My adrenaline was pumping (pretty healthily, I may add) this morning as I drove along the snow covered roads. A couple of the drifted areas were enough to make me hold my breath. By the time I arrived at my kids’ school to drop them off, I was exhausted.
That first snowy drive of the season is always the worst… but after today? After today I will be used to it… Slow and steady will get me there… Slow and steady will keep us safe.
Snowy roads are NOT the roads I dread though.
The road conditions I wish I could avoid completely would be fog.
Fog? you ask. (I saw you raise your eyebrow)..
You see snow covered roads make you prepare for battle… You know to leave early… you know to drive slower… no sudden steering changes… no sudden stopping… You basically leave the house with a complete manual on how to win against the snowy road conditions. And?!? And you can see where you are going.. what you are up against.
But with fog?
Yes fog is beautiful! It is so neat to be able to walk “among the clouds”.. while keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground. It is so cool to run your hands through the heavenly clouds and see what the “heavens” feels like. You look out the window and those clouds, from the heavens above, give the world around you an unearthly look and feel. It’s eerie and spooky.. but still kind of cool.
But that isn’t why I don’t like to drive in fog… it’s not that it creeps me out.
When you drive in the snow.. you at least have partial visibility of what you are up against. You can be prepared.
With fog you have nothing. You don’t leave the driveway with a game plan, a battle manual…
You have no idea what is up ahead… so how can you prepare? Sometimes I pause at the end of my driveway.. take a deep breath… and breathe a prayer to God that I am putting our lives .. and my car in His capable hands. Because to me? To me.. driving in Fog is the ultimate leap of Faith.
It is the ultimate reminder that we are not the ones in control.
Everything can change in the blink of an eye..
Then?!? Then prepared to drive by Faith… I pull my car onto the fog enclosed road.
You know that part in a suspense movie?!? The part where the kids are looking for their lost friend and they know the answer lays down that foggy path to the creepy house? And you are yelling at them NOT TO GO IN THERE.. but still they tiptoe forward.. Tiptoeing in hopes to sneak past any danger.. tiptoeing because their brains are telling them the same thing.. whispering “don’t go in there”, over the loud pounding heartbeats.. Tiptoeing because they don’t want to go down that road at all…
That is what I feel like starting down that foggy road.. “Let’s not do this,” my heart whispers.. “who knows what we will encounter?” and then “what if we aren’t prepared? Maybe we should just stay to home..”
That is where the prayer of Faith comes in…. I simply pray that God takes my doubts away so that I can be prepared to meet what ever curve, puddle, branch, stop or deer God has chosen to be in my path. To not be so wrapped up in the “What if’s” that my mind will be clear for the actually obstacles as they appear through the fog.
A prayer for clear headed faith.. for a drive in Faith….
Fog covered roads are like our future.. all we can see is what is immediately before us.. like the next 15 mins.
We can take care of those 15 mins.. take care of those immediate needs. But beyond that? Beyond that you are operating on faith. You can apply this concept to anything in your life.
Especially parenting.. As you driving along that foggy road of parenting.. with your children safely buckled in the backseat? Here comes a sharp right hand curve.. SPECIAL NEEDS… Next comes something blocking your path.. branches, water puddle.. or a cow… and you have to stop and clear the path… EMERGENCY SURGERY… Or a detour sign. A sign pointing away from the easy road ahead and telling you to go down the road less travelled by.. SPECIAL DIETS. Or my personal fear.. a washed away road (a cliff)… When you chose the wrong road and now you have to turn your car around.. like when we chose the wrong Meds to treat my son’s mood disorder.
The marriage road is equally foggy.. you could encounter financial difficulties, parenting struggles.. along with finding old baggage in the road ahead….
On your career path you encounter disinterest, promotions, layoffs, new bosses…
YUP.. When you drive on ANY road through life.. it is exactly like that foggy road… You drive it by Faith. You drive knowing that you are not in control.. only God is.
This year I published a book.
Writing has been my whole life.. publishing a book is the ultimate dream. But when I headed down that publishing road?
You guess it…
When I pulled up to the beginning of that fog covered road to publishing a book? I paused.. (Ok.. really I didn’t just pause.. I put my car in park… I got out and walked around to the front of my car… then I knelt down in fear.. staring out into the eerie white clouds blocking my view. Like if I stared long enough, God would make a break in the fog and let me see the end of the road. But then I got back in my car…) I took a deep breath (or two..)… and breathed a prayer to God to help me trust Him.. A prayer telling God that I was placing my book into his capable hands to do with as He willed.
Was that easy?
In theory? In theory every Christian will tell you they trust God to steer their life according to His Will. But it is still hard. I want to plead with God to help my book to sell REALLY WELL because I have a message to tell. I want to argue that I believe that girls need to read stories where there are no Fairy Godmothers to smooth over the edges.. no happily ever afters awaiting in the wings… That girls need to see examples of how relationships and marriage are hard work.. acts of faith.. acts of love.. but are completely worth it..
With the financial commitment and the time commitment of publishing looming in the fog? What if God doesn’t want to use my lifetime’s work RIGHT NOW? Or what if He doesn’t want to use it at all? What if I put my best work forward and it isn’t good enough? These are the fears that all of us face.. The fear of the foggy path… HOW WILL THIS END?
SHOULD I GO IN THERE??
..and your heart full of dread whispering to you.. “Don’t do it. Don’t go down that path… it may not be worth it.”
So why would I do it? Why would I get into my car .. and inch down that foggy road? Driving only by Faith alone?
Because of a promise God made me..
A promise God made to all of us…
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11
This is the promise I have built my world around this year.. The promise that powers my car as I drive down that foggy road.. and it is the promise that I built my book around.
Yes.. Shadows is about Emma’s journey down a foggy road.. a road she travels by Faith… knowing that God has a plan for her.. a plan that she knows NOTHING about.. only that the path will be hard and full of intense emotions and choices… but in the end? In the end, God’s plan for Emma does not harm her.. it makes her stronger… and it gives her a future. A future full of hope. Not a happily ever after ending! Why? Because there is always another foggy road.. always another walk of Faith..
So if I want my book about taking that first step of Faith.. onto that foggy road.. to succeed??
How can I not take those steps of faith myself?