Overcomer

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What does it mean to be an overcomer? The definition given by Merriam-Webster is “to defeat something or someone; to successfully deal with or gain control of something difficult.” I always feel inspired when I hear the song Overcomer by Mandisa. Some of the lyrics say, “Whatever it is you may be going through I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you… You might be down for a moment feeling like it’s hopeless. That’s when he reminds you that you’re an overcomer.”

As you journey through grief, there will be times when you feel you simply cannot go on. The emotional toll and physical pain of loss can feel unbearable. Confusion and doubt persistently fill your mind. Everywhere you turn, you see reminders of your current situation. At those times it is important that you not give in to defeat. It is exactly when you feel weakest that you can find a way to survive and even learn to thrive again.

Develop into an overcomer! Realize that your weakness only accentuates the strength of God that is available to you. As you call out to Him for help, cling to what you do have. Remember this acronym and be encouraged –

Open up to others so they can help you.

Visualize the sun coming out the next day and life looking better.

Effort is necessary on your part to work through the process of grief.

Reality can be cruel. However,

Commit to living each day the best you know how.

Offer yourself grace in the days ahead.

Make everyday count.

Even if you only manage to get out of bed on a difficult day, you are victorious.

Remember that you are an overcomer!

“The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to him in song.” Psalm 28:7 (NIV)

Until next time –

Karen

Grief Letters is available for you to purchase. Having hope and purpose is not impossible when facing loss and pain. This devotion book is filled with lessons learned from my own journey as well as suggested activities written to help achieve forward progress through grief. Place your order today!

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Not a victim

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“He’s touching me!” “She’s breathing my air!” “Make her stop looking at me!” If you had siblings or are raising little ones, you have probably heard some version of these remarks. It seems natural for us to want to defend ourselves, act selfishly, and throw a little rant at times. We are wired to constantly evaluate how we are doing and how life is affecting us. Often times our evaluation tells us that we are being harmed or slighted in some way. While that may really be true at times, I want to encourage you to have the attitude that you are not a victim of life’s circumstances. Instead, God can use the events in your life to shape and teach you.

For months following Alan’s death, I felt I wore a big sign around my neck that pointed out all the wrong things about me. Not just that I was now a widow, but that I did not know how to pay the bills, I had no idea how to change a furnace filter, I had never mowed the lawn, and how in the world was I going to see that our youngest son finish college? When I look back now, I see I have conquered these fears, doubts, and inabilities and every one of these issues has been addressed and checked off as successful.

Beyond that, who would have thought I’d write a book? Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought  Grief Letters would become a reality. But God did just that. He can bring good things out of tough times. The attitude of not a victim can open unimaginable doors.

Let me stop here to say that if you are indeed a victim of a crime and are being harmed – that is different and you should seek help immediately. I am speaking more of determining you are not a victim of your situation in dealing with loss and grief. I would never suggest you stay in a dangerous situation and I urge you to seek help today if you find yourself in one.

These past four years in walking my grief journey have taught me so much. First and foremost I have determined that you and I do not have to be a victim and feel overwhelmed with life. What do you do when you feel there are too many decisions to be made and you just cannot handle one more incident? Here are a couple of tips I have found helpful.

Positive self-talk is vital. What you tell yourself counts. Yours is the voice you hear the most and listen to day in and day out. Your thoughts are with you constantly so it is paramount that what you say is uplifting and loving. Be kind to yourself. Treat yourself with grace, gentleness, and honesty.

Have an arsenal at your disposal. This particular arsenal is filled with ammunition to stop the enemy’s lies of defeat. The best ammunition I have found is scripture. God’s Word is alive and real. It can give strength when nothing else helps. Spend time reading your bible and writing out note cards of certain verses that point to truth. You are not a victim. Instead you are an overcomer and can be victorious!

One verse I read this morning says just that. “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, [the false teachings] because the one who is in you is great than the one who is in the world.” 1 John 4:4 (NIV)

Put these verse cards on your refrigerator, paste them to your mirror, tuck them in your pocket or purse. Pull them out when you feel defeated and scared. Remind yourself often that Jesus has already overcome the world (John 16:33) so you have nothing to fear when you are in Him and He is in you. John 3:16 states the fact that you are precious to God and He has made the ultimate sacrifice to insure you will be with Him always, if you so choose.

Keep telling yourself that you are not a victim, especially on the harder days when the sadness closes in, the tears refuse to stop, and the enemy whispers lies in your ears. The only thing that can make you a victim of grief is when you give up and quit trying.

Until next time –

Karen

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Grief Letters By Karen Bransgrove, Published by WestBow Press. You can order here.

Hardcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869674

Softcover | 6 x 9 in | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869667

E-Book | 114 pages | ISBN 9781490869650

Also available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble.