I really thought my husband was dead yesterday.
I’m not being dramatic. I was absolutely convinced he died.
It all started at 4:30 a.m. when he woke me up like a little kid on Christmas day. He was headed out to go fishing in his new kayak. He had been talking about this Monday, solo fishing trip for days – and it was finally here.
He’s a teacher, so he is still off for the summer, but none of his friends could go fishing with him on a random Monday. That was not going to stop him.
He packed up, gave me a kiss goodbye, told me he’d call to wake me up at 6 a.m., and headed out to reel ’em in.
I overslept and woke up at 7 with no missed calls and no texts. I immediately panicked. He never doesn’t call when he says he will. My first thought? He drowned in the lake.
I called my mom and she calmed me down. “He probably doesn’t have service,” she said.
I knew she was right, but my mind raced with worst-case possibilities all day.
The more time that passed, the more my worry grew. I had texted five of my friends and was crying on the phone to my mom. I just knew something awful had happened.
I even tried to call the marine police AND 9-1-1… NO ONE ANSWERED. (I’m not proud that I resorted to calling them, but I didn’t know what else to do, OK?)
My best friend and my mom were getting ready to pick me up from work and head to Gurley, AL to find my fisherman.
I couldn’t focus at work and I was shaking from fear. I had prayed all day and knew I should open up my clenched fist and let God hold my worry, but I just wasn’t budging.
Then, I started to replay all the ways I’d been a bad wife the past week, month, year. What if I never see him again and the last night we spent together I was grouchy and tired? I was beating myself up like an Everlast punching bag.
I finally got a call around 1 p.m. “Hey babe! How are ya?” the chipper voice on the other end said.
I replied, “CALEB ROGERS,” in a very distressed voice. I explained to him that I thought he was dead and he apologized that he had no service whatsoever. I really couldn’t even be mad at him because I was so happy to hear his voice!
At lunch with my coworkers shortly after the fiasco, I told one of my bosses (one of the best people I know) the entire story.
She said, “You have to stop worrying so much.”
I told her I absolutely should stop worrying so much and really learn to hand things over to God. It doesn’t add a second to your life, after all!
Matthew 6:27 “Can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
She agreed and said, “Yes – that’s actually the Gospel truth!” We laughed for a minute before she said, “But no, you need to stop worrying so much about being a bad wife.”
And the grace washed over me.
I tell other women how to give themselves more grace, and here I am shaming myself for not being my idea of a perfect wife.
Wives, we have to stop with the unrealistic expectations we set for ourselves. We absolutely should strive to love, encourage, and honor our husbands, but when we fall short, we can’t dwell on our downfalls. We are more than the mistakes we make as people and as spouses.
I guarantee you your husband doesn’t think you’re as bad as you think you are. He sees your beauty and your love over your nagging and bad habits. That doesn’t mean you don’t do things to upset him; it means he gives you grace and loves you through it – just like Jesus.
Please don’t read this story and give up trying to be a loving wife to your loving husband. But please do read this and take the pressure off yourself to be a perfect wife to an imperfect husband – you’re both human.
Stop worrying about the safety of your spouse and stop worrying about your performance as a spouse – give them both over to God and trust His will in it all. You can’t control the universe like God can, so let Him handle it.
Far too often, we cling tight to fear and forfeit the peace at our fingertips.
God wants you to live with a light heart, not one weighed down with anxious thoughts.
You are a wife for a reason, so stop sweating the small stuff and love your Jesus and your family like only you can. No distraction the enemy tries to throw your way will prevail.
You were made for so much more than stress and anxiety, so walk in the perfect peace of God and love your people from that place.