Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow. It empties today of its strength.- Corrie Ten Boom
My wife and daughter are off to Turkey. Yes, Turkey. As in the country. Not the bird that I deep-fry in peanut oil every Thanksgiving. My two favorite girls are in another part of the world that I know nothing about. They are miles away from home (6,603 miles to be exact) and eight hours ahead of me. My loves are a long way from home. My daughter, Bri, is participating in a study abroad program and my wife, Adi, is there as a chaperon.
This is the first time in my life where any part of my family is outside of my sphere of protection. Hah! How audacious of me to presume that they were ever within my so-called “sphere of protection.” Danger is everywhere. It lurks near the gas station where my wife buys her Powerball tickets. It could show up at my children’s school. It would exist even if they weren’t halfway around the world.
At first, I was very anxious about letting them travel so far away without me. When the boys and I dropped them off at the airport, it took everything I had not to put them back in the car and keep driving. As I looked into my daughter’s face, I had to turn away so that she would not see the welling in my eyes. I had to stay strong so that they would remain so as well.
Last Monday, I began hearing the news about violent protests that were occurring in Istanbul and Ankara, the country’s capital. My daddy radar went up immediately wondering where my girls were at the moment and were they safe. I sent an e-mail message to every official associated with the trip demanding assurances that my family was not in any danger.
I soon realized that this was another fruitless gesture. Stuff (word substituted for a “G-rated” blog) can happen anywhere at any time and no one can guarantee anyone else’s safety. So I did the only thing that I could do. I prayed for their well-being and I prayed for my peace of mind.
I am not typically a worrier. My wife tells me all the time that one of my greatest strengths is that I believe that most problems are solvable and I don’t get stressed out. This time it was different. This time my family’s safety was involved. However, I reminded myself of Adi’s sentiment and I began to realize that my worrying was for naught.
Today I’m much more relaxed.
Google Hangouts has become my best friend and favorite app on my smartphone. We use it to IM, video chat, and send pictures to each other and we are able to chat all throughout the day and night. They assured me early on that while they are aware of the protests, they are away from it all and are indeed in a safe place. They told me about their dinner tonight in the home of a local millionaire. They described the country’s beauty, history, and culture. They describe days of picking fresh cherries on a Turkish farm. They have traveled to the nearby city of Konya for shopping. My bank account is a little lighter, but my heart is full by knowing that they are safe and happy.
I’m thankful that I didn’t deny them of this once in a lifetime experience because of my needless worrying.
Question: What are some of your biggest worries and how do you deal with them?