----------------------------------------------------------------------UPDATE: After sending in my Letter of Explanation 4x and my church's letter of authorization 3x, PayPal has seen fit to take me off their Most Wanted List and restore my business account standing. I've notified the Post Office to take my mug shot down, but do watch out for me. Us criminal types are notoriously devious. I just might "donate" again!
I'm not even sure where to begin. I think I've started this blog post about six times. I'm not even sure I remember all the details of what happened. I just felt the Lord leading me to share all that's been going on here the past month or so. I feel like there's someone out there who needs to know they are not alone. Every once in a while stuff happens. A mistake here. A technical glitch there. Just stuff. Stuff that makes you cringe. Stuff that makes you want to give up. Stuff that makes you want to throw your computer out the window. Stuff. Frustrating stuff. A little bit of frustration is just life. A modest amount of frustration is just one of those things. But the kind where you feel like there MUST be a big, red target painted on your back is...well, too much stuff! You say, "Whoa Lord. Arencha pilin' that on just a little too high?" But how do you tell God you're frustrated? Well, I think first you complain. Lord, you know I'm not a techie with a money tree in the back yard. The TV's got a glitch, the fridge is making a funny noise, my computer's power supply fan is humming like a drunken sailor, and don't get me started on the car. You try reminding God of your good intentions. Lord, you know all I wanted to do was to offer one of our communication studies as a CHRISTmas gift for free to anyone who wanted to download it-just to bless them for CHRISTmas. And my heart was in the right place for setting up a donations button for folks to donate toward the church's Ridge Bridge Outreach if they felt You leading them to. Then you tell God how hard you've worked. It took me a week, one call to the church and 4 phone calls to PayPal to set up the donation button. I told everyone I was doing this. I spent an hour on the phone with PayPal, four hours writing up my letter of explanation and I had to ask the poor, overworked church personnel to fax a letter in stating that I was authorized to do a fundraiser for them. Next you graduate to..."It's not fair!" Why should my business have to suffer? I followed the rules. I called PayPal 4x, explaining the entire situation and this is what they told me to do. What triggered this anyway? Why me? Why didn't they warn me I might need to give them all this documentation? You know how busy I am since my editor had to leave due to family issues. I got so behind in my writing. I was working from 3am to midnight most days without getting breakfast or even a shower some days. And now, if I don't give them the information they are asking for by Friday, they'll take further action to limit my business account? It's not FAIR. (You can't put an exclamation point here and yell at God so you wine a little at the end.) Then you graduate to asking everyone you know for prayer. Would you all please check to see if there's a big, red target on my back? And while you're looking, can you pray for me? Stuff's happening. Bad stuff. Frustrating stuff. Stuff I can't even remember because I'm too busy trying to get out of the stuff to be able to recall all the details of all this week's stuff. Then you forget half of the stuff you need to remember to get the stuff done to fix stuff! Where is that invoice for the computer that tells me what kind of power supply I have so I can make sure the stuff I need to buy is the stuff that'll fit in my computer so I don't mess stuff up? Then, I think, you finally get down to prayer. Dear Lord, you know what I need even if I can't remember all the stuff I need prayer for anymore. My head is filled with stuff...fuzzy stuff by now, Lord, and I just don't know what to do first. Lead me, Lord. Guide me God. Help me find my way through all of this. I'll get out of the way now, Father, so You can take over. I'll listen for Your voice and I'll do what I hear You say. Stuff happened to put me behind. Stuff continued to happen that made me want to give up, throw my computer out the window and even more stuff. But God was faithful. He listened to me complain. He understood my intentions. He knew how hard I worked. He felt my frustration when it wasn't fair. He heard my friend's prayers and He comforted me and guided me when I finally prayed. He told me to take one thing at a time. He told me to keep plugging away and I'd eventually get done with all the stuff. He told me to just wait it out. Well, I did take things one at a time and stuff began to get done. Other folks saw how frustrated I was and helped. My dad is researching the power supply for me. The office manager at church found the time in her already busy schedule to fax the letter PayPal wanted. My friends emailed me notes of encouragement. My mom asked if we could take an afternoon this week and get away for some fun time. Most of my writing projects are done, even though I had problems with my hands and awful headaches. They are almost done and mostly at deadline! My last project is an ebook on debate. I have all my info. I just have to write it all out. I think, with God's help and guidance, I can get it all done in time for my dd to come home from Russia. And after my PayPal issue is resolved, I want to take three weeks off to spend with her for the CHRISTmas holiday. No writing. No homeschool. Just family and praising God for getting me through such a frustrating several weeks. Have you ever felt this? How did you tell God you were frustrated? And what did God tell you to do?