I lay down to sleep at night.

And I don’t know what awaits me.

Will it be restful sleep?

Or will it be minutes ticking away that melt into the next hour?

I wake up in the morning.

Is it going to a day filled with energy — to start new beginnings and break off old ways?

Or will the day be one lived in obedience — to faithfully get up and surrender to whatever the next hour brings me?

I don’t know what each day will bring.

This is what the journey of faith looks like when you’re traveling through the thick of it.

These are the days of walking through the fog of everyday life trials —

when change isn’t coming any faster than you’d like it,

when the challenge that’s pressing in on you intensifies.

You try to ignore it.  Try to make yourself stronger so it will pass.

But, it’s not going away.

This is the fog from which I’m walking through and writing to you today.

The Fog

It’s not always talked about, but the faith journey is like walking through a fog, thick as it rolls over the mountains, onto the trail you’re hiking through.  Maybe you’ve driven through the mist at night, as you’re looking for that exit — or found it clinging to your windshield early in the dawn, as you begin a long road trip on a cold autumn day.

It happens. When you start out with the most hopeful intentions on a new journey — whether you’re looking for an exit from a difficult situation — or maybe just caught in between unexpected changes.

It dawns on you.  

Life is going to be different.  For you. Or your family, friend, or child.

Maybe it’s your health, your job, a relationship or a hope deferred.

For me, it’s been a mixture of all four.

The fog can do that.  It can suddenly bring thoughts and feelings that you’ve often wanted to just move through.  Instead, you find yourself returning to questions and circumstances that settle down around your mind and heart, like fragments of tea leaves that circle to the bottom of your cup.  No matter how carefully you sipped or sieved.

And maybe like me, you begin to wonder…

When will this fog lift?

And how long will God let it stay?

Raw

This fog I’ve been walking through has a peculiar name.

Healing.

It happens when we’re willing to honestly look at the truth of what we’re experiencing — and give ourselves permission to allow God to enter into it.

To stay there with Him.

Raw.  

As we are.

It’s been a very difficult and hard road of healing for me.  Because I want healing to happen on my timetable.

Now.

I read Scripture and remember only the instant miracles.  And I wonder why I can’t receive them too.

But old wounds and old memories that have never given me any problems suddenly ignited into real anxieties and current day fears.  It seems so wasteful.  All this time spent going through trauma I had long left behind me.  Why in the world would God choose to bring them up now, when I’ve gotten along fine all along?

Healing is oh-so-inconvenient.

Honestly, friends.  Don’t you think?

But, it turns out when you unlock your dreams and dare your heart to open, our soul isn’t a maze of rooms that we can compartmentalize.

Yes, Lord Jesus.  Open up this part of my heart.  This I can share!   No, Lord Jesus.  Keep this other part shut.  Who would want to open that door?!

God’s not moving me any faster through the uncertainty.  So like a true engineer, I’ve been trying to trouble shoot what it is that’s keeping God’s healing from accelerating in my life.

What is that I’m not doing enough of — or am I doing wrong?

Is there something broken with my faith — or it not enough faith?

I’ve been looking for answers, but God painted a picture for me instead.

Patches

It happened one morning last weekend, when I least expected an answer.  My son TJ had Sunday School “homework” and I was reading a passage in the Old Testament with him.

I hadn’t slept well at all the night before.  And I was surely walking around that morning toasting bagels and pouring milk for the boys in a fog.

As I read the verses in auto-pilot mode, I was taken to a desert, where the people of Israel for sure felt stranded.

 

Now on the day that the tabernacle was erected,the cloud covered the tabernacle.

Whenever the cloud was lifted from over the tent, afterward the sons of Israel would then set out;
and in the place where the cloud settled down, there the sons of Israel would camp….

As long as the cloud settled over the tabernacle, they remained camped.
Even when the cloud lingered over the tabernacle for many days, the sons of Israel would keep the LORD’S charge and not set out

 If sometimes the cloud remained from evening until morning, when the cloud was lifted in the morning, they would move out;
or if it remained in the day time and at night, whenever the cloud was lifted, they would set out.

Whether it was two days or a month or a year that the cloud lingered over the tabernacle,
staying above it,
the sons of Israel remained camped and did not set out;
but when it was lifted, they did set out.

Numbers 9:15-22 

A cloud.

It kinda looked more like fog to me.

Yes, Bonnie.

I know about the fog.

I’m with you — in this fog.

Then, I knew. Down in my gut, where my stomach drew a breath and my heart started beating, as I took the Bible from TJs hands and told him, “Mommy wants to read this for a minute.”

And I read and re-read the passage.  Scanning it line by line.

I understood what God was saying to me, as I saw the cloud over the tabernacle of my heart cover and lift — some times lifting for a moment at night, some times lifting for longer stretches during the day.  Some days are good and some days are very bad.

I am not in control of this fog.

God is.

He alone decides –

how long this fog will stay,

when it will lift,

when it will descend once again.

Healing comes in patches, my friends.  I am understanding this is how God wants me to walk with Jesus.  A patch of fog lifting at a time.  Not knowing how long He’s going to have me stay where I’m at.  Not knowing when He’ll be calling me to start out again.

My Heart, His Home

Sometimes, God lifts the fog longer than other times.  And on those days, I understand far more than I had in the days before.  And I move.  As long as I keep moving whenever the fog lifts, I am keeping life with Jesus. And on the days the fog lingers, I stay.  This too, is living life with Jesus.

I was greatly comforted — as a smile broke out under my baggy eyes — God’s presence has covered this tabernacle residing in my heart.

God’s presence is eternally strong, never broken in me, because He’s sealed me with His Holy Spirit.

My heart is His home.

I will keep camping, as hard as it is to stay put.  But, I will keep looking out for the patches of fog that lift.  And when it does, whatever steps He shows me — even if it’s just one step — I pray for the courage to step out into the unknown.  Even though I am afraid.

This has slowly become my prayer now.  Not that the fog will disappear.  But, I’m asking for the courage and faith to persevere.  Who knows how long this journey will be.  Two days, one week, or (grimace) — could it be — one year?  Honestly, I can’t think that far ahead.  I can only take it an hour at a time right now.

As sure as the morning breaks into the noonday sun, this fog will lift.  And each day the moon ascends back into the night, and the coolness brings the fog back, I am trusting — that the God behind these cycles that are turning waves, breaking onto the ocean — He remembers and He loves me.  This is the thought I rest in.  This is the thought that stays.

Stay or Go

Sometimes, God doesn’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in, no matter how hard we pray.  God is bringing us out to a new clearing in our lives.  But, to journey there, we are led to a place where only God knows the way out and we are left with new realities — about how we truly feel and the many questions we wish we could dare to ask.

Is God having you stay where you’re at right now?

In the moments when the fog lifts, what does He show you — what does He say?

Even if that one step is brief and seemingly simple, as it has been for me —

doing that load of laundry,

taking that walk, even if briefly,

asking a friend to come hang out for an hour,

calling a friend to just catch up and chat, 

enjoying a cup of mint tea that’s been sitting on the shelf for a while (and squeezing some honey in it),

taking a long, hot bath and playing some jazz on Pandora after the kids are down,

journaling dark one night about that memory that can’t seem to subside,

giving yourself a break and letting the kids eat mac and cheese (again),

closing your eyes during worship on Sunday and letting yourself cry just a little inside,

going back home in the afternoon, to clean out a closet, nap or cry a lot in your bed,

hugging your children and tickling them, just because it’s fun to cut loose for awhile,

lying quiet in your bed to think back to the time you swam in a lake or sunbaked in the sand,

lying quiet in your bed and letting this day or this night be as good or as hard as it truly has been. 

Don’t worry about how long you can sustain or continue that one step.

Give yourself permission to walk on this journey of faith, one hour at a time.  One day at a time.

I don’t know where the cloud of God’s presence has you right now.

But, I want you to know — when the fog just seems to heavy — we are not alone.

We can walk through the fog with each other.

We can walk through the fog with Jesus, friends.

Because He is with us.

Even here.

He is in charge.

We can rest.

~~~~~

“And the Lord said, “My presence shall go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to the Lord, “If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here…

The LORD said to Moses, “I will also do this thing of which you have spoken; for you have found favor in My sight and I have known you by name.”
Ex. 33: 14-17

~~~~~

How is God calling you to stay or to go — in your journey of faith?

What picture, words or moments is Jesus calling you to rest in — today?

Take a moment to share.  Click to comment.  It’s always a soul treat to hear you speak.

~~~~~

By Bonnie Gray, the Faith Barista, serving up shots of faith for everyday life.

 

Photo credit:  ttakasugi via Photobucket.

 

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  1. 2

    Yay, Bonnie, I’m so glad you’re back posting at (in) courage!! I hope your time off blogging has been restorative and healing! I was just thinking of you and praying for you today before finding this new post! Sending many hugs to you along your healing journey and praying for you every step of the way! You’re truly an inspiration in the way you allow God to lead and heal you in His way and His time–you’re amazing! Lots of love and blessings!

    • 3

      That is amazing to hear — how God moves in us to think & remember each other. He is surely here. Thanks for all the love, Katy. Hugs right back to you!

    • 4
      Lorilee Willcox says:

      Hi Bonnie, thanks for sharing this amzing idea about staying when the fog is thick and moving when it lifts, at this present point in my journey I am in the deepest place of pain and uncertainty and this really touched my heart and mind, thanks so much for blessing me, Lorilee

  2. 5

    He’s calling my heart to rest in the security of who I am; that He made me just as I am for purpose. And He’s calling me to Go in loving my groom well, just as He is.

    Rich blessings as He continues to lead you closer to His heart, friend.

  3. 7

    oh this is was a much needed read this morning. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing the lessons learned!

  4. 9

    Ah, this was so helpful to read today. Your honesty is refreshing, and I think “fog” is exactly the right image. I haven’t yet learned to discern the moments of the fog lifting away, but perhaps that will come in time. For now, I’m grateful that you’ve called it to my attention. I’ll pay attention with you.

  5. 11

    Since our last Faith Jam I too have been led to deal with trauma unexpected, panic attacks, and post traumatic stress. I love your words. I cling to them with baggy eyes through the fog. Said a prayer for you my friend. I recall these passages from my healing walk a year or two ago, and the fog leaves me moist with His presence once again.

    • 12

      this is an amazing statement- “the fog leaves me moist with His presence once again.” I love that. Thank you!

    • 13

      oh, Melinda! My heart just aches thinking of all you’re going through – yet still in awe of the beauty of your words “the fog leave me moist with His presence once gain”. *squeezing your hand in mine*

  6. 14

    Thank you Bonnie. Your words are always such precious jewels. Teresa of Avila in her book ‘Interior Castles’ talks about locutions – basically certainties/knowledge within the soul that even if they don’t come to fruition for years, remain certainties/knowledge that only the soul possesses.

    ” .. these words do not pass from the memory but remain there for a very long time; sometimes they are never forgotten. This is not the case with what men may utter, which, however grave and learned they may be, is not thus impressed on our memory. Neither, if they prophesy of things to come, do we believe them as we do these divine locutions which leave us so convinced of their truth that, although their fulfilment sometimes seems utterly impossible and we vacillate and doubt about them, there still remains in the soul a certainty of their verity which cannot be destroyed. Perhaps everything may seem to militate against what was heard and years pass by, yet the spirit never loses its belief that God will make use of means unknown to men for the purpose and that finally what was foretold must surely happen; as indeed it does.”

    Bless you xxx

    • 15

      Wendy, *thank you* for taking the time to share reflections from Teresa of Avila with all of us here. I haven’t read this passage before. My soul enjoyed it much, friend!

  7. 16

    Perfect. Just what I needed to hear today. What I needed to be reminded of. Thank you for sharing. I am in the fog.

  8. 18

    I’m so glad you’re back. Your honesty is so easy to relate to. My fog is fear that I’m not fighting but succumbing to. God is doing something precious for me in spite of the fear that takes over me. I’ll be praying for you that your joy will be found as He’s near and that the fog will lift and sun will shine on you.

    • 19

      Thanks for praying as the Spirit prompts. It’s amazing to hear God is also stirring in your heart… this is a journey that is a one-step-at-a-time. Thankful you shared…

  9. 20

    I was soooooo excited to see Faith Barista on my phone when I woke up. You inspired me to actively seek my own healing from trauma, through friends, counseling and relationship with Christ, when you first started to share a few weeks ago. Last night, I got my first 9 hour, uninterrupted sleep since I can remember. One restful night is a miracle for me. And I thank you for helping me start this journey with your honesty, vulnerability and openness.

    • 21

      Aw… Katie! So excited to “see” you this morning & with *9* hours of uninterrupted sleep. My heart just leaped for you! Thank you Jesus — for the encouragement of sleep today, for leading her through the courageous journey she is taking! *hugs*

  10. 22

    So wonderful to read your posting! Thank you for having the courage to share…

  11. 24

    Bonnie,
    I just read the scripture reference and saw something I’ve never recognized before. The Lord told Moses His presence would go with “him” but not “them” and Moses replied, to paraphrase. “if your presence doesn’t go with all of us, then (I) won’t go either”. Oh, this blessed my heart! This man of God could have had at that very moment all of God’s blessings and protection to himself, but he chose to stay and cover those who God had put him in community with. In that one phrase I think I finally understood what what real ‘community’ is supposed to be about, bearing each others burdens, standing in the gap. Being able to believe that you really don’t have to go through it alone, knowing you’re not the only one traveling some hard paths alone. Just remember, God even reminded Elijah that although he believed he was the only one, there were many faithful who were on the same journey with him. Bonnie, today know we won’t go up, keep going and leave you behind either. Much love, strength and blessings to you this day and always. Missed you….

    • 25

      Mary! You just went ahead and make me CRY.. “Bonnie, today know we won’t go up, keep going and leave you behind either….” good tears. Thank you, friend. So sweet when the Spirit touches us through each other!

  12. 26

    Bonnie, thank you for writing again. I am on this journey with you, struggling in my own fog of grief and emotional dependency. No instant miracle here, though Jesus could if He wanted. But, oh, He is so close in the fog. Over and over, He tells me He loves me and cares for me. I love you and pray for you, Bonnie girl! Hope you are coming along well on your book. God bless you!

    • 27

      It just amazes me, how His words of love just go smack against the experience of the fog: LOVE. Thanks for sharing that, Mary. Let’s continue to remember each other… and all the other sisters here on this same journey.

  13. 28
    Chris K says:

    Bonnie, wow…it’s like you put into words the exact fog and healing that I went through. I continue to pray for you…and (en)courage you. He WILL bring you through. I am so glad that you are able to comprehend His presence as you are healing, and thank you for putting words, so poignantly, to what SO many of us are or have walked through. Blessings to you. ((hugs))

    • 29

      It’s so encouraging to hear you went through this too… and to also receive your encouragement, Chris. Thank you. (hugs)

  14. 30

    Thank you so much, Bonnie, for sharing your thoughts with us today. Your post has given me much to think about. I’ve been going through much fog during this past year with circumstances in my life, and I realized while reading your words that I have been trying to leave, to fix the situation, when I should be staying and resting in the moment with my Lord and waiting for Him to lift the fog. And then, to rest in the moment, day, or week of fog lifting that I’ve been given instead of fighting for the fog to be gone forever. What I really want is to be transformed into Christ’s likeness, and only the Lord knows what it will take to get me there! So thank you, Bonnie, for reminding me to rest in the moment and wait for God to lift the fog before I move.

    • 31

      Thank you Cathy for being open to share how God is speaking to you — right in this moment. Your heart is so vulnerable and open. Lord, Jesus, may my sister know how beautiful a gift she is! *hugs*

  15. 32

    Oh how I needed to hear this today! I know it’s all in Gods timing but sometimes you feel so alone but praise God He is with me every step I take! I’ve been afflicted with anxiety an panic attacks which come an go praying to be delivered completely, what a blessing you are an for sharing. I cannot help the things that happened to me in my childhood wondering why it’s bothering me now, I guess the good Lord is cleaning some closets so He can move me to a new level thank you once again God Bless!!!!! <3

    • 33

      I know. It does feel lonely… and then, I see your words here… and all the sister here on the same journey. And I’m thankful, so grateful for your voice here. Blessings, Sherry!

  16. 34

    Bonnie, a good word for today. I know about 50 moms, mothers of children with special needs, who are walking thru a fog. Sharing (and thanks for you you do!).

  17. 36
    Tshephang says:

    I found out that i always identify with what you write Bonnie, every single line. I really needed to hear this. For most of this week i have been asking myself whether im being stupid or just plain irresponsible. A friend told me this faith journey doesnt make sense sometimes and your words today has stamped it in, move when he calls you to and stay when he calls you to, and remember he said in Jeremiah to the exiles, to grow where they are planted, reproduce and increase in numbers. You are such a blessing in my life!

    • 37

      Can I just give you a *hug*? Like right now?! :) Thank you, Tshephang for taking the time to keep company with all of us today here with your words.

  18. 38

    I can only say that as I found myself in the middle of a storm, I learned to trust the Lord step by step. Losing everything has a way of causing upheaval in life! There were times when I kept asking Him: ‘what am I doing wrong?’.

    But God …

    He teaches us and comforts us and asks us to trust Him and His perfect timing.

