That’s the best way I can describe it. The past 4 weeks have had me in a bit of a fog…and feeling a little suffocated. I’m not sure if you’ve ever been in a spot like that before, but I thought I’d share with you my experience.
There were a few things that contributed to this:
(*Note: There have been other times of fogginess in my life due to disobedience to God, so that’s the first place I check if I’m feeling uncertainty, doubt, and confusion)
– The Boston Marathon Bombing
– The U.S. Pastor in Iran
– The rescue of the Cleveland women held hostage in a house (which is less than an hour from my house)
– A close friend’s heartbreak with a 3 year relationship
– Another friend’s disgust for returning to a toxic relationship
– A friend’s addiction to alcohol and anti-depressants
– A close friend’s 33 year old ,mama to 3,cousin fighting cancer
– Christian friends chained to disobedience
– Wrestling with doubts on our family vision
– Insecurity with my voice in the blogging world and future of the blog
– My son graduating kindergarten
– Meeting with my friends who are hurting
– End of school year activities (for both my husband and son)
– Change in workout routine (gym hours, childcare etc)
These are just a few things that have been rocking my world lately which is why I’ve been pretty quiet. Both my mind and time have been spent working these things out through talks over coffee, podcasts to open my mind, and just…doing. I’ve sat down to write this post probably 3 different times but have come to a halt each time. It’s hard for me to put into words the emotions that I have which is why I’ve had the struggles.
The practical things are just normal things in my life that I have to cycle through. They are expected changes that always throw a wrench in my normal routine, so adjusting to them is necessary and while it’s not always convenient or easy, it’s something I take in stride as I love being a wife, mom, and friend.
The emotional things are the doozy to me. Nothing can trip me up more than a little (or lot!) of confusion thrown into my normally clear, sound, and wise thinking! Ahh! If I wasn’t praying and crying for people around the world who were going through terrible tragedies, my mind was consumed with those in my close circle who hurt or the own doubts in my mind.
I find that I cycle through these phases a few times a year–when things get overwhelming and nothing seems clear. It’s why I wrote these status’ on my facebook page the past few weeks:
I don’t tend to talk to a lot of people about my problems–my husband gets most of it. (And he is my preferred “go to” anyway!) So I end up chugging and processing this through an emotional mind. Yikes. That doesn’t always work well, right?
So what’s the point of this post? Well here we go:
1.) I love you all, but….
My first ministry and priority is my walk with God, my marriage, my family, and those “real life” friends who God has put in my circle. Blogging/online world will always take a back seat to this. I struggle with this a lot because you have no idea what ministering to you all does for me, but I have to live the life of integrity behind the blog that I preach in front of the blog.
2.) Your emotions can really get the best of you. And some days–they can REALLY get the best of you.
You know how it is. You are consumed with one issue which turns into another and before you know it, you’ve got the whole world turned upside down and everyone hating you (in your mind) in a matter of 7 minutes! It’s sort of like arguing with a crazy man. What’s the point? It’s at those times that I have to step back, and take a breather. I have to remind myself of the truths I know above.
3.) Feeling suffocated and that your voice isn’t important is terrible
During these times, I feel really confused. I doubt everything I’ve known to be true in the past. And because I feel doubt, I don’t speak. I clam up. I do think God brings us to times in our lives where we need to step back, slow down, and listen to Him, but I’m not so sure that this was one of those instances this time around. It took an “aha” moment for me to realize that this is exactly where satan wants me. Paralyzed.
4.) Physical activity and healthy eating still works wonders
The truth is, my physical life has been blah lately. I have been hitting my workouts, but as I mentioned above, I’ve had to adjust them due to the shortened hours at the gym. I have been soooo busy that my meal prep and planning has been less than great (which ALWAYS equates terrible eating for me) I haven’t been inspired. It’s just been…blah. I have to say though, the times when I was exercising, were times for me to wrestle through what God was teaching me. Because I left my troubles on the gym floor, I didn’t have to bring them home to the kitchen floor. That’s worth the 60 minutes of sacrifice alone.
