31 days: overcomer

One of my pure joys about visiting my parents in Columbia is going on Monday, Wednesday and Friday to workout with a fantastic group of women, led by our former studio owner and a Firm master instructor. Nancy has been through the ringer in her life, and it’s not gotten too much easier for her in the shorter period of time that I’ve known her well, but she’s faithful and God’s power is evident in her life to all who interact with her. Despite the valleys she’s experienced in her life, she is always able to cast light and life onto others. And if you meet her, she’d never tell you that her life was anything but blessed.

When I moved back to Columbia, still pregnant with Luke, she allowed me to use the exercise machines at the studio (I couldn’t participate in classes anymore at that stage of pregnancy) when I would come in with Mama to do her workouts as she was recovering from her wreck. Mama would ride the stationary bike and I’d walk on the treadmill, then we’d both do some light free weights. Nancy was there most days and would encourage us, lovingly pick fun at us, and uplift us as we exercised and healed. Nancy no longer owns her studio, but she gathers a handful of close friends a few days a week for some classes at a local studio she’s renting – the woman loves the ministry she’s able to provide for us, and we love her for so many reasons, but those classes are certainly one of the reasons. While I was pregnant with Lilly and would visit Columbia, I’d go workout with Mama and Nancy always had an encouraging word for me before, during and after class. And she loves my babies, too. She fills my heart…and she kicky my fanny into shape, too!

Not long ago this song played during one of the cardio/step sections of the class and in the midst of working us near to death, Nancy yelled out to all of us, “way to go Ladies! You’re  doing great! You’re an overcomer!” It stuck with me. Here is a woman who’s been through so many valleys in her life, but she remains faithful and truly lives out the pure joy of a life with Jesus. She takes seriously the call to share joy and love. She takes time to learn about others, and she cares for them not just mentally, but physically and spiritually as well. And here she is leading us in a class, encouraging us and telling us that we are overcomers.


by Mandisa

Staring at a stop sign
Watching people drive by
T Mac on the radio
Got so much on your mind
Nothing’s really going right
Looking for a ray of hope

Whatever it is you may be going through
I know He’s not gonna let it get the best of you

You’re an overcomer
Stay in the fight ‘til the final round
You’re not going under
‘Cause God is holding you right now
You might be down for a moment
Feeling like it’s hopeless
That’s when He reminds You
That you’re an overcomer
You’re an overcomer

Everybody’s been down
Hit the bottom, hit the ground
Oh, you’re not alone
Just take a breath, don’t forget
Hang on to His promises
He wants You to know

The same Man, the Great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of You
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing He can’t do
He’s telling You


Everything about this song reminds me of the blessing it is to know a woman like Nancy in my life. I can only pray that my life brings some joy to others the way that her life brings joy to mine. I marvel at her ability to overcome, to rise above, all that life has dealt her. I am grateful that she has chosen to share some of the joy and life she possesses with me, and it’s moments like in the middle of a physically taxing step song in class that I thank the Lord for introducing me to such an amazing, strong woman who only looks forward in life. She doesn’t look back, rather she fixes her life on “the one who holds your life,” and teaches others how to be an overcomer, too.


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