Redefining Normal


The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer (Psalm 18:2)

I don’t know what you’re facing today. All the stuff surrounding COVID-19 should be enough to handle at one time, right? The social distancing (harder for extroverts than for introverts like me), job loss, shortages, illness, loss of loved ones. That’s a lot. Too much for some.

Redefining Normal

But on top of that, some of us are dealing with other catastrophic issues. For us here in Chattanooga it’s the EF3 tornado that came through Easter Sunday. For you it could be flooding, snow storms, drought, or any number of other things.

It’s enough for us to cry out, “How long, O Lord?”

Truthfully, it might be a long time before we get back to “normal.” Some are saying it may be some time next year. Even then, normal may not be what we’ve been used to. 

My sister and I took care of our mom during her last few years as she suffered from Alzheimer’s, heart disease and some other issues. It was an incredibly trying time, and we often commented that we felt like our lives were on hold as we cared for her. One thing we would do about once a month was to sit down and redefine our normal. Not only what our new normal was for the “now” while we were in caretaker mode, but what we might expect normal to be later. 

In other words, our normal changed on at least a monthly basis. That’s not a bad thing. For us it was healthy (mentally) to not expect everything to go back to exactly what it was before. It allowed us to incorporate our present reality into our definition of normal so we weren’t constantly longing for something else, something more “normal.”

Was it easy? No, not really. Did we mourn some things we had to give up temporarily or permanently? Sure. Did we miss out on a lot of chances to get together with our friends? Sure. Did we come through it with a stronger faith and a clearer understanding of God? Absolutely.

Because what we discovered more than anything else was that “When I am weak, then am I strong” (2 Corinthians 12:10). Not in our own strength, but in the strength God gave us to deal with our circumstances.

As you endure whatever your “plus” is today, remember that God has promised to be with you and to grant you the strength to endure whatever comes your way.

Go Deeper


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