In June I went on a retreat at a beachfront Hotel. It was for work and we spent our days in planning meetings. The last morning of the retreat I woke up early and read my bible on my iPad before heading out to walk on the beach for some exercise and to pray for my friends (some of you will remember getting those texts: this is where I'm praying for you today).
What haven't shared yet is that while I was on this retreat my iPad stolen.
When I got home that night and unpacked my car, I realized I didn't have anymore. I immediately called the hotel and let them know. Later I was able to ping it to the location the thief had taken it (and possibly lived) with the Find My Phone app. The police went to the home and tried to recover it but weren't able too. I spent 2 weeks anxiously waiting for another ping but of course none ever came.
In the 5 weeks that followed I continued to pray and tell The Lord that I wanted it back but I wasn't unwillingly to learn a hard lesson if he was trying to teach me. See, the beauty of growing in my relationship with The Lord is that is has greatly impacted my reactions to things I would had formerly lost my religion over. I will speak for myself and not my amazing closest guy friend who called I. My behalf a few times when I say The Lord allowed me to be gracious and kind through the whole ordeal (and believe me when I tell you it was an ordeal).
I waited on the Lord's timing. Three weeks went by with no contact. Finally I felt the Lord prompt me to write one last email. I woke up early and wrote the email before work. By that afternoon my new iPad was ordered.
So I've been asking myself this week as I celebrate the Lords provision for something I wanted but certainly didn't need and his favor in a frustrating circumstance, what was he teaching me? I continue to believe this year is about learning to count all circumstances as joy. This has been incredibly challenging for me at different points along the way. But I believe that the Lord gives and it's within right to take away. I believe that he is sovereign and good times and frustrating. And most of all I believe that he continues to remind me that I don't get to lose my joy when I am mad, sad, frustrated, or fed up.
Also I think that it's interesting I spent the month I was focused on simplifying and eliminating excess for my house and my life being without my most used electronic. Maybe The Lord needed me t be without during this month of July so he could have my attention, fully, and so that he could be heard.
It is an incredible blessing to have one again, especially as I write this blog on it, from home. And I have so desperately missed being able to FaceTime with my niece from here (I've already done that twice this week).
Do I hope I go the rest of my life without being stolen from again? Yes. It probably goes without saying how violating it feels to have something taken from a locked hotel room. And certainly having your information, photos, etc be taken from a stranger is alarming. But thankfully I was able to erase things remotely and none of my personal information seems to have been effected. It has been an annoyance but graciously, only that.
I am working at not allowing anything to distract me from living simple and being ambitious about the right things as Bob Goff says. And I continue to work at seeing every challenge or bump in the road as an opportunity to choose to be joyful. Can I just add that sounds so easy but as a lifestyle choice is rockier.
Ok.ok on a serious note y'all: getting your stuff stolen stinks and I may have prayed that the thief would feel sick everyday until they return it to the hotel. Yah, so there's that.