Mama NEVER Said There’d Be Days Like This

**This is a post from 2 years ago from my previous blog, reposted here. Praising the Lord that we have not found any more giant snakes near us in the recent days.**

Now…..enjoy….or not.

For as long as I can remember I have had a debilitating fear of snakes. The kind of fear that makes you cry, your hands shake, and even, on occasion, throw up. To some this fear may seem silly or irrational, but to me, it is all too real.

But I had no idea how real it was going to get…..

At first, we began finding these little baby pythons in the yard, on the back stairs, and even on the laundry basket. Let’s just say I didn’t handle it well. Picture me puffy-eyed, red-faced, on the floor of the bathroom crying to Dave about how I just couldn’t stay here anymore. We had to move, and quick. Every time I thought about these evil, evil things I would erupt into sobs once more.

Eventually I did pull myself together somewhat and managed to carry on (I even managed to leave the bathroom floor), although I wouldn’t go into the backyard for many, many days. I squirmed with fear every time I thought about these horrible things, and prayed that I would never, ever, ever see one again.

After all, here I am sacrificing comfort, missing family, and dripping with sweat every day all for the Lord, right?! Surely the Lord would answer my desperate pleas for a life free from any more snakes! Right?! Ahem.

In the end, they caught 22 baby pythons between our backyard and our neighbor’s backyard (which by the way, they found far more in the neighbors’ backyard, and my dear friend and co-worker handled the snakes far better than I did).

Life returned to normal (relatively), and slowly the threat of finding snakes faded into the distance. I still would not go outside in the dark, or ever walk in any kind of tall grass. But overall, I was able to carry on with life.

And then, just when life was returning to normal, last Wednesday I heard our Indonesian neighbor boy yell for my son, Britton, to come see the snake he found. Oh great, I thought, another baby python….here we go again.

 But nothing could prepare me for what it was they found…..

This, literally feet from my house. Tears spring to my eyes and my hands are shaking just posting these pictures. My greatest all-time fear, right near my own house! It is difficult to even believe it.

Have we moved yet? No. We are still living in our same house, right in the middle of all the slithery action. Am I camping out on the bathroom floor? No, although I did have another melt down, the kind where it turns into the ugly cry. And I do mean the UGLY cry.

Yet, in it all, the Lord has given me great peace. Throughout my day, I keep singing the song from Rich Mullins,

Hold Me Jesus
Cause I’m shaking like a leaf,
You have been King of my glory,
Won’t you be my prince of peace.

 That snake was big, really big. And I am shaking like a leaf.

However, the God I serve is bigger than that snake, and bigger than my fear. I have had to come to the end of myself and my own fears and realize that I serve the God who made that huge, disgusting creature (although I’m sure I don’t know why).

I raise my shaking hand and slip in into His and know that He is with me. It is very humbling, and very freeing all at the same time. The Lord doesn’t promise us a life free from trials, but He does promise us He will be there through all of them.

I have never held tighter to His mighty hand, and I have no intention of letting go. And the good news is, neither does He.

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  • Susan

    AMEN ! Experiencing failure, fear, realizing how weak we are, and how He is so strong, it’s such a sweet experience. Thanks for sharing this again. This post enlighten me.
    Your fear sounds like a phobia. If you are willing to, a psychiatrist could help you. My sister used to have fear for a certain creature, and she went to a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist helped her with hypnotize therapy and she is fully healed. Well, if this is against your faith, just leave it be… experiencing His strength, love, and assurance is far much more precious. God bless you, Joy.

  • Anonymous

    Oh…my boys caught a garter…but, that thought…that frightens me!

  • Lauren

    Oh good gracious! talk about facing your fears head on! I get the heebie jeebies looking at those things behind glass. God grant you more mercy and protection, as he already has! Thanks for sharing this , I’m inspired to face my fears! :D

  • KM Logan

    AHHHHHHHH!!! I think God will give you some extra jewels in your crown for this one ; )

  • Sari!!! Wow, just the picture of that thing makes me want to hide in a bathroom!! May God continue to grant your family protection!!!

  • Jessica

    Oh. my! I am shaking a little too! Did anyone kill it or did they just let it go? YIKES! Praying for your continued protection….and peace! :)

  • Beth Stone

    Oh wow…. I’d be having a little meltdown too if I found that thing in my yard! Eeek! And letting them crawl all over me like that – never! :o) I agree with KM L. – you’re definitely getting some extra jewels in your crown for this one. :o) I hope you’ve seen the last of them….

  • Anonymous

    I remember reading this post in your other blog, remember those pictures, still give me the chills,, I don’y like snakes!

  • Ruth@GraceLaced

    Our greatest fears are the Lord’s greatest opportunities to display his might!

  • Anne

    I love your blog! I lived in Malaysia for a year and a half before I was married- working with YWAM. I visited Malaysian Borneo but never made it to Indonesia. We didn’t have as many snakes as you seem to have but there were lots of other creepy critters always in and around the house. Your pictures and stories make me miss it over there so much (critters and all!).

  • Christy, The Simple Homemaker

    This almost makes our scorpion infestation seem tolerable…almost.

    I too did the “We’re moving!” routine.

    The picture of the snakes on the boy…I had to hurry past that one. ;)

  • Sgtzapple

    I really enjoy your posts. It helps me stretch as a Mom and Christian because I would be shaking like a leaf at so many of the things you do. We do indeed serve a very big God. Bigger than any of our fears but I really really forget that way too much.

