I once was a VICTIM, but now I’m a VICTOR!
I know the pain of troubled relationships, chronic health problems, and financial struggles. I have experienced abuse, addictions, asthma, chronic allergies, codependency, depression, divorce, hypothyroidism, indebtedness, poverty, stress, work instability & joblessness — just to name a few! BUT GOD, through JESUS and HIS WORD, has transformed my life from one of death and defeat to one of LIFE and VICTORY!
Are you tired of being a victim? Do you want victory in your life?
I grew up in a small town in South Georgia as the youngest of seven children. Just after my third birthday, my father died suddenly from a heart attack caused by a blood clot from a hernia surgery. My mother, who was only 42 years old, became a two-time widow with seven kids from three sets of parents! My Mom was left with a short supply of money, time and patience. Although life was not perfect and we didn’t always get what we wanted, we always had what we needed.
As a child, I attended church regularly and learned about God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit, but I never developed a personal relationship with God, so when I heard the scriptures it was like receiving thousands of pieces of a jigsaw puzzle. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the picture on the front of the box to know how the pieces should fit together, so I didn’t see how God fit into my life.
I spent most of my adult life trying to make my life fit together without Jesus. During that time, I had a void inside of me that I tried to fill with worldly idols like relationships, alcohol and work. My efforts to fill that God-shaped hole in my heart resulted in addictions, nagging health issues, financial instability, and numerous failed relationships, including two divorces.
When I was 37 years old, I experienced numerous back-to-back trials that led me to a point of desperation. In a fit of rage, I screamed at God, “I give up! I can’t do this anymore! Do what you want to with me!” The next thing I remember was falling asleep and feeling as if I was floating through a beautiful garden with trees and colorful flowers everywhere. Although I didn’t completely understand what had happened, the next day I said to a friend, “I surrendered…..to God”. The Bible says in Romans 10:9 that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. My screaming at God may not sound like much of a confession of faith in Jesus, but it was enough for God because He could see what I believed in my heart. I also formally confessed that Jesus, the Christ, is my Lord and Savior during a public baptism two years after my surrender.
When I was living my life apart from Christ, my actions (and lack thereof) slowly led to death in my relationships, death in my health and death in my finances. After I invited Jesus to come live in my heart, He had to a lot of restoration work to do. If you’ve ever seen the TV show “This Old House”, you know that the owner of a dilapidated (dying) house invites the professionals to come in and transform their home, but the professionals can only do what the owner allows. I was the owner of the broken down old house and Jesus IS the professional. As the owner, I had to invite Jesus in AND give Him permission to do the work. Additionally, the owner of the house has to participate in the transformation process often through some very challenging “work” as directed by the professional. Some of my “work” includes what I now refer to as the 7 Steps to Victory.
During the transformation process (which will continue till the day I die), I was nurturing the seeds of the Spirit that were planted in me when I invited Jesus into my heart. By staying connected to God, I eventually began shedding the works of the flesh (death) and started seeing those seeds bear the fruit of God’s Spirit and my labor (life & Victory). If you want to invite Jesus to come live in your heart, refer to the Victory Prayer.
It is Jesus, the Christ, who gives us the VICTORY (fruit) through the shedding of His blood on the cross and His resurrection from the dead. It is our choice to accept His sacrifice and stay connected to Him (the true vine) so we can enjoy the Victory He died to give us.
In 2006, I married a wonderful man named William. Although we have had many personal issues to overcome, God has used us to make each other better. Together we are moving forward toward common visions of victory with Christ as our center!Have a Victorious Day! Marianne