Don’t Steal My Identity

At church this weekend, our pastor encouraged us to remember the Lord and be thankful for what he has done in our lives.  He encouraged us to ponder on Deuteronomy 6 every day this week.

“Hear, O Israel:  The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.  You shall write them on your doorposts of your house and on your gates. And when the Lord your God brings you into the the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you-with great and good cities that you did not build, and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant-and when you eat and are full, then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.” Deuteronomy 6:4-12

As I sat this morning getting ready to do my quiet time, I began to think about and be thankful to the Lord for so many things.  I had not been sitting there very long before the phone rang.  It was my bank.  

My bank representative said, “In over 20 years of having these accounts, you have never done a, b, c, and d.  This looks like fraud to me.  Did you do this?”  The answer was no.  Carl and I had not opened up accounts and other things she said had been done in our names.

What a mess!  I spend all day working on calling my bank, people I had EFTs with, my identity theft company, etc.  Hours and hours spent on the phone.  Money which is frozen.  Checks I don’t have.  Debit cards canceled.  Pin numbers changed. 

By the end of the day, I was truly worn out emotionally by it all.  Especially when I pressed my identity theft company regarding why they had not seen the activity.  The representative seemed unconcerned and proceeded to tell me my standard protection did not actual monitor my credit to which I heatedly asked him if the quarterly emails I receive from his company which say my credit looks good are a bold faced lie then.  Talking to that man was literally like nailing jello to the wall.

I went outside after that conversation to shovel and chip away at the 5 foot berm of snow outside our house to help it to melt quicker and to blow off some steam.  I began to thank God for allowing my bank to catch it in less than 24 hours.  It will take time and money to order new checks, but it could have been really bad if it had not been noticed.  Our accounts could have been cleared out of all of our money.  None of our money had been touched.

Carl and I did talk many times of how grateful we were at how it had been caught early, but it did make us feel vulnerable.  It made me realize that my identity in America is a number called a social security number, but my true identity is in Christ.  Money and credit reports and social security are aspects we need to deal with in this life, but my true identity will never change in Christ.  No one can ever take from me the most important thing to me, and that is Christ.  I am thankful for that!

This incident actually happens only days after a friend of mine, Shelly, stood at my door and said, “We need to make sure to pray for each other during this process, because you know Satan loves to attack when we are doing God’s work.”  I am in the throws with some ladies to bring a simulcast for a women’s event at our church as well as other things I am working on.  Regardless the reason, God has allowed this to happen, and I will trust him with the outcome!

“Count it all joy, my brother, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” James 1:2-4, ESV

Blessings, Andrea