Sometime in July 2014 I had this flash drive. This flash drive contained so much stuff about my life on it, well, at least the parts from school. Projects, photography, design, marketing, press release assignments, you name it, it was all on my flash drive. Well, one day in July some friends and I were heading to Chicago for a conference. Not even realizing it, I ended up losing my flash drive! I realized it when I got back, as I was certain that I did not take it with me to Chicago.
I searched everywhere for it, at times going back to the same spots several times, looking all through the grass, but to no avail. Eventually I gave up. I was frustrated with myself, as I knew it had a ton of information on it, especially the kind that I can use for job interviews and such. But if there was no way finding it there was no way finding it, so I had to leave it at that and keep on going.
Fast forward to Mother's Day a few weeks ago. I was checking my Facebook Messenger like normal, when I saw this message from this guy. I accepted the message but was super skeptical, like anyone would be when they get a message from someone they don't know. Well anyway, in the message was a picture of me and a few friends from my job at the career center during my time at Liberty, followed by a message asking if I was on the picture and that the picture was on the flash drive. I responded back and he explained to me that several years ago he found the flash drive lying on the ground of the gas station at Kroger. Funny thing is that the Kroger he found it at was the Kroger right by where I picked up the vehicle rental for the trip to Chicago that my friends and I went on back in 2014. How crazy! He mentioned bringing the Flash drive with him to Roanoke, and by my job, which is legit conveniently by his job. Literally a few blocks away and about a 10 minute walk if that.
Anywho, we planned on meeting up that Monday. I was super excited! All my work, designs, photos, everything, back in my hands. The guy happened to be off that day and was kind enough to drive all the way to Roanoke from Christiansburg to bring the flash drive to me. Regardless of the fact that Christiansburg is a 30 minute drive to Roanoke, that's still a lot to do just for this flash drive, but he was more than willing to do it and with no desire for pay or anything, as he said I was the owner and he wouldn't want to accept payment on anything that already belongs to me. Like I said, Kind!
So now the craziness happens. He messages me to let me know he was really close, so I leave my office and head to meet him outside of my job. I wait about fifteen minutes, messaging him in the process. From there I said "What type of car are you driving?" He says "A white car. Wait, it wasn't you who I just gave the USB to?!" BRUH! I was freaked and he was freaked. He calls me immediately and apologizes for the confusion. Essentially he saw someone else, thought it was me and gave him the flash drive. The crazy part is that the guy he gave the drive to waved him down and asked him "do you have it?" So he assumed he was talking about the flash drive, and from there handed it over. And after some conversation the guy went on his merry way......with the flash drive. My emotions were everywhere, but in that moment God reminded me that it's been four years since I had it, it'll be okay. Yet my mind was like "naw! I want my drive!" I was impatient, and knew that God was right, but didn't wanna hear it. I'm grateful God is patient though.
Not to mention God is good, and has a way of always working things out according to his will and for his glory. The guy who first had the flash drive, let's call him, G, then contacted me and told me that before the guy left with the flash drive he added him as a friend on Facebook. Like, what? This guy waved G down, took the flash drive from him, talked a bit, bounced, and added him as a friend on Facebook. Bananas! I promise there is nothing false about this story. G contacts the guy. Meanwhile I'm walking around downtown looking to see if I could find him according to his profile picture. Thank God G reaches him and tells him that he needs the flash drive back. The guy then tells G to come this one spot, that's a little on the dangerous side, and to come pick it up from his house. G then goes out of his way and goes to the house, picks it up, and meets me back in downtown. As soon as G and I finally met up I smiled, and G responded "that's the smile I was hoping to see last time when I gave the flash drive up, but the dude didn't do that." We then talk a bit, take a pic (above) and end up connecting on Facebook. Not to mention we're gonna get some grub soon.
There a few practical and spiritual lessons I learned from this:
1) Always put your name and a pic of yourself on the flash drive. It helps people connect with you so you can get it back. One thing G mentioned was that because my name was so unique it was easy to find me on Facebook. #Winning
2) Buy a bigger flash drive. This jank is way too tiny to be carrying around.
3) Always make a copy of your files and place on a hard drive or another USB.
4) God is sovereign. It's funny because a friend of mine told me that she remembers me posting a prayer request some years ago about finding the flash drive on Facebook. How funny that God provided it back to me WHEN HE WANTED TO. It reminded me that the job I have now isn't because of any of that work then. God provided everything. My job, my skills, my creativity. It is for his glory that I am to do these things. It would've been nice to have any of my previous work to use for a possible job, but God already had the plan in mind to place me where he wanted me to be, without the flash drive. I had to learn to rely on him, not the USB. The same truth applies to every other are of our lives. He always knows what's best. Always.
5) I've grown a lot in my gifts and talents. When I put the drive in the computer and looked back on my old work, I see a huge difference. For example, my graphic design work back then was whack compared to what I do now. Praise be to God for what he's doing through me. May my work continue to reflect him, and may I continue to strive for excellence.
6) Did I mention that God is sovereign? I never expected to find my USB again, let alone get a message from some random guy that lives in another city telling me that he had it. I also never thought that we would fine it again, and get it back so fast after it had been given to the other guy. But God. I mean, a legit Facebook friend request tho?! Most people would've been out and never seen again after something like that. And what's dope is that G had so much integrity to never delete stuff on it and use it for himself, or to even look through everything on it, though he totally could've. His mission was to get it back to it's owner. Then for him to drive all the way to Roanoke and meet me, and when offered pay, refuses. Very humble guy overall, with no expectations other than to give. I'm beyond grateful for G and his kindness, but I'm even more grateful for God and his willingness to provide. It's a reminder to be loving, merciful, and gracious to all and to get to know people, and not assume different of anyone based on how they look, their status, race, anything, as we're all made in God's image. Not saying that if Freddy Kruger (some of you are too young to know who he is, and I'm glad) popped up in your messages, back away an never respond. In other words, use wisdom. As a believer in Jesus Christ, I pray to have the same integrity, with a Gospel mindset, as G had, but when it comes to serving others, sharing the Gospel, giving, loving, enduring, etc. It's ultimately not for a pat on the back or praise. As long as the Lord is clapping I'm good.
7) Christ gave himself for us. He gave his life on the cross, with humility, in obedience, and a desire to please the father, and for our sake. I pray that as we serve Jesus, we would remember Philippians 2, that we would see others as better than ourselves, and that because of the Gospel in our own lives, we would serve wholeheartedly, with no second thought of us needing to be noticed. G saw that with me, and I pray that with God's help, I would do the same. with others, especially those in the faith.
G, you dope for this, and it's greatly appreciated.
Who knew God would teach me this much by use of a flash drive? Yup.
P.S.-A few scriptures for you: Philippians 2, Matthew 6:2, 1 Corinthians 8 (Referring to the church), Romans 8:28, James 2.