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Monday, January 28, 2013

That time I worried.....

I wrote this before I went to bed one night while I was visiting my mom about a week ago.


I'm not a worrier by nature.
That's just not my personality.  And I'm thankful for that since I have so many other hang ups that I'm trying to overcome... I'm thankful being a worry wart isn't one of them.

But today I worried.
Today I worried like I never have before.
Today I let fear creep into my mind and wreak havoc on my emotions.
I totally let the "what ifs" take over and for a several hours my life shut down.

You see, as I am here at my mom's.... The love of my life is six hours away. The man who has been by my side for 27 years....The person who literally makes me whole could not be found. He didn't answer the phone... Didn't return my texts....his phone went right to voice mail like it does when it's dead.  This is not like him at all. Nick is super responsible. He is super considerate.

And I know that if he hunts behind the house, there is no cell service  there... But today I lost all logical thinking when I let fear creep in. When he didn't check in this morning, and he didn't return any texts or phone calls, I hopped on Instagram and Facebook to see if he posted one of his encouraging pictures like he does everyday.... Nothing. I scrolled through my feed to if he had "liked" anything.... Just anything ... but found nothing.  I texted all three of our girls to see if they had talked to him any... Nope. They know this behavior is unlike me...the worrying....... So now I had them worried too.

The fear of the unknown gripped me like never before. You see,  I have lived through tragedy before. I have woken up to a normal day only to have my world changed forever before my head hit the pillow that same night.  My daddy died of a heart at the age of 44. It was a normal day. A Sunday. We went to church...He shared a testimony about the work God was doing in his life.... then he sang the old hymn "Because He Lives" with two other men....then he sat down in the pew and the Lord called him home. He had a heart attack in church. I was 13 years old and still to this day, every time I watch a movie where a family is frantically waiting at the hospital and the  doctor walks out with that expression on his face that can only mean one thing,  then he shakes his head and says to the family "I'm sorry. We did all that we could do... But he's gone. We couldn't save him"... Well when I see a scene like that,   I relive that day.... The day my world changed.

And I've received "that call"... The one we all fear where the person on the other end tells you the unthinkable...that  your loved one is gone.... In this case, my 39 year old brother.  He was killed in an accident. And just like that,  your world changes again...

Death is never convenient. It often happens when we least expect it.  And it always alters the lives of those left behind.

I mean, I am older right now than the age my mom was when she became a widow... I know these things don't just happen to "other" families. It happens to all of us. And in those few hours when I thought the worst.... I replayed our last conversation in my head... Our last words we said to each other.... I thought of our last embrace....... 

So when Nick couldn't be reached, I let all of those fears.... The "what ifs" penetrate my heart and mind.  I did the opposite of what God's word tells us and promises us.. "Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:6, 7 NKJV)

I could have had my heart and mind protected by the peace of God but instead... I chose to be anxious. And without my mind guarded by God's peace.. I let it run wild thinking crazy thoughts...

What if he had a heart attack or a brain aneurism during the night?
What if  he can't move and get to the phone to call 911?
What if he had an accident while hunting?
What if he's stuck out in the woods and is praying someone is gonna come look for him?

I let fear infiltrate and overtake my mind to the point that I even called one of our church members and asked him to go check on him... To go to our house and see of the 4-wheeler was there. If it was gone I'd at least I'd know he didn't have a heart attack during the night but was probably hunting.  Well Bill humored me and bless his heart, stopped whatever he was doing and rode down to the house to investigate for me.... I think he knew he had a frantic crazy woman on his hands. I was so overtaken with irrational thinking, I would have done whatever it took to make sure of his safety...even if I was 6 hours away feeling helpless.

Needless to say he discovered nothing... Except a missing 4-wheeler, along with Nick's hunting gear. Bill assured me he was probably hunting in the area behind our house that has zero cell service and that all was ok.

And it wasn't but a few minutes later that I get a text.... from Nick (hallelujah!)... Telling me to call off the search party. That he was fine... He in fact was hunting in a area with no service and when he got closer to home his phone began to blow up from all the texts... From all the people who were now checking on him.

All because of me.
Because of one moment when I chose fear instead of peace.

But today has taught me a lot and allowed me to see myself as God sees me.
It was one of those tough lessons in humility as I was faced with  how much growing I have yet to do in this area....  I kept recalling that passage..."Don't not be afraid of sudden terror...for the Lord will be your confidence..Proverbs 3:25-26 ....but I was afraid. I was gripped with terror when I thought the one thing I love most in this life might be gone.   And later after the dust settled, this passage came to mind "If you faint in the day of adversity, your strength is small." Proverbs 24:10    The Lord revealed to me in His gentle and tender way, that I'm not as tough as I think I am.....I'm not a spiritual as I thought I was.... That I have a long ways to go with Him in this sancification process and that He wants more than anything to be my confidence I run to.  He desires to gaurd my heart and mind from all the "what ifs" I can conjure up and he wants to fill me with peace that surpasses all understanding...He wants to do this IN the moment I need it. And He is able.

So tonight, as I lay my head on my pillow, I'm thankful.
I'm thankful for Nick's safety.
I'm thankful for a brother in Christ who went out of his way to reassure and comfort me.
And I'm thankful for a Savior who is always at work in my life...never giving up on me...molding and shaping me with the utmost patience and tenderness to become the woman of God He created me to be. very thankful.

And I'm hopeful that next time I'm faced with a choice to make...I choose to rest in God's peace.
Growing in grace and knowledge is a beautiful thing.



  1. I cant believe all the tragedy you have endured in your life. Our pastor spoke yesterday about how God works in our lives through difficult trials to accomplish His purposes and bring us to a mature faith. Trials are to be expected but Joy is to be our response (james 1:2-12) You have been a beautiful testimony of joy trust and faith. You allowed fear and worry in because of love. You were stronger than i because i would have called in helicopters to search for my husband.

