend:)
Gretchen, Thank you for having the courage to share your story. You’ve been through so much and still come out victorious. Defining ourselves God’s way makes all the difference in the world. This was very inspiring to me!
I’m so glad to share His praise Leslie. That is why I wanted to be open about the hope of not remaining defined by what has been experienced in life.
Thank you, Gretchen, for sharing your story. Very meaningful as I am now seeking Christ and to know my identity in Him and not the shame/devastation of the past. Appreciated your sharing that we are not defined by our past, but our Savior. Thank you again for your honesty and courage.
My blessing to do so Sherri:) Thanks for your encouragement!
Beautiful testimony Gretchen – because you were strong enough to share you have spoken such power into our lives. Thank you.
My joy to share His power over my challenges! So encouraging to know the potential of God’s work in each of our lives:)
I love your site. I am so glad I found you. I look forward to getting to know you. Loved the post from today.
So glad you enjoyed it! Have a great weekend:)
I really identified with this. Thank you, Jesus for making us new!!! Thank you for sharing!
Amen Sarah and I’m glad it was useful for you:) What encouragement we have in Christ by Him being more powerful than any issue we may have. That hope grabs hold of us and won’t let go!
Amen, Sarah! He has made us brand new! ♥
Such encouragement and truth here! I can completely relate in that I struggle with a broken identity and overcoming that “victim mentality”. Love the encouragement here and the resource you provided. Thank you for sharing!!
I know the pull of victimization, the feeling of it being easier to give way to a path already chosen for you. But greater is He that is in us Nicole than he that seeks to commandeer our future. We have healing beyond our need available through Christ. It is process helped by the powerful Word redeeming our scars as only God can. Pity parties have been a hindrance to my progress and I have learned to steer clear of them as much as I possibly can.
Hi Nicole, You are doing such mighty things for Jesus out of your own experiences. Gretchen shares her heart and wisdom so beautifully. I’m praying for you to continue picking up your armor every day and fighting the enemy’s lies so that you can victoriously claim your whole identity in Christ!
“Is it easy? No. Is it simple? No. But is there any other worthwhile option? NO!”
PREACH SISTER! We are not promised an easy life, but we are promised abundance in Christ! To live is Christ, and that is worth fighting for! Thank you for being vulnerable enough to share your story. Love you, Gretchen.
Thank you Lauren! Somehow it is easy to slip into the mode of wanting, even expecting the easy life. Then it is shocking when life becomes challenging. Always a reminder for me to wake up to how my expectations have begun to evolve unknowingly. Love you friend:)
Gretchen- thank you for sharing your story! I love this, “My enemy would love to see me allow what has happened to me, become what defines me.” This is such truth!
The resource is great too!
So glad it was helpful Julie! Blessings my friend:)
Wow. Your story is remarkable, and will hold onto this list of verses to refer to often!
Thanks Megs:) To God be the glory for the great things He has done! What hope there is to have the ultimate makeover- a new identity!
Oh Gretchen – I had no idea this was part of your story. What a beautiful testimony the Lord has transformed it into. xoxoxo I LOVE the labels you have replaced with truth — that’s a huge part of why I write! Thank you for this!
My pleasure! I cherish the work of abundance God still brings me from the suffering experienced in the past. What victory is snatched from the enemy’s grasp when God redeems our painful past. ?☺️✝️