NORMAL(Part I): It’s Gone Forever

Let’s face it….

The NORMAL we once knew is gone forever. This is how I know.

I birthed a stillborn baby.

I had cancer.

I had a son who died of an overdose.

After each one of these traumatic events in my life, NORMAL was altered forever. And this is just how it is; No one escapes the long term affects of hardships and traumas. The experiences of Covid-19 will render the same. Normal: it’s gone forever.

I do not aim to be a Debbie-downer, but let’s face it… this is reality.

Grace was my fifth pregnancy, and I thought all things would be normal. As she lay lifeless in my arms after twelve hours of induced labor, my outlook  upon life changed. Cognizant, I was face to face with the sovereignty of God: He is the opener and closer of wombs, He is the giver and taker of life, He does what He wants for His purposes. I did not take pregnancies or the creation of life for granted as I may have.  And, God blessed me with five more children.

Stage 3A cancer blasted me from normal life into a year of hellish treatments and surgeries that teetered me on the edge of life and death.  I survived, yet normal life as it was, is gone. There are scars: caustic treatments destroyed my digestive system and I now, must constantly watch what goes into my mouth so that I am not in pain or tied to the bathroom for hours. This is a new normal for me; Tedious and not pleasant, yet I am glad to be alive and often praise God for my breath – inhale/exhale, each day a gift.

Despite all my efforts, love, and prayers… my son died of a sudden, accidental, overdose. Caleb was plagued with common mental issues and he succumbed to addiction, detoxed, was clean, relapsed, then died; that is the short story. The two year anniversary date comes up in just twenty nine days and it will be emotionally hard, again – but honestly, everyday is still hard; family-normal is gone forever as well. Sudden loss, too soon, in our human thinking changes life and how I think.  Some things just do not fit in our brains; we cannot comprehend what does not make sense to us. And yet, again, I am sustained and I am blessed each day I live, by a loving God.

Changed, I am: mentally, physically, and spiritually. I currently live what I call a new-normal life – even still, that is about to be altered, again.

The fall out from Covid-19, no matter how each of us is affected, is ushering in a new-normal, to be revealed very soon.

Yes, the old Normal: It is gone forever.

Grieve it.

It’s okay.

The logical news is this:

A NEW NORMAL will present itself, and by the mercy of God, we will meander into the unfolding with increased grace and compassion.

My advice?

Don’t fight it, it’s not a battle that can be won. I urge you to embrace it.

Some of the new-normal will be dictated upon us by governments and authorities over us, yet some things in the new-normal will be dictated by what we each have learned. That new-normal is up to us as individuals and as the collective community of America; Great opportunity is before us to create a better new-normal!

The question is: are we brave enough? Are we willing enough?

Stay tuned…

NORMAL (Part II): Paint on the Paintbrush

NORMAL (Part III): The Unchanging Changer

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Those Who Grieve in Any Way

Is there any comfort?

Are you grieving the loss of a loved one?

Is it due to a substance misuse? Is it due to waywardness? Is it due to illness… even possibly to Covid-19?

Is it your spouse? your parent? your child? your friend?

Is it over the state of our country, the world, and all we once knew as normal?

I know certain loved ones, and friends who are very heavy of heart right now, including me.

Is there any comfort?

 

“Jesus wept.” (John 11:35)

This is some comfort.

“As He approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it….” (Luke 19:41)

This is some comfort.

“And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.” – coupled with, “…he offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears…” (Luke 22:44 & Hebrews 5:7)

This is some comfort.

The comfort is this: Jesus knows your pain and your sorrow and your psycho-symptomatic responses – He has experienced all of it.

He wept over the death of His best friend. He understands the loss and the void and the hole it leaves in the soul. Even more, He wept at the lack of faith of humanity, He wept at the loss of peace humanity could have had, if they had seen and understood what was before them. And He wept for each of us, people of every generation, as he faced all that led Him to the cross.

My son drew this picture of Jesus. My son was able to draw this picture of Jesus’ sorrow because he wept too; he wept over the struggles of mental illness and addiction, over a battle he felt powerless to… but underneath, my son knew the comfort of Jesus, and despite his failing and falling to overdose death, I believe and trust that Jesus loved Him into heaven.

I have wept ferociously, to the point of biting my pillowcase and voicelessly screaming, gasping for air; how much more emotion and heartache He must have endured to sweat drops of blood?

This is all comfort to me because I know that none of my grief is misunderstood or disregarded; I know Jesus weeps with me; He will never tell me, get over it. There is true comfort when one speaks to one who knows. A person suffering the loss of a child is most comforted by one who has also lost a child; a person suffering the loss of a spouse to illness is most comforted by one who has also lost a spouse to illness…and so on – we who grieve and suffer for whatever reason, understand this.

Jesus is the answer to our grief and our pain because He knows and weeps alongside us.

During these days before Easter Sunday is a time to reflect on this. If we can imagine the walk of Jesus to the cross, I believe we can understand both the power and the depth of Love that is ours through Jesus Christ and what He did for us on the cross.

Look to the cross today…

Know that you are not forgotten in your sorrows. Jesus understands and offers you comfort and peace that is not understandable. Today, you can know the love of being held by the One who has conquered death and lives in Heaven.

Will you turn to Him?

Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face… and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Click on the line above and be blessed.

I love you, my readers, I pray you will each find your comfort in the One who knows it all and has the power to lift you and hold you and save you.