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Stories Of Hope & Inspiration

Discussion in 'Depression Disorders' started by FineLinen, Jun 22, 2018.

  1. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    The Donor

    Brenda Jones, a 69-year-old great-grandmother, had spent a long year on the donor list waiting to receive a liver. Then, on July 18, a hospital in North Texas called—they had a viable liver for her.

    Meanwhile, 23-year-old Abigail Flores also needed a liver. Her situation was more urgent than Jones’s. Without a transplant, doctors feared Flores had maybe one more day to live. So they asked Jones to give up her spot so that Flores could get the precious organ. Jones agreed.

    “In my heart, I wouldn’t have been able to live with the liver if I had let this little girl die,” she told WFAA.

    Jones was placed back at the top of the donor list and got a new liver days later.
  2. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Brian Kolfage

    Brian Kolfage had been stationed at the Balad Air Base in Iraq for two weeks when an enemy rocket exploded three feet from where he was standing.

    His body felt like it was “lit on fire”: his legs were destroyed, his right arm severed, and his survival was touch-and-go.

    But twelve months and 16 surgeries later, the triple-amputee was out of the hospital—reportedly as the most severely wounded Airman to survive any war.

    Three years later, with three prosthetic limbs and new skills in his non-dominant left hand, he enrolled in the competitive program at the University of Arizona’s College of Architecture, where fewer than one in five applicants was accepted.

    On track to graduate in 2014, the Pat Tillman Scholarship recipient has a 3.8 GPA and hopes to “revolutionize military architecture.” He noted: “I lost my legs, but I have my head, my brain. I can do everything I did before mentally.”
  3. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Martha Mason

    Martha Mason graduated valedictorian of her high school and earned two college degrees at the top of the class—all while living her life in an iron lung.

    Paralyzed by polio at age 11 in 1948 and confined 23 hours a day in an immobile, 800-pound horizontal tube, the voracious reader stayed “endlessly curious”—and amazingly adaptable.

    Custom-built intercoms connected her to school and made her a “regular member” in her classes, with the technology helping her from high school through Wake Forest College (now University), where the English major arrived at her dorm room in a bakery truck.

    By the time she died in 2009, Mason had been in the iron lung for a record-setting 60 years. “Something happens to all of us,” she said in a documentary about her, Martha in Lattimore.

    “Mine is more visible than yours, but you have to deal with your things, too. None of us are exempt from things that would make us extraordinary people if the world knew the story.”
  4. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Personal Growth

    There was a wise man Sviatozar. One day his nephew came to visit him. The young man was sad, gloomy and obviously upset with something. Sviatozar asked what happened to him. The nephew said that he suffered a serious setback and now he will never be able to achieve his goal.

    The nephew asked an old man to give him advice what he should do next, but Sviatozar just asked to lead him to the hills. This road was difficult and long. But the nephew immediately agreed to help his uncle. When they reached the hills, Sviatozar said that he needed to go to the top of the highest hill. The young man was surprised, but decided to help his uncle, because the old man had never climbed there.

    With great difficulty the nephew helped his uncle to climb to the hill, sometimes even dragged the old man on his back. On the top of the hill, sweating, he put his uncle on the ground and laughed happily.

    Do you remember that when you were a little boy sometimes you returned home with tears in your eyes? – Sviatozar asked him.

    The boys teased you. Do you remember why? — Exactly! — The young man looked around and nodded. He recalled that as a child he often played there with other boys. And they called this hill an Everest, because only few people could get to its top. At that time I was unable to get there. This hill seemed an impregnable rock to me.

    And today you not only climbed there, but dragged up me, too, — an old man said and looked at his nephew. How could you do this? What do you think?

    Perhaps I just grew up, — the young man shrugged. — I became stronger and fitter …

    "And the formidable Everest suddenly turned into a harmless mound." You got my advice.
  5. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    The Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

    Paris was one of the first places on my pilgrimage of healing following my husband’s sudden death on a wild river in Guatemala. Paris had always been a place of solace, and I thought that it would be a good place to experience my first Easter after Gary’s death.

