Real Families. Real Hope.
Offer God's hope to hurting families.
Yes, I will help struggling families!

Panic in the Powder Room

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email
© Danny Allison
Face your anxiety so you can embrace your marriage

A couple of years ago my husband, Gabe, and I were in Carmel, California, and stayed in a 1920s house that was built to last, with 10-inch-thick walls and heavy, carved wooden doors.

While Gabe was waiting for me in the nearby village, I used the teeny-tiny powder room and, when the lock jammed, I found myself trapped inside a concrete bathroom miniprison. The fear I felt induced the first panic attack I’d had in seven years.

Even though God provided a way of escape — I managed to climb out of an 18-inch-wide, arched window — the attack left me doubting that I would ever be brave again in tight spaces, heights or crowds.

Fast forward six months. Gabe and I set out on a European adventure to celebrate our 20th anniversary. This was our chance to open our hearts to each other in ways that would deepen our relationship. We knew that we needed to be healthy as husband and wife in order to offer emotional support to each other and our kids. 

While I looked forward to the adventure with my husband, the reality that I could have another panic attack wasn’t far from my mind. I’d have to squeeze into small places, mingle with shoulder-to-shoulder crowds on public transportation and, if I dared to climb a mountain, be near the edge of high cliffs. Anxiety threatened to overwhelm me.

Many women have some fear that can keep them from experiencing everything that God intends for their life and marriage: fear that you’re not doing enough; worry about health, politics, career choices; anxiety that you can’t keep up; fear of what other people think. I’ve learned, however, that with a little intentionality and a lot of perserverance, anxiety can be transformed into peace and purpose. The command not to fear is listed more than 100 times in the Bible, and I took that to heart.

Here are two suggestions that helped me keep anxiety at bay during this trip.

Remember your purpose

As soon as I boarded the plane for our long Atlantic flight, I challenged myself to step inside the lavatory and lock the door because it would set the tone for the trip. I had every intention of starting out the adventure by being brave. My purpose for going to Europe became greater than my fear, so I squeezed inside the tiny airplane bathroom and slid the lock closed. I wanted our vacation to foster connection with my husband and our memory-making adventure more than I feared being trapped.

Live in the moment

I believe worry is fear of the future. So when I’m anxious, I’m not living in the present. And I desperately wanted to savor each moment with my husband on this trip, to be fully connected with him and the experience. No regrets.

But early during the vacation I encountered a gondola — a small glass cage, jampacked with people that was going to soar into the sky. I hesitated, but then looked at Gabe, whispered Jesus’ name and got on, stepping toward adventure.

After that, Gabe and I had so much fun, so much play in Europe. The vibrancy of the trip hearkened back to being honeymooners. I was so caught up in the adventure that I forgot to be fearful.

Now I look back and hold to those memories. I have another reason to trust that God will provide a way of escape the next time I’m faced with fear.

Dynamic CTA Template Below

Your Teen Needs You Most of All

No parent of teens is perfect and even the best can learn how to better connect with their son or daughter. Get practical action steps to better connect with your teenager in 8 Essential Tips for Parenting Your Teen in this FREE video series!

There Is Still Hope for Your Marriage

You may feel that there is no hope for your marriage and the hurt is too deep to restore the relationship and love that you once had. The truth is, your life and marriage can be better and stronger than it was before. In fact, thousands of marriages, situations as complex and painful as yours, have been transformed with the help of professionals who understand where you are right now and care deeply about you and your spouse’s future. You can restore and rebuild your marriage through a personalized, faith-based, intimate program called, Hope Restored.
Raising Your Kids to Defend the Faith (1)

Raising Your Kids to Defend Their Faith

“Raising Your Kids to Defend Their Faith” is a series of five short videos, created to get you started in teaching your kids the fundamentals of Christianity, so they can understand it, explain it, and defend it.
Book Cover: Aftershock A Plan for Recovery

Aftershock: Overcoming His Secret Life with Pornography: A Plan for Recovery

This book is for women who have discovered their husband’s struggle with pornography and other sexual infidelities. Based on biblical principles and psychologically sound advice, Aftershock is designed to help women heal, grow, and receive restoration for themselves, their husbands, and their marriages.

That the World May Know

Join renowned teacher and historian Ray Vander Laan as he guides you through the lands of the Bible. In each lesson, Vander Laan illuminates the historical, geographical, and cultural context of the sacred Scriptures. Filmed on location in the Middle East, the That the World May Know ® film series will transform your understanding of God and challenge you to be a true follower of Jesus.
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on print
Share on email

About the Author