I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a group of college age students. God gave me a powerful word to share with these students and I wanted to take the opportunity to share it with you today. I spoke to them about how we choose who our circumstances dictate us to become.
As many of you know, I grew up in a dysfunctional household that was filled with abuse and rejection. When I was no longer in this household I began to start down the same path, making a lot of mistakes and getting involved in things I had not business being involved in. When I was 22 I began a relationship with God and everything changed for me. See for the first time in my life I had a hope that things could be different. However, I had to allow myself to be changed. I had to allow God into the deep places of my heart and bring healing to my pain.
When this was happening I was extremely uncomfortable because as I allowed God to heal my heart I began to feel things I had not felt in a long time. I began to be happy, hopeful, caring, loving, and lovable. During this time I wanted to run back to what was comfortable which was hopelessness, depression, drugs, alcohol, and many other things. These things had been my crutches for so long. They allowed me to function in the midst of being miserable, defeated, and hopeless. Functioning without my crutches was difficult. However, I knew this was a defining moment in my life. I knew that I could press through the process, being uncomfortable for a season, and be able to get rid of my crutches once and for all or I could continue to allow my crutches to lead me into a life full of despair, hurt, and disappointment. The decision was mine. I had to choose whether I was going to let my circumstances, the hand I had been dealt continue to define me as a victim or if I would fight through being uncomfortable, learning to walk without crutches, and become victorious. I chose to become victorious.
I often think about Joseph and how he had to make the same decision, whether to be a victim or victor. Joseph was given a dream from God. He shared this dream with his brothers and they plotted to kill him, threw him in a well, and then sold him into Slavery. He was then falsely accused of sleeping with Potiphar’s wife, put into prison, forgotten about, and then he finally begins to see his dream come to fruition. I’m sure Joseph probably felt abandoned, rejected, and often discouraged. It is completely understandable that he would feel that way. Joseph could have chose to become angry, bitter, resentful, sad, discouraged, doubtful, mad, to want revenge, and never accomplish his dreams. Joseph chose to rise above his circumstances and reach for the sky. He chose not to let his circumstances keep him from all that God had and wanted for him.
I would encourage you today to examine your heart and ask God what crutches you might be holding onto and what areas you need to allow Him to bring change. Then I would encourage you to throw down those crutches and allow God to help you change the way you let your circumstances define you. Choose today to go from victim to victor!!