    I also found that I wanted to hibernate until life got better. But He often uses others to walk alongside of us on this journey. Sometimes it’s physical friends and other times, I’ve been blessed by my blogging community; people like you Bonnie.

    So as you navigate these unfamiliar paths, I pray that you will be encouraged by the prayers and friendship of others. You are a blessing and I appreciate your honesty. I continue to pray for you.

    Blessings and love,
    Debbie

    • 39

      Yes. Hibernate is a very good word to describe that pull in me. I’m so used to doing that. Being here with you and friends who understand gives me courage to try and step out. Thank you Debbie for being that friend — that voice — that always speaks so directly with understanding and kindness. You DEFINITELY have the gift of encouragement in spades (you already knew that, but just wanted to say). ;)

  19. 40

    I love the analogy of the fog to the cloud and tabernacle. I also am learning that healing comes in patches. Just this last week, I asked a dear friend if she thought it was a one off thing and that was what she said that it comes in pieces and is a journey.

    I’ve missed you and have been thinking of you and praying for you. Thank you, friend, for always writing so honestly so that others know they’re not alone.

    Love you much!

    • 41

      Hi Eunice! I love how we have our little correspondence, one post /comment at a time. It’s just a joy getting to know you and share this journey together. Love you!

  20. 42
    carol l says:

    This reminds me of driving to work in the early morning – sometimes the fog in the valley is thick and visibility is so reduced that you can’t see what’s ahead, or, behind. It’s that living in the moment, driving slowly towards that goal. Then, there are the mornings when the sun (Son) pierces through that fog, and you anticipate the clearing ahead. “I press toward the goal”… Thanks for the reminder that no matter how thick the fog may be, He is with us.

  21. 44

    Sweet Bonnie, it takes so much courage to bare your soul to us like this- especially when you are right in the middle of the fog. I’ve been in that choking fog. It almost strangled the life out of me while I was writing my book. Memories, wounds, loss I thought I’d dealt with and healed from rose up with great force. I didn’t have time for the pain – or so I thought. But it wouldn’t leave. And when I surrendered to it, Jesus came and met me there – right in the middle of it all. I’ll never forget the day He beckoned me to be brave and enter in with Him. It took time – more than I wanted to offer my pain. But healing came. Deep, lasting healing came. Im praying for you fiercely today!!

    • 45

      Sweet Renee, here I was just standing in front of you last year — not knowing at all — not even an inkling of where I would be headed in the new year. I have been thinking of you time and again (what you shared with me… about the writing of your book). I know now, it wasn’t a coincidence at all. God was already preparing me for what was to come through hearing your story. I’ll be daring and say, “Yes, Renee! Pray fiercely for me today!!”. Wishing I was with you now in person, knowing because of God’s Spirit connecting us, I am. ;) Thank you.

    • 46
      tamerriell says:

      Im reading A Confident Heart right now..:););)

  22. 47

    Yesterday I picked a scab off my cheek, a patch my dermatologist had spritzed with liquid nitrogen a few days ago. One’s not supposed to do that, you know, pick off scabs until they’re ready to drop off on their own. You might be stuck with a scar that could have been avoided.

    Thought about that as I read.. And this walk of faith–you’ve described it so well. We see dimly what He sees clearly. He’s in control of the fog.

    I heart you.

  23. 49
    Susie Gilbreath says:

    Sweet and precious words to my heart right now but exactly what I needed to hear. Difficult…but oh so true. Thank you for posting.

  24. 51

    So happy to see Faith Barista in my inbox! Yes, I know you are in a fog but I was just thrilled to see you again! We can stand in this fog together. Catch tiny bits of joy (yes, JOY!) while in the fog no matter how it comes. I once read (or maybe I had heard it on a CD or on the Internet) years ago, Beth Moore say, and I am paraphrasing, “when you get through your trial (or fog), you will find yourself in a wide expanse of Grace.” I thought about that…a wide expanse of Grace. I suddenly felt uplifted at the time because I could now see a light I didn’t see before. To me, the wide expanse of Grace felt like I was going to be in a large open field with trees and wild flowers and a soft, fragrant breeze with the Light of Christ all around me. It was something to look forward to. So for you, Bonnie, I pray that you get a glimmer of your “wide expanse of Grace.”
    But for right now, look around and see all of those who love you and all those who are here, standing with you in the fog and in the center of it is Jesus. Much love to you, Bonnie!!

    • 52

      Aw, Christine. THANK YOU for the grace of your company and your words this morning. May God continue to refresh your heart, as you refresh others so easily!

  25. 53

    A relationship and a hope deferred … so a mixture of 2, but I have a wonderful friendship, and when I’m with that person, those are some of my favourite times. I can rest there, grateful to God, and having the good times – it helps so much to think about those in the tea-leaves-at-the-bottom-of-the-cup moments. What a lovely piece of writing – didn’t know someone else could write down just how I feel.

    • 54

      “didn’t know someone else could write down just how I feel” – me neither. But now I know it’s possible!

    • 55

      I did’t know someone else felt the same I did about those tea leaves too. I’ll be thinking of you next time I sip. ;) So happy you have that place of rest in that friendship. Thank you, Jesus, for what you’ve given to Sarah. You know what she needs.

  26. 56

    You have penned my life as it is right now. Thank you. I will read this over and over again, for it is exactly where I am. I’ve never been in a time such as this – this waiting is new territory to me. I’m used to getting answers and resolution quickly. I fear when I think of how long this fog may go on, but yet I’m restored when I realize that God is still God, and He is still with me. It is good to know I’m not alone.

    • 57

      Sounds like we are on the same journey. We’re not alone. ;) Good to have you here, Beth!

    • 58

      I feel so much the same way and I knew God was speaking encouragement to my heart through your words as well as Bonnie’s when I read “a time such as this”. That’s the name of my blog that I’ve been attempting in the last year and have felt a great sense of fogginess as to whether I should continue it or just let it go. I sense Him calling me to persevere. :)

  27. 59

    As I read thru your words all I could do was weep and I felt the presence of the Lord come over me as if he was standing behind me with HIS hands upon my shoulders holding me as I wept thru the reading of words that brought healing and comfort. The song by Leann Rimes how do I live with out you played on my phone, Before reading your words hundreds of thoughts were going thru my mind of what was left over from yesterdays sewer. My heart aches my heart is tired today I read where in John 16 it says be of good Cheer I have overcome the world! I confessed that over my children before dropping them off in the school line trying to cover up the hurt from yesterdays garbage they witnessed. I really dont know just this very second what will happen or what my next move will be but this I do know God is with me and I dont have to decide this very moment but rather walk in HIS grace and love and adore what HE gives me, I have peace I have JoyI have the Spirit of God in me, I have three little face waiting for me to pick them up to day with a smile on my face and hug them. Thank you for your words…..

    • 60

      Lord Jesus, thank you for Pearl. Thank you that her heart is so sensitive — and as it’s overwhelmed with all these hard and difficult feelings — I pray you will comfort her, in a way that lets her know, you understand her. You know her story. Thank you for the honest she was able to share with her children, even as they stood in line. Bless Pearl and walk with her family. Walk with her hour by hour. Thank you, Jesus. Amen.

  28. 61

    I can relate exactly. Sometimes it’s frustrating to submit yourself to the Lord’s timetable – you have to wait upon Him as you earnestly strive to do what you can in helping the fog to lift. But the comforting thing is that He is there with us the whole time – He knows exactly what we’re going through because not only did He take upon Himself our sins, but our infirmities, our pains, our weaknesses, and because of this, He knows how o perfectly comfort us. The scriptures use the word succor. It means runs to. As I’ve gone through my own journey of healing, I can definitely witness that He runs to me as I face seemingly monumental roadblocks – I feel Him helping along through the kindness of others. And he consecrates these experiences for our benefit. I’ll have to re-read the scriptures you included. I love to see how He has helped people in the past – it gives hope to me :)

  29. 63

    Thank you Bonnie for your well timed words, I so recognized myself and didn’t realize it. May God Bless you as you travel through this fog. God Is With Us always.

  30. 65

    You put words and scripture to my current circumstances. Trauma, grief, change and unanswered questions have been consuming me. I get frustrated because I want to keep moving forward yet God quietly whispers “Rest Beloved, rest”. Then one day or moment the fog lifts and I hear Him tell me it is okay to take another step or two or three. I will no longer allow myself to beat my mind up with accusations and words of discouragement. I will extend myself some grace and allow time for rest and healing one day at a time, sometimes one moment at a time. I will not allow myself to compare where I am to where my friends are because God has me right where he wants me. And at the moment I have to take care of myself, my husband and my children. My home is my mission field. Thank you for helping me narrow my focus today. I pray God will give you peace when you need to make decisions that are difficult but necessary in order to leave room for healing and simplicity during the fog. And ask He cover you with protection from the attack that often comes from the demands and expectations we put on ourselves and that sometimes comes from others as well. Father, thank you for healing, one moment at a time.

    • 66

