Did that title catch your attention?

Almost every day I seem to run across a story or reference to someone who is a survivor. They survived abuse. They survived 9/11. They survived an earthquake. They survived a tragedy.

These people are incredible I am am thrilled they survived and support those who are sharing their story.

With that said I want to take a look at the options when struggle crosses our path.

1) We can be a victim. We can feel the weight and burden and pain of the circumstances and let them bring us down. We can stop living, turn bitter, live in brokenness, and express negativity toward others. We can carry offense and bitterness. Victims allow the circumstances to be bigger and more powerful in their life than other things which are more positive. The circumstances taint everything in their life. Being a victim is either a sad or negative response to struggle because we are not moving forward and living in hope.

2) We can be a survivor. Survivors have made it through the struggle and have come out on a positive side. They are typically are not living with offense or bitterness in their spirit and are looking for ways to make positive outcomes. They may still live with painful effects of the struggle, but they are still very aware of what they have walked through and are affected by the circumstances. The circumstances of their struggle may continue to define who they are or how they view life, but they are looking at it from a positive viewpoint and making the best of the situation.

So, why did I say we need to change our thinking by not being a survivor?

Often we stop at these two responses. We see these as the only ways to respond and of the two, most people will want to be a survivor. We desire to move to that point of not being a victim, although sometimes we need help to know how to do that. However, we overlook that there is a third option. I definitely do not want to be a victim, and for the last few years I have been trying hard to move from any areas where I was being a victim to being a survivor, however recently I have learned that what I really want to be is an overcomer.

3) We can be an overcomer. Overcomers have not just made it through their struggle and dealt with the circumstances, but they are converting what they experienced into something positive. These are often the people who are giving testimonies about what they have experienced that are inspirational to others. They are the people who have converted the pain, sorrow, loss, grief, and struggle of their circumstances into something positive. They have gone through a process of surviving and have come out on the other side instead of stopping at just being a survivor. They have been able to change their perspectives, heart, mind, and communication so they live daily in a positive place where they communicate hope, promise, joy, and the power of a transformed life because of what they went through.

We can change our thinking and move from a place of being a victim to a survivor, but the real power and change comes when we are able to move beyond just being a survivor to being an overcomer. This is where what we went through becomes a powerful testimony that affects others. This is where we are able to give God glory for the journey he has walked us through. This is where our lives change from pain to joy.

I believe through the power of Christ and the Gospel every one of us can be an overcomer and will have powerful testimonies in our lives to share with others. Don’t remain silent about your story because the Lord has made you unique and given you a story that can affect others if you live in faith and share your heart.