It’s a new year, time to work on those goals, themes, and for some, resolutions. But for too many, it’s a time to not just look back, but stare and wish for the clock to turn back and stay there.
If you’re here today, it isn’t by accident. Every Sunday I share a thought or two about God’s love for you against the backdrop of my amateur nature picture.
I remember after two years of loss, change, sickness, warfare, and chaos I longed for the year 2000. I wanted to go back and cling to that era where I remembered everyone healthy, laughing, and in what seemed to be a happy place. If I had to define that time, I guess I labeled it normal.
It wasn’t long after that normal I miscarried, 9/11 hit, our jobs changed and/or ended, our baby was chronically ill and nearly died, my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away. It felt endless. My husband had a new job 300 miles away. With a sick baby and a 5 year old in need of surgery, I was also selling a house in one state while my husband tried to find a house in another.
When that took place, I remember looking out my new to me bedroom window seeing flashing lights to what I’m guessing are radio towers. Whatever they are it signified something I didn’t want to embrace—
My new normal.
What I loved in 2000 was for that year, but I wasn’t meant to live it over and over like the movie Groundhog Day. Looking out at my suburban landscape with flashing lights, train whistles and sirens into the night, I sobbed longing for what I knew and loved. I remember in such grief I begged my husband to help me understand when God would bring normal back to our lives.
It wasn’t until I took a GriefShare class did I hear the term that I surrendered as a definition for me—new normal. I wasn’t going to live in the country or be near my family. My schedule would include therapy and medical appointments whether I liked it or not. Our church was now a round building with a balcony, a far cry from the normal I knew from our small church life in our previous state.
I spent some time in 2011 wishing for normal, for some situations to be like they were. I came around a little faster this time around, realizing this is normal, the new normal God has for me. I’m meant to live where I do. It’s my purpose to spend extra time trying to help our youngest understand her homework and how to best achieve. It’s my time to be an aunt, even if I live 300 miles from the cutest little guy I’ve seen in a very long time.This is my new normal.
How about you? Are you spending your new normal longing for what isn’t meant to be? Are there relationships that were for a season that you’re trying to keep alive, despite the flatline? Is it time to change things up, but fear holds you back? Is this the moment to live that dream, try that idea? Are you reaching out for a normal of yesteryear?
I’ve been there, and I know I’ll be there again. It’s, well, normal.
My challenge for all of us this 2012 is to take a hard look at our lives and determine if too much of that time is wasted longing for the past. It has its place, but as my mom says, “It’s okay to look in the rearview mirror as long as you don’t stare.”
I love this picture, it’s my FB timeline picture, and I chose it because I thought by now I’d have snow pictures to use. It isn’t normal to be in NE Ohio or Upstate NY and not have snow pictures in winter. It’s not normal to see a sky like this. It’s not normal for the area I live in to experience multiple earthquakes in 2011.
So I hope you enjoy the picture, embrace the new year, and surrender to your new normal.