Devotional – Factory Settings

Romans 8:28  And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

Last night I had a total flip out. Completely lost it. I felt like I was going to vomit I was so incredibly upset. I locked myself in the bathroom and sobbed for about 10 minutes. I cannot remember ever doing that before.

Here’s the story:

I’m working on a wedding slide show for my baby sister, who’s getting married in about a month. I went to retrieve some photos from my back-up hard drive, which I purchased specifically to hold the thousands upon thousands of pictures that were clogging up my C drive on my main computer. I’ve been systematically moving my photo files over to the back-up drive and then (after checking to verify they are in fact copied on the back-up), deleting the files off my main computer to free up space. I’m sure you can all guess what’s coming – when I went to pull up the “Windsor 2010” file, which held about 700 photos from our recent all family vacation in Windsor, it wasn’t there. As in, not where I filed it. I didn’t panic until I’d done my customary search thinking I just mis-filed it or hadn’t actually transferred it to the back-up drive yet. But it wasn’t on my C drive either. Wasn’t on any drive I searched. Wasn’t anywhere.

I started to flip out thinking of how on earth I was going to tell my parents and siblings that all those hundreds of photos – including the “formal” family shots we’d taken hours to shoot were gone. Then I hit the wall…the thing that put me over the edge. I realized that somehow the back-up drive had auto refreshed…and had copied exactly what was now showing on my C drive. Which meant that it wasn’t just the Windsor file that was missing…all the photo files I’d deleted from there were now erased from my back-up. Files which included every picture I’d taken of my daughter since she was born 4 years ago. Every. Single. One. Gone. The moments after her birth, Christmases, birthdays, her first smile, first bath, first everything. All of them erased in some horrible factory setting auto-refresh.

Suddenly, I couldn’t catch my breath – except to start screaming for my computer-whiz husband. I don’t know how he even understood the words I was saying, but he managed to realize that something was terribly wrong and it had to do with picture files on the computer. After he spent 5 minutes or so repeating all the steps I’d taken trying to find the files, he turned to me and said “Tonya, how long ago did you delete this stuff off your C drive?”. The look on his face told me he wasn’t going to find them. That he didn’t know where else to look or what else to do besides try to restore the computer to the date before I erased the pictures, which was a long shot at best. I ran to the bathroom, locked the door and went into absolute hysterics.

For the next few minutes only one thought coursed through my brain. “Please God. Please let Zack find them.” Begging, pleading, sobbing. My mind was blank except that one prayer. And I prayed. And prayed. I finally composed myself enough to come out of the bathroom. I dared to peek at the computer where Zack was still clicking away, doing everything he could think of to find those files. Suddenly, there on the screen was a directory that had listed 9 files “Level 2” thru “Level 10” – Zack opened up Level 2 and there they were…all my photos. God had answered the desperate pleadings of a mother, who thought the memories of her child were gone forever.

It gets even more amazing though.

The auto-refresh on my hard-drive runs every day the drive is plugged in. I always have it attached in case I want to transfer files. We did some research last night and found out that as it refreshes, it stores the previous version of the C drive in the highest “level”, level 10. Each day it drops that copy down a level. Level 2 is the last level before the files are auto deleted. Forever. There is no level 1. If I had waited one more day to look for those Windsor photos, all the pictures would have been gone. Ready…here’s the most incredible part to me. I’m working on Lizzy’s wedding slide show purely out of love. I don’t really want to do it. It’s time-consuming, mostly really boring and I don’t enjoy doing it. But I love her and want her to have an amazing presentation on her big day. Because I’m working on her slide show, I unplugged my hard-drive and took it to her house to copy a bunch of photos directly from her computer to my drive. I didn’t plug my drive back in immediately when I got home. It sat on my table for a few days — I only plugged it back in yesterday to start work on the slide show again. If I wasn’t working on the Powerpoint for Lizzy, my drive would have been plugged in every day, and my precious photos would have been history over a week ago.

So, this is a really long devotional today – but I wanted you all to know…to remember this. Even when you can’t see it. When you don’t know it’s happening. God is working for your GOOD in the details of life. I’ve been irritated about the slide show. Feeling stressed about getting it done. But out of love (the purpose to which God has called me) – I’m doing it for my sister. I believe God honors our devotion to His calling in life. I absolutely know that’s why my thousands of baby pictures of my beloved Maddie girl are sitting safe in a computer file…rather than deleted into oblivion. I’ve updated the factory settings on my external hard-drive so that it no longer aut0-refreshes. But I plan to keep right on plugging away using the factory settings God has put into my life…to love others. And trust God every day that even when the details seem annoying, those seemingly insignificant things are working together for my good.

3 thoughts on “Devotional – Factory Settings

  1. Wow, what an amazing story! My heart sank when I thought you lost all your photos. We have boxes and boxes of photos from back in the day before digital cameras and I know how valuable they are. I think if our house caught fire in the middle of the night, I would shove my wife, my kids, and our photos out the window, and not necessarily in that order. Glad for a happy ending!

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