It Ain't About Survival: A Testimony
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It Ain't About Survival: A Testimony

by staff writer

Before I first listened to Joyce’s teaching on the fruit of the Spirit, I confess I didn’t really understand how the fruit worked. I assumed it was all about will power. If I didn’t have peace or patience, it must be because I wasn’t trying hard enough. It never occurred to me to ask for God’s help.

It might have had to do with how I was raised. Though I grew up in a Christian home, my mother was the poster child for the self-made woman – the oldest of 10 who grew up in a West Virginia coal-mining town during the Great Depression.

She escaped at 18, married a mean man, went to work, divorced, remarried and eventually became one of the first female Chamber of Commerce executives in the country. She was a dynamo who loved to say, “I’m a survivor.” That was her battle cry and badge of honor.

Mere Survival Falls Short

It made perfect sense that I would follow her template. Clawing my solitary way up the mountain of life’s challenges, marching under my own steam through exhaustion and disappointment—just so I could proclaim that I too was a survivor. As if surviving is as good as it can possibly get. 

But listening to Joyce’s teaching about her own transformation from humorless survivor to healed and happy child of God gave me a new perspective on “survivor syndrome.”

I understand now that God wants much more for us than mere survival. It’s not His will that we just barely make the finish line. He wants us to sail past it with hope, exuberance and energy to burn. Even more important, He wants our acknowledgement that we get nowhere on our own steam. It’s all Him, all the time.

Fruit of the SpiritThis teaching is based on Joyce's action plan study package, Fruit of the Spirit.
Learn how to water God's Word in your life and relationships.