5.) I have to keep on the forefront of my mind what I KNOW and what I CAN do
When we are trapped, either by sin, a terrible habit, confusion, doubt–you name it–we forget the blessings and promises God has given us in the past. We feel stripped of all power (that’s ours for the taking!) and feel like we can’t do anything. When my exercise or eating was terrible for the day, I relapsed back into eating a terrible snack to make me feel better instead of remembering what good, clean foods do for me. When I felt confused about why God has allowed _____ to my friend’s life, I forgot about all the good He’s done for me in the past. When I sat in disbelief as I cried over the women who were treated as prisoners in that home in Cleveland, I forgot that God is still Sovereign over everything and allows what He allows for His glory.
One final thing. Ironically, one of the best things for me to do while I’m in these times of “fog” is to step away from facebook and social media. I find that I’m in an already sensitive state, so seeing that friends of mine got together and didn’t invite me, or that someone went on a vacation somewhere, or that they got a Starbucks and I didn’t (WAAAH!) that day, just added salt to the wound.
I’m making my way out of the fog now, but I know that I will probably enter another season of it again and probably even this year! I’m not sure where you are at right now, but if you sense a bit of a “fog” in your life, then I plead with you to hang on. Reach out to someone who you trust and talk it out. Dive into the scriptures and let God’s inspired Word navigate you toward the Light.
Do you ever feel this way? How do you work through it? What are your triggers?
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm
(from, “In Christ Alone“)
praying for you, Clare! You are such a source of strength and inspiration; keep fighting the good fight and know that you are loved and appreciated. pax! amanda
Thank you Clare!!! So appreciate your honesty and vulnerability and that you have your priorities straight. You are the real deal and I sincerely thank you. Your humility is God honoring.
Thank you for this post!! It always seems this happens to me when we have schedule changes or any of the above you talked about! I needed the encouragement for sure, I hate living in a “fog” and my family hates it too. Thanks for being open =)
Even in your “fog” you continue to inspire and bless me!
We all go through this at times in our lives and walk with Christ, and it’s great that you can be vulnerable and put it out there and be honest for your readers. There were so many points in there that I could relate to or agree with. Will pray for you as you walk through this time period of life and that God can refine you through it in whatever ways He would like, because you know He always helps us come out better than before! 🙂
Thank you for being so transparent, Clare. You are a blessing!
Clare, admittedly I haven’t read anything from you or from anyone for that matter for awhile. You know how it is…life happens. And right now my life seems overwhelming to me, as it does to you in many areas. I say all this to tell you, you’re definitely not alone and there was a reason I read your blog tonight – I needed to hear that I wasn’t alone. I wanted to thank you for your openness and honesty and for you to know you aren’t alone and I’m thinking about you and I’ll keep you in my prayers. And it’s also ironic (or maybe not 🙂 that my friend passed on a blog for me to read today as well from Ann Voskamp… “When strong mamas feel quite weak” I’m going to read that next because obviously God knows I need some reassurance today. 🙂 Love you my friend and thanks for sharing!
I’ve read that same blog from Ann! I am praying for you today, Amy. Miss you!
You have been so kind and inspiring. You even set a good example by putting your family and loved ones first. Warmest wishes, Rachel
This is why I love you!!:) you care so deeply and you are so real:) in Christ alone is my life song and has carried me through my life’s darkest moments:) praying the fog lifts and the dun perks through soon!! I call those first 8 wks after having a baby “the fog” 😉
Thank you so much for your words of wisdom and transparency…as always. The world is short on these qualities and being honest and vulnerable is difficult and you point it all back to God and the world is short on that too. You are right to be assessing your priorities. We need to do that constantly. Through prayer our awesome God will make it clear to you what adjustments need to made.
