I can’t believe it’s April and spring has arrived. This month is a favorite of mine with the daffodils and pink blossoms budding, signifying growth and newness after the long winter months.

This month also awakens memories as I remember my daughter Karina who passed away twelve years ago on April 26th. Karina longed for spring during her last long winter months with us and commented several times that it was her favorite season. So as spring settles in, I am reminded of her and many of the treasured memories I hold dearly begin to bud and come to life.

Picture of Karina and I taken the spring of 2009

Karina loved books. As a baby she was fascinated with them and, as she grew, would spend hours reading books of any kind. She loved the library; I would often catch her literally with her nose in a book — she loved the smell of the pages. She often accompanied me to the grocery store with book in hand to follow me aimlessly up and down the aisles lost in reading her next adventure. If we ever needed to discipline Karina, just one word about taking away a book brought immediate devastation. She loved her books and, as a result, Karina was filled with a wealth of wisdom beyond her years.

Shortly after Karina passed away, I reluctantly entered her bedroom unsure of what I might find and what emotions I might ignite. But to my surprise I discovered some healing moments as I was lured over to her library of books on the shelf. There is a lot to learn about a person from their books. I became immersed in reading every title and touched the very books she had carefully placed. I imagined her slender fingers touching each page and I felt a closeness to her. A pretty, peach book cover caught my eye. It was titled Reflections of God’s Glory, The Life of Corrie ten Boom. I wondered where she got this book as I had never remembered hearing about it. I sat down and began to read.

Karina’s bookshelf

The inspiring book I found on Karina’s shelf

The words on the page filled me with wonder and inspiration as I devoured the book. This little book holds Corrie ten Boom’s first broadcast messages from the Trans World Radio program that began in 1960 in the Netherlands. She was known as a top radio personality of her time.

I thought: How perfect — “an anchorwoman” sharing the Good News of Jesus!

Her story is an inspiring one of faith and forgiveness in the face of the horrendous Nazi holocaust. The short messages she shares in the book are of her deep wisdom that came through her difficult life experiences and how her faith in Jesus held her strong. She shares nuggets of truth of the evidence of God at work no matter what we go through. I learned some interesting facts about this godly woman and can see why my daughter Karina was touched by her incredible life story.

1. Corrie ten Boom was born in Harlem, Netherlands on April 15th, 1892 and was the daughter of a watchmaker. She eventually became the first female licensed watchmaker in Holland.

2. She was born into a devout Christian family who dedicated much of their efforts toward helping and hiding Jews from Nazi persecution during the German occupation of the Netherlands in World War II.

3. Their family was caught and imprisoned for hiding the Jews. Corrie and her sister were sent to Ravensbruck, a concentration camp, when Corrie was 53 years old.

4.Corrie and her sister Betsie were able to stay together and held worship services in their barracks with other women, using a Bible they had managed to sneak into the camp — an incredible story of God’s protection and faithfulness. They brought hope and encouragement to so many women.

5. Betsie died just 12 days before Corrie was miraculously released from prison due to a “clerical error”. Just days before Betsie died, she said these words to Corrie that were so profound: “There is no pit so deep that He is not deeper still. They will listen to us Corrie, because we have been here.” A week after Corrie’s release, all the female prisoners from her age group were killed.

6. Corrie was determined to share the good news of her faith in Jesus she and her sister had experienced for real, and they had an impactful ministry of love and forgiveness. One of her quotes read, “I knew that even in darkness, God’s truth shines clearly.”

7. One of her books was made into a movie called “The Hiding Place” and is a story that has touched the entire world.

8. Corrie passed away on her birthday in 1983.

Corrie ten Boom’s story is amazing and brought tears to my eyes as I read. Her life story and the suffering she faced is a testimony to God’s faithfulness and strength. I imagined Karina holding fast to these accounts of Corrie’s life bringing her hope and inspiration for what she had to endure with cancer. As I ponder those last days with Karina in the hospital, I remember how I envisioned wanting to share with everyone the good news about Jesus and how he had been with us in the darkest hour.

I imagined Karina and I would share the faithfulness of the Lord together in person. But God had a different plan, and I am convinced that He uses all we walk through in this world for greater purposes and good, more than we could possibly ever dream or imagine.

Corrie ten boom said it perfectly:

“We have nothing to fear because Jesus is Victor, and He will never let us down. With Jesus, even in our darkest moments, the best remains. And the very best is yet to be.”

“You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7)

With hope and light,