Encouragement From a Scorpion

Scorpions have been on my radar since I moved to Hideaway at age 5. We moved into a house on the edge of Hideaway that had a big field behind it. In the first six months of living there, my mom killed 26 scorpions. She says that her weapons were a wooden crawfish mallet, Baygon (now chemically outlawed), and lots of prayer. She quickly developed a serious scorpion prayer life that I know is the reason that neither my brother or I were ever stung.

Now my family lives “in the woods”, and basically every summer we find a couple of scorpions in our house. I can remember Sam reciting at age 2 or so the memorized phrase we taught him, “If you see a ‘corpion, tell mom or dad.”  I’ve developed a decent scorpion prayer life of my own. So far, Nathan has been stung twice (in our bed) but he is the only one in our family. However, he reports that it hurts much less than we’re all expecting, which we find some comfort in.

We didn’t see a scorpion all this summer in our house. One night recently at 3 A.M., Lydia showed up in our room and was standing by her sleeping daddy. He’d just barely gotten to sleep, as he arrived home around 1:30 A.M. from picking up Sam from the football game. I hated for her to wake him, so I pulled her over to my side. She said, “There’s a scorpion on the wall by my bed.” I jumped up and headed up stairs with her. While we walked up, her little voice said “But daddy said scorpions don’t go up stairs.” In our experience this has mostly been true, but that idea was kind of ruined now. Her bed is in a corner against the wall, and the scorpion was there on the side wall about 18 inches from where her feet had been. I quickly started looking for a sturdy shoe. I sent Lydia out of the room so that she wouldn’t see if I missed that guy. I started praying that God would please not let it get away and go behind the bed, where it would haunt us and probably keep Lydia from sleeping there ever again. I whacked that guy easily. I brought Lydia down to lay with me a little while in my bed and told her that after we cuddled for a few minutes, she could go sleep in the office. I was trying to be extra quiet so as to not disturb the daddy who had done the late night shift with the teenager. After laying against me approximately one minute, Lydia sneezed all over me. It was a gross and plentiful sneeze. Then we both had to get lots of Kleenexes and disrupted Nathan’s sleep. This has absolutely nothing to do with the rest of this story, but it was a memorable part of the night and worth recounting to you.

Lydia moved to the bed in the office where she slept the rest of the night.  She sometimes sleep walks and talks, and I wondered the next morning if she would even remember this experience. If she didn’t, I wasn’t gonna tell her! But she did. She remembered that she all of a sudden just woke up in the night and there was a scorpion. I asked her if it was in the same spot as when I found it. She said that no, it had been much farther down the wall and was right across from her face when she woke up. By that point, I had sort of been anticipating those words from her.

God created right then the perfect moment for us to talk again about his protection. About how he was giving her a very specific glimpse of how much he cares for her and protects her at night. You see, she’s struggled with fear at night for a couple of years now. In the last couple of months, it’s gotten to the point that Nathan and I really didn’t know what else to do. All the talking with her, praying together and everything we knew to try wasn’t working. Thankfully, I have a couple of friends who have been through something similar with their kids. I was able to get great advice and some resources to turn to. In the last month, Lydia and I have started reading some books about this both together and independently. It’s opened up a new dialogue, and helped her understand what her brain is doing when she allows these thoughts to take over.

And suddenly, she’s different. This scorpion incident was the first time in weeks that she had gotten up in the night, whereas it used to be every night. I anticipated her having trouble sleeping again after this and was dreading the “aftermath”. But she doesn’t seem scared at all. I think it’s because of what God is teaching her. And I believe that somehow, she actually found comfort in this experience. In seeing firsthand God’s protection. And in realizing that she’s not living in fear at night anymore. Yes, encouragement from a scorpion.

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