… and become a victor.
Although there is still much that we don’t know about Amanda Berry, one thing seems clear. When the opportunity presented itself, she did not let her captivity define her.
She threw off the victim label and became a victor.
She also didn’t let a lifetime of violence define her daughter, Jocelyn. In the 911 call, Amanda calls her, “Sweetheart.”
“Sweetheart, it’s okay.”
While there plenty of other names she could have could have called Jocelyn, and plenty of other things she could have done when the opportunity to escape arose, Amanda chose to be “mother”and lead her daughter to new life.
And “mother” was a victory label for this young woman.
Very few, if any, of us will have to endure what Amanda Berry endured. But we can learn from her. We can learn to throw off the label of victim and become a victor. We can stare down the trauma we have endured and refuse to let it define us, or the ones we love. We can turn our backs on a barren broken past and step gallantly into a new day.
Amanda’s courage has given me courage for Katya.
I wasn’t abandoned by my mother. Nor did I spend years in an orphanage. Katya did. And she bears the scars. There are days she still melts down under self-appointed labels of “orphan,” “abandoned,” “victim.”
But I have hope that in the safety of our family, and under our prayers and whispers and songs, she will gain courage to throw off the victim label and embrace a new name…
Katya, Amanda, and Jocelyn are not alone in bearing the scars of living in a fallen, broken world and suffering at the hands of others. Life is hard for us all. No doubt. We all have pain. We all have shame. We all bear scars.
But, we don’t have to let the pain define us. We can throw off the victim label and claim a new name.
If this post rings true for you, or for someone in your life, you may want to check out the related posts. In these posts I share a bit of how the Lord exchanged my ashes for beauty and give you steps for how you can also experience this “great exchange.”
Have you BTDT? Have you shaken off a victim label? I’d love to celebrate with you. And, if you’re somewhere on this journey, perhaps just now you’re understanding that you’ve embraced the label of victim for too long, I’d really love to pray for you. And, if you’re the mother of one who you are praying “new name” over, please, please, please let me stand with you. Feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. But if you’d like to share your story in a more public way, just leave a comment below.