Hope Archive

Those Who Fought

Posted September 11, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I opened the door with sweaty palms and flipped the TV on as I dropped to the floor to stretch from my morning run. Matt and Katie were droning on the Today Show about some explosion. I wasn’t really listening.

Second by second, the views on the screen shook my awareness and I sat up straight realizing this was not a replay of some historical event. As I lay on plush carpet in sunny Florida, my neighbors in New York were under attack.

For hours, days and weeks following that day, we Americans tried to make sense of it all. We offered empty words of encouragement to those who lost loved ones. Bravely vowed we would go on, even rebuild.

Men and women stood in line to volunteer for our armed forces. As a nation, we went and we conquered our enemies. We took back that which we are guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States of America: freedom and the pursuit of happiness.

Today, fourteen years later, some of us don’t feel the pain as raw as it was that day. We have found a way to go on living in America. We have found ways to honor those who fought and remember those who died by living our lives to the fullest.

I can only imagine that day when dust from a towering monstrosity of American capitalism darkened the streets of Manhattan, choking the life out of those who had built it into the success it was. If I listen, I can almost hear the crushing of metal as the buildings destroyed fire trucks and police cars as if they were toys under foot.

I cannot comprehend the hollowness of empty fire houses where brave men and women once served, or wives, husbands and children who waited in desperation to hear from their loved one they knew was in the line of fire. As the days and weeks passed, so did the hope that some miracle had saved them from that tragic fate.

No, I was not there and I can only look at video feeds and pictures and unsuccessfully conjure up in my limited imagination what it must have felt like. Many died that day, and in the years that followed.

Though I fail miserably at trying to understand the enormity of painful loss on that day, this I know with absolutely unwavering certainty. AMERICA DID NOT LOSE! That one event that rocked our world and sent Americans into a tailspin, also ignited the flame of freedom within the hearts of us all.

From the northern most part of main to the border of southern California, Americans stood up for our nation. We united together for one cause. We joined hands across racial, ethical and political barriers to stand for what we believe in: FREEDOM!

Years have passed and headlines have moved more toward politics and fashion but today we live in a thriving nation because of 9/11. America picked ourselves up by the bootstraps and did what we do: keep living.

Today we remember those who fought in New York City, at the Pentagon and Pennsylvania that day. We remember those who dropped everything and took up arms to fight since then. We pause with gratitude as we memorialize those who fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice.

Freedom is not free. But free Americans we are on this sunny September day. Americans we will remain because of who we are, and in spite of who our enemies are.

GOD BLESS THE USA!

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Knock and It Shall Be Opened

Posted February 28, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I had just settled into my bunk to relax with a movie when there was a knock on my door. Thinking it could be a fellow driver in need, I pulled back my curtains only to find a pregnant woman, her husband and their dog. The young lady looked very surprised to see a woman in the truck.

I lowered my window to hear what she said.

“Ma’am, is was wondering you could spare some change so we can get something to eat. We haven’t eaten in a couple of days and we’re really hungry.”

I studied them both for a moment, then offered, “I won’t give you any money but if you’re really hungry as you say you are, I’ll be glad to take you both inside and buy you food.”

Relief washed over her face and she quickly accepted. 

I got out and as we walked into the Walmart where I was parked, she explained that they’d come here hoping for a new start on the advice of a friend. Once they got here, their friend abandoned them and they had no place to go, no job, no money.

I bought them sandwiches at the Subway and some meat for their dog. I also told them they could get out of their circumstances. There really was hope and I did my best to convey it to them. When I left, I prayed that I had gotten through to them and that our encounter had given them the courage to try.

The next morning I heard a commotion outside and pulled back my curtains. The same couple stood outside the truck next to me. I instantly thought they were begging again. Perhaps that was all they did and I’d been duped the night before. But when the young woman saw me poke my head out, here eyes lit up like a Christmas tree. 

“I’m so glad to see you! I wanted to let you know I took your advice yesterday. I went out and applied for a job and they hired me right then and there. I start today!”

Hooray! Congratulations!”

“There’s just one thing…”

“What’s that?” 

“I need bus money. Do you think you could spare some change so I can ride the bus to work? If you’re going to be here when I get paid, I promise I’ll pay you back.”

I reached into my pocket and pulled out all the change I had. It was enough to get her to and from work for a couple of days.

“Don’t bother paying it back. Pay it forward, first by excelling at this new job, then by giving to others in need. Don’t ever forget where you came from. If you do that, it will be payment enough.”

