The Fog Has Lifted

  

“I can’t see the trees and branches!”

My four-year-old son exclaimed on our way to drop him off at school, convinced that there was something wrong with his eyes as he attempted to see through the nebulous fog surrounding the car. He became increasingly concerned when he realized that he couldn’t even see the high school we usually pass on our way. He began to worry that it had disappeared altogether, and that we would not be able to navigate the path to his school. 
Fog can do that to our perception sometimes. 

Much like that literal fog, mental fog has a way of convincing us that the structures, the landmarks, the milestones in our lives we considered to be permanent fixtures, have somehow disappeared, and leaves us feeling that we have utterly lost our way. We become convinced that it is an issue with our vision rather than an obstacle on our pathway to be overcome. Sometimes we even decide that it is a sign that we should turn back, return to what we consider to be safe, making permanent judgment calls in a temporary situation or circumstance. 

However, just as we know that the presence of fog does not mean that the buildings, trees, and other familiar sights have disappeared, the same is true about mental fog. In spite of the momentary confusion and obstruction, our purpose and path in life remains intact. But we must have a plan and method for navigating our life’s journey in those moments when we cannot trust what our eyes see before us, like turning on the fog lights on our vehicle.

I recently experienced a dense, heavy, wearying and discouraging mental fog, keeping me from being able to properly see my way. I began to doubt my gifts, my call, my ability to write, lead and teach, my direction in life and my vision for my family and future. I began to feel as if there was something wrong with me, telling myself that maybe I took on more than I was actually capable of accomplishing, bit off more than I could chew. 

Maybe my goals were too lofty, maybe my ambition outpaced my abilities, maybe I just misinterpreted this entire season of my life, and what I really need to do is go back to “playing it safe”. Who was I to think that I could walk an uncharted path or take the road less traveled??? 

Yet in the midst of nearly giving in to the temptation to wallow in fear and doubt, nearly succumbing to the urge to turn back and run to safety, I realized that to abandon my course would be the same as saying that I don’t trust the One who has called me to bring me through this trial. And in my running to what I perceived to be safe and comfortable, I would actually be putting myself in harm’s way, because the safest place to be is in the will of God! 

So I finally decided to use my fog lights – I turned to the Word of God. 

2nd Corinthians 5:7 says “For we walk by faith, not by sight”.

I recognized that as soon as I lost focus of the One who set me on this trajectory, I became easily discouraged by the landscape around me, and made myself an easy target for the enemy. It was by faith that I arrived at this point, yet in the moment I failed to meditate on God’s Word and promises to me, I began to feel as if that same faith was not enough to carry me through this more challenging leg of my journey. 

Psalms‬ ‭119:105‬ says “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.”

It is God’s Word that shines ‭‭in our dark and foggy places, enabling us to see our way forward when all else, when life itself, seems to scream at us that we are utterly lost.

So here I am, getting back on course, renewing my commitment to the call on my life, and reaffirming my dedication to my assignment in this season. I am once again embracing the challenge to pour out my heart as I write, sharing what God has put into it to help encourage, and hopefully inspire others. 

And I am so glad that I didn’t turn back, because the fog has finally lifted, as it usually does, and I can once again see the Son!

Hitting Restart

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Our lives have become so technology driven.

Without my smartphone or tablet, I’d likely forget, more often than not, where I am supposed to be and with whom I’m supposed to meet – never mind the route I need to take to get there. We even have hands free devices so that we can continue our constant communication on the go.

To maintain optimal functionality, our devices eventually need to be recharged, restarted, or in the most aggravating of cases, “restored to its original settings”.

You know the point that I’m talking about – there are too many applications open on your smartphone, so it begins to drain the battery life, or the response time is much slower than it should be.

Or your laptop begins to beep at you and flash threatening messages about shutting down “mid-10 page paper,” if it is not connected to a power source in 10 minutes, which often feels like 2 seconds.

Or your iPad starts to crash because you’ve gone weeks without restarting it once – yikes!

And then, there’s the device that takes what seems like 15 minutes to restart, when you have something of the utmost importance to do, but it’s really your fault because the poor thing has gone way beyond its factory promised battery life without being charged.

If only such treatment were limited to our electronics, this post would not be necessary. Yet the truth is – We treat ourselves the same way!

We have too many applications running at once – busy, but not productive, and running around too much to remember what we were trying to accomplish in the first place.

Before we know it, our brains are sending the message – “Error. Your request has timed out”. We cannot effectively accomplish our goals because we are overwhelmed by non-essential tasks and commitments, distracting us from our central purpose by life.

Understanding who we desire to be, what we were created to do, and simply learning to say “No”, or “Not at this time”, can go a long way in helping us not to feel so pressured to make a life that we forget to live!

We fail to recharge our batteries, leaving us feeling drained and useless. After all, a dead device is just that – useless. It has the potential to fulfill its purpose, but no juice, no power to drive it. The device contains the information, resources or applications that someone needs, but has no energy to supply it.

Sound familiar?

When we go too long without replenishing our energy, we get jaded, fatigued with life, disinterested in our work, frustrated by our condition.

Yet many of us continue living in the same drained condition, waiting for the weekend – or our final breath, whichever comes first. And while I say that somewhat jokingly, this is the reality of our human condition. We only have now, we exist from moment to moment. Wouldn’t you prefer to fill each of those moments with purpose and passion, and turn potential into manifestation?

Sometimes, we just need to hit the restart button. There are moments when we need to close everything out, shut everything down, and pause to quietly refocus and recenter before powering up again with renewed insight and energy.

Is it time for you to Hit Restart?

Andrea

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P.S. What do you do to “recharge” or “restart”? Please feel free to comment and share. You never know if your idea might be the very thing someone else is searching for!