Light in the Darkness
For those who have sympathized with me, prayed for me, and even those who have enjoyed picking on me about our “roach adventures” I wanted to share the most recent episode in “Missy vs. Critters” 🙂
Last Thursday night during prayer time with our connection group I shared with the ladies a praise: after 4 months of being in Texas I am finally starting to feel content with being here. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been thankful to be here and have this opportunity to learn, grow, and build a solid foundation for our mission. There’s never a day that we don’t thank God for this privilege. However, actually living here has not always been easy, as we’ve dealt with loneliness, longing to be in Guatemala, and other challenges that I talked about in the Adjustments and Perspectives blog. We’ve been learning in our classes about culture shock and we realized that even though we were still in the U.S. we were still experiencing a bit of culture shock. So I was thankful this week to realize I was finally feeling peaceful about living in San Juan, Texas. As I shared this with the ladies one of them asked me “Was there something that happened that made it especially hard?” So I shared about the challenges we faced during our very first month here, specifically about the cockroach infestation we had in our cottage. She said, “Yeah that would make me dislike living in Texas too.” We all had a good time sharing cockroach stories (apparently no one in the south goes unscathed by these monsters…lol) and about the challenges of moving to new places. The pastor’s wife, Ashley, shared with me about the time she was sleeping and felt something crawling on her neck, somehow she “knew” it was a cockroach so, half asleep, she reached up and grabbed it (feeling it crunch which confirmed her suspicion) and threw it across the room. It was a story that made each of our skin tingle but it was nice knowing Dylan and I weren’t the only ones to experience cockroaches in the bed. I shared with the group how Dylan and I were both very thankful that when we had the roach in the bed it was on him and not me because that might send me over the edge…little did I know what was coming!
So after our great night of group we left and on the walkway were 2 roaches scurrying around which Dylan calmly walked by as us 3 girls ran to the car quickly! I sent Ashley a text telling her that the roaches were waiting for me when I left laughing to myself. Sometime later in the middle of the night I felt something on my back so I reached back to brush it off and heard something hit the floor. In my half conscious state I thought “that sounds like a roach shell” so I quickly sat up and turned the light on and sure enough there was a roach laying on his back, legs going a mile a minute. For a few seconds I just stared in disbelief “I can’t believe this is happening again and this time it was ON ME” I thought. Quickly my disbelief turned to action and I crushed the little monster. Dylan woke up during all this and we did a thorough check to make sure our bedmate didn’t bring any friends with him. As this was going on I just kept thinking “I can’t believe this happened right after we were talking about it tonight!” We were just saying the other day about how thankful we were that we haven’t seen any roaches in weeks. As soon as we finished our check we prayed for protection from more roaches and peace so we could go back to sleep as roaches in the bed makes it hard for anyone to relax. I found myself asking God what He wanted me to learn from this and I realized I now knew I COULD handle having a roach on me and thanked God for letting me learn that lesson but also told Him I didn’t feel the need to EVER experience it again…lol. As we were settling back to bed I pulled out a devotional book that I keep by my bed, I decided to read a little because I just wasn’t ready to turn the lights off yet. Since our first experience with roaches down here I’ve struggled with the darkness because that’s what cockroaches love, in the darkness they are much bolder. I was thinking, “Maybe I’ll just sleep with the light on tonight” although I knew that would not allow for good sleep for Dylan or I. So I opened my devotional and started to read and Jesus spoke to me and comforted me through the words of that devotional.
The devotional was entitled: I will leave the light on and it was centered on Psalm 18:28, which says, “You light a lamp for me. The Lord, my God, lights up my darkness.” It talked about how Jesus is the light of the world, He is OUR light in darkness and we can always count on Him. He sees perfectly even in the dark and He is always there with us so we have no reason to fear. Talk about being EXACTLY what I needed!! What a comfort to be reminded that no matter what the darkness is that we are facing in life (illness, loneliness, stress, financial difficulties, or even cockroaches in your bed) Jesus is ALWAYS there and if He’s there we have nothing to fear. Even if He allows us to go through difficult things we know it’s for a reason and He’s giving us His strength to get through it. This comforted me to the point that I was able to fall back into a peaceful sleep, with the lights out, remembering that Jesus is always there even in my times of darkness.