Traveling in the Fog


The year my daughter was born was one of the “traveling in the fog” seasons of my life. An extended period of time when I had to learn to walk by faith and not by sight.


For 18 months I had been watching and scanning two growing masses in my thyroid, praying that the medication would shrink them enough to remove the constant threat of cancer. Scans every 3 months, always preceded by prayers that the medication would work so that I would be healthy enough to care for my two young sons. It was a season of living one day at a time, in hope, believing in God’s faithfulness.


Then came the good news that one of the two masses had reduced in size and I was given the green light to have another baby. Deep exhale. Had I really been holding my breath for all those months? Moments of peace. Days filled with expectation, forgetting that potential threat still loomed.


Eight months pregnant, my belly swollen with the promise of new life, yet my heart and mind were once again swollen with the fear of disease and death.


The masses were growing again.


Lying in the hospital bed after the doctors had successfully removed my thyroid, missing my two sons and my 6-week old baby girl, my husband accepted a job that would relocate us from Florida to Connecticut. Six weeks post-partum, 2-days post thyroidectomy, I had less than 6 weeks to buy a house, sell a house, and move a family of five across 10 states.


That I thought my husband’s timing on the job change was less than desirable is an understatement! Major house moves require a major plan and I didn’t have any mental or emotional capacity to develop even an ill-conceived plan.


I was still living one day at a time.


Learning how to care for a new baby girl amidst the frenetic activity of 2 energetic boys who were always on the move. Learning how to relax and rejoice and live without the constant worry of cancer. Learning how to get out of a chair with a baby in my arms and a neck that had just been cut open. (Who knew we contracted our neck muscles so much every time we get out of a comfy chair?)


But when the moving trucks show up, we have no choice but to move forward, plan or no plan.



Little did I know when we moved to Connecticut that another fog season would soon be rolling in, this one longer and deeper than the first. Month after month, new medical crises would emerge, feeling like blow after mighty blow to my desire to protect and care for my family. During our brief 3 years in Connecticut, my 3 little children would suffer through 5 cases of Lyme disease and my middle son would be diagnosed with type 1 diabetes.


Fierce Mama Love cries out: Why can’t I keep my children safe? Regret cries out: Why did we ever come here? Fear cries out: How can I ever protect my children in this disease-ridden place?


The health struggles weren’t limited to my children. My in-laws came for a weekend visit in October of that year and stayed with us until Easter, because the day after their arrival, my mother-in-law was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer where the only treatment available for her was in New York.



These are the seasons when we long for a light to guide our steps and allow us to see where the road is taking us. What we want is a searchlight. The strong sure beam of a lighthouse lantern to illumine our way, warning us of danger, spotlighting the boulders in our path that would be sure to pull us under. What we want is a light that is bright enough to assure us that we will make it to the shoreline, safe and sound.


What God promises instead is a flashlight.


A little handheld beam that illumines exactly two steps in front of us.


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.


Tucked in the middle of the longest chapter in scripture, a chapter that praises the beauty of God’s written word and his spoken words to us, the psalmist reveals exactly how much light we are given to guide our way.


Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.


How very much like God. The God who fed his children manna in the wilderness – exactly enough for just one day at a time – is the same God who asks us to live by faith, one day at a time.


How I long to see the entire journey before I decide to follow. I want to know how much it will cost me. When the pain from these hard seasons becomes too overwhelming, I want to curl up and escape it all. I want to know that I, and those I love, will be safe.


Instead, God asks, will you follow me, trusting that I won’t leave you but will guide you through the raging waters? Will you let me lead you to the place where your trust has no limits? Don’t you see that the safest place for you is right by my side. My love for you knows no limits, because it cost me everything.


The light he shines on our path is not enough to see our way through the entire journey, but when coupled with faith, it is enough for one day.


Enough grace.


Enough peace.


Enough hope.


Just for today.





  1. Heather Bailey

    Love, love love this Bonnie! You are so spot on!?

    • Bonnie O'Neil

      Thank you Heather. Praying God would illumine your path today. Miss you!

  2. Amy Brink

    One of my favorite verses- thank you for sharing your heart and speaking truth. Day by day we trust God to guide our steps- and thank Him for illuminating the way. Love you dear Bonnie!

  3. Betsy

    Thank you for this perspective… and reminder of #TRUTH (as the kids say)! Praising God for the sunny season I am in, and strengthening my relationships to weather the next fog storm…knowing that the THE relationship that will get me through the inevitable next foggy season, or downright dark season is just as close as whispering to Our Father…
    Pray that yor family’s health is much better these days…?

    • Bonnie O'Neil

      So true Bets. And yes, we are thanking God for our health every day!
      Love you and miss you and our Florida days together!


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