Friendship · healing-over-pain · Hope · Relationship

Undercover Agents of Love

You’re not going to believe what happened to me last week in California!

I was attending the Phoenix World Burn Conference for burn survivors.

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Steve Joyner

There were about 800 of us.   

I say ‘us’ because I’m a burn survivor too, along with my husband and son, Tyler, who was a baby when we had the car accident.

It was that car fire that changed our lives completely because we lost our 7-year-old son, Ryan, in the fire. 

About the conference…I had come here with an agenda.

Like sharing Ryan’s Burn Foundation with my  ‘burn-survivor Tribe.’

My peeps.

Let me tell you about something that happened every day of the conference and it was pretty scary.

You know the term ‘Open-mic,’ right? We could volunteer to stand-up in front of more than 300 people and tell our story.

 

It was raw.

The wounds became fresh again, but this time in a room without judgment.

Everybody was just Honest-to-God.

Our only currency was the truth… and trust.

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Junior, Esme and 2 aunts

I could tell you about Esme and Junior(90% burned) who lost their 12-year-old big brother in a house fire. 

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Sam “no-hands bandit”

Or, I could tell you about Sam, the “no-hands bandit,”  who was electrocuted by so much voltage that it fried both his hands off. 

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Joe, Carrie and I

I could tell you about Joe.

He was in the middle of a nightclub fire that killed his girlfriend and 99 other people who were just dancing to the music and the next thing they knew they were on fire. 

Wait!

You know what I’m going to do?

I’m going to introduce you to these heroes in my next few blogs. One-at-a-time.

You must meet these Undercover Agents of Love.

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me, Jason, Sam, Sarah and Billy(worm)

Come open-hearted and ready to trust.

I guess it always comes down to a matter of trust, doesn’t it?

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

education · Hope

The Gift Firefighters give ordinary people every day

Do you know any firefighters personally?

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I’ve spent the last six months with over 500 Firefighters.

As we have learned at Ryan Shines fighting fires could cost them their life, or their health, their family, their security, or their future.

Whatever else it is, it is risk, pure and simple.

Firefighters risking their lives.

Do you remember this? 

“There is no greater Love than to sacrifice ourselves for others’’(John 15:13). That single sentence should be carved on the front of every Fire Station in every city. 

RIO CHRIST

Some say that “sacrifice” is weak.

But think about your parents’ sacrifices for you.

It was a sign of strength. It is the opposite of self-centered.

It is ‘sacrificial generosity.’

Most Firefighters would tell you: “It’s never about us!

It’s about the ones we are rescuing.”

And that is the way they live their lives. 

One Firefighter said, “I was born for this! To risk my life for others. For strangers.” 

 And then they’ll tell you they’ve never met a stranger.

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There is a Brotherhood among these Firefighters, and everybody they rescue joins their Station House of Courage.

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

 

Friendship · Relationship

Giving their lives

Can you imagine every time you go off to work you’re putting yourself in harm’s way?

(And here I am afraid of roaches.) 

Having met hundreds of Firefighters, every time I watch them work together, I am stunned by their compassionate Souls.

firefighting group

 

And their instinct to rescue, anyone or anything that is in danger.

It’s in their DNA. These remarkable people are a breed apart.

A blind man can see that.

So, let me ask you, “Would you consider running into fires for a living?” They do. Everyday.

I’m not saying they’re gods.

They are human beings like us.

But it’s their passion that sets them apart. It is their curse and their blessing.

They live between a rock and a soft place. 

Trust me, I know what I’m talking about here.

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I live in the South. In Alabama.

Can you believe that we’re ranked #2 in Firefighter suicide over work-related deaths in our country? And it’s prevalent nationwide. 

In the face of all this, I feel ashamed for not observing that these quiet heroes, imprisoned by workplace heartache and trauma, want to end their lives.

Why don’t they just ask for help? Because…

It’s not in their job description. Their job is to save others, not themselves.

Which means that it’s our job to support those who risk it all to rescue others.  

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Next week, I’d like to talk about how Ryan Shines offers support.

dawn

BTW-(If this is something that you would like to support, please visit us at www.ryanshines.com or follow us on FB and IG @dawnraymondhirn)

 

Faith

Caught in the Crossfire

I believe that death is basically random and most of us are simply caught in the crossfire.

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Many of us are frozen in the right place but, at the wrong time.

They tell us that if we can just get to the right place we’ll be safe.

Ryan
Ryan

But you read about victims who are innocent bystanders. 

“She didn’t mean to get in the way. But she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.” 

Here’s the thing, some think that God lies on his flat belly, taking potshots at us from a cloud. 

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We even say the death of those we love is the “Will of God.”

I’m saying, Corral your paranoia, God is Love. There’s no target on your back.”

Dawn    

 Feel free to drop into my daily Instagram posts @dawnraymondhirn

Encouragement · Friendship · sisterhood · Travel

On the Road again…

Do you remember the first time you left your childhood home and moved everything somewhere else? We’ve all done it. This isn’t your first  “Road of Life Adventure.”

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I found that there are 2 kinds of travelers, those who are ‘leaving’ somewhere and others who are ‘going’ somewhere.

I’ve done both.

When I think about my first Move at 19–Georgia to New York City–I see now it was more like ‘leaving’ my home and my family; answering to no one–and giving myself endless permissions.

Now, for my next Move, I wasn’t ‘leaving’ anywhere, I was ‘going’ to Europe.

It’s not that I was ’leaving’ the USA, I was running toward my first big finish line.

And it was big, kind of like your first kiss.

But this is bigger than that.

We are accepting all the risks that come from being a stranger in a strange land.

Which is more typical of you, ‘leaving’ something or ‘going’ toward the finish line?

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me, at 19, backpacking Europe

Like I said, I understand both. I’ve done my share of running away.

You’ve got a week to think about it. I’ll do the same.

dawn

Daily Instagram @dawnraymondhirn

Friendship · Relationship · sisterhood

hearts full of Hope

I’m glad you’ve agreed to partner with me on our Adventure. But, first, I need to warn you about something.

Do you remember the poster of the robo-cat hanging onto the rope with a knot on the end? It’s the one with the caption, “When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on?”img_3342

I have lived by this manta as long as I can remember.

Everything about it sounded true.

It was the only way I knew to be safe&secure.

But, like cotton candy, you take a big bite, get the explosion of sugar, then when you bite down to savor it, it’s already gone.

But we’re here talking about something that lasts: moving forward from “I” to “we.’’ It’s a fairly scary move in that it’s all about trust. The opposite of fear is ‘’trust.’’

I have a friend who’s dad took him into the backyard with one of those kitchen ladders, and he told his young  son, “Step up to the second step, turn your back to me, and just fall into my arms.”trust boys

So the boy did.

And his dad stepped aside so that the boy crashed to the ground. His dad leaned over him and said, “The sooner you realize you can’t trust anyone, the better.”

No wonder this guy has been tying a knot in the rope and hanging on for more than 60 years. But I think, for the first time, he’s slowly beginning to trust again.

I understand how this feels. Especially when it comes to relating to women. It’s my instinct to tie a knot in the rope and hang on all by myself, never entertaining the possibility to trust. But lately I’m hearing a quiet voice, maybe God’s own Voice, that says, “Go for it, Dawn. Take a chance. Then, take another chance.”

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Believe it or not, I want to trust women’s intentions again.

I hear myself, sometimes, sounding so cynical and I’m not positive I can change.

There are no guarantees, but maybe it’s enough that we travel together with hearts full of Hope.

dawn

Instagram daily @dawnraymondhirn