Stories of Resilience: Valerie D. Venables


“Don’t confuse your path with your destiny.”

The moment we are conceived, our lives have a purpose. Our lives in fact can be likened to a book filled with many stories. Every one of us will walk a different path along our journey.  Each step taken will be unique and our stories will unfold year by year revealing various experiences both good and bad. Some chapters of our story will reveal steps of adversity and how we coped and lessons learned going through the tough times. During these times we have to practice being resilient.

Did you know that people are waiting to hear your story? I encourage you to be brave, share your story and people will listen. You’ll never know how many people you will touch. We all have “Giants” from the past that need to be defeated. Can you relate? As you read the various stories of resilience, your Giants that have been buried deep within your soul and hidden for years will probably be exposed. Your eyes may become cloudy and tears that trickle-down will warm your cheeks. The pain from your past will probably be as real as it was long ago. Now is the time to face your Giants. Now is the time to process your healing.

Don’t let your past hold you as a prisoner. Move forward and become victorious. The next step is to share your story and reach out to others that are hurting. This is the icing on the cake that makes sense out of all the difficult times. Remember you can be a light in someone else’s storm.

In many ways, adversity is like boot camp – it is rigorous, painful and challenging.  During these times we need to be courageous, we need to be resilient. It’s not easy facing our Giants. Every trial starts with a beginning and every trial has an ending. The key to victory in every trial is to change our minds, thoughts and attitudes. Embrace the character building that can take place during these times. Begin to believe in yourself and start moving forward. Whenever you get knocked down, rise up and stand tall.  Remembering the victories of your past will help you face the Giants of your present. Cling to that same hope that got you through previous trials. Be encouraged. Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations.As I look back over the year life hasn’t been easy. I’ve weathered many storms and life hasn’t always been fair. So many unexpected circumstances beyond my control, growing up with an alcoholic father, seeing my parents’ divorce after 27 years of marriage, having an unfaithful husband (with someone I thought was a friend), my own divorce, having two children with health issues, the list goes on.

For years I had nightmares as dark as midnight. My mind was a battleground. I knew I had to face my Giants. I had to change my thought pattern in order to overcome my pain from the past. After my divorce, I had huge issues with trusting women. I had to learn to trust again but it wasn’t easy. I learned how to listen to the red lights when it came to women. Once I refused to be a victim of my painful thoughts, I began moving towards freedom and victory.

Looking back, I have no regrets as every trial had a purpose. I’ve become a stronger person, a better person. Originally, I was very innocent, naive and very trusting. I am now able to set healthy boundaries and I trust the red lights. My pain has developed my character for the good and groomed me in so many ways. Each lesson learned has become a tool for ministry within the church. Pain can actually be a gift to the future.  Just because it’s stormy now doesn’t mean that you aren’t headed for sunshine. Don’t confuse your path with your destiny.

Life is all about how we react to situations. Trials can make us “Bitter or Better.”  Life will always have crossroads at which time choices will have to be made. I trust you’ll embrace the lessons during your own trials and that you’ll move towards freedom and victory. The key to moving forward is one step at a time. 

I’m happy to share that I remarried and my husband and I recently celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary.  Our marriage is a lifetime commitment; my husband is my best friend and an amazing Dad. 

Be strong and courageous. Walk through each season of life with confidence. You can be victorious. You can be resilient.


Are you ready to share your story of RESILIENCE? You can do that HERE.

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