John Herrick | Ordinary Overcomers … and the Lives They Inspire
September 3, 2010
Overcomers intrigue me. When we find ourselves in a pit, our primary desire is
to find our way out. Life’s valleys aren’t enjoyable. And when life throws a
major challenge our way—a scary medical diagnosis, a loved one’s death, a
job loss—it hits us like an emotional blow to the gut. At that point, we
begin a journey. We didn’t ask for the challenge and wouldn’t wish it on anyone.
We feel unprepared. Insufficient. Alone. But step by step, we fight through it
anyway. And eventually we see a glimmer of light.
Which brings me back to overcomers. We read books and watch news stories of
those who faced a serious challenge and prevailed. These people (or characters)
inspire us. But isn’t it funny how most of these people didn’t enjoy their
hardships any more than we relish our own? If you think about it, the
individuals who inspire us are ordinary people who got up each morning and took
another step forward. They had a bad season like we do, but they refused to
surrender. They serve as living proof that we, too, never need to give up. They
made it through the valley alive—and so can we.
Perhaps that’s why I love to write about overcomers. In my novel From The Dead, the main
character, Jesse Barlow, hits rock bottom and attempts suicide. In fact, the
first hundred pages trace his downward spiral. To be honest, writing those pages
broke my heart. I looked forward to the next two hundred pages, which trace
Jesse’s upward climb out of his personal pit. On Jesse’s redemptive journey, we
watch him take life one step at a time. He looks at life through eyes of love:
romantic love, love for family, and love for God. Jesse also allows himself to
be loved. Love becomes the key to his victory. Although it’s fiction, I hope
Jesse’s story encourages readers. I encourage you to share it with a friend or
loved one in your life who needs a lift.
Has someone’s novel or life story inspired you to press through an obstacle or
reach a goal? Feel free to comment about it below. It may inspire another reader
to press forward today.
Thanks for having me here at Fresh Fiction! I’d love to hear from you at my website, and invite you
to follow my blog at johnherricknet.blogspot.com.
My mother has had MS for over 25 years. She has outlasted many others diagnosed with the same condition. She remains active in her 70's and has a joy for life many folks are lacking. Today is her birthday. (Vikki Parman 9:58am September 3, 2010)
I've always been inspired by Helen Keller. I read her life story as a child, then reread it as an adult. How she made it through life with her disabilities, and accomplished so much with her life, I find simply amazing!! She was headstrong, and let nothing stand in her way. I've patterned my life after her to a degree, especially after becoming disabled myself. I've adapted to my new "normal," and try not to let obstacles stop me. (Peggy Roberson 10:25am September 3, 2010)
My mother is an inspiration. A cliche but none-the-less. (Mary Preston 6:03pm September 3, 2010)
My grandmother is my inspiration. She is 95, still works 20 hours a week at the elementary school, is active in her church, plays bridge every Thursday and Eucre every Tuesday. She cooks extra when she cooks and freezes so she always is able to throw a meal together for whomever drops by. She had nine there for Easter this year! She loves to cook and takes part in bake sales at church, etc. She still drives, but not at night. (Brenda Rupp 10:52pm September 3, 2010)
Inspiration from thsoe who've overcome tough obstacles makes me thankful and amazed at all the good in my life. (Alyson Widen 2:27pm September 4, 2010)
I am at my age, still amazed at what people go through and come out the stronger for it. (Barbara Studer 2:58pm September 4, 2010)
My paternal grandmother was quits the woman. She held the family together through the Depression. She met my grandfather when they were both working at the mill. She used scraps from there to make quilts for her children's beds (I still have 2 or 3 of them). They weren't fancy quilts, just squares, but they did the job. She always had a garden and canned her own vegetables. She survived my grandfather by about 8 years. She stayed in her own house and lived alone until the end. She did all her own house work, yard work, and kept the vegetable garden. I can't ever remember her being sick. She was having an irregular heart beat so they put her in the hospital for tests. The tests were fine and they were going to send her home for Christmas. She was standing in the hall talking to the nurse when she fell into the nurses arms, dead. It was actually a good way for her to go. She led an active, healthy life and didn't have to suffer as an invalid and lose her independence. (Patricia Barraclough 10:30pm September 4, 2010)