  2. I cant believe all the tragedy you have endured in your life. Our pastor spoke yesterday about how God works in our lives through difficult trials to accomplish His purposes and bring us to a mature faith. Trials are to be expected but Joy is to be our response (james 1:2-12) You have been a beautiful testimony of joy trust and faith. You allowed fear and worry in because of love. You were stronger than i because i would have called in helicopters to search for my husband.

  3. When ever we let fear take over it is always so much worse than what is reality. I have learned this lesson too, too many times. I wish I could've hugged you In Your moment of fear and now too of course. I'm so glad your love is ok.
    I'm thankful as well for Gods tender ways of guiding us back to the path.

  4. I am feeling very sad on this day 1/28/13 it has been 2 months today since my 17 year old son died. You know that every person on this earth has a story & most people have had hard times in their lives but it helped me today for you to share this post with us. It makes it easier to know that others have shared pain like mine. Thank you I love your blog it is nice to read one from someone who has grown children who have left the nest.

  5. I needed to hear this. I had someone come to me yesterday and reveal our family's cursed history of successful full term pregnancies. They probably thought they were doing me a kindness telling me the reality of my situation, but I always believed that God wanted me to be a mother, and when the time came I would be. That faith is all I have considering my medical history as well as family history. Yet, when she spoke those words I felt the cold grip of fear overtake my being, and I began to wonder 'what if I can't get pregnant in a few years, or what if I can only have one child?' The thought made me want to cry. Then I read this and felt like God was telling me to stop worrying. He is in control of even that aspect of my life. So thanks for the uplifting message.

  6. girl. i relate. tragedy has been laced throughout a lot of years of my life... i almost start expecting it after a little while. so weird. so wrong. thankful there is perfect peace when i keep my eyes on the Prince of Peace.

  7. I'm a worrier by nature and can completely relate to this. I mostly worry about my kids. I'm a stay at home mom and so any time I'm away from them for longer than an hour or two, I start to worry since in my mind no one can take care of them as good as I can (silly, I know). I love the verses you posted and am definitely adding them to my daily reading. I need to remember to put my faith in God and not worry so much.

  8. Tears in my eyes as I read this. I've not had to endure the kind of loss you have, I can't image that, but I can certainly relate to being married to an outdoorsman who might just get into anything! I'm not supposed to ask my husband when he'll be back from fishing or hunting. When I do ask, he says, "Dark thirty." He doesn't want to be pressured to come home at any certain time. I mean, if the fish are bitin' he's not coming home! He always checks in because like Nick he is considerate, but there have been those moments when I've wondered and worried when it's way past dark thirty. The beautiful thing about our Lord is that he understands. He understands your past, your pain, and the deep love for your husband. He takes your worry in context, and he wastes nothing as you learned from your weakness and his strength. The song, "Jesus Loves Me" comes to mind. Thanks so much for sharing from your heart!

  9. This is a beautiful post, Stephanie. Thank you for sharing your heart here with us. I have been blessed.

  10. Such a great and honest post. I try hard to let God's peace rule my heart but sometimes (more often than I would like...) the fear creeps in. Most days it's easy to pray away, to stand on the Word, but there are times I let it,"I" let it, cripple me. We are all works in progress aren't we?! Have a great week : )

  11. Oh, I think we can all relate in some fashion to this. I'm not a worrier either but I have been known to react just this same way in some situations. Great post Stephanie!

  12. it's hard not to go there, especially if you have experienced loss and heartache throughout your journey. past experiences shape our reaction to things like this. i totally would have thought the worst. i too, am learning to rest in HIS goodness:)

  13. One of my good friends and I were just having this conversations about how fear can just paralyze our lives and thinking of the what if's instead of trusting God's plan for our lives and living on total dependence on Him. What a wonderful and encouraging post, Stephanie & the scriptures you used are so perfect. So thankful for the comfort of His Word! P.S. Cute scarf! ;-)

  14. I could relate very well to this post. I think worry and fear are two areas the devil knows he can easily use to get inside our heads, particularly a women's head. I come from a long line of worriers : ) and it is something the Lord has worked on in me in a big way. He moved me overseas when my kids were entering their teen years. I wrote about my tendency to worry and His ability to change me in a post a while back. Here's the link if you're interested.

    I think too, when we've experience loss and things not going the way we hoped and prayed they would go in the past, it's easy to slip into the worry place. I have memorized as much scripture as I can relating to worry and when I feel it trying to rise up in me I start reciting : ) This was a lovely, encouraging post and a reminder once again that we are not in control and that's a good thing. Have a great day!

  15. You're not alone. I've done this, too, even though I know in the moment that God's got it. I specifically remember getting in my car to search for a certain 16-year-old who went running with his friend and was gone far longer than he should have been. I found them, safe and sound, running miles away from the house. I hate that anxious feeling I allow to overcome me.

    I love the quote by Corrie Ten Boom:
    Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow; it empties today of its strength.

    So glad Nick was fine and you are growing through this experience.

  16. such a great great post. I have experienced "that call" it is awful turns your world upside down in seconds. I love 2 tim 1:7 my go to scripture when the enemy tries to set fear upon me. and man oh man does the enemy go to work with fear when you have kids. so thankful that we serve a bigger god!

    thanks for sharing your heart!

  17. I went through something similar recently with my husband as well. I do tend to worry by nature and it is one of my struggles that I pray about all the time. God is helping me overcome it but I still have a long way to go.

    Glad it was all for not and Nick was fine. And also that you were able to discover those truths about yourself and our God.


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