Wednesdays with Jillene: searching for signal

So it is proudly said that West Virginia is “almost heaven” and I’m seeing their point: the views are spectacular, the people friendly…For real, the mountain beauty is a sight to behold. I wish I’d been using my camera instead of just my cell phone. *Shocker alert* I have’t had my real camera out yet.  I’m sure that I’ll get into a routine that allows me to get back to photography and I hope that happens soon because the cell phone picture just don’t capture the view. And the people here in West Virginia? I’ve lost count of the welcome wishes, welcome gifts, prayers, words of affirmation, and hugs… oh so many hugs! that we’ve received since arriving. I don’t think I’ve ever been greeted so warmly by so many people in all my life.

Almost Heaven

So, I’m seeing that unofficial state motto in action. Except for these two thing: cell reception and internet access.

The very thing that makes the views pretty (mountains and valleys) makes cell service difficult. And while the people are friendly it seems the phone/internet service providers are not.

I’ve found myself like this more times than not:

No signal. No internet service detected.

Because of that, I spend way too much time researching things to help the internet troubles and cell reception dead zones. Standing on porches to have a text conversation. Sitting outside as the dew settles on me just so I can have a phone conversation. Waking up to a frantic text from a friend and searching in the dark for that one place in the house I can get cell reception. Waiting and waiting and waiting and waiting for pages to load… reminiscing about the days not so long past of dialup internet speeds. Restarting the router multiple times hoping for a better connection. Waiting on hold for way too long after navigating through ridiculous call center menus all for the hope that a service call will solve the problems…

Yup, I sure will go to great lengths searching for signal.

And today this happened:

Red = the color of internet death

I couldn’t even write this post because there was no internet, barely a cell signal… and God tugged at my heart again. See, this post has been sitting as a draft on my blog for almost a month.

Back in July there were a few days that it seemed I was constantly searching for signal, scrambling for any tiny amount of wifi… well in all that, God convicted me. He convicted me of how hard I will try to stay connected to the internet. And I’ve been pondering how easily I “give up” or “move on” when God’s “signal” (presence, will, direction, answers) seem faint.

Why will I stand in the most uncomfortable position hoping for one bar of service to send a text but I avoid an uncomfortable stance before my creator that would allow me to hear Him more clearly?

Why will I wait on hold with customer service for way too long for a service call but I end my time of prayer when God’s answer doesn’t come swiftly?

Why do I have patience to wait for slow connection speeds that s…u….p…e…r   s…l…o…w…l…y load a webpage but I grow quickly impatient when God’s plans don’t unfold on my time frame?

Some days it feels like I do “anything” searching for signal and God asked me how hard I search for Him. Jeremiah 29:13 speaks right to the heart of things, “You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.”

Friends, does this speak to you? How is God challenging you to seek Him with all your heart? What would that look like in daily practice in your life?  How can I pray for you as God works in you today?

~Jillene

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