If you are just tuning into “Year of the Rat”, please note that this is the final installment of a 3-part series.
Read “Year of the Rat” Part 1 here.
Read “Year of the Rat” Part 2 here.
…So yeah, it was time to go home. I remember thinking on that long drive from mom and dad’s how much time had passed. Had it really been 2 weeks? Was I really that fearful?
Not only did I think about how the situation had shaken me, I also considered how it was affecting my Proverbs 31 walk.
How was I going to manage a household when I was afraid and paranoid of being in the house?
Was my fear about to change how I handled my duties and responsibilities in and around my home?
If you get into the research, you will find that fear, for the most part, is a result of our past, lived experiences. When I was a child, I stepped on a dead rat; therefore I couldn’t possibly be the industrious rat that the Chinese suggested I was. I couldn’t possibly be in a lucky “rat season” or dwell in a house where a rat was.
One thing’s for sure, God knows how to shake things up so much that you are tossed out of your normal state, only to be made better!
God and my husband ushered me back into my home so that I could do something I didn’t think was possible… pick back up where I left off.
As our routine resumed, I continued to reflect on my Proverbs 31 lifewalk:
“She gets up when it is still night; she provides food for her family…”
At night? Before the break of dawn? In the kitchen? Where that “opening” was?
Fear has a strategic design and a way of starting over– regaining momentum when we least expect it.
There I was: back- cooking, cleaning, loading the dishwasher, and raising children in my country abode with the humble wood. Paranoid, but managing.
I was back to watching over the affairs of my home. Interestingly, I was doing it with a more diligent and graceful spirit than before.
How was this possible when I was so afraid?
I’ll tell you how: Because on a Monday evening, I stepped nervously out of my vehicle and, with two weeks of clothes and toiletries in my arms, re-entered my home asking God to give me strength.
Now, here’s a moment of truth: Before I went to God, I went to my husband and asked him to change the circumstances. To make it so that the rat never existed and would cease to exist in my mind. I was essentially asking him to give me a reason to not be afraid anymore. While my husband was doing the best he could, it wasn’t fair or healthy for me to ask him to take my fears away. Not only that, it wasn’t his responsibility.
He accomplished a great feat- catch and kill the rat, seal the openings, and bring the home back up to code. He did his part.
The next part was solely on me.
This is where God really showed up. To my chagrin, not even God could eliminate my problem and make life easier. Rather, God was the one who positioned me to face my fears– my troubles– so that I could be that Proverbs woman and release my husband from an expectation that was humanly too large and holistically impossible.
We can all be more courageous in our life-walk. This whole rat saga showed me that there will be times in our lives when fear is so profound, we will not only forget who are, we will also create additional/ new things to be anxious about…. “spinoff fears”.
As this series comes to an end, I ask my readers/ followers: What scares you? What’s the thing that creeps up, likely stemming from childhood, that terrorizes you? ….Possibly affecting those who love you… What’s your rat?
Clinnesha is a writer, wife, mom, meta-artist, and social entrepreneur who feels most accountable to southern, black citizen-artists, elders, children, and families. Her work is at the intersection of arts, culture, innovation, and community.