“When we let anger and resentment control us, we’re only inflicting unnecessary pain on ourselves.” ~M
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Photo credit: Pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com
Photo credit: pixabay.com
“Think about it… with every painful moment in your life, you became stronger and more prepared for the next hurdle. By now, you’ve accomplished more than you thought you ever could, and by enduring those pain filled moments, you have gained great confidence. So at this point in your life, you should now be able to do almost anything, because once you’ve survived enough pain in your life, everything else becomes easier.” ~M
Photo credit: Pinterest.com & Crosscards.com
“Life often brings immense pain, but it also brings unending joy after the rain.” ~M
Photo credit: galleryhip.com
Photo credit: freewallpaperpk.blogspot.com
A spiraling tower stood before me; reaching all the way to the sky. A dirt pathway wound its way around the column up to the very top. A vast angry sea surged around the base of the pillar. The misty sea-spray lingered in the damp earthy air. Hundreds of people lined the spiral trail; each one wearing a white linen robe and carrying a warm glowing candle.
The view from below was ethereal and even though the sea was raging below, the silence was deafening. Each candle flickered wildly against the gusty breeze of the violent sea. I watched from afar as the lit candles slowly began to burn out. Everyone walked in a trance-like state, never seeming to notice that their candles were starting to extinguish.
One by one, I watched the little lights become snuffed out. Ringlets of smoke billowed up from the tips of the blackened wicks and yet nobody seemed to notice what was happening. Still they continued to walk up the dusty trail. Each one unemotional and seemingly lifeless. I began to feel afraid for the ones whose lights had gone out. I watched intensely as each person began to make their way to the top of the tower. I hadn’t noticed it before, but those without a lit candle upon reaching the top of the pillar, were immediately cast off into the abyssal depths of the sea by an invisible force.
I realized in that moment that I had to guard my own light as if my life depended on it. I began walking up the pathway myself. All of us were walking inline, one after the other, making our way up to the top. Everyone faced forward and walked in their catatonic-like states; giving little regard to the little white candles in which they were carrying. And yet I was determined to make sure that my light didn’t go out.
I did everything I could to block the draft that was coming off the gusty sea. I cupped my hand around the soft flickering light; the warmth of the flame gave me hope and I walked on. I was determined to make it to the top with my lit candle and I knew I could do it if I just tried hard enough.
I finally made it to the top with my flame still intact. The tower was level at the top and covered by a recessed area that led to a cave. As I looked over the edge of the cliff, I saw thousands of people at the bottom of the pillar. Each one was desperately trying to rid themselves of the icy waters which engulfed them. Their nails scraped at the sides of column. Leaving gouges in the clay soil foundation. The sides of the pillar were smooth and steep though, and made it impossible for anyone to climb out. I realized that I had not seen a single person make it to the top with a lit candle except for myself.
Then I noticed her, one person in particular; she was slowly drowning in the murky waters below. The woman was very beautiful, with fair unblemished skin and long wavy brown hair. Her eyes were closed as she fought to climb out and she looked exhausted from her futile attempts to save herself. Many others crowded around her, each just as unsuccessful as she was.
I watched in horror as each one tried to claw their way to freedom; but instead, each continued to suffer relentlessly. Every person drowned a million times over and yet they never actually died. It seemed they were fated to suffer like this for eternity, and the sadness I felt in that moment left me feeling more pain than I had ever felt before in my entire life.
I felt miserable that I had not been able to save even a single one, and yet somehow I had managed to keep my own light shining, and thus saved myself. The intense loss was heavy on my heart and my grief was more than I could bear. I sank to my knees feeling defeated and hopeless. There was nothing else that I could do.
Photo credit: smspostcard3.blogspot.com
I was recently talking to a friend about children with disabilities and immediately my mind was flooded with memories of the past. During my high school years, I had a friend who had foster children in her home. Most of the children had disabilities and were very hard to care for.
When I would visit my friend after school, there was always a new baby or child to be cared for and I fell in love with each and every one of them. I remember one boy in particular named Jeffrey. The poor child suffered from Elephant Man’s disease. This disease causes horrible tumors to form anywhere on the body and gets worse as the person gets older. Because of this, there was little hope of Jeffrey ever becoming adopted; the medical expenses alone were just too much for anybody to manage.
