Having a family comes with numerous blessings and also countless challenges. You face experiences you never even knew were possible. Sleepless nights turn to kids vomiting, running noses, and a plethora of injuries. Disciplinarian challenges and social situations arise usually at the most inconvenient times. Of course, these are all put in perspective when compared to life-threatening health battles.
One uninvited adventure sits at the top of my list. Warning. This story may cause itchiness. One of the most difficult experiences I’ve faced as a parent was ridding our home of lice. I knew nothing about lice until we discovered one of our children had a nasty case.
Lice can spread rapidly amongst kindergarteners due to their desire to show affection to their friends. They are hard to eliminate because if just one is missed, the whole cycle starts again. Most people won’t talk about lice because of the shame associated; however, if you bring it up you’d be shocked how people come out of the woodwork with their own lice horror stories.
Decontaminating our house of lice brought me to my knees from exhaustion and desperation. Between combing hair, washing linens, non-stop vacuuming, drying backpacks, and making trips back and forth to the knit fairies (greatest place on earth if your family is dealing with lice in Richmond, VA). Thankfully lice in our past and I hope it remains that way.
When life brings new obstacles and I find myself grumbling, I recollect our encounter with lice. It’s the barometer in which I evaluate hindrances. The only challenge that mildly compares is when our sewer backed up, but that’s a story for another day.
In Corrie Ten Boom’s book, The Hiding Place, she shares how her sister encouraged Corrie to give thanks for the fleas in their concentration camp barracks. It was the one place the soldiers wouldn’t enter. This afforded them the opportunity to conduct Bible studies in their sleeping quarters.
Why do I share these itchy stories? It reminds of God’s permanent presence. Whatever we go through, we will survive with God at our side. Even if it doesn’t feel like it at the time. When you make it through and emerge on the other side, you are probably stronger and more knowledgeable (as frustrating as this may be to admit).
When you are struggling and feel overwhelmed, think back to a challenging time and remind yourself God will get you through this too.