Rodent Removal: a Lesson in Overcoming Fear

I want to thank everyone who prayed for me this past week. Last Wednesday, I returned from a Christmas trip visiting my family. My apartment had been empty for a week. When I arrived home, the first thing I noticed was the plants I had left sitting on the kitchen counter. One had two holes burrowed into the soil, and dirt was lying everywhere. A creature had been there. An hour later, I walked into the kitchen to discover that the cabinet door (which I had closed) was now open. The creature was still there. Later that evening, I saw the creature running through my kitchen. It was a rat.

I am terrified of rats. I freaked out. I asked my friends to pray. A friend offered for me to sleep at their home, but after a week away I was so ready to sleep in my own bed. But I did not sleep. I left all the lights on, and the box fan, and I dozed off a few times. But I was terrified.

The next night I stuffed bath mats under the doors to my room and adjoining bathroom. I felt a little more protected from the rat, but I still kept the lights and fan on all night. I sat up till about 3 a.m., unable to relax. When I did finally try to sleep, I just cat napped. (Now I know why cats do that, by the way. They never know where the next rat will appear!)

The friends who know me well will not be surprised that I was afraid. Fear is my biggest challenge. I have come a long way over the years, but there is more to overcome (clearly). This rodent visit was a new opportunity to work through fear.

After a few nights, I realized I had become a hostage in my own home, hiding barricaded in my bedroom after sundown and trying to sleep with the lights on.

As a friend of mine told me, “The rat is afraid of you. It ran when it saw you. It’s not like it stopped and stared you down and challenged you for the keys to your home.”

True.

Since then, I’ve been living normally and sleeping with the lights off. Trusting God with my well-being.

So the spirit of fear left first. Followed by the actual rat. It was finally caught and removed this morning.

Thank You, God. For the lesson, the healing, and the rat removal.

I’m reminded of a scene from the movie Facing the Giants, where they have a similar experience and the husband says, “Face your fears.” Thank You, Jesus, for helping me face mine.

And thank you all for your prayers and offer of shelter. 💕