We moved in the house on September 17th, a Friday, which was a week after we signed the lease. When I picked up the keys from her that morning she said, “We’ve bug bombed five times, but we can’t seem to get them all. We called an exterminator to come in on Tuesday, but in the mean time, if you see one just spray it.” And handed me some Raid.
Um, pardon me?
The house was crawling with bugs. The five oldest kids and I came prepared to clean after we picked up the keys. But, mostly I just stood and looked around with despair. If I see ‘a’ bug? How about hundreds. David was working the two jobs by this point, 7-4 at the full time job and 8-midnight at the second, with ten hours on Saturdays as well. I was sitting in the living room alone at midnight in the only chair we had brought and I was having a major emotional breakdown. I was waiting to call David, because I knew his shift was about to end. I told him I thought I had made a terrible decision about this house. Did he know all the bugs that were here? What were we going to do? I can’t even begin to describe how upset I was. But, David always knows what to say. He told me that everything would be okay, and that I did a great job finding us a house. We would just take it one step at a time. I don’t know what I would do without him.
We made it through that weekend, and on Monday they had the new furnace installed. It was still about 95 degrees out and we had the air conditioner off all day, so they could install it. That afternoon around five, they let us know that they couldn’t seem to get the air conditioner back on, and they would have to come back tomorrow.
Um, pardon me? Again.
We now had no air conditioning in 95 degree weather in a house crawling with bugs. Lord, would this ever end?
But, wait. Oh, yes. There’s more.
They couldn’t get the air fixed on Tuesday either. They didn’t get the air on until Friday- a week in 95 degree heat. And bugs.
But wait. Oh, yes. There’s still more.
Tuesday night, the toilets started backing up into the bathtubs. The lovely folks who rented the place before us were obviously wonderful tenants. Not only did they leave us all their bugs, but they left roots in the sewer pipes as well. Apparently you’re supposed to flush rock salt down toilets for two weeks in October to keep roots from growing into the sewer line, and they did not. I have never heard of such a thing in my life, but you better believe from now on, I will be a salt flushing fool.
And then there were the mice. That’s all I’m going to say about that.
Now it is four months later, January 2011. With a fresh coat of paint, and the bugs dwindled waaaay down, and the mice gone we are definitely making the house work. We even have a school room-very exciting. I’m no longer on the verge of an emotional breakdown every minute. My default is set to happy.
I share all of this because I went down a long, hard road and made it to the light at the end. I know there are many who are in circumstances far, far more difficult than I can imagine. There were so many times that I knew all the answers, everything that Christians say in tough times. “God is good.” “God still loves you.” “God is still there and he cares.” But, honestly, I didn’t want to hear any of it. I couldn’t understand why God would bless us with so many children, yet not gives us the means to take care of them. I felt like God let me down. And I couldn’t seem to get over that.
I’m being honest here.
God spoke to me recently and said, “Courtney, I am good, I do still love you, I am still there and I do care. That’s why I gave you all these children. I promised you I would when you trusted me. But, because of this fallen, sinful world I can’t promise you it will always be comfortable.”
I still don’t know why we needed to go through all we did. I may never know until I can ask Him in person. I do know that He has blessed us. He was blessing us all the time with gifts and encouragement from friends and sometimes even total strangers. Even though conditions weren’t my idea of perfect, He did provide us with all that we needed. I also know that even as much as I love my children and want to provide for them, He loves them more. And, most importantly, he has promised us eternal life if we trust him. He always keeps his promises.
Life for us still isn’t perfect, but in this world, it will never be. David is still working a lot of hours for a little money. We don’t have the means to purchase a house and land like we wanted. And sometimes, it seems like it’s one little thing after another. But, we are happy. We are enjoying our children, enjoying each other and starting over.