Daniel and Room 101

While looking through an old journal, I was reminded that God works in mysterious ways. A couple years ago, I took an English class where we were required to read George Orwell’s famous 1984. I can count the number of books I’ve read and hated on one hand. 1984 is definitely one of them. Yet, thanks to God’s irony, it is also one of the most memorable books I’ve read.

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“Good afternoon.” My English teacher strode primly into the classroom and set his copy of 1984 on the front desk.

I was so ready to be done with that wretched book. That week we were finishing the readings and discussions. That afternoon we were discussing the part with Room 101 where Winston is tortured with his greatest fear. I couldn’t think of anything cheerier than discussing rats trying to eat your face off.

Our teacher started class with a large group discussion. “Alright, I want you to think about Room 101. What makes it so terrifying to everyone? Why doesn’t anyone want to be sent there?”

Sitting in silence, everyone looked like they were about to be sent to Room 101. Or maybe we were already there.

“It’s a torture room, right?” he asked, answering his own question. “What method do they use to torture people?”

After another moment of silence, someone mumbled, “Fear.”

“Correct! They use each person’s own, possibly illogical fear to get a conversion out of them. What is Winston’s greatest fear?”

“Rats.”

“Rats! And in Room 101, these aren’t just any rats. These are giant, ugly, mean, carnivorous rats. They put this cage up to Winston’s face, and these rats are just fighting to attack him! Now, I want you to think for a minute and figure out what your Room 101 would be.”

I inwardly groaned. Did we have to have this discussion?

“What have you got?” Our teacher sat on the front of his desk and folded his arms expectantly.

“Spiders,” grinned one of the girls.

“Spiders! So for you, they’d put you in a room with huge, hairy-legged spiders.”

The girl shivered at the thought.

“Snakes!” declared another girl.

“Anyone else?” asked our teacher.

“Birds,” answered one girl.

“Birds! Why birds?”

“I’m terrified of birds,” she explained, shuddering while also laughing at herself. “I’m scared of having them fly at my head or something.”

“Like that movie, The Birds?”

“Yes! So creepy.”

I noticed the guys were staying out of this discussion.

Shifting on the desk, our teacher grinned. “This is actually fun! What other things are you afraid of? What things would cause you to betray someone?”

He was enjoying himself far too much. Thankfully for me, enough of the class was warming to the discussion so I didn’t feel the need to answer.

What would I say if he decided to call on me? I wasn’t sure what my greatest fear was, but I was hoping it was something deeper than spiders or birds.

While the rest of the class described their ridiculous fears that–according to our teacher–they would do anything to avoid, I tried to figure out my fear in case he called on me.

I glanced anxiously at my watch. Was he really going to drag this discussion out for one and a half hours? Oh how I despised this class.

Suddenly, I had a bizarre thought: Room 101 was similar to Daniel and the lions’ den.

This thought took me by surprise since I didn’t normally draw comparisons between my least favorite book and favorite Bible story. Yet somehow it made sense. In fact, I thought, the lions’ den could have been Daniel’s Room 101–his greatest fear. It was possible that Daniel had a fear of lions beyond the normal fear of powerful, sharp-teethed beasts. Daniel might have had an illogical fear of lions, but he was still willing to face them! My English teacher was wrong! A person’s Room 101 could be successfully endured. Through the strength of God, it was possible!

Once I figured out my Room 101, would I be willing to face it, knowing I had God at my side?

Horrified, I realized God had just used English class for my benefit. How was that possible? I had learned something because of 1984! How mortifying.

 

Not long after that, God did reveal my fears to me. I was forced to face those fears, but in my weakness I saw God’s strength at work. During that time I had the reminder of Daniel and his Room 101. God works all things–even annoying English classes and George Orwell–for good.

*Random side note: Do not do a google images search for “1984 and Room 101” late at night. Or any time actually. Oh my stars there are some creepy pictures out there!

 

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China Bound!

Ever since my family adopted my two sisters from China, I have had a passion for orphans. This summer, God has provided me with the opportunity to go back to China on a missions trip. This is something I prayed about for over a year, so I’m very excited to see how God continues to work in amazing ways as I go on this trip!

Along with 20 other young adults (who I am very excited to meet!), I will be going to Maria’s Big House of Hope, which is an orphanage and medical care center started by Show Hope (www.showhope.org). While I’m on this trip from August 1-10, I’m hoping to post updates on this blog.

I would really appreciate your prayers! Please pray for our team as we plan for the trip. Pray that we will be able to build strong relationships with each other and the people in China and that God will use this trip to help us grow spiritually. Pray for the people we’ll meet in China and that they would see Christ’s love through us. Also, pray especially for the children who are waiting and hoping for a forever family.

Thanks to my amazing family and friends, I have already come close to raising all the money I need for this trip. It has truly been a humbling experience for me to see how eager everyone is to support me prayerfully and financially. Thank you all so much!

Orphans

 

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Snow Day!

  • A little bit of homework so I feel like I’ve had a productive weekend
  • Movie lunch with my family while watching good ol’ Andy Griffith
  • Diving into a skillet of warm, gooey, chocolatey brownies made by my beautiful sister
  • A crackling fire in the fireplace
  • Pinterest
  • Les Miserables
  • Knitting
  • A braided bracelet from my littlest sis
  • Reading stories we wrote when we were little…I was such a nerd!
  • Homemade pancakes with peanut butter for dinner
  • Laughter with my wonderful family
  • Doctor Who…because I’m still a nerd
  • And now some chai tea and time in God’s Word!

Although it was nice to have one last snow day, I am now definitely ready for spring…and spring break!

Oh so yummy!

Oh so yummy!

 

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Study

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This was a crazy week of studying for me, and it does seem to be true that a cup of tea, chocolate, colorful sharpies, and possibly a movie are great studying aids! Since I’ve made it through the first rush of tests, I know all sorts of fun facts that I can share with people! Just let me know if you need to know the difference between nerves and tracts or if you feel like chatting about aphasia, apraxia, ataxia, anomia, and agnosia (so many A’s!)! Now, it’s time for more textbook reading!

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That time of year

Although it’s still hot outside, the leaves are beginning to change color and the days have already grown shorter. I have to trade in my novels and reading-for-fun time for thick textbooks and seemingly endless hours of studying.

My new favorite study tool is Quizlet. Every semester I find myself using hundreds of note cards to make flashcards. I’ve discovered Quizlet is a great, easy way to make online flashcards. Quizlet then offers several great ways to study. Their game Space Race may not be the most thrilling game ever invented, but it helped me ace my first quiz in class this week! So that’s my handy study tip for the semester!

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Tonight all my thoughts come back to this…

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Anatomy of Monte Cristo

When I took anatomy, I passed by the skin of my teeth (or should I say the “epidermis of my incisors”). After a semester of constant studying, suffering through lectures, examining cadavers, and enduring lab, I picked up “Count of Monte Cristo” so I could enjoy my Christmas break!

It didn’t take long for me to realize why I’d had to take anatomy.

I took anatomy so I could read “Count of Monte Cristo” by Dumas and read terms like “lacrymal duct” and know exactly what Dumas was talking about! I was so pleased with myself that it almost made a semester of nonstop studying worth it.

By the way, I really loved reading “The Count.” It’s a fantastic book (especially the second half), even if you’re not as nerdy as I am. And if you read it and get stuck on one of the anatomy terms, let me know and I can tell you more than I ever wanted to know.

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Sharpies

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Tonight I’m enjoying one of the simple joys of life: a 12 pack of sharpies for $5! I love when school supplies start going on sale: notepads for 1 cent, a pack of pens for a quarter, and the funky container of colorful erasers, paperclips, and pushpins that you didn’t realize you needed.

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Music

“So long as the human spirit thrives on this planet, music in some living form will accompany and sustain it and give it expressive meaning.”

~Aaron Copland

One of my goals for this summer is to spend more time making music. This past week it has been amazing to see the several musical opportunities God has given me! I’ll be playing on another worship team and in a quartet. I’m excited to get my rusty fingers playing again!

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Forgotten God

“Those of us who believe in Jesus would never deny the truth that we have the Spirit of the living God, the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead, living inside of us. I’m just not convinced we’ve internalized this truth and enjoyed His blessings as He intends. It seems like this is mostly head knowledge to us, and that we have not owned it. It has not really made much of a difference in our lives, to the degree that if we woke up tomorrow and discovered that it is not true the Holy Spirit lives inside of us, most likely our lives wouldn’t look much different.”

~Forgotten God by Francis Chan (page 34)

I’ve only read the first chapter of this book, and already I’ve realized a lot about the Holy Spirit. As Christians, we often talk about Jesus dying for us and about God our Father, but how often do we think about how the Holy Spirit is working in our lives? How am I living differently than the rest of the world? It’s so easy to be convicted by great books like this, the hard part is actually going out and living what you’ve learned!

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