Losing my Phone & Finding God

Show of hands: How many of you have ever lost your phone before?


Hah – yeahhhh. For those that are blessed enough to not be sheepishly raising their hand right now, let’s just say — it is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on Regina George.

So I lost my phone on Saturday night.

And before you jump to conclusions based on my last post about my drinking habits, and the fact that this occurred at 2am on Saturday evening, let me preface by saying…

a) I was sober.

b) It fell out of my back pocket.

c) And was left in an Uber.

Very long and painful story short: Two identical black Ubers pull up to the apartment building at the same time. We get in one. The driver asks: “Are you Charlie?” Nooo…. So then the driver, in a very aggressive and heavily accented voice, shouts at me, “Get out – not your car! Not your car! Get out!” 


And me, having debilitating people pleaser tendencies, scrambled to get out of the Uber as fast as humanly possible. “Ok! So sorry sir! So sorry!” 

And as I scooted across the back seat, my phone fell out of my back pocket.

And that was the last I saw of that beautiful piece of Apple hardware. Because since it was not my Uber, I had no way of contacting the driver to get it back.

And after spending literally 90 minutes scouring the Uber website for a general contact number, I came up with diddly squat.

The annoying part: My phone hadn’t been backed up since 2015. And so I lost all 10,843 of my photos.

Yes, you read that number correctly. 10,843.

I hord photos like a territorial dog in heat.

10,843 photos: poof. Gone.


Anywho, I had to spend my entire Sunday on a wild goose chase to get this phone situation straightened out. At one point I literally had to take an hour-long identity test to prove that I am who I said I was, since I reported my phone as lost.

In the end, I did get a new phone. Still no photos. HOWEVER. There was a beautiful silver lining in all of this.

And it was in the sweet soul of a human that helped me at the store.

She was about my age. And I knew that we were going to hit it off from the very beginning because the first thing she said to me was, “Girl, your eyeballs are beautiful.

And – *sigh* sometimes during a really cruddy day, you just need to hear a compliment, gosh darnit. So ThankYouVeryMuch – I’ll take it. 

But seriously though. I was in the store for two hours when all was said and done. And there was a lot of down time – waiting on hold with my cell phone carrier, verifying my identity, confirming my identity by calling my father…yadda yadda yadda.

And in the process, this girl tells me her life story.

And wouldn’t you know, her mom had just had a stroke last year, too.

I mean, I honestly think that God brought the two of us together that afternoon for a reason, because this girl just needed to tell her story.


She had had such a tough life. She was telling my about how she practically raised her two younger brothers. She put herself through college by working two jobs, and had gone through such an emotional year with her mom.

And for a good 30 minutes, I just listened as she fought back tears, and was just finally having someone to listen to her story – even if it was just the “eyeball girl with the lost phone.”

After she finished her story, and we had a cathartic “sister-I-feel-you” hug, I just looked at her and felt the Holy Spirit prompting me to say something.

The whole time she was talking, I just got this feeling that she believed in God. And that God was part of her story, she was just hesitant to share it with me.

And so I looked at her, and was just like, “You know, I honestly don’t know how I would have gotten through this last year with my mom without God.

And it was honestly like I had just told her that we were long lost sisters, reunited at summer camp – because I could physically see this sigh of relief and affirmation come over her chest.

And for the next 10 minutes, we just talked about how God was the one who got us through when we were scared or angry or at our wit’s end. And the connection was honestly just so beautiful.


Walking home from the store that afternoon, new iPhone in hand, I was just struck by how grateful I was to have had that interaction.

Because I was thinking about it, and I have been incredibly blessed to have this outlet here on BBB, to be able to share my story. These last 9 months – with my mom’s stroke – have been such a life changing and at-times-frightening season of my life, and I am just so grateful to have the love, prayers, and support that you all have shown.

But not everyone has that.

That girl yesterday…she needed to share her story.

She needed to be heard. To be affirmed. To know that she wasn’t alone.

