Tag Archives: survival

Valiant Blogger Award

 

Although I have a full 45 hour-week work schedule, along with juggling in being a wife, mother and a grandmother who does monthly weekend road trips, marketing and promoting my published memoir, I do my best to continue blogging and working on other writing projects in between. I have enjoyed the process and taking you all along with me.

I would like to thank one of my faithful follower and fan for nominating me for The Valiant Blogger Award. I am both grateful and humbled by her nomination. Cheri is a gifted writer and a courageous survivor in her own right. You should visit Cheri’s blog at Joyously Hopeful. Her hope in the face of life’s many challenges, her persistence and her faithfulness in the midst of it all exemplifies a lioness heart!


The Valiant Blogger Award is for the blogger who is brave and courageous. It is dedicated to someone who, despite being faced with the most difficult obstacles in life, chooses to fight on and never give up. It is for the lionhearted, one who faces fears and challenges, who has become an inspiration to so many along the way.

RULES:
1. Post the award on your blog.
2. Provide a link to the Hall of Valor.
3. In 200 words or less, share about the greatest challenge in your life and HOW you got through it.
4. Give one piece of advice to people who are struggling with something in their life.
5. Thank the person who nominated you, and nominate a new blogger for the award.


An intro about me:

Even before attempting to blog, I had begun to write about my childhood journeys on into my adulthood. At first I thought it would be for my kids’ eyes only. But after being told that I had a story worth sharing so that others may hear and become inspired, I began to think outside the box. I believe doors open in God’s perfect timing as He puts the right people in your path. Me publishing my memoir two years ago is a dream fulfilled.

I share my story that I might inspire and encourage others to find their own strength and to overcome bitterness through accepting God’s grace. That was the key to my freedom from a cycle of poverty and abuse, and if my story helps someone else understand the power of forgiveness to purchase liberty, then I’ve accomplished my mission.

Running in Heels: A Memoir of Grit and Grace” is more than a memoir. It is a promise of hope and survival to anyone who woke up hungry and went to bed hungrier every day, for anyone who was abandoned as a child or an adult, for every wife who has loved a husband who left bruises on her heart and on her body.


My Greatest Challenge

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My greatest challenge in life was my self-worth. I struggled with low self-esteem, and still fight it on occasion.  I was not born with a silver spoon in my mouth. I grew up in an impoverished home and was a high school drop out. I fell in love with a ruthless man twice my age, married, and the babies came while I was still so young.

When you’re going through struggles, you sometimes feel like you’re all alone. The pain is real. The hurt feels as though your insides will burst, and in your brokenness you feel hopeless, like there will never be an end. Instead of reaching out, you become a shut-in. Sometimes you medicate yourself with alcohol, drugs, or even food. You feel like all hope is lost and no one cares. Sometimes you keep your struggles to yourself because you are too ashamed of your pain.


One Piece of Advice

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You don’t have to be a product of your environment. You can rise above the ashes and become stronger than any storm that tried to take the wind out of your sail. Your yesterday does not define your today. Never forget that God is a God of second chances and new beginnings, bringing hope to the hopeless and forgiveness to the inexcusable. You don’t have to remain a victim, alone or afraid.

You may be a mess today, but your mess can turn into a message of hope, survival and forgiveness.


I nominate:

Karin Lynn-Hill, FOGwalkerBirdie, a charming and uplifting blogger and author. She is a breath of fresh air who continually presses through, counting it all joy and giving God all the glory! Karin is the author of several devotional books. Here are some to name a few:

Psalm 119 – A Deeper Look: An In-Depth Bible Study & Interactive Journal
Forgiveness: An Act of Obedience
Walking and Living Joyfully: Discovering True Joy

Look for them on  Amazon!   https://www.amazon.com/Karin-Lynn-Hill/e/B01KKHXOQO/

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Another Day at the Office

Note: This traumatic situation happened in the 90s, something I’ll never forget.

