For the longest time I didn’t like date night with my DH. Seems like a ridiculous thing to say considering we have 4 children…who I homeschool…and am with constantly! This mama needs a break with her hunka hotness hubby every once in a while.
Yet I had extreme anxiety each time we’d go out on a date.
The whole day I would think less about eating a meal I didn’t cook, and more about the fact we both were leaving the kids. The anxiousness only increased as we drove. My DH chatted away about ministry details while my imagination was running wild. It usually went something like this:
We’re driving along, happy as punch, when out of nowhere a car swerves into our lane and hits us head on. Both of us die in a fiery crash. Our children become wards of the state because we didn’t have a will. No one knew where they should go, so while the courts figured it out, they were held in foster care. Finally our families decided it would be best to split them up, two with one family, two with another. And the rest of our kid’s lives would be devastated not only because they lost us, but also their siblings.
By the time we got to the restaurant, I had secretly vowed several times to never go on a date night again. After all, it was for the safety of our children! Sure they’d be okay if they lost one of us…but not both of us! And so it went with date nights.
Until I let my worry help me.
I considered what scared me about date night. It wasn’t dying. It wasn’t bad sushi or our babysitter. It wasn’t potentially never seeing my kids again. I was scared because we didn’t have a will. We weren’t prepared for the unexpected; and we weren’t helping our family be ready either. So guess what we did? We discussed what should happen to our kids if we were to both die and got a will.
It wasn’t an easy conversation. I think I worried for several days after we finalized the document that it would be put into immediate use! But I was able to face my worry and let it help me, instead of hinder me.
Sometimes when we face our worries, we can see what we’re actually fearful of, and do something about it. Too often I have considered myself a victim of my worry instead of the director of it. I feel tossed around in my dreadful imagination, unable to get a grip on what I’m scared of. But I direct my worry when I make it work for me…when I do something about it.
It seems more natural with the simple stuff. If I take my dog on a walk and am worried he’s going to run away, I can put a leash on him. If I’m worried my brownies are going to burn, I set a timer.
But it can work with complicated stuff too. If I’m worried that I’m going to be broke in a year, I can meet with a financial adviser. If I’m worried my marriage is going to end in divorce, I can go to counseling. If I’m worried my children will end up being non-believers, I can read books like Sticky Faith that help me be proactive.
We let worry help us when we turn and face what we’re really scared of. Then we can ask, “Is there something I can do to allay this fear?” And if there is, DO IT! I can’t tell you how many worrisome date nights it took me to finally talk with my DH about a will. It took me time to discover my fear and then do something about it. But once I did, we blessed our family with a plan. And date nights were a little more enjoyable 🙂