Monday, October 8, 2012


There are definitely perks to homeschooling. I can sleep in until 9:00. I can do school in my pajamas. I can watch a TV show at lunch. The one downside?

You're alone a lot. This is less so for me because Levi and Evan get out of school at 11:30, so they're home about half the "school day." Mom is gone for a lot of the morning though.

Today, I was carrying my breakfast to my favorite chair where I was going to start my Bible study when I spotted something small and brownish on the carpet. I froze.

Hoppy bug.

Alright, so they aren't really called hoppy bugs. They're cave or camel crickets. We've had them around since I was younger though and because they jump like crazy, we call them hoppy bugs.

For anyone who doesn't know, I have an extreme fear of bugs (a phobia, if you will). Hoppy bugs are one of the worst anxiety triggers for me because I had experiences with them as a child when my phobia was just forming.

So, needless to say, the hoppy bug in the middle of my path caused me great distress. I could feel my heart start racing. My breathing became shallow and quick. I felt tears forming in my eyes.

What was I going to do?

I was to afraid to get close to it with a shoe or a book - it would hop. So I ran quickly and got out the vacuum.

Plugging it in, and taking out the suction extension, I turned it on. I shakily extended it to the hoppy bug. I was so close then - HOP!

I screamed. I broke down. The tears streamed down my cheeks, and I was sobbing harder than I have in quite some time. I gathered up my courage and jabbed out at the bug again - and again it jumped. This time behind a chair where I couldn't get it for fear of it jumping on me.

I stood for a good twenty minutes with the vacuum on in front of that chair, hands clenched, hyperventilating, waiting for that bug to come out. It didn't.

So slowly I went and sat back down in my usual chair and started to eat my breakfast. After about half an hour I was convinced that maybe it had left. Or maybe it wasn't coming back.

I looked down to my left and jumped. Right next to my chair was the hoppy bug. I leaped off the chair on the other side and ran to the vacuum. I tried again and again and again to kill it.

No luck. It was simply too fast. And I was terrified. You do not know terror until you've suffered from a phobia. Blinding, paralyzing fear overtook my body. I cried and cried and cried.

Finally I picked up my cellphone and called my mom. I don't know what I expected her to do. She was out. She couldn't come back just to kill a bug for me.

She told me to calm down and take my work up to my room. She would try to find the bug when she got home.

But I wanted to try just a few more times. And I did. And it didn't work.

Finally, so scared I wanted to fall on the ground and curl up in the fetal position, I ran up to my room with my work and lay on the floor sobbing my guts out.

It was the providence of God that just a few moments later, my mom walked in (in between going to the store and picking up my brother and sister from school), found the hoppy bug, and killed it.

When I came downstairs, my body was still shaking with leftover panic. I kept looking around for movement, locking onto anything small and brown I saw. When I had calmed down a bit, I wondered, 

"Why didn't God let me kill the bug?"

It would have been so much easier and so much less stressful and manic if I could have just sucked it up on the first try.

Why did God put me through all that? Why didn't he let me kill it?

I then realized how big of a step in overcoming my fear I made today. I did not run, at least not at first. I did not cower in panic.

I tried. I tried multiple times to kill it myself, despite how terrified I was.

And that is more than I have ever done in my life.

So even though in the world's eyes, this would have been a failure, I consider it a success. I consider this God's message to me saying, "It's not hopeless. Baby steps."

And I have faith that God will continue to eradicate this fear from my heart, because He's already started to.

For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.
          - Philippians 1:6

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