A couple years have passed since my dear friend Lorena passed away from cancer. Recently I connected with her next door neighbor, Debbie on FaceBook. She added me to a list to receive emails for various hikes led by her husband. Each month I received an invitation to join their scheduled hike but always seemed to have a prior activity planned on that particular Saturday morning. There was a beautiful hike scheduled for late January located in the Hollywood Hills area. My husband had a bike ride that day so I decided to embark on a journey of my own and discover some of the hidden staircases with a new group of hikers. When I arrived to the designated parking lot, I introduced myself to Debbie and her husband. We started our uphill walk through this historic Hollywood neighborhood and soon reached a lookout point. As we were catching our breath and admiring the spectacular view, I was prompted in my spirit to engage in conversation with a certain woman in our group.
When Rosalee and I started talking, it felt so familiar to us both. We connected on so many levels that it was as if I’d known her for years! Once the hike was over, we stood in that parking lot for another hour sharing personal stories and marveling over our newfound friendship. She invited me to visit her church the following day and I accepted her kind invitation. We then met for coffee at my favorite cafe after the wonderful service and expressed our gratitude to God for bringing us together! Since Rosalee and her family recently moved here from New York, I am introducing her to other hiking spots, restaurants, and new friends. We will be celebrating her birthday next month and many more years to come.
I can think of many desirable ways to start the new year including resolutions, parties, church, and celebrations. Instead I found myself meeting my husband at the auto repair shop because his car was in need of a rebuilt transmission. It was no surprise to me when he called to say the car had died less than a mile away and was waiting for the tow truck. So I chatted with the owner in the comfy waiting area and he kindly offered me an espresso. As I sat sipping my coffee, I tried to maintain a positive attitude about the situation. I had so much to be thankful for in my life and was not going to allow this untimely expense to ruffle my expectations for 2014.
Only a few moments passed before a friend of the owner walked through the door. They spoke to each other in Farsi, their native language. He settled into a chair across the table from me and started up a conversation. When I mentioned I was an author, he handed me his business card. It turned out that he owns a local printing business. I grabbed one of my books to show him the quality and inquire if he could produce a comparable product. I told him my dear friend, Leila had grown up in Tehran and her family’s incredible story was written in my book. I mentioned that her uncle had a prestigious position in the military when the Shah’s government was overthrown. I opened to that particular chapter and he read aloud her uncle’s name and exclaimed, “I am a good friend of his daughter.” Without hesitation, he dialed her number and spoke with her for a few minutes. After the call, he asked if he could buy the book for his friend, who is also Leila’s cousin.
It is a small world when God is present in our lives and creates purposeful and divine appointments. Have a blessed and incredible new year.
An amazing chain of events occurred this Christmas Eve afternoon. I know without a doubt that God orchestrated the entire production. It began with a driver hitting the rear end of my husband’s car while he made his turn into the driveway at home. I arrived an hour later to survey the damage and ran to our neighbor to thank her for phoning the police after the accident.
As I was leaving out of the gate from our neighbor’s home, I saw a familiar face! It was Aileen who attended my last church, Time In Destiny! She told me she was walking down our street looking for a building in which a place was available for rent. She had already arranged to meet the manager at the rental but then discovered it was located in the opposite direction. I told Aileen that I would accompany her to look at the property. We located the building only a block from our place and a kind woman walked out in front to meet us. She introduced herself as Gabriele.
Gabriele showed us the unit and it was really full of potential. However, the tenant told us that he didn’t know if he could vacate the place by the end of the month. We walked over to Gabriele’s apartment and through our conversation discovered that she too is a Christian. To our surprise, the church she regularly attends is one that both Aileen and I have been drawn to visit for the past week. Coincidence? I don’t think so! Gabriele even led us in prayer that God would guide Aileen to choose the right place to move. I returned home after two hours and my husband asked where I had disappeared to. I relayed the amazing story to him and am still in awe of how God brought the three of us together.
I received a message from Aileen a short time later saying that she was indeed going to move into Gabriele’s building and the current tenant had agreed to move out by the 31st! I am so excited and look forward to more fellowship with Aileen and Gabriele. Our God is so awesome and gives us all that we need and more! Have a blessed Christmas season and New Year!