Monday, February 18, 2013

Finding My New Normal

   The first month and a half of this new year has been kind of weird for me. I was officially retired on January 1st after working for twenty-eight years in the public school system. While parent/teacher conferences were being held during the last few weeks, I stayed home and read or had dinner with my nephews. While my friends made lesson plans and tried to prepare their students to be the best they can be, I prayed, went to chemo, put up new curtains, read, shopped, took lots of medication and hung out with friends. In one more week I'll be starting the maintenance phase of my treatment for leukemia which involves cycling through oral chemo for two years. I'm really trying to find my "new normal."
   After being diagnosed and landing in the hospital for four weeks, I understood that I needed to concentrate on getting well. At the time I thought that meant treatment and being well enough to start back to school and working for Weight Watchers in January. I misunderstood.
    I feel like I'm in a type of uncontrollable movement forward, instead of a normal acceleration.This is not a good feeling for a planner who likes to be in control. But really, what is normal? My "use to be normal" can kind of be summed up in a quote from Ellen Goodman- "Normal is getting dressed in clothes that you buy for work, driving through traffic in a car that you are still paying for, in order to get to a job that you need so you can pay for the clothes, car and the house that you leave empty all day in order to afford to live in it." Looking back on that, I'm not so sure I needed to be happy about that kind of normal.
   In the past few days' devotions from Jesus Calling by Sarah Young have been very encouraging and have really addressed some of my feelings. Hear are some of the most meaningful passages from the past couple of weeks:
Accept yourself and your circumstances just as they are, remembering that I am sovereign over everything.  Do not wear yourself out with analyzing and planning...let thankfulness and trust be your guides through the day...You will never run out of things to worry about, but you can choose to trust Me no matter what...Come to Me for rest and refreshment. The journey has been too much for you, and you are bone weary.  Do not be ashamed of your exhaustion. Instead, see it as an opportunity for Me to take charge of your life...My Peace stands out in sharp contrast to your circumstances...Thank me for the conditions that are requiring you to be still.  Do not spoil these quiet hours by wishing them away, waiting impatiently to be active again.  Some of the greatest works in My kingdom have been done from sick beds and prison cells...
    Wow! I so needed to hear all of that right now. From yesterday's reading in Jesus Calling I needed to hear this wisdom:
Do not fear change, for I am making you a new creation...When you cling to old ways and sameness, you resist My work within you, I want you to embrace all that I am doing in your life, finding your security in Me alone...Don't try to force-fit today into yesterday's mold.
    Here are some of the scriptures I read:  (Just click on the scripture and it will take you to the link)  Psalm 46:1-3,John 14:27, Romans 8:28, Psalm 42 11, Isaiah 30:15, II Corinthians 12:9, Zephaniah 3:17, and Psalm 73:23-26.
   So I still am not sure what normal is exactly. I am sure that God has a purpose and a plan for me. My friend, Pastor Luke, in one of his Facebook posts said, "Don't retire, refire!" I'm going to take his advice. I'm going to see where God is working and join Him in His Kingdom work...whatever that may look like...and whatever I do, do it to the glory of God! (Colossians 3:17) Excited about the journey to my "new normal!"

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