And walking home yesterday, I just was praising God that our paths crossed, and that she felt comfortable enough to open up and let me into that vulnerable part of her heart. That took a lot of courage.

No man is an island. And sometimes it’s just nice to know that there’s someone out there who knows what you’re going through.

So once again, God was able to use everything — even a lost phone — for good.

And funny how, when I literally am without a phone, and therefore don’t have my face buried in my screen – that I have this incredible interaction — because I am present and available to those around me – in the moment. Perhaps that’s another takeaway from the day.

Those 10,843 photos – maybe I need to just stop trying to freeze time, and instead fully live in the moment.

Because I did today, and God showed up, big time.

***Thanks to everyone who has ordered by book, Bloom: A Journal by BeautyBeyondBones!***

Click here to order your copy!

Stay Connected!

@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram




A big thank you to my sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.

Next time you’re shopping on Amazon, be sure to use my link! Doing so is absolutely FREE for you, and a great way to support this blog!


Thank you for considering supporting BBB on Patreon! You make this blog possible 🙂


282 responses to “Losing my Phone & Finding God”

  1. Nope, Never lost my phone. 🙂 Though, I’ve broken a few, by choice and angry breakups! Are you not using Google to back up your photos like everyone else? Backs them up straight to the drive.

    God always turns bummers into triumphs… Duh!

  2. My Apple iPhone is very important to me and all my photos – but there are things more important than phones and photos. Thanks for sharing this wonderful experience. My Mom had a stroke. She was almost 80 and then lived until 93. It wasn’t always easy but she still had a lot of life to live in those years and many good times. I’m glad I got to experience a whole new kind of relationship with her in those years and be with her until the end of her life.

  3. Caralyn! I am so sorry about your phone! Praise the Lord for His leading you to a new. God is so kind and generous! I will be praying for the sales girl and you! God loves you!

  4. What a great story! As I read this, I couldn’t help but tear up. God definitely works in mysterious ways 😊 I’m glad you got a phone but even happier that you were there for that girl. Thanks for listening to her, she needed you and didn’t even realize it.

  5. I spent a week without my phone a few months ago as I waited for a repair. It was a great week…I felt so present that week!! Being present is a conscious effort with all the distractions of technology!! I love how God used your phone to connect you to someone!!

  6. If you don’t have the Cloud (or you used up all your space), you can find a USB (or thumb drive) for your phone. I got one recently for $20 at Best Buy, and it holds 64 Gigs! All 300 or so pictures and videos are on it (I’m a long way behind you).

    Have fun with more photography!

  7. So glad you could get a new iPhone but what a painful process. I have lost past photos off my phone that were not backed up due to the phone taking a swim. Doing better in backing things up. It was good you could relate, share and affirm the girl yesterday. It is always great to see the silver lining!

  8. HAHA I feel ya! I prided myself on never losing a phone……. until about a year ago. I had forgotten about it until reading your story. Mine was more of a divine appointment as well. Long story short, I am back to a flip phone and couldn’t be happier. Yeah, that’s right…..no internet on my phone. 🙂 It’s freeing. Anyway, I may have to write out the story at some point. I do temporarily lose my phone but that is only while I’m talking on it. 😉

  9. Pastor, God’s Holy Spirit guided your meeting! In no way was this a coincidence. Have your people contacted Tebow’s people yet? Hi to your Mom. I pray for your family and your ministry which is already touching many hearts….imagine when you begin to preach on Sunday and give speeches nation-wide! So proud of you!

  10. Amazingly I have only lost 1 phone and never got it back it was one of those flipphones. But it seems that after several years I have a broken phone. Like destroyed almost. I had another flipphone that the screen busted right off. Too much flipping lol. And my first smartphone, battery overheated and cooked the phone. Recently had a phone (not the battery) cook itself and had to remove the battery. Screen got busted on that one and no longer works.

