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Saturday, August 16, 2008

Time To Conquer My Fear?

photo by decor8

The way I see it, the only good spider is a dead spider. I know, I know, spiders are wonderful for taking care of pesky insects and are part of God’s creation and are beautiful in their own right. When they’re big and black and crawling around in bed with me, though, I draw the line.

I have something of a phobia about the eight-legged critters. Okay, I’m actually a little irrational about them. At the sight of one I’ve been known to bale out of moving cars, abandon small children and cover my eyes when watching arachnidoidal (yes, I made that up) documentaries on TV.

While reading in bed one night recently, which is what I like to do for relaxation, a nickel-sized shadow traipsed through my peripheral vision. Lightning quick reflexes, normally winding down for the evening, fortunately kicked into play and I found myself screaming one word.

“R-A-C-H-E-L!!!”

My daughter and I have a mutual agreement. I take care of bees for her, she handles the spiders for me. I pointed out that a spider had just crawled under one of the pillows as she bounded into the room. Pulling a sandal off her foot she gingerly lifted the pillow. The spider darted, and so did her mom.

To make a long story short, no matter what my daughter did the spider was faster than she was. At one point it disappeared between the mattress and box spring, never to be seen again.

Now, how does one with an irrational fear of something you know is still alive but can’t locate rationalize climbing into bed for a good night’s sleep? I found myself on the receiving end of all kinds of assurances from my daughter.

“Mom, remember it’s more afraid of you than you are of it.” (Oh, yeah?)
“You’re this big, and it’s only this big.” (Size isn’t everything. Elephants are afraid of mice.)
“It’s probably already scooted into a crack somewhere.” (I don’t deal in probabilities, I deal in actualities.)
“You could always sleep with me.” (Hey, there’s an idea….)

By this time my son and the dog had joined us, wondering what all the ruckus was about. The dog snuck up behind me and brushed my leg with his whiskers. He will never do that again. Stupid dog.

Ultimately I ended up sleeping in my own bed. It was, after all, my bed. I like my bed. Admittedly I jumped into it like I used to when I was a little girl, making sure the bogeyman lurking beneath it, or its spider kin, didn’t reach out and grab me. And I sat on it for a lo-o-ng time, squarely in the middle, kicking at the cover here and flipping the sheet over there, jumping as the floater in my right eye created phantom spots in my periphery.

I said a little prayer out loud. “Lord, please don’t let the spider come back in bed with me tonight.” My daughter smirked and called over her shoulder as she left the room, “Call me if you need me.”

Jesus tells us to cast all our cares upon Him and not to worry about tomorrow. It wasn’t tomorrow I was worried about. It was the each-day-has-enough-trouble-of-its-own part I was latching on to. Nonetheless, I kept hearing a still, small voice. Rest in Me. I can take care of the spider while you sleep. Do you trust Me?

I did manage to get some sleep that night. I don’t know that I was refreshed in the morning. My daughter asked me if the spider ever came back. How would I have known? Research shows that most of us ingest our fair share of insects and creepy-crawlies in our sleep over our lifetime. I’m pretty sure I slept with my mouth closed all night, but who knows?

I guess, after all these years, it’s time to conquer my fear. If I had my druthers, though, I’d rather see the spider sacrificed on the bottom of a shoe (someone else’s, not mine). You’ll have a hard time otherwise convincing me that the only good spider is one left crawling around.

4 comments:

lynnmosher said...

Deb, I'm with you...the only good spider is a dead one! Except I'll hunt one down and give it a whack. Or I get out some kind of spray...hairspray, spray cleaner, whatever is handy! Be blessed with new courage!

Deb Burton said...

lol, thanks Lynn. Maybe I need to start keeping a can of oven cleaner or something next to my bed.

WWAHHMpreneur said...

I just got through posting my personal notes from yesterday's church sermon and then I read your blog and had a great laugh.
It is so important not to be fearful, but it definitely takes a lot to overcome fear.
I like an expression from Joyce Meyer "Do it afraid." That's pretty much what you did...slept in your bed in faith instead of letting the fear control you.
God bless!
(P.S. Link to sermon notes available at
http://operationnodebt.blogspot.com)

Deb Burton said...

WWAHHMpreneur, thanks for the comment. That Joyce Meyer comment is a good one - Do it afraid. I'll have to remember that the next time one of those eight-legged critters decides to cross my path. :)