There is No Such Thing as Normal


I want to remind you today that there is no such thing as “normal”.

Life does not move in simple horizontal lines, plotting along connecting dots. We are not given a coloring page per season of life and asked to simply color inside the lines. Life happens…death happens. Circumstances are far out of our control.

You are a child of God who has been made to rise to the occasion. Deal with the reality. You have been empowered to fill the need presented to you with all the gifts and grace God has given to you.

“Never give up, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn” – Harriet Beecher Stowe

I want go encourage the brave ones who read this blog to never give up.

When you feel that you can’t take one more step, or that you can’t move one more inch forward – that is NOT THE TIME TO GIVE UP, it is the moment to KEEP MOVING FORWARD.

Don’t worry about defining yourself within our culture.

Don’t limit yourself by trying to find a place to fit.

Do all that you are called to do, all that you are called to be, in the season you find yourself in, with the tools at you have in your hands.

With bold and strong colors – fill in the lines of your season then draw outside of them. Live outside of the lines of others expectations and opinions.

Live for God.

“But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.”

‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭10:39‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Your voice matters. What you are doing is important. Your input is vital and needed.

There is no such thing as normal- let go of trying to be normal and go after fulfilling your present purpose in Christ.

Press On


Don’t stop going after all God has for you just because you are not where you want to be. 

Sometimes the journey seems short when you look at all Jesus has already done in you. 

Sometimes the journey seems long when you see how far you still have to go.

Even Paul the apostle felt this way, so don’t be so hard on yourself when you do:

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV

Keep going. Keep pursuing. Press on. 

God has a hold of you for a reason you haven’t even begun to know yet. 

That reason has nothing to do with who you think you are or who you think you are not but it has everything to do with who HE is.

Go after Jesus and let Him do the work He wants to do in you. He is working the past out of you so that you can embrace the future He has for you. 

Don’t give up. 

Hold onto God even as He is holding onto you. 

Press on. 

What has God already done in you? 

Has He given you a glimpse of the work He still wants to do? What does that look like?

How does knowing that God is holding onto to you give you strength to keep holding onto Him? 

God Doesn’t Give Up

  

About a year ago, one of my oldest and dearest friends got a call from her twin brother. He was calling from jail with his third DUI.  Before he even began to talk, she felt God drop a message in her heart for him. She told him that she wasn’t mad at him but that he would keep finding himself in that kind of situation until he realized how much God loves him and until he stopped running from God.  Her beother told her he wanted to change but she had heard that for so long that she didn’t believe him anymore.

But she believed God. 

Today her brother is sober, got involved in Celebrate Recovery and goes to a church he loves. With tears running down her beautiful face she smiled and said, “God doesn’t give up”.

I had tears running down my face as well because in the twenty years we have been friends, I know one of her most fervent prayers  was that her brother would know Jesus like she does. 

Sometimes it takes longer than you want it to but I want to remind you today that God hears your prayers. He doesn’t give up on people. 

You may stop praying about it.

You may have stopped believing it can ever happen.

You may have lost faith in a person knowing that they will never change. 

You may have lost faith in yourself and your own ability to change.

But God doesn’t. 

He doesn’t give up. 

In fact that the Word says in 1 Cor.13:7 “Love never gives up.”

Never.

God is not asking you to believe in others or even yourself.

He is asking you to believe Him.

Stronger

  
God will give you what you need right now to fight the battle before you. 

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My prayer for you is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. That you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you. That you would be released from the restlessness within you as receive a new determination to go forward in faith. 

You are stronger than you know because you know where your strength comes from and whose Right Hand sustains you. So fight and win.

Quiet Strength

  
Quiet Strength:

  • Gets up when it is tired. 
  • Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.
  • Holds on when it wants to let go.
  • Pushes through when it would be easier to quit. 
  • Isn’t pretty.
  • Is sturdy.
  • Has scars. 
  • Doesn’t stop. 

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He made his way to the cross.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.       ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination. 

He has called AND equipped you to live it.

You can’t do it without God’s power and He doesn’t ask you to.

Lean on Him and keep going. 

How to Get Unstuck

It is easier than you think to get stuck.

To find yourself in a place that you didn’t expect to be

but unable to continue on to the place you are supposed to be.

 

You are not where you were.

You are not where you should be.

You are stuck somewhere in the middle.

 

The Lord our God said to us at Horeb,

“You have stayed long enough at this mountain.”

