An Honest Account of Love, Grief and Walking With God
Finding God's Goodness in Life's Disappointments

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Normal is Gone When You Walk With God



Normal is Gone
Kerrville Daily Times Article
Community Journal
August 2012

 I will never forget the day not long after my husband died that a mentor and dear friend of mine said to me, “Kathleen, normal as you know it is gone. You will find a new normal, but life probably won’t even settle down for several years, so don’t even look for it.” 
I cannot say those words were the most comforting spoken to me. Somehow I knew she was right, even though it wasn’t what I wanted to hear. The words of this wise woman, Katie Bess, have been true for me.
Although I have longed for days that were what I was use to, I have embraced the fact that life will never be the same. In fact, I frequently say, “my life is not normal.” 
The other day, I was reading a passage in the Bible and it hit me that for those of us that walk with the Lord, our lives should not be normal. Normal is defined as conforming to a standard, usual, typical, expected and regular. Let me explain why our lives should not be normal when we walk with God.
Isaiah 55:8 and 9 says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” 
Normal for us is to try and figure things out on our own, but scripture is clear that His ways are out of this world. With that said, why on earth don’t we constantly ask God to reveal His thoughts and His ways to us? We are so use to our society’s way of looking at things, and I believe we are missing the boat.
I Thessalonians 5:15 says, “Be sure that no one pays back wrong for wrong but always try to be kind to each other and everyone else. Be joyful always, pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 
I would not say that is the way people normally respond. Normally, in life, when someone says something ugly, the natural tendency is to say something negative right back. Someone does something unkind and most people are quick to think of how they can get even. And always try to be kind … let’s face it, it is not always easy to be kind. That is not typical for most people. Being joyful always … I will have to confess, there have been days I have had to preach to myself and say, “I know my joy is somewhere, I just have to find it.”
Christians are called to not be normal, just supernatural.
I would wager to say that many people don’t pray, but for those that do, most prayer happens at church or before we go to bed at night. However, for those that walk with God, prayer and constant conversation with God all day should be a part of our lives. Too many times I find that people feel the little things don’t matter to God. The truth is, if it matters to you, it matters to Him. It matters because He loves you. 
I will confess I pray as I walk or jog in the mornings, pray in my office, pray as I drive. OK, true confessions, I prayed for God’s mercy the other day when I got stopped for speeding. The nice officer extended mercy and only gave me a warning. That simple prayer as I was fumbling for my driver’s license worked. Praying in the shower, praying in the elevator, praying as we sit in stressful meetings is not typical for most people. We should have a constant conversation with God. Besides, he is the only one that really understands your heart so why not talk to him about everything?
Giving thanks in all things is not easy or normal. What this passage means is that we are to look for what we have to be thankful for in each situation in life not necessarily, “thank God the event happened.” When my husband passed away, I don’t think God expected me to thank him for taking my husband from this earth. He wanted me to thank him for how he daily gave me strength to face another day. I could thank God for never leaving me, even in my darkest moments. I was thankful for those that were constant faithful friends and helped me. I had much to be grateful for.
Another passage that reminds me that we are not called to live normal lives is found in I Peter 3:9, “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult but with blessings, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing.”
We must discipline ourselves to respond like that. 
There was a time in my life when I had a coworker that simply did not like me. He caused much strife in the work place with others. He would say things that were unkind about me to others. I thought of ways I could retaliate, but fortunately for him and me, I came across this scripture and remembered what I was called to do. I was called to be a blessing to him. I chose to look for the good in him and compliment him. Let me state, this was not easy. It took all of Jesus in me to do this, and I would daily have to call on God to help me. I began to ask God to show me ways I could bless this man and God did. I even had a friend tell me he made the comment one day, “Why does she do nice things for me? She knows I don’t like her.” As believers, we are called to a higher standard that is not normal.
How about you? Are we kind to those that are unkind? Do you bless them? Can we find joy in all aspects of life? Let me challenge you to not live the normal life.
Romans 12:2 states, “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.” When we walk with God, we are called to change our thinking. We do not have the luxury of thinking normal. For me, that is constantly asking God to reveal truth to me about situations and asking him to help me see things from his view point. When we change our thinking, we change our lives. Have you ever noticed that negative people usually live pretty negative lives? Something is always going wrong and they are seldom really enjoying life? They wait for their circumstances to change instead of changing what they think about.
When I lost my high school sweetheart and husband, it was challenging to see the good in my future. I had to constantly ask God to show me how he saw my life. He has been faithful to answer that prayer and show me the future he has for me.
Normal is gone when you walk with God. The good thing about normal disappearing is that I have found a life of constant adventure and wonderful opportunities. 
My friend, don’t live a normal life. You are called to something bigger and better. Discover the adventure of walking with a God who loves you dearly and wants to share many adventures and fun with you. I think Kerrville will be a much better place to live when we let go of normal. Will you join me in not living the normal life?
Kathleen Maxwell is a native of the Hill Country, educator, writer and speaker. She is passionate about helping others discover the joy of walking with God and their value.  . You can contact her at kathleenmaxwell1@gmail.com and on her blog www.themaxwellminutes.blogspot.com



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