    Usually ill buy the cheapest phones, probably why they get broken so easily. I got pictures on my older phone that I am hoping i got on the sd card. Haven’t hooked it up to my computer yet though. Part of being lazy and not backing data up. At least with these cheap phones i get no one will bother stealing them.

  11. So good Carolyn! Did I spell that right?
    I don’t know about you, but I sometimes have trouble acting on what I feel is the Holy Spirit talking to me because I don’t want to be wrong and be embarrassed. But it’s not about me, is about Him.
    I was in the grocery store one day a few weeks ago and there was a grocery clerk stocking the shelf bedside me. I heard the word “law” in my spirit so I asked him if he wanted to be a police officer? He said no, but he wants to be a lawyer. I told him that I felt God was telling him that he was going to be a great lawyer. He was really touched by that. I then asked him if he had any pain in his body that I could pray for, he said no, but then he told me that he had a kidney disease. So I prayed for his kidneys and then parted ways. The next time I saw him, he told me that the MRI that he had gone for had come back positive. Praise God! It doesn’t end there. I asked him what he thought about Jesus after getting news like that. I forget exactly what he said, but it was positive. I then asked him he wanted to accept Jesus, right there in the grocery store and he did. I later find out that my oldest daughter knows him from highschool and my daughter’s friend told me that his kidneys had gone from something like 65% functional to 95% functional. All because I listened to the Holy Spirit. Woohoo!

  12. Thank you for sharing a beautiful God happening. As we make ourselves available, we see God is already there, with us, and before us.
    Thank you, and thank you from all the folk you help, and encourage, and don’t even realize it.
    Luv and Hugs 😀🌹❤️

  13. Replacing a lost I-phone? Two hours-plus and cash.
    Trading the 10,843 pictures that were on it for comforting another human being? PRICELESS!!

    More on Patreon. My apologies in advance if I come across too preachy. Dad going on another monologue…

    “Back when I was a kid…blahblahblah…”

  14. Beautiful story. thanks for sharing. I’ve laundered several of my phones and no, putting them in a bag of rice does not restore them. I’m still a flip-phone junkie, you know, the $29.99 type.

    • Aw, Daniel, thanks so much! That’s so awesome that you had a similar experience yesterday! Glad it was the “God pursuing” and not the “lost phone ” part 🙂 hehe Hugs and love xox

  15. I understand with the phone story, last week mine fell out of my clutch (12 am) and the screen shattered into pieces. I don’t know If I was just exhausted or what but defiantly good to be reminded that God has a plan even when your phone cracks. ❤️ – Izzy

  16. Sweet story. As a Stephen Minister at my church, I can tell you that your presence and listening ear did wonders for that lady you met up with. Our time and attention are the best gifts God’s given us. When we give them away, people are truly blessed.

  17. What a beautiful story. You were in the right place at the right time for that girl and didn’t ignore the Holy Spirit’s promptings.

    I’m sorry for the loss of your photos. I never lost a phone, but I had all my (“only”) 400+ photos simply disappear from my phone once, a couple years ago. No backup, no recovery success. That would have been bad enough, but I’d just returned from visiting my aunt who was dying of cancer, and at the time, I thought it may be the last time I saw her. She’d been like a mom/sister/friend to me, closer than my own mom and sister by far. Thankfully, I’d shared most of my favorite photos from that weekend with my hubby and cousins, so I had a few of the more precious photos in my text messages and email.

    • Thanks so much! Yes! I think you’re right. Oh gosh I’m so sorry to hear that 🙁 I’m glad you still were able to get some of them back from your family. That’s for sharing that with me. Big hugs xox

  18. Wonderful story Caralyn! Being the eternal optimist that I am, I always believe that things work out for the best (for an ‘above our heads reason’). But 10K+ photos! Geezie, peezie, it would take me 10,000 days to take that many:)))

  19. Thanks for sharing this life event. I believe this happens more often than not. Its just that we all don’t share these life events. Got me thinking that although there are differences in life(dem/republican, male/female, rich/poor, Italian/Peruvian..) we all share many of the same life experiences. Very nice posts. 🙂

  20. I love these kind of God conversations! They happen a lot in the pregnancy loss community as well. I’m glad you were given this opportunity and spoke up! And while losing pictures can be devastating (girl I have been there), I’m glad you were led to that experience!

