STORIES
Freedom Heroes

Corrie ten Boom

by Laura Kuehlke from Hillsdale, New Jersey in United States

Someone who has always been a source of inspiration in my life is Corrie ten Boom. As a student in middle school, I was first introduced to Corrie's story at church. I grew up in a predominantly Dutch congregation, and there were times when the stories of heroic Christians would be told to us during our Sunday School hour. After hearing the story of a Dutch family that hid and saved Jewish people during World War II, I wanted to read more about them and obtained a copy of The Hiding Place by Corrie ten Boom. To say that the message of Corrie's story had a profound impact on me would be an understatement.  

In her book, Corrie tells of how her family made the courageous choice to rescue as many people as they could--Jewish and others being persecuted. They hid people in a secret room in Corrie's bedroom, and, in this way, she was able to resist the evil regime that had taken control in Holland while upholding her Christian beliefs. Sadly, after an informant betrayed them, the family was arrested. Corrie's father and brother were killed, and she and her sister, Betsie, were eventually sent to Ravensbruck where they faced mistreatment, illness, and suffering. Not long after their arrival at the camp, Betsie died. It was only through a clerical error that Corrie was released from this horror when her name appeared on a list of people scheduled to be freed. Some would call that a coincidence; I call it a miracle. 

After losing her family and suffering under the cruelty of the Nazis who imprisoned her, Corrie found the strength to forgive. She went even further and shook the hand of one of the guards from Ravensbruck who was particularly harsh and cruel, offering him her forgiveness. I have always marveled at the strength it must have taken to do that--strength that did not come from herself but from her faith. Corrie then spent her life traveling and sharing her story, her faith, and her message of hope, forgiveness, and trust. 

I have faced many trials and difficulties in life, certainly none like Corrie's, but ones that have tested my own faith. A quote by her that has always inspired me to dig deeper, to hold on to my faith more tightly, and to trust in a plan that is bigger than my own, is: “There is no pit so deep, that God’s love is not deeper still.” No matter how dark the days or how overwhelming the situation, God's love would see me through. When times were uncertain and the future seemed unclear, I would think of how Corrie found a way to trust in the midst of unspeakable terror. As she wrote: “Never be afraid to trust an unknown future to a known God.” We can only see in part; we must trust the One who sees the whole, even when that is difficult. That's where faith comes in. When I am frightened, I think of how Corrie and her family took a stand against the evil of her day to save hundreds of lives. One person's choice, one person's decision to do what is right, can have a ripple effect that spreads to the world. Again, in the words of Corrie ten Boom: “The measure of a life, after all, is not its duration, but its donation.” I want the donation of my life to be one that leaves a legacy of helping others, of doing what I could to make my corner of this world better and brighter. This is something we should all want, and the life of Corrie ten Boom is a shining example of someone who left a legacy that will continue to impact generations to come. 

Page created on 6/21/2021 6:16:51 PM

Last edited 6/22/2021 3:22:30 AM

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