“You got something in the mail,” my brother yelled as he passed through my bedroom and tossed something on the kitchen counter.
I opened a bleary eye and checked the time. 8:04 am. “All right.” I didn’t move.
I knew it was killing him. It didn’t matter who the package was for. He had to know what was inside.
“It’s just a book I sent as a gift. I think it got returned,” I grumbled.
“No, it’s too big. Get UP!”
I hadn’t gone to sleep until 3 am but I knew he wouldn’t leave me alone until I opened it. I got out of bed and looked at the package. He was right! This was not a returned book. What could someone be sending me? It was from my friend, Diana and she sent it via UPS. And it came on the last day of the year. How lucky could I be?
When I opened it up, I saw an elegant spiral-bound notebook. Colorful enough to see right away and strong enough to survive the falls it might receive. Ideal for someone with low vision! I’d use it to record my book sales and any others from my future speaking engagements.
What good luck! I was always losing papers and misplacing files. God was providing a special notebook just for this purpose! This way, all my sales would be together. At least to start out with.
I headed back to bed and snuggled under the covers again, smiling.
Wait a minute! This is the last day of the year! I’d better get up.
I lifted the envelope, prepared to toss it when I saw an identical envelope underneath … and something else. Something white in a large ziplock baggie.
Curiosity made me reach for the clear bag first. I unzipped it and when I looked more closely, found the manuscript for Mobility Matters–the one I’d given to the senior pastor of my sister’s church to review six months earlier. On top of the first typed paper lay a small sealed envelope. I opened it up and slipped out a card. After I read his message, I covered my mouth with both hands. I’d never heard back from Pastor Ed and had forgotten all about the request I’d made that hot summer day. I couldn’t believe that he made sure I had it back by the last day of the year.
I ran downstairs. “Mom! Mom! Look! Read this. It’s from Carolyn’s pastor. Remember that day I gave him my manuscript? Here’s his review!”
I clasped my hands to my chest. “Mom! He took the time to read it and isn’t it wonderful?”
It was surely good luck! God was reassuring me that He had His plans. I just knew it. I was really called to write my story. “Yes! Yes! Yes!”
My heart did a quick rat-a-tat-tat as I danced back up to my room.
Nothing had changed. I was selling my books before. And I would sell more.
But this … this note … wow!
A confirmation, especially symbolic because of its timing! God’s perfect timing!
All my life I’d been writing. This year my coach pushed me to set the goal of a book.
And look what God did! On the very last day of the same year, if I had any questions remaining as to my calling, He clearly showed me that my book wasn’t simply a random collection of words bound together. They contained words He would use to draw someone to Him. To comfort. Yes, something wonderful would be gained through my vision loss. And the pastor’s note was proof!
Oh! I still had another package to open! I pulled the tab of the envelope and ripped it lengthwise down the envelope. Seeing the decorative box, I wrinkled my nose. It, too, was from Diana.
As I gently lifted the ornate knife out of the box, I felt the weight of it and lightly touched the blade.
Diana and I had talked about this knife some time ago but I couldn’t remember what we’d said. And now she’d sent it to me. Why? Maybe … she wanted … why?
Only one way to find out. I called Diana to ask her.
“Amy, that’s your knife, or sword, or whatever. You sent it to me to store when you were in Japan, I think, and I’ve had it all these years.”
It was mine? From Japan? That would have been about twenty-five years ago. Did I buy it at the gift shop on the naval base where I worked? I frowned. Would I have bought it for one of my brothers?
“I think it’s from my Taiwan days. The yellow embroidered knot looks Chinese.”
“Oh, well, I keep moving it around. I wanted to give it back.” Her voice said: to get it out of my house.
I picked it up again, wondering what drew me to it all those years ago. Maybe I did buy it in Japan. Maybe it was a replica of a Samurai sword. I tried to remember but nothing came to me. It must have been important for me to send it to Diana for safekeeping all those years ago.
When I set it down, it came to me that objects we place so much value on at one time in our lives, are just things. A scripture from Matthew, chapter 6 came to mind. “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth … But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
I realized that I had grown to know the Lord more since I’d bought that fancy knife. Perhaps God was using that once-valued memento to reinforce an important lesson in my life.
Now that I was more mature in my faith, God wanted me to polish my words to reflect His glory, and to put away the empty shine on a piece of metal that would tarnish and rust.
I’d read those scriptures umpteen times before but today on the last day of the year, I understood the passage differently. The Holy Spirit showed me that my God should be my unparalleled treasure, in order for me to align myself more deeply to His will.
To serve Him in whatever capacity with my talents.
I am excited by what God is showing and giving me – a notebook, a confirmation and a lesson. He wants me to be serious about my calling as I set my goals in 2015. I’ve been praying about His will.
God always chooses pivotal moments in time to answer my prayers in a way that meets my needs, provides reassurance and direction.
When you need reassurance that you’re on the right track, how has God (or another individual) or even a situation confirmed that you are focused on the right thing? Can’t wait to read hear back from you!