January 2005 Update Letter

Hello Friends and Family!

Well, to begin my second semester as a sophomore…. I traveled to Virginia in a Dodge Dakota with two other Michiganders. Very much fun… until we hit the border of Virginia and… we hit some ice and rolled into a ditch… We rolled all the way over and then landed on the driver’s door. It was the single most terrifying event of my life. I was in the back-seat without my seatbelt on (one of the only times I have ever been without it in a vehicle… I am a major supporter of the seat belt wearing movement) and so I rolled with the truck. I managed to bang up my head pretty well, twist my ankle and scratch up my shoulder. Several vehicles stopped to help us and call an ambulance (Praise the Lord for kind strangers). I had my first ride to the emergency room in an ambulance ever… definitely a frightening few moments where I was fearful that I had seriously injured my neck. I survived the x-ray process came out w/ no broken bones (but I did have to wear an air cast for two weeks on my ankle)!!! However, the cut I got in my head needed stapled shut. The very nice doctor put 5 staples in my head (not fun at all). (Unfortunately the doctor had already placed 8, before deciding 5 would suffice, so all 8 came back out before he re-placed 5.)
Truck Accident
My friend came to rescue us from the hospital 2 hours away from school at 10pm; he then took us to the junk-yard where her truck with all of our stuff had been taken… Seeing that truck in the light was a sickening feeling… I was so thankful to be alive… The emotions didn’t hit until I was back at campus at 1am then I sobbed my eyes out. My wonderful R.A. and NEW ROOMIE (more about her later) made my bed for me and carried all of my stuff into my room (they have been an amazing blessing). I spent the next week in a crisis-induced funk of not really understanding all that was happening… but eventually the emotional impact faded and I began to feel better.
During this time I also began my second semester of school for this year. I’m taking 18 credits this semester AND I have my first 8 am of my college experience. Time management is becoming my middle name (oh, wait… ;)) I have three upper level psychology classes, an old testament class, a human biology class and a world lit class. I’m really excited about the Old Testament and one of the psych classes, the rest will be relatively enjoyable and frustrating. I have more papers and projects this semester than I’ve had yet so…major prayers are appreciated!
I switched rooms the last day before Christmas vacation, a choice that was prayed and cried over for many days. All during break I prayed that I would have the room to myself, but I also prayed that if God didn’t want me to be by myself that he would provide the right roommate for me, either someone who I could be a blessing to or someone who could really bless me. And Jennifer has totally blessed me in so many different ways. She’s from Virginia Beach and she wants to go into counseling as well.
For all of you who were unaware… my birthday was on the 24th! I am now 20… wow… It sounds so cool sometimes, (okay all the time) to say I’m 20 now… For my birthday, my friend decided to surprise me with a party. The day of the surprise party I must have been completely dense because he totally almost gave it away so many times. We went over to his parents house to watch the football game and I had asked if I could just wear really bummy clothing but he said, “no, you want to make a good impression, at least wear jeans and a nice sweater,” of course I got frustrated that he was picking out my wardrobe for a football game, but whatever, I rolled with it, and then when I got in the truck, I smelled frosting, but I rationalized that away as he wanted to make my cake early so he didn’t have to make it the next day (we had picked out the right cake and frosting earlier that day-I’m really picky when it comes to birthday cakes 😉 imagine that.. me being picky!) And then during the game his phone kept ringing, but I just gave him a hard time about it. Then in the 3rd quarter his roommate calls and invites us to go hang out at a friends house, I couldn’t figure out why he was willing to leave the game (his favorite team was playing) to go hang out but again I rolled w/ it… we get to our friend’s house and I’m looking around for the normal vehicles and they aren’t there so I commented on it and he just shrugged it off (I thought we were early) and we walk in and my friends all yell surprise, and I was still confused… it finally clicked that it was a surprise party for me!
I’ve been reading through 1 and 2 Kings for my quiet times these days. It is absolutely amazing, totally touching my heart and teaching me more about my Creator. I’m loving the power God displayed through his prophets. It’s astonishing. My two favorite passages are: when Elijah asked God to hold back the rain for 40 days and then challenged the prophets of baal to a contest to see which God would provide rain. Of course God was the only one who could make it rain, but he did it in a way that displayed his amazing power it awes me every time. And then the other one that impacted me was when Elisha told Naaman to go wash himself in the Jordan River, Naaman complained because it was too easy and disgusting, he wanted an amazing sign from God. It reminded me of how often I ask God to do amazing things through me and ignore the simple little ministry opportunities, that are amazing as well.
Speaking of ministry… I went on a trip last week to a church in Roanoke. I taught a bible study to children two nights in a row. The first night there were three children, the next night eight. The three children who were there the first night memorized their bible verse and came back to say it to me. It’s so amazing to watch children learn scripture! And they all understood what I was saying to them, all that I was teaching them. It was so encouraging.
We are on the beginning days of spiritual emphasis week here on campus… I’m really excited about the speaker they have brought in… so I’m going to go do some homework and eat dinner so I can go listen to him and learn.
I love you all, thank you for your prayers. As always, please ask questions!! I love getting mail of any kind 😉
Nicole Elise

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