Posts Tagged ‘strength’

The Strength Will be Given to You

August 15, 2014

We are surrounded by heroes, the vast majority of which never find themselves in a situation requiring them to express their heroic nature. And yet, many of us—perhaps even most of us—would rise to the occasion when the moment requires it. One such hero, Edson Bourn of Jacksonville, Florida, was pushed to the limit and beyond in this intense, pulse-pounding story, which appeared in the August 2014 issue of Guideposts. It’s a powerful reminder that we are all capable of much more than we think we are, and that when we think we have exhausted our resources of courage and strength, they will be replenished if our intentions are pure and our faith intact.


THE MIRACULOUS SURGE
Walking down the beach that day, he was so wrapped up in his own problems he almost didn’t hear the girls screaming

hand-reaching-up-ocean-waterShrieks of joy, the sounds of happy children, reverberated across Rhode Island’s Napatree Beach. Two little girls playing in the sand. But I was barely aware of any of it. I plodded along, oblivious of the crashing waves at high tide. Late afternoon.

I ran my fingers through my wind-tangled hair, as if to clear my head. I’d come to this isolated spit of land on my sailboat, a place to escape. My wife and I had recently separated, our marriage in shambles. I worried about the toll on our boys, just six and eight.

It seemed like forever since I’d heard them laugh. But I didn’t know what to do to make things better.

“Help! Help!”

The girls. I’d meant to tell them to stay away from the water. The currents could be dangerous. Now one of them was in the ocean. Beyond the surf line. I could just hear her screams over the waves. The undertow.Any second now she’d be swept away.

I ran across the hard-packed sand as fast as I could. The other girl was at the edge of the surf, maybe 20 yards away, yelling, all the while wading deeper into the water herself.

“Wait! Stop! Don’t go any farther!” I charged into the waves and was reaching for her when a wall of water overwhelmed us. I clawed to the surface and for half a second I saw her disappear under another big breaker. I dove to the spot. I’m a strong swimmer, but I could feel the current pulling me hard.

Where is she? Splashing. A gasp for air. There. I grabbed (more…)

This Is What Beauty and Courage Look Like

April 14, 2014
Cancer patients Rylie, Rheann and Ainsley (photo by Lora Scantling)

Cancer patients Rylie, Rheann and Ainsley (photo by Lora Scantling)


This stunning photograph shows three-year-old Rylie, six-year-old Rheann and four-year-old Ainsley sharing a special moment. Incredibly, the three girls hadn’t met each other before the photo shoot.

Photographer Lora Scantling conceived the photo shoot to raise awareness about the struggle faced by children who are diagnosed with cancer. “I just wanted something that showed the strength and the bond and that they weren’t alone,” she told Oklahoma City’s KOCO News. Watch KOCO’s video report here.

As for the girls, Rheann is stricken with brain cancer, Rylie is (more…)

Michiko and Kimiko: A Love Story

February 17, 2013

Not long ago, I was reading a free weekly newspaper at Swami’s Cafe in Encinitas, California, when a photo jumped off the page and into my heart. The photo, which is at once both beautiful and heartbreaking, showed Michiko Lindsey cradling her cancer-stricken child, Kimiko. The accompanying story told of Kimiko’s battle with cancer and of Michiko’s battle to stay sane and strong in the midst of her fear and grief. Deeply touched by what I read, I contacted Michiko and asked her to tell me her story from the beginning. So here, in Michiko’s own words, interspersed with actual journal entries from her CaringBridge journal, is her love letter to her precious daughter.

michiko-kimiko-lindsey

Michiko Lindsey and Kimiko Lindsey-Schroder



KIMIKO ANNA LINDSEY-SCHRODER: PROFILE IN COURAGE

I named my daughter Kimiko because in Japanese, “ki” means precious, “mi” means beautiful, and “ko” means child. She may be only one-quarter Japanese but she is a full-blooded precious, beautiful child. I’ve loved her ever since I first dreamed of her when I was fifteen years old, twenty-five years before she was born.

Kimi’s nurse practitioner had pronounced her perfectly healthy at her annual physical on July 29, 2010, a week after her fourth birthday. Six weeks later, on September 10, her daycare provider called me to say that Kimi was crying because her back hurt. I picked her up and took her to Urgent Care, where I was told that she probably had caught a flu bug. Since we were leaving for Japan later that month, I made an appointment with her pediatrician for September 17, just to make sure. On the 15th, I was thrilled when Kimi called from her dad’s to say that her back pain was gone. But later that day, after going to the movies with her Aunt Dee and Uncle Chris, her leg hurt so much that she couldn’t walk. When Chris called me, I said, “I’ll meet you at Urgent Care.”

Thank God that Chris had e-mailed me the night before. After doing some online research and talking to a doctor friend of his, he had recommended that I ask her pediatrician for a CBC (complete blood count) and MRI. He may have saved Kimi’s life because if (more…)

Ice Flowers on the Window Panes

August 27, 2011




Adversity compels you to dig deep within until you tap into the bottomless well of courage and fortitude that is your Divine birthright.





You can’t be brave if you’ve only had wonderful things happen to you.
Mary Tyler Moore

In the worst of times, you may (more…)

It Is Necessary to Suffer Some Defeats

August 18, 2011



Our greatest lessons are often embedded in our greatest pain. We cry to the heavens, unaware that we are growing stronger and wiser even as we plead for mercy.


We rarely gain a high or larger view except as it is forced upon us through struggles which we would have avoided if we could.
Charles Horton Cooley

You would not be the person you are today if you had never been brought to your knees by the vicissitudes of life.

If life teaches us anything, it may be that it’s necessary to suffer some defeats. Look at (more…)

Faith Alone Defends

July 21, 2010

When you are firmly anchored in God, you know that whatever you must face, you will not be facing it alone.

Security is not the absence of danger, but the presence of God, no matter what the danger.
Unknown

Ultimately, real security is trusting that you have the faith, strength, and courage to rise above any challenge.

Faith alone defends. Life is either a (more…)

Every Soul I See Is Beautiful

April 14, 2010

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been humbled by life time and time again . . . or because I’m getting older and wiser . . . or because I’ve been feeling more vulnerable lately . . . or because I am getting more adept at seeing the underlying unity of everyone and everything.

Whatever the reason, the first thing I’ve been noticing about people is not their strengths but their weaknesses . . . and their weaknesses are beautiful. Why? I now know that behind every flaw, every insecurity, every fragility lies the doorway to growth, understanding and enlightenment.

When you feel strong and in control, your attention is completely focused on the external world and your ego assumes command. When you feel weak and insecure, you’re more likely to think, (more…)