Edinboro alumna releases book

Category:  The Arts
Wednesday, April 24th, 2019 at 10:28 PM

On April 27, Edinboro University alumna Nicole Drayer will be releasing her first book, “Peace by Piece: Surrendering All That Is Beautifully Broken.” The book focuses on Drayer’s relationship with God and her journey as a mother, wife and Christian.

Drayer is from Natrona, Pennsylvania — a small town in the eastern Pittsburgh suburbs. Drayer, who graduated from ‘Boro in December of 1996 with a degree in education, found a home at Edinboro while in school, as it was “perfect” for her for several different reasons.

“Edinboro was the perfect university for me because of its amazing education program, while not being too far away from home. Also, I liked [the] fact that it was smaller. I didn’t want to be on a larger campus and feel overwhelmed,” Drayer said.  

After graduating from Edinboro, Drayer married Edinboro alumnus Greg Drayer. She spent several years working with her husband in their youth ministry. Drayer also worked as a leading support teacher for Shaler Area Middle School and then as a Title I reading and language arts teacher at Springfield Elementary School.

In 2003, Drayer retired from teaching to take on a new job as a stay-at-home mom. She is now a mother of three. While raising her children, she was able to receive her master’s degree in reading by taking Edinboro’s online classes.
She is currently getting back into teaching as a substitute teacher for the Plum Borough School District, where her children attend.

Drayer identifies as a Christian. She has been a devoted Christian since she was a child. However, her relationship with God has not always been sturdy. Growing up, Drayer explained that she didn’t understand the “great love” God had for her, which in turn affected her personal relationship with God.

This relationship with God changed once she started at EU. During her first two years at Edinboro, Drayer struggled with anxiety, depression and extreme home sickness. Despite her love for both her professors and classes, she still struggled, which led her to consider dropping out.

“I was making very poor choices which led to my own demise. It was then that I met Jesus for the first time. I was 19 years old,” Drayer said. “As I knelt down by my bed, I cried out a prayer of surrender and deep need for Jesus to forgive my sins and fill my life.”

Drayer received further help from one of her special education professors, Dr. Ruth Nash-Thompson. With help from Nash-Thompson and her faith, Drayer felt the confidence needed to finish school. After becoming more serious in her faith, Drayer began attending the University Christian

Fellowship on campus. There she made friends and eventually began to attend a church near campus; it was there she met her husband.

Drayer decided to tell her story 15 years ago after, as she explained, God told the new mom to share her tale.

“I knew I was to share my story when I was 29 years old and had my son, Caleb,” Dryer said. “One night, I was rocking my baby boy to sleep, and

God nudged my head for the first time to write. He gave me specific words that I tucked away from some time.”
It wasn’t until about two years ago that Drayer was absolutely convinced to share her story. “I was fervently seeking the Lord through Bible study, discipleship and prayer, and God spoke loud and clear, ‘Now Nicole.’ It was then, I knew,” Drayer explained.

Very few people in Drayer’s family have read part of the book — her husband, her parents and a select group of friends — but, they’ve been very supportive. However, Drayer is not ready to share it with her children. “There is much I need to discuss with them first. My two oldest teenagers will be ready soon,” Drayer said.

Despite the fact that writing the book was “the most difficult thing” Drayer has done, she realized that she “cannot escape this call or run from God.”

Now that the release date is just days away, there are several things Drayer hopes people get from her book. For Christians, Drayer hopes that her book will influence their relationship with God in a positive way. For non-Christians, Drayer’s prayer is that they find God and find a relationship with him. For college students, Drayer would like them to understand that they are not alone. But overall, she hopes that all her readers are inspired.

“My prayer has always been that my reader would be encouraged and find hope where is has been lost,” Drayer said. “I hope that readers would find some common ground and see themselves in my story and be inspired.”

Anisa Venner-Johnston | edinboro.spectator@gmail.com

Tags: alumn, eu alumni

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