Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Normal? What Is This Normal You Speak Of?

What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;
    there is nothing new under the sun.
~ Ecclesiastes 1:9, NIV ~ 

Year ago, four of us gals from the neighborhood sat together enjoying dinner and sipping wine.  We chatted about the latest goings-on around us.  How were we decorating our homes?  What was the next trip one of them was taking?  How were the kids doing?

I shared news of another mom with whom we were all acquainted, and the current trials which she was enduring.  I connected with this mom to support her.  The others sat stunned as I described what this acquaintance faced.

"Why don't you ever hang around with anyone normal?", one of the women queried.  

"Normal?", I said.  "Who is normal?"

"Well, like people like US!", the neighbor shot back.

It didn't take many more months with a complicated friend like me and my family for the neighbors to all decide that we were not worthy of their company.  Our son's health crises were not "normal".  Our youngest daughter's behaviors were not "normal".  My husband's trials of being "right-sized" multiple times in 5 years were not "normal".  We were too complicated and uncomfortable for them to be around.  It took too much work, in their minds, to be our friends.

Yet, "there is nothing new under the sun."  These neighbors failed to realize that we are certainly not the only family to live through these difficulties, and even worse.  And truthfully, there is no life without challenges or struggles.  While others may be uncomfortable with our adversity, we may be unfamiliar or uncomfortable with theirs.  But life goes on and it is richer when we support one another through these times.

While there are so many times our family has craved that sense of "normalcy", where hospital stays, financial crises, and social struggles aren't wearing us down, we know we're probably chasing after something that doesn't exist.  Instead, in our efforts to cope with things that only God is strong enough to bear we joke, "Normal?  What is this normal you speak of?"  

"Normal is just a setting on your dryer!" quips Christian author and speaker, Patsy Clairmont.  

She is probably right.  Besides, our family has decided that "normal" is probably rather boring.

PRAY:  Lord, because we do not walk the "normal" road, help our hearts to always be sensitive to the challenges and difficulties of life, which everyone eventually faces.  May the compassion You have poured on us overflow to others.

1 comment:

  1. O, my! Do you EVER nail it with this one!!! Thanks! Just what I needed today! I am not even sure my dryer has a normal setting - that's how far out of normal I am apparently! :o)