• Jill Jarrell Newsome

The New Normal

When my dad died it was a real shock to our family. He had a stroke and died ten days later. I dreaded going to church because our family all sat together and I could not bear sitting in that row without Dad. His funeral was on Wednesday and Mom said we would all go together that Sunday and get that "first" over with! In the church parking lot, I remember someone asked me, "are things back to normal yet?" I was in total shock. My life would never be normal again! Without my dad? Are you kidding me?! I responded, "Our life will never be normal again but I guess this is our new normal."

At that time "new normal" took on a negative connotation for me. It seems "new normal" is another term we are hearing quite often these days. When it comes to the pandemic, new normal can be a great thing. One thing I hope we take with us is the time that we have had to focus on what is important. We have not been tied up going places, watching sports, staying busy, not getting to know our neighbors, too busy to call or send someone a note, etc. I pray that our new normal will include moving forward to new beginnings. I pray we will look at this time not just as a time to clean out, work in the yard, do projects but most importantly, as a gift of time that God gave us to reprioritize our lives. Think about that. James 1: 17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above..." When have you ever had your schedule so cleared? Someone said the biggest waste of money we have spent this year was our 2020 planners. Amen! Because we are not in control!

We must focus on moving forward in new and exciting ways. God will continue to use this season in mighty ways for His purpose! No matter what our new normal entails - working from home, smaller gatherings at church, no sporting events, job cuts or hours cut, no crowded restaurants, weddings postponed, graduations postponed, funerals postponed, etc we will face change.

One thing that does not change is God. Our new normal can include that solid foundation in our unchanging God! We will not fear the changes and let those thoughts loom over us. God never changes. Hebrews 13: 8, "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever."

God wants what is best for us. Jeremiah 29: 11, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'" God goes with us wherever we go. Joshua 1: 9, "Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid;do not be discouraged,for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." He will never leave us. Hebrews 13: 5, "...Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.'" God is faithful. 1 Corinthians 1: 9, "God is faithful..." If we believe God's Word then we can trust that God will transform our circumstances to work for our good and His glory!

As we trust God, let's look forward to moving forward! Here's to new beginnings!

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