      Thank you for each and every word you shared here, Amy. I love the prayer you prayed at the end. So grateful. Father, thank you for Amy. May your Presence just be extra gentle on her shoulder tonight, as she tucks herself in after her does her family. Bless her missional heart for her family — and be her comfort each and every hour of the day. Let her know she is the apple of your eye. She is special because she is faithfully walking with you.

  31. 67
    Bonnie Jean says:

    Funny that we share the same first name… I was living a life of daily abuse, neglect, manipulation, control, and every kind of domestic violence that exists just about until I was 46 and almost killed. Then my life changed dramatically. I thought everything would be wonderful when I realized I did not have to live that way anymore. I had been a Christian for years… but just figured this was my “lot in life.” Then I fell into the fog and haze of severe PTSD, anxiety attacks, agoraphobia and adrenaline burnout. All my friends told me I should write about it. For the last 9 and a half years I have tried and had 33 surgeries and trashed more pages than I have written I think !!!!!!!!!!!! I wonder if I will ever feel like the fog is lifting. I have done all I can medically and all that I know how to do spiritually… yet still… I feel like I am adrift on the sea like Rose in the end of Titanic… hoping to die and go to heaven because I can’t stand life on earth anymore… yet I still hear that whistle in the distance. I yell but they don’t hear me… Now What ??? That is me.

    • 68
      Larissa says:

      Keep yelling, Bonnie. Keep yelling. Much love to you!!

    • 69

      You aren’t alone, Bonnie. Keep seeking help, keep asking, keep hanging on. God loves you so much, and will use this awful storm in your life for good. I’ve been dealing with anxiety for almost a year, and am finally to the point where I see I need some professional help. And last night, God brought a friend to me who is going through the same thing, who is ready to seek help – amazing how he uses our awful times to show His love to others. You are so valuable, and loved.

      • 70

        Amanda, thank you for adding your words of wisdom here. The fog can be so overpowering, that it can be debilitating. And yes, it’s so important to get professional help. It took me months of difficult searching for the right person who knew what was going on. It’s really hard to find the right professional, but it is worth it. God has used the gift of counsel through my therapist to guide me through the labyrinth of PTSD.

    • 71

      Bonnie, I wanted to echo Amanda’s encouragement to find a professional Christian therapist to break out of that prison of anxiety and PTSD. I had a very traumatic childhood and I kept thinking all my years of ministry and spiritual training should help me “solve” my anxiety. Until I started having severe panic attacks… then, I eventually found an expert in PTSD. I didn’t even know PTSD would apply to me (since there was emotional abuse, but not physical abuse), but then everything the doctor described was me. In my case, I did EMDR as the course of treatment. And it’s been very effective. It took me months of searching – trial and error – until I found the right therapist (which was very discouraging). Don’t give up. Keep looking until you find someone who can help.

  32. 72
    Karen Fawcette says:

    Exactly what I feel I am going through… a fog… I am ‘stuck’… and often just ‘rest’. Going through dark times, unemployed, child in jail – facing prison… reliving all the wrongs in my life that brought me to today… seeing a counselor that I am frustrating the heck out of — he says just get up, take that step, do that thing… and yet, I feel stuck… in a thick fog — I believe God wants to heal me, and I certainly want to receive that — but waiting on Him, well — that’s almost felt like I was doing something wrong too… will pray over those verses and ask Him about this fog… and for Him to lead me out when He lifts it up! thank you… gave me so much to think about.

    • 73

      Thanks for sharing your heart — it’s all resonating with us. Wish you didn’t have to go through such hard, dark times. It’s so good you’re courageous enough to see a counselor… you’re a fighter … I can sense that. And now, we are both learning to rest. :) *hugs*

  33. 74

    Ahhh… so good to see a post by you, Bonnie. You have no idea how you have ministered to me and inspired me to be even more honest and vulnerable in my own blog writing. Thank you SO much — I know you probably didn’t see your pain as being your greatest gift of ministering but God is greatly using you ! Funny thing — I just wrote about the fog too — and am in one of my own myself…waiting and getting impatient many days — wanting to just wake up and feel normal and passionate and energetic again. I, too, was feeling like “what’s wrong with me?? what am I doing wrong?” …God did show me it wasn’t time to jump out in saying “yes” to other ministry opportunities — but just stay close to His heart and rest in the organic opportunities He orchestrates for me … leave the “programs” …stay with His daily organic orchestration.

    • 75

      Ahhh… so good to see you here, too Joy. Staying close — it’s a harder work of faith then it appears. ;) I know… that you know.. and I’m grateful. (hugs)

  34. 76
    debbie raddin says:

    I have been so blessed by the wise and encouraging words written within the “incourage” series. I have driven into work the last two days literally within a blanket of fog. Today’s words speak to my life in many ways; thanks for reminding me of what fog really is.

  35. 77
    Dare to Dream says:

    Bonnie, so glad you’re back!! I missed your kind and thoughtful words of Wisdom. You have encouraged me so much today as my hubby and I are just seeing the fog of unemployment start to lift which may mean a huge move for us…but knowing Jesus is in charge is what matters :) thank you!

  36. 78

    Thank you for this! I’ve been in the healing fog for about 5 years and while I’ve had moments of rest, I’ve sensed the call to rest on a deeper level– to make room for sovereignty, to get on God’s side. Thank you for baring your soul and asking (aloud) the constant questions of my heart: “What is that I’m not doing enough of — or am I doing wrong? Is there something broken with my faith — or it not enough faith?” These were basically the questions of Job’s friends, right? The questions of doubt and incomplete perspective. It becomes so confusing. Thank you for sharing the perfect perspective the Lord revealed to you. He is good and the comments show, you are not alone in this fog!

  37. 79

    Dear dear Bonnie,
    Thank you for tying the fog to the cloud, for posting brave about pain we go through to heal, for inviting comments. I am so there this month. My heart breaks open in trauma or death, and this month I flew to the side of a dying friend. The one who prayed Hannah’s prayer with me to conceive my one child. The one whose example made me bold to go to counseling where I learned lies I had believed were lies, the one who told me true, life giving compliments. At the end she did it again, she asked me to give a eulogy.
    My response? Honored, what would I say, when would it be? That last of course she couldn’t answer. She told me to tell people about how I had insisted that her gift of the life giving compliment was a gift from God that the church needed and she had been practicing it more and people had noticed so she wanted them to know how it started. What she said next, “you can do it, Beth. You’re a pretty good writer. Just write from your heart.” bowled me over. Fog lift. Awareness of my sin: I wanted to be a great writer and hadn’t been satisfied with the amount of my gift. Repentant, I promised to do it.
    I had to fly back, coast to coast, the next weekend. It was hard on all fronts to do it. But once I made the LAXJFK red eye, I relaxed into the time outside of time day that God provided and husband supported and was amazingly blessed. It wasn’t that my writing was stellar or fancy but that as I spoke the words, standing there just as I had done three years ago at her wedding, God filled my heart to overflowing with love that poured out.
    Now I’m back in the cloud of everyday life in Santa Barbara where there’s too much beauty, too many good things to do that I can’t do all of them, and I want to stay broken open. I want to write when asked. Remember to mourn because then I hold the times of good in the midst of pain most Highheartedly.
    Bonnie, I’m still praying for you. I’m sorry I used to envy you, and treated you like a writing teacher. God be with you.

    • 80

      I’m so sorry your dear friend has passed on. And I am so touched to hear you had a chance to share your gift of words at such an profoundly tender time of the eulogy. It’s such an honor to be a part of each other’s faith journey. What a beautifully deep journey God is taking you, to free your voice to touch others for Him. Keep writing from your heart. It always touches me when you do!

  38. 81

    Thank you so much for posting this. It’s so good to know I’m not alone in these feelings. I was listening to an old song by Ashton, Becker, Dente yesterday. It’s called “Breathe On Me” and part of it asks God to “melt away these clouds of confusion over my head”. I posted the song link below. Thanks again. It was just what I needed today. ((hugs))

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=URbI_T3d1zk&feature=youtube_gdata_player

  39. 83

    I wanted to share a poem I wrote back in February that relates to this well I think. It is called Selah. (Also the name of my photography business I have started in the midst of it all, photography definitely is my selah time). My life has been very much in a fog for about 2 years…marriage strife. I wrote this to remind myself. I hope it might help someone else, it really seems to echo your theme today. Thank you Bonnie. :-)

    Selah

    Pause, ponder, reflect, selah.
    Be still and know that He is God.
    Admist chaos, tumbling, crumbling, selah.
    Remember in the storms of life to simply selah.
    These are the moments we need to pause and reflect the most.
    Reflect on God and pause in His mighty presence. Selah.
    When the wait has you weary, don’t lose heart, take a moment and selah.
    Rest in His Grace, simply selah.
    Pause and ponder His great Love.

    Selah.

    By Anna Dickinson

    • 84

      Anna, your poem was so beautiful. Thank you for posting it here, so we can all enjoy it and feel His presence in its words.

  40. 85

    I have been thinking of you so much lately. Thank you for posting. Thank you for being open
    Your courage inspires me. I will be lifting you in prayer every time i think of you.

    • 86

