Have you ever pressed a key on your computer and within a few seconds thought, “WHAT HAVE I DONE?!?” Well, I managed to completely crash our website with one quick hit of the “return” key. Not just parts of the site went down, the whole kit and caboodle was kaput! I stared in disbelief, quickly searched for what the error message “404 page not found” meant, and frantically tried to “undo! undo! undo!”
Despite the huge spike in adrenaline and panic, looking back, there were many grace-full lessons in the situation:
- I accepted the situation and this helped temper my response. The blue streak of cursing, while rather creative and somewhat of a release, was more subdued than it would have been in the past. This was less alarming for the dogs and helped me move on without descending to the bottom of the anger pit.
- I accepted that my action caused the problem. I was able to own that our website crashed immediately after I said “yes” to a question that I misunderstood. Normally I would have wasted time figuring out how to blame someone or something else. For example, if Ezzie wasn’t so cute while chasing his tail, then I wouldn’t have been distracted and answered that question wrong (absurd, I know). I could use that brain energy to figure out what to do.
- I asked for help. Normally, I would have tortured myself by trying (and failing) to fix the problem for hours and days. It was a Sunday and I really try not to bother professionals after hours or on the weekend, and I really didn’t want to admit the stupidity of what I had done. So in the past, I would taken on more than I should and ended up even angrier and more self-recriminating. Instead, I swallowed a giant slice of humble pie and reached out to our web designer.
- When my first “ask” was not successful, I asked again. I was somewhat gratified to hear that Mel was stumped and hadn’t ever experienced the problem. I was also relieved that I hadn’t disrupted her day too much, but now was more alarmed that the problem might not be fixable. Thankfully, I was able to find a phone number and called our site hosting service. Since I had owned that the mistake was mine, I was able to describe my actions with some detail. The gentleman who answered understood the problem immediately and had it fixed in 15 minutes. HALLELUJAH!!!
- Turns out, I wasn’t entirely to blame for the crash. When something goes wrong, my first assumption is that it’s all my fault. Yup, a true ACOA. In this case, a website hosting company was trying to poach our site and disguised the “permission” in very innocuous questions. When the customer service rep of our current hosting service knew what had happened and fixed it so quickly, it was clear that my actions were not entirely to blame.
While alarming, disconcerting, and frustrating, crashing our website was a relatively minor problem in the scheme of crap things that happen. This was a training wheels episode where I was given a chance to practice new ways of responding to stressful changes and new ways to see myself. Thank you Jesus for redeeming the crashed website and turning it into a chance for so much learning.