Sunday, May 16, 2010

Another Struggling Soul.

This is a true story of one young man's struggle with life. I will call him Bear.

Bear lived with his family, had a part-time job, a car, and a fiance that he'd do anything for. Money was tight for him and he struggled to make his car and insurance payments.He and his fiance decided to move away to a bigger city in hopes of better jobs and a new life together. Things were still pretty tough there, but their love seemed to get them through some of the worst situations.

After a while, their love seemed to fail and they parted ways. Bear came back home so that he could be with his family and friends, but he had no place to stay or a job to pay any bills. He went job hunting during the day and slept in his car at night. He felt so lost and alone. Every night he prayed for some sort of light to shine his way. He went through all sorts of emotions. He didn't understand why bad things happened to him. He felt like he was being punished for some reason or another. He felt as though he was in a dark void, and those were his actual words to me.

After a couple of weeks of searching, he finally found a part time job, but still had no place to lay his head at night. He would park his car anywhere that he could whether it be in a parking garage, or beside the road and sleep all cramped up in it. Sometimes he would sleep at work if a certain supervisor was there. He would stay with friends or family some nights, but most of his nights were in that car, alone and in the dark.

Throughout this whole process, I tried my best to give him words of hope and encouragement. I just knew he would be okay. I kept telling him that there is a reason for every single thing that happens. We may or may not find out the reasons for what happens, but eventually we go down the path that we were meant to go.

He disappeared from my communications with him. I was worried that something bad may have happened. I tried getting up with him on several occasions, just to make sure he was okay. I had a bad feeling that he may have left this life due to his struggling to make it. I was wrong. I received a message that he finally got up with some family in another city, and is now attending college. I am so very proud of him!

-no matter what happens in life, things do change.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

One Man's Survival

*Billy is a man who lives alone. His small house is falling apart. The roof is slanted and looks like it will topple off any day now. There are big cracks and holes on the outside walls. If there were any paint on the outside, it has long since peeled away. The weeds and grass grow tall enough in the Spring and Summer that the house is barely discernible. There is no electricity or running water hooked to the house. In the wintertime a kerosene heater is used for heat.

Billy is an older guy, in his early seventies, and he is very skinny and sort of tall. He walks to the store and back (2 miles away) several times a day wearing the same old work pants, a button up shirt, and a round-rimmed floppy hat (like Charles Engles's hat). You will see him walking along side the road, no matter what the weather: hot, cold, rain, snow, or sleet.  He will band a shopping bag over his hat to help protect himself during inclement weather.
Any time that he is in the store along side me, I'll ask how he is doing. A couple of years ago I found out he is a Veteran of the war. He told me that he had just gotten back from the V.A. hospital. The V.A. hospital is in another state and he walked all the way there and back. I asked about his family and he told me that his wife and child were killed in a car accident a very long time ago. He also told me that he claimed the workers at the grocery store and the gas-n-go as his family now.

This man, who fought in the war and then lost his family in a tragic accident, has survived many years without the comforts that most of us have. He doesn't seem to need electricity, running water, a nice house to live in, or a vehicle to drive. He has stated that all he needed to survive were his feet and his faith.

If this man can live life without all of the comforts that most of us have, then why do we complain about the small things?

*the name has been changed.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Coincidence or God's Work?

Another boy in his early twenties in my very small town, committed suicide last week. This makes two of my nephew's friends who have done so in less than a year. I am saddened by this, and I worry about how my nephew is holding up.

The day after his death I received the following Twitter message from @triciagoyer, "Thanks for the follow! So if you could do anything and know it would succeed, what would it be?"

I thought about it and replied, "I would build a center for suicidal teens. I would teach them love and show them how proud I am of what they can achieve through dedication."

Now, mind you, I didn't know who triciagoyer was at the time, I did know she was an author that I was interested in or I wouldn't be following her, and I felt pretty good that she sent a message to me in the first place.

The next message I received from her was, "That's a GREAT goal! Have you checked out the book Life, In Spite of Me?"

I did a little Googling and saw that the book was based on a girl's suicide attempt and that she amazingly survived. I replied back, "Sounds like a very good book. I will be ordering it today. Thanks!"

I ordered the E-version of the book through B&N and halfway through the book, I ordered the hard cover edition through Amazon as it touched me so much and I wanted to share the book with a few people I knew.

After reading the book, I discovered that @triciagoyer actually wrote the book with Kristen Jane Anderson.
I also received a reply, "The book just released May 4. I was honored to have written it!"

I would recommend everyone who knows anyone contemplating suicide to not only get professional help for them, but to also gift this book to them.

Now, the thing that gets to me is this: I had no idea that @triciagoyer had written this book when I sent her the reply pertaining to suicide. Coincidence? I don't think so. God works in mysterious and wonderful ways!

If anyone out there is contemplating suicide...don't. Life has its ups and downs, we all know that. There are many of us who have been through lots of issues. There is great joy to be found in life. You just need to know where to look for it. If you can't find it, if you are truly that lost, then you need to ask someone for help. There is no shame in needing help to find your way in this world. You can have anything you need just by looking for it, and working for it.

The next couple of blogs will follow a couple of people that I know who struggled to find their way in life. They lost everything, and yet they still survive. Please come back this week and read their stories.

-Anything is possible.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Auction for Flood Victims

There are some awesome auctions going on right here to help the flood victims in middle Tennessee. Included in these auctions are signed books, critiques, phone calls, and other cool stuff from authors, writers, editors and other cool people! Anyone interested in participating and winning some awesome stuff while helping flood victims, please visit