      Thank you, Teresa. It’s not to be taken for granted when we remember each other. Thank you for the blessing of being remembered. I hope you are well on your faith journey, too, friend…

  41. 87
    Lynn Bowman says:

    Hi Bonnie! It’s so good to hear from you again! Your words always have a way of touching me right in the deep places. Those places we work so hard to keep covered. Those places we don’t want others to know about. The places that only God can touch and heal if we let Him. Like you, I want the instant miracles! It’s a daily task to remind myself that it’s HIS time, not mine. Thanks for the words and the encouragement. Sometimes the clouds will hang low and we may not be able to see what’s ahead but God will always lead us in the right direction if we keep our hand in His! Be blessed and keep holding on!!! Much love!

    • 88

      Thank you Lynn for taking the time to visit together today. It’s feels so good to be on the journey together. Much love to you, friend!

  42. 89
    Chris Spellings says:

    Thanks so much for sharing about the fog. I am there right now!
    My life feels so up and down… strong and clear headed, focused on the Lord in one moment. The next I am so depressed i wonder how i will go through the day, unable to see Him working at all. I am praying for His strength to flood over me and allow me to keep my eyes only on Him. He is secure. He is faithful. Lord, allow me to see You in all of it and to wait…..

    • 90

      Chris, I am in such a similar place and I find encouragement from your words even as I feel sad for your struggle. He IS faithful and He has promised to bring to completion the good work that He has begun in us. Praise Him! :)

  43. 91

    Thank you that was so good. My husband passed away 2 years ago &within 6 months his mom, abrother-in-law, 2 cousins and my best friend this july. I just took a long trip to 3rd world country & I don’t think it was God-I think it was me trying to push ahead of the fog & I had just spent yesterday talking to the Lord about my regret & wanting to move only wirh Him & I love your article & the scripture. Thank you

  44. 92

    Dear Bonnie…I am so glad that you are back! I have been praying for you daily! I know about healing from past traumatic events…it’s not easy and it is in God’s time, not mine…so I totally get it. Some days are awesome and some not so much. The awesome days are more present this days. I go through periods of up and downs. If it wasn’t for God’s grace, His Holy Word, His Holy Spirit, prayer, friends and great doctors I would be lost in the fog all the time. It isn’t always easy to remember I am where I am suppose to be at this time because it isn’t always pleasant and yet God uses me to serve Him and others. I will continue to pray for you. Thank you for sharing with me. It is my prayer that God will surround you with His love and presence. May you be aware of His Holy Spirit and all He does for us. May God guide you, strengthen you and give you peace. Blessings and peace.

  45. 93

    Bonnie,
    I really needed this today.
    You can cut the fog with a knife…actually, if only it were that easy.

    The passage was very helpful.
    Thanks for faithfully writing today.
    ~ Dana

  46. 94

    This is the first time I’ve been here and I love the words and phrases you use to talk about the “fog.” I never quite knew how to identify it. Funny thing is, I was reading the bible this morning and I asked God to please help me be more into Him…to know Him better and to be closer. You are a real gift to us and a faithful servant to Him. Thank you for your thoughts and words. They are a real answer to a prayer.

  47. 95

    I am awed by the beauty and vulnerability of your words. Thank you for sharing your grace received with us!

  48. 96

    When I feel like I’m in a fog, I just cling to His word in Faith, like I am holding on to a railing progressing through life. It’s foggy today, literally, but this gave me a nice visual in my head.

  49. 97

    Boy, can I identify with what you’ve written comparing a faith walk like walking in fog. The fog has been dense in my life in recent years.

    Compounded losses and trauma in six years. (my dad & step-mom died in 2006, one month apart from terminal illnesses, I, personally battled breast cancer in 2009-2010, my father-in-law died of cancer in 2009, 2011 it came to light that my husband had been living a “dual life” for years – we just recently divorced after 21 years of marriage.)

    The Lord is faithfully healing me – but it’s one day at a time.

    May God encourage your heart today as you’ve done for so many others today.

    • 98

      Terri — I, too, have learned my husband has a dual life after 45 years of marriage. What a fog/storm that creates. Aren’t we blessed to have a loving and caring God.
      Blessings!

      • 99

        Terri & Betty,

        I am blessed by your words of praise in the midst of such terrible storms. I pray that God will strengthen you both and surround you with His perfect peace that passes understanding.

  50. 100

    Very powerful message today! Knowing and examining where I am….when the fog lifts. It is so hard to know “the way” when the fog is so heavy. Know that God is always with me.

  51. 101
    Michelle says:

    Bonnie, you have truly been used by God to bless my day. Thank you for sharing your heart and allowing God to use you even in the midst of your ‘fog’. Your post has been as refreshing cool water to a dry parched soul. Know I’ll be praying for you, my sister. Let us keep our eyes on Him even when it’s most difficult to see through the clouds. With Jesus everything is going according as He planned. We must practice constantly staying in His presence. Love you.

  52. 102

    thank you for sharing your heart, you have encouraged me to share my own,,,thank you for being brave and for your vulnerability. blessings to you

  53. 103

    Your message today hit right where I am…under the cloud, waiting.
    As you said, God heals in patches, and that is sometimes hard to take. But the more I am understanding how He is working out His healing in me with this, the more peace I’m getting to go through His process.
    I want it over and done with NOW. So I can move on past the pain. But He is taking it slow, so I have to learn this lesson in the pain of it, not sail through it. I guess things are just too important.
    I have stared pain in the face before. I have learned to endure. Am learning to be patient. But sometimes the pain cripples for a while and I don’t always want the crippling, I just want it to be over and done. Deep wounds are the hardest, and this is a deep wound. But He has never failed me and I know He won’t now. Thank you for all that you said. It helped lift the load off my mind, take some of the weight bearing me down off to a point I can stand. Each step, though tiny, is a step forward isn’t it.
    May His mercy continue to cover us as His grace and love works out in us those things according to His will and our growth in His Son. God bless you and love on you today too.
    Psalm 138:8, my promise and my hope.

  54. 104
    Shamara says:

    Once again Bonnie words can not express how you’ve open my heart and my mind,
    Every time a read your blog i feel so connected it always feels as if you are speaking directly to me and what you’ve shared are similar to me in alot of ways. But i thank you for your words, the Lord has lead me to read your words in order to get me through some things i have been battling with for a long time. Be blessed always!

  55. 105

    I can’t tell you how much this parallels what I’ve been going through. And how much it speaks to where I am right now. Today the fog is lifting and I don’t know how long that will last, but I find myself begging God, “If your presence does not go with me, do not lead me from here.”

    Thank you for writing this. It speaks so, so deeply to me right now.

  56. 106

    Bonnie, I am so glad to see you again. Faith Barista is the perfect handle for you. You dispense Faith with so much finesse and love. You painted such a beautiful picture with your words today. I could vividly see myself inside the portrait, and as I read the comments, so could many others. I do not like the fog (which for me is physical pain and emotional pain from a wayward child) but I have learned so much from God about his nature, his character and his love for us in this pain, that I almost dont want it to go away. I never want to loose the closeness of his Spirit and his direction in my life in the midst of it all. Pain is difficult, but knowing Him and that it is one day going to end in being with Him forever makes it easier to endure.
    I am learning to give myself permission to rest. To slow down and be in His presence. And I never want to go back to where I was before-rushing around and occasionally hearing from Him. Now I am so desperate for Him and that only comes when I am Still. Then I can know that He Is God. And what a comfort that is.

  57. 107

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am struggling through depression and anxiety. It is SO much better than just a year ago, but still there are times when it feels I haven’t progressed at all. I have never related the cloud of God to the mental fog that I feel and it something I need to meditate on — how God’s presence is hear. And, like you said, to enjoy the moments it lifts and to not forget to seek God’s guidance and wisdom.

  58. 108

    Bonnie, I haven’t been over to incourage for quite some time so was very glad I stopped by today. Your post rings so true. I couldn’t help but think of this thin vapor that keep us from seeing through the fog and only God can lift it for us to get a little glimpes of Him and what He is doing in our life. Love the fact we will see clearly and completely someday and to be honest I don’t think it will be important then. Just being with Him with the fog completely gone will be enough. Great post.

  59. 109

    Thanks Bonnie. It so helps to know we’re not alone in our “fogs”. When others are going through similar circumstances, it makes a bigger God-stamp on what He is doing sovereignly in His Body… sometimes for reasons at the times we don’t understand. It makes faith and trust easier to maybe see it is a move of the Spirit in a bigger way. I also wanted to share what seems almost my signature life devotion by Oswald Chambers. You can look it up at utmost.org. It’s from July 29, I think. It’s called “What Do You See in Your Clouds ?”… I’d love to share a longer testimony about it, but it is kind of lengthy. Lord, help us to rest when we can’t see what You are doing… when we don’t know what is happening to us… when what we’re waiting for has been taking what seems too long to bear… help us think eternally Lord… Give us grace to rest.

