By Jenae Tankersley
I recently completely deleted my entire blog and website. I consider myself pretty computer savvy, but on this occasion I lost even that title. Little did I know God was in the details of it all about to show me something much bigger.
So here’s the story: I was working on the backend of my hosting site, cleaning out old files, when I saw a file I thought was old and without much thought clicked "uninstall.” Technically it was an application that was currently hosting my site and since that was not typically where a site should be stored, there were no precautions or warnings like, "Are you absolutely, positively sure you want to delete this?" Nope, nothing, and in seconds it dawned on me what I'd done. With the pinwheel still spinning, I raced to the front end of my website and tried to do a quit export of all files. Whew! I think I did it. Files exported.
I refreshed the page and to my utter amazement I had indeed completely deleted my entire website. One click, that's all it took and 10 years of blogging my life was gone. Trying not to panic, I quickly went about re-setting up the application for hosting, thinking I could use the files I’d exported on the front end to fix everything. I renamed it exactly the same and began the upload.
The file I’d exported of all data from the front end had outgrown the application where it had been stored previously and there was no way for me to upload it to the same place as before.
"Don't panic," I told myself. Surely someone with the hosting site could help me reimport these files and they aren't entirely lost. It couldn't be that easy to delete 10 years of work, blogs and photos. Or could it?
Starting to feel the overwhelming fear of what I'd done, I reached out to my hosting site for help. As we began chatting I explained the error of my ways and what a completely stupid mistake I'd made. I asked one question after another to see how we could reimport the files I'd exported - assuming that was our only option. He continued to answer my questions, but the main thing I heard him say was that reinstalling those files would not work.
I finally asked a different question, one I would later realize completely shifted the conversation. I may have asked it out of complete fear and panic, but I had finally reached desperation.
"Is there any way my site can be recovered and restored?"
Up until this point he had not mentioned in any way, shape or form that this was a possibility. He was simply helping by answering my questions and I had been asking the wrong questions.
"Yes,” he answered. “But we'll have to recover it from our disaster recovery files and that will cost 80 dollars.”
Somehow he had not already figured out that I was desperate to get my site back.
"Sure! Do it! That's totally worth it," I replied.
Within thirty minutes he had completely restored my website. Problem resolved. Heart attack averted. Sigh of relief.
After my heart stopped racing and the whirlwind began to die down, I sat back to fully take in what had just happened in the last two hours. Stupidity, anxiety, panic, sadness, overwhelming loss, a huge sigh of relief, great appreciation and joy. Wow, what a day!
“If only other areas of life could be recovered so easily,” I thought to myself.
And just like that, I knew there was a lesson to be learned.
I sat back for a second longer asking God what He was up to through all of this. What had been the turning point of the entire ordeal? One question. A question I had waited to ask out of desperation, but what if God was waiting on me to ask Him that same question? What if I'd been quickly going through areas of my life, through different seasons, placing files in the wrong places, deleting other files out of a lack of understanding (or at times sheer stupidity), and then trying to fix everything and reimport files to areas they were never meant to be in the first place.
Goodness He had hit a nerve.
Weren't there countless areas in my life I'd been trying to recover and restore – working hard to reinstall, to fix, to recover, to undo what damage had been done - only wishing I'd chosen things differently in a previous season. Relationships I'd damaged with quickly released words? Parts of my personality I'd hidden or buried - uninstalled - because in my immaturity I didn't know how it fit in this world? The list goes on and on, and I wanted them back. I wanted a do-over. I wanted my heart recovered and restored, but since I'd gotten myself into this mess, I would work hard to get myself out of it. Isn’t that what I thought?
God was waiting. Waiting for me to simply ask the question and remember my need for Him and what alone He could do. Redeem. Restore. Rebuild. And He could do it so quickly. Redeeming what was lost. Restoring it to a better location. Rebuilding on a more firm foundation, with growth for the future in mind! It’s what He loves to do and I was once again a prime candidate.
So I asked the question again, this time with my own life in mind.
“God, is there any way this area of my heart can be recovered and restored?”
And His answer came quickly with no hesitation.
“Yes! I’ve just been waiting for you to ask. And the best part—the price for that restoration has already been paid.”
Meet Jenae Tankersley
Jenae is friends with some of my friends and our paths have crossed a few times and now she is officially my friend. She lives in the DFW area. I officially met her face to face at a Refresh Living Room at my house. She walked into my house and did not know one soul and the first thing I noticed about Jenae is that everyone immediately loves her. Her like ability is off the charts, she has an inner confidence with a fun spirit and is gifted in the arts. Jenae spends her days working as the ministry coordinator for young adults with her local church. She spent time this summer doing mission work in Zambia and her pictures are incredible. Click here to read about her trip. Jenae is a photographer and writer. So many talents in this woman and the best part of Jenae is that she has a pure and beautiful heart for the Lord. I am thankful our paths have crossed and I call her my friend. Follow her website and blog here.