She erupted into tearful laughter, took the money and off she went to begin her new life.

As she disappeared around the corner, I offered thanks that God had provided a job for her. I believe she will do well. She’s not a deadbeat. Truly, she was just down and out… and six months pregnant. It proves that a person can get back up again each time they fall. 

In the day and time we live in, anyone can fall on hard times. Intelligent, well-meaning, hard working folks can find themselves out of a job. I know it was demeaning for her to ask for money but hungry people do desperate things. 

No matter where we think we are in life, status or accomplishment, we are just one withholding of God’s extended grace away from being right where this woman was. Except for God’s grace, I could have been looking in the mirror. 

I’m so thankful that I opened the curtain and answered the knock on the door. I’m so glad that God never leaves us or forsakes us, even when we’re down. He’s always working on our behalf and He will make a way where there seems to be no way. 

Knock on doors. They will open. Seek and you will find. It’s not over until God says it is.

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Matters of the Heart

Posted January 24, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Those of you who follow me in social media (if you aren’t, why not?), you know that week before last I injured my knee. I slipped in ice while performing my pretrip inspection on my truck at 4am in Alabama. I endured several days of serious pain. It was my clutch knee.

Last Friday night, I took Austin (my brand new Freightliner Cascadia Lightweight truck) in for his very first oil change in Amarillo, Texas. On Sunday afternoon, Austin broke down in the middle of Wild West-and wild wind-Wyoming. God always provides. If you’ve ever driven on Interstate 80 across Wyoming, you know there is nothing there but it just so happened that when my truck broke down, it was at one of very few exits. Literally.  AND, there was one thing at that exit: a TA truck stop.

I coasted down the ramp, to the right into the truck stop (I didn’t stop for the stop sign. Nothing was coming), and into a parking space at the truck stop. I remained there for two days until the folks at my company had Austin towed 100+ miles into Salt Lake City to the Freightliner dealership.

Today is day seven of this adventure and I’m still in a hotel. The week has been a rollercoaster of events. My emotions have run the gammit from patient to furious, positive to hopeless, determined to wanting to chuck it all and pull Dakota (my bicycle) out of storage and take to the open road on him again.

Those who know me know I don’t have family. I can’t go cry on sis’s shoulder, get a hug from dad or have big bro punch someone’s lights out. But, I have you and so many of you have reached out in support. Emails, phone calls, texts, FB posts. The outpouring has been amazing! Thank you, by the way. I wouldn’t have been able to endure this week without you. But even with that, I have to admit there have been moments where I looked out to the surrounding snow capped mountains and felt all alone in a great big world.

Then it hit me. I feel and sense emotion on a very deep level. God gave me that gift so that I can understand what others go through on an experiential level. That way I can help them. He showed me decades ago that I cannot show others the way unless I’ve traveled that road. Remembering that took my attention off my troubles- and my broken down brand new truck- and to those I serve… and those whom I’ve never met who need to be encouraged.

I wanted to quit. I admit it. I wanted to tell the wonderful company I work for and the dealership who built Austin to take their broken down truck and shove it. But one thing stopped me. I’m not a quitter. I wonder how many people have been driven to the brink of their emotional cliff and jumped. I know some. I’m sure you do, too. I also know most of them regretted having made that decision.

I’m writing this in the lobby of the hotel in a nice comfy chair in front of the fireplace with a view of the rocky mountains. The ambiance is wonderful but the main reason I do it is when I’m all alone up in my room, my thoughts turn negative and my positive attitude that keeps me strong begins to crumble. I begin to suffer all alone in the silence of my room.

I know there are thousands of people out there who are doing just that. They don’t tell anyone they are suffering. Their tears are not seen. Their hearts cry at moments when others are not around. Their sad and painful matters of the heart are not shared with anyone. One day, they just disappear… or die a lonely death.

What I’ve been going through this last week has nothing to do with trucks, oil changes, my company or Freightliner. It has everything to do with my purpose to help others overcome… and to become. Someone has to know how they feel. They need to find the way through the emotional quagmire to freedom and then go back to show others the way.

I’m an encourager. I know that. It’s my God-given purpose. The Heartbeat of America blog will continue and I’ll continue to bring you stories from the amazing people I meet. In addition to that, I’m also going to share insights with you on matters of the heart. I’ve been working for a while on a new podcast that will be uplifting, encouraging and hopefully will help you see life’s events in a different light. I’m also considering BlogTalk radio.

I really need your help. You have all been so faithful and supportive both during my Road to Freedom Tour, and with my trucking adventure which I unwittingly termed Road to Freedom 2.0. Little did I know at the time that title would be so profound.

In the weeks and months to come, I will be sharing some deep things of the heart. Those things that pluck at your heart strings. I’ll share hope in the midst of what appears to be hopelessness. I’ll share stories of those who have overcome… stories of triumph, my own and those of others I meet along my journey.

If this resonates with you, I would like to ask you to help me in the following ways:

Please pray that God will lead those who need to hear this message to the blog, the podcast and any other media outlet that opens up.

Please share the blog with others in your social circles and ask them to pray about doing the same.

Please comment on the blog. I will do my best to respond to each comment as my life on the road allows. I utilize a service called LiveFyre to filter out spam from my comments so you’ll have to sign up once and be approved by me to leave comments. It’s not an email capture and sell scam. LifeFyre is my spam filter service. It’s completely safe for you to give your information to.

That would mean so much to me as I ratchet up my blog a notch or two and include matters of the heart. So many of you have asked for this. God is showing me it’s time to do it.

Thank you all for being such faithful supporters during the Road to Freedom Tours. Your encouragement has kept me going forward, helping to heal the wounded, encourage the discouraged and bring the truth of God’s joy to a hurting nation. You honor me.

This blog post is long today but for some reason, I cannot bring myself to apologize for its length. God bless you, my friends.

 

 

 

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I Bend But I Don’t Break… Much

Posted January 16, 2015 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Last night I arrived at my fuel stop in Van, Texas eight minutes before I would turn into a pumpkin. I only had that many minutes I could legally drive for the day so I found a parking spot and decided to explore. Loves was wedged between a local Barbecue buffet and a family style restaurant. I checked them both out but finally opted for veggies.

While walking through the truck stop, I almost ran right into Ralph. Standing upright, he would have been almost seven feet tall but he was permanently bent at the waist. As a result, he stood less than four. He was busy grabbing a soda, snacks and whatever else he felt he needed to keep him going. 

I expected Ralph to exit to the auto parking lot after making his purchases but he did just the opposite. He lumbered out the back door to the fuel isle for trucks. 

Ahhh, a ride-along, I thought to myself… until he began to climb into his rig. I had to stop him. And with my typical fascination, I bombarded him with questions like, what happened to you? Is it difficult to drive? Are  you in pain? Do you have any limitations?

Ralph broke his back in a car accident almost twenty years ago. He was hit by a drunk driver at speeds over 100 miles per hour. His wife was killed and he was pronounced crippled for the remainder of his natural life. Ralph was not pleased with that prognosis and decided to reject it. 

He worked very hard to overcome. Enduring excruciating rehab, he was finally able to walk again. Unfortunately, the fusion in his back failed, leaving him permanently bent at the waist.  He has a really good sense of humor about it though. He says he has a birds eye view of the floor. He doesn’t miss many pennies that people drop.

Ralph also loves to be a trucker. His odd shape is perfect for driving. He is in the exact position his body needs to be in to sit at the wheel all day long. While most drivers get stiff and need to stretch, it doesn’t bother Ralph in the least. Others give him a wide berth because they are afraid they’re going to hurt him. 

“How much pain are you in?” I just had to know.

“No more than you are. I’m sure at your age you have aches and pains. Well, so do I. Hey, it’s nothing more than I would have had anyway. It’s just different. That’s all.”

Ralph is a shining example of overcoming adversity, sorrow and enormous loss. He lost his health, his mobility, the love of his life. As if to mock him, the cure made him worse. Yet today Ralph had a smile on his face, eagerly embraced the day and didn’t give it a second thought when he had to ask for my help to get his soda off the top shelf. 

On the driver’s side of Ralph’s truck, he’d placed the inscription: “I bend but I don’t break… much.” The truth is he’s been broken more than most of us will ever endure and yet he continues on his journey as if nothing bad ever happened to him. He embraces life and takes tragedy in stride. He is alive an well living life at 90 degrees. He cherishes each breath he takes and doesn’t take anything for granted. 

My life is greater because I bumped into Ralph last night. Hopefully, yours is as well. 

 

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Days Gone By

Posted October 24, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

Hidden 1TrainAt the back of an inconspicuous building in industrial Greenville, SC, history sits silent, slowly rusting in the elements. Deep within the corridors of the once vibrant passenger train cars, the voices of the past call out, longing for days gone by. Train cars of yesteryear transported countless people and their dreams to cities all over America. Atlanta, Chicago, St. Louis and points west.

