Fog greeted me this morning. So happy to see me. As I stood on my front porch, I cringed at the sight of his uninvited visit. For he is one of my greatest fears. Because he steals my vision. And he's treated me miserably in the past, and I have not forgotten. I may be unforgiving.
And I took pictures of him. Why would I do that?
This is one of those days I plant myself home until visibility is high. But I had to drive my daughter into town for her volunteer job at our church. My shoulders slump.
I can do this. I have to do this. I will do this.
Fog has gained a little weight since I left home, gotten thicker around the middle, and he sticks by me like the most faithful dog, following me all the way into town.
I can see more than two feet in front of my vehicle, thank goodness ... more like three car lengths in front of me. But beyond that, all blurred, like God had used whiteout on His beautiful spoken creation.
Panic begins to rise inside. I remember that time all those people were killed in Florida because fog and smoke filled the early morning air ... and we barely missed it. And I remember that time in Spokane, Washington, when my truck got stuck in a wheat field, the fog so thick, and the dog and I had to walk home some two miles in the drizzling rain and darkness.
And the panic rises more. But I have to be calm because I'm a mother. And my two kids are in the backseat.
What if a car is stalled on the road?
And I stumble on it.
And I don't see it.
And I plow in to it.
I don't want to die yet.
I don't want to get us all killed.
"I can't see. I should have texted the church to tell them we weren't coming, but we're already on the way ..."
"I'll help you, Mom." My daughter is my second set of eyes, and her youthful eyes are way sharper than mine.
A truck passes me.
"Was that a man?"
"Yes," says my daughter.
I'll follow the truck. I'll stay close so that he can light the way for me. My daughter chimes in with the same advice from the backseat. She's a good backseat driver.
"He's going so fast. I wish he'd slow down a bit. Can't he just slow down? If I'm in a car accident, I don't want to be driving 75 miles-per-hour." Oops. My fear slipped out.
He slams on his brakes and heads into the shoulder. He didn't see the cars stopped at the stoplight until it was almost too late. Thank goodness, I had plenty of time to stop, because I had kept my distance without losing sight of his tail-lights. My prayer rose up that the people behind me would see me stopped. They did.
We finally reach a busier area, getting closer to town. There are more vehicles. Traffic is going slower, with higher visibility. My heart is settling down.
We make it to the church.
I thank God. I thank Him for bringing leaders into my life, to light the way, even if they aren't perfect examples. I thank Him for the people He brings into my life to help me, to keep watch of the path ahead, to encourage me to keep putting one foot out in front of the other, to help me focus on the beauty before me and not the bad. So many reasons to be thankful.
As we pass the youth building, my daughter says, "Mom, did you see the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Trailer?"
And I remember our pastor saying relief workers were camping out at our church during the tornado disaster clean-up. And I thank God for the precious people who came alongside those hurt by the recent tornado.
I thank God for all those who've come alongside me, to help clean up my life's disasters. Who've loved me in spite of me, who've loved me through it, when life's path seemed foggy. Who've shown me love, love, love, more than words ... anyway, anytime, anywhere.
Father, thank you that because of you, we can press forward even it it's moving slowly and behind the backs of others.
Do you ever feel crippled by fear, like me? Do you have those in your life who help you move past your fears? If you could thank one person, who would you thank?