The “Not-So-New” Normal


Ok, so…it just so happens, I love to cook.  A lot. I love to spend a day playing a movie, concert dvd or set of cds that I’ve played a hundred thousand times while I make a vat full of chilli and a peach or apple cobbler, all so I could invite friends over to eat, watch a movie or just hang out and talk.  I would drop off pound cakes or cookies to friends at church just to see them smile. I didn’t always have money to spend so I would sow into the kingdom with food and fellowship.  It’s a gift. I took just as much pleasure and joy from preparing and sharing my thoughts time and talent as I hope I gave.
Then, life happened.  One “series-of-unfortunate-events” after another came upon my household. These events left me completely bereft of the friends I used to share those gifts with. At the same time, it caused my household to turn in on itself. We became a self-destructive unit. The time, space and equipment to cook, serve or have anyone over was completely gone and my heart would not let me consider doing these things anymore. My tragedies had changed a very integral part of me.
For more than a decade I watched as pieces of my identity fell off as the “stuff” of my life was stripped away.  I didn’t care about the stuff so much.  What bothered me were the pieces of ME that I just couldn’t seem to find.But I kept confessing the Word of God.  I kept praying. I kept declaring. I loved with all that I have left.The song that comes to mind this instant is a Switchfoot song called, “Sing it Out.”
“I’m on the run
I’m on the ropes this time
Where is my song?
I’ve lost the song of my soul tonight”Sing it out, Sing it out
Take what is left of me
Make it a melody”Sing it out, Sing out loud
I can’t find the words to sing
You’d be my remedy”My song, My song
I’ll sing with what’s left of me”
And that is how I felt.  How I FEEL.  I took all that I had left and gave it to the God who made me.  And by bits and pieces, just as He did in Jeremiah 18:4, the God who made me began to “make me again, another.” After everything that could be shaken, was shaken and all I had left was a handful of promise and purpose, God took those promises He made to me and the purposes for which He created me and began to rebuild ME. Pieces that were once removed are being replaced…maybe not in the same way that they once were, but in a way that fits God’s purposes for me much better.

As much as I am tempted to stop and cower at any given time during this difficult season,  I keep moving. I keep singing.  I keep serving. I keep laying EVERYTHING in the hands of my most capable Savior and leaving myself at the foot of the cross. The Good Shepherd keeps leading me, guiding  me and restoring my soul. Parts of me that I thought were lost forever are once again coming into place and purpose.  I take greater joy in those activities now. They have greater significance, because I remember what my life was like without them.

I spent the weekend making pound cakes, cooking dinner and making my sons clean up (to those of you who know me: I know, right?  Will wonders never cease?)!  I was playing movies and talking on the phone and singing and singing and singing. Oh, and did I mention singing?  Who knows? I may be making crochet throw blankets before the summer is over, at this rate!
So I am now establishing a new routine with things that I once thought had gone the way of the dinosaur. To my surprise, I am becoming my old self again…or rather, the most myself I have ever been.
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