It takes a village – with God as King


Today started like any other day, my thanking HaShem, asking Sid how he slept last night, checking my messages. That’s when life spun out of control.


The night before I had been texting with my daughter-in-law finalizing plans for an upcoming visit but I had fallen asleep before receiving her response. So I checked for it in the morning. Not only was it not there, but apparently my text message app had been hacked! I checked other recent texts I had received from other senders and all were gone, each back to some timeframe a month or so past, except for the troubling text interchange I’m about to describe.


How could this be possible? Being hacked was bad enough but a selective hack????


I had become a puddle of tears by the “random” collection of text messages left on the text thread with my daughter-in-law. All the other text conversations with other senders were gone as of a date several weeks ago, except for the one with her which had text conversations on it that were from various dates that skipped years, and when read as they presented were very upsetting. They seemingly related to a very sad part of my life, but in a way that couldn’t be possible.


As some of you know, in March of 2020 my daughter when she was 38 years old bought a bus ticket to California. That by itself is not alarming. The reason this created great fear in me was that she has an anxiety induced emotional disorder and over the years has needed support to live independently. In addition, at the time of her disappearance we were in the throes of the initial onslaught of COVID. My only solace on that point was at that particular time, hard to remember but true, the virus had not yet reached problem levels in California but was just beginning to work its way across the country from the Northeast.


Although I have not heard from her, I have hoped for the best. My continuing journey processing this heartbreaking event has been a long one, many steps along the way, some shared through these Shabbat encouragements. Suffice it to say that I live with the hope she is still alive.


That was until this morning when the “random” texts on my phone were not in consecutive order, but rather, mentioned my daughter-in-law and my missing daughter seemingly working together in 2022 which couldn’t have been possible. Following that interchange was another “random” one seemingly referencing the name of my daughter-in-law’s brother who had died a year ago. My daughter’s name mentioned in a text on dates after her disappearance in the seemingly same text conversation with a deceased relative was beyond alarming.


The texts created enormous pain, confusion, and fear in my heart. The messages suggested to me that my daughter was no longer with us. Although I have accepted the possibility that she is with God in the other realm, I have lived hoping she is still here, she just choosing to not be in contact for fear we would not allow her to stay in California.


I couldn’t stop crying. I realized that my stoicism, or seemingly being okay with my daughter’s situation, was based on my hope that she is still alive and well in California. This conclusion has been the result of so many signs and spiritual reassurances I have received over these past years from multiple sources. My strong faith has bolstered my spirit as I’ve even said that I know she is fine whether in this realm or with HaShem.


Yet when this seemingly inexplicable sign from beyond made that conclusion seem unlikely – after all her name was with that of a deceased relative in a time order that was not chronological like all the other texts affected by the hack – my mother’s heart was deeply broken, again.


Without getting into all the ways the references and timing were explainable (thank you, Wendy!!), suffice it to say they were, other than the technologically inexplicable order of the texts. Why these particular texts would be plucked out in the hack and placed next to each other in the order described to create this confusion, especially since all the other text messages with everyone else were consistently lost up to a specific date, cannot be explained based on technology. Perhaps it can be explained, however, if we look beyond technology.


What was clear from all of this is that the devil ain’t lazy and he seeks out our frailty, our Achilles’ heel.


So many insights to remember:


We live in this world where the forces of good and evil are at work.

Aslan is on the move yet the evil one is on the prowl, the latter emboldened during these extraordinary times of disequilibrium.

There is spiritual warfare but God always wins.

It’s not even a contest.

The evil one strikes us where we are vulnerable.

Creating pain, confusion, and fear, is his calling card.

It’s easy to fall prey to darkness and why we must pray.

A mother’s love is beyond words.

God’s love is infinite.

We need HaShem in our lives, front and center, all the time.

We need to put on the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18) every morning.

God uses those around us to provide the words we need to hear and understand, especially when we are not able to hear Him, ourselves.


It takes a village.


Oh, did I happen to mention that there was only one text chain that did not get hacked. It was the Daily D’var.


Shabbat shalom.


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