Until about 10 months ago, I had, to put it mildly, an archaic cell phone. Everyone who knew me well loved to tease me, a notorious techy, about my lack of modern technology in the cell phone arena.
It had a lot of faults and drawbacks, and just one feature I really loved. A feature I obviously loved enough to keep it despite my ridiculously dated phone.
One of the things that frustrated me most about it was that the phone couldn’t save much of anything. There was a 40 text message (sent or incoming) maximum and then it stops sending/receiving anymore messages. It’s not that they stay “held” in the network somewhere until I realized my phone was full and could delete messages, but they truly just got lost.
And if someone managed – as sometimes mysteriously happened – to send me a message that went over the 160 character allotment, I couldn’t forward those to my email or anything in order to save them elsewhere.
Needless to say, saving many texts was simply not an option. Especially long ones. And as much as I used my phone, even just for work alone, I often deleted messages several times a day just because I approached that dreaded 40 message limit.
I saved a few precious texts over the years, ones I looked back on repeatedly.
And as much as it was the feature that I was most often frustrated with, losing that handful of cherished messages was also the thing that made me most hesitant to eventually upgrade my phone. In fact, I didn’t upgrade my phone by choice, I only got a “real” phone when mine completely died!
One (multi-part) message was in my phone for a couple of years before I got my new phone last summer. I’m so grateful I had forwarded the text to my email before that happened because it’s still something I look back on, though I know the words in the text by heart now.
Just remember that there are several of us out here that are fighting for you when you can’t. And we are still feeling feisty, too! We are covering you with prayer and loving you too!
In so many ways, the details of what was going on when my friend sent that message are the same as they are right now: Things seemed to perpetually be spiraling downhill. My health almost forced me into isolation, an unfortunate thing when one already lives alone and has very independent tendencies. Decisions became increasingly challenging because the options seemed to decrease in number, and the outlook perpetually got worse. Existing in a state where even the means of daily existence becomes a constant battle, I found myself increasingly exhausted – in every sense of the word.
I was utterly weary. And utterly out of fight.
And being weary yet needing to fight – to exist, to get to the bottom of what’s going on, to deal with insurance situations, etc. – just didn’t make for a good combination many days. Three years ago, or today.
Getting a text reminding me that I wasn’t alone was the best gift my friend could have given me.
The text served as a reminder that although my life often makes me feel like I am “doing” life alone, God has given me some precious friends that I actually do get to “do” life with in some ways.
This friend, and others, began to be especially aware about checking on me if they hadn’t seen or heard from me in a few days, reaching out, even if it was just a short text saying my presence was missed, or offering to help in some practical way.
Some of them began to text, email, call, or write a note just to say they were praying, or that they were fighting along with me.
While my circumstances didn’t change, the reminder that I wasn’t in “this” alone, reinvigorated me for the near-daily battles ahead.
A lot that has transpired since the original circumstances and the receipt of the text messages from that friend, yet so much has either remained the same or resulted in things being in an astonishingly similar place.
I still find the reminders contained within that message to be something God has frequently used as a source of strength.
On days I’m waiting to have labs drawn, for scans to start, or a doctor to return with a verdict, I often grab my phone and pull up my email where it’s now saved, and reread the words of my dear friend.
There’s something about the power of words in a form that can be kept.
See, the thing is, the sentiments of the text message aren’t at all different than any other sentiments that very same friend has articulated – regularly – throughout our friendship.
But she, or other close friends that had expressed something similar, can’t, shouldn’t, and won’t be around all of the time.
The words, though? They can go with me. Thus I’m also one of those people who would treasure a heart-felt card/note/email more than almost anything else.
Isn’t that why God knew we needed His Word? And why throughout the Old Testament we see reference after reference to ways to remember the things He had done?
He knew we would struggle, we would be tempted (at times in our own lives – and certainly seen even in some of those closest to Christ) to forget what He had said when no long physically in His presence, and we see references to stones of remembrances and other means to recount what God had done.
In the same way, the message on my cell phone was a tangible reminder of some things God knew I needed to remember – and He used the voice of one of my dear friends to convey them at a time and in a means that they were able to not only impact my heart and life, but preserved so I would be able to return to them at other times when they would be meaningful.
I believe God knows that there’s something powerful about the written word – and my oft-read text message is an example of the difference it can make!