I am a Survivor

In my last blog I posted 7 different things about me that you may not know, but there’s more! You don’t live 50 years and only have 7 things to tell people about yourself. One that seemed a little too serious for the previous post is, I have survived two attempts on my life. Not only did I survive, but I escaped serious injury.

The first was a knife attack. I was stabbed in the chest but instead of penetrating through to my heart or lungs, the knife hit one of my ribs dead centre. Because I was very skinny back then (I miss those days) the knife didn’t even puncture the skin. Instead, it bounced leaving a painful bruise but no cut. The second attempt on my life was about 4 or 5 years later and involved administering a large quantity of drugs. Thankfully the drugs used required a much larger amount to cause death so again I escaped with no long term issues.

Did the two people who tried to kill me get caught?  

Before I answer the question, I need to clarify one thing. It was the same person who tried to kill me both times. This most likely raises another question, why didn’t I report the person the first time? I guess the answer was twofold, first, I didn’t want anyone to know and second, I was happy just to survive.

Even with my strange reasons for not reporting the person, there is one question remaining, did I report the person the second time? The answer is sort of. During a difficult class at school, I left the room and went to talk to a teacher that I respected. I broke down and told him about the second attempt on my life. Thankfully he didn’t take it to the police, he did however tell the guidance office and contact my parents.

Why would anyone want to kill me?

It may sound simplistic, maybe even flippant, but the answer is he didn’t think I deserved to live. I wasn’t good enough and I wasn’t going to get any better. To him I was a waste of oxygen and food. I contributed little and what I contributed was at best average and in most cases totally useless. I seemed to be wrong more often than right and my behaviour was never what was expected of me. To put it another way I was a total letdown with no future and a forgettable past.

Where is this person now?

At the moment I am writing this, the person who tried to kill me is sitting in his chair at his computer typing away, trying to find the words to properly explain the reasons behind what he did. There is no good reason, no acceptable explanation for the choices he made even though at the time it seemed so clear, Dave needed to die. There is no comfort in knowing that these acts did not succeed, just a sadness that life was once so bad that killing appeared to be the only option.

Deep within Dave the survivor lives Dave the killer. It has been a long time since Dave the survivor has had to deal with Dave the killer and I never want to have to deal with that part of me again.

What has changed?

Being a survivor isn’t enough. We have tried to use this word to represent victory over a situation. It has been adopted by groups from cancer patients to those who have endured rape. We no longer use terms that paint a picture of being a victim, instead we use words that suggest the completion of a journey that did not end in defeat. I guess you could call my journey from attempting suicide but not succeeding and not trying a third time, a move from victim to survivor, but for me this is not enough.

Survivor says that I didn’t die but it doesn’t suggest that I have a life worth living. There is no question I have been on a journey but that journey isn’t defined by not dying because someday, no matter how far I am able to distance myself from the thoughts of taking my own life, I will no longer be alive. Someday I will not be a survivor but instead a victim of the sin in my life and I will breathe my last breath in this body. Until the day I am no longer on this earth, I want to be known as more than a survivor. I want to be defined by the things that God has done that have given me a reason to live.

I am more than a survivor through Jesus the Christ.

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:31-39 (NIV)

7 comments

  1. Dave, I’m really glad that you shared this. I think so many of us believe people in ministry never have problems, never get depressed, never struggle. These things must add a great deal to how you serve others and how you are able to help others. I really liked this…”I am more than a survivor through Jesus the Christ.” Thanks for sharing this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I am so grateful that God’s plan for you was to be not only a survivor, but so very much more. You have been and continue to be (as does your amazing family) an inspiration and mentor to me. You brought the music in me out which I never ever thought would happen and helped me to realize my potential. There are no words of gratitude that are sufficient. You are more than a survivor, you are a blessing and I thank God for you.

    Liked by 1 person

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