  21. So sorry about the photos, sweet friend. That is so horrible. Again God uses something horrible to do something good and so so so good for you for listening and obeying! And in such a difficult situation! You totally rock! (I hope you connect up with your phone.) Hugs! Love you!❤

  22. So glad you listened to what God put on your heart and reached out to her. Sometimes it’s the smallest things God can use to connect us. I’m sorry about your phone, but I’m glad God blessed you through it. 🙂

  23. I have never permanently lost my phone. However, I do know how you feel about the photos. A couple of months ago, my laptop crashed….with my new novel I was writing, and no I didn’t have it backed up. So I had to rewrite the first five chapters from memory. I also realized there were other files that I did not have backed up.

    It’s wonderful you were able to encourage that girl. I’m a big believer that we are in this together and should encourage every opportunity we get.

  24. It seems God always sends you to those in need in some form or fashion. This is probably the reason you lost your phone. There was a soul in need and hurting, and God knew the right person to send with love and compassion. What is a lost phone when it comes to bringing life back to a soul that is hurting? Love you as always and God Bless, SR

  25. Triple B, “über” the top as a phone nightmare! (Thx for your kind email reply–God always has your back–and God always has one more move. All is well.)

  26. Dear Friend, as saying goes “Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it”. You are real inspiration. Your each and every post inspire and motivates me and many others. Thank you for sharing 🙂 God bless you dear 🙂

  27. My world and welcome to it!…i just lost my phone (again) yesterday…if i didn’t have the record company to deal with i wouldn’t even hassle with another one.

  28. I love reading your post, I like the honesty, one of my friends got burned by some people over a dog i told them about what had happened to you, thanks for the inspiration!.. Keep it up kiddo!

  29. Bad Kama with the phone loss, and non backing up of those photos is horrific! I bet you are backing them up individually from now on? Beautiful eyeballs? Now there’s an ice breaker for you. I think you were placed in that shop to help a struggling soul who needed someone who’d been through the mill to give her courage. An expensive way to make that contact but sometimes that happens. Apple is responsible for the loss though so sue them. They use Uber to suck phones out of people’s pockets so they can sell them IPhone 11.

  30. Did you know Cara means “friend”? Lynn, means pool or stream. Mine, means bright one in Gaelic. Boy, am I the exception on that one. haha.

    You, are not keep collecting these moments. Friend.

  31. This was a beautiful post. I loved the end where you takes about how not having your face in your phone made you available! Perfection. I think it’s important to remember that God wants to use us a lot more than we know. We miss the opportunities all the time. I’m sure phones are a major reason. I know they are for me!

  32. Wowowowowow
    Just amazing
    Like wow
    Beautifully written
    Amazingly represented
    Such an inspiration
    I’m a new blogger
    If u get time pls visit my site and ya pls give Ur suggestions on it
    Ur blog was just amazing
    loved it❤❤❤❤❤❤❤❤

  33. Wowowowowow
    Amazingly written
    Beautifully presented
    Loved it
    I’m new to blogging
    Pls see my site give ur suggestions on it
    Ur blog was just amazing

  34. Guilty 😆 I definitely pictured you drunkenly dropping your phone in a toilet or some other comedic scene. I bet you’ll be a back up nazi after this one haha. Isn’t it crazy how naked and disoriented we feel without our cell phones?! Pretty cool when the big guy shows up in those moments! So many different scriptures are coming to mind right now. Matthew 18:20 seems to stand out the most.

    I actually have a couple of questions about your blog. Would email be best?

  35. So sweet of you to take the time to listen. It is what she needed at that moment. You see God works in mysterious ways and it was for you to be there on the day the young lady needed someone to hear her. You may never know what your presence did for her life but since God sent you there, I’m sure it was nothing short of a Miracle. Blessings.

