For all those who are walking in confusing, perplexing places…this one’s for you.
Sometimes, when circumstances are less than ideal, it is difficult to believe the best. The future is shrouded in the foggy mist with only blurred shadows. In these times I wonder what it is that is lurking out there in the places devoid of clarity. Are the shapes I see friend or foe? Do I dare to move or do I stand still as a stone? When I cannot see what is ahead of me, I’m prone to let my imagination take me into darker places. Fearful places where security is elusive. Every fear I have ever had rushes to my mind and they clamor for my full attention. Gathering in a mob, they shout at me from all directions. My heart keeps a rapid pace in unison with all that assaults my mind. Before long, I am exhausted with the effort my mind is expending…yet sleep and rest are playing a game of hide and seek. If only there was an off switch! But life does not offer such luxuries. Time rolls forward with all the grace of a bulldozer set to tear up anything that tries to stand before it. It seems futile to resist such a formidable force as time. And so I am swept up as it rolls on and carries me into the fog with it. Days of this type of anxiety turn into weeks and then years and the fog of the future seems to get heavier and thicker in attempt to conceal itself from me. The fog, slow in its arrival, takes time to subtly blind my eyes. Sitting within it, I hardly recognize my own hand in front of my face.
Blind, I grope around, arms flailing in all directions just hoping to land on one thing I will recognize…one thing that will orient me to this place in which I find myself, the lost place…if only I can feel one thing that will banish the uncertainty. My courage seems to have abandoned me and I sit defeated within the ever-darkening mist. I am alone. Unwanted. Uncared for. So it feels. Doesn’t always feel this way? All that I know of myself, all that I have fought for, all that I have poured out evaporates as a whisper on the wind. Breathing is labored and tears flow freely. Grief overtakes me. Loss and heartache are wrapped around me squeezing my lungs until they feel impotent. I have been in this place before and I wonder why it always feels so very big…expansive, like I will always be here even when I know I won’t.
Here, in this place of overwhelming confusion, I sit. This is not despair; no this is not that kind of pain. This is the uncertainty of things planned for now removed. Not knowing when or if they fog will ever lift. In my head, I know that the source of the answer is the Light. In my head, I can add positive thoughts into the onslaught of screaming fearful voices. I can say these thoughts out loud in an attempt to banish the fog, but not until the Light appears will the fog burn off. It will hang low, like a blanket over me. There is not one thing I can do but sit and wait for the Light to arrive.
Then suddenly there he is! The Light. He bursts forth in a blinding flash that is so bright I have to shield my fog-covered eyes. In that moment, after my eyes adjust, there is clarity and definition. In that moment I know. I just know. I don’t even know what I know…but I feel it anyway. A KNOWING. My courage returns even as the flash fades away and I am once again surrounded by foggy mist. Only this time I am aware…this time I have seen the Light and I KNOW. My hope is renewed by the Light. I still cannot make out what lies ahead. I cannot see a path or even one stepping stone…but the Light brought me a gift.
The gift of faith. The kind that does not make the least bit of sense to my anxious mind or my fearful heart…but speaks only to my spirit…communes with it. They speak one another’s language, these two. The result is a laughter, which bubbles up through my weary soul. I am giddy with anticipation. It reminds me of the rush to nest just before a baby is born. A birthing of something new is coming…get ready. Amidst the fog I feel as if I am floating and the fact that I cannot see makes the flight exhilarating. The fear fades away the higher I fly, and in this freedom, the fog doesn’t seem daunting at all. It does not matter if the shadows are friend or foe. There is no more hiding or paralysis. No more running away. I am carried by the gift and the awareness that the Light will appear to burn off the fog in his time. The rays will one day soon shine bright again. Until then, I will rest in the midst of the misty shadows with a deep and abiding KNOWING. My overwhelmed head and heart will rest, as my spirit coos assurances of things hoped for to them until they believe it. Then mind, heart and spirit will be unified and there will be healing…hope will burn bright again.