There is something about the accomplishment of reaching a summit that leaves me feeling victorious. I feel accomplished, confident in myself and ready to conquer whatever comes my way. Maybe that is why hiking is my top choice for vacation.

Feeling victorious in my everyday life has taken time, hardwork, and commitment. In fact, I didn’t even know I was there until having a conversation with a fellow “survivor.” He started to talk about the movement in healing from victim to survivor. He went on to talk about what comes after “survivior.” That now he feels whole; he feels like himself. The labels no longer fit. There wasn’t a denial about the past. Simply, his past was no longer driving his present. His past was the past. It was part of him but it wasn’t his identity.

Some may call this freedom or integration, but I call it victory.

34-36 Jesus said, “I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave can’t come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through. (John 8: 34-36 MSG)

When I saw myself as a victim, I was enslaved to my fears and anxieties. When I saw myself as a survivor, I was able to start moving foward, start healing. It allowed me to face my fears and anxieties. Triggers kept me working toward freedom, toward victory. The internal battles were part of my everyday life but lessening.

Now, I see myself as victorious. I am simply me. Triggers and anxiety are rare. I feel whole, comfortable in my own skin for the first time in my life. That doesn’t mean there won’t be challenges ahead related to my experiences. It does mean embracing my identity in Christ rather than anything else brings freedom through and through. It means facing my experiences and reframing them with grace and mercy brings victory.

Where do you find your identity? Are you a victim, survivor or victor? Are you working toward a whole you? Share your experience here and breathe life and bring hope to others.

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