  36. I loved your post! God has repeatedly taught me that inconveniences are unforeseen blessings. It helps me leave the pity party and get real. 😛 I’m so glad you were able to encourage that girl! God is awesome.

  37. While I’ve never lost my phone, I felt connected to your story. My mom was diagnosed with cancer last spring and a friend I wasn’t that close with at the time and I went out for coffee and that’s whwre I mentioned to her my mom had cancer. Well, turns out her mom also had a serious medical problem and we bonded over that and God and talked for hours. It was one of those moments that was so positive for me in a time that I needed positivity more than ever. Thanks for sharing your story, I loved it! 🙂

  38. “NOW is the time of God’s favor;TODAY is the day of salvation.”
    It’s hard to be alert and watchful. But that’s what our Lord commands of us.
    As we learn, experience that divine reality, we take hold of much good fruit in our lives.
    Thank you “Writer”

  39. It’s amazing the way the Lord will use the simplest things to bring you to others and to Him. Loved reading this and also the picture of you at the top! 😊

  40. Such a lovely story Caralyn. It’s strange how God sets us on a path into other people’s lives and we always wonder “Why?”. We don’t readily see the impact we have on the other person or vice versa, but in some shape or form that encounter whether it be long or brief has special meaning Your posts are truly inspiring, thanks for sharing!

  41. This is amazing. I just love how God takes us through a series of unpredictable events and then puts us where He can use us the most. What a wonderful connection He conducted yesterday. I know that an impact has been made on both of your lives. This is a beautiful testimony. God bless you.

  42. Amazing, isn’t He! Our lives are full of all good things. Like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob we are blessed. Pray that others might see, you’re doing a great job sharing reality.

  43. Caralyn,
    Sorry that you lost your phone, all of those photos (I love taking and storing tons of photos), and that the guy was rude to you. Hopefully, your phone carrier was able to somehow miraculously lock that phone. It is a miracle how God works.
    On another note, it really makes you feel more purposeful and blessed in those moments when someone touches your life or you touch their life somehow.
    Finally, I met Tenth Avenue North finally while on our honeymoon at SoulFest in New Hampshire. Great band. Great message. One song that came to mind when I was nearing the end of your post was, No Man is an Island.
    Here is the link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zlw3jG2pE8w
    God Bless always

  44. Isn’t it funny how people will openly and in detail tell their whole life story to a stranger in public but unwilling to openly say GOD? When did testifying to your faith become shameful? What has happened to this world?

  45. This kills me. You lose your connection to virtual reality, and the Holy Spirit (the world-wide-web of love) organizes this meeting with somebody that really needed your witness.

    Nudge, nudge. Hint, hint. Wink, wink.

  46. Gods’ grace and mercy shines through at the most opportune time! You were “Johnny on the Spot” for that girl and in turn, you received a blessing yourself. Kudos Caralyn – (for being what God wants us all to be)!

  47. Love it love it love it!
    PS I’m a total people pleaser, too, but I’ve been finding it so helpful to learn about Gretchen Rubin’s 4 Tendencies….around how we deal with outer madness inner expectations. The section in her book on obligers was so helpful!
    Love how open you are to others, and how that moment became so special when fully embraced!

  48. You are so good about losing your photos! Girl, one word: iCloud! 🙂 For now, you can create new memories.
    By the way, it’s really kind of you to connect with the girl. God bless you.

  49. I have Samsung, but I have set the gallery app to automatically upload photos every day when I connect to known WiFi – please try something like that!
    But yeah. Wow. Doesn’t God work in the coolest way?