  60. 110

    I’m always blessed by your writing Bonnie. May God’s presence rest on you even as you’re in the fog.

  61. 111
    Ann van says:

    Bonnie, This meant a lot to me , as a person who struggles with health issues.\

    Thank you so much for your insights.

  62. 112
    Shirley McMahan says:

    Your post was the first I read today and right away the tears came, I can relate to the fog. Old wounds, memories tucked away to not be heard from ever again are flooding my mind. I go through the day doing what needs to be done, even enjoying the mundane tasks that keep me occupied. But, when night comes and the fog creeps in it’s difficult to think, is this how it’s always going to be? I know my standing with the Lord, I’ve confessed, I’ve received, I’m washed clean, I’m born again. I’m in the final season of my life, meaning I’m a grandmother, a great grandmother even and yet somtimes I feel so childish and foolish. I’ve been married, I’ve been and am widowed, I’ve raised children, I’ve worked in the world, I’ve loved grandchildren. I have and am working in my church, taking on responsibilities I can do now that I am alone…that is it I’m alone. I remember as a young mother wanting just a few minutes to be alone. It could be solved I could get someone to live with me, my home is not overly large but I do have an extra bedroom, but no I enjoy my privacy (most of the time). I like to feel free to lounge in my pj’s and stay up to watch a good movie or read a book instead of having to talk to someone, to be polite. Inside my home I can do that. I’m thankful that I have that choice, God is good. Oh, I have to watch my budget, I’m on a tight income but how much does it take for one person?
    I don’t want to deal with the old stuff, the memories of what could have been, or should have been, why is God taking me down that road? It only brings more pain, more tears, more questions of what could I have done differently? Some of my friends think I’m doing so good in my widowhood, they see me active, helping others, reaching out, they don’t see my heart and the scars that have not fully healed, and some new raw wounds that nag at me. My children have said some things that sound cruel, they are busy in their own lives and I don’t like to intrude but sometimes I just need a hug and a voice saying it’s ok to let go nd be yourself. Wow, be myself, what dos that mean? I don’t who I am, use to be wife, mother, now grandmother & great grandmother who should have wisdom from a life lived with God. I hope I can find my way through the fog or maybe just let the fog cover me.

    • 113

      Dear Shirley,
      My heart breaks from the pain and loneliness I hear in your words. I am at a different stage in my own life (midlife) but I am experiencing so many of the same feelings you described so well. My boys have both left home after I stayed home with them for the last 20 years. I know I have made many mistakes and it is so easy to get mired down in guilt. But I know that is not from God. He tells us there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. He is our only judge and our only unfailing companion. I pray that he will surround you with His Spirit of love, peace and hope. My prayers are with you dear sister in Christ.

  63. 114

    This was absolutely amazing to read, with tears in my eyes, I could so relate! Isn’t it mind-blowing to see how many ladies also can relate!? I can know, and trust that The Lord is working on me, and in me throughout my journey through the valley~ in the fog. It is, however, a challenge when loved ones can’t understand! I often feel weak & discouraged. Thank you for your writing :-)

  64. 115
    Amber Kemp says:

    beautifully written, wow.

  65. 116
    Linda Bartlett says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you! I have been in the fight or flight now I understand that to stand still and God saying to me to my questions and pleadings JUST REST IN ME.

    Blessings to all you wonderful ladies who are so honest -I don’t feel so alone.

    Lindy Lou

  66. 117

    You are so beautiful, sweet Bonnie! It’s good to see you back here. I love your heart for God, your honesty. I’ve been dealing with anxiety and have been in a scary kind of fog for several months. I’m seeing that I need some professional help, possibly medication – God can lift the fog in more than one way, I’m seeing. Sometimes it’s just not a lack of faith on my part, or needing to be stronger – sometimes it’s a matter of humbling myself and realizing I need some outside perspective. God has been so near to me through all of this, showing me His great love and strength… and I pray He will be glorified as I seek to get myself back again. Praying for you, too, sister.

  67. 118

    Thank you. This ministered to my heart.

  68. 119

    Perfect timing as always…going through a fog and just feeling stuck. God is good and I appreciate your being such a blessing of a vessel to share and pass on the word He puts in you! xoxox

  69. 120
    amy miller says:

    As I sit here weeping over your words, I am just trying to wait on the Lord for His peace and timing. It seems that I keep being told to WAIT and I, too, start the troubleshooting of “what am I not doing right? and when am I going to learn this?” but through your picture, maybe God is just asking me to wait. Thank you for showing me the “how” without always needing to know the “why”- still waiting over here for the peace of His presence.
    Thank you for being in a fog simply to be available for God to use you to speak to me.

  70. 121
    muchalone says:

    Thank you for such an honest and real post!
    The fog feels SO isolating at times, and I truly needed to be reminded that we are not alone in the fog…and that the fog may be the cloud of God’s presence…a cloud of protection, giving us the time and place we need to heal…
    And it IS long…and leaves me longing to be in a different place…
    Thanks for reminding me that this is the place God has ordained for me…for however long I need to be here…and that He is in the business of transforming it in His time.

  71. 122

    Bonnie, I can only say that you’ve practically taken the words right out of my mouth, brain and heart. So glad you’re back. Thank you for being so open; it’s comforting to know there are people who truly “get it.”

  72. 123

    Bonnie: Boy does this mean a lot to me today. I’ve been wondering for three years why I am on this jobless, broke, ADHD, and Bipolar road trip. Is Jesus in the driver’s seat or is He just the cop sitting on a side-road, waiting to catch me going too fast (or too slow in my case)? What am I doing wrong, Lord? Where am I going? What am I supposed to learn here? I wish you, Lord, would stuff whatever it is you want down in my heart fast so that I could move on! I think the fog some days is laced with a tiny bit of arsenic vapor. It kills slowly. The panic attacks over the years have morphed from physical to complete mental anguish. But like you said, some days the fog lifts and I see the beauty of the land around. I feel Jesus holding me. I wouldn’t make it without those strong arms.

    I also am beginning a book about the cult in which I grew up. PTSD personified. I will pray for you and your book. May it be for God’s glory and your good.

    Lynette

  73. 125
    Linda Toney says:

    God Bless You! I knew that I wasn’t alone. I didn’t know what it was; I called it a season. But now I see that I am here because My Awesome God has me here. I knew it all along; I couldn’t see it clearly for the fog. As long as I know that it’s His will for me to walk this way, I can bear it. All for Him!

  74. 126

    Moving over half way across the US, invited to live with an amazing man surely God knew I was ready. Here for a week, the feelings of insecurity, unworthiness, and other torments my head whispers to me have begun. Being in the moment, the now, is a good fix. However, it doesn’t silence the emotions run a muck.
    Okay God. I hear You now. Through this email I get every day, I hear You now. I am nothing without You, yet You have taken me as Your own. These are more growing pains, even reminders, that You must be first- in all that I say, do, and THINK. Keep reminding me dear Father, for I am one of those who needs to be reminded. I love You God.
    Thank you for this post!
    Peace, love & joy-
    nessa

  75. 127

    Thank you Bonnie for your post. I was just in the fog last week. I knew I was in it, but there is times when I didn’t and the outcomes were not good the fog changed to darkness. I never looked at it being in the fog, until the last bad time how I noticed the colors after the darkness had lifted. In Sunday school we were praying in groups and The Holy Spirit nudged me to pray out loud and to get back on track of finding the time to pray for others daily the fog had lifted, the Lord put a song in my heart for the week and has offered me a new challenge.

  76. 128

    Hello Bonnie,
    Just wanted to say that, “Now I get it.” Sometimes it’s there and sometimes it lifts. This fog that I was not able to explain or put into words. You have brought clarity and understanding to me today. Now I am able to rest in His peace even when I can’t see where I’m going. His presence is still here. All is well and it’s OK. Today I’m in the fog and I can’t see the way ahead so I’ll just stop and rest and take care of what I can and wait till the sun shines through again. Then it will be time to move forward. His words come to mind “Be still and know that I am God” and then “For I know the plans I have for you, plans to prosper you and not harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” Lord may all my (in)courage sisters find Your peace and rest in the foggy times, knowing that the fog will lift and we can move forward with new joy and direction.
    Blessings Gail

  77. 129

    Oh, wow. So that’s a little freaky. Here is the blog post I published October 19th, just a few days ago… http://thebossymom.com/2012/10/do-you-follow-the-cloud/

    Hmmm. Thinking God is riding my coattails. {Or is it the other way around? ;) } Thanks for this post. Thought I was all alone here on this cloud/fire trail. Good to know I’m not.

  78. 130

    Oh, my dear Bonnie! You have been on my heart this week–I’ve been wondering how you were doing. And then this post popped up today.

    Yes, I know that fog so well. This past summer, I spent ten days hiking in the the Alps, and I literally hiked through cloud and fog in the mountains one day. All day. And. I. Hated. It. I got so cranky, I yelled at my husband in front of everyone else on our team, and the mountain goats. Because the act of physically walking through the fog, not being able to see where I was going or how much longer I had to hike did me in. And I know the experience reflected what was in my heart–I can handle just about anything except fear and uncertainty.

