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Obstacles Are Not The End of the Story

I love stories of overcomers.  I have met so many personally that I think I want to do a series of articles based on interviews with some of those folks.  History is rife with tales of near defeat turned into fantastic victory.  Remember what Winston Churchill said as he rallied beleaguered Great Britain from the brink of defeat during World War II, with these now famous words, “Never give up!  Never, Never, Never give up!”

Probably one of my favorite stories from the Bible is the story of Joseph, found in the book of Genesis.  Joseph was tossed into an abandoned well by his jealous brothers (he was his dad’s favorite), then fished back out because of their guilt, but then sold to some slave traders who were traveling by.  The brothers reported to their father that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal.  He was taken to Egypt where his wisdom and his work ethic took him to high places.  But he was a real hunk of a guy, and his boss’s wife tried to get him to have sex with her, and after he refused, she lied about it and had him thrown into prison.  Now, if I had been Joseph, I think I would have been angry, bitter and depressed.  After all, he had done NOTHING to cause any of this.  If you want the whole fascinating edge-of-your-seat story, you’ll have to find a copy of Genesis and read it.  But just let me say that in the end Joseph became second in power only to the great Pharaoh.  But his journey included persecution, betrayal and loneliness.  Somewhere, in his heart there lay the seeds of an un-surrendered dream, put on hold for years until just the right moment.  He said, “God has fulfilled me in the land of my affliction.”  His dream and his spirit had kept him alive and he not only survived – he thrived!  Maybe you’ve seen the movie, but the end of the story is most dramatic!  I never tire of it.

One of my lowest years was 1989.  I call it the year of the “D” words –  death, destruction and divorce.  I could write a book about each of these words, but this is not the place.   As I dug in deep to see who I really was, one thing became very apparent to me — nothing could defeat me without my permission.  I can’t control what happens to me (certainly not death of close family members), but I CAN decide how I will respond.

A good support system is priceless in learning to live the life of an overcomer.  First of all, my husband (20 years now!) and my kids are my very best friends.  They defy description.  (My son even married the most wonderful girl on the planet!)  I’m fortunate enough to say that next is my extended family – especially my many siblings.  We have a blast together and although we are all so different you can’t tell we’re from the same parents, we’re close and would do absolutely anything for each other.   Then, I have some very wise friends who know me extremely well and they tell me the truth, when asked.  And I ask on a regular basis.  This very trusted “inner circle” doesn’t include many, but I wouldn’t be who I am without them.   Then, there is a wider circle that includes good friends and business colleagues on whom I rely for good advice and camaraderie.  I have mentors and those whom I mentor.  One of the most fun things about being online, (blogging, tweeting, and Facebooking it) is the group of new friends that I have made on at least 3 different continents.  Maybe we’ll never meet face-to-face, (although I suspect that we might), but we’ve all become part of a global friendship and support system for each other.  The encouragement is priceless and it costs us nothing but a little time.

Obstacles are NOT the end of the story – if we stay connected with those who’ll help us keep our dreams alive.

Thanks for sharing my journey with me!