"Every experience God gives us, every person He puts in our lives is the perfect preparation for the future that only He can see."
(Corrie, age 6, had seen a dead baby when visiting the bereaved mother.)
But that night as he [Father] stepped through the door I burst into tears, "I need you!" I sobbed. "You can't die! You can't!"
...Father sat down on the edge of the narrow bed. "Corrie," he began gently, "when you and I go to Amsterdam - when do I give you your ticket?"
I sniffed a few times, considering this,"Why, just before we get on the train."
"Exactly. And our wise Father in heaven knows when we're going to need things, too. Don't run out ahead of Him, Corrie. When the time comes that some of us will have to die, you will look into your heart and find the strength you need - just in time."
-excerpt from Chapter 2
(Upon telling her Aunt Jans that tests indicate her diabetes would take her life within a few weeks)
"My dear sister-in-law," Father began gently, "there is a joyous journey which each of God's children sooner or later sets out on. And, Jans, some must go to their Father empty- handed, but you will run to Him with hands full!"
"All your clubs...," Tante Anna ventured.
"Your writings...," Mama added.
"The funds you've raised...," said Betsie.
"Your talks...," I began.
But our well-meant words were useless. In front of us the proud face crumpled; Tante Jans put her hands over her eyes and began to cry. "Empty, empty!" she choked at last through her tears. "How can we bring anything to God? What does He care for our little tricks and trinkets?"
And then as we listened in disbelief, she lowered her hands and with tears still coursing down her face whispered, "Dear Jesus, I thank You that we must come with empty hands. I thank You that You have done all - all - on the Cross, and that all we need in life or death is to be sure of this."
...It was Father's train ticket, given at the moment itself.
- excerpt from Chapter 3
One night, I tossed for an hour while dogfights raged overhead, streaking my patch of sky with fire. At last I heard Betsie stirring in the kitchen and ran down to join her.
She was making tea, She brought it into the dining room where we had covered the windows with heavy black paper and set out the best cups. Somewhere in the night there was an explosion; the dishes in the cupboard rattled. For an hour we sipped our tea and talked, until the sound of planes died away and the sky was silent. I said goodnight to Betsie at the door to Tante Jans's rooms and groped my way up the dark stairs to my own. The fiery light was gone from the sky. I felt for my bed: there was the pillow. Then in the darkness my hand closed over something hard. Sharp too! I felt blood trickle along a finger.
It was a jagged piece of metal, ten inches long.
I raced down the stairs with the shrapnel shard in my hand. We went back to the dining room and stared at it in the light while Betsie bandaged my hand. "On your pillow," she kept saying.
"Betsie, if I hadn't heard you in the kitchen--"
But Betsie put a finger on my mouth. "Don't say it Corrie! There are no 'if's' in God's world. And no places that are safer than other places. The center of His will is our only safety - O Corrie, let us pray that we may always know it!"
- excerpt from Chapter 5
May our eyes be open and our hearts soft as God prepares us for whatever He may have planned for our futures. He knows exactly where each individual is and where we are going. I am so thankful.