You’re a Survivor!


My Mom and I have a phrase we frequently say to one another when life seems unbearable.  We started this phrase back in 2011 when my family moved from NC to TN.  Selling your dream home on your family’s farm and moving 600 miles away is no easy feat, especially when you had a wonderful life to begin with.  Bryan and I had great jobs, a sweet church family, and all of our relatives lived within 10 miles of our house.  Our kids had all of their grandparents and cousins just minutes away and we have always been a tight-knit family.  We had no reason to ever leave NC, expect that God was calling us to Jackson, TN.  People did not understand it and some could not believe we would leave it all.  Leaving everyone you know and love to come to a place where you do not know anyone on an intimate level is painful, but when God is the one leading you….you go!  So, we did.  It was hard.  It was very hard.  There were days I wondered how in the world I would ever survive.

The movers came on May 31, and because Bryan and the kids needed to stay behind to finish the school year, my Mom drove out to Jackson with me and our dog, Sandy.  We left our home (out in the country) with 250 acres of land attached to it and moved into a rental house located in a suburban neighborhood.  After the long drive, we finally pulled into the driveway of our rental house.  My Mom is a very positive person and was full of complements on how nice the neighborhood was and how nice the rental house was.  (As a side note, I’m really not sure how I would have ever made it through this process if it were not for my Mom.  She seemed to encourage me right when I needed it the most.)  As we sat in the driveway that day, I felt a whole array of emotions come over me.  I was sad, a little anxious, already a little lonely from leaving all of my friends and family, yet there was some excitement too.  My Mom looked at me and said, “Joy, you’re a survivor”.   And so, that phrase became our encouragement to one another as we unpacked tons of boxes and began setting up shop for a new life for the Greene family.  We worked all day and late into the night for three days getting the house just right.  We wanted it to be “home” when Bryan and the kids arrived.  My Mom and I were absolutely worn out and when we knew we were about to reach our breaking point, we would say to one another, “WE ARE SURVIVORS!”

What about you?  Are you a survivor?  Do you have inner strength that keeps you going even when you feel down for the count?    Maybe right now you feel like you are drowning in a sea of problems.  Maybe you wonder how in the world you are ever going to get through this trial in your life.  I want you to know, that if Christ lives in you, then you are a survivor!  Take a look at this powerful verse in Romans 8:37:

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

You see, this verse shows us that no matter what comes at us, through Christ, we are victorious!  God has prepared a crown and a kingdom for us and He will give us what we need to fulfill our purpose on this earth.  The Greek word used for “we are more than conquerors” is actually one single word, “hypernicōmen” and it means to prevail completely over.  I want you to let that soak in just a bit.  To prevail completely over—because of Jesus!

No matter what you are facing right now, with Christ, you have victory!  It does not mean that things on this side of eternity will go the way you want them to go.  It does not mean you will not experience failure along your life’s journey.  While you and I are here, we will have heartaches to endure, but while we are walking in those heartaches, our faith will not be shaken.  Our love will not be diminished.  Our hope will not be destroyed.  Instead, the joy of the Lord will BE our strength and through Him we will triumph!  We have victory!

So when life seems unbearable and your strength begins to fail you, stand firm on God’s Word.  Stand firm on who He is.  Fill your mind up with Truth and know that you, my friend, are a survivor!

Grateful for you!


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    Oh Joy, how I needed this today. You know what we’re going through with mother right now and it is so hard. When I don’t know what to do next, I just call on the name of Jesus! I love you and your wisdom and comforting words.

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    Diane Fink

    Joy, saw you in Albemarle last year and at West Albemarle Baptist Church, love Adam Hatley & family. I needed this tonight. I am sitting by my precious Daddy’s bed. Only matter of time, waiting on God’s perfect timing to take him HOME. ALL family called in last weekend, goodbyes been said, tears shared, Bible verses, prayers spoken, so many I LOVE YOUs have been said. We talked about heaven and assuring him we will take care of Momma. He has been sick 3 years my Momma taking care of him. Hospice started last Sept. This is hard but I am seeing & looking for every positive I can find in this experience. My (wise) daughter reminded me, “this is nothing compared to Jesus, suffering on the cross for us” this instantly gave me more strength. I love my Lord & Saviour, I trust Him completely, our family will be stronger as we get through this together. We are Survivors, too. Thank you Joy, God Bless your ministry.

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