Making it through the Fog

You wake up with a start, rocket up from the pillow, and gasp for air.

“Where am I?” “What room is this?” “What day is it?” “Why is this wall here?”  “Am I late for something?”

Your mind is racing. Breathing heavily, you lay back and try to sift through the fog to find the reality. Minutes pass and still you struggle to determine what is going on, where you are, and who you are. Panic: the worst way to wake up.

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I think we have all had that experience a time or two where our day starts with a ….start! Sometimes it is a little difficult to shake that fog or that confusion.

This is the only way I can think to explain what life has been like the past six months. Desperately trying to navigate the fog.

There are days that pass, even weeks, where I am not sure what has happened, what I have done, what I have felt or if I’ve had any conversations. Then, all of a sudden, a jolt. This week it happened while on a walk. About 4 miles down the road, I felt a wave crash in that left me confused and wondering how it came to be that this is my life – that I am living in North Dakota, that I am married, that this is my life, that I am walking on this dirt road. It does not seem real. I walk on for miles hoping for clarity; for it to be true. I struggle for the mental connections to kick in that will explain and make everything clear again….but I’m left in the fog of trying to determine reality and what feels like a dream.

It’s like I’ve been a sleep for a long time. Like I’m in between dreaming and waking.

I will read an email or a message on Facebook, and then weeks later look back and not remember that I had seen it or not responded. I feel so terrible, realizing I have let connections with loved ones fade into that fog. I plan things to do and projects to work on, and find the list laying on the desk (which I would have seen everyday) but again a week has passed and it’s as if I see it for the first time. So many things feel like they are falling through the cracks.

The loss of my mum almost six months ago, and the extreme transition of my life with getting married, moving to a new country, immigration process, building a new house, and being away from everything familiar has turned everything I knew on its head, and I’m still trying to figure out which way is up…what is real…what day it is….

This is the first time I have tried to write in months. I did not have words. I had no way of understanding how I was feeling or doing let alone try to articulate the journey. It was not a desire to secretly isolate myself or remain silent. The last few weeks though, I felt led by Jesus to just let the honesty speak. To open up to brokenness. This is it. This is not a longing for attention or sympathy or even any response. Just an attempt to step into truth and perhaps clarity. To trust the Lord to be the Lighthouse in the fog.

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There have been moments of light. Of clarity. Of great joy. And I’ve tried to capture them. The pictures I post on instagram are those brief times of perspective where I can see the great goodness and leadership of God, and feel the overwhelming blessing and gratitude for the life I have been given. I’ve never attempted to portray a perfect little life or marriage; those pictures have been the glimpses of clarity that have made my heart full. I have needed to take that moment to snap a pic, share it and turn my heart to prayer to say, “You are good. Thank you God.”

We shared an amazing week of clarity and “restoring of our souls” in The Great Smoky Mountains for our honeymoon. These are my snapshots of thankfulness, beauty and joy.

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3 thoughts on “Making it through the Fog

  1. Hey Janelle. I know mostly of what you are going through. The grief I know too well. And for me the confusion is trying to get back to a normal like knowing it won’t be normal without my loved ones. I now have three that I have loved and lost in the past year and a bit. I miss them and know it won’t ever be the same. -Alyssa

  2. thank you for being transparent and honest, I trust the Lord is working on you and thru you during this fog! Remember I am just down the street if the fog gets too heavy! I’ll keep a light on!

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