On June 12, 1942, Anne Frank, the young German girl who recorded her deepest inner feelings while in hiding during World War II, wrote to her diary, “I hope I will be able to confide everything to you, as I never have been able to confide in anyone, and I hope you will be a great source of comfort and support.”

It was on her 13th birthday in 1942, that Anne Frank received the now-famous diary gift from her parents that was to become her best friend during her family’s exile. Shortly after Adolph Hitler’s movement in Germany, her father, Otto Frank, had transferred the family to Amsterdam, Holland.

Seven years later, the Nazis invaded the Netherlands and Frank converted the annex of his company into a hiding place. He eventually was forced to move his loved ones to a “secret annex.” It was there that Anne confidentially penned what was to eventually become the book, “The Diary of Anne Frank,” which was published in 1986.

Finally, in 1944, through betrayal of a Dutch collaborator, the family was arrested and Anne and her sister ended up in German concentration camp where they both died.

Following the arrest, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl, company secretaries, discovered Anne’s journaling and eventually handed it over to her father.

“It took a very long time to read it and I was very surprised about the depth of the thoughts Anne had, her seriousness, especially her self-criticism,” recorded the elder Frank. “It was quite a different girl than I had known as my daughter. She never showed these kind of inner feelings.”

For many, Anne Frank’s legacy has become an inspiration to journaling inner-most feelings. Many have found it to be an effective way, not only to record dates and events, but feelings and reactions at a certain time in life. Others find it to be a way to become introspective, to reflect on the “person in the diary,” and learn more about one’s self.

This can especially be true of those trapped in the disheartening world of abuse. Others, going through difficult times of loneliness, or various types of heartache, have found equal value. This can apply to caretakers, those with terminal illness, or those caring for disabled individuals.

Many who are victims of abuse feel that they have no one to confide in. Their abuser has threatened them to not let the “secret” out. They have been mentally abused until they are misled to believe that no one wants to listen to them. They feel that their thoughts are worthless, and by only relying on the abuser can they “make it.”

In a real sense, there is a parallel between Anne Frank, trapped in the annex during times of Nazi invasion and the abused and hurting, trapped in a world of fear, during times of oppression such as mental and physical abuse. In the midst of it all, Anne hardly recognized herself at times.

On July 15, 1944, she wrote, “In everything I do I can watch myself as if I were a stranger. I can stand across from the everyday Anne, and without being biased or making excuses, watch what she’s doing both good and bad.”

The value of journaling feelings, especially during times of difficulty, can’t be overestimated, not only in terms of personal reflection, but in getting in touch with self. It is often a way of hope to reach out to a world that may someday very well be interested in what is being written. Family members, friends, and, in some cases, an “unknown audience,” can be touched by feelings recorded in the privacy of such times.

Eventually sharing such feelings can be of tremendous encouragement to others seeking to find fulfillment in life.

It’s possible that the results of that writing may or may not be seen immediately, or in our lifetime. But God, who sees every sparrow fall, keeps track of those writings, and can spotlight them as He sees fit in His timing.

On May 11, 1944, Anne wrote, “And now something else. You’ve known for a long time that my greatest wish is to be a journalist, and later on a great writer. In any case, after the war I’d like to publish a book called, ‘The Secret Annex.’ It remains to be seen whether I’ll succeed, but my diary can serve as a basis.”

In 1986, 42 years later, those words became a reality with the publishing of all of those works in the book, “The Diary of Anne Frank.”