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.
Finally, Gary was able to get his work done at 9 p.m. on Wednesday. Due to the all-nighters and the long hours before Wednesday, the man had met his limit with exhaustion. He fell asleep in his office chair, even falling back asleep repeatedly after I called him, woke him up, and asked him to come home. He came home at one a.m. on Thursday morning. Apparently his office nap had energized him and he started packing to go. At three a.m. I stumbled into the kitchen wear he was gathering items needed, and I declared this whole trip to be stupid. After all, the Scouts had already hiked seven miles on Wednesday. His plan was to leave the house around 4 a.m., drive three hours to the trail head and hike the seven miles in time to meet them for the next leg of the trip. At that point, he would then hike another seven miles. The fear I had of him hiking with almost no sleep and alone with no communications made me sick. I yelled at him telling him it was impossible and dangerous. He threw up his hands and crashed into bed, mad at me.
At 10 a.m. I woke him up. I realized he had to carry in dinner for the Scouts on Thursday night! I apologized for being so rude and told him I thought he should go. He resumed his packing, and it dawns on me that by the time he meets up with the Scouts, he will now need to hike fourteen plus miles all alone. By fighting and arguing with him, I have only made his predicament worse! I cried like a baby as he prepared his bags and was finally able to leave the house just past one p.m.
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?