  50. Beautiful. You were clearly listening deeply & through that listening the correct response emerged & through that you were able to see what you both had in common ie the connecting thread that made both your paths cross. Losing your mobile phone was the catalyst that brought that together. It shows how the universe conspires to bring us to where we need to be at any given time for whatever reason the universe requires us to be there & there is such compassion in that 🙂

  51. What a beautiful story of how God takes our disasters and turns them into opportunities. “No man is,an island”… My pastor sent me a video link by that title to show as we open worship this week. I think there is,something God’s trying to grab my attention with there.

  52. Sorry about your phone and glad you could get another one- a better one I hope😉
    God works in mysterious ways. Like it says in the good book, ‘In all things, give thanks’
    I am sure losing your phone was a plan beyond mortal hearts for you to be able to touch and help someone. I got thinking that what if the lady at the store had not poured her heart out to you, she could have taken a drastic action.
    God bless you. May God replenish all you have lost a hundred fold

  53. It’s taken me way too long to visit your site, but I’m so glad I did. You’ve been such a faithful visiter to 27 Crosses, and seeing your beautiful face sitting in the “likes” has been a great encouragement to me. Loved your story about losing the iPhone and meeting up with someone who needed your friendship. God is good! By the way, congratulations on your new book. I know it will help many people. Blessings!

  54. I knew you were beautiful but I hadn’t thought about the eyeballs. That girl was right. They are beautiful! 😀 Loved your story; An interaction well worth slowing down for.

  55. Wow, this is so inspiring. To see good even in bad situations and believe in the saying that everything happens for a reason. I needed this big time given how often I’m thrown into such situations.

  56. I absolutely love the part where you say you need to stop trying to always freeze time and instead live in the present. That is something I have tried to instill in my life lately. Instead of always feeling guilty about the past and stressing about the future, I instead should just embrace the present. Great post!!

  57. I thought this story was beautiful. I’ve pretty much done away with social media to be able to experience life in front of me. I have definitely had moments where I believe God put people, events and obstacles in my way to keep me on a set path, so I definitely feel ya. I would like to say that even though your phone hasn’t been backed up, you may want to try using Find My iPhone to get a location on it. I find it surprising that you didn’t do that or weren’t told to try… but I believe that you were used to help that girl in that moment. And hopefully you can use that to find your phone. 10K photos is a lot to lose, and sometimes captured moments are just as important as the experience.

  58. I don’t believe in coincidences. We go through and experience things in our lives that allow us to help others, or God puts others in our paths that are able to help us. We have to look past the pain and heartache, and seek God’s purpose in it all.

    “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.”
    ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:28‬ ‭ESV‬‬

  59. Love this! Glad God opened that door for you, to share with this woman about Him, sometimes the simplest situations we’ve find ourselves in make the biggest marks on eternity.

  60. I hope you had a chance to listen to that Tenth Avenue North song. I was going to suggest the same thing. Keep trusting and trying and God will guide you along the “Little Way” to holiness and happiness on His terms.

  61. I back my photo to iCloud. That aside this proves Ecclesiastics 3:1 so true! Frequently I take technology fasts. I buy a newspaper, I keep my iPhone in the briefcase and just be present in the moment. Keep up the good work.

  62. THIS! Love it. This is what it’s all about!!! We are not alone. Everyone has a story. It’s the people brace enough to share them that will rise to the top. Lovvvvvve this!!!! Keep it up!!!

  63. Love love your story! Indeed we live in a time where we are so caught up in the unimportant things. I hope we truly get to tune in to God every single day of our lives.

  64. Wow! His providence is awesome. Thank you for sharing your experience. It is a reminder to me personally of being more sensitive to interactions God may be orchestrating right in front of me for the sake of being blessed by them and being a blessing to them.

  65. Love this! Yes our phones and other devices are so necessary, but sometimes its good just to not have them in hand. I’m glad you were able to get a new one though. I have lost mine in the past. Hugs!! xoxoxo

  66. Hi from @IjeLencha I organize honeymoon trips and couples retreats.

    We run a travel based blog highlighting honeymoon travel and destinations, I write about lifestyle touching on business, relationships. I write about my faith and journey with God.


Join the Conversation!

%d bloggers like this: