Five Lessons I Learned from Auschwitz
When I met Dr. Edith Eger, I was in the darkest emotional pit I’d ever experienced. At seventy-three years old, she was a force to be reckoned with, and it was hard to imagine she’d once nearly died in the infamous Nazi prison camp called Auschwitz.
In a miraculous moment, Edie under no provocation except from God alone, asked me to meet with her. I spent an entire day hearing her stories first hand — then she asked me about mine. My brokenness spilled out, but she scooped it up into her compassionate heart. And then she told me five things that changed my life, and started me on a path to deep healing.
1. Edie said, “You have a child inside who needs a parent. You be that parent.”
I applied this lesson by remembering, parents offer us love and they also teach us boundaries. When I’m tempted to procrastinate or partially complete something, I mother myself with these words, “Don’t stop until you’ve finished.” I also brush the tears off my face, and give myself hugs when I hurt.
2. Edie said, “Forgive yourself and others. Be patient while you learn.”
I learned forgiveness is a process that requires more than a decision, it also takes time. I must exercise patience with myself while I learn to release bitterness and enjoy the freedom of peace.
3. Edie said, “Trust decisions based on truth. Stand your ground with hard choices.”
I realized, facts don’t change, but perceptions can. If you’ve honestly evaluated your decisions, and know they are based on truth versus pure emotion, stand on them. Do not question what you know is real and right.
4. Edie said, “Keep walking. One step at a time.”
I must accept that life gets tough, especially when I’m weary. But I can’t give up when I’m overwhelmed. I must pick up my feet and resolve to take one more step when hard times hit. Each move forward propels me closer to the end of the dark tunnel. Jesus will catch me on the verge of collapse. Ultimately, I will step into the light if I don’t stop.
5. Edie said, “Offer your talents to the world without expectation. Receive the overflow without guilt.”
Prior to meeting Edie, I’d buried my dreams. I had to stop allowing fears, negative opinions, lack of resources, or past hurts to keep me from taking action. One choice at a time, I let Christ lead me into the promised land of a purposeful life — otherwise, I wouldn’t have written this today.
If you want to know more of Edie’s inspirational story, and the additional lessons she taught me, my book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, releasing in April, 2015 through Barbour Publishing offers more. Or maybe this little post will allow me to be an Edie for you.
Either way, like He did for me when He introduced me to Edie, know that God appointed this time for us to meet. He sees you, and He loves what He sees. He knows your pain, and collects your tears in a bottle. That’s how much you mean to Him.
The five lessons Edie shared from her time in Auschwitz helped me get through something I’ll never get over. God handed me a miracle wrapped in a tiny, wizened Holocaust survivor. Maybe, through these words, she’s your miracle today.
Anita Agers-Brooks is a Business and Inspirational Coach, international speaker, author, and host of the podcast, Fresh Faith Inspirations with Anita Brooks. She is passionate about business with integrity, healthy relationships, and issues of identity. Anita loves lounging by a lake with her husband, and believes it’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.
More of Anita Agers-Brooks: http://
This post was originally published for FaithHappenings.com Soul Care for Women.