I took a chance and looked at a reality show called “I Survived”. These amazing individuals were involved in horrific life threatening situations, often left for dead. I went through the fear and agony with them as they told their story. They pulled from an inner strength and persevered against all odds that as a result, they were part of nothing short of a miracle and survived.
I recalled the life altering events in my own life and remembered the friends that turned their backs on me in my time of need. I remember the enemies that laid trap after trap, waiting for me to fall in their snares; laughing as I faltered. I have always built the bridges in my family, meeting the needs of all but I felt as if they too, had turned a deaf ear to me in my distress. I lost loved ones that were the core of my existence. I suffered near death accidents and illnesses. Unlike those in the reality show, I had no strength left. These devastating circumstances overwhelmed me and living with tragedy became my normal.
Despite it all, I too survived. I survived because God came to my rescue. I realized it was His plan to weed out those who were walking contrary to the purpose He has for my life. When my enemies set the traps, He let their trap be the vessel used for my safe escape and shows His power. When I felt forsaken, I read the 27th Psalm and was encouraged by the Word and remembered He promised to take me up and He has filled each gap. While walking in the valley of the shadow of death for three years, the 23rd Psalm became my national anthem of comfort. God has loved me provided for me and give me peace in the midst of the worst that anyone could face in a lifetime.
Those who survive tragedies initially experience extreme relief. You don’t come out of these situations without scars or memories. The effects of trauma can last for a lifetime. One beauty of my surviving by the hand of God is that I don’t suffer from post traumatic stress syndrome. When I remember the hard times, my hands go up to praise as the tears flow down my cheeks. I can still smell the smoke of the fire set in the trap of my destruction. I still taste the bitter tears from the hurt of loneliness while feeling abandoned. During the worst moments, I could still hear God’s voice to comfort me and most importantly, I saw His hand at work. I still can’t openly speak about some things yet and there are some roads I still can’t drive on but one thing I can say is God is real. I’ve saved thousands of dollars in therapy by talking to the few select people God has sent into my life for such a season as this.
I know I’m not the only survivor. It’s time we share our stories with the world. There is someone who can benefit from our experiences. If nothing else, it’s cathartic when you repeat how God delivers us. Our stories move God from the pages of the bible that sits on the bookshelves or coffee tables in most homes and reminds the world He’s real. How we endure hardship and recover from tragedies with God, shows those who might not know Him that He’s not a weakling but still the God of glory, mighty in battle; working to make all who call on Him in time of their troubles, a survivor.