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“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.

“Open it!”

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!”

The two padded UPS envelopes that awaited me.
The two UPS envelopes that awaited me.

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?”

A handwritten review of my book by a pastor.
A handwritten review of my book by a pastor.

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.

My 20-year-old sheathed sword from Taiwan
My 20-year-old sheathed sword from Taiwan

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!

***

If you’d like to read more of Amy’s writing, check out her memoir, Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith found on Createspace, Amazon and Amy’s website

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Amy

Vision-impaired Author. Christian and Inspirational Speaker. Get a copy of her latest book Mobility Matters: Stepping Out in Faith on Amazon(Regular and Kindle)Createspace (Large Print) and signed copies from my website.

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End-of-Year Surprises!

26 thoughts on “End-of-Year Surprises!

  • January 1, 2015 at 3:07 pm
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    Hi Amy,

    What a wonderful way to end the year! And isn’t it comforting to get confirmation that you are in God’s will? These gifts were like two exclamation points to end your wonderful year. And the verse you shared “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 believe when your book touches a reader’s heart for God you are storing up for yourself treasures in heaven.

  • January 1, 2015 at 3:52 pm
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    This is such an awesome and inspiring story. It’s amazing how God moves in our lives and shows us what He wants for us. His wants us to have everything He has promised us. Wishing you a blessed 2015!!

  • January 1, 2015 at 7:56 pm
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    Amy, such wonderful gifts you received: not only the note, notebook, and sword, but also the lesson. Way to go and again congrats to you on such a big achievement. May 2015 be your best year yet! 🙂 <3
    elly stornebrink recently posted…2015: Here I Come!My Profile

  • January 1, 2015 at 8:26 pm
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    Hi Matt,
    I liked what you said about the two gifts being like exclamation points. Remember I told you that I was praying about it so it is comforting to have that happen! Thank you also for your wisdom and for keeping me pointed toward Him.
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 8:27 pm
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    Hello Kandas. Welcome to my blog.
    Yes! That’s only happened so clearly a couple of times in my life! (That I can pinpoint anyway).
    Thank you, Kandas, for taking time to read my thoughts today. Please come again and see what adventures are around the corner.
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 8:57 pm
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    Hi Cheryl,
    Happy New Year to you, too!
    Thank you! I’m so glad it blessed you. Dr. Charles Stanley (www.intouch.org) always says God makes His will plain to us if we listen. It’s not a secret. I used to think maybe if you’re very “holy” that might happen, but then I learned that He speaks to all of us on a level each can understand. Thank you for your thoughtful response. Please come
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 9:17 pm
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    Julie,
    Thank you for your enthusiasm! I think whenever God speaks to us directly it’s awe-inspiring and it makes me tingle, too.
    It is often through my writing that God reveals these messages to me.
    Such a pleasure to have you visit my blog from the UBC. Come back again!
    Happy January!
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 9:22 pm
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    Hi Jacqui,
    I know! The handwritten note was just arriving with the other things was such a surprise! I imagined the pastor tiptoeing onto my porch seeing the packages and putting it under the bottom one, smiling to himself and leaving without even ringing my doorbell! It probably didn’t happen that way at all. But I just love it, however it happened! I told my brother-in-law this morning and he said, “That’s just like Pastor Ed!’
    I’m going to have to hop over to your blog today. I need to find out more about what kind of a planner I am!
    Thanks,
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 9:28 pm
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    Hi Elly,
    Happy New Year! Yes, a few years back I read that giving (and thereby, receiving) gifts is my love language according to the 5 Love Languages. You’re right! What a great lesson, huh? Thank you so much for your support and good wishes. Waiting to hear more about your children’s choir this year! 🙂 If you want to know more about my memoir, this is the link: http://www.amazon.com/Mobility-Matters-Stepping-Out-Faith/dp/1501036130/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1420147610&sr=1-1&keywords=mobility+matters It’s available in Canada!
    Amy

