Going back to the Past – 16th Part
(Going back to the Past – 16th Part)
I prepare my bags and we go, by car, from the California desert to Houston. A long trip, almost without any gas stations; we went with high expectations.
We arrived at Bishop Romualdo’s house… and as usual, we received a warm reception from his wife Marcia, and the Bishop as well.
My eyes shined; this was my opportunity! The bishop was going to teach us. We were already in destination to a distant church in Houston. But even so, everything was a great opportunity. I left my two cats with a pastor’s family until we reached our home.
In Marcia’s home it was very funny: there already existed two couples living there, including them. And then us, but temporarily.
There, my life was already active in being a true house wife. I would clean, help with lunch and whatever needed to be done.
When we preparing lunch, Marcia, the other wife, and I, we were always laughing and giggling because everything was new for everyone. But we adapted well. We would do everything together. Where there was one, there was always another helping out. We would do everything with the greatest pleasure.
After some days had passed, we were sent to Brownsville, Texas. It was right at the tip of Texas, right on the border between Texas and Mexico. It was a very small and quiet city, where the language of the city was practically Spanish.
And here began a different story.
We moved there, where the church was already prepared, but there was no place to live. So we were in a hotel, only to sleep, and it was very close to the church.
We were looking for a place to live, but sadly, the days passed and we did not find a place according to what was specified to us.
I think we stayed in a hotel for a month and a half. Our clothes had to stay in the trunk of the car because we would only rent the room at night, to sleep.
At night, there would be the youngsters making noise and people speaking loudly. They were nights spent with restless sleep to the point where we tried living in the church, but because there was no bathroom with a shower, there was no way we could live there.
And during that time, we had to eat out. In the church there was no kitchen. There was no home. And so we had to eat out. During the first few days, we ate without any worries, but as the days passed, it began to be costly according to what we received. And so we had to chose, either we ate lunch or dinner. When we ate lunch, the rest of the day was filled with little snacks and cookies. And that is how life was moving.
And with pleasure, we were there. I knew very well.
Until one day, Júlio found a place for us to live. I didn’t even go see it, I just arrived at the place of the destination… and the “show” began!
I arrived and it already had everything: silverware, furniture, and the necessary accessories we needed to live. But everything was very dirty. When I opened the kitchen drawer and I saw the silverware was rusted… I began to cry.
Without wanting to cry, I couldn’t contain my tears, which sounded all my shame and pain. I could not stop crying, while I was observing the house. Júlio began laughing at me. For him, since he had passed so many things doing the Work of God, this was nothing. To me, it was my first time.
And I, I always thought I was strong in the sense that I was prepared for whatever was to come in the Work of God. In terms of shortage, I was there, crying without being able to control myself.
What shame! I was ashamed before God and Júlio. I, after all, thought that nothing could shake me… look at me, crying,
And when I opened the drawer below the sink, I saw the thing they use, the sticky pad, to catch cockroaches. When I saw this, my eyes got very but and I ran crying… “Ah! Júlio, there are cockroaches here!!!!!” I have my “panic attack” of fear of cockroaches. The “attack” was caused just by thinking there was cockroaches that were in this house!
And incredible as it seems, everywhere I opened drawers there was that sticky pad, that “thing”!
As I sat on the sofa, which had a white background with fern designs on it, I see how dirty it is.
“My God!” I hugged Júlio. And Júlio laughing at me.
And me, taking my drama very seriously, I hugged him and cried.
“Oh Júlio, I am sorry! I do not want to cry!”
And my beloved Júlio, rescuing me said, “This is nothing Miumiu! Do not be like this!”
But I was very anxious, I could not wait to leave that house.
In that same day, I could not hold it any longer… I called Bishop Romualdo, shamelessly: “Bishop… I am sorry, but we think this house is horrible!” I don’t remember if I spoke with the Bishop or his wife. I cried on the telephone.
Incredible, that I acted like this! But I did!
The next day, Bishop Romualdo went to Brownsville and went looking for another house. He went to resolve my “shame”, because I didn’t know how to deal with life in that way.
We weren’t obligated to live in that house. But because of Julio’s lack of patience at not finding a house with the set specifications, he chose that one.
And so Bishop Romualdo found us a place to live. And the situation was resolved. We moved right away from that horrible house and we went to another.
And so I was very happy. I began cleaning the kitchen. I cleaned the drawers, there were no sticky pads, thank God. I was cleaning the kitchen part by part. When I began to clean the refrigerator, when I opened it, out comes a “flying cockroach” and enters my blouse.
“Oh no, I am going to leave here,” I said to myself really loudly, because I was alone at home. And right away, without thinking, I grab my purse to leave the house… I go to leave and I am face to face with the door… and a very soft and soothing voice (the voice of intelligent faith), says:
“Again Viviane?! Don’t you think you’ve done enough, Bishop Romualdo has already came and found a place for you to live, and you are making the same scene because of a cockroach?!!! Isn’t it enough all you have already done?”
When I heard that voice, I said, “It’s true, what am I doing? It’s tied up! I am going to search for that cockroach and kill it, watch out!” I went after the cockroach… I looked everywhere in the kitchen, but it disappeared. It never showed up!
It was really something I had to overcome, alone. In those moments, the Word of God wasn’t what was needed, it was an attitude against my own will!
I continued to clean the rest of the house, clean and iron to have everything ready.
That experience… I never forgot! It was embarrassing, but because I went through it, I discovered what we are really capable of doing. Anxiety makes us precipitate and to not think in an intelligent manner. We cannot even evaluate the consequences, just thinking in the moment, in pleasing ourselves.