My body suddenly snapped awake; jerked out of my sweet dream to the sound of the baby fussing through the monitor. My heart sank as the time read 5:45 am. Another early day began as I peeled my body out of the warm bed. Each day was bleeding into the next. An endless fog of diapers, chores, baby toys, broken sleep, pumping, and nap times had filled every crevice of my life. And while my daughter brought me unimaginable joy, the fog still wrapped around me like a wet blanket. The path and calling for my life that once seemed so clear, now was barely visible.
My daughter had arrived and, as expected, properly turned our lives upside down. But the changes did not stop with the normal chaos that baby’s bring. I soon learned that the option to return to a job I loved after maternity leave had dissolved. My husband was suddenly being required to travel heavily for work, leaving me to solely care for my daughter for days on end. Finally, my little one’s hatred for a car seat and naps rendered me homebound and isolated. Nothing about my life resembled the dynamic, fast-paced, adventure-filled days I once lived.
Despite an early start that morning, nap time finally rolled around. A brief 30 minutes later, the baby began to stir, and I began to cry. Exhausted, drained, and on my own, I wasn’t sure how I would survive until the next nap. My daughter brought me more delight than I could express, but the massive changes combined with the grief from having so much of my old life stripped away was taking a toll. I felt as if I had nothing to give my little one and questioned God’s heart for me in the season.
I scooped my sleepy infant out of her crib and gently bounced her in my arms. In that moment, the Holy Spirit brought back to my remembrance Hosea 2:14, “I will lead her into the desert and speak tenderly to her there.” (NLT)
It’s often in the desert, in the foggy atmospheres — the places where the distractions are stripped away — that the Lord speaks in a way that has the power to transform us.
I may be walking through the fog, but the Lord clearly wanted to use this season to speak to me.
In our faith journey we often aim for the mountaintop experiences, looking for the burning bush, or the fulfillment of the promise. This desire to “arrive” is often reinforced by a culture which loves things that “go viral” and applauds the overnight success. Yet the Word is bursting with stories of time mostly spent waiting, wandering, and wrestling. Jacob wrestled with the angel all night, Joseph spent decades in captivity, and even Jesus spent forty days in the desert. Notice that in Hosea, the Lord did not say, “Let me take her to the spa, or a five star hotel and speak tenderly to her there.” No. The desert: where it’s hot, provision seems sparse, and everything that makes you comfortable is stripped away. That is where He chooses to encounter us. It’s in the wrestling, the desert, and the fog where He can speak directly to our hearts and allow our character to be built in preparation for the next season.It’s often in the desert — the places where the distractions are stripped away — that the Lord speaks in a way that has the power to transform us. Click To Tweet
While the fog that has enveloped my life has not lifted, these days I find myself quite thankful for the focus it has afforded me. It has allowed me to hear the tender voice of the Lord in this season. It’s shut out the distractions and revealed to me just how sufficient His grace truly is. His goodness and faithfulness become the light in the midst of the fog even when the path cannot be seen.
If you find yourself in a similar season, take heart. You are not in the desert or in the fog as punishment. Quite the opposite, the Lord desires to connect with you. While the distractions are stripped away, tune in to His voice and know that He is preparing you for the next season.