September 9, 2018

Unstoppable: 2 Examples, part 2

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”-- Luke 10:19 (KJV)

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It can be hard to grasp the promise of strength portrayed in the passage above. We may feel temporarily helpless alongside our own limitations, or against malevolent outside forces. Here’s a short list of concerns:
  • Delays
  • Prayers not answered immediately to our satisfaction
  • Unfulfilled expectations
  • People who are against us

Only the strongest individuals can chop their way through a jungle of trials. In my experience, such figures are often women. History shows we frequently have more to overcome than men. Some of the most prominent influences in my life—for building me up or tearing me down—have been females. Many of them have come from a background of trauma, too.

Of course men, and various subgroups, also fight the odds. I have merely chosen to focus this series of articles on female achievers. Please see the first one here. This week’s writing will concentrate on one figure from the Bible as well as a modern trailblazer:


She is one of the most memorable figures of the Bible, male or female. Esther is a Jewish woman living in Persia. When the reigning queen, Vashti, disrespects King Ahaseurus, he decides to replace her. He chooses the beautiful Esther as his new queen. The king is unaware of her Jewish heritage.

One of the top leaders, Haman, feels disregarded by Esther’s cousin, Mordecai. In retaliation, he threatens the lives of every Jewish person in the area. Esther risks her life to plead the cause of her people before the king. The monarch agrees to spare Esther’s countrymen. This victory is still celebrated today as the holiday of Purim.

Dr. Mae Jemison (born Oct. 17, 1956)

This outstanding lady was the first African-American woman in space. She was part of the crew of Space Shuttle Endeavor, which launched in 1992. She had three heroes in particular:
  • Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (Enough said)
  • Nichelle Nichols (Actress--Lieutenant Uhura on the original Star Trek series, one of the first female African-Americans to play a respectable role on TV.)
  • Dr. Sally Ride (First female astronaut—Space Shuttle Challenger, 1983)

Dr. Mae Jemison grew up in a time of rampant gender and racial inequality—much more so than today. Females didn’t regularly develop into doctors, and they most certainly did not come to be astronauts (until 1983.)

The strong lady was unwilling to follow society’s guidelines and stick with the more “suitable” profession of nursing. Jemison received her medical degree in general practice.  Even that was not enough. She also became a chemical engineer.

Against all odds, this winner was accepted into the National Aeronautic and Space Administration (NASA) astronaut program. After approximately six years of delays and training, the trailblazer broke racial barriers aboard the Endeavor.

So much for stereotypes.

My Conclusion

“Never be limited by other peoples’ limited imaginations. If you adopt their attitudes, then the possibility won’t exist because you’ll have already shut it out…You can hear other peoples’ wisdom, but you’ve got to re-evaluate the world for yourself.”—Dr. Mae Jemison

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How are you defying stereotypes?

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