Yesterday morning was a huge one for me by Christian Brothers Automotive in the Mid-Cities. I had to take my van in for what I thought was a simple maintenance issue. There had been a miscommunication about the cost, and I was sure I had heard correctly. The conversation about the price was intense, but in the end, the manager was willing to accept my understanding of the cost...even though it meant a financial loss for him. However, because God loves to work in wild ways, He graciously showed me where I had actually been the one wrong, so I called the manager and asked for pay the correct amount. The manager had been praying as well, and he said, "Mrs. Phillips, you are a great customer and have been for a long time. YOU ARE VALUABLE TO US, AND I WANT TO BLESS YOU. Let me pick up the cost."
In the world, it was a good business move. In the spiritual, it was God speaking into the void, calling forth the blessing, restoring value.
But the you-aren't-worth-my-effort voices were still really loud, especially to the children.
Yesterday Anna couldn't find her phone. Last night, she found it...under her jeans...in the bottom of the washing machine. She was sure I'd be upset. No. Those thing happen. With the car repairs, I knew I couldn't replace her phone right now, but I wasn't upset. Then, I did the oddest thing for me. Usually, I'd have the attitude that being without a phone won't kill her and it's part of learning responsibility, but not last night. Last night I texted some friends asking if they might have an old phone with text abilities they weren't using.
The replies started within minutes. The resounding answer--no.
I told her we would dry the phone and hope for the best. My friend Lisa sent the suggestion of rice in a bag, so we were going to try that today.
This morning I woke up and felt the loss of people who have screamed by their attitudes and actions that we are not worth fighting for...that I am not worth fighting for. That we are not valuable enough to be a priority, and when those hit, I feel as though my heart is being ripped out. Tears fall hot, and I ache all over.
Then my phone beeped.
My neighbor was texting. "Haven't see the van for a few days. Haven't heard from you. You okay?"
Van's in the shop. Have nothing to say.
Am I okay? No. I hurt more than I have words for, and I can't seem to come out of it. I feel like I'm drowning in the pain and rejection, and I feel like it'll never be okay again.
I didn't punch in the last part, but I thought it...felt it.
Then the phone beeped again.
"Did you find a phone for Anna?" Raeetta asked.
"I have one. I'll bring it today, or you can meet me somewhere."
I started to laugh.
I don't know where Rae got the phone. Well, yes, I do. From God who doesn't make invaluable things, and the Father who speaks into voids and restores value and hope.
I haven't seen the phone yet, but I have a feeling it will be even nicer than mine.
And as I write this, the symbolism isn't lost on me. Anna's phone, one set of voices, was washed and silenced so He could give a new phone, a better set of voices...voices that do not create voids but come forth despite them, sometimes right out of them...that speak and create what is missing, what is so needed...to fill the voids...and the hearts...to restore lives, to build hope...to create the new thing and restore what He already made...
*One of the spiritual ways to counteract curses, which is when someone says or "declares" something about you that is against God's Word about you, is to have Truth spoken over you, especially by someone "in the office" or position of the person cursing you. For instance, a father figure can bless a young man or woman and restore the identity that was cursed by a father or other authority figure. In our cases, it was a male authority figure and a vital adult presence in Anna's life.