    And yet. That is where God has me abiding in this season of my life. And that passage you read for your son? Perfect reminder that God abides with us in the thick darkness. One of the other deep lessons of my hike/pilgrimage last summer was an overwhelming sense that everywhere I set my foot, I was abiding in God’s presence.

    So glad to find you here, still battling through; still trusting God’s goodness and power. Grace and peace to you, dear Bonnie.

  79. 131

    I think God is calling me to remember the importance of being in the struggle and not wishing the gray away. I love the permission that this gives to be still in the fog instead of trying to get out of it. A few months ago when I was in my first trimester of pregnancy, I felt numb and useless. I had to force myself to be up and productive at times to get the bare minimum done, getting my kindergartener ready in the mornings and tending to my 3 year-old throughout the day, but this thought would have helped me in the moments when I sat dazed on the couch wishing I had the energy to rush about and be useful the whole day through. I will tuck this away for future struggles, that when the clouds are hanging low, I can feel at ease to rest in it and wait for him to raise them up and show me where to go next.

  80. 132
    Barbara says:

    I was at a Hockey game with my service dog., Precious My husband was standing aways away taking to a fellow player. I realized I was in shere panic needing to get out now. I was unable to, squished in the corner of the top level and tho a fence around me, I tried to climb it. Precious saw my need! I took an anxiety pill and prayed for God’s intervention. Minutes later, an opening came in the 600 people. My husband, came over and helped me down and I went outside. I thanked God and Precious tho still shaking and my Beloved! Anxiety rarely grips me this severely but I saw God hold me in my fog! The hand tha helped me from the fog was a familiar one!

  81. 133
    Anonymous says:

    This is amazingly beautiful. What a blessing you have been in my life.

    Praying quietly for you.

    Your sister in Christ

  82. 134
    Theresa says:

    Once again God has use you to meet me where I am. As I was reading the part of your letter where your son was sharing his Sunday school lesson my heart stopped. “The Cloud” how could I have forgotten then it occur to me God had served me up some fresh bread. Bonnie thank you. We are taking this journey together and God is encouraging us through you. While you are being healed we your readers fellow members of the body of Christ are being healed also.

    Thank you
    Rev Wallington
    Your sister in Christ

  83. 135
    Beth Williams says:

    Bonnie,

    Praying for healing for you so your writing can continue to inspire and uplift us all!!

    Loved this piece of writing! I have been in a mini fog for a while now with my aging dad. He’s been widowed 3 years now and has skin cancer, and other health issues. Everyday living is becoming a struggle for him and my sisters and I must decide what course of action to take.

    Prayerfully God will give us the answer and lift that cloud of fog from us!

  84. 136
    Carol Grumbach says:

    Straight from the heart of God to my heart today. Thank you so much for this. It is hard to tell you exactly what a blessing this has been. Answers, exactly, what I am experiencing right now. What a comfort! What a revelation! What a blessing!

  85. 137

    Thanks for sharing, processing and putting words to the process.
    You’re a blessings to so many, as we miss you and think about your from Allume.
    Peace!

    • 138

      Dear Saul, what a sweet blessing to my soul to be remembered and missed. Thank you for letting your words encourage my heart from Allume. I am thinking of and missing being there in person with you, my (in)courage family and friends there. I am grateful I got the chance to see you face to face last year– so I can hear your voice, your laughter and see your smile, even now as I read your words. You are a blessing to me!

  86. 139
    Elizabeth says:

    Bonnie, your writing is always a blessing, but particularly now as we walk together this road through the fog. I pray that you may rest easy in the Lord’s loving arms; I pray that you might hear His gentle voice whispering love songs to you, that you might feel His healing balm cover your heart [of course, in His perfect timing!]. Through reading your last few posts, a lot of prayer, a lot of introspection, and encouragement from God Himself have given me so much courage to take a huge step toward healing by going to counseling. I’ve been grieving a failed relationship for a long time, but not only that, this period of grief has shown me so many wounds and insecurities I thought were all healed before. It has completely exposed me and left me bare. But as I reflect on this time, though I’ve gone through thorns and mud and dirt, the purpose of that struggle was to remove from me all the things that were hindering me from surrendering my heart to my loving Father. These times in the Fog or in the Desert strip us of our pride and all our feigned strength because God knows unless we let go of these things, resting in Him and depending on Him is near impossible. But the amazing promise of God is that those who trust in Him will never be disappointed, and He is always making all things new. Sometimes He has to destroy the temple before He rebuilds it, but when He rebuilds it of His own power, it will be the most beautiful temple anyone has ever seen — we would never have imagined we could become that beautiful in heart and spirit. This is a long way to encourage all of the beautiful ladies above me and you too Bonnie that God will use this time to bless others (as He is already doing) and one day we will come out of this place onto higher ground. Keep fighting!!!!!!

  87. 141

    I can’t tell you how much your writing through your pain has meant to me, allowing me to tentatively begin to face my own……allowing me to see that the huts that I’m struggling with are real and valid and that there’s someone else out there walking a similar road. Not that I’m glad you are, but it does help to know you’re not alone. Thank you. ♥

    Jill @ Sweet Diva
    http://www.sweetdivamj.com

  88. 142

    Bonnie –

    I needed to read this. I lost my son to heart failure August 3, 2011, 4 days before his 30th birthday, I find myself getting lost in the fog more often this fall than last. I had been fighting it because I feel like I should be further along in my grief process by now. I should feel better than I did a year ago. Recently I realized that I am finally “un-numb” enough to grasp the reality of it all. I am healing, I am taking time to remember and not push the memories away so quickly. The fog is uncomfortable for me, I am usually a very upbeat person, I find myself more reflective and quiet than I am comfortable with. I have days that are so foggy that all I can do is sit and knit. Your article reminded me that God is in control of this fog. He allowed me the numbness for a season, until my heart was ready for the reality. Now the fog of grief and healing are where I am meeting him and resting in his love for me. Through my son’s month long journey home, my mantra was, God is good, all the time. I believe it now more than ever. Thank you for your honest article, sometimes I feel alone in my fog. But in reading this I feel like I have “bumped” into another traveler through this mist. This is also another gift from a loving father.
    In His Grace – Bev
    PS I want to add here that my amazing husband of only 3 years has been an indescribable gift from God during this journey, and my daughter who was a bit of a surprise 27 years ago has been such a comfort.

    • 143

      Dear Bev,
      My heart breaks for the pain you are having to endure after the death of your precious son. My 27 year old brother was killed 13 years ago in a terrible traffic accident and I (along with my parents) still grieve for him. Our culture is so uncomfortable with death ands tries to rush us through the grieving process because people just don’t know what to say or how to deal with it – they just want it to go away. Grief can be a very lonely process even among Christian friends. Please be patient and gentle with you self. My parents also found great support and comfort through the organization Compassionate Friends. My prayers are with you, dear sister.

      • 144

        Bonnie –

        Thank you for your response, I appreciate the time it must take to read all these posts and reply. I will be following you. I have a blog of my own where I have been writing my feelings and observations as I walk this path. I have been fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful family and friends who just let me be. I am harder on myself than others are. I am learning. I am healing. I am resting.

        I will be praying for you as you walk your path.

        God is good, all the time – Bev

        Bless you

        • 145

          Sandee – I am sorry I meant to respond to you above – I have checked out your blog and will be looking around more. Thank you – Bev

  89. 146

    Good Morning, Bonnie and all other sisters–I am finally again taking time to read emails and articles that so enrich and encourage. I am reminded by your post of a sermon I once heard–that when we come to whatever river we must cross, (read: fearful or unknown thing we must go through) that our Almighty God does not send a boat, a helicopter, or even an angel to rescue us. No, He is right there, personally, living through this life with and in us. That is what your post reminded me. We are, none of us who are His, ever alone. The thought that The God Who spoke a universe into existence, the God Who could have chosen to live ANYWHERE, who could have created more, better, more perfect and obedient people to be with, He has chosen US to live IN. What a miracle!
    Your gentle, obedient spirit urges me to be quiet before my Creator–something I need to do more! Thank you for inviting us to walk with you through these times. And a quick word of hope–you will sleep again! I am (mostly) on the other side of some of this, I still awake grateful whenever there has been restful sleep. I will continue in prayer for you all–thank you Bonnie!

  90. 147
    tamerriell says:

    This post was so timely. I need to endure the struggle so I can grow and mature and be useful to his kingdom. I must able to drive in the fog as well as sunny skies.

  91. 148

    Bonnie,

