April 2024 Character Core

Humans are resilient. Meriam Websters states that resilience is “ an ability to recover from or adjust easily to misfortune or change.” There are many inspiring stories of people who have lived through incredibly hard times but remained strong and resilient through it all. One such person is Corrie Ten Boom.

During World War 2, while living in the Netherlands, Corrie Ten Boom and her family hid Jews in their house. They were Christians and did not agree with the Nazis in how the Jews were being treated. For two years, they hid Jews and resistance workers in their homes until February of 1944 when the Gestapo raided their house. They did not find the hidden Jews, but they arrested Corrie, her sister Betsy, her father, and other family members. After spending three months in solitary confinement, Corrie and Betsy were moved around to various concentration camps until they ended up at Ravensbruck. The sisters were a light there at the concentration camp, bringing the hope of Jesus to others. Sadly, Betsy died, but Corrie, due to a clerical error, was set free in December of 1944.

After the war was over, Corrie went on to open a rehabilitation center for concentration camp survivors. She became a writer and spoke all over the world. Corrie believed strongly in the healing power of forgiveness, which is what helped make her so resilient. After one speaking engagement, a former guard from Ravensbruck came up to Corrie and asked for her forgiveness. With God’s help, she did just that. In her book she writes, “Those [people in rehabilitation] who were able to forgive their former enemies were able also to return to the outside world and rebuild their lives, no matter what the physical scars. Those who nursed their bitterness remained invalids. It was as simple and as horrible as that.” Forgiving others and ourselves is a key part of resilience. Let us remember Corrie’s inspiring story when we are going through hard things.


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