We learn lessons in interesting places, but I never suspected a blog would be one of them.
Recently I sat down to write, steaming hot cup of tea in hand, warm sunlight coming through the window and thought about giving up.
Not because I wanted to. Not because I had to. But because it started getting too hard.
Let me explain.
My site got hacked, and while it’s fixed and secure now, it was a tedious and draining process. A process I tried to fix on my own and move past quickly. A process I didn’t have time for but had to make time for. A process that was much less about this blog and much more about faith, endurance and reliance on God.
Are you struggling with a problem that feels draining, defeating and never-ending? I get it. Yet unwanted circumstance can be just what we need to strengthen our walk with God, gain courage and push through resistance. How?
First, Keep faith. Then…
Do What You Can Until You Can’t
Two months ago a ‘subscription attack’ occurred here (there’s more on that in this post). In short, it resulted from an unchecked box I missed during a design change, and it was a time-consuming problem, but it was fixable, and I learned a valuable lesson from it.
I don’t like dealing with technical issues, so after it all got straightened out, I felt relieved and ready to move on, finally.
But the next time I sat down to write, the blog was gone.
Yes, it was a blank page. It got corrupted by a hacker!
And When You’re at Can’t… Cry? (But just for a minute)
I no longer knew what to do. This wasn’t an easy fix. The site was kind of gone.
And the advice for how to fix it was way beyond my skill level. Maybe my husband’s too. It looked daunting, confusing. I learned that the malicious coded infiltrating my site was there to “disable or compromise” it. What a disquieting feeling.
Frantically I texted two of my close friends. They were supportive, and one of them asked if I could just start a new site. I stopped for a minute and stared at the floor.
I had a short cry. Like three minutes. I cried for what I potentially lost.
But then I realized something so very important: It’s in God’s hands. This is His work, and whatever happens, I just want to be faithful to Him.
A that moment the tears stopped, the confusion faded and I decided to wait and see what would happen. And what happened was I invested in some professional help, learned some great lessons along the way and now here it is, all cleaned up, safe and secure once more.
And maybe that’s where some stories end.
But if I’m to be honest, mine didn’t end there.
Keep Calm and… TRUST
The feeling of doubt lingered, and the temptation to feel like it was too much work to fight an unseen enemy continued. What if it happens again? What if I ccan’t get back into writing after all this?
The usual schemes of the enemy. No, not a hacker, but the one who works through hackers. The one who works to bring us down in life in general. This battle isn’t between people but the powers of evil that works through people, like Ephesians 6:12 tells us.
I was down, but I was not out. And I have learned gold-nugget lessons from all this. Mainly:
Find support from those who love you and understand the goal. I immediately reached out to friends for prayer. They told me not to give up, to keep going and not to let the enemy discourage me. I held onto that while I looked for help.
Give to God what can’t be understood or fixed. While waiting to find out if the blog could be fixed, I handed it over to the Lord. This was all for Him, and whatever He wanted with it, let it be His will. I trusted that He would use the situation in whatever way He wanted.
Take time to feel. I felt sad, felt discouraged, even felt like maybe there was no point. I gave myself a little time to sit with that and pray on that, but not too much time. The day after securing the site I felt tired, drained and not at all like writing. The day after that I had some ideas again but felt tempted by doubt. It was the third day when something stirred inside my heart; it was time to go at it again.
Am I being faithful Lord? This was the question that changed it all. The morning before the hack I was at bible study. We learned how Paul, in his letters, didn’t mention how many churches he planted or how many people got saved under his ministry. He measured his success by asking one question: Have I been faithful?
I asked myself that question, and immediately there was peace. If GoingByFaith disappeared forever, I had been faithful. And in that I could trust that God used it how He wanted in His time and purpose.
And here we are. I am writing this; you are reading this, and everything is how it should be. Today I am more committed than ever to this effort.
We have lessons we don’t want to learn because the timing isn’t ‘right,’ we don’t want the hard work, it feels scary.
It disrupts our routine.
And yet the lesson is there. Will we take it? Will we breathe through it and move?
Will we trust the Lord with it all?
Take heart. Step through in faith. Let me know if I can pray for you.