There’s an interesting book out by a lady named Etty Hillesum. Etty was a Jewish person living in Holland during World War II. She would eventually die in Auschwitz on November 30, 1943. The book contains her diaries and letters that she wrote in the years and months just prior to her death. If you are thinking of reading this book, be aware that Etty describes her love life in quite a bit of detail. She even has an abortion at one point. Nevertheless, she had a beautiful relationship with God and depth of inner piece that few of us ever experience.
One quote that I like in particular is the following one, written a year or so before she received her orders to go to a concentration camp. Some of her friends have left already for camps, and food and travel are heavily restricted at this point:
But sometimes I feel as though a layer of ashes was being sprinkled over my heart, as if my face were withering and decaying before my eyes, and as if everything were falling apart in front of me and my heart were letting everything go. But these are brief moments; then everything falls back into place, my head clears again, and I can once more bear and stand up to this piece of history that is ours. For once you begin to walk with God, you need only keep on walking with Him and all of life becomes one long stroll – such a marvelous feeling.
learning to pray: No matter what your circumstances, no matter what you have done, the peace of God is available to you right now. Simply "begin to walk with God" and "keep on walking with Him."
"Etty Hellisum: An Interrupted Life and Letters From Westerbrook"