Believe in the Lighthouse even when you can’t see it

A foggy day along the beach toyed with my senses. I knew we were making progress walking, knew that we were going in the right direction – yet for long minutes – the lighthouse at the point was invisible. Our local landmark was whited out with dense fog, turning every direction into an amorphous wasteland of nearly tactile white.

While the lighthouse was invisible, it was hard to believe it was there. Yet even as we were surrounded in a surreal swirl of seawater-enhanced fog, the lighthouse had never moved. That reminds me of times in my life when painful, confusing circumstances drew blinders over my life making me doubt myself and the future. Why God? I would ask. Are You there? Do You see what’s happening to me? Do You care?

God was there every time. He did see. He did care. During days of dancing fog that confused and nights of oppressive fog that chilled the mind and stole sleep, God was working out His plan and purpose – and it was perfect for me. I needed to grow. I needed to move. I needed to change. I needed to increase in faith so that I would never doubt the existence of Jesus, the Light of the world, the Lighthouse for the lost and hurting – even during the times that I couldn’t see Him through the fog.

How can one appreciate the gift of the sun without the experience of stumbling around in the darkness? How can one appreciate joy without having shed tears of grief and misery? How can one trust God to catch them without ever jumping off the cliff?

No child should face the abuse and hardships that I did. My prayer is that no child ever will.

No adult should be subjected to the living conditions I have – living under a bridge and sleeping in the back of a pickup truck. Living in an open-ended garden center in the winter with no heat, no running water, no bathroom or kitchen facilities; sleeping on planks held up by concrete blocks and sharing “home” with scorpions, birds, toads, a wild cat and a curious skunk. Yet I wouldn’t exchange the life I’ve had for anyone else’s life, no matter how idyllic. Suffering childhood rape and forced into two abortions to hide it wrote pro-life adventure-romance Love’s Beating Heart. Living in the Texas Hill Country with all its marvelous mysteries and unique hardships penned mystery-romance-suspense Bridge to Nowhere. Had I not actually lived under a bridge to escape abuse, I probably wouldn’t be writing a series of six Bridge books at all, including the first Sunpenny publication, Bridge to Nowhere.

If I had never jumped off the cliff and been lovingly caught by Jesus, I might doubt that the Lighthouse is real, even in the fog of misery and trial. Each book I’ve written (Heart Shadows, Until the Shadows Flee, Shadow Chase, Bridge to Nowhere, Love’s Beating Heart) tells a compelling, exciting story through the eyes of faith. Faith grown in the rock of hardship and watered by the confusion of swirling fog.

The Lighthouse never moves, even in the fog.

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Fog Vision

Since childhood, I have loved fog. It shrink wraps the world into a manageable space and draws mysterious misty stage curtains across the landscape hiding imperfections. For the writer, it falls gently down into the world like fresh inspiration for a stalled novel. Background for dreams – new fire for romance.

Non-writers hate fog. For drivers and pilots, the opaque, morphing water droplets translate into a nightmare. Limited vision endangers travelers, slows down roadway traffic and clogs up the skies.

Me? I love fog. It reminds me of all the times in my life when the future has been as invisible and uncertain as ground to sky clouds that hide and confuse. Like a dog looking for a comfy place to nestle in grass, I’ve turned endless circles around present circumstances in an effort to find a storm-cleared path past present trials and hurts. I’ve looked for a warm, level, sunbathed path to an idyllic future.

If that describes your search – give it up. This is earth, not heaven, and there are no easy paths. Everyone has trials, testings, troubles, heartbreaks, failures, disappointments and hurts in their lives. You wouldn’t want to exchange sets of problems with another person. Their circumstances might be worse!

Having survived child abuse, living under a bridge, single-parenting, having my property stolen out from under me while I lived in an open-ended garden shed with no running water, bathroom or kitchen facilities and no heat in the winter – I consider myself an expert on hard times and survival. It helps to live in the fog.

When you learn to trust two Bible verses – in everything give thanks and all things work together to them that love the LORD – you travel through life in a spiritual fog that protects you from pain and injury. You still have to work hard. You still have to face problems, trials, temptations and grief. But you can ride through these like rainbow reflections on soap bubbles.

It’s not necessary to see where you’re going in the fog just so you make it safely to your destination. With Jesus in control, safe travel is guaranteed!

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Lighthouse in the fog, Fortrose, Scotland