    On the day before Easter I asked my friends Don and Annie Hudson to join me for a concert of sacred music at Notre Dame, though I had hesitated briefly when I saw from the program that the theme would be “Les mysteres douloureux,” the sorrowful mysteries, with Gregorian chants and medieval polyphonies and pieces and improvisations played on the grand orgue.

    We would hear the passion of Christ acted out in sorrowful chants, amplified by the swelling sublimity of the grand organ, with its more than 7,000 pipes. The tableaus began with the prayer of Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, followed by the flagellation, the crown of thorns, the carrying of the cross, ending with the crucifixion. I wasn’t to escape the sorrows of Easter, after all, but where better to experience them than Notre Dame, where even the most prosaic prayers seem to take on an exalted resonance.

    As the six robed men of the Ensemble Gregorien de Notre Dame de Paris chanted the melodious words from centuries-old codexes and manuscripts, I was struck by the depiction of Jesus’s sense of injustice at what was happening and by his very human questioning of this anguish.

    “Moi, je t’ai donne an scepter royal; mais toi tu as place sur ma tete une couronne d’epines.”

    Me, I gave you a royal scepter; but you, you placed on my head a crown of thorns. Again and again, he repeats, O mon people, que t’ai-je fait? En quoi t’ai-je contriste? O my people, what did I do to you? In what did I sadden you? Reponds-moi. Answer me. Jesus appears to be resisting his fate, calling out to his tormentors and to God. But then he lets go.

    “Tout est consommé.” It is finished. It is accomplished.

    As I listened to the words of Jesus struggling against his destiny, I couldn’t help but think of Gary’s battle on the river, as he realized that he was facing his death. Gary’s struggle and his death had somehow become entwined in my psyche with the passion story of Jesus. I knew that Gary must have fought mightily. He must have resisted his fate with everything in his mind, body and soul. And then there was a point at which he let go. It was finished. Tout est consommé. A universal story, really. As Joseph Campbell and others have told us, there is only one story, with many faces, of the hero whose quest ends finally in sacrifice.

    Resisting tears, I wrote a note to Annie Hudson, for whom I was translating: “The next part is about the suffering of Mary, sung by men.” And the tenors and baritones did their best. “Moi qui ne connaissais pas auparavant la peine, je suis fatigue de ma peine, je sui crucifee par ma douleur.” Grief I did not know before, but now I am worn out by grief and tortured by sorrow.

    So many songs of love and death. So much sorrow. For a moment I was Mary and all women who have lost their men to a fate they didn’t choose. In this 12th-century recitation of her suffering, written by Godefroy de Saint-Victor, Mary resists consolation and asks that she take her son’s place in death. “Mon unique consolation est de vous plaindre.” My only consolation is to weep for you.

    On the final page of the program, following the text of Saint-Victor’s Planctus, was a photo of Nicholas Coustou’s pieta, one of the glories of Notre Dame. Coustou’s rendering of Mary cradling the body of her son, her arms raised in supplication to the heavens, isn’t as powerful as Michelangelo’s, but Mary’s questioning anguish, captured at its peak, is eloquent enough. Like Mary, I had yet to be consoled, nor did I understand why Gary had to die. But I did feel another small bundle of grief lifted away by the music as it passed through glass and stone on its way upward. -Carol F. Chapman-
  6. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Don’t Hope>>>Decide!

    While waiting to pick up a friend at the airport in Portland, Oregon, I had one of those life-changing experiences that you hear other people talk about — the kind that sneaks up on you unexpectedly. This one occurred a mere two feet away from me.

    Straining to locate my friend among the passengers deplaning through the jet way, I noticed a man coming toward me carrying two light bags. He stopped right next to me to greet his family.

    First he motioned to his youngest son (maybe six years old) as he laid down his bags. They gave each other a long, loving hug. As they separated enough to look in each other’s face, I heard the father say, “It’s so good to see you, son. I missed you so much!” His son smiled somewhat shyly, averted his eyes and replied softly, “Me, too, Dad!”

    Then the man stood up, gazed in the eyes of his oldest son (maybe nine or ten) and while cupping his son’s face in his hands said, “You’re already quite the young man. I love you very much, Zach!” They too hugged a most loving, tender hug.

    While this was happening, a baby girl (perhaps one or one-and-a-half) was squirming excitedly in her mother’s arms, never once taking her little eyes off the wonderful sight of her returning father. The man said, “Hi, baby girl!” as he gently took the child from her mother. He quickly kissed her face all over and then held her close to his chest while rocking her from side to side. The little girl instantly relaxed and simply laid her head on his shoulder, motionless in pure contentment.

    After several moments, he handed his daughter to his oldest son and declared, “I’ve saved the best for last!” and proceeded to give his wife the longest, most passionate kiss I ever remember seeing. He gazed into her eyes for several seconds and then silently mouthed. “I love you so much!” They stared at each other’s eyes, beaming big smiles at one another, while holding both hands.

    For an instant they reminded me of newlyweds, but I knew by the age of their kids that they couldn’t possibly be. I puzzled about it for a moment then realized how totally engrossed I was in the wonderful display of unconditional love not more than an arm’s length away from me. I suddenly felt uncomfortable, as if I was invading something sacred, but was amazed to hear my own voice nervously ask, “Wow! How long have you two been married?

    “Been together fourteen years total, married twelve of those.” he replied, without breaking his gaze from his lovely wife’s face. “Well then, how long have you been away?” I asked. The man finally turned and looked at me, still beaming his joyous smile. “Two whole days!”

    Two days? I was stunned. By the intensity of the greeting, I had assumed he’d been gone for at least several weeks – if not months. I know my expression betrayed me.

    I said almost offhandedly, hoping to end my intrusion with some semblance of grace (and to get back to searching for my friend), “I hope my marriage is still that passionate after twelve years!”

    The man suddenly stopped smiling.

    He looked me straight in the eye, and with forcefulness that burned right into my soul, he told me something that left me a different person. He told me, “Don’t hope, friend… decide!” Then he flashed me his wonderful smile again, shook my hand and said, “God bless!” - Michael D. Hargrove-
  7. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

  8. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Friends: You are NOT alone. Today worldwide, millions suffer with you in various degrees of depression. I do trust the stories are helping to keep your mind thinking of others. Another story is coming (hopefully), in the meantime focus on Him.

    "He heals up the brokenhearted & heals up ALL their wounds."
  9. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Life Is A Gift

    Today before you think of saying an unkind word– think of someone who can’t speak.

    Before you complain about the taste of your food–think of someone who has nothing to eat.

    Before you complain about your husband or wife–think of someone who is crying out to God for a companion.

    Today before you complain about life–think of someone who went too early to heaven.

    Before you complain about your children–think of someone who desires children but they’re barren.

    Before you argue about your dirty house, someone didn’t clean or sweep–think of the people who are living in the streets.

    Before whining about the distance you drive–think of someone who walks the same distance with their feet.

    And when you are tired and complain about your job–think of the unemployed, the disabled and those who wished they had your job.

    But before you think of pointing the finger or condemning another–remember that not one of us are without sin and we all answer to one maker.

    And when depressing thoughts seem to get you down–put a smile on your face and thank God you’re alive and still around.

    Life is a gift – Live it, Enjoy it, Celebrate it, and Fulfill it.

    -Author Unknown-
  10. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    My mom only had one eye. I hated her… She was such an embarrassment. She cooked for students and teachers to support the family.

    There was this one day during elementary school where my mom came to say hello to me. I was so embarrassed.

    How could she do this to me? I ignored her, threw her a hateful look and ran out. The next day at school one of my classmates said, “EEEE, your mom only has one eye!”

    I wanted to bury myself. I also wanted my mom to just disappear. I confronted her that day and said, “If you’re only gonna make me a laughing stock, why don’t you just die?”

    My mom did not respond… I didn’t even stop to think for a second about what I had said, because I was full of anger. I was oblivious to her feelings.

    I wanted out of that house, and have nothing to do with her. So I studied real hard, got a chance to go abroad to study.

    Then, I got married.

    I bought a house of my own. I had kids of my own. I was happy with my life, my kids and the comforts. Then one day, my Mother came to visit me. She hadn’t seen me in years and she didn’t even meet her grandchildren.

    When she stood by the door, my children laughed at her, and I yelled at her for coming over uninvited. I screamed at her, “How dare you come to my house and scare my children! GET OUT OF HERE! NOW!!!”

    And to this, my mother quietly answered, “Oh, I’m so sorry. I may have gotten the wrong address.” – and she disappeared out of sight.

    One day, a letter regarding a school reunion came to my house. So I lied to my wife that I was going on a business trip. After the reunion, I went to the old shack just out of curiosity.

    My neighbors said that she died. I did not shed a single tear. They handed me a letter that she had wanted me to have.

    “My dearest son,

    I think of you all the time. I’m sorry that I came to your house and scared your children.

    I was so glad when I heard you were coming for the reunion. But I may not be able to even get out of bed to see you. I’m sorry that I was a constant embarrassment to you when you were growing up.

    You see……..when you were very little, you got into an accident, and lost your eye. As a mother, I couldn’t stand watching you having to grow up with one eye. So I gave you mine.

    I was so proud of my son who was seeing a whole new world for me, in my place, with that eye.

    With all my love to you,

    Your mother.” -Author Unknown-
  11. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    Steve Wilbur 4/10/37-6/14/19

    Steve Wilbur walked a lonely road from an early age. His father died when he was only 4 years of age and his mother remarried when he was nine. Although Ray Condon was a good man, he was very shy and talked very little with Steve, so there was not the father/son interaction between them. He also did not adopt Steve as a son.

    When he was 12, his mother contracted tuberculosis and spent nearly 3 years in a sanatorium. So Steve and his stepfather were left to their own devices, looking after themselves in that household while his mother was away in the sanatorium. On rare occasions she was allowed home on a weekend but spent that time in bed. Because of the contagious disease, Steve could not get near her and was not allowed in her bedroom, so he spoke to her from the doorway.

    It was during this lonely time that Steve began to read the Bible & seek the Lord all on his own. In the rural atmosphere of Pa. like John the Baptist, he grew up in the wilderness and was always nourished by time spent in the woods and fields.

    School occupied some of the lonely time. Steve was very intelligent and at the top of his class in high school. He also played the clarinet in the high school band. But his heart was hungry for more of the Lord during these formative years.

    When he was about 15, from the doorway of his mother's bedroom, on a rare visit home from the sanatorium. he spoke of the possibility of being healed by God. He said "if God can make a world, He can heal a body." So he and his mother made their way to Pittsburgh to one of Kathryn Kuhlman's meetings. At the risk of hemorrhaging to death, his mother decided to lift her hands to the Lord as others were doing around her. As she lifted her hands in worship she felt as though oil was being poured on her head. She was miraculously healed from tuberculosis.

    Undoubtedly, this miracle strengthened his faith. He began to listen to full gospel preachers of that era on the radio. He often spent eight to nine hours reading the Bible and praying on the mountain behind their home and would come down the mountain in the evening to eat. He walked 15 miles to attend a little country church. (He was not allowed to drive the family car).

    Through these radio preachers he heard about being filled with God's Spirit. So intense was his desire for God, he made his way to attend services where the Spirit of the Lord was moving. With only enough money for a bus ticket, but no food, he set out to attend meetings that changed his life. Steve was there from August 1957 to January 1958. He was 20 years old.

