In the midst of a transition, it’s really hard sometimes to see that things are ever going to change — be any different — than they are today. It’s hard to see past today sometimes. Well, actually, it’s hard to see past the moment sometimes. I’ve found this to be true so many times — and, like most things that happen to me, I learn that they are, or have been, happening to others as well. Trouble is, most of the time, we’re too isolated (or proud) to confess where we are or what we’ve done — especially if it’s not pretty.
So I thought I’d write a chapter — it’ll actually be two — on a couple of things. First, I’d like to share more with you about life after computer addiction and then I’ll write a bit on life after rejection. You’ll see how they’re related — as are most things — and how after the crash or the event or the trial or the test… life goes on. So, the thing happens: And then life goes on.
As you’ve perhaps read, a number of years ago I began to have glimpses that things weren’t right here in River City (or in my life, rather). I was spending too much time on the computer — so much so, that I didn’t even realize it after awhile. You can read about my computer addiction here and here and here. So addicted was I that I had moved from the wonderment phase, to the thrill of the newness phase, right on past the excitement at receiving mail, friendship and keepers-at-home-camaraderie phase, past the I want to do this phase… right on to (and past) the I need to do this phase.
Well, back to the point… At the time of the great crash of my life that led to the sobering reality that I was an internet addict, I sincerely didn’t see how I was going to get past that time — that grueling, painful, humbling time. But I did — though not alone and not without some personal anguish and occasional resentment. The resentment didn’t come right away — bcz, sincerely, I knew I needed to squarely face my behaviour and decisions — I knew my husband was right — I knew my children were right and I knew I was wrong to have spent so much time reading, browsing, creating, writing, corresponding, researching. Every now and then the resentful thoughts slipped into my mind: I ought to be able to use the computer, this is important, I’m a mother, I need to know different things… yada, yada, yada. As you’ve heard me say many times, one of the greatest enemies of best things is good things. Many good things. And there are really and truly so many good things to read, see and do on the computer/internet. But what I hadn’t filtered was the fact that *I* didn’t need to be doing all/many/most of them and I certainly didn’t need to use the precious time I had in the way I was using it. I know that, now.
One of the greatest things — among many — that I’ve learned is that God is the God of now — He deals with us where we are and leads us where He wants us to go if (and that’s a big if) we will yield ourselves to Him and He isn’t caught up in the feelings of a matter or the fears of a matter. He seeks my life, He draws me to Himself and He carries me through. And along the way He shows Himself strong on my behalf. The minutes of obedience become hours and the hours become days and the days become weeks and so on. Do you see what I mean? God’s concern for me is eternal and His plans are eternal but He lovingly guides my footsteps and as I yield to Him, taking His Hand to trust in His guidance, He does make a way for me to pass through. So when I thought I’d never make it or when I thought I’d never live through those days, He proved Himself strong on my behalf. He demonstrated His love by the presence of His Holy Spirit.
Now, that’s not to say that the year was smooth sailing — I missed a lot of cues and bumbled my way through. And, as I mentioned, my thoughts weren’t always what they should’ve been. But, deep down, I knew at the time — and I know it much better now — God was clearly in control. Eventually, a year passed by and now another year has passed and, to my deepest regret, I am beginning to get a glimpse of the high price I was willing to pay to be online. And now it’s not so much how am I going to get through this? as much as it is, Lord help me never again waste the time, resources and gifts You’ve given me. Life after computer addiction is sweeter — sweeter bcz the squeeze out was so hard and the price so precious. The lessons I’ve learned I immeasurably valuable to me and I pray to use what I’ve learned to inspire others to measure the time and price being paid to be online without strict barriers.
When a mother’s face is to the screen, her back is to her home and children, and then life goes on.