In every person I see a potential story.  If they are a victim or victor they have a story.  Most of the time, though, I hear victim stories when in reality I’d rather hear victor stories.

Victim stories:  Everyone has them.  What may seem like no big deal to someone may be monumental to another.

Time to move from victim to victor.

I’ve got some victim stories.  I’ve kept them hidden away in a secret compartment. They’ve been buried so deep it’s painful to dig them out and open them up.

Some people have told me things like, “That didn’t happen to you. You’ve got to be mistaken.” Others take a more direct approach, “Well sure that happened but what good would it do to tell anybody about it now? It won’t change what happened.” Or even, “All you want to do is make people feel sorry for you.”

A victim story, though, is not just some bad thing that happened.  It is a difficult situation that made such a profound impact it colored most every area of the victim’s life in a negative fashion. It is true. It matters. And feeling sorry is not enough.

Some scars have caused me, as a victim, to mistrust people, to question motives, to feel forsaken, to turn to addictive behaviors, to wear masks and to run from relationships and connections. Whatever it did to me, and to you, it left a scar.

Some scars never heal. Some are so deep, they are apparent to everyone I come in contact with.  Some are ugly, jagged messes in plain site. Others are hidden so well no one knows they exist.

If I decide to nurse my scar, talk to it, try to figure out why it happened or what I could have done different so it had not happened, I stay stuck.  I stay a victim.

What matters, though, is not the shape or the depth or the substance.  The only thing that matters is what I do with the scar; how I view myself as a result of the scar.

A scar can be a gift to propel me on to share what happened and perhaps bring healing to someone. It can cause me to get angry enough that I do everything I can to fight that type of situation from happening to another.  It can lead me to a God-centered purpose in life that brings profound meaning.

It can be the gateway to some pretty phenomenal areas of abundance. But, it is only a gateway to greater things if I dare to make a move towards taking back the power that was mine; a power that the perpetrator or perpetrators stole from me.

For me, it starts with forgiveness. Forgiveness is like a magic potion that causes the looming aggressor to become a sniveling whimp in my mind.  When I forgive, I begin to be a little more of what God has modeled for me.

I have been a perpetrator against God. I have done things that cause God to be sad.  There is no one person on earth who has followed all of God’s laws.  But when we asked, He forgave us.

He loved me even when I didn’t love him. He loved me when I ignored him.  He loved me when I blamed him for the difficulties in my life.

God forgave me. What I did when I ignored him was like thumbing my nose in his face and telling the Creator of the universe he doesn’t matter. He could have cast me into utter darkness but instead he modeled forgiveness.

Because I am forgiven, I am compelled to extend forgiveness to others, even the person who did an unmentionable act against me.

Once I forgive, the perpetrator loses his power over me.  I am now the one looking down to see the smallness of that person who appeared so gigantic.  I see things with new eyes.

It’s all a matter of perspective.  It’s a matter of semantics. It’s a matter of rewriting your life story. Each of us holds the pen to write on the pages of our lives. Each of us has the ability to write the story as a victim or to move forward to victor.

Which do you choose?  What is your first step to  move to that place?

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Teresa Shields Parker
Teresa Shields Parker is a Christian weight loss author, coach and speaker, who has lost more than 250 pounds. Her book, "Sweet Grace: How I Lost 250 Pounds and Stopped Trying to Earn God's Favor", is the number 1 Christian Weight Loss Memoir on Amazon. Her other books include: "Sweet Journey to Transformation: Practical Steps to Lose Weight and Live Healthy", "Sweet Freedom: Losing Weight and Keeping It Off With God's Help", "Sweet Change: True Stories of Transformation" and "Sweet Hunger: Developing an Appetite for God".

She also offers Overcomers Christian Weight Loss Academy and VIP one-on-one coaching program, both available under the weight loss tab. To book Teresa for your next event, check the Speaking tab on her website. Also check out her blog and Sweet Grace for Your Journey podcast under the tabs by those names.