Jeffrey had been a child who had lived on the streets since the moment he was born. His mother suffered from a mental illness and his father had Elephant Man’s disease just like Jeffrey. By the time authorities noticed his family was living on the streets, the situation was dire and Jeffrey had many siblings who were sent to foster homes as well. None of the children had ever been properly cared for, because the parents could barely take care of themselves.
When my friend’s mother took in Jeffrey, he could barely talk and mostly just grunted when he wanted something. He was extremely hyperactive and threw tantrums if he didn’t get his way. It was so hard for him to communicate his needs to her because he had never been taught how to. As difficult of a child as he was though, they loved him well and he began to thrive in their home.
If memory serves me correctly, Jeffrey was five years old by the time somebody decided to adopt him. Jeffrey was going to need lots of surgeries because of his medical condition and so there was no possible way for my friend’s mom to adopt him. The medical expenses were just more than she could afford. So with much sadness, they had to give Jeffrey away, after taking care of him for several years.
Thankfully the couple that decided to adopt him, could afford to take on the responsibility of his medical expenses. They were never able to have children of their own and when they saw Jeffrey, they immediately fell in love with him. Fortunately this story had a very happy ending, but there are many children out there who don’t have anyone to care for them and who never get adopted.
With that said, I would like to encourage each and every one of you to make a pledge to help a child in need. It doesn’t take much, to make a difference in a child’s life. I sponsor a child through Compassion International and I have found this to be a great organization. We are supporting our second child through the program now, and oh what a blessing it has been! Both of the girls we decided to support are from Uganda.
Our first child (Nalule) eventually grew up and had to leave the program. I cried when I opened our very last letter from her and saw a picture of her sitting behind her brand new sewing machine. She had been able to buy the sewing machine, because of our last financial gift that we had given to her. We hadn’t given her much and yet she was actually able to start a business with our help. I was overwhelmed and excited to know that we had been able to make a difference in the life of a girl, who might have otherwise ended up in whole different situation. It was hard to let her go in God’s care, but after seeing that last final picture, I knew she would be alright and I know without a doubt, that God is still looking after her.
We are now supporting a little girl who is 6 years old. Her name is Joy, and we get letters and drawings from her quite frequently. It is so amazing to watch these little ones grow and it’s nice to be able to send letters of encouragement to them. So please, if you will, consider helping a child in need. Whether it be by adoption, foster care, a program like Compassion International, or some other avenue, please help if you can. Give up your coffee a few times a month and think of supporting a child instead. It doesn’t take much to make a huge difference.
Quote found at: feednations.com
Photo found at: http://www.huffingtonpost.com
He looked over at his alarm clock and groaned; 5:00 a.m. was way too early for a regular person to be up, let alone someone who just happened to be missing both of his legs. He slowly propped himself up against his pillows and maneuvered his body so that he was facing the left side of the bed. An old tattered wheelchair sat just inches away. With a heavy sigh, he used his muscular arms to lift his entire body off of the bed. He hovered for a second over the wheelchair, being careful to center his body over the seat. With a grunt, and a few other choice words, he lowered himself into the chair and began the process of fastening the straps so that he wouldn’t accidentally fall out. Once he was strapped in, he reached for his artificial legs. They were heavy, and even though he had gained most of his strength back in his arms, he was still a bit clumsy when trying to attach them to what was left of his real legs. One at a time, he attached the artificial legs. First came the protective cloth which protected his legs from rubbing against the hard plastic base. Next came the numerous adjustments and straps to set everything into place so that he was sure he wouldn’t fall over once he attempted to stand. The clock read 6:00 a.m. He was finally ready to attempt to stand. He planted both artificial legs firmly into the carpet and grabbed the arms of his wheelchair with a firm grasp. The pain was intense at first. He held his breath to try to fight back the searing pain. His eyes began to water as he tried to stand. Once he was fully standing, he felt dizzy and fought the urge to slouch back down into his wheelchair. His determination did not waver though and he tried with all his might to take just one tiny step. This morning was not going to be easy though, because as he took that first step, the rest of his body seemed to have other plans for him. He immediately lost his balance and fell to the floor with a loud thud. Tears stung his eyes and he cussed under his breath. He laid on the floor for a while, trying to regain his strength. He heaved his heavy body off the floor using all the strength he could surmise and proceeded to grab for his wheelchair once again. It was now 7:00 a.m.