It's good to get back to blogging again! I've taken a break from it for a few months and it was not by choice, but a forced kind of way. In the spring of 2016, I received an email from a camp director in Alberta (who was about to book me to speak at a women's retreat),. giving me a heads up on an online nightmare. She informed me that when they sought to confirm the booking, they came upon my website and was shocked that it was gone.
I was like "What do you mean,... gone?"
The annoying reality hit me 'Welcome to the world of hacking.' As I clicked on my site, up came a page I will not soon forget. As a result, I acted swiftly to assure my site host at the time quickly took off the images, erased all my content and the cyber bug added eery music and text on my page.
Yikes! A ton of personal work I had created for the last year -gone. Crud!
All that work, all those memories shared, especially all the words I poured into my blog series on celebrating our 25th anniversary where I titled it " 25 Lessons in Love." Devastated, I had my moments of tears and learned quite a bit about the online world of hacking through Google and the fabulous team at Sitelock. Something that we often don't think about in our day to day communication, heh? So much of our lives are lived online: be it through blogs, social media or all the countless websites that are up that we frequent every day. They told me there are many reasons for doing their dirty deed as some are just plain nasty and others use their cyber power for good. Whoever did it, also caused some issues with an organization near and dear to my heart. Whether it was intentional or not, the initial sting felt like an attempt to rob me of my identity, steal my joy and kill any passion to write- speak- blog or express myself including my faith be it online or in my everyday life!
It made me think. The temporary nuisance of hacking in this temporal world is likened to the work of the enemy of our souls and all of his minions of the supernatural world who would like us to do just that - Shut us up! Nope. Not going to win. After some tears and the raw emotion of feeling violated, I moved on. I forgave the nameless hacker as it just doesn't serve me to harbor hate or anger for things out of my control. One of my personal take-aways from the many studies and mentors that have influenced my life is that we must guard our hearts on the journey of restoration. So on this minor blip on the path, I took a mini break from blogging. As a result, I actually feel stronger and more focused in my writing. During this reboot time, I stumbled upon this random Ted Talk which strangely encouraged me that sometimes, hacking can act as our internet's immune system:
A minor setback? Sure. But definitely not the end of the world. In fact, it would be my hope that when we do blog, it is to use our freedom to "create a better world". Lord knows the crazy things online- we must counteract the darkness and infiltrate this world with the Light. When we go through minor or major trials in life, there is a hidden gem to be discovered if we search for it. What I found is that it served as a major confidence booster! You might say, how? Sometimes, my friend, trials cause us to dig deep and to remind us truths that don't come to the surface until we undergo the fiery furnace. I.e. being reminded where our true identity comes from- It's not what we look like, not what we've done or what we'd not done, but it is who God is and how He created us to reflect him. So as we mirror the Father's reflection on earth as it is in Heaven, I have come to appreciate that when His kids hurt- He hurts! It's a serious business of His to restore all things together for good. Not simply website and blogging tools stolen, but all things oppressed through evil and through our own sin which is destined to be restored in Jesus Christ. I love the verse in Isaiah 44:25 where it says "I will restore all your ruins", because He truly means it... I've seen it time and time again in my life where those ruins found restoration in my heart, in my family and in the world.
I know it all won't be FULLY restored until we are face to face with Jesus in Heaven, but for now- I will contend for that promise that God is truly in the business of RESTORATION.
If this post has stirred you to reflect on the ruins that you or your loved ones are facing, I pray that you will reach out to the only One who is the Restorer of all.