Wednesday, October 13, 2010

A New Kind of Normal . . .

This morning I went to the hospital for an hour and a half pulmonary function test. It was bizarre . . . sit in a clear phone booth lovingly called the "body box" . . . put your mouth on a device . . . listen to a serious man give you instructions on how to breath in a series of different exercises (long in, short in, puff out, pant like you're running, hold, let out, breath normal etc.) . . . it was less than exciting and I left exhausted . . . but the task was accomplished - another set of results for doctors to ponder over. Good times.

While waiting for the test, I finished reading a book recommended to me by a friend called "A New Kind of Normal." It is written by a mom whose son was sentenced to life in prison. . . no getting out . . . no "normal" life again. What does one do when "normal" is no longer? (I have often asked myself this same question . . . )

The author says, in her opening chapter, "It's about discovering fresh hope and renewed courage when we'd rather give up. It's about willfully choosing to make the future better even if we don't receive a tangible benefit for making the effort. It's about choosing not to waste the sorrow. It's about giving hope to others in the midst of our brokenness and tears because it's all we have to offer. And because it's all we have to give, it is enough." She goes on to describe her situation and the process she went through to discover what "normal" could be . . . and honestly shares how hard it is . . . and yet how amazing it can be when you accept "normal" is different for now . . .

She ends the book with this incredible insight . . . "Embracing your new kind of normal is the most empowering choice you will ever make. It transcends common sense. It is resistant to old patterns. It is sticky, uncomfortable, agitating and difficult. But it is liberating and live giving and spirit enriching. It changes your life and the lives of everyone who joins you on your journey. And then, quite unexpectedly, you realize you are splashing hope into the lives of others because you have an intimate love relationship with the Source of hope. Living in a new kind of normal has taught me that pain is pain is pain is pain . . . and we live in constant astonishment that God uses broken people to minister to broken people."

This book was such a timely read for me as I am learning to accept this road - that it might not go away no matter the amount of tests and doctors and medications . . . and I found hope in the process . . . even if the outcome never changes.

May I continue to embrace my new kind of normal . . . and thanks to those of you who so lovingly encourage our family in this journey we are on . . .

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