Just so you know: I am a Christian, and I write from a conservative Christian worldview. That means that this site is most useful to those who share my worldview. If you are not interested in such a perspective, you can consider avenues to dealing with adversity on some other web site with my good wishes for finding the help you need.
You know what it's like to be at the bottom of a hole of adversity, don't you? Spiritually, emotionally, physically, financially, relationally--there are all kinds of ways to find yourself in a hole. There are also all kinds of ways to get out of a hole of suffering. I've been able to come up with a hundred ways to extricate oneself from a hole. I hope to publish a couple of books about the best 80 of them. The other 20? I'll be presenting most of them on this web site for your consideration. It is my hope that some of them may help some hurting people climb out of the holes they are in. Spend some time here if you are hurting. You won't find anything to buy. I won't add a cookie to the gazillion you already have on your computer. And I won't ask for or accept a donation to my cause.
The Old Man in the Hole
The guy climbing out of the hole in the photo above is me. I am including it here only for its symbolism, but the photo was not taken for the purpose of its inclusion in this site. My wife took the picture because it's not just every day that her husband descends into a narrow hole. The hole looks more spacious than it really is--or was at the time. It was a mere 29 inches in diameter and descended into a lake dam on our property. The metal pipe was badly rusted and posed a threat to the dam. It needed to be filled with concrete, but someone had to go down that pipe and seal off a lateral pipe so the concrete wouldn't run out. I could have hired someone to do it, but I take care of my own problems when I can. The contractor who was going to do the work on the dam said that he'd do it, but I declined the offer, since he was a much stouter fellow; being slender, it was logical that I do it. Knowing a month in advance that I was going to do it, I dreaded the coming task for four weeks. Sometimes a dreaded undertaking doesn't turn out to be as bad as expected, and this turned out to be one of those times. My weeks of dread were pointless. The task was almost pie and cake--almost as easy as the former and almost a piece of the latter. Sometimes getting out of a hole is easier than you think it's going to be.
CLICK the starred links above for (1) an introduction to each category, and (2) links to individual ways to deal with adversity within each category.
A Jim Vining Adversity Story from Long Ago
“Will there be anything else?” the smiling East Indian teenager said as he plopped my two suitcases onto the floor of my room. I said no and gave him a tip. He seemed reluctant to leave, as though I had undertipped him or given him U.S. currency that he might have a hard time converting into Guyanese money, but after a few awkward seconds, he went away, and I locked the door. Surveying my room, I discovered that there were bars on the windows. They were made of wood, but I knew enough about Guyana to know that the wood was greenheart, wood as hard as steel when seasoned. Although I was in a second story room, I figured that the bars were intended to keep intruders out. However, I didn’t feel comfortable about those bars. The room had no bathroom. The boy had told me that it was down the hall.
Click to finish reading story.
This is Vicki's house. Click on the rainbow in the image and you will find Vicki's story of recovery following her witnessing the suicide of the man she loved, a story we are calling "A Rainbow for Vicki."
Sometimes it seems that sorrow, despair, grief, frustration, and heartache will go on forever, but they will not. Like the milk in your refrigerator, they all have an expiration date. God knows the date! In some cases, the date can be sooner than later, depending on the actions of the afflicted individual. If you are suffering right now, utilize the starred links above and give consideration to some of the ways to overcome adversity. What do you have to lose except some of your hurt?
One should never assume, however, that getting out of a hole will be easy. I wore a safety rope in going down into that pipe, so someone could pull me up if I passed out. That rope symbolizes the fact that we may sometimes not succeed in escaping adversity without the help of someone else (or Someone Else), and we need to be receptive to that help. May God bless those who seek the help of others and those who seek His help.
If you think you have problems, look at this little girl's face. Unless someone pays for her surgery, which would cost about $250, she faces a lifetime of misery. She would not be able to attend school. She would not be welcome in any place of work. Her only income would come from begging. She would never marry. She would face a lifetime of unkind remarks. The next time you see one of these ads, instead of looking away, consider saying this to yourself: "If I am willing to sacrifice only $250, I can fix the face of that little child or one like her."
"There is no pit so deep that God's love is not deeper still." When tempted to feel sorry for yourself, consider reading Corrie's story.