Finding Beauty in the Fog
When you’re in the middle of a hard season, it’s nearly impossible to see past it. My friend, Caroline, described her postpartum depression this way ::
"…I stop looking in the distance for a lighthouse and start living in the belief that there isn’t one at all."
Last week a heavy fog descended on our town. We couldn’t see past 30-40 feet in any direction. That’s how I feel in my hard seasons - I start to believe that the fog is never going to lift, and my vision is reduced to myself.
We’ve all experienced this - whether it was a short period of time (I feel this way every time I get the stomach flu, I firmly believe I will have the stomach flu for the rest of my life; I also vividly remember telling Ben while I was in labor with Rayne that she was never coming out - I was going to be in labor for the rest of my life unless he killed me - it seemed so logical at the time), or longer periods of time (seasons of change, the loss of a loved one, the agony of infertility, dealing with an illness, etc). You feel stuck, like the situation will never change, and this is your new normal.
There are two things I’ve learned about those seasons. The first is that sometimes (I’ll even say most of the time) you do find the lighthouse, the fog does lift, and you aren’t stuck forever. The second, though, even more important than having hope for the lighthouse, is that not only can you survive - you can thrive - in the boat, in the fog, in the seemingly hopeless.
There’s a beauty in that season that we often miss completely. We focus so much on what’s past the fog, what we don’t have, that we miss out on what’s happening right in front of us. We have the chance to engage in the season we’re in, instead of waiting for it to pass by.
We find parts of our true identity in the fog. We meet our Creator in the fog. We learn our strength in the fog. Sometimes we don’t realize it until we’re out of the fog and we’re looking back. But if we’re lucky, we can experience it as it’s happening and it’s beautiful.
Last week, I felt determined to find the beauty in the fog. I took the girls out on an adventure and we all did what we love - they explored and I photographed. We learned that something common in Alaska is the hoarfrost - or white frost - that appears after a heavy fog. It looked so magical on all of the tree branches and flowers. The girls felt like they were exploring an enchanted winter wonderland. And I was once again reminded that there is always beauty in the fog and it’s worth searching for.