Have you ever had a narrative in your mind, you know, the one you tell yourself about how your life should turn out? The one that’s full of a sense of just getting by, passing through, and essentially keeping everything as normal as possible. Your safe place, where nothing is difficult and everything is perfectly aligned. A place you created in your mind to keep it at ease, where you’re allowed to dictate everything and make decisions that always have the best possible outcome. You can avoid all situations that don’t appear or feel good, as if they were never there in the first place.
Everyone you encounter welcomes you with a heartwarming smile. Each person keeps their promises. Life is captivating. The winning cards are in your hands at all times. There is peace everywhere you go. A blissful soundtrack plays in the background of your never-ending happy medium.
Okay, so maybe your version is a little different, but you get the picture. No one really wants to have their lives already written out for them. Yes, of course, I want to have a sense of assurance that what I’m doing and the route I’m taking is right. But we live in a world full of inconsistency, where we have no control over what is to be or not to be. I constantly find myself frantically trying to meet normal halfway in the middle. Reaching out to grasp the story I’ve played on repeat in my mind – you know, the Instagram feed of someone else’s happily ever after – only to find it’s just out of my reach.
Well, first of all, this is real life – not a fairy tale. And most of the pictures you see on social media are only the highlights of other broken people’s lives. Don’t get me wrong, we all have fairy tale moments and a happy ending here and there, but everything of this world is fleeting – it will not last. So why do we put so much pressure on ourselves to make everything perfect? I mean, I take photos on repeat until one is taken that I actually like the way I look in it. I bet you already knew that, though. When I look at myself, all I can see are my flaws. But God sees his fearfully and wonderfully made daughter. His precious diamond in the rough.
But then… I say I trust God, all the while working my fingers to the bone until I find myself in a puddle of emotions – usually because I’m still trying to control every outcome of my life. I tend to praise God when my normal looks how I thought it would and question Him when it doesn’t. I have even blamed him for the dismantled life I have laid out in front of me right now. Do you know why? Because I consistently have premeditated expectations of what God should do, only to find myself let down over and over again when things turn out completely opposite than I had anticipated. Then He whispers to me that I was not meant to control my life, I was simply meant to live it.
Over the last few years, I’ve ran from heartbreak after heartbreak in my marriage, my career, my family, my health, my friends, my faith… My life is not at all how I pictured it would be right now. You may be in a similar situation, where you were expecting to be somewhere completely different than you currently are. But God has a bigger plan then we can see, a bigger plan than we could ever imagine.
So I continue to hold on. Because I still have hope in the fact that although I can’t predict my future, I can have faith that I will be okay. Better than okay, and always better than normal. I know this because we were never meant to settle for normal. We were meant to be loved, whole, and free!
Whether we like to admit it or not, everyone wants their heart to be full. Well, the Author of the story of our hearts wants to live within the core of our souls just as much as we want it to be full. That is how I know there is far more to all of this than anything normal could ever bring. Plus, normal is boring, frustrating, and full of heartache and pain. Normal is not real, it is simply a story. A story so many of us have conjured up in our minds. A story of perfection and normality intertwined together as one. A story that could never be anything more than fiction. So I’ve chosen to let go of my stories and let God finish this one out.
So, what does your ‘normal’ look like? Is it helping you grow closer to God and live a peaceful life, or is it hindering all that is planned for you? Please share your thoughts in the comment box below.