We rent a house with an unfinished basement in North Carolina. It’s further south than where I grew up and there are more and seemingly bigger bugs, not just outside, but inside, too.
In fact, when we first moved in three years ago, my girls were still quite young and transitioning to their beds. Because of the move and all of the changes happening in all of our lives, we set up a full-size mattress on the floor where I could sleep with our girls if need be. Well, one night that first week, the need arose.
And, within moments of my lying down beside my three and a half year old, a palmetto bug ran over my head and, yes, I sprang off the mattress and out the bedroom door in search of my husband (aka the Dragon Slayer) in less than a nanosecond.
Long story short, he eventually tracked the bugger down and dispatched it. But that put me on high alert for every scurvy bug encounter from that moment forward. And while I would testify under oath that there have been well over a thousand or more, I will concede that my emotions are not a valid indicator of how many encounters there have been. I will further concede that the number is far less than a thousand.
Despite the low number, I remain on high alert always.
I find that I scan the area of a room upon entering it.
I find that I catch movements more readily out of the corner of my eye.
I find that I anticipate an encounter with some scurvy varmint often.
And that got me thinking about how quickly that habit formed and how proactive I am and how I expect a multi-legged critter to skitter across my path.
And I wonder how it is that I do not have that same anticipation or habit or expectation involving God. That seems a little strange, you know? When it comes to something I loathe, I’m find I’m in tune with my surroundings and the sense of possibility that something might happen.
But when it comes to this God that I love, I am less engaged. Unlike entering a room in this rental house on high alert, more often than not, I do not enter my days or my quiet time with the same elevated alertness or anticipation.
And, yes, the physical encounter during those first days in our rental with an oversized roach (there, I finally wrote that awful word) probably set the stage for this heightened awareness, I can easily recount countless times (this time without exaggeration from fear) God showed up and provided for our needs, including our financial needs.
God showed up in just as real a way as that flying roach and He has shown up in equally dark circumstances: when I’ve been alone or desperate for hope or been crushed by the weight of special needs both known (diagnosed) and unknown.
For the next 31 days, as I join the #31daysofwriting challenge, I will explore and share living life on the spectrum with my girls (one with Aspergers and sensory issues, the other with sensory issues), my amazing husband and with God. Because sometimes when you’re walking through a day on the spectrum, there are more unknowns than knowns and more questions than answers and a deep longing for Hope from the One who knit each of us together so that we are fearfully and wonderfully made.