Mothers held tight to their children who had no idea the trip back home to grandmas marked the day their family was torn apart. A young woman spread her wings for the first time and left the security of home in search of her identity and her own way to live life. A doctor answered the call, closed up his practice back east and headed west to provide medical aid on the Navajo Nation.IMG_2303

Each hallway echos with the sound of hope and promise. Each seat holds secrets revealed to a total stranger sitting next to them as tiny towns clicked by out the window. Bellman, porters and conductors mindlessly spouted rote commands to cars of passengers who’s ears were deafened by consuming thoughts of their destination.

Hundreds of miles away to the north, ancient buildings sat abandoned and silent, worn by the fierce winds of Lake Ontario. Railway cars that once carried necessities now rusted on abandoned rails. Just on the other side of the tracks, a graveyard provided the resting place for cars that had seen better days.

Everywhere I looked as I drove through rural upstate New York, I saw remnants of days that had long since retreated into the innermost hiding places of history. Life built up around the history and continued on. Locals don’t even notice the old buildings and other pieces of their past, but I did.

IMG_2306Our history forges our future. Perhaps a young man road that train to Greenville and grew up to become governor and changed the world. Or maybe the old buildings on Lake Ontario housed furs trapped by the Native Americans and grizzly trappers who braved the cold to help America stay warm.

Time does wait for no man. It marches forward with a determination to continue ticking out the hours and days until they become a part of the past, then releases it as if it never were connected. History, on the other hand, is the bedrock of today upon which we build our tomorrows. It is undeniable. Unshakable. Unmistakable. The days gone by point the way. It shows us where we missed and weaves a fabric of hope and future.

I love to reminisce about my days gone by. Yes, even the worst of them are part of who I am and I gain so much wisdom from them. I’m grateful for each one. Many I would not wish to return to but I treasure them all. They whisper to me on a cold dark night. They compel me down the roads of our great nation in search of the heartbeat of America.

Days gone by…

 

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Only the Strong Survive, But Who is Strong?

Posted February 27, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

You’ve heard it just like I have… that old saying, only the strong survive. You’ve seen it play out in the episodes of National Geographic as the more powerful animal overtakes and conquers the weaker or perhaps wounded one.

With that in your emotional hip pocket, during those moments when you feel especially vulnerable, know what happens? You feel you’re doomed. When you’re beat up, beat down and in the middle of an immense battle, you feel anything but strong. And, naturally, your emotions tell you the lion is about to devour you.

But there’s just one tiny little omission your emotion is guilty of. And leaving out that one truth makes all the difference. You see, the TRUTH is:

1) Greater is He that is in You than he that is in the world.

2) His strength is perfected in your weakness. Therefore, when you are weak, HE is strong. Therefore, your strength is perfected.

3) You can do ALL things through Christ, which strengthens you.

Just a little thing your emotions—or the circumstance—forgot to mention when it made you feel you’re being overtaken by the lion.

Look, the truth is that even on our best days, we’re not strong enough to carry the whole world on our shoulders. We can’t even support our little portion of the world. So if we use that as our frame of reference, we’ll always conclude we’re peep squeaks.

While that’s true, it’s not the truth and there’s a huge difference between those things that are true and that which is truth. The truth is YOU ARE AMAZINGLY STRONG through Christ whose strength is made perfect in you.

It is true that only the strong survive. Oh, I suppose a weak on will slip through in the underbrush and avoid being eaten for dinner, at least for a while but eventually, a lion or bear will lick their chops and dig in for a feast.

But the truth is no weapon formed against you will prosper. The truth is you are weak but He who lives in you is strong, mighty and able to easily withstand any and every foe.

Big difference, huh?!

You may be feeling pretty weak right now. Life has been beating you up. You’re weary from the battle. You think you couldn’t lift a wet noodle off the counter. And you may be feeling pretty badly about feeling pretty bad.

Well, I just have two words: STOP IT!

 

You are STRONG in Christ. Embrace His strength and use it to your advantage like firefighters use the hydraulic strength in the jaws of life to rescue someone from a mangled car after an accident. Do you honestly think they care that it’s not their own strength? Nope.

Hook onto Christ’s jaws of life and use His strength to get you out of your circumstance.

You are strong! Remember that today!

How strong—or weak—do you feel today? Share it here!

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Not Looking For a Handout

Posted January 21, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

On Friday, I was running and noticed a gentleman crossing the road. It see,ed a bit odd for two reasons. First, he was weaving in and out of cars rather than crossing at an intersection which was only twenty yards away. And, he was walking straight toward me.

He made his way to the sidewalk on my side of the street and, just as I expected, he approached and stopped me. I paused the podcast I’d been listening to, wrestled the ear plugs out of my ears, and gave him my attention.

He was looking for a homeless shelter. He was new to town, looking for work and had spent several nights out in the cold.

“I was promised some work but not only can I not find the man, I can’t even find thirty-five cents!”

I thought he was going ask me for money but he did not. “I just need to find a warm place to stay at night and I need work. I can do almost anything and am willing to. I just gave my heart to the Lord and I have to trust Him to provide, like the Bible says.”

As he continued, I realized this man was serious and definitely NOT looking for a handout.

I brainstormed with him for a few moments and suggested he walk around the corner to the local Christian bookstore. I figured they would either know specific people at the men’s shelter they could connect him with, or they’d know who to contact.

A wide smile creased his face and he set off in the direction I’d pointed with a new pep in his step.

I’d given him hope.

I watched from a distance as he boldly stepped inside the store to ask for help in locating a shelter, inspired by his resolve to get back on his feet again and make a go of life.

And, as he disappeared behind the glass storefront, I had no doubt whatsoever that he would indeed overcome his current circumstance.

I continued my run to the grocery store, the once intriguing podcast no longer holding my interest. As I walked the isles of the store, I was tempted to buy food for this man. I wondered what he would enjoy eating that didn’t have to be cooked.

I reached for a couple of things but then put them back. This stranger who walked up to me on the street was not looking for a handout. Though down on his luck, he was also self-sufficient, intelligent and resourceful. He would make it through.

As I ran home with grocery bags in hand, I marveled at the inner strength of this total stranger. I also lamented that I’m not more like him. I prayed that I would become more like him.

I also prayed that YOU would be more like him. A chance encounter on a cold sunny morning with a total stranger who shouted by his actions, “I’m not looking for a handout” compels me to a new commit. What about you?

Have you had a chance encounter that changed your life? Gave you hope? Or perhaps a swift kick in the pants? Share it here!

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Heart of the Homeless

Posted January 14, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

I’ve been spending a lot of time getting to know the homeless people where I am. It’s been simply amazing, but I’m afraid I have a horrible confession to make.

There was a time in my life I thought homeless people were either skid row bums or a few bricks short of a full load. Well, either that or rapists, murderers and convicted felons who couldn’t make it on the outside. I don’t know that I’ve ever been more wrong. I’ve asked God–and the homeless folks I’ve met–to forgive me. Now I’m asking you to do the same.

You see, I’ve discovered that homeless people are good, honest, decent human beings. Somewhere along the way the storms of life hit them with full force and they lost everything. Well, every physical possession at least. These Americans are wonderful, bright, educated people who can’t find a job, despite applying for thousands. 

Some of them have given up but the overwhelming majority still have hope. And they display remarkable resilience. Life’s been hard for them and the mountains they climb are seemingly insurmountable. Yet, each day they rise with a new commit to conquer their plight and rise to the top of their world again.

They are my heroes. I’ve grown to love them. Admire them. Want to be like them. They have a fire in their belly that keeps them putting one foot in front of the other day after day after day after day. Many of them don’t even know where their next meal will come from. The lucky ones sleep in shelters with dozens of other unfortunates. Some weather the winter in tents. A great number of them attempt to sleep in dumpsters using blankets made of cardboard boxes. 

In them I do not see sadness, but rather resolve and the pioneer spirit. It’s that inner strength that takes what comes and just deals with it, walks through it and overcomes it. No fanfare. No woe-is-me sobs. They just quietly work their way out of their challenge. It’s the heartbeat of America and it is alive and well. It’s the American spirit that attacks challenges with a tenacity that even the fiercest enemy cannot beat.

I’m so glad I’ve gotten to know these people. I am humbled in their presence as their strength towers over me. One day, I want to be like them. I pray I will one day have the unstoppable heart of the homeless.

Have you ever had an experience with the homeless? Do you know someone who is or was? Share it here!

 

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2014 Road to Freedom: It’s All About YOU!