Ever think you’d wake up to face another day and everything go according to plan? Remain normal? Nothing out of the ordinary? Yeah, me too. But this would be no ordinary work day for me …

Several months of working the drive-thru window at my new banking job, I looked forward to working the inside lobby. I retrieved my cash box and set up my drawer like any other day, with the exception of being stationed alongside manager and friend, Judy, with her fifteen years of experience in the industry. Once all bank tellers were set with their consignment items, our security guard Victor, unlocked the front doors and opened for business. Because it was the beginning of the week, I felt confident the day would go fairly smooth.

After assisting a couple of customers with their transactions, I became startled by a commotion to my far left. I glanced toward that direction in time to see a masked man shove Victor against the counter, snatching his gun out of his holster. Like a surreal scene right out of a horror flick, the masked man shoved the gun against Victor’s spine, ordering him not to move or to turn around. Before realization hit me, another gunman shot by from the opposite direction with a stocking over his face, shouting obscenities and threatening that he would “pop” anyone who moved!

Another hooded gunman appeared, waving his rifle, shoving customers and employees along the wall, yelling at them to drop down and not move. Staring in disbelief and in shock, as if frozen in time, we tellers behind the counters, were still standing with hands in the air. As thoughts reeled in my brain, I hardly noticed that my hand was slowly etching out attempting to set off a silent alarm hidden under the counter inches from me. Out of no where, one of the gunmen jumped on top of my station, glaring with his gun pointed at me and growls, “You! Down, now. Or I’ll pop you!”

I was going to faint on the spot at best, or be shot to smithereens at worst. Thank the good Lord, I still had some control of my faculties and complied, dropping to my knees with my head down, all the while praying. Judy was not so lucky.

The gunman began ordering her to climb over the counter to go into the vault with him. One of the other gunmen already held Victor and the commercial teller with his gun pointed in their faces while they waited to go inside the vault once it was unlocked. The gunman became impatient with Judy and proceeded to pull on her arm attempting to drag her up and over the counter. As she struggled to raise her leg to climb, she stumbled back and was immediately pistol whipped after he jumped down, cursing her for moving too slow. He proceeded to push her towards the vault with the others. (Yes, my head was up and I was peeking.) Once the vault was unlocked, one could only imagined what was taking place inside.

One of the gunmen stood by the front door, holding everyone at bay spewing profanities and waving his gun back and forth. After what seemed like an eternity, the two gunmen ran out from the vault, throwing money bags at their partner by the exit. They ordered everyone to remain down as they scurried out the front door. After the ruckus, we began to stir and rise from our positions. Peering out of the windows we noticed the police were already on the scene (an alarm had indeed gone off), and they were in hot pursuit of the bank robbers who apparently had jumped into a getaway car. Instantly, I thought of Judy and the rest who had gone into the vault. They were still inside! Were they hurt? Still alive? I shuddered to think.

As I quickly approached the vault, I heard sobbing and my heart dropped! All three employees were lying face down. But the sight of Judy faced down with blood glistering from a gash on her forehead stunned me. A sob escaped me as I called her name. I was relieved to discover that in calling out, they all responded by sitting up and were simply waiting for one of us from the outside to come and get them. Upon examining Judy’s head, we knew her outer wounds would heal. But one never knows about the turmoil that goes on inside.

We hugged one another and let the tears flow freely.

After the police interviewed everyone, we were allowed to call family members to come for us. When Mark came for me, I was still trembling and immediately crumbled in the safety of his arms. I couldn’t wait to leave, go home and hug my kids.

Recovery from trauma is a process. Most of us were shaken up for quite some time after that ordeal and needed counseling. Some even quit their banking jobs to look elsewhere for employment. As for me, that moment in time would forever be etched in my memory. I myself experienced what is called a trauma-related symptom in the aftermath of that bank robbery.

Days after the incident, while on lunch break at a fast-food chicken joint, an outraged customer began verbally attacking one of the employees over his incorrect order. My heart was pounding out of my chest, my nerves felt like pins and needles. I left my food and made a hasty exit and got the heck out of dodge.

Reflecting back, one thing became perfectly clear: You can be “busy as usual” with the mundane things in life and at a moment’s notice, your world can turn upside down and you are faced with a life and death situation!

Life is precious not to be taken for granted.

© M.A. Pérez 2014, All Rights Reserved

Your turn. Have you had a traumatic experience or a close call when you least expected it?

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Filed under Bank Robbery, Social