Perspective, Trials

Fog: 4 Tips for Seeing Through Difficulties

Foggy day with a frame

By +Jeanne Takenaka @JeanneTakenaka

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.

Foggy day

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.

Hoarfrost grasses

Fog on the mountain

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.

Foggy road

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.

Candle on gloomy day

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.

Fog and snow

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.

Sun after fog

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?

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14 thoughts on “Fog: 4 Tips for Seeing Through Difficulties”

  1. When I lived in California, I often had to deal with fog, and I drove a jeep. So I leaned WAAAAY out the side (to see around the windshield, which was hopeless in fog), and kept going.

    And that is my thought for what to do in a season of difficulties – keep going. It’s always better to do SOMETHING, even if it’s the wrong thing, than to do nothing.

    Doing nothing breeds a deadly inertia that grows very quickly, and which, like a certain weed of my acquaintance (sandspur), is very hard to kill. You have to kill the lawn to kill the weed’s runners.

    Slow down if you must, but never, ever stop.

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    1. Yeah, I can totally see you driving a Jeep. Fearless in the fog. 🙂

      And I love your addition to this list. Keep going. That is wise advice in a season of difficulty. Sometimes that “keep going” is keep waiting and seeking the Lord, but it’s still forward movement. To just stop and do nothing leads to discouragement and depression.

      Loved your thoughts here, Andrew.

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  2. A good description of the grieving experience. We may feel we’re out there alone with no sense of direction or destination. The uneasiness of that journey can be lessened If we’re fortunate enough to discover another lost soul in that fog, Together we walk on with an increased hope of finding the way out.

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    1. Gene, I’m so glad you added the perspective of grief here today. I haven’t lost a spouse, but I can imagine how much it isolates and causes one to feel alone. And I love how you show the blessing in finding someone to walk with through the fog. We weren’t meant to do life alone and isolated. Thanks for adding to the conversation!

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  3. Great description of driving (or going through) a fog! It’s scary! Been there in the fog and it’s easy to get self focused. That eerie feeling of mystery and definitely alone-ness! But you are so right, Jesus always walks ‘beside us’ and He is where our focus must be in foggy times. He’ll point out where we must go and how to get there; found relying on Him, trusting Him works.

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  4. Great connections, Jeanne! I love the image of the sun burning off the fog – it’s not a quick on/off, but a dissipation. I often want the difficult times to just end, but it’s usually more of a slow, gradual shift. My bad weather driving advice? Cancel plans and snuggle in front of a fire. (Totally unrealistic, I know! But, sometimes in difficult moments, I need that regroup.)

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    1. I tend to be like you, Annie. Wishing the difficult times would just.stop. I’m ever thankful that God does bring an end to them. In His way and time. 🙂 I love your idea for winter driving advice. Snuggling in front of a fire is divine. And sometimes we just need that time of “nothing” to regroup and refresh.

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  5. Love your beautiful photos, friend, and your beautiful thoughts. What a wonderful encouragement to me!

    I have one other idea for navigating through the fog. Sometimes we need to stop….but (moving out of the literal into the figurative) sometimes we have to keep putting one foot in front of the other, holding God’s hand as we move forward into places we can’t see. He is faithful!

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    1. I think you’re right. Sometimes we need to just keep moving, one step at a time, holding tightly to Jesus’ hand. We may not see, but He always does. You know and live this story well, my friend!

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  6. “He walks us through the hard seasons.” Sometimes I think we forget, after years of walking beside Him, that He’s still right there…close, near. I try to remind myself of that in the fog of busyness and distractions that often bring weight and guilt that I’m not being enough for God – He is near, He sees through it, He knows – and He walks with me still. Thanks for the grace words, Jeanne. Blessed as always.

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    1. How interesting . . . sometimes we do allow our striving to be “enough” for God become a fog in our lives. Thank goodness all He really wants us to do is “be” near Him, trusting Him in the busy, in the crazy times of life. You’re right—He’s always near and He sees as if everything is clear. Thank goodness! 🙂

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