A Bad Case of Chiggers–Stubborn Me–God’s Grace

Last Monday, I did something stupid. I’m a fair-skinned redhead who’s allergic to poison ivy. And bugs love me. Heading behind our house to walk the dogs, I noticed the bug spray.

A gentle thought came.

Better be safe. Use bug spray. 

Nah. I’ll be fine. 

For the first time this year, I entered the woods unprotected.

Like a hardheaded know-it-all. 

Two hours later, I noticed a small bite on my ankle. By the next morning, I was covered in chigger bites. Four days later, I went to the doctor.

In a bad mood. Scratching. 

Annoyed at my stubbornness. My stupidity. 

In the car, I flipped on the radio to my favorite station, 104.7 The Fish. 

(If you can’t see the video, click here. If you have time, it’s SO worth listening to. :))

As Kristian Stanfill from Passion sang, “My Heart is Yours” I heard the word Surrender, but I didn’t want to surrender.

I felt far away from God.

He seemed to say, “If you’ll give me this situation, I’ll work good out of it. “

Now? Chiggers?  

I brought this on myself. I don’t deserve Your help.

Especially now. You are my Child. Don’t run from Me.

Doubting that I’d heard from God, I signed in at the doctor’s office.

They were playing the same radio station. 

That’s nice, but it doesn’t mean anything.

A medical assistant called my name. “Hi, there,” she said. “How are you?” She mentioned her faith and added, “I always invite God into the exam room and pray for my patients in my heart.” 

I swallowed hard.

Okay, Lord. I’m listening…

After she left the room, I felt a gentle nudge to look closely at the pictures on the wall.

What if I get caught walking around the room in my robe? I’ll look like an idiot. 

But I got off the table.

Studied the pictures.

Each one had a small Scripture verse in the bottom right-hand corner.

Meant for me.

Romans 8:28

“…all things work together for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.”

Jeremiah 29:11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Psalms 46:10 

“Be still and know that I am God…”

I went home with healing medicine for my body and my soul.

Thank You, Lord. Even when we mess up, You pursue us with Grace. 

Can you relate?

Has God ever chased after you with unfailing Grace? 

Love,

Julie

 

Comments

  1. Oh Julie,
    Your authenticity brought tears and when I listened to that song…I just couldn’t stop crying.
    I felt like every word came straight from Him, written by you, just for me. Thank you for such an important reminder. I am amazed at my own stubbornness and how at times as I come to God, my arms seem crossed like a small sassy child. To use your words…”Like a hard headed know-it-all.” Amen to that!

    I too struggle with surrender. And what a gift God gave you in His word in the exam room. Right there. Just what you needed. Just what I needed

    My prayer this week will echo the words of that song…” Whatever may come…Take it all, take it all, my life in Your hands.”

    God Bless! Love Linda

    • Linda, the two of us are such a mess. I’m tearing up at your first line!!!!!! Tears of praise and gratitude.

      And I just pranced myself right in the deep woods living life MY WAY. I knew exactly what I was doing and did it anyway. And God….

      Oh, Linda. Wish we were sitting here sharing a cup of coffee together. We could talk and laugh–and cry a few happy tears.

      THANK YOU. THANK YOU. THANK YOU.

  2. Oh Julie, this is so good and so in line with where God had me this morning. I was actually writing on Jeremiah 29:11 this morning. I am soooo thankful for those gentle nudges…how often are we awakened to know it, especially after we ignore it!! It only helps us to recognize and trust it more and more…maybe even surrender to it! Also, I went to the woods this past weekend , sprayed and still have plenty of chigger bites! Spray won’t prevent but the message of God proving true. Blessings and healing!

    • You’re kidding, Tom. YOU SPRAYED AND GOT CHIGGERS?????

      That’s the last thing the doctor said when she walked out of the room. “Use bug spray next time and you’ll be fine.”

      Thanks so much for letting me know this made sense. And I’m not the only one who keeps on needing to surrender. Daily. Moment by moment.

      I can’t do it without Him.

      So grateful.

  3. Patricia Martin says:

    That is so wonderful that the doctor’s office put Bible verses on their paintings! Almost like having their patients search for treasure while they wait to be examined. Hope your chigger bites are better, Julie.): sending up a prayer for you for healing right now.(:
    Hugs,
    Patricia ((((:

    • Hey sweet Patricia. Yes, oh, yes. I got better by Monday morning. I sent my mother a pic of some of the bites and she said, “Julie. My word. You have The Plague. Stop messing around and go the doctor.”

      Which annoyed the heck out of me, but she was right.

      Praying for you today–for your world, your school, your health, your kitties, your family.

      Hope all is well. I feel your prayers. Big time.

  4. Anna Haney says:

    Did you notice that each picture (at least it looked this way to me) has pictures of Queen Anne’s lace or chigger flowers? Those nudges—those things we need to listen to so carefully. Thanks for this.

    • marci says:

      Thanks for this bit of info. I always liked Queen Anne’s lace, but was not aware it’s chigger flowers. That is good to know. Yes, I agree about those nudges.

    • No, I didn’t realize it, Anna, but a FB friend did. What caught my attention was this:

      Why would they put up three pictures that look to be identical. In a little row.

      And then that Still Small Voice said, “Take a closer look.” And STILL I FOUGHT GOD.

      No. Pride. I’m going to get caught walking around holding my gown together. Then I saw the itty bitty letters and thought, take a pic–you have to show your bloggy friends.

      Again, I argued. Are you kidding me? The doctor’s going to walk in and I’ll be standing here taking pictures of the wall.

