I cannot abide cockroaches. When I was six years old, my family moved from sunny southern California to the sunny, muggy upper panhandle of Florida. We road tripped across the lower United States, making several stops to see sights on the way. It was in a small motel in Louisiana where I experienced my first giant American Cockroach. My mother insisted we leave the motel immediately, because she could not bear the thought of roaches crawling near my then two month old brother. Since there was no other place to stop for miles, we drove all night until we arrived at our destination.

That experience convinced me that cockroaches were the spawn of the devil. I was petrified that one would crawl on me in my sleep, so I insisted on sleeping with my Bible from that night on for weeks. I was sure that the Holy Word of God would repel them and keep me safe as I slept. With my Bible securely in my arms I felt safe from the demonic creatures bent on our destruction. My parents paid an exterminator to come out every month, which kept the ugly vermin at bay, and left me to sleep in peace.

As an adult, I have learned to kill them when I have to…they are one of the few animals I will kill. Killing animals of any kind just rubs me the wrong way. Even killing cockroaches gives me the chills, but it is for the greater good. It must be done. These vermin are surely a direct result of The Fall.

One great aspect of being married is that my dear husband has often taken on the chore of killing roaches when he is around. (What a good strong man of God!) He finds it terribly humorous that I have such a fear of these insects, when most other bugs and pest like creatures barely faze me.

Much to both our surprise, my horrible fear from childhood came back to haunt me. One night this past summer, I fell exhausted into bed after a long day. I was eight months pregnant with our third child and hoping delivery would come early. Suddenly, I woke up to hear a scratching noise behind me! I sat up and listened, thinking I was dreaming. Again, a scratching and shuffling noise startled me from somewhere around the headboard. I jumped out of bed and gently woke my husband. “Listen,” I said. He heard it and bolted out of bed. I ran for the bathroom. I peeked out in time to see him pull the cover off my pillow, grab a shoe and start whacking at the floor. “What is it?” I whispered, fearful of his response!

“A cockroach,” he replied. That dear man gave me his pillow and took mine. As a testament to how utterly exhausted we both were, we climbed back into bed and went to sleep. I spend the next day disinfecting my whole room and calling the pest control people who regularly spray our home. It seemed that after we fixed a leaky pipe outdoors on the side of the house near our bedroom, the outdoor roaches had nowhere to find water. They were looking for a new home indoors, braving the poison that usually kept them at bay!

I still shudder to think that my head was that close to one of those icky creatures. Thank goodness for a wonderful husband who would risk life and limb to save me from the horror. And I mean the risk quite literally! This week we found out that he is VERY allergic to cockroaches! He says I will have to fight my own battles with them from now on. I think I may go back to sleeping with my Bible!

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