Victory: a successful ending of a struggle or contest; winning.
What comes to your mind when you hear or read the word “victory”?
Is it an image of the Olympic medal winner standing on a podium? Is it crowds of people on a city street, shouting with raised arms and millions of bits of paper flying through the air? Is the word “victory” just a celebratory word? Is it a one-time occurrence?
Let me give you a different view of victory…
Once there was a girl and guy who planned on marrying. They were very close to ‘The Date’ – the wedding day. It was the evening of the girl’s bachelorette party, May 23, 2010. She and her friends had been enjoying a day of fun.
This young woman was athletic – a life guard, a swimmer, a sports-recreation major – and she and her friends didn’t hesitate to be physical. After a day of fun they all went out to the pool. One of the party-goers playfully pushed the bride-to-be into the pool. Just fun. Nothing out of ordinary to play around.
In a completely incomprehensible way, this young bride-to-be injured her spine and, with a C6 spinal cord injury, she now lives as a quadriplegic. And boy, does she LIVE.
I met Rachelle while filming a cooking segment for a friend, Chef Elise Johnson. Rachelle had been married a number of months, and came with her mom – her full-time caregiver at the time. This beautiful young woman came to film a segment where Elise gave her easy-to-do ideas on what to cook as a newlywed. At that point, because of her injury and paralysis, cooking was something she had yet to conquer.
It clearly became evident that Rachelle celebrated every victory. Each daily victory. Getting out of bed was a victory.
Her wedding was postponed till she recovered – Chris and Rachelle married on July 22, 2011. That was a victory. She and her husband went to Fiji on a honeymoon. Victory. She mastered a wheelchair. Victory. She’s mastered using an iPad for phone and email using the side of one hand. Victory. She’s been through a number of spinal-chord rehab events. Victory. Victory. Victory. She plays wheelchair rugby. Victory. She’s gone surfing. Victory. Rachelle has learned to drive. On her own (and all the complexities that it encompasses). Major Victory! She’s been married to her sweetheart, Chris, for a year. Victory.
Now Rachelle is writing a book, found an agent and is seeking full-time employment. Do I smell a victory coming on?
Victory as a way of life
Our victories don’t have to be noted as celebrations with people cheering (although that’s always nice…). Every struggle, no matter how small, can be counted as a victory. Eventually, our lives bear witness of the accumulation of these small victories. Here are a few examples of couples with many small victories as they led their lives. It just so happens we notice them for their victories.
Mary & William – a royal couple that changed history without bloodshed – Victory!
David & Mary – a missionary couple who charted Africa – Victory!
Dwight & Mamie – worked as a leadership couple – no permanent home for 32 years – led a nation through turbulence. Victory!
Charles & Susannah – an ongoing influence for over 100 years. Victory!
Ken & Marjorie – inspiring others and in business together. Victory!
All couples fail. All couples have victories.
What are your victories?
Sit down and count up your victories.
Write them down. How many days have you been married? Victory! Who have you served for Christ? Victory! Do your children know Christ Jesus? Victory! Did you kiss your spouse this morning? Victory! Are you living a life filled with meaning? Victory! Do you have a shared mission? Victory!
Another way to look at victories?
In what ways have you been blessed with victories?
I recommend following Rachelle on Facebook – give her a “like” – and cheer Chris and Rachelle on as they celebrate their victories! (It’ll spark your imagination…)
This post is also found on Leadership Couples.
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