Just Turn The Page

Just Turn The Page: March 2016

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Finding Normal

Dear reader, can I be honest with you? Life is cruel. I am not saying others haven’t had their fair share of hardship. In fact, I know quite a few people who are struggling right now. People, like me, who wonder if there really is a calm—a long one—after the storm.

Truth is, suffering is a part of life. Part of my story involves a lifetime of sorrow, even as a Christian. In fact, when I became a Christian the sadness that plagued my life did not go away nor did my chaotic life. The reality? Nothing changed—I mean really changed— for a long time. Oh sure, I stopped doing those wretched secular things. You know, the obvious sin’s that set apart Christians and non-Christians.  I exchanged all my secular activities for church activities. I read and prayed daily. I was zealous for change. I knew I was a hot mess. I am just not sure God knew.
Yet, no matter what I did, something was missing. Instead, my life experience’s contradicted the ‘promised’ life I heard preached. Ted Dekker calls it a “crisis of experience.”[1] I agree. In fact, a series of tragedies in my life brought me to my AHA-moment. You know, that moment when everything finally makes sense. Honestly, I find it a bit peculiar that a moment of incredible hurt opened my eyes and not some awesome magical moment, like we see in the movies. Nonetheless, it was the necessary twist needed in the plotline of my story.
“I’m tired of the chaos,” she said.
“Me too,” I mumbled.
“I guess God is taking us different directions,” she said.

Lonely Series - Inner Chaos by Leda Carter

The phone call ended. We haven’t spoken since, and that was two-years ago.

I was adrift, alone, without any tether to my true identity. I was lost, starving for intimacy, desperate to be valued, swallowed by a sea of lonely hearts, thinking that perhaps I was the only one who was lost. Ted Dekker
The problem was she was right. My life, for as long as I can remember, has been a series of crisis. My marriage was chaos. I was chaotic. My children followed suit.

However, she was also wrong. My whole life I believed that there was something inherently wrong with me. In truth, there was a lot wrong with me. The problem was I wasn’t the only one and nobody told me.
I became a Christian because I wanted to be ‘normal,’ somebody other than me. If I could just get the Christian thing down, then maybe my life would be normal’ or so I believed. Unfortunately, so many people think this way, and they find themselves standing in a crisis of belief. Then we begin to think maybe God isn’t really for me or maybe we are too far gone to be saved or maybe we are just not worth it-to God or others. We become disillusioned with Christianity, people, even ourselves; thus, the second reason for my silence this past year.

I have been trying to find normal.

The beautiful thing about aha-moments is something good usually follows. I took a course on PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) to understand my husband, myself, and others. I learned that living with PTSD is learning to find a “new normal” in life.

What never occurred to me, and what I failed to learn from the messages being preached is none of us are normal. There is no such thing. We are all sinners in need of Grace. Yes, Christians may be saints, but “a saint is just a sinner who [falls] down.”[2]In reality, Christians fail every single day. We fail to live the full un-adulterated gospel, no matter how hard we try. Our humanity gets in the way. Hence, the reason we need a Savior. His grace and mercy covers us.
As long as I kept searching for normal, I could never accept who I am faults and all. Nor could I receive, in all His fullness, God’s deep love for me. I don’t have it all figured out yet, but I finally know that’s okay too! I don’t need to. I just need to let go and Just Be Me.
I promise to lighten up just a bit, to share the joys of my life, and not just the struggles and burdens. There is purpose in life’s madness. I’m still a tad bit chaotic, sometimes flat-out crazy in a fun-off-the-wall-sorta-way, but I am also intense, deep, and slightly introverted. I tend to stand on the outside and look in, and for the first time in my life I am okay with that.
There is a whole lot of awesomeness in this life. More so when you find others who you can relate to. It is my deepest prayer that those who feel like I did and still do, at times, will find a friend in me. Together we can navigate the ups-and-downs of life and become the best version of ourselves.

  [1] Dekker, Ted. Waking Up: How I Found My Faith By Losing It - The Forgotten Way. Outlaw Studios, 2015.

[2] McClurkin, Donnie. "We Fall Down." Live in London and More. 2000. Electronic.

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