In the Fall of 2006, I became e-acquainted with a lady from Singapore. In September, I had been on a long prayer walk in northern Minnesota, and then at a spiritual warfare conference in Grand Forks, North Dakota, just across the state line. She contacted me a few weeks later. She certainly wasn't there and I don't know who told her about me and my focus on spiritual mapping. [I love how the Lord does that for us; a total surprise!]
A year later, in 2007, I edited a spiritual warfare book she had written. Since it was being shared in the U.S. and Canada, and much of it was aimed at Asian thinking and spiritual history, some of it needed adjustment or further explanation.
We e-communicated frequently.
Now, also, in the Summer and Fall of '07, while editing, some heavy extended-family issues crushed my heart. Then, in early November, I had an appendectomy, and, even after a flu shot, I was hit hard twice with flues during the next few weeks. In those months I had become very weak, physically and emotionally -- and believe it was spiritual, too.
I hit one of my hardest depressions in years. I began to wonder if the Lord was disappointed in me -- I knew others were -- and if I should just stay at home, isolated, alone .... forever. [My poor sweet husband having to deal with my sad heart. So sorry for him.]
One day near Christmas, I was walking through my house crying and overwhelmed with sadness...
AND the doorbell rang.
I went and Patti, our USPS lady, handed me a package, a bit torn, and taped by the post office.
It was from Singapore. I thought, "WHAT?"
I opened it up... and cried again... but from joy, instead of depression.
WHY? Gifts were from Serene. One small inner package had lovely chopsticks wrapped in cloth napkins held together with ribbons. And, then, when I took the paper that covered the other piece, it truly was a gift from God. I still laugh ... when struggling in sorrow and depression for weeks and wondering what I should do, how life should change, Serene had already mailed this. It was running late, according to the expected arrival time, which she shared with me later when thanking her. But it arrived exactly when it should have, spiritually speaking.
This was a golden, blue, royalty-colored cloth. It said to me, from the Lord, that I was a royal princess, would continue to be kept in part of His family and that serving Him -- in, out, and about -- was what counted.
I left it on my dining room table for a while so I could never NOT see it every day. Shortly thereafter, I folded it and put it in our curio cabinet. It's been there ever since and I still smile and think of when it arrived and why.
It's another testimony of how the Lord so kindly breaks through the heavy walls of our lives ... and fills us with encouragement.
And today? Filled with appreciation. For Serene... and Him.