A little over a week ago, I was on the phone with my internet provider, discussing a problem with my outgoing mail. Per the instructions being given, I was clicking and changing certain codes. After a few moments on the phone, I sent an email to myself, confirming that the problem had been fixed and for one brief moment, it seemed that all was well.
Except that it wasn’t. All of the sudden, my screen went completely blank, and I lost all of my emails. When I say all, I mean all 976 of them. They weren’t anywhere to be found. The person on the other end insisted it was a glitch with my computer, not their instructions ~ although she admitted it was their system that had ok’d the deletion of them. I even took my computer in to the store and they just shook their heads out of pity.
I admit, I was angry, frustrated and upset. Then, I did what I do when I’m overwhelmed but don’t have any control. Yep. I cried. While obviously I needed to clean out my inbox, there were irreplaceable messages I had kept for years, not to mention all of our confirmation emails for upcoming flights and vacation plans. There were emails with links to web info I’d paid for and emails from my blog designer with specific instructions on how to navigate this very site. All gone.
Someone on Facebook reminded me, “Mama said there’d be days like this.” And I thought about how Jesus said the very same thing. And that’s what I was going to blog about last week. The loss of my emails. Because in the moment, it was a big deal.
“These things I have told you, so that in Me, you may have peace. In this world, you will have troubles. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33
But then, I received the following phone message the very next morning.
“Mom died last night.”
It was a text from my foster brother. Mom had been very sick for a very long time. Years. And from the perspective of my foster siblings, who had cared for her through many acute ailments, rushed to her side over the years in the middle of the night, thinking, “this is it,” (yet it wasn’t), her passing was sad but also a blessing.
And can I be honest friends? A lot of times, relationships are hard to figure out. They’re messy and complicated, and aren’t always so easily defined. And when a relationship ends? It’s not always tied up in a pretty box with a nice, neat bow. That’s how I would describe my relationship with my foster mom.
Those of you who know me well, know I don’t share this to bring dishonor to anyone. I share because I’m friends with many of you who struggle day in and day out with people you love dearly, and who are hard to get along with. And many of you have asked me point blank, “how do you forgive?” and “what do you do if you want reconciliation, but the other person doesn’t?”
I’m not going to go into depth about that now. Especially considering that I came home from Michigan tired. And my immune system was overloaded big-time ~ enough to give me pneumonia.
So I am tapping this out from my living room couch, where I’ve spent the last 5 days (except for a couple of visits to the coast to inhale some healing beach air). But I will be talking over the next few weeks of how, despite the reason for my return, it was a good trip back home, and how God met me at every turn through circumstances, conversations and the overwhelming goodness of my family and friends.
Are you new to my blog or just visiting? If you like, you can listen to my testimony, given recently on my friend Jacque Watkins’ Mud Stories Podcast ~ Part 1 and Part 2. Or, you can read parts of my story (which is really God’s story) in the series titled, “The In-Between Years” starting here.
Are you navigating through difficult circumstances right now? Have you received unexpected or devastating news? Don’t lose hope friend. Jesus said there’d be days like this, but He’s also promised that He’ll walk with you. You’re not alone. You are loved deeply by a God who knows your name.
Need more encouragement? You can always find it where I link up, on these two additional blogs: