Mary Ann Crum: When the bedbugs bite | Columnists – Index-Journal

Youre probably familiar with the bedtime rhyme, Good night, sleep tight, dont let the bedbugs bite. Well, I wouldve been quite content to live out the rest of my days never fully understanding that little ditty, but unfortunately, I completely get it now.

In fact, Im fresh off a battle with Cimex lectularius Linnaeus, the scientific name for the infernal critters we call bedbugs. But before I proceed with my tale of woe, let me quickly and emphatically add this quote from an article about bedbugs: Infestation is rarely due to a lack of hygiene. An important point, to be sure, especially to my mother, in whose home we encountered these bugs.

My mom lives in an independent-living apartment in an upscale, immaculately maintained retirement community. Nothing unhygienic about that place, for sure. But when we recently arrived for a visit, my mother told us the maintenance guys had just been there to spray for bugs red bugs, she said they called them.

Red bugs does sound a whole lot like bedbugs when one doesnt have ones hearing aids turned up, doesnt it? As my husband quickly deduced after looking at some internet photos, we were, in fact, dealing with bedbugs.

I could expound for pages about this stressful visit that certainly wasnt supposed to include bedbugs, but was supposed to include a bunch of appointments to get my moms finances in order. Im basically a financial/legal dimwit, so I planned to just go along and keep my mouth shut so as not to reveal my immense ignorance. But my husband, who was the only one amongst us who did understand the business matters at hand, came down with a stomach virus, so I suddenly had to take charge of these business appointments.

After two days of tortuously bluffing my way through all that, I then got afflicted with the stomach virus, too. All while we were trying to figure out where all the bedbugs were and how to get rid of them.

Upon finally arriving back home in Abbeville very late after 11 hours on the road, we had to leave all our stuff, including the clothes we were wearing, in our 30-degree garage, in case any bedbugs had traveled back with us. Then we began the washing and rewashing marathon.

Two weeks later, I can thankfully report weve seen no signs of any of those cursed critters. We have, thus far, slept tight and kept the bedbugs from biting.

And now that I have room to breathe after that fiasco, Im left wondering why on earth God created bedbugs, unless it was 1.) to remind us that we inhabit a fallen world; or 2.) to test and build our character, as He often does when hassles and hardships unexpectedly arrive, quite uninvited, into our lives.

One moment all is well and the next, here comes an illness, accident, relationship crisis, financial setback, devastating loss, or just an intense cluster of stressful annoyances. Life suddenly becomes complicated and hard.

How do we cope with so much uncertainty? When you shuck it all the way down the cob, we have two choices: fear or trust.

I sure dont always cope perfectly, but with all my heart I want to trust the God who sees what I cant, knows what I dont, and is in control of it all. I know He is good, even when He allows things that dont feel good.

Jeremiah 17:5-8 presents a stark contrast between people who place their trust in God and those who dont. Check it out and ask yourself, Hmm, which do I want to be?

Theres only one way to sleep tight, even when the bedbugs bite: trust the omnipotent, omniscient God who holds our lives in His hands.

Mary Ann Crum ( lives in Abbeville and is the author of two books, A Giggle Goes a Long Way and Live.Learn.Laugh! She can be reached at

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Mary Ann Crum: When the bedbugs bite | Columnists - Index-Journal

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