The Fog Within

This past Saturday morning I got up much earlier (4:30am) than I normally do to do some reading. The weather was pleasant – so I took my coffee-n-book party (with myself) out to the patio – and found my entire 1/2 acre backyard

filled with fog. 

As I read, and sipped, and prayed, and enjoyed the quiet, I found myself intrigued by

the beauty of the fog.

And I thought about times in my life when

the landscape of my heart resembled that of my backyard. 

Sometimes…we just can’t see the beauty – for the fog.

There was a time in my life when, as a broken young teenager, I didn’t know how God would 

lift the cloud of my past

to fulfill in his plan that promised to prosper me and not harm me  – a plan that offered me both a future and a hope. (Jer 29:11)

All I had to go on…

was faith…

and a confident trust that God was with me IN THE FOG of my not knowing!

There was also a time when as a young mom in my early 30’s when I was overwhelmed!  My vision was impaired from

a very thick fog

over the future of my ‘mom world’ as I wondered…”how in the world… I would raise eight kids who would learn to love God and become respectful, caring, humble, generous human beings that would grow up to love others well and use their gifts and talents to glorify God and make a difference in the world.”

I could only rely on the hand the of the Lord to navigate me THROUGH THE FOG of this thing we call ‘parenting’!

More recently,

a cloud of unclarity has hovered over me

and has prevented me from seeing my next career move.

When it comes to making my next career move, my world of work appears to be enveloped by

a dense fog of unclear, undeveloped, and uncertain plans.

Since leaving a full-time ministry position and then getting laid off from my position as a Career Advisor at a college I have chosen to take a posture of complete confidence in the Lord who has faithfully lead my life extremely well to this point.

I know that my God will eventually LIFT THE FOG of my not knowing and make clear his plan for me.

So, as I wait for the fog of my career path to lift,I have intentionally decided to spend a focused amount of time:

  • SEEKING GOD: by praying and asking the Spirit to lead me in the right path
  • SEEKING WISDOM: by spending time in God’s Word
  • SEEKING SELF-AWARENESS: by reviewing my Myers Briggs & Holland Code tests & consulting with a “career-life’ coach and am in the process of honing in on the PASSIONS & WITHIN me that I believe to be God’s innate design for me.
  • SEEKING CAREER OPTIONS THAT FIT ME: by posting my resume to various career boards & exploring a return to the classroom to further my educational training.
  • SEEKING TO FOLLOW WHAT I PERCEIVE TO BE ‘DIVINE’ PROMPTINGS: by following up with people I meet be they friends, church family, fellow-bloggers, twitter-friends, Facebook-friends, work-colleagues, customers, or acquaintances.
  • SEEKING TO SURRENDER & BE CONTENT: for God to lead me in according to his perfect plans and his perfect time.
  • SEEKING TO MAKE MORE TIME TO WRITE: by my writing life more of a priority and area of focus…not because I am necessarily good at it, or want to become a published author, but because I am compelled to write! (Thank you for your manifesto that pushed me over the edge of insecurity and contemplation @jeffgoins).

I have also come to appreciate in recent days the voices of talented ‘Fog-lifting’ life-coach @EdwardColozzi (http://www.creatingcareerswithconfidence.comwho is living his passion to help others realize and fulfill their high-calling in life.  Thank you Ed, for sharing your talent with me and challenging me to honor my true-self (who God made me) and to listen to her.

I am also grateful to recently come across the words of a Linked-In friend, John Smith (http://ceo-360.com) who wrote:

“We travel our life’s journey not knowing where we are or if we will reach our ultimate destination. 

We often live in a fog. 

Our personal and/or professional lives don’t seem to be heading in the right direction.”

In ancient times, (Smith continues)

“…the invention of a compass was truly revolutionary. One’s precise location, position, or destination was no longer left to the sightings of landmarks or observation of stars. The compass gave ancient mariners the capability of knowing their location when their skies were overcast, stormy, or foggy. Never again was their journey left to chance because they had an accurate way of calculating the most error-free course to navigate their journey safely.

In many ways, we are like those ancient mariners. We travel our life’s journey not knowing where we are or if we will reach our ultimate destination.

The ancients utilized a compass.

And Smith challenges those of us living in the fog of uncertain circumstances, and asks…

“What will you use?” …”What will I use?”

Dear friend,

Are your skies ‘overcast’, ‘stormy’, or foggy?

Is a cloud of confusion and uncertainty (even that of fear) hovering over you?

Have the circumstances of your life preventing you from seeing what lies before you?

Are you waiting for the fog of circumstances to lift? 

I love reviewing the stories of the Israelites in the Old Testament – Talk about foggy circumstances!?

They lived in the desert (a very loooooonnnnnnngggggg time) and had no idea where God was leading them?

Ahhhh…we are not alone! (in case you felt that way…smile…you are not). 

The most incredible aspect of this story, however, is not that the Israelites did not know where they were going, but that

The very presence of God himselfwas actively leading them to the place he had prepared in advance for them!

He, God himself, God With Us – was with-them from start to finish!

All they needed while IN THE FOG was met by the Creator of the FOG – who lived with them WITHIN the FOG!

“Whether the cloud stayed over the tabernacle for two days or a month or a year, the Israelites would remain in camp and not set out; but when it lifted, they would set out.” Numbers 9:21-23

It was…

“the Lord your God, 33 who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go.” And yet…” in spite of this, you did not trust.” Deuteronomy 1:32-34

“There is no one like the God of Jeshurun, who rides across the heavens to help you and on the clouds in his majesty.” Deuteronomy 33:25-27

“Because of your great compassion, you did not abandon them in the wilderness. By day the pillar of cloud did not fail to guide them on their path, nor the pillar of fire by night to shine on the way they were to take. Nehemiah 9:18-20

“Then a cloud appeared and covered them, and a voice came from the cloud: “This is my Son, whom I love. Listen to him!” Mark 9:6-8

Friend,

Will you embrace the beauty of the fog and see your circumstances as a reminder of God’s presence with you?

As you learn to surrender and trust your Father in Heaven to guide you through the foggy circumstances of life, will you be content knowing he has it all figured out? 

And…no matter how long it takes for the fog to lift….

 from your current unknowns

will you cling to the fact

 that your One-True Fog-lifter

Sees your life beyond the fog.

 Until next time…enjoy the beauty of the fog.

Betsy

4 thoughts on “The Fog Within

  1. Edward Colozzi says:

    Betsy, Your sharing about your journey, your brokenness, your “not knowing”, is something, I believe, every human being feels as they experience their personal career-life journey. You speak for all of us. Yes, the Creator of the fog, who created us, and gives us a free will, surely does live IN the fog with each of us, as we use our free will to learn so much during our journey. What comforting thoughts you have given us to use as a light in the sometimes darkness of our journey. Thank you also for your very kind mention. Blessings, EdC

    Like

    • betsystretar says:

      You are a kind and gracious source of encouragement to me. Grateful that God provides us with friends like you to help us navigate our way through the fog.
      Thank you Ed. 🙂 bs

      Like

    • betsystretar says:

      I appreciate your imagery of hearts reaching out for God, Holly. Too often we reach for everything and everyone but God.
      Thanks for offering such tender thoughts. Blessings sent back your way.

      Like

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