I confess – this post is a continuation of a previous post, “C.C. True Confessions – Overcomers #84”. But we are a country full of overcomers. There are always more stories of courage and perseverance to share . So I thought I would write about a few more.
Not surprisingly, this story of underdogs overcoming obstacles and odds to win a gold medal is documented in a movie, the movie “October Sky.” This gold medal was not won at an Olympics but at the 1960 National Science Fair in Indianapolis, Indiana. These students, Homer Hickam, Billy Rose, Quentin Wilson, Jimmy Carroll, Roy Cooke and Sherman Siers became known as “the rocket boys” in their hometown of Coalwood, West Virginia. These boys, from this poor mining community, persevered, making and launching thirty-five rockets in their quest to qualify for the National Science Fair. That gold medal opened doors of opportunity for each of them to attend college rather than work in the mines after high school.
This past week another American overcomer shared her story with us. Alice Marie Johnson was serving a life sentence in prison when she was released in 2018 after twenty-two years of incarceration. Her personal story is an inspiration to anyone who hears it. While in prison she became a playwright, a mentor, a certified hospice volunteer, an ordained minister, worked with disabled women and received the Special Olympics’ event coordinator of the year award.
In her own words, Alice stated that her body was imprisoned but not her mind. She never gave up hope but continued to fight for her freedom. Through her courage and perseverance, it seems to me, Alice accomplished more behind bars than many of us accomplish even though we have our freedom. Alice is an overcomer in the truest sense of the word. Even while still in prison, she had already overcome so many obstacles, becoming an ordained minister and finding meaning and purpose in her life serving God by serving others.
Whether in prison or out, Alice’s life was already that of a victorious overcomer. Her circumstances did not dictate her decision to overcome her obstacles and to make her life count for God. This is conviction. This is courage. Alice spoke of her unshakable faith which saw her through her darkest days. Now she has received a full pardon from the President, giving her a clean slate.
Actually, Alice already had a clean slate. That’s what each of us receives from God, a full pardon, the moment we accept the sacrifice of Jesus death on that cross in our place. Jesus has paid our price and we are fully pardoned. We are free. I’m guessing Alice knew that kind of freedom, the freedom that doesn’t depend on our earthly circumstances, long before her release from prison.
Alice is an overcomer. We are all overcomers in Christ Jesus. The words in Romans 8:35-37 make that truth abundantly clear,
“Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? . . . No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.”
more than conquerors – that’s you and that’s me, in Christ. We are met to live as overcomers, pardoned, freed, fearless, courageous – followers of Christ, children of God, our Heavenly Father. Thank you, Alice Marie Johnson, for letting your light shine in this dark time, inspiring us all.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”
“The Lord Himself goes before you and will be with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.” (Deuteronomy 6:6 & 8)
sincerely, Grace Day
2 thoughts on “C.C. True Confessions – Overcomers #87”
I had not heard of this lady! Wow! what an encouragement she is to anyone who thinks they have a rough life!
We are hard pressed on every side, but God’s overcoming Spirit supplies what is necessary to remain standing. Alice’s life is such a “But God” testimony! 🙌