New Living Translation (NLT)
23 The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.
Praying that your way will be made very clear and that you will have God’s peace and clarity, and that wherever He leads you, you will be drawn closer to Him, be molded into His image and glorify Him in all you do. Peace to you and your family and thank you again. You have encouraged me often.
I get like this a few times a year too. I didn’t know there are others out there like me. 🙂 What helps the most is spending time in the word but I feel like God doesn’t want my rotten attitude anywhere near Him. I’m finally believing that’s Satan’s lie, meant to keep me miserable longer. Thank you for sharing. I will pray for your fog to finish lifting and that it stays away! Thank you for your ministry.
Thank you for writing this Clare! I too have been walking through a fog. My father’s battle with cancer has been getting worse. Putting me in this battle of caring for my father (who is still young) and giving my first child (who is almost 2) my undivided attention. I feel so emotionally drained all the time. I had been doing great with my eating healthy and exercising, then my dad broke his leg this weekend. So I did what I should not have done all week and turned straight to all that good ole comfort food. I am so grateful you wrote this tonight. Just to remind me I am not the only one who has these seasons. It helps, and reminds me where my hope and strength come from! Thank you!
Oh Lori! My heart hurts for you. Praying….
Praying for you and your Dad. I’m in the opposite boat as you. I have cancer and my Mom is staying with our family. Not because I need caring for, but because I am at risk for having seizures (due to a brain tumor I had removed) and can’t be home alone with my kiddos. I know it has to be exhausting for my Mom to be caring for little kids again, but I am so grateful that it means I can be at home with my kiddos and I can take a daily nap (a necessity at this point). Oh behalf of your Dad, thank you for the sacrifice you are giving to care for him. Is there other family that can give you a break from time to time? And/or spend time with your 2 year old? One great thing about having my Mom here is that when I am too tired etc to interact with my kiddos all day long, Grandma is happy to do it.
Precious sweet friend. I love you. Praying. Let’s set up a date for coffee, lunch – or just peace- soon. <3
I am so glad I “stumbled” across this post! I was there, in that “fog”, a few months ago. Your words are spot-on what someone in the fog needs to hear. I’m so glad you were not too discouraged to share this, be blessed!
Great post. Authentic, transparent Christianity is never wasted.
Thank you for sharing! I’ve been in a fog for two months & it is always good to be reminded that I’m not alone. Praying for all of us who have been struggling lately.
Thank you for sharing. You have just helped me more than you’ll ever know. Sending prayers.
I totally get what you’re saying. Take care of you…focus on God and your family. I know you will. I’m not saying this is something you need to do, but for me, when I deactivated Facebook (because God led me to), it was the best decision. .. for me! Hang in there and know you have support.
I totally relate. I have come to recognize that when I go through these fogs of doubt, uncertainty and confusion it is ALWAYS the enemy working to derail me. In these times, I too, take a break from all social media. It feeds into my unhealthy state of mind. I submerge myself in God’s word. That is the only truth. If you focus on glorifying God in everything you do and say, everything else will fall into place. He is always good.
Thank you Clare. I appreciate your faith and always look forward to your blog. I happen to feel like I am in a fog(great way to describe it) and have been for awhile. I am just putting one foot in front of the other cuz I have to right now. But God has used you to help me today. Thank you.
Clare, Thank you for sharing your heart and struggles. You have been a great inspiration to me, partly in fitness but moreso as I walk in the Light! Yes, the fog will come again, this is life in this broken world…but you look to Him and remain in Him, and it won’t all make sense or work out the way we want, but in all of it, we can learn to trust Him more and fully.
