It’s an all-out war and the tips of my pointer fingers are sore from smashing their bodies. Lauren leaves the room, disgusted by the sound of spines crunching under pressure; Rae helps, but opts to use a paper towel. Using my bare fingers enables me to be sure they’re dead. Otherwise I could inadvertently brush one off the wall and lose it on the floor–a risk I’m unwilling to take.
I spend an entire day emptying the pantry, item by item. I think I’ve found the mother-load in the Bisquick, only for the relief to be short-lived when I spy more a day later. I catch a pair mating on a bare shelf. My eyes feel violated and dart away but my fingers quickly put an end to their tryst and soldier on. I feel no remorse; their babies would’ve just angered me more.
Clear items, inspect shelves, kill bugs. Rinse and repeat.
I saunter into the kitchen for my afternoon cup of coffee and spy one crawling near the most precious of precious: the coffee maker. This is getting personal. “You’re miles from home, buddy,” I wanna tell him, “No grains in sight.” It wouldn’t do any good; I’m convinced they’re hell-bent on stretching out this war they’ve waged. Wear her down, they’re thinking, she’ll eventually give up. I put on a brave face, but inside, consider doing just that.
A week goes by, the dining room remains cluttered with small appliances and foodstuffs piled high. I walk from room to room, forgetting my purpose, and wonder if order will ever be restored. I preach “Walk by faith, not by sight” but the practice comes hard when the visual cues scream loud.
Just in time, I sit down at the computer to realize I’ve forgotten to pay a bill. One more day and the house would’ve been rendered powerless. The irony is thick. I exhale a Thank you, Lord, while I chastise myself for not having a better system. I finally admit to myself what’s been gnawing at me for days: I feel defeated. I mentally click down the list of things under my care to confirm it: I’m behind on all fronts. Forget getting “ahead.” Success right now is not having the lights shut off and being weevil-porn-free.
The moment arrives when I think we’re in the clear. My dry erase board recorded the last sighting at three days ago. My angst begins to lift. My steps feel lighter and my breaths a bit deeper.
…Until this morning, our son points at the floor saying the word I don’t wanna hear. I follow the line projected by his little finger to see a black bug steadily plodding, alive and thriving. Are you kidding me?!!
Instead of dropping to the floor in a fetal position and gently rocking myself back and forth, I cling to the words Jon said just yesterday, “Don’t get discouraged if you see some more. They may take longer to get rid of than you expect.” I breathe in, I breathe out. This is the best plan I can currently conjure up. I’m okay. Don’t feel defeat. Thank God for prophetic weevil truth.
Some battles are not won easily. They continue to rage on indefinitely, with no apparent end in sight. Others chew us up only to spit us into a holding pattern, much like the current state of our pantry and dining room. Between the weevil welter and a stubborn sinus sickness, my mind has been busy wallpapering the backs of my eyelids with “failure” and “weakling,” instead of “victor” and “courageous.” I just wrote about standing firm in battle for cryin’ out loud! Who knew I could be so easily picked off? It’s hard to stand firm when all road signs signal chaos and defeat.
Truth is, I’m an overcomer whether I feel like it or not. Not because of what I can do. Because of what He can do. I’ve flirted with the dividing line that encompasses the truth, but today I choose not to believe the lies that threaten to sink their teeth into my heart. Make no mistake about it, it is a choice; just as love ultimately reveals itself to be.
What’s one to do when circumstances don’t improve as quickly as we’d like? Or at all? I’d love to offer a neat and tidy conclusion, freshly wrapped and topped off by a bow, but it’s not always that simple. I’m currently trying this on for size: I put one foot in front of the other, remind myself I’m a princess in God’s kingdom (a saying of a dear friend), and get plenty of fresh air and drink large glasses of water (a motto of a blogger I follow). And when I feel down, like I’m botching the battle, I cover the old wallpaper with this: Hope is never entirely snuffed out for the follower of Jesus.
What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. Romans 8:31, 37
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