Tuesday, October 16, 2012


A friend recently said, "I hope my life gets back to normal soon!" She has had some family challenges lately, and I deeply understand her desire for better days, but normal isn't a word I  use in this context anymore.

God doesn't promise us a carefree and easy life. In fact, He often reminds us that we will have difficulties ahead. He tells us to expect trouble to come our way.

Life has proven this out for me. Every season of my life has had its challenges and troubles, and I've learned that this IS life. Truly. This is it. With all its warts, bumps, and tragedies. The pains walk hand-in-hand with the joys. The days are filled with new babies, abused children, winning prizes, and losing loved ones.

But God doesn't abandon us to the whims of fate. Psalm 54:4 says it well: "Surely God is my help; the Lord is the one who sustains me." He upholds us in the midst of trouble. Life has taught me this, too.

In the past month, all five of my husband's and my parents have experienced health difficulties. From heart surgery to bad cancer news. From a dementia diagnosis to pneumonia. And I can honestly say, I haven't been stressed out. Not by spending days in the ER and hospital with our five-yr-old. Not by giving up my own plans to help out. Not by the fear of losing any one (or more) of them.

Not to say I haven't been sad. I have been. Not to say there weren't times I wished I were somewhere else. I did.  But I am seeing it all through the lens of God's Grace. It's like this picture: Life is as blemished and worn as the siding behind the glass, but when we have faith, we see it all, the bad and the good, through the overriding beauty of God's Love and Grace.

Normal isn't having good stuff happen to us. It's not getting back to the good times. It's taking ALL life gives us and seeing it through the eyes of God's Amazing Love and Grace. And with the strength God gives us, we can do that.

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