Foggy Days

It was a foggy day.  Like, an official “school starts three hours late and no busses run because of zero visibility” kind of foggy day.  There were pile-ups on multiple highways and late arrivals all around as people tried to navigate the unexpected inconvenience – and hazard – of the dense morning fog.

I live in the central valley of California where the fog actually has a name.  It’s called Tule and it’s famous for laying low and thick over wet ground in the fall and spring months.  We haven’t seen much of Tule in recent years due to severe drought in this agricultural part of the state, and little rain means little moisture and sparse fog.

But we’ve been blessed with a wet winter (finally!) and that means we’ve also been visited by the dangerous valley menace, Tule fog.

So as I was driving across town on my way to work I was glad to be very familiar with the roads, crossings, stops and traffic lights on my route.  I could anticipate their proximity and not get turned around, which is really easy to do when you can’t see a darned thing!  I was raised in this fog and learned to drive in it at an early age.  It’s simple, really.  Drive slowly with at least one window down to listen for traffic and use your headlights.  If you come up to a car in front of you, don’t run into it.  And leave yourself enough room that if you get rear-ended you don’t hit that car in front of you that you’ve so diligently been avoiding!

So as I was carefully making my way to work (slowly, window down, headlights on, not hitting anything) I knew there was a traffic light coming up ahead, though I couldn’t see it anywhere.  I slowed even more, afraid I’d come up to a red light too soon to be able to stop, and there it was.  Through the thick milky fog a single form started to take shape straight ahead.  All else was hidden but one lone red left turn arrow in the lane I was in.  I slowed to a stop and it hit me in the way that so many ordinary, seemingly random sights and experiences seem to do in this crazy brain of mine; I know this place.

OK, not the lane or the intersection, though I cross it every day, but I’ve been here….in the fog and haze and mist of confusion and uncertainty, just watching and waiting for signs and signals to point me in the right direction, the next turn and the clear path to safety.  As I sat there staring at the tiny red arrow, waiting for it to turn green so I could be on my way, I could see literally nothing else.  No cars, no houses, no road signs or lane markers…..just the single red light up ahead that had my full and undivided attention.  I was focused.  I was alert.  I was confident that that red arrow would eventually turn to green and it would be my signal to go.

Wouldn’t it just be convenient if God would give us arrows above the mist and haze of confusion and sadness and fear to let us know when to stop, and when to begin again?  (I’ll add this to the long list of God questions….)  I know this is a ridiculously simplistic metaphor, even for me!  But that morning, as I sat there waiting for the light to change, I had absolute faith in that light.  Other cars could have still ignored their lights and run through the intersection, and don’t think that didn’t cross my mind as I finally got to slowly turn left through that very big, very wide intersection.  But I couldn’t have done anything about other cars….I could only control my car.  And follow my one little light.  In the fog.  In faith.

I don’t know if this will speak to anyone else but me, but I found comfort in my left turn light that morning.  Tule fog is dangerous.  Zero visibility is no joke, and it’s important to navigate carefully, to be sure.  And there are so many other dangers that are out of our control, aren’t there?  Failing health….broken relationships….political unrest….loss of loved ones….so, so many things that  seem to assault us and leave us in the murky fog of hurt, loneliness and disappointment.  It was good to be reminded again that God doesn’t expect us to blindly navigate through these tough places.  And even if the way ahead seems to us to be small and seen only through the fog of our need, we can still trust God to always point us to the next step…and the next….until we’re in the clear.

One of the amazing things about Tule fog is that it takes a warm upper layer of air to create that thick blanket below.  That means, just above all the haze and danger is a beautifully warm, sunlit day just waiting to be discovered.  Foggy days don’t last forever.  And neither do our heartaches when we trust them to the One how knows us best and loves us most!

Love and Hope,

Shellie ❤

Homeward Bound by Kristene DiMarco

I will run, I will run this race
And I will do it all for love
Your love compels me forward
Your love controls my heart
And I just can’t, I cannot get away

So I will fight, this good fight of faith
And I will do it all for love
You are my great reward
You’re so worth fighting for

And I cant wait to see your face

And I cant wait to see your face
And I cant wait to see your face

Hallelujah
Hallelujah

paths

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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