The biggest and let me emphasize BIGGEST challenge I had to face and overcome was when my youngest daughter started dating a wonderful young man just a few years ago, one of the nicest young men I had ever met. He was a person who owned a beautiful home, was financially stable, smart, and did I mention nice? He was the perfect match for my daughter, but…He was a Funeral Director!
Can you imagine the thoughts and anxiety that entered my life when I found this out? This wonderful young man was constantly in contact with the SCARIEST fears on my list! What was I going to do?
My daughter would also be contaminated! If he would visit my house I would have to clean. Would I ever have him visit? What was I going to do? He even went to the terrible cemetery—the BIGGEST contamination fear I have!
There are tons of guys out there- What were the chances?
Why would God have her find someone who is a funeral director? I know why. Because she was happy, content, and loved him! The anger and sadness she carried throughout my treatment and divorce seemed to have lessened since her relationship with Mike began. She found the one who could provide her with everything she needed to lead a wonderful, happy life! That’s why God introduced them. This wasn’t about me.
She approached me not long after she and Mike started dating, being completely aware of my fears and said, “Mom, if you mess this up for me, I will never speak to you again!” And she meant every word of it.
What was I to do?
Even once I realized how happy Jodi was (and this was exactly what I wished for her), I still had many restless nights and thoughts of contamination, but I was not about to let my OCD interfere with this relationship. I could choose to never have them over and miss out on so many great gatherings or I could be cautious and take every opportunity to make this work.
I have been able to do well with this situation, but I am not going to lie that there will always be a bit of uneasiness, not with Mike himself, but with his career. After he visits, I do clean my house, but not always right away, which is a huge improvement in my behavior. I do shower after being at their house, because his job takes him to “The Bad Cemetery” sometimes and I still feel the contamination is on the floors at their house. I still have not touched the hearse that is parked in their garage, not because I fear the hearse itself, but because of where the hearse has been and who may have taken their last ride in it.
But overall, I am pretty proud of myself. I have done quite well, and Mike has been the best (and nicest) Exposure-Response Prevention Therapy I could have ever received!
Did God bring him into our lives as another way to help me face my biggest fears, knowing darn well that I never would myself? I don’t know, but I know he brought him into our life because he is a wonderful addition to our family! ☺
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