    Your post spoke deeply to my heart along with all the other stories that have been shared in the comments. I know God is at work in each of our individual circumstances and I am laying them all at the foot of the cross where I know Jesus will lovingly tend to each one in His perfect (but sometimes hard to understand) timing. Blessings to all of you dear friends in Christ. :)

  92. 149
    loretta owens says:

    For the longest time, I’m a 67 year old woman, I have tried to find words to express feelings about my experiences through this journey we call life. Thank you for putting words to the music. This just confirms how important we are to one another and fill the gaps in the masterpiece Christ is creating for all eternity,

  93. 150

    Hi Bonnie,
    Thank you for sharing! The Lord is with you in the fog. I’m praying for you.
    A poem quoted by Elisabeth Elliot comes to mind:

    STAND STILL AND SEE
    I’m standing, Lord:
    There is a mist that blinds my sight.
    Steep, jagged rocks, front, left and right,
    Lower, dim, gigantic, in the night.
    Where is the way?…

    I’m standing, Lord:
    The rock is hard beneath my feet;
    I nearly slipped, Lord, on the sleet.
    So weary, Lord! and where a seat?
    Still must I stand?

    He answered me, and on His face
    A look ineffable of grace,
    Of perfect, understanding love,
    Which all my murmuring did remove.

    I’m standing, Lord:
    Since Thou hast spoken, Lord, I see
    Thou hast beset – these rocks are Thee!
    And since Thy love encloses me,
    I stand and sing.

    by Betty Scott Stam, missionary to China,
    beheaded along with her husband for refusing to renounce Christ

  94. 151
    Deb Stevens says:

    you hit the nail on the head. you write of the thing i deal with constantly – a thick and menacing fog. i\’ve \”been in the fog\” for over two yrs now with my health, seeing a slight glimmer of home through the dank and suffocating cloud, only to have it billow over each other thickening again, and i ask the same question that now seems rhetorical: when will it lift? ..

  95. 152

    I remember when I was in the fog how I opened God’s Word but the words were flat, lifeless until the day He ordained to send his healing Word. My spirit turned and took hold of hope. It was along time until physically and emotionally I was able to fully recover. But it happened! And I am believing God for your healing this moment and I pray it comes quickly. Grace be your covering in the midst of the fog.

  96. 153

    I have no words right now, other than to say; thank you, this is beautiful and so full of things I needed to remember right now.

  97. 154

    Hello Bonnie, I can very much relate to what you describe in your post. I too am on a healing journey and I am struggling. I ask how long? I say I can’t go on, I ask why does God not heal now? I try to accept the day for what it is good or bad and there tends to be more bad. I have suffered trauma and I am in the middle of trying to recover from that trauma but every little step forward reveals more to be healed and it seems so big too big for me. The brokeness the pain so much too much. I was reminded though in the process of healing to remember to look to my right and left and see what God is doing in the process and not be so focused on the end goal that I miss God at work. I think that is true but I still feel my soul groan for healing now…
    Thank you for sharing because we can feel so alone in this turmoil of healing journey and the emotions with it.
    Blessings to you.

  98. 155

    I came across your site and subscribed just yesterday. This morning I read “Resting Through the Fog That Won’t Go Away” and it seemed you wrote it about me and for me. These are rough times for me right now; I lost my Mom only five months ago, my husband is being tested for a serious health condition, and I’ve got my own health issues. As I laid in bed last night, I prayed that God would send me a sign that He hasn’t deserted me, that He is still with me and within me. I think your post arrived in my mailbox as the sign I was looking for. I am not alone. Thank you.

  99. 156

    Dear Bonnie,
    Once again you and God have spoken to the place where I am. Your expression of it as a fog is perfect. It is, as you wrote, a place to heal if I let it. It’s a place to stretch and grow in my trust. My faith muscles feel the aches of exercise. So many things are up in the air and we have been waiting, half packed, but I don’t want to move without His presence.

    Thank you for sharing your burden. It has made mine lighter.

  100. 157

    Bonnie, so good to see you here! I just had the urge to check if you have posted recently, and was pleasantly surprised to find this recent one! You describe things so clearly (even while in the fog), and I love the words you shared from Numbers. What a great picture of how God leads us in the gray, foggy times of life, and how we just need to follow one step at a time. It is an encouragement to me as I am waiting on Him in prayer for some needs … thanks. And I continue to pray for you!

  101. 158
    Javeria Rais says:

    I just watched online
    http://www.topdocumentarystream.com/women-with-altitude-documentary/

    a great documentary which shows a group of women strength, spirit and courage against the domestic violence. Highly recommended!

  102. 159

    Have courage, my friend, and know that God is with you. He will NEVER leave you nor forsake you. He loves you immeasurably more than you could ever imagine! Praying for you as you journey through the fog…

  103. 160

    Oh my goodness Bonnie, based on the comments you have so many that love you! You ask what I picture or rest in today? That God is also the God over the fog. I don’t have to know anything more than that. Thanks for your beautifully inviting thoughts today.

  104. 161

    Bonnie, you are a blessing! Thank you for sharing this hard journey so honestly and with such grace. I prayed for you yesterday morning and will do so again now. So good to hear your update. Abundant, overflowing grace to you in our Lord Jesus.

  105. 162

    Ah – there was a reason that I wasn’t led to read this post until today. Thank you, Bonnie, for these words – for now I have a clearer understanding of my foggy days. You are in my prayers. ~ Dorothy

  106. 163

    wow- thank you for being honest and obedient to our Heavenly Father- you have no idea what your words do for us – floating in cyberspace.
    Love you

  107. 164
    Jessica Olivares says:

    Hi Bonnie,

    Wow! Truth is I can’t wait to read your book :) , you have no idea how much our Heavenly Father uses you to speak life to many of us. You always have the right words, your honesty and speaking about the broken places of your heart makes us feel we are not alone in our struggles.

    I’ve been so blessed with this post! Don’t give up on writing your book, as you said one hour at the time, one word at the time.

  108. 165
    Nicole Carter says:

    I was truly blessed by your post as it really spoke to my heart. I Thank God for allowing me to read this today; because it really helped me to understand where I am in my journey and walk with Jesus. Everything, you’ve said was exactly how I felt, all the questions I would ask myself as to what I did or didn’t do, or even what I needed to do to find a way to get out of the situation I’m in. I laugh, because I see now what it really is as he is preparing me for purpose and the call that he has over my life. So, I say thank you again for your post as it really gave light to where I am right now, which is in the fog of purpose, destiny, and spiritual growth. God Bless you as you continue to walk in the journey he’s called for you to walk.

  109. 166

    Thank you Bonnie. It has taken me till today to read your post. My fog is thick and my journey has been long. Your chosen verses spoke to me. God is speaking and helping me through this fog . It may be small steps but I have much to overcome.

  110. 167

    I have just come to realize that I have suddenly become one of those moms with zero “me” time. Yes, I see friends and go to Bible study and thoroughly enjoy my twice-monthly MOPS meetings — but I think what I crave is silence. Alone-time, not just me-time, to pray, meditate, exercise, all of those things that I say are important to me but I can’t find the time to do (other than pray)! A mentor friend recently told me how God was impressing upon her to observe the Sabbath, and I can’t get the message out of my head. Wondering if this is the sort of rest God is guiding me toward as well.

  111. 168

    Your article was a gift from
    God this morning. I,too, have been experiencing the fog. But, until I read your article, I had been wearing myself out trying everything to push back this fog. I promised God today that I would walk minute by minute with Him, trading my thoughts for His direction and i was given 1John4:17-18 ” If we are afraid it is from fear of judgement and that love has not been perfected in us.”(my translation) So resting in His tabernacle under of a covering of fog, God is showing me His perfect love for me. I have had a desire after the fog lifts to be a blessing to someone! Thank you! God bless you today!

  112. 169

    It’s only been over a week ago that you wrote this, but God has a thing about me reading things like this just in the right time. ;) Thank you so much for this. I must say, I’ve felt the same thing & reading Numbers 9 was an epiphany much the same as it was for you. I’m in a fog right now & thanks to reading this, I now see how God is telling me to just wait until the fog lifts to know when to move. It’s soooo hard humanly to do this as we just want control & want to know what’s ahead…but in this I have to trust that God knows & will lift this fog when it’s His time. So, again, thank you so much for being so raw & honest with readers like me…I greatly appreciate the insights the Holy Spirit gave me when reading. :)

    • 170

      Said a prayer this morning that God’s spirit embrace and bring you closer to healing and fill you with peace and love. God bless! :D

  113. 171

    This blog is very healing to read. The journey towards healing is slow, but each step brings us closer, closer, closer. Thanks for sharing your walk as you heal. It blesses many and speaks to so much that many are afraid to talk about. Thanks for your courage. :D

Trackbacks

  1. […] …To catch “Resting In the Fog That Won’t Go Away” & read the rest of the story – click here to join me over at DaySpring’s (in)courage site, where today’s post is published. […]

  2. […] I read an amazing post Resting through the Fog. Hop over there and read it when you have a chance. Bonnie Gray wrote about the fog that comes in […]

  3. […] Gray for (in)courage: “Sometimes, God doesn’t change the circumstances we find ourselves in, no matter how hard […]