I just want my life back. I want to feel normal again.
There was no one there to hear–I was by myself, thinking and praying. The kids were in bed and I was looking at the stars after finishing weeding my one dog-free flower bed. Husband and older son backpacking. A quiet night. I was still digesting the sermon from the previous Sunday about John 14 and the Jesus Way. How Jesus is the Way, Truth and Life–all three at once, as inseparable as the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. How, as we walk along the Jesus Way, we are walking both away from our sinful past and along the way with the Way toward our Father’s house.
I was thinking about the last year. Not really about the money, though I was a bit wistful about things we’ve cut out–piano lessons, baseball, eating out, fixing things up, vacations. And other things that we’ve added–coupon clipping and mapping routes around town to save gas. But I was really thinking about the constant wondering of what we should do, how we should do it, and what’s the deal. The endless parade of questions we ask in our hearts about why we are here, what does God want in our lives, and what that looks like .
Can’t we just be normal again? Be like we were? … But I had to stop. Do I really want to be like I was? I mean, we weren’t lost in some horrible sin pattern or making poor money choices. We aren’t being punished by God because we’d done something awful. He doesn’t work like that. I wasn’t doing any of those things last year. But I was farther back down the road. Why would I want to retreat from the Father? Go back down toward the pig slop that I was leaving behind me on my way to the Father’s house? What would I have missed out on this last year if none of this jobless, much less money, much less dependence on God time hadn’t happened?
This is an extremely difficult, painful time, but I don’t want to go back to where I was. I don’t ever want to be in a place where I’m not leaning as heavily on Jesus as I have to now just to survive, where I know that everything I have is provided by Him, that my dependence on Him is complete, because without him I can do nothing. I want this to be the normal I live in–this relationship I have with I AM, how I know Him better and love Him more, and there is less of me and more of Him because of this last year (and however much longer this takes).
Some days have felt like my heart, soul and spirit have been trampled on and ripped open, and I still don’t understand what’s going on. But like a farmer preparing a field, God has been “amending the soil” of my heart. It has been plowed with deep furrows and laid bare for the seeds He’s wanted to plant. That hard soil has been turned up and the soft side of my heart exposed. Why would I want to retreat from the soft heart that has been produced this year? And the compassion for those facing difficult times, now that I face them myself? How sharing these troubles have brought others into my life who also have troubles, and we can bear each other’s burdens and pray for one another as we walk along the Way. Even when the path seems darkened, I know He is there–even when I can’t feel Him or see Him and it seems we are walking blindly, I know He is there, giving enough light for the next step.
So what is now normal, this supernatural normal is better, far, far better than the normal that was. Watching God provide daily in our lives and sustain us, allowing the Holy Spirit to be my comforter and guide, walking with Jesus on the way, these are sweeter and richer than any paycheck or “normal” life I ever thought I had.