    The Lord met Steve late one night at the end of a meeting. About eleven o'clock a ball of fire appeared at the top of the tent and went rolling through the air and hit Steve broadside and knocked him into the tent wall. There he lay in the sawdust trying to get up and could not. He said to himself, "This must be the Holy Ghost." And there he wrestled with the Lord. Another man from California who attended that meeting told Steve later that he saw that ball of fire come down from the ceiling of the tent, hit Steve and knock him to the ground.

    When he finally managed to get up off the sawdust he was transformed, having been translated to a dimension of beauty and eternal spring. He returned to Pennslvania a changed man filled with God's Spirit. Steve said "You don't know what I was like before that event, because I have been another man ever since."

    When he returned home, he walked the 15 miles to that little country church, expecting to join in worship with the believers there as he had in the past. But to his surprise, they announced that Steve would minister that day. What a shock! He had never addressed an audience before. Although he was at the top of every class in school, he was never asked to speak at the graduation because he was too shy and could not do it. But this day he rose to the occasion, and preached his first sermon on the spot. All heaven came down and God moved in a mighty way. That was the beginning of his ministry.

    Word travelled about this young man who ministered with an unusual anointing, and for the next nine years his walk with God was filled with fasting, praying, reading God's Word and preaching as doors opened to him. One of these invitations found him in McKeesport, PA. where a young woman, Roberta Boyd happened to be in the congregation. At the age of 28 he married Roberta Boyd in June of 1965. From December of 1965 to August of 1975, the Wilburs lived in Detroit, Michigan where he was employed by General Motors, an experience he expressed a "working in the land of Mordor" Their family life with three children, Stephen, Tanya Rose and Eric was happy and Steve ministered faithfully in his own house church.

    In 1975 Wade Taylor, along with Joe Nieves, invited Steve to join the faculty at Pinecrest. After he and Roberta visited Pinecrest to investigate, they were convinced that this was the next step for them. While on the faculty at Pinecrest,Steve would travel to various churches, conventions and camp meetings preaching in the power of the Spirit the unsearchable riches of Christ. He was in high demand as a conference speaker and was a major reason why many attended Pinecrest in the 1980's.

    In August of 1992, the Wilbur family moved to Atlanta, Georgia, where Steve pastored at Hebron Christian Fellowship in Decatur, Georgia for nine years. Since that time he has continued to serve the Body of Christ as a prophetic pastor and preacher. The home of Steve and Roberta became an oasis for thirty souls; when Steve could not come to them, thirsty souls have come to him and found renewal and refreshing. He accepted us as we were, just as he had received grace to accept himself. We all knew he was eccentric and we loved him for it. He could launch into a discourse in almost any field of knowledge, or discuss his appetite for mushrooms which would surpass a hobbit's or his love of languages and proper pronunciation, or the sense that he inhabited a world of superlatives, or that he knew the botanical names of all the exotic trees and shrub he had planted around his house. Did the Lord use Steve's eccentricity as a cloak? What we saw was only the tip of the iceberg. But what we did not see was the nine tenths of integrity, honesty, goodness and prayer. Roberta's testimony revealed the countless hours he spent in prayer, the unseen good deeds, the generous way he was with people his ability to treat the high and the low with the same dignity and respect.

    Rick Joiner remarked that Steve was the last great orator of the charismatic movement. But the best way to measure Steve's impact on people is how widely and deeply he is loved because of who he was, but primarily how he proclaimed the glory of the Lord he adored and worshipped and challenged God's people to arise to the call of the Father to a higher dimension.
    Last edited: Aug 17, 2019
  12. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

  13. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

    "Talking about our problems is our greatest addiction. Break the habit. Talk about your joys"
  14. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

  15. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

  16. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter

  17. FineLinen

    FineLinen Senior Veteran Supporter