Sunday, June 5, 2016

The Long Path Ahead

When the I.T. tech on the other end of the phone said these words last week: "I think you have a bad problem," my heart sank and I wanted to vomit.

Our computer at work had gotten what is known as a ransomware encryption, and someone literally scrambled our data, and was holding it for ransom. After many phone calls and one awesome computer genius, we were back up a few days later, albeit a lot more cautious, and unfortunately at a loss for some of our data and appointments.

I cried, I screamed, I bargained with God. I didn't want this problem, and thought I would go insane if I had to face the mountain of work before us to try and retrieve as much old information as possible, and still run business as usual.

The first day back after a long holiday weekend, and I turned my own computer on and stared at the screen for a full three minutes. I think I was holding my breath, I can't be sure, but if I was, then I may hold a new record. I slowly and cautiously typed an appointment, answered the ringing phone, greeted several patients and began a regular work day at the dental office.

I took time to make a list of all the things that would have been lost. It seemed daunting. Not only did we lose patient daily appointments, but we lost every payment made for one month's time; that meant insurance payments, cash, checks and credit cards. How would I find them?

Luckily I'm an old-fashioned type who still writes most everything down, though it is a lot of extra work. We keep a booklet on the cash entered, every patient that had come in during that time had sticky notes in their charts with insurance information, and I actually had printed sheets that showed every single person that came in through the last four weeks of missing info!

Go ahead, make fun of me for not "getting with the times" and loving electronics and going paperless, but in this instance, it was a blessing for our office that we didn't completely change over yet.

Little by little, I began to crawl out of the hole. Our other front desk girl had her hands full with her own duties, and between us both, we began to see a crack of light in the dark, dark tunnel.

I had pictured myself never smiling again. I had pictured this summer being one long drawn out time at work, never enjoying a moment of it since we had so much to do with this issue. Not only are we about forty percent better right now, but my co-worker and I found time to laugh and giggle. What felt like an impossibility became possible.

Is it going to be perfect? Nope. Because we lost the daily patient appointments for the next month, and every time our door opens, we aren't exactly sure who is going to walk through it. Can we do it though? You bet. We can do it with smiles on our faces, a song in our heart, a good attitude, and God's help.

Have me and my co-worker been praying about this? Yes. For I believe God is concerned about everything in our lives. From what we may see as mundane or trivial, or what may feel insurmountable and hopeless, there's always hope. He does care. No, He isn't going to snap His fingers and take this all away, but with His help, we are able to do what we thought we couldn't. I know I would not be anywhere without Him. When I try to tackle anything, any task on my own without first consulting God, when I plunge straight ahead making my own decisions without seeking His guidance, I am lost. He has given me the peace, the intelligence, the drive to push forward with this mountain before me, this long path ahead, and instead of losing my joy over what I felt was impossible, I now can look with hope to each day bringing something new and unexpected.


  1. If only those responsible for such malicious acts would use their talents for good, the world would be a better place.

    Sorry for your anguish.

    1. Lesson learned, of course, but it's how we handle the challenges in life that matter. Thanks for the comment, Michele!