Day 241: The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom

I recently finished listening to a book on tape of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. If you’ve never read it you should it’s a powerful true story of a family who hid Jews in Holland during World War 2, who were arrested and spent time in a Concentration Camp. I was first introduced to the story as a kid in a comic book version of the story, and I can’t tell you how many times I read it over the years! Since then I’ve read the actual book, listened to a radio drama version of it, and seen the live action movie version. Every time I hear the story I’m impacted by it.

While the main theme of the book is about forgiveness, the part that’s had the most impact on me is completely different. When Corrie and Betsie arrive in Ravensbrook, a Concentration Camp, they start listing all the things they can be thankful for in this deplorable place. Betsie is thankful for the fleas, but Corrie says she can’t be thankful for them, but they later find out the fleas are actually a blessing. My favorite quote of the whole book is when Betsie quotes 1 Thessalonians 5:18 “‘Give thanks in all circumstances,… It doesn’t say ‘in pleasant circumstances.’ Fleas are part of this place where God has put us.” Whenever I’m in an unpleasant circumstance or are having a bad day I try to think of this quote and verse, and thank God for something within that circumstance. It’s rarely easy, but it’s worth it and makes me feel better.

(While I’m writing about The Hiding Place I should mention I have family in Harlem, Holland where the story takes place, and I’ve actually visited the city though not to the house where it takes place)

Day 241: Thank you Lord for the The Hiding Place and the impact it’s had on so many people including myself.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!

Day 48: Nann Chaftin

I was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy when I was 3 years old, but my parents didn’t tell me about it till I was 11. At the time I was scared to tell people about it because I didn’t know how they would react, and it was easy to hide it. I didn’t even tell my best friend until about 6 months later.

For most of my teen years I received the Christian teen girl magazine Brio, and when it arrived each month I would read it from cover to cover. Some of my favorite articles were the ones about girls with disabilities or medical problems that they were able to overcome, I always found them so inspirational. One of those stories had a major impact on my life.

Nann Chaftin has alopecia areata, an auto-immune disease that causes your body to think you’re allergic to your own hair. As a result she has very little hair on her head, and was teased about it for years. She started wearing wigs to hide the condition and much of her youth group didn’t know she had the condition. After her interview with Brio she came home and for the first time took off her wig in front of her whole youth group, and it was a freeing experience for her.

I remember reading Nann’s story a few years after my parents’ revelation and at the time honestly not thinking that much about it. About a month later for whatever reason I picked it up again, read the story, and that’s when it changed my life. I saw so many parallels between our stories, and God told me that I was supposed to tell my youth group my story too.

It took a little while for me to work up the courage to talk to my Youth Pastor but I eventually did, and we set up a time for me to share my story. I remember how nervous I was, I had been involved in drama for years and never had any problems being in front of an audience, but this time I was Very nervous. I shared my story and the reception was very accepting and kind.

It was a couple more years before I had the courage to share my story in setting like that again but I no longer tried to hide or deny my disability. Over the past few years especially I have become more and more open about it. Otherwise I wouldn’t be writing about it here today!

I know none of this would have happened if it were not for Nann! Ok it might have happened eventually but never that soon and I know I would not be as open as I am now if I had not read her story at that point in my life. I think of her every time I share my story.

Day 48: Thank you Lord for Nann Chaftin, and her story. Thank you for the impact it’s had on my life, and may it continue to impact others.

What are you thankful for today? Leave a Comment and let me know, I’d love to read it!