My New Normal
"Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows." James 1:17 (NIV)
Growing up, I never liked change. To be honest, I would try to avoid it if possible. But sometimes that wasn't easy to do.
I still remember the fear as I made the transition from being homeschooled to attending public high school. My first day as a new student at a new school with new teachers and new classmates was a terrifying experience. The days that followed weren't much better. I'd lie in bed at night and spend hours crafting a plan that would take me back to my old life. My old normal.
Although I've grown since then, the fear of change can creep back in during certain situations. The unknown taunts me to remain in my comfort zone.
Recently, I felt it'd be wise to distance myself from a friendship that was a huge part of my life. Out of respect for my friend, I can't go in to the details, but I can say I'd been asked to do things that weren't in line with Scripture. There were too many dangers that threatened to take me away from God if my friend and I remained close. The Lord was tugging at my heart, asking me to step away from this relationship.
I agonized over that decision. Fear rolled in. We hung out all the time. Talked every day. Ran in the same crowd. My friend was part of my 'normal.' Letting go of this one friend would mean letting go of the normal group of friends we were part of, and not going to the normal places we all hung out. I wanted to convince myself it was okay to stay in this friendship the way it was. After all, it was comfortable. And I really didn't like change.
But for my own good ... for the good of my relationship with God ... it was time to redefine what 'normal' looked like. This required me to embrace everyday life without the familiarity of my friend. So I stepped out in obedience, despite the uncertainty.
There were times after making that hard decision when I yearned for my old life, with old friends. I wanted to run from my new normal because there was comfort in what had once been familiar.
But here's a truth I've learned since my days as the new kid on the block-although my circumstances can change, I have a God who never does. In times of change, I find strength in James 1:17, "Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows."
My new normal is a solid place with a foundation rooted in my unchanging God-not in the shifting shadows cast by the fear of change that used to loom over me. The way He's leading me is truly a gift: it is trustworthy and is full of His joy. God's transforming my circumstances and relationships to work for my good and His glory.
God is faithful. He has blessed me with the gift of life-giving relationships and community that I never would have experienced had I not obeyed Him and stepped outside of my comfort zone.
And I know that no matter what you're facing, no matter what changes may be coming your way, He can do the same for you. Listen to God's prompting and trust that He has a gift for you too: His faithfulness, hope and encouragement. Embrace your new normal.
Dear Lord, change and uncertainty can be scary, but I'm choosing to trust You. Help me walk confidently in my new normal, knowing it has been perfectly arranged by You. I love You, Lord. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Reflect and Respond:
Has God been speaking to you about a change that needs to happen in your life?
Commit to spending time praying, fasting and listening closely for God's instruction. As you enter into a season of change, hold fast to His promises and truths about His unchanging character by memorizing the Power Verses below.
Romans 8:28, "And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose." (NIV)
Deuteronomy 32:4, "He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he." (NIV)
Malachi 3:6a, "For I am the Lord, I change not." (KJV)
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