  • January 1, 2015 at 9:54 pm
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    Hi Joan,
    Thanks so much! Happy New Year to you!
    Look forward to reading more about blogging from you this year!
    Amy

  • January 3, 2015 at 3:06 am
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    Dear Amy,

    My wonderful friend just forwarded this post to me. After reading it, I see why. I also recieved a comfirmation from God on the FIRST day of this year. I asked my friend what I should do. She answered me with a question in return: “What do you hear the Lord speaking to you.” I only had to think for a split second, and I had my answer. Though it is not comfortable, it is God’s will and therefore I know it is safe, and He will provide the strength I need. That began to lift my depression. I ended 2014 in horrible physical and emotional pain, losing a week of work – but God provided rest, restoration, and now clarity in His calling for my life in the coming year. He needed to take me out of life to help me see.

    How wonderful that He did such a special thing for you – and I’m so happy for your confirmation to write a book! I too feel called to write a book about hope. Perhaps I need to get serious about it! I’m inspired by you!!

    God bless you.
    Amy

  • January 3, 2015 at 3:52 am
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    Hi Amy,
    So great to hear that you received a confirmation on the first day of the new year!
    I think the “not comfortable,” is how God always pushes us to do something that is going to enrich us. We know that we cannot do it in our own strength. I’m glad that it lifted your depression and that He has restored you. Clarity is a wonderful thing! Stop by to share more of it when you are comfortable. I’m excited for you, too!!
    Hope is powerful and it is so needed in our world!
    Amy

  • January 3, 2015 at 7:58 pm
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    I sure will, Amy – thank you for this encouragement!

  • January 3, 2015 at 10:46 pm
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    Isn’t amazing how an object, such as your misplaced sword, brings different pictures into view. And then, there’s the application of what has been revealed by the Holy Spirit:
    “Form the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of the joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12 AMP).
    Mel Thompson recently posted…In the New Year, Ring Those Bells and Don’t Forget the Pomegranates!My Profile

  • January 4, 2015 at 5:58 am
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    Oh, my pleasure, Suzanne! I was blessed by your words and story. Great to see proof that God is filling His children with His desires!
    Looking forward to getting to know you better!
    Amy

  • January 4, 2015 at 6:03 am
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    Mel,
    You are right on target! It is so awesome that God used something from my long-ago past to communicate a message to me!
    It’s so nice to read your comments. The scriptures really encourage me!
    Amy

  • January 6, 2015 at 2:41 pm
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    Wow that is totally awesome. What a nice surprise to end the year with. Keep up the great writing. So when are you gonna get the book published? Remember God’s Word is a Sword, we must make sure its ready for battle by study all the time.
    Steve Patterson recently posted…Karma Is UnBiblicalMy Profile

  • January 6, 2015 at 9:44 pm
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    Hi Steve,
    Yes! I’m working on the book. I have one out and am working on a second one. Please come back and follow my progress!
    Thank you for the wonderful reminder about God’s word being a sword, and it being ready for battle by studying all the time.
    Amy

  • January 8, 2015 at 12:35 am
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    Love your story! I was as curious to know what was in the packages as your brother! haha! and I especially like the ‘package’ you gave me at the end… a reminder that Jesus Himself is the only treasure that continues to increase in value! Thanks Amy!
    Karen recently posted…Through The Front DoorMy Profile

  • January 8, 2015 at 3:51 am
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    LOL. That’s funny. I love how you put that so succinctly! Very true, Karen!
    Thanks for reading my story today.
    Amy

  • January 17, 2015 at 3:38 pm
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    Hi Amy, I really enjoyed reading the post. I especially like the sword reference Steve made. I was thinking the same thing. How great to get such a confirmation. Keep up the good work!

  • January 18, 2015 at 12:06 am
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    So glad you liked it! Thank you for your encouragement, Kim.
    Amy

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