October 18, 2015

Victim or Victor by Gloria Guest


Thanksgiving has passed for another year but the older I get the more I realize that thankfulness needs to be a year round, daily part of my life.
The trick is….how do I remain thankful even when I don’t feel thankful?
It seems as in all things, thankfulness has everything to do with perspective and nothing to do with mere feelings.
A couple of years ago, just a few weeks before Thanksgiving, my husband was travelling  behind a semi hauling live turkeys, when he noticed that a number of turkeys had found an escape hatch and were dropping onto the highway! Some were immediately killed, others managed to roll first and then run headlong into the ditch. Apparently they had decided not to become someone’s Thanksgiving feast! I am sure most ended up as some coyote’s dinner instead but I like to think that maybe one lucky, brave turkey survived to live another day.
My point is this; when hit with hard times am I going to view myself as the victim who stays put and ends up going nowhere good or am I going to take some risks, drop and roll when hit with life’s punches and run all out for a newfound freedom?  It’s really all in my perspective of the situation; victim or victor.
The past couple of years have not been easy ones for me in my writing life. Due to a situation that escalated into workplace bullying I left my position as a newspaper reporter even though it was a job that I loved and was good at. In the ensuing months and even years, I found myself sinking into the quagmire of depression.
Soon I felt like those victimized turkeys on their way to the slaughter house; I had just accepted my lot in life. Until slowly I came to realize that this was no way to live…stuck and going nowhere fun.
Through the guidance of a good counsellor, I made a decision to stop seeing myself as just a victim of my circumstances and have started to peek my head out of the hole and see what’s out there. 
Since I made that decision I have been amazed at the strength God has given me to take a couple of risks in just in the last month.
-I attended the Inscribe Writer’s Fall Conference. While there I received some much needed rejuvenation from every session I took. I especially felt encouraged in the one on one blue pencil session I risked taking (rather than hiding up in my room which I seriously considered). I shared a portion of a memoir I've been working on which can always be a vulnerable thing, since it is so personal but Bobbi Junior, who is a published memoir author 'didn't bite' and was in fact a great encouragement and support. It definitely felt like one of those 'God moments' in my life that I met with her.
-I have started taking a Creative Writing course through the University of Toronto. So far it has proven to be a wonderfully supportive group that is already helping me to think of ways I can branch out further in my writing. I am encouraged to see how God uses many avenues to help me along the path to become a better writer, both Christian and secular.

Victorious - with my husband
at the top at Algonquin
Park in Ontario.
I have also been blessed in other ways. A friend invited me to join an exercise class with her. My husband and I were able to fly down to Ontario to visit our son who is in the military, who we rarely see, and his new wife for Thanksgiving weekend. This week my sister, who I also rarely see, is coming for a visit. All of these experiences and more are showing me that God has not forgotten me and that no matter what has happened to me in the past He wants me to fully participate in the life that He has given me.
But first it took a risk; victim or victor?
Thankfully, due to God’s Grace and the support from those He brings my way I can say that this turkey (aka writer) is choosing to be a Victor.
For that I am thankful.

15 comments:

  1. Congratulations on taking such positive steps to overcome the victim's view that a bullying person tried to stick you with. You have since stepped through a growing path of risks and successes--seeking counselling, attending the InScribe Conference, signing up for a writing course. . . Here's a scripture on this topic that I love:" For God did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline." 2Timothy 1:7

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    1. Thanks for the reminder of such a great verse Sharon and the encouragement. This group has been so good for me.

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  2. I am so glad you came to conference and that God is showing you new ways to move forward. The turkey story is brilliant!

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  3. I am so glad you came to conference and that God is showing you new ways to move forward. The turkey story is brilliant!

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    1. Thanks Tracy and was nice to meet you in person. Groups aren't easy for me but this one was definitely worth it.

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  4. "...no matter what has happened to me in the past He wants me to fully participate in the life that He has given me." Now, that's a quotable quote if ever I read one! You make your points in a very down-to-earth, easy to relate to style, Gloria. Who else would liken victory to a turkey crisis?! Such an excellent reminder, though. Victim or victor is a choice. How you choose will either leave doors closed, or begin to open them. I look forward to seeing where your open doors take you. The sky's the limit, with God. Many blessings, my friend.

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    1. Your story is such an inspiration for me Bobbi. I have started reading your book and cam see how only God could have helped you through such circumstances. I look forward to getting to know you better and thank you so much for all of your encouragement.

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  5. Ha, ha, I love your turkey story, Gloria. And I'm trying to envision you " running all out for a new found freedodm'!! It's a great picture. Keep on running, flapping, squwakking, whatever you need to do to make it across the road. I'm right behiind you!
    Pam

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    1. Truth is Pam that if I took up running that's exactly what I would look like lol. We need each other in life so you are welcome to run with me however rediculous we look!!

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  6. Gloria,
    I love how God uses things around us in our everyday lives to speak to our hearts - like turkeys! Thanks for sharing from your heart how God is transforming you from a victim to a victor. I'm so glad you are stepping out in faith and finding God faithful. I'm having to do that in my life too - with launching my oldest daughter, advocating for my Dad who has dementia, and in my role of President of InScribe. Let's keep running together :)

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  7. Gloria--what a beautiful story of perspective. The turkey anecdote painted an excellent picture of what you were going through. I'm so glad you chose to jump out of the truck and be a victor!

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  8. Run... turkey....run! What a great story, Gloria. A lesson for all us. Thanks for sharing.

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  9. Thanks Gloria, loved your post, and I also really enjoyed the turkey story, and your challenge to us to: take some risks, drop and roll when hit with life’s punches and run all out for a newfound freedom?
    It all takes time, though doesn't it?

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  10. Thank you for sharing your victim feelings and your victories. It helps me remember that God is always faithful, always. He always sees and cares, and in his perfect time he does the perfect thing to demonstrate his love for us. God bless!

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