Posted January 6, 2014 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

If you’ve followed my blog for any length of time, you know that I spent most of 2013 preparing for and pedaling across America on the Road to Freedom Tour> I was able to help women across the country who are victims of violent assault. It was the most amazing adventure of my life. I will never be the same.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Reporter Steve Beavers and me.

Thank you for your support, your prayers, your love and encouragement as I took this message on the road. It’s what kept me going when times got tough. You gave me the strength to face each obstacle and endure every challenge. As I reached out to these women, I was your hands outstretched.

I’ve prayed long and hard about the next steps for Road to Freedom. While I don’t yet have all the answers, I have come to one conclusion. I MUST help you set and reach your bold goals. You deserve to live your dream. The world needs your unique message.

To that end, during 2014, the Road to Freedom blog will be devoted to helping YOU. Pure and simple. I will encourage YOU. I will provide insight and tools to help YOU live your dream. I will help YOU get beyond those roadblocks and to scale those mountains that stand in the way.

Dream Road

I’ll share stories of those who overcame. I’ll inspire you to reach beyond what you thought you were capable of achieving. I’ll walk with you this year just like you pedaled with me last year. I’m so grateful for you. This is my way of giving back to you. 

I look forward to a wonderful year together. I expect to hear from you. I want to know about your successes, your disappointments, your challenges. I want to celebrate your wins with you and let  you cry on my shoulder during those inevitable times when you fall short of the mark you set for yourself. 

Thank you for an amazing 2013. Thank you also for allowing me to pay it back in this way in 2014. 

Have you set your 2014 goals yet? If not, please do that this week. If you don’t, you’ll blink at it will be April.

Who do you know that would benefit from this encouragement and inspiration? Please invite them to join my mailing list so I can send it to them automatically every day.

"The Beginning" Road Sign with dramatic blue sky and clouds.

What are your biggest challenges you face this year? Send me an email at reba@rebajhoffman.com. I’ll be sure to address those in upcoming blog posts and offer sound advice.

Together, you and I will make this the most amazing and successful year yet. 

What are your goals for this year? Did you write them down yet? Share them here.

 

 

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Just Let Me Work My Puzzle

Posted December 2, 2013 By Reba J. Hoffman, Ph.D.

This past week, I met a homeless lady. I’ll call her Sally. She’s elderly and even indoors she sat bundled up in every ounce of clothing she possessed. She wore a funny knitted hat on her head with pompoms and multiple colored yarns. The fingers of her gloves had long since worn away.

I was intrigued by the fact that she wasn’t begging for money or food. Instead, she sat calmly working crossword puzzles. I couldn’t resist asking her about it.

“Keeps my mind sharp. I ain’t no spring chicken, ya know.”

I asked her how she became homeless. She’d lost her job—a very good one—and at her age, wasn’t able to recover. She lost her home and everything she owned. Sally was making the best of a bad situation.

She spent as much time each day out of the weather by working crossword puzzles in local eateries, libraries and stores.

crossword puzzle
“It’s amazing how people don’t even question me when I sit down at a table with my newspaper and pen. I suppose they figure I belong there if I’m smart enough to work my puzzle.”

Like I did, Sally stayed in that place for hours. But she studied the words, figured out ways to make them fit into the puzzle and stuck it out until every block was filled on the page.

Her tenacity put me to shame. I was humbled by her peace in the midst of a terrible situation in her life. She was definitely making the best of it.

Deep within each of us lies the Sally factor. When things get tough, we can figure out a way to go on, to make the best of an unfortunate life circumstance and be joyful in the midst of personal loss.

 Puzzle Piece

Sally doesn’t have money. Nor does she have a consistent place to lay her head at night. She has no control over a lot of things in her life. But, she has fully embraced those things she does have control over.

She keeps her mind sharp by picking up discarded newspapers and completing the crossword puzzles. She stays warm during the day by finding a table out of the way in a local business. She doesn’t cause trouble and she always greets you with a smile. She has hope, joy and a positive outlook.

Sally is the epidome of the survival instinct that is within all of us. We find a way to go on. To recover from tragedy. To rebuild after things have been torn down. Life is one big puzzle and we all have to figure out how to make the pieces fit. Sally has a head start.


Homeless Young Boy Holding a Sign

I’m so grateful I met Sally. In so many ways, she’s much wealthier than we are. She’s tapped into the riches inside her and used it to survive each day. Sally is an amazing woman and I’m so blessed to have met her.

Have you met someone who is in a bad situation but always makes the best of it? Are you one of those people? Share it here!

 

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