  • Ann Stringer

    Oh my goodness! I almost couldn’t get through your post simply because I have SUCH A FEAR of snakes! But I’m so glad I did because for one, it is sooooo nice to hear someone else has this struggle and secondly, because of your words at the end! God never promises that I won’t be afraid, but He does promise to never leave me or forsake me! Thank you!! :0)

  • Katie

    I was an MK in PNG many years ago. We also had a HUGE python…or maybe it was a boa… in our yard once, ok, more than once, but the one I’m remembering was about the same size as the huge one in the last picture. That particular picture reminds me of one we have of us with “our” snake. I’m quite certain that I only poked and prodded at it with my brothers just to give my mom a scare. I’m not afraid of snakes, in fact, as a kid, I quite enjoyed chasing my older brother with them as often as possible, but this snake, it scared even me. Now, with little ones of my own, I feel like I owe my mom an apology for giving her the willies! I would DIE if my kids did what I did (and your kids too, apparently!)
    Thanks for the good Word! My fears come in different shapes and sizes, but fear, nonetheless. God bless your family and ministry!

  • Barbie

    Oh my goodness ! I think I would up and move for sure. I do not like snakes! I could hardly handle looking at the picture the snakes laying over the boy. Eeeek!

  • Carla Bourland

    OH MY, JOY!!! Not a great post to read at 1:30 a.m. Stay strong!

  • Shanda Oakley

    So cool. I grew up an MK in Africa and raised my kids overseas. We all love reptiles and any creature actually. What a great experience for your kids.

  • Patty

    I just started following your blog and scrolled down to see some old posts and WHAMMY! I almost threw up all over my laptop! I can’t even go near the reptile building at the zoo without getting shaky and sweaty. I am deathly afraid of snakes and probably would have ran down your street like a maniac had I seen what is in these pictures. I have tried and tried and prayed and prayed to get rid of these fear but I haven’t been able too. Nothing that has no arms and legs and moves that fast is normal! You are a better woman that I :) I really like your blog :) Take care. Patty

  • Anonymous

    I’m mew here but happy to meet you! I’m a PW and Mom to 4. I loved reading the first post on the page and I look forward to reading your new series! But from this post, I now have the heebie jeebies……I literally jumped at the first picture when I saw what he was holding…..

  • Erika Dawson

    Oh JOY!!! I was laughing and cringing while reading this! When we were living down in the jungle, we didn’t have a working shower in our “house.” When the generator would come on at night and we’d have running water, we would shower over at my inlaws. I remember literally sprinting home, all pregnant and carrying a toddler, b/c I was so afraid of the snakes hiding in the tall grass! Well, that and the feisty tarantulas that would actually chase you down! Two of my biggest fears facing me every. single. day. I can laugh about it now b/c I’m in the States. :-) God definitely has a sense of humor doesn’t He?

  • Lindsey Writes

    GIRL — all devotionals and fluffy stuff aside, I would so have to move. You’re a better person than me. !!!!! :)

  • Dionna

    Oh man. I am SOOO sorry! I have many fears too. Snakes is one of them and I would have had many meltdowns and days locked in a room. May God keep you safe and may He relocate many snakes away from you and your precious family.

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  • Jeremy Kasprzyk

    I just came across you blog last week. I really enjoy what I have seen/read so far. I came across your snake post here and you made me thankful (to some extent) for the snakes we had found in our house a year ago and have encountered them in our yard from time to time. A snake is a snake and I can totally relate to how you felt and the uneasiness and tears, fears, ect. that comes with that. During our trial of snakes in my house (which did not go over well with me) we did remind our selves when it was over about the feeling we get about them. The absolute disgust and repelling feeling you get from them and how it should remind of us our sin and the way we need to feel about sin.
    I am also in awe how your children are not scared and are holding them! Good thing you have all those boys to protect you. ;)

    Thanks for your post! I will be following your blog! :)


  • Jen

    Wow! My boys are 10 and 7 and are completely fascinated by these photos! I’m like you and have always had a crazy fear of snakes. Having boys has helped me appreciate them…from afar!

  • Sara Major

    Oh My!! I really get the crying on the bathroom floor, but my cry induced creepy are tarantulas, or any spider, for that matter. My husband and I were missionaries in Honduras for two years and I never saw a live tarantula, but on the airplane home to the states, my husband informed me that we had a “pet” tarantula living in the bodega. I often went in said bodega to retrieve garden tools or dog food. I often walked in there barefoot and would slide my hand across the wall to flip the light switch. Can you imagine? Yes, I sure you can imagine the horror that streaked through my body when my husband told me about our “pet!” God knew if I had seen that furry guy I would have been on a plane home in a heart beat!! You are my hero to take a picture of your son with those snakes on him! Speechless!!

  • Becca in MO

    I read this post about a week ago, and while reading it, I, of course, was filled with sympathy for you. That would totally creep me out, too….fast forward to yesterday, in my home in Missouri….a brown recluse spider on the front of my kitchen drawer. (How do I know this? After I sprayed it with some poisonous chemicals that will probably give me cancer, I took a picture and Googled it!) I have heard that they are VERY common in MO, but since I had never seen one here, I didn’t believe it. After I killed the spider, all of my unbeliefs about BR living in my house came undone…I went through the same myriad of emotions: crying, shaking and feeling like I was going to throw up. Even last night, I was trying to think of verses that could help me get through this fear. Then, this morning, I woke up and had a lightbulb moment (a God moment) and my first thought was, “Gracefullmama’s snake blog post”. I read this again this morning. Thank you! Little did you know that this post would help a girl in MO deal(ing) with her fears of the YUCKY brown recluse. Are there any verses you can share that you kept in the forefront of your mind when fear would start to take hold?