Learn to accept the new normal...what does that even mean?
During my time of transition away from abuse and into the new life God had for me, I had no idea what was happening or even what I was supposed to do with the old stuff. The old thoughts, habits, way of life. I went from seeing all 4 of my children much of the time, to barely seeing them at all. I went from being married, to being single. I went from living in a 3 story house with money in the bank, to living in poverty. I went from a stable job, to having no job. I couldn't keep track of my thoughts. I couldn't keep track of my life. I couldn't beg the kids enough to come see me. I had nothing left to give anyone. I had a broken heart, a broken life and many broken relationships.
I kept hearing the still small voice of God leading me to accept the 'new normal' in my life. What new normal? Things seemed far from normal at that time. So confusing, so chaotic, so crazy. Life was upside down and inside out. I was about 40 years old and had just lost everything I new to be normal. What does it mean to accept the 'new normal'?
After getting through some of the turmoil of change and after leaving Indiana to head for Houston, TX, I started realizing what God had been saying. It is similar to a pregnancy. Nothing seems normal when you are pregnant. Your body changes rapidly, your hormones go haywire, you hurt, but yet know something great is about to happen. After you deliver, you spend your time focused on the new normal. Babies make it almost impossible to not focus on the new normal. They consume much of your time. People don't generally spend all their time looking back at what they had before the baby. They welcome the baby and spend their time focused on the their new normal. I couldn't get my mind or heart off of my children. I missed them so much that I wanted to die some days. Life was so hard without them. My identity was gone and I had to start over. I was 'pregnant' with new life and I didn't even know it. It seemed miserable and lonely but God knew there was life on the other side. I had to let go of all the old to start the new. Mark 2:22 "And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the wine would burst the wineskins, and the wine and the skins would both be lost. New wine calls for new wineskins." God needed me to be new.
I didn't know what 'a new life' looked like and had no one but God to help me through. I want to encourage someone today. There is life without kids. There is life without a home. There is life after abuse, no matter what is lost. There is life in Jesus Christ, and that may sound like a cop out, but it's anything but that. I had no life without any of these things, until I allowed Jesus to fill those areas of loss. I can now say that Jesus is here to fill any gaps that someone has from loss. Jesus showed me myself and I learned to really like myself and appreciate me during this time alone with Him. Instead of running out to the bars or trying to find someone to keep me company, I learned to run after Him. I wanted to feel that love of His that I knew was there. Jerimiah 29:13 'If you look for me wholeheartedly, you will find me.' 1 John 4:8 '...God is love.' I was desperate to know what real love was and God has now shown me. It's because of Him and His love for me that I now live.
Accepting the new normal meant I had to learn to let go of all those things in the past that I kept holding on to, even when I didn't or couldn't understand. It really was about giving up my desires in life and allowing God to take the lead. Once that happened, the new automatically started to come and I eventually realized that the 'new normal' was actually a great place to be. I still miss my children, but I know they are in God's hands. It's not me that will save them, but Him.
Rachel Everhart RN