For the last 4 or 5 months, my anxiety has been miraculously low. I might still struggle for a full day or two every one or two weeks, but it’s still not to the degree that it used to happen. I’ve noticed and I’m thankful.
But there’s still one line of thinking that I haven’t been able to completely overcome. See, most of my anxieties are so ridiculous, so extreme, so convoluted, that when I can finally think rationally again they completely dissipate. As soon as my mind is clear for a moment, they evaporate. It’s wonderful.
However, this one line of thinking won’t go away. I’ve had a few dreams about it. It’ll suddenly hit me like a wave when we’re out for a walk, or when I’ve just woken up, or when David and I are eating lunch together, or when he’s stepped out to get groceries. It’s the same thought, simple and factual.
David could die. Today.
The thought of David dying makes my stomach twist into knots. And we can’t say it’s impossible or even super unlikely. People die everyday! People lose loved ones, spouses included, every day. I probably don’t help matters by reading stories that confirm this: spouses passing away from mysterious never-knew-there-was-anything-wrong neurological conditions, run-of-the-mill car accidents, muggings gone wrong. I’ll spare you further details, but the point is that no one can say that David is safe. No one can guarantee that we will absolutely, 100% grow old together. I mean, hey, even I could die! But death doesn’t actually scare me at all. Living life without David does.
You know, this is actually one reason why my teenage self didn’t really want to get married. I knew I could love him so much, our lives could become so intertwined that it would create a vulnerability that opens the possibility for devastating pain. Super romantic, right? I know. Swoon.
Obviously I decided that marriage (well, David) was worth the possibility of pain. And he is. But man! The fear that I might lose him. My mind goes to the logistics, the gaps, the lack, the pain….
So what to do with a thought like that? He just stepped into the room, as he does several times a day, to hug me and just tell me hi. Then he walked out. What if something terrible were to happen to this wonderful gift of a man?
As I’ve brought this anxiety to the foot of the cross, I have not received a vision confirming that we will grow old together. Instead, a simple and factual sentence.
Even through that, Jesus will be with me.
Through all the big changes in my life — both wonderful and not so much — I’ve always thanked God that He goes with me. When I left home and moved far away from my parents, He went with me. When I moved to a new continent and became a wife, He came with me. When I radically decided to switch careers, He came with me. And everything was not easy, but it was always okay because He was with me. The hardest struggles are made bearable by the wounded hands of Christ.
So, God forbid, if David were to die today, I would hate it. I would be in inexpressible pain. But even through that, Jesus would be with me. And that’s enough for me. That’s enough for my heart to be at peace and for my mind to trust. I know Jesus well enough, and He has proven Himself enough, that He is enough.
Thus, when the unthinkable crosses my mind lately, I simply and prayerfully repeat the phrase:
Even through that, Jesus will be with me. And that’s enough.