Backups and Miracles

ACFW Advice, Encouragement, Friends of ACFW, writing 3 Comments

By Rondi Olson

My laptop made a grinding noise. I held it up to my co-worker, and asked if she could hear the sound, but before she could answer, the screen went blank. I wasn’t worried, at first. I restarted the computer, hoping that whatever was wrong would fix itself, but instead the grinding resumed, and an error message flashed on the screen. No hard drive found. Still, I didn’t panic. Yes, my hard drive was dead, and it was sad to lose my faithful electronic friend of five years, but I had backups. I was good. Or so I thought.

I opened my usual cloud storage to find that while many of my files were secure, my most recent, almost completed manuscript, hadn’t been backed up in six months. I was in shock. I was sure I had backed it up only a few days before, but despite searching from cloud to cloud and on multiple thumb drives, six months of work on my manuscript was gone.

Yes, this is a sad tale of hard work lost, and a gut-wrenching reminder to back up your work every day, but it’s more than that, because a miracle happened.

Maybe you think I’m going to tell you the hard drive recovered long enough for me to access my data.

It didn’t.

Maybe you think I’m going to tell you that after a heart felt prayer (I offered up many) I found my lost manuscript in an email file, or on one of my other computers.

I didn’t.

In fact, things didn’t go so well for a long time. I didn’t write for weeks while I attempted to resurrect my hard drive. When I finally admitted defeat, I hated everything I wrote. I’d been happy with the work I’d done, the work that was lost. Nothing new could compare. Finally, I stopped trying. I didn’t even want to talk to my writer friends about my discouragement, because, honestly, everyone knows you need to back up your work every day. How had I managed to let months pass? My mistake was embarrassing to admit. Maybe this whole writing thing wasn’t for me. Maybe it was a sign from God I should stop.

So I did stop writing, and I wasn’t happy about it, but I had a lot of other things to do that kept me busy and I didn’t think about it much.

Then I started to notice something in my daily devotions. The same theme kept popping up. You are called. You are chosen. I have given you a work to do. Now what you have to understand about my devotional time is that I write in a journal and use the M’Cheyne Bible Reading Plan, which, if you’ve ever used it before, is pretty random. You’re hopping all over the Bible reading different chapters, but nothing is random with God. I was called to write, and by doing other things, I wasn’t being faithful to my calling.

The miracle in this case wasn’t an amazing reversal of fortunes, or an easy solution to a difficult problem. It was the change in my heart, the ability to be positive again, and to get to work.

Does God encourage you in your writing? How?

What losing my manuscript after my hard drive crashed taught me. @rondiolson #ACFWBlogs #amwriting #backup Click To Tweet


Rondi Bauer Olson is a reader, writer, and animal wrangler from Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Her debut novel for young adults, All Things Now Living, was a finalist in the 2012 Genesis Contest and is available at major online retailers. Visit Rondi at and


Comments 3

  1. Setbacks, no matter what they are, can be very frustrating, can’t they? Fortunately even though I make a lot of mistakes God doesn’t give up on me.

    Thanks for your comments!

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