I have in my possession three journals that I wrote during 1993-94 while I was studying for 11 months in Israel. It was the most amazing time of my life and a year of growth for me in every way (except physical - I lost 40 lbs).
I recently gave these journals to my niece Natalie to read while she is staying with me.
Here's where it gets weird:
Last week when I was going through some really hard times I had one prayer in my heart. As I was forced to wait through a very stressful situation I prayed that God would make me like Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego as they were in the fiery furnace. It is all I prayed. It is all I could pray at that time.
A couple days ago Natalie came to me and said, I want to show you something you wrote in your journal, almost to this exact date, 17 years ago.
"November 15, 1993
How I've been feeling lately: God is working on me. He has given me a very strong desire to be righteous - holy, I want this more than anything.
He has also been teaching me about Faith. For some reason I really wanted to read Daniel. So I started this morning and am still reading. 2 passages have really stood out to me.
1) Hananiah, Azariah and Mishiel in the fiery furnace. Their faith in God astounds me! I mean the fact that they went to the furnace in the 1st place is amazing enough but it goes beyond that.
I can honestly say that I would die for the Lord if it came down to it. But, in my case, if I were on my way to the furnace, I would just be resigning myself to die. But for H, A, and M it was different, they had complete confidence that God would protect them. There was no doubt in their mind!...
If only I could have that kind of faith! To know God will succeed. If only I keep my eyes on Him and walk according to His will, I can accomplish everything!"
Well, my first thought when Natalie showed me this portion of my OWN 20 year old self's journal I was appalled that I appear to be in the same place I was in 17 years ago. But after a moment I realized it was not that at all.
It was the seed that God planted in 20year old Rebecca 17 years ago in 1993 that took bloom in my life on a heartbreaking night in November 2010.
*ps - my spelling has NOT improved in 17 years.