Matt died yesterday.

OK, pause. Before you freak out, he didn’t really. Promise. He’s alive and well and sound asleep in bed. Just hear me out though.


But yes, in my mind, Matt died in a tragic car accident on the side of I-40W while on his way to work. It happened around 8:03am. One moment, we were chatting on the phone on our commutes to work, and the next moment, the line was dead. I tried to call him back for the last 15 minutes of my drive. Over and over and over again. And nada. No answer.

By the time I had reached my office, I was visibly shaking. You see, I knew that I would be getting a call from the State Trooper on the scene of Matt’s accident at any moment. I was mulling over what I would tell our kids. Thinking, “I can’t be a widow! Not at my age!”

I walked into my office, my hands visibly trembling, and immediately pulled up the Raleigh traffic report online. A major wreck on I-40W was reported at 8:08am. It was Matt, I just knew it. As a last-ditch effort of contact, I desperately called the front office of our church. I begged Amy to have Matt call me the second he walked into the office. She asked what was wrong- I explained that he wouldn’t answer his phone and that I knew that had died in a car accident. She either thought I was crazy or… well, scratch that… she probably just thought I was crazy.

I somehow managed to go in to see my first patient of the day, my head completely foggy. Because, remember? My husband had just died. But alas, I emerged out of Exam Room #2 to the most glorious text ever: “Hey it’s Matt, I’m fine, phone just died and then got stuck behind a wreck… Love you.” In that moment, I simultaneously wanted to hug his neck forever and beat his I-never-have-a-charged-phone self into the ground.

Upon replaying all of this to one of my coworkers, a perplexed expression swept over her face as she asked, “why didn’t you immediately assume that it was just a dead cell phone battery in the first place?” Well, duh. Makes sense, right? But no, all too often, I allow worry to get the best of be and for my ridiculously crazy imagination to run wild. It’s not always this bad. I promise. But my fears and anxieties are never good or right.

We all know how I feel about Elyse Fitzpatrick. Love her. And I also really love her book Overcoming Fear, Worry, and Anxiety. In this book, she says, “worry flows out of a distorted or incomplete view of [God’s] nature and character. God has revealed Himself both in His creation and in His Word. We are obligated by this self-revelation to know Him as He is… When we spend our days worrying, we’re disregarding what He’s told us about His perfect holiness, power, wisdom, and love. We’re saying, ‘I have to handle this because You can’t be trusted.'” Ouch.

Charles Spurgeon had me figured out, too. “Such strange creatures are we that we probably smart more under blows which never fall upon us than we do under those which do actually come,” he says. True that. I could have spared myself yesterday’s blow if I had intentionally focused my heart on who I know God to be (my holy, sovereign, loving, compassionate Father) rather than being swept away by the “what ifs”. Because even if (or, even more likely, when) the bottom falls out one day and I face that dreaded catastrophe, God will still be just as holy. Just as sovereign and loving and compassionate. And He will carry me through.

Didn’t mean to get all preachy on y’all. If I’m preaching, then I am obviously preaching to myself. Ya know, the girl with trembling hands and teary eyes all because of dead cell phone battery. And just in case you’re wondering, on today’s agenda: I’ll begin rereading Fitzpatrick’s book. And Matt? Oh, you better believe he’ll be buying a car charger… otherwise, I have threatened to hand over my archaic flip phone in exchange for his iPhone.

2 Comments on the day my fears got the best of me (again)

  1. Oh Catherine! I so often find myself tryin to talk myself down from that crazy fear ledge. Thank you for sharing Elyse's and Charles' thoughts

  2. Catherine, I do this And then I was the one who was in an accident with BOTH the girls! Crazy to be so crazy!! Thanks for your encouraging words as you work through this!

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