My phone stopped working.
Not all at once, but slowly, giving me plenty of notice. The screen started acting up. Like, I’d push the little button and it would respond by being backlit, but the screen itself would remain dark. Calls would come for me and my phone would vibrate or ding appropriately, but the dark screen vetoed any swiping or touching, and I would look helplessly at the thing while the call went to voicemail.
Hope that wasn’t too important.
So I did some research. My battery pack had expanded (apparently they do that) and was lifting one side of the screen away from the mount. It actually looked curved.
At first glance I was told it’d cost like 70 bucks to replace the battery. Oh dear, too expensive.
I dug out my old iPod Touch, charged it and updated the apps. And asked my friends to text me instead of calling.
Then I went back online to see if I could find a cheaper battery. I mean, it’s an older phone so maybe they’ve dropped in price. Success! eBay was offering one for $6 with tools. The little package arrived sooner than expected and I struggled my way through the steps shown on the YouTube how-to video. Pushed it all back together and plugged it in. A full overnight charge did nothing. No response when I tried to turn the thing on.
Maybe I had connected the battery wrong. So I pulled out the tiny tools again and started to open it back up. I got one screw off, but stripped the second one. The tools weren’t quite the ones I needed. I spent a frustrating hour trying every other way to get that screw out, to no avail. I felt like crying. And did. And I felt very alone.
It’s moments like these that highlight my new unmarried life. The absence of someone else. Someone to hear my frustration, to suggest an alternative, to offer to help.
I stepped away from my phone project for a few days.
Meanwhile, my car stopped working.
I suspected the starter motor was shot. The mechanic had previously given me a couple fuses as bandaids, so I removed the worn fuse and put in a new one, but nothing. When I turned the key, the dash lights came on, but the engine wouldn’t start.
I could get a free tow to the mechanic’s, but the single dollar holding my bank account open wasn’t enough to pay him for repairs. I thanked my God that my car broke down in my own driveway, and that a new WalMart Market had opened up just across the street from me. And that I worked from home.
I felt stopped. Shut in. Limited. No phone, no car.
What do I do, God? What do I do?
I couldn’t fix these things, but I could finish my work. I could make meals, clean the house, walk across the street to WalMart. I did each day what I was able to do, and waited for God’s solution.
Wednesday morning dawned normally, and my bank showed enough to approach the mechanic. As I prepped for the day I thought, I’ll at least see if the car will start, because then I can drive it straight to the mechanic’s and not borrow a phone for the towing arrangements.
Oh Lord, please let my car start.
And the mechanic said Yeah, it’s the starter. And the battery. He quoted me a reasonable price. I thought of the money in my bank and the absence of Christmas in my home yet, but told him Okay, let’s do it.
I spent a leisurely couple hours enjoying the incredible phrasing of a Maya Angelou book until my car was fixed and I could get behind the wheel again. I drove to the store and picked up a better set of tiny tools with the hopes of getting into my phone again. The tiny tools worked this time, and I reset the battery connector, tightened it all back down, plugged it in and waited. Then pushed the on button…and nothing.
No!! Why won’t this work?!
Then I thought, hmmm, is an iPhone 5 battery different from an iPhone 5s battery? Yes. Yes, it is, Google said.
Oh darn, that’s my problem! I ordered the wrong battery.
hello eBay, hello free shipping, hello $5 battery with proper connector.
So what’s the point of this story? I don’t know. It’s uncomfortable adjusting to the aloneness of single life. It’s okay to be stopped, shut in for a time. Waiting is hard. It’s good to take God at his word when he promises I’m with you.
And hopefully by the 14th, when you call me, I will finally be able to answer.