under Written on September 28, 2010

I had a rough life growing up with an abusive, alcoholic mother. I was verbally and physically beaten down on many occasions. We didn’t have much money growing up and I often wore clothes for several years or wore hand-me-downs. As you can imagine this led to some real teasing in school. There was other abuses that occurred as well in life that led to me feeling defeated and beaten down.

I didn’t try too hard in life as judgements were already being made before the results came, so why bother. I accepted the mantle of defeat and lived life that way growing up.

After graduating HS I joined the Army where I actually thrived. In the Army there were set standards and requirements for success and promotion. This was not the subjective world I had come from. Everything was going great in the Army until I got married to a NY girl while in Hawaii. She had wanted to get out of the Army but was unable too.

Shortly after marrying she wanted to start a family and shortly after getting pregnant she left the service. It wasn’t long after her exit from the Army that she made her exit from the marriage. This was a bitter and painful pill for me to swallow. I loved my son with all that was within me and it absolutely tore me up to have him taken from me like that. She proceeded to do everything she could to drive a wedge between he and I and keep me from seeing him.

I fought court battle after court battle just to maintain visitation of some form. This started in 1994 and has continued to this very day with him now being 18 and her still doing her best to alienate me from him. She has mostly succeeded of late.

Then there is my current situation. Our manager was essentially forced to step down due to a situation that two co-workers exploited. The manager did not do anything wrong, but was in a tough situation with his brother working in the same department under him. There is so much more that you could make a soap opera from it but I will not go into all the details.

The position was posted internally and I applied along with the two co-workers who were responsible for forcing the manager’s resignation. These same two are the polar opposite of what you would expect from a professional manager. The cursing, slander, backbiting, racial slurs, and anti-team building mentality that comes from these two co-workers is astounding. 

 To make matters worse, both of these applicants had been attacking each other secretly and supporting each other openly. They tried to get me to take sides in this and I refused. It gotso bad that I decided I needed to say something and called them both out on it. This had the end result of them aligning together against me and accusing me of trying ot pit them against each other. They then went on a smear campaign against me and even went after some of my supporters.

The environment got very ugly. Many times I was tempted to play those same games to counter their tactics but each time was convicted otherwise. I have to say it was a real struggle though because I saw them advancing and me not based on all of this and I was so tempted to do anything to prevent that as I knew it would be detrimental to the office. In the end, my conscious and faith prevailed and I resisted the urge to do unto them as they had done unto me.

My pastor had given a sermon that ended with him making an altar call for those who felt convicted to be more of a leader for God in the work place, home, etc. I went forward with many others and accepted this challenge. The sermon the following week was on enduring trials in our life and trusting God to deliver us through them.

During this same time my small group began a book called, “Your Secret Name.” I began the book on Tuesday of last week. On Wednesday, the director came in and informed us of who made the final cut. I finished the book on Thursday.

I spoke with the director soon after the announcement to ask what is was about these two that he felt set them apart. It was their title, nothing else. I had 9 years of military experience, had graduated tops in all of my leadership classes, and had led and motivated soldiers for six years. This was recognized and he stated that I had a very strong application, was universally seen in the division as a healer, peace maker, and one who unites.

He went on to say that I had demonstrated an effort to build bridges with other departments, had strong support on the panel, and in the division BUT, they decided to cut the pool of applicants based on a title that required no leadership ability at all.

This was very eye opening for me. It wasn’t anything I did or didn’t do, it was a title. All the talk the director had said about the importance of leadership in the decision making as nothing but that, talk. In the end, he resorted to the same old methods that held us back for years. Once again I was defeated. Once again I had failed. Or was I?

As I was in the 15th chapter where Kary Oberbrunner listed his given names that he had overcome my mind drifted away to my own set of names I had acquired over the years. They all led me to that feeling of defeat and failure that weighed me down and prevented me from achieving all that could for God, my family, myself, and my employer.

I had done very well at work, but I hadn’t lived for God like I should have. I didn’t do a lot of the things I felt I should because of the ridicule of one of the finalists. But then it happened as I read and mused. Victor. Where had that thought, no – that statement come from? It certainly wasn’t how I was feeling just then. It wasn’t a word that had entered my mind. It wasn’t in the book where I was reading. But there it was again. A voice saying, “Enough! Stop living in defeat, you are Victorious!” It was clear and I knew then and there that God had just given me my new name.

It made all the difference in the world. I looked back at my life and what I had achieved despite all that I had gone through and all that people had done and said to me. I looked at who I was in Christ. I looked at what God had done for me and through me. Why on earth had I walked around all these years feeling defeated. I had risen above the environment I grew up in. I had risen above the tactics used against me in life and at work. I had become a good person despite having every excuse I wanted at my disposal to turn out different.

During all of the backbiting and double-dealing at work I had not compromised my principles or faith. I had withstood the onslaught and resisted the urges to act in the same manner. I was Victorious. I am Victorious. My spirit lifted immediately. My burden was removed. I felt light and free. I went to speak with one of my supporters on the hiring panel who had asked how I was. I reported to her how I had such peace and joy and that I couldn’t explain it in human terms, that it was something that God had pointed out to me.

I had not played the games and politics that the others had. I had not sacrificed my morals or faith on the altar of success or advancement. I had survived, Victorious. Jehovah-Nissi. The Lord is my Banner. The Lord is my Conqueror.