Fog wrapped around my vehicle as I pulled from the garage. I glanced to the left and the right—twice—before steering onto the street. In a way, I felt as if I was the only person on the road.
There’s something almost eerie about driving when you can’t see anything around you. I’m comfortable driving in various conditions, but my hands still gripped the steering wheel. I leaned forward to check for shadows before me. Headlights from the other direction sliced through the soup, cutting a path in the mist.
At times, the fog was so thick I couldn’t spot the stop light until I was almost upon it. Seeing the other side of the intersection? Impossible. At least on that day.
I knew where I was headed, but everything feels different when you’re driving in a fog. Distances are distorted, intersections look different from what they are. Street signs? I couldn’t read those until I was passing them. And even then their names were hard to make out.
Sometimes as we walk through our days, a fog settles in. That fog may come in the form of grief over a loss, a broken relationship, a diagnosis, one-too-many stresses piling itself upon an already stressed-out season.
We squint in an attempt to catch a glimpse of the next intersection. Hoping it’s coming soon and we can turn off this path of hard. We’re searching for signals, anything that will give us hope that we’re going in the right direction, that there’s an end coming.
Fog wraps us into a false sense of thinking we’re the only ones walking through this situation. We can’t see beyond our own windshields to the world around us. It can feel isolating. And it blinds us to what’s—and who’s—around us.
Here are four tips we can use to negotiate our way through life’s fogs:
1. Drive slowly. Sometimes the best thing we can do is slow down. Say no to engagements and give ourselves permission to rest rather than go at full speed. This also gives us time to look at what’s most important and re-orient our lives.
2. Pray. A lot. It’s easy to feel like no one understands what we’re going through. But, God knows. He understands, and He cares. When we rest in Him, and in the fact that He is with us, there can be peace in the midst of life’s difficulties.
3. Look for shadows indicating vehicles ahead. We need to be aware of who’s around us. So we don’t run over them with our emotions. And so we can take comfort in the fact that we are not walking through this alone.
4. Trust God for safety while driving. Does this mean He will always take away that which put us in a fog? No. But, He walks with us through the hard seasons. He strengthens us with His grace and faithfulness. Most trials have an end this side of heaven. Some end when we get to heaven. Either way, God keeps our hearts safe each step of the way.
The one thing we can count on with fog is that it eventually burns off. All trials have an ending point. The sun returns and sheds light and clarity where fog tried to dominate. The same is true in our lives. Hope brings light to every situation.
What about you? What tips do you have for driving through fog? How do you negotiate through life’s difficulties?