Have you ever had a moment in life when things just didn’t go the way you expected? You see others around you getting blessed and having the things you’ve been praying to God about. I’ve had moments like these and my first thought was defeat.
When I was around the age of 16, I wanted to get a job like most teenagers my age. I have two older sisters and a twin brother and we all had that same ambition. Amongst my siblings, I was known as the last one to learn or to do anything new. I was the last one to learn to walk, last one to talk, and the last one to learn to tie my own shoes. So job hunting was on the same trend. When my twin brother got his first job, I remember having excitement for him but for myself, I thought of defeat. At that time I looked at defeat much differently than I do now. But when I looked up the word, I realized that “defeat” could be used in two different ways. As a noun, it can be used in the negative, which is where my mind went to back then, about being conquered over or beaten. But as a verb, it can be used as an incredible feat, meaning to win victory over. So when I heard the word “defeat”, why did I directly go to the noun?
How many times in my life did I let a situation defeat my thoughts, mind, and spirit? When I look back on my journey of finding my first job, I realized how much I learned, the blessings that I had, and the people who were in my corner. I learned the value of volunteering, in which I worked as an administrative assistant to my guidance counselor during the summer. I had the support of my mom, who still provided for me so that having a job at the time didn’t matter. And I had my siblings, who on their summer vacation, paid for my movie ticket so I could join them at the movies since I was the only one that did not have a job. When I thought about these things, I realized that I was never defeated, but that I had the choice to defeat my own thoughts telling me I was less than who I am.
You see the word “defeat” is like a glass of water. This is a classic example where people would look at the same glass of water and say this glass is half empty or this glass is half full. So likewise, in every situation in life, you have a choice to see it as half empty or half full. You have a choice to be defeated or to defeat the enemy in front of you, and most of the time, the enemy is yourself.
I could have easily just sulked in my mindset saying that I would never get a job. I even said to myself that I was not smart enough and that in my future; maybe I would not amount to anything. However, I decided to defeat the negative thoughts in my head and make use of the time I had by volunteering. Not only did I get my first paid job as a cashier in a department store, but nine months later I quit that job and landed me my first internship working for a federal government agency. And how did I get that position? On my resume, I had administrative/clerical experience from working for my guidance counselor as a volunteer.
So the next time you hear the word defeat in your head, remember you have two options. You can choose the noun or the verb, to face defeat or to defeat the enemy. Choose to claim victory over your life, no matter what it throws at you. And when it looks impossible, try this scripture in the bible, which has helped me several times in my life. Philippians 4:7 (ESV):
“And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.
For me, that means that God will defeat the enemy for us. He will undo our negative thoughts, reshape it, and protect our hearts to overcome defeat. And that He gives me the strength to use defeat to overcome doubt, obstruct worry, claim victory and faith over fear, and to continue to win.
Blessing & Love,