Wednesday, June 13, 2012

"Seeking Normal"

I've been pondering the meaning of "normal" the past couple of days. My interest was peaked while watching Good Morning America on Monday morning. Robin Roberts made the announcement that she is battling a rare blood disease caused by the cancer treatment she received five years ago.

During Robin's conversation with her co-anchors, Lara Spencer asked what could they do for her, what did she need? Robin started by saying the reason she hesitated telling everyone about her illness was that you crave normalcy, so much in your life is not normal anymore so you don't want to tell anybody because you don't want to be treated any differently. She said, "...I need you to be who you are and what you are."

Her answer sank into my soul. I think it hit home for me so much because I have been asked that same question by some very caring and loving people regarding my health. Truth is, I crave "normalcy".

Once I realized that, I immediately started feeling guilty and even questioned if striving to feel "normal" is a good thing or a bad thing. Thus, my pondering. Normal seems to be so subjective. What is normal for one person, or even one culture may seem totally "abnormal" to someone else. Why do we seem to seek it so fervently then?

Normalcy by definition means:  conforming with or constituting an accepted standard, model, or pattern;  esp., corresponding to the median or average of a large group in type, appearance, achievement, function, development, etc.; natural; usual; standard; regular.

After reading the definition of normal, I'm not sure why I crave it! It sounds compromising, dull, boring, unoriginal, common, predictable, average etc., etc.. Who wants that?!? Average? Boo!... I do! Thing is, I've always seen myself as striving for something beyond that though. Normal just always seemed in my mind to be "settling" for less.Yet deep down inside, I apparently crave it nonetheless. WHY?

Maybe God placed that need inside of each of us. If He did, why did He? Maybe it has to do with acceptance. Maybe it has to do with the feeling of belonging. Maybe it has to do with recognizing that we really do need Him and each other. And maybe we are "settling" for less if we don't explore the possibility that God is speaking to us through our need to feel this way. Maybe it is so that we learn to seek fervently after Him and His normal because He knows better than we do what we truly need.

As a child of God, He may well ask us to do something that seems abnormal even to us, let alone those around us. I don't think God's normal is my normal and it may never be. It's not necessarily normal to quit working when it cuts your income almost in half so that you can be a stay at home mom, or to love a spouse through an adulterous relationship or to feel honored and humbled to be allowed to be living with chronic health issues and all that that entails (btw all of the above seem almost too trivial to mention in comparison to Christ and His example)...yet they are my experiences and for His glory I feel compelled to share them. They have become "my" normal. Regrets? Not one, only "songs" of praise!

We can spend a lifetime trying to fit in and be normal as defined by those around us or we can choose to spend our lives seeking God and His normal instead. God's normal has given me quite an adventurous life. The only times I have"settled" is when I have chosen "my" normal over His. My prayer for you and for me is that we seek fervently God's normal and then hold on tight to Him when He answers us, "singing" His praises all the while!


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