Last year the management at our apartment posted notice that they were going to inspect for bed bugs. Before I get into all that, let me go back several months prior to that, right after we moved in. There was a notice outside our door that, in accordance with their ongoing commitment to providing us with a bug-free environment, they were going to come spray for any pesky insects the very next day. I remember it clearly. Our first week here, the exterminators knock and come in. Ask if we’ve noticed any bugs around. “No, but we just moved in.” They sprayed and asked again. Now, I’m starting to wonder, “Is there a bug problem here? Did we pick the wrong place?” Turns out that the apartment management very kindly has a company come in every three months or so to keep our apartments bug free. (And it works!)
Let me take this opportunity to state exactly where I stand on the subject of bugs. I don’t mind them–at all! Bugs, spiders, creepy crawlies–no problem! I’ll smash ’em, catch them, pick them up–no biggie! (Mice or snakes—puh-roblem) But, there is one exception to the whole bug stance deal. Bed bugs=problem…PUH-RAH-BLEM! Let me say this in Spanish so you know where I’m comin’ from here–PROB-LEM-O! They are not a nice little bedtime rhyme, people, they are real…and I was pretty studied up on them. I used to work for Parents As Teachers and for my job went into people’s homes constantly. One family calmly told me they had bed bugs. I calmly FREAKED OUT! Calmly. Boy, did I inspect my bags, books, and myself after leaving there. Had to “pray up” before my next visit to their home too! 😉 Staying at a hotel–you better believe I check for those buggers! Restaurants, airports, movie theaters–let’s just say I’m cautious.
So, the big inspection day came. I wasn’t worried. No reason we would have them. No bites on any of us. Plus, I’m me. Bug Guy (nickname of endearment given to this particular exterminator) came. We chatted as he inspected my daughter’s bed. Went in and inspected our bed. Lifted the mattress (slow-mo here) and says, “Uh-oh.” Those two words will change your life, I’m tellin’ ya! My heart dropped to my knees, and I was thinking, “What!? ‘Uh oh?’ No, no ‘uh-ohs’ allowed here.” I was not liking this “uh oh“, at all! In fact, Bug Guy could suddenly see that I wasn’t his average customer. Panic was setting in and fast. He was in a bit of a hurry because he had many more apartments to inspect but he took a few minutes to talk. Yeah, I totally followed him to the door peppering him with questions. He had to leave. I cried. A little later I walked down to the office and talked to the nice assistant manager there. I was in tears! She told me, “It’s ok. These things are everywhere. Anyone can get them.” I started to talk about how she didn’t understand. See, I have a “thing” about these bad boys…I have spent years avoiding them and now they are in my place of dwelling? I was scared to even walk in the door. Bug Guy must have been in the back office. He came out and said he couldn’t help overhearing (smile) and he wanted to be part of the conversation. Then someone else came in, so he took me aside, while the assistant manager helped the other person. And, he listened. To my fear, my tears, my worry. All of the dreadful things I had read on the internet. Horror stories. Then, he said, “No one posts the boring stuff when they are just gotten rid of quietly. Taken care of easily. We are going to get these ‘guys’ out of your apartment and it is going to be so boring that no one would ever write about it.” I think I like this Bug Guy! He couldn’t come to treat until the following week but, as it so happened, I was headed to my mom’s to house-sit that very day while she was out of town (for about a week!) so it all worked out. I wouldn’t have to sit around the apartment all week wondering what those little bugs were planning. (And Bug Guy helped me with a plan so I would not take any little bugs over to her house.)
I was truly scared about this whole deal. Crazy as it sounds, terrified may be more accurate. Thinking about these tiny bugs that crawl on you and bite you as you peacefully sleep. Ew! I prayed about this a lot. One time I prayed, “God, I know often You ask us to walk through hard and fearful situations and You walk with us. But, if there is ANY way You could just have the Holy Spirit get all of those bugs out of our apartment, that’d be GREAT! If not, help me walk through this.” 🙂 The following week finally came and Bug Guy kept his word! He found a grand total of one bed bug–yep, one! (Woo-hoo!) He had us do a lot of work to kill any eggs or any more that could be hiding. And he came back and re-treated in a few weeks, just as a precaution, but they were gone! Pretty boring stuff indeed! Now, a few weeks after his final treatment, I found a bug in the bathroom. Bug Guy had told me that if I found any bugs that evenly slightly looked like they could be a bed bug–don’t kill it, just put in a baggie and call him. I did. I didn’t think it really was a bed bug but wanted to be darn sure. (Side note: we–Bug Guy and I–had talked quite a bit by then—can you say speed dial–I was probably his most unforgettable client at that point.) So, I called him, and he happened to be in between appointments and was able to come right over! (Hallelujah) He came and checked out that little bug. It was not a bed bug. He identified the type of insect it happened to be. Then whipped out his tablet and we kneeled at that living room coffee table and studied up on pictures of bed bugs. I think he wanted to prevent another false alarm. (hehe) Quite the ordeal, but we made it through. I may need a shirt that says “I had bed bugs…and survived!” Now, let’s just hope they stay the HECK away!!! 🙂
Life can be like that, can’t it? We get all worked up about something, held in utter terror by the grip of fear. But we have Someone, kind of like Bug Guy, in our corner. He listens as we pour out our heart to Him. He watches over us and walks with us. We make it through. And we come out on the other side with more faith, renewed trust, and more in love than ever before.