We all have a story to tell and often people read our story before we actually get to tell it.
I have learned that we often give people evidence about ourselves by our words and actions. My insecurities have spoken for themselves and my perception of myself and life has shone through.
Literally, I have handed over my story to others by the way I talk about myself, present myself and perceive life.
In a matter of moments, people will take what I present and form an opinion of me. We are an open book to this world.
So the question is what story am I telling?
Is it one of hardship, struggle and pain, a perpetual victim-hood that never ends or is it one of a victor — a person who is overcoming each and everyday?
And if it isn’t the latter, do I want to change my story?
Our struggles, our pain, our disharmony with life, circumstances and people are opportunities for growth. They provide the platform to dive into the depths of Christ, into the pool of God’s grace, forgiveness and mercy.
As we overcome our trauma, we reflect God’s grace and become a beacon of hope to those who are struggling.
But to come out of life’s trauma as a victor, we must be willing to forgive.
Forgiveness isn’t something that just happens. Forgiveness is a skill we learn and practice our whole life. Our aim is to get better and better at the skill of forgiving those who have hurt us and will hurt us in the future.
We must recognize that holding on to grievances is harmful to us. The more we talk about our past hurts, the more we strengthen their hold on us and the more we perpetuate the victim mentality.
The challenge is to change our story from one of anger and resentment to a story of healing.
Where our story is no longer about the past and the people who wounded us, but is now about hope and the future.
It’s an opportunity to see our lives and circumstances in the light of God’s grace, mercy, love and forgiveness.
God’s grace is our measuring stick. Because as the Lord has forgiven us we must in turn completely forgive those who have offended us.
It’s only when we look within and dive deep into our emotions and fears through forgiveness can we begin to change our story.
As one writer put it, “Ancient hatred can become a present light” as we learn to forgive.
It takes courage, and it doesn’t happen overnight. But forgiveness is a choice.
So choose victory over victim-hood.