      Ohhh, me….sometimes my faith is so small, but God is so big. So, so, so big.

      xo

  5. Cathy Mayfield says:

    So thankful for your Christian doctor! Mine is also and prays for me, right in the exam room.

    God chasing me? Hmmm… How grateful I am that He never stops chasing me! If only I would stop and let Him capture me BEFORE I get caught up in what I’m constantly running after. One time, when our oldest daughters were young, in the early years of our homeschooling, before I learned to let go of the NEED to do it all as the world considers right, I was homeschooling, teaching story hour at the library, leading Daisy Girl Scouts, helping with Brownies, serving at church, babysitting every hour I could at home for much-needed money, helping my mom (an hour away) several times a week with my failing grandparents, and trying to do anything else others wanted. This was when my then spiritual gift of serving was strong, as you can see. I was exhausted, stressed, weary, and God knew it.

    He tried through my husband to get me to slow down. Kevin said to stop many of these activities, and tho I tried, I just picked up others. So, God MADE me stop! The girls had pink eye for a few days, typical, responded to the drops, no troubles. But me…I got it and got it bad! I was in severe pain from the start and couldn’t see to walk across the room or check the time. It was awful! And I did NOT respond to the first set of drops and had to return to the doctor for a more thorough exam. As usual for me, the two-day illness for others turned into a week or more of struggling to get through it.

    So, when God chases, don’t run…don’t just stop…turn and run right at Him! It’s much less painful!

    • Cathy. Cathy. Cathy. You and I are cut from the same cloth. Boy, do I understand. I lived most of my life that way–running myself ragged, trying to do it all, be everything to everyone.

      I had to learn that one the hard way too.

      Thank you. So much. You understand. Life can be so…humbling, can’t it?

      Love to you and your precious family this morning. Blessings. And a big hug! And prayers….

  6. How WONDERful! My Dr is a Christian; I’m going to suggest artwork(of mine, of course!) for his offices/waiting room!
    I have learned (albeit painfully slowly) to obey those nudges from the Holy Spirit. Praying we both learn to trust Him deeper!

    • Cyn, and the neat thing about it was–nothing felt pushy in the office. It was EXACTLY what I needed. God–the Holy Spirit–did the work. He’s the One who prompted me to take a closer look.

      And the medical assistant said they’d never had a complaint about their music. All I know was, I felt loved, cared for, and on the road to healing inside that office.

      I should probably send them a blog link to thank them.

      Thank YOU so much for letting me know you get this chigger blog.

      xo

  7. Oh, Julie, when I look back over my life, some of the most profound things He’s done in and through me have been things that came about ONLY through His pursuing me, even when I repeatedly turned away from what He was telling me!

    I often think how different my life would have been if I had “won” those battles with Him. I would have lost out on so much! Thank you for the reminder!

    • Amen!! Amen!!! Vonda!!

      And the battles–they can be about ANYTHING. And EVERYTHING. But deep in my heart, the root was pride, stubbornness, running from God and going my own way.

      Love you, my friend. Wish we could talk again and I could get all the deets about the amazing workshop!

  8. Awww! That’s the sweetest thing. He chased after you. I love it. He loves us. He does. It’s so sweet to really see and feel it. 🙂 <3 xo

    • Oh, yes, He does, He does, Shelli.

      And the beautiful heart that broke down the walls around my heart…

      I didn’t think I deserved it.

      And still, He came after me.

  9. marci says:

    Oh, Dearest Julie, there is nothing in your sharing today that I cannot relate too. And that is a God thing for sure! The chiggers- no fun ever. How I relate to the Red hair/ fair skin.. and for me, the times when I thought perhaps I could “get by’ for a while without sunscreen, the time to put it on. I don’t have to tell you what happened next.
    N. E. TX where my daughter is a Vet.. and we have had to take Rocky when he was so sick– your writing reminded me of that time, when we rushed out the door with him. I thought of taking something to read- for comfort, maybe the Jesus Calling.. but we were rushing and I didn’t– then to get there and lo and behold, what should be on a little table in the ladies restroom? A copy of Jesus Calling! Now there was a message- God with us.
    And the times when God gave me nudges to do something I really did not want to do–I could give Him all kinds of reasons.. but His will…. finally surrendering to it to find what I thought would be a bad experience turned out to be such a blessing. And I remembered being in WW in the check out line. Just ahead of me was a young mother with toddler that was having a melt down. She was trying to pay for a toy for him and he could only see that he did not have his new found treasure in his little hands. He couldn’t see that he would soon have it back again.. and I wonder if sometimes we have such limited vision when we are being stubborn, and can’t see what the Lord has for us if we only let go and let Him give us more than we could imagine. It made me think- were there times when I was that small child who could not see.

    To know I am not alone in my stuggles, and that others struggle with the same things is such a blessing and comfort to me.

    God Bless you,
    Marci’a

    • Sweet Marci’a…you have the most tender, gentle spirit. And can you believe that even in your rushing around, God knew you’d forget the EXACT book you needed that day, and He had it all ready and waiting for you?? Blows my mind.

      You’re exactly right about the toddler analogy. So beautiful. You nailed it. So often, that little toddler is ME.

      Love you, my friend.

  10. Ha! Have I ever done something I regretted? You betcha. It’s the really dumb stuff I’ve done that I’ve learned the most from. Glad you got “your medicine” both physically and spiritually. Hugs to chigger you!

    • And I bet you don’t have chiggers in CA, right, B.J.??

      Big hugs! Miss you! Love you! Just emailed you.

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