Missionary (Mis)Adventures - Night Terrors
Pocket Full of Quarters Trek 2009 – Give ‘em Heaven
Missionary (Mis)Adventures – Night Terrors
By Cheryle M. Touchton
The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady
You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. Ps 91:5-6NIV
I jolted awake. I thought something was pounding on the camper but I calmed down when I realized Belle wasn’t barking. Did I dream the noise? If so, what had awakened me?
I got up and checked the door. No one was there. I went back to bed and heard clicking. Was it Belle’s nails on the camper floor? No, Belle was in her chair fast asleep.
I checked my watch. It was 4:00 AM. I remembered hitting a pothole the day before. Had I broken something? Was something leaking? Could it be propane or one of the holding tanks?
I tried to go back to sleep but the night terrors had claimed my mind. Fear crushed my soul as earthly cares crashed in, one by one.
What was going to happen with Bob’s job? He loves it but they have no money to pay him. How long would he be willing to work without significant pay? How would we pay our bills?
Bob had interviewed in other cities and the opportunities looked promising. Would I have to move away again from my beloved elderly parents and grandchildren?
What were we going to do about the dropping property values of our Phoenix and Jacksonville homes? Would they ever sell? How would we pay for housing if we had to move to another city?
What about the missionary journey? Donations had funded 6 weeks. I had planned to stay on the road 12. Should I go home? Was there something else I should have done?
A train horn blared and I jumped. Belle had been sick that day. What if she got worse? Would I find a vet? What would it cost?
I needed to finish my book. Why was the feedback about it so varied? Was there something wrong with it?
The clicking continued. Should I go outside in the dark to check? Memories of spooky childhood stories about one-armed men with hooks flashed through my head.
I could see no solutions for anything. It was as if awaking suddenly in the night had placed the weight of my entire life on my shoulders alone.
As I lay there feeling those night terrors, I realized this was how many people – Christians and non-Christians – felt all of the time. Life is hard and many things have no obvious solution. Instead of trying to fight the terror, I let it have its way. I felt the feelings fully and memorized them so I could later revel in gratitude when my faith was restored. I wanted to experience fully the isolation of trying to manage my world on my own so I could feel even more compassion for the people I meet on the streets of America.
After about an hour, I began praising God for the unseen answers. I praised Him for being sufficient to fill the gaps that moving away from my family would create. I praised God for the people who were yet to be blessed by donating to Pocket Full of Change Ministries. I thanked God for being worthy of my praise. I relaxed into blessed sleep with the click click clicking still going on.
God answered the clicking question the next morning. Halleluiah was covered with presents left by the many birds who partied in the rain puddles on the camper roof and hood. Belle was chipper and hungry. There was not an extra $6,000 in my ministry account… yet. Throughout the day, Bob’s job possibilities outside of Jacksonville multiplied. Neither of our houses sold.
New problems popped up. I dropped my cell phone in water and currently have it soaking in a bag of rice (on the advice of AT&T). It’s acting strange but I’m hopeful that when it dries, it will be fine. I need to find a truck wash to clean poor Halleluiah. New financial woes tried to distract me.
The difference between now and early this morning is that my earthly cares are once again resting in the strong arms of my Heavenly Father. I don’t need to know the answer to those questions as long as I’m confident that my father knows the answers. I feel as free as those birds that had such a party on Halleluiah last night. The night terrors are gone.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Gail Golden at 904 316-5462.
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep the Pocket Full of Quarters Lady on the road as a traveling missionary, send your tax deductible contribution to Pocket Full of Change Ministries, POB 51205, Jacksonville Beach, Florida 32240 or go to the donate button on the home page of this website.
Cheryle M. Touchton is the Director of Pocket Full of Change Ministries. For more information or to schedule a speaker for an event, go to
www.pocketfullofchange.org or call Cheryle Touchton at 904-614-3585.
Copyright: Pocket Full of Change Ministries
This ministry exists because people like you are called to help fund the work of the kingdom. To help keep "The Pocket Full of Quarters Lady" on the road leading people to Christ, you can