Deuteronomy 1:6 NIV

 

The children of Israel found themselves in the same situation.  A great shift, a great crisis had arisen and the only life they knew changed.  It was good change but all change is hard. Yes, it was the best thing for their lives but they were about to go into the unknown future with an unknown God. For most of them, they had just met Yahweh. They knew Him from the stories of their ancestors who knew Him.  He was the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The day God defeated the Egyptians in the Red Sea was the day that He began to be their God.  That was the day that there was no going back.

You have come to that place. You came to the crossroads of spiritual crisis and Jesus has become your Savior, not your parents or your friends Savior but your Savior.

The Israelites had been journeying for 40 years and eleven months on a journey that should have taken 11 days. They were stuck on the mountain.  God lead them into the wilderness but He never intended them to live in the wilderness. Before them was the Promised Land. A land for them to conquer, settle in and prosper in. But they were afraid. They saw the giants and established city walls and were discouraged. They only saw the insurmountable obstacles in front of them instead of seeing the unlimited power of their God to overcome those obstacles.

It is easy to see why: the promised land holds fierce battles, starting over and learning new skills (like how to grow your own food. No more mana in the promised land). 

In the life of a Christian, the promised land is living fully in Christ. Taking hold of His promises and living in His power. It means following, obeying and trusting Him in all circumstances. It also means that there will be fierce battles with your flesh (which would rather go back to slavery and assured  of being fed)  starting over again and learning new skills.

It is time for you to go forward.

It is time to leave the mountain you have been stuck on and move on to the life in Christ that has been provided to you by the cross. It cannot be earned but it must be possessed by you through obedience.

How do you get unstuck? Stop listening to your fears and start obeying your God. You have been in this place to long. Get off your mountain. God has more for you, go forward and get it.

 

Answers 

  
It is a desperate prayer murmured from hurting lips, “Jesus, help me”.

It is a tear-filled prayer sobbed from a broken heart, “Jesus, help me”.

It is a violent prayer ripped from the angry soul unable to hold back the venom of hatred pouring out, “Jesus, help me.”

It is a silent prayer offered with no hope of an answer, “Jesus, help me”

“I prayed to the Lord, and he answered me.” (Psalms 34:4 NLT)

God answers every prayer.
Not always in the way we want Him to.
Not always in the way we expect Him to.
Not always as fast as we think He should, but He always answers. 

His answers are framed with the  cross,
steeped in the sacrifice of His beloved son and saturated in His grace.

When you pray, you can know God answers.

Not because you demand it, claim it or even need it. He answers because He is sovereign, He is good, and because He chose to be in relationship with you.

If you are worth the sacrifice of His Son, why do you doubt that you are worth an answer?

You are loved.
Pray, however you must.
Let go of control and trust Him. 

God is Not Done

  

“being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. “(Philippians 1:6 NIV)

God is not done.

You are a work in progress, His unfinished masterpiece, His precious treasure.

He will not abandon your character to chance or sacrifice your growth to unforeseen circumstances.

He knows where you are, what you need and what will happen.

In fact, he will use the very conflict you are asking to get out of to grow you into the person he created you to be.

Hold on.
God is not done with you.
In fact, He has only just begun.

What To Do When You Want Quit

  

Don’t.

There are gifts that only come by facing the hard things.

There is growth that only comes form holding on to God through the tough times.

There is maturity that only develops as you persevere when everything around you is uncomfortable, difficult and hard.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” (James 1:4 NIV)

Don’t give up.

Hold on to God like he is your Savior and let perseverance finish it’s work.

If you quit halfway through you will never know what it means to be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

Don’t quit. Buckle down, hold on and ride out the storm.

You are worth it.

When

  

When you don’t know the way forward into an unknown future that you didn’t anticipate.

When you are not sure what you are going to do or how you are going to get through.

When you feel lost, for whatever reason and unsure of how to change or if you can change at all, when what you need is change most of all.

When what you need is help and hope there is a hand stretched out to you.

A scarred hand, reached out to walk with you through one day at a time.

“But I’ll take the hand of those who don’t know the way, who can’t see where they’re going.

I’ll be a personal guide to them, directing them through unknown country.

I’ll be right there to show them what roads to take, make sure they don’t fall into the ditch.

These are the things I’ll be doing for them— sticking with them, not leaving them for a minute.” (‭Isaiah‬ ‭42‬:‭10-16‬ MSG)

Take the hand.
Take one more step.

When you don’t know what to do hold onto hope because Jesus, Your Savior, is holding onto you.