Anxiety & Answers
Wednesday, I blogged (whined) about my husband and son’s four day hike up King’s Peak with the Scouts. Things didn’t go quite as smoothly as we had assumed for my husband. His company suddenly had triple the work they needed done, and it all had to be done before he could leave for the trip, and everyone is yelling because it isn’t being done fast enough. A small family business, he has no option of taking time off and letting someone else fill in for him. Work must be complete before he can leave.
Typically this isn’t much of a problem and results in some late nights and an all-nighter or two before a vacation. Not ideal, but c’est la vie. As the trip approached I had been feeling increasingly anxious about his lack of sleep. Finally, Wednesday came, but he was still madly working away at his projects. Jordan left on his trip, knowing that Dad may be late meeting them on the mountain.
He called me from Evanston, Wyoming, and again as he prepared to leave the highway towards the meandering dirt roads on the way to the trail head. At this point, there is no way he will make it to bring the Scouts their dinner. (Um, sorry, Scouts, that’s my bad- though he assured me they would have enough food to not starve the Scouts. I hope.) There is no way he can hike all fourteen miles in an afternoon, not before dark. There is no way to let the Scouts know he is on his way, and there is no way to let me know if he even finds the Scouts.
My afternoon consisted of panic, crying, anxiety, and complete and total fear for the safety of my husband. Finally, I pile the girls in the car. I had to get out of the house before my head exploded with anxiety. I figure we can go to Ikea and wander around mindlessly. They will
overwhelm distract me, my non-napping toddler will sleep in the car, and I will be a little more sane. Possibly.
The Ikea plan backfired the second one of our wedding songs came on the radio, and within seconds I’m a sniveling mess. I start a mental prayer, pleading with my Heavenly Father that my husband will be safe and will find the Scouts. A complete anxiety attack is building, and I can’t not think about all the terrible things that might happen. As I drive, crying, I glance at a freeway exit sign, and notice I’m close to my sister in law’s house. She experienced this same anxiety when her husband, Lee, went hiking last year, leaving her with two young girls, a newborn, and no communication. A thought pops into my head: go to Savannah’s house. It’s immediately followed with: ask Lee for a blessing.
I’m not hugely good at asking for help, or appearing on someone’s doorstep sobbing. It took me a moment to even sort out if I had passed the exit to her house, but as soon as I exited, I texted at a stoplight, “r u home?” I begged Heavenly Father to let them be home. I knew I needed a blessing, I needed the comfort of the Spirit. I’m so grateful that I chose to act on that simple thought to go to her home. I’m so grateful that the Spirit spoke loudly enough to my anxious heart to know exactly where I needed to go. I’m grateful for a sister in law who immediately took me in, and her husband who was ready to give me a blessing with a moment’s notice.
The blessing comforted me in a way no human-crafted words could. The reminder that my Heavenly Father is watching over me and my sweet little family was priceless. The insight that everything will be okay calmed my frantic soul. After the blessing (and some deep breaths), we joined Savannah’s family as they went to watch Lee play Ultimate Frisbee. Then we took our rambunctious children to my other sister in law’s house, and the women talked while the children played.
As we drove home, I took note that my heart was still calm. No desperate what-if thoughts plagued me. I read scriptures with my daughters and then tucked them into bed. Another miracle–all of them instantly closed their eyes and went to sleep. I knelt down and said a prayer of gratitude to my loving Father in Heaven, and fervently asked Him that I might remember the calmness I had felt since the blessing. I don’t want to doubt tomorrow morning, I don’t want to yield to the temptation of worry. I want to have faith in the things I have been promised.
These things I share are the thoughts behind an intensely emotional day and are hard for me to share. I don’t share them to brag or whine. I feel the need to share them. Maybe someone out there will read this and remember that your Heavenly Father loves you and cares for your worries and fears the same way He does mine. Maybe I need to write this to remind me of that–tomorrow, next week, or next year. Or maybe someone is about to send their own husband out into the world, and needs to find a measure of peace–or know from whom they can seek that peace. (If you are looking to know more about God who knows you so well, this link will help you get started.)
What has brought peace into your soul lately?