I still remember that horrifying day in December of 2008.
I spent the evening in my room, typing away on a fictional story that I absolutely loved. In fact, of the 69 stories on my computer, this one quickly became a favorite. I enjoyed the characters; I thought the plot flowed. I was either just about to finish the story, or I was in the midst of reviewing the finished product.
Suddenly, tragedy struck. Halfway through a paragraph, my computer’s screen turned blue and the words “Physical Memory Dump” appeared on screen.
“No, no, no!” I whispered, adrenaline on alert. Anxiety quickly followed.
I tried restarting the computer. Those same horrible, terrifying words blinked on and stared at me. Panic immediately hit. On my backup memory device I had only a few pages of the story. I would have to rewrite practically all of it. How would I duplicate the powerful words I had since added?
With the knowledge that my story had died with my computer, I did the only thing reasonable. Curled into a little ball and sobbed into my pillow. I actually questioned God. I couldn’t even form a coherent sentence, I could only take gasping breaths in horror over my lost intellectual property. I couldn’t sleep that night from the sadness. Devastation overwhelmed me.
Sometimes idols aren’t carved images or golden statues. My writing had become an escape, a pastime that I turned to when I had fear, to take my mind off the worry. Also, losing my stories felt like losing my dreams. It should never have come to that. “For I the Lord thy God am a jealous God.” I memorized that from the Ten Commandments. Even though I’d stored it in my head, I hadn’t cemented it on my heart.
God had to take the stories away to pry my concentration off of them to show me that He is truly the only one that matters. Those stories brought pleasure, but not peace. If I spent as much time with God as I did typing on my computer, how much victory over sin could I have accomplished?
I gave the computer to my brother to salvage some parts. By that time, I knew that I’d be rewriting quite a few stories and had accepted that fact.
Then, wonder of wonders, my brother shared that he’d been able to save the data off my hard drive. Everything! Music, pictures, and most especially, the stories. Even the one that I thought God had taken from me forever to teach me a lesson.
God gave it back though as His plans for that story weren’t finished. Because the story I’d been working on that chilly night when my screen went blue was New Creation.