I have always had an understanding with spiders that if they would just stay out of my house then I would cause them no harm.
I stick to this pretty well, even if I find one on me while outside I just scream and flick, but I don’t squash it because that’s not our agreement. I mean, I don’t know if they are aware of our agreement but I stick to it.
For a while there was a spider in my mailbox and I am pretty sure it was the same one everyday with red markings and short, kind of hairy, legs (I shuddered while typing that.) I actually got kind of used to the little guy.
“Hi, spider,” I said sometimes while grabbing the mail. “Have a good day.”
Well, I think he misunderstood my intentions. I wanted to be friendly but not friends. I never asked if he wanted to ride along to town with me, but as I turned down the road to our house I suddenly noticed him just wandering along the dashboard.
“Oh no, spider. You shouldn’t be here. You are supposed to stay in the mailbox.”
I stopped in the middle of the road and rolled down the window, explaining that if he just left now there would be no further actions taken. But he didn’t leave, instead he sprang off my steering wheel and onto my lap.
When there is a spider in my car I am basically a danger to myself and all of those around me, but when a spider jumps on me in the car, I am a woman out of her head.
Since the spider disappeared after the incident, I was just left to blindly negotiate. I told him just to stay where he was unless he was somewhere on my body, and if that was the case then to kindly make the nearest exit.
He never showed up, and so I just had to accept that there was a missing spider in my car. What I knew was that there was no choice but to move forward and continue driving safely home.
So that’s what I did. I drove and I remained calm while absolutely certain that spider was crawling somewhere on me. There was no choice but to keep going.
Life is like that sometimes. You just have to keep moving forward.
When my Dad and Mom were diagnosed with advanced cancer a few months apart, that’s what I had to do. Myself and my husband were the only ones in town to care for them, meanwhile raising our two little boys. We often felt like jumping out of the car, especially when it felt completely out of our control.
It was a nightmare watching them slowly wilt away side-by-side in their recliners, but we knew there was no choice but to keep going and safely help guide my parents home. Dad died in November 2018 and Mom followed a few months later in February 2019.
Let me tell you right now that God was in every bit of that. I don’t know why my parents had to go in such a way, but I do know that when Shawn and I grasped hands and asked Him to be near, He was.
When we couldn’t make another step forward, He took hold of us and kept us moving. Many days, I was ungrateful for that. Especially after they died and I felt that deep questioning and resentment of His plan, but He grabbed my hand and said, “One day you will understand. Until then, lean on me.”
So that’s what I did.
A spider in my car might pale in comparison to that — although it could be an ode to my dad who was the best spider killer of all time. But it was another time when I realized that moving forward, even when I didn’t want to, was the absolute best thing. It was the only way to get home.
That’s what our faith does, it gives Jesus the wheel to take us where He wants us to go. The road might be painful or scary along the way, but we can know that there is purpose in it.
As for the spider, I never saw him again — he might just live in my car now. I just hope he doesn’t find a nice girl and settle down with a family.