Pressing Through One of my Greatest Fears


Fog greeted me this morning. So happy to see me. As I stood on my front porch, I cringed at the sight of his uninvited visit. For he is one of my greatest fears. Because he steals my vision. And he’s treated me miserably in the past, and I have not forgotten. I may be unforgiving.

And I took pictures of him. Why would I do that?



This is one of those days I plant myself home until visibility is high. But I had to drive my daughter into town for her volunteer job at our church. My shoulders slump.

I can do this. I have to do this. I will do this.

Fog has gained a little weight since I left home, gotten thicker around the middle, and he sticks by me like the most faithful dog, following me all the way into town.

I can see more than two feet in front of my vehicle, thank goodness … more like three car lengths in front of me. But beyond that, all blurred, like God had used whiteout on His beautiful spoken creation.

Panic begins to rise inside. I remember that time all those people were killed in Florida because fog and smoke filled the early morning air … and we barely missed it. And I remember that time in Spokane, Washington, when my truck got stuck in a wheat field, the fog so thick, and the dog and I had to walk home some two miles in the drizzling rain and darkness.

And the panic rises more. But I have to be calm because I’m a mother. And my two kids are in the backseat.



What if a car is stalled on the road?

And I stumble on it. 

And I don’t see it.

And I plow in to it.

I don’t want to die yet. 

I don’t want to get us all killed.



“I can’t see. I should have texted the church to tell them we weren’t coming, but we’re already on the way …”

“I’ll help you, Mom.” My daughter is my second set of eyes, and her youthful eyes are way sharper than mine.

A truck passes me. 

“Was that a man?”

“Yes,” says my daughter.

I’ll follow the truck. I’ll stay close so that he can light the way for me. My daughter chimes in with the same advice from the backseat. She’s a good backseat driver. 

“He’s going so fast. I wish he’d slow down a bit. Can’t he just slow down? If I’m in a car accident, I don’t want to be driving 75 miles-per-hour.” Oops. My fear slipped out.

He slams on his brakes and heads into the shoulder. He didn’t see the cars stopped at the stoplight until it was almost too late. Thank goodness, I had plenty of time to stop, because I had kept my distance without losing sight of his tail-lights. My prayer rose up that the people behind me would see me stopped. They did.

We finally reach a busier area, getting closer to town. There are more vehicles. Traffic is going slower, with higher visibility. My heart is settling down. 



We make it to the church. 

I thank God. I thank Him for bringing leaders into my life, to light the way, even if they aren’t perfect examples. I thank Him for the people He brings into my life to help me, to keep watch of the path ahead, to encourage me to keep putting one foot out in front of the other, to help me focus on the beauty before me and not the bad. So many reasons to be thankful.

As we pass the youth building, my daughter says, “Mom, did you see the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Trailer?”

And I remember our pastor saying relief workers were camping out at our church during the tornado disaster clean-up. And I thank God for the precious people who came alongside those hurt by the recent tornado. 



























I thank God for all those who’ve come alongside me, to help clean up my life’s disasters. Who’ve loved me in spite of me, who’ve loved me through it, when life’s path seemed foggy. Who’ve shown me love, love, love, more than words … anyway, anytime, anywhere.

Father, thank you that because of you, we can press forward even it it’s moving slowly and behind the backs of others. 

***


Do you ever feel crippled by fear, like me? Do you have those in your life who help you move past your fears? If you could thank one person, who would you thank?


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10 thoughts on “Pressing Through One of my Greatest Fears

  1. Fog places us into a position of insecurity because things have to get too close to us before we can decide if they are dangerous. It is also a good reflection of faith at times when we experience doubts and grief. If we loose site of the One who leads us, life can become extremely scary. Great post and great picture of the red rose contrasting the grey background.

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  2. Ah, fog! I went to college in California,and fog was always a part of life. I remember a day…driving my open-top ancient jeep, sitting halfway out the cab, and going 85, not being able to see more than 20 feet.

    I didn't care. My passenger, however, did, and she expressed it by holding her hands over her eyes.

    When I was young I was an idiot. Haven't changed.

    But rr=ight now…yes, there's fear (and my current blog post speaks to this). There are monsters out there, and courage will not make them go away. They are going to kill me, and it's not going to be pleasant, and there is not a blessed thing I can do.

    All I can do is show up for the immolation. And I have to.

    http://blessed-are-the-pure-of-heart.blogspot.com/2016/01/your-dying-spouse-104-courage-is-nothing.html

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  3. Oh, Andrew … I know … the things we did when we were young and thought we were indestructible. And I can so imagine being that passenger, holding my hands over my eyes. That's me. And you are NOT an idiot!! Hee hee! 🙂 And I'm so sorry for what is hurting you … I wish I could stomp it to the ground … but I pray for you so often. I keep praying for complete healing for you. I want that with all my heart.

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  4. Shelli, I love pictures of fog, and yours are stunning. 🙂 I've driven in the thick fog/June gloom on a San Diego night. Downright scary when you can't see a thing. And on some mornings here, the fog is so thick I can't see the stop light until I'm almost upon it. But when kids have to be at school, they have to be at school. So, I pray, drive with caution and keep sludging forward.

    I guess it's that way with fear too. We pray, look both ways and keep moving forward. Because to stop is to let fear win. My fears lately have revolved around a new aspect of rejection. I have to keep my eyes on the Lord and remembering who He says I am, and hold on to that. Because to focus on the possible rejections that come in this life is to halt me and keep me from living out God's calling for me. I don't want to disappoint Him, so I'm learning to trust and keep moving forward.

    Beautiful post, my friend. Keep being brave. 🙂

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  5. Thank you, Jeanne … fog is so scary. I don't mind walking through my house in the dark … but when the blindness can be catastrophic, that scares me.

    Rejection … I don't like hearing that … that you're dealing with anything regarding rejection. Ugh. I'll be praying for you. xoxo

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  6. I can so relate to your fear of driving in bad weather. This summer I got caught in a downpour of rain! It was awful. I was in the middle of the city. I prayed so hard. To know what to do. I was in the middle of traffic with no near exit because we were all creeping along. Well, some of us. Some were going way…too…fast! Had to get off the main drag and wait it out. I heard my father's voice, my earthly dad, telling me to do that. As soon as I saw an exit, I took it. Then fear my car would stop due the amount of flooding in the street. When I got home though, realized I was only a few blocks from it. Someone, my guardian angel had gotten me to a safe area.

    A couple summers ago, the same thing. Only out of state and on strange roads. This was on the way home from my first-ever writers' conference. And I'd had a stressful time driving there too. I even blogged about it–this was way back when I started my blog.

    Seems the older I get the more scared I get about driving in new territory. I want my young, fearless self back sometimes!

    I'm glad you made it there today and home safely. It's in times like that though, I hear my mother's voice, “Maybe you should have stayed home.” Did that every cross your mind? It sure did mine as I drove to that writing event!

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  7. Melodie … yes, yes, yes, staying home crossed my mind. And I was so aggravated at myself for venturing out. Take control, Shelli … stay home. Ugh. And I can so relate to the rain storm … I am terrified of driving in rain, especially heavy downpours. I remember when I was a kid … the first time we went to Six Flags … driving from Tyler, Texas, to Arlington, Texas, the sky poured down rain. We had to stop underneath a bridge to wait it out. I was terrified then … as a matter of fact, that may have scarred me for life!! 🙂

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