Corrie could have chosen anger. That would have been only natural. She could have shut God out and had no more use for what He offered. But instead, after her miraculous release from Ravensbruck, Corrie gave herself to God’s purposes and criss-crossed the globe for the next 38 years talking about God’s love and forgiveness.

In the front of my Bible, I have written several lessons I’ve learned from Corrie’s life. In her words:

  • Pray that the Father keeps you so close to His heart that you see things more and more from His perspective. “The higher view we have of His sovereignty, the greater will be the possibility to live in His victory.” Our times are in His hands.
     
  • Do not allow self-pity, one of the most destructive sins, in your life.  “God allows hard things—let them have their effect.”  Surrender your “If-onlys” to God.
     
  • God’s ways are mysterious. We will not understand why God allows everything all the time.  Corrie remembers that her sister Betsie’s dying words were ‘...On the blueprint of our lives, God wrote Ravensbruck.’ A mystery.
     
  • Seek your strength from prayer, not people. Be open, trustworthy, and keep short accounts with God’s people but live in conversation with the Father.

3. Henrietta Mears, a woman who learned how to expect great things from God. 

You may not recognize her name, but Henrietta Mears was a Christian giant in the 1930-50’s. Her life revolved around raising up godly men and women for ministry through her college class at Presbyterian Church of Hollywood—mentoring over four hundred ministry leaders over the forty years there (including evangelist Billy Graham and Campus Crusade for Christ (Cru) founder, Bill Bright). Her vision also included reaching those in the movie industry for Christ.

Those who knew Henrietta said this wonderful single woman depended upon God for everything. “She expects everything from God. She thanks Him for the answer even before her prayer is ended; and her confidence in God is contagious!”

Henrietta challenged, “We need men and women who will put God first. I would that we had young people driven along by a mighty vision of what God could do if only He possessed them. I believe you can do things that will stagger this generation, but all this will pass. We must have men and women to deal with things not of time, but of eternity. This is God’s call. Time is short. Eternity is long. Don’t waste your life.”

The list of lessons is long that we can learn from godly women who lived amazing, faithful, full lives. Their models stir us to faith—that we too can live expectantly on God’s good plans for our lives. God’s got your timetable in mind and any time spent being unhappy is just wasted.

But what’s not wasted is this time when it’s just you and God. At least as important as what we wait for is the work that He wants to do in us as we wait.

Of course do everything you can to be attractive and interesting to godly men, but, as one wise woman said, “your heart should be so hidden in God that a man has to seek Him to find you.”

So, as much as you want to plan your life, it has a way of surprising you with unexpected things that will make you happier than you originally planned. That’s when you know that not only are God’s ways better than your fears, they’re better than your hopes—better than the very best we had dared to dream about in our imagination’s scrapbooks.  

One final thought from Henrietta Mears. When asked if there was anything she would have done differently had she her life to live over, she said without hesitation, “I would trust God more.”

Barb Peil has realized recently how rich and fruitful it is to be a woman after God’s heart—single or married, young or mature, fulfilled or struggling in any other area of life—doesn’t matter. It all comes down to ‘my heart for God.’ You can read her blog at Letters2Myself.com—a website for all women to seek and share wisdom at every stage of life.

Publication date: June 18, 2013