Now that we're all caught up, let's move on to the really good part of the story....
Last night, Bobby took me to AT&T to get a new phone. I was not eligible for an upgrade, and so we would have had to pay face value for a replacement iPhone 4...not gonna happen. Thankfully, though, Bobby's phone was eligible for an upgrade (read: contract extension). I should mention that if anyone is actually in need of an upgraded iPhone, it's him. He has put up with a slower iPhone model (with a big ol' crack across the screen) for months now, and never once has he complained. As he said yesterday, "it works just fine, it just has fewer bells and whistles". He's a good guy. Bobby used his much-needed upgrade to get me a new iPhone yesterday, one that's slightly better than my old one, in fact. And although an unfortunate and unexpected expense, the cost of the phone with the upgrade was a far more reasonable price to pay, given the circumstance.
Yes, I was excited about a brand new phone. But, I still couldn't help but feel guilty for getting a second, new iPhone 4 when my ever-so-deserving husband was still dealing with a broken old one. We got in the car after making the purchase, and I was moved to tears considering his selflessness and generosity. He never complained. He never balked at the idea of using his upgrade. He just did it...and I highly doubt that I would've been equally as loving had the situation been reversed. I know I am married to an incredible man, but getting such a poignant reminder every now and then of what a truly excellent husband I have is certainly a powerful blessing.
When we got home, I was surprised and overjoyed to discover that my apps and music and contacts (though not entirely updated) were backed up on the computer and transferred easily to my new phone. Last night, as we waited for trick-or-treaters, I worked on getting the phone back to my preferred settings and was officially back in business. Life was very, very good again.
But, the story isn't over yet! Oh no, my friends...read on.
This morning, Bobby and I were awoken bright and early to the doorbell ringing. Thinking it was the utility company coming to read our meters so early in the morning again, I had no intention of answering the door, but peeked out the window curiously. There, sitting in the driveway, was a police car.
"Bobby! It's the police! I think we need to answer the door!" Of course, by "we", I meant Bobby, as I was hardly feeling presentable for an early morning visitor.
But, when I heard the officer say that a cell phone was recovered at a local high school (my alma mater, in fact), and that they were able to trace the number back to our address, I was hardly concerned with appearances. I came to the door and said "no way...." (Sidenote: Bobby and I never actually offered to let the officer come inside. We are so not experienced in proper policeman etiquette. Oops.) The officer (another alum) was very friendly, and his very much unexpected news absolutely made our day.
The individual that we had suspected was responsible for the theft does, in fact, appear to be the perpetrator, and was described by the officer as a "regular troublemaker". (Yeah, that's evident.) After the teenager brought the phone to school yesterday, it was stolen from him (ironic, yes?), and somehow made it into the hands of the school security officer, who questioned the student. And his story wasn't adding up. Why couldn't he get into the locked device? Who were those two people on the home screen?
Lesson #1: Passcode protection on the phone works. My data should be entirely secure, as he was never able to get into the phone. Fantastic.
Lesson #2: A personal photo on the home screen makes it quite clear whether or not the phone is yours. Nobody has a wedding picture of the bride and groom on the home screen of their phone if they aren't part of the happy couple. And, when you're in high school, and look nothing like either of the newlyweds, it raises suspicions. (Although you've got to appreciate the story he came up with when asked who the bride and groom were. Apparently, he met "us" downtown, and took our picture. "That's John and Karen". Good one, dude.)
So, the phone was apprehended and I should be able to pick it up soon, data (photos! contacts! calendars!) in tact and secure. For a brief second, I was annoyed that we had purchased a new phone no less than 14 hours prior. But, my well-deserving husband should end up getting his earned upgrade, and be able to use the new phone as his own. That's what being loving and unselfish will do for you, I suppose!
The difficult question today was determining whether or not to press charges against this young man. I certainly don't wish to ruin a 15-year-old's future, and it's tempting to think that offering grace as a Christian should mean giving him a free pass. But, recognizing the deliberate and brazen manner in which this individual did what he appears to have done, it feels as though the more loving thing to do is to provide an opportunity for him to learn, grow, and change...before stealing an iPhone turns into stealing a car, or worse. That potential for change is exactly what we hope a juvenile intervention does for this young man.
I've considered where my heart is with this matter: am I simply seeking justice for wrongs committed against me out of spite or vengeance? No. I'm not out to get anyone. But, after considering the facts as they've been presented, about this event and about this teen, I truly believe that not getting away with this and suffering the consequences could be the best thing to happen to this adolescent. I'm so hopeful for an even-happier ending to his story.
We'll see what happens.
Tonight, I am feeling unbelievably refreshed. After feeling discouraged and frustrated by this experience, I now feel nothing but deeply blessed. I am grateful that my phone was rescued. I am grateful that my husband will now get a better phone as a result of this ordeal. But, more than anything, I am ever so thankful for the opportunity to realize again what special people I have in my life.
I was at church when the theft occurred, and many friends there offered such encouragement and sweet words when I was so clearly distressed. My parents fed us a spaghetti dinner afterwards, providing comfort and hugs and patiently letting me mope. My best friend checked on me the next day, and gave an enormous compliment that was of more comfort than she knows. And Bobby, besides making sure that my phone was replaced quickly, did his best to make me happy again. He takes such good care of me. ("I said, 'for better or for'...now.")
I am surrounded by individuals who through their example of compassion and love don't allow me to foster malice, but instead help inspire an attitude of grace. This entire experience has reminded me of that; I believe God intended this trial as definite evidence of His abundant blessings in disguise.
How can I be anything but grateful?
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith
—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—
may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
1 Peter 1:7