So, you may not have noticed this, but I have a very dramatic personality. And imagination. And brain. All that good stuff.
My mind doesn't tend to come up with the most straightforward and likely answer to an unanswered question, but instead the most dramatic and outlandish one--either in a good dramatic way or in a bad dramatic way.
When Angel isn't home from work and it's already 15 or 20 minutes past his usual time and he hasn't called, I don't think that maybe he stopped to get gas like any normal person would think--I think there's been a terrible accident and I'll never see him again and what in the world am I going to write for his obituary and I don't want to be a 22 year old widow and where will I move to and I don't even know anything about organizing funerals!
However, I realized a long time ago that this tendency to invent the most dramatic and interesting explanations behind the most normal of situations--while it probably plays a very positive role in my ability to write well--could be crippling to my ability to live well. If I were to constantly worry about the possible results of all the imaginary tragedies and triumphs that I can make up in my head...I would go crazy. I wouldn't be able to function. I would be needlessly worried far too often.
So, I made a choice. I'm not going to worry. I'm not going to be afraid. No matter what.
When I spent many nights alone in this farmhouse a couple years ago, I decided that I wasn't going to be startled by any noise, that I wasn't going to prowl around the house with a flashlight whenever I heard a squeak or a rattle. Sure, I could invent a gang of robbers out to steal the massive piles of gold buried in my basement, but even if such robbers were there, digging away after the gold, and even if I swore I could hear the chink of their shovels against the dirt and rocks, I'd sleep peacefully in my bed and I wouldn't be afraid.
The reason I didn't have to worry was because my Lord said, "Do not fear, for I am with you." (Isaiah 41:10)
I pray for the safety of my family and friends daily, and beyond that, I choose not to worry about them, because Jesus said, "And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life?" (Matthew 6:27) My worry won't help me, nor is it of service to anyone I know and love. Anxiety and fear are nothing but traits that could cripple me and wound me, so I choose not to make them part of my life.
I don't worry about my husband, my marriage, my possessions, my home, my family or my friends because the Bible commands me not to. Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."
This isn't about any special internal strength of character I have. I know me. I know how dramatic and ridiculous and weak I can be. But man, I have an awesome God. A God who I know I can trust in the good times and bad. I've seen some tragedies in my life--I've seen people die who I desperately wanted to live, I've watched my own neighborhood get destroyed by a giant wave--if that isn't the stuff of overly dramatic nightmares, I don't know what is. But I've also seen miracles, and I've seen prayers answered. There's a choice to be made, and I choose trusting God in every situation instead of worrying about every single life situation that happens to be out of my control because I know He does a much better job of handling my life than I do.
Because of Christ, I know I'm okay spending my nights alone in a big empty farmhouse. I'm okay with being away from my husband for a few weeks or not seeing my family for a few years. I'm okay with not knowing where I'll be living a year from now or five years from now. When I begin to feel a fear sneaking up on me, I take it as a reminder to pray, and then dismiss it, instead of indulging in it and making myself sick with worry.
I know that someday, it could happen that Angel doesn't make it home from work. It's happened to many. I could get the phone call no wife ever wants to receive. But, by the grace of God, I'm not afraid of that call. Bad things do happen, but constantly being worried about all the bad things that could happen but haven't yet is no way to live. I'm free from my own fears, and I can tell you, it's a good way to live.
p.s. For the record, there is not really any gold buried in my basement.