I loved this post, spoken from a true sister in Christ…as I’m headed out for a run now (in the almost-noon NC heat–yikes!)I’ll be asking God to guide you toward exactly what he has for you in days to come…blessings to you! ~Angela
You are in my heart and prayers! I am so thankful for you and how you share your heart. I initially found your blog as an inspiration for fitness but have found a bounty of spiritual fitness as well. I, too, have been in a fog. You are not alone ~ we all have those times in our lives. Thank you for your honesty. You have touched my heart and encouraged my soul. xo
Hang in there. Sometimes life just needs to be lived one step at a time each day. And don’t worry about feeling like you have to blog. You have to live your life first, how else would you have anything to blog if you didn’t. God and family need to come first. If you need more encouragement about taking a step back, check out gracelaced.com, Ruth just blogged today about how she hadn’t posted anything real lately because she had been going through a season and how she wants to be with family first before blogging. It’s an important thing to remember.
I have been in a fog for about 3 months now, off and on, I guess. I was diagnosed with cancer 3 months ago and had just had a baby 6 weeks prior to that. I feel so behind on everything (in fact, I’m hardly reading any blog posts lately, but when I saw the title of this one, I just knew I had to read it). Plus have some other family issue stuff going on. Not a fun time right now, but I keep telling myself it is only a season.
Thank you so much for this post. Praying for you!
Sharon: I wanted to let you know that I prayed for you last night before bed. My heart is hurting for you in so many ways. You are a blessing to me and I am thankful for you! Hang in there sister.
Thanks for sharing I too have been in a “fog” with a teenager. Thank you for reminding me to pray and read my bible. Hugs sent your way.
Thank you, couldn’t have been a better time to read this post! I related on so many levels, and was encouraged that I’m not the only one. And that God loves me still! Thank you
Awesome blog! Speaking right to me right now!! You brilliantly put words to my life!
thank you for sharing so openly. there is so much encouragement and a great testimony in what you said. thank goodness we are not the only ones that face this sort of thing. I am so thankful for God and the words of those who love him (you for example) in my life.
This was a God-send. I was smiling and shaking my head at the similarities of thoughts and feelings and how perfectly God sent an answer that was SO specific to my emotional need at this very moment! Thank you, thank you for sharing. Know you are not alone either and God loves us so much!
Thank you for posting this! This hits home for me too! I kept nodding my head in agreement all the way through. I applaud you for keeping your priorities straight, but know that every post I have received from you has encouraged me, challenged me, or built me up in some way. It is definitely a ministry and I appreciate it! Thanks for being real! I just started a Bible study with some close friends who were all feeling the need to know Him more and to dig deeper into the Word and to seek Him more. What a blessing that has been! I realized that the triggers for me could be anything. Circumstances would present themselves and become an idol standing in the way of hearing what The Lord was trying to say or do. Your reminders are perfect! That is what we need to remind our selves everyday! Thanks again!
You rock! Thank you so much! Not just for taking the time to be so inspiring all the time (I don’t know how you do it!) but also for being so authentic with everything! You are such a help to know that we are not alone, that you understand, that God is still there, that we don’t have to have it all together! Take care of you! You have to do that first before you can reach out to anyone else…. Easy to say, hard to do, I know! Praying for you!
Thank you for your transparency in this post. I have felt the same “fog” since the Sandy Hook shootings and it seems to continue to grow soupier with the emotional contributions you listed above as well as my own practical ones. There seems to be so many negative things happening and I’m thinking, “Hey, God! Scripture says you can move mountains so will you start doing that now?” I have definitely sensed I have moved away from God since December. I am in the process of moving back to Him, but it’s hard because I have so many unanswered questions why He allows the things He does within His permissible will. Sure we can speculate while we are here on earth, but the bottom line is we won’t have all the answers until we are in Heaven one day. Thank you for sharing all of your tips and I hope you will continue your blog. I have gotten so many good ideas from you. Thanks for all you do.
Thank you Clare for re-posting this. I’ve been in a fog for 2.5 weeks now due to a job loss. I’ve kept singing to myself that my hope is found in Christ ALONE-never in my job. Thank you for your encouragement and the time you put into your blog–it’s such a blessing.