Thursday, November 10, 2016

"Normal" Changer #thankfulin(F)All

Today I find myself sitting in a motel room, looking out of a big picture window, at the beauty of nature as God's handiwork. I never cease to be amazed at the glorious glamor of fall. I love the colors, aromas, and tastes that identify fall. Yes, the weather too. A wonderful break from the squelching heat of summer. While I'm enjoying my time away from the normalcy of life...God still finds me here and speaks to my heart. Oh, how I love Him for that!

Today I'm thankful for the "NORMAL" CHANGER.

As I was reading about blind Bartimeaus (Luke 18:35-43), my eyes were opened to something I've never seen before. Bartimeaus was a blind man. True. He was a beggar who sat on the side of the road in Jericho asking for alms. True. He had been labeled but it wasn't who he truly was. True. Day in and day out, he was there. True. Same time, same station. He had been coming there for quite a long time. It was natural. True. It was comfortable to him now. True. It was NORMAL! True.

It was at this point in my study that God dropped this into my heart:

  Sometimes we go through seasons in our lives, and things change. Dreams are shattered.  Hearts are broken. Life seems to take us to hell and back. 



 During these long, drawn out seasons when we think the pendulum will never swing in the other direction again, we can lose hope and become accustomed to life "as it is." It can become normal. "Here we go again. Same ole, same ole!"  I can say this, I've been living in this state for five years. I've become a candidate, much like Bartimeaus, desperate for change.

Just like Blind Bartimeaus, I have gone about my days doing whatever is necessary to survive in the condition I was in. My situation and status of life became as normal and natural to me as his did to him - until I realized where I was at. A friend said something to me about depression recently and I responded back quickly with a heart-felt, "I hate that word!" Why? I thought about it and realized it was because it seemed to have become my identity. My label. Guilt. Embarrassment. Shame. It's easy to wake up one day and wonder, "How in the world did I get here?"(Oh, how I'm thankful for someone who isn't afraid to speak the truth even when it hurts for a moment.)

Normal. The truth is, sometimes we can become blinded and fall prey to the enemy and not recognize him at work. We become tired and exhausted by life and all it throws our way. Although it's not where we intended to end up, we wonder how we can ever gain our true identity back again. Normal. It's a warped way of thinking. However, God wants to be the "NORMAL" CHANGER. He came so that we might have life abundantly!

There's just one catch. Like Bartimeaus, we can't be too proud to be real about where we are and cry out, "God, change my normal! Change me!" We can't listen to those around us who tell us to be quiet, that we'll never change, that we'll always be remembered this way. 

We have to be shut everything out and shut ourselves in with God. 

We must step out of that "comfort trap" that's designed to keep us from God's purpose. He has so much more for us. He longs to bring about healing and wholeness and to make something beautiful out of our lives. I can look back now and see beautiful works He has done...but I couldn't always.

That's where I've been. My story. Yet today, I find myself glorifying God from a point of new perspective and newness of life. It wasn't easy getting here. I've been through a lot of "I quit!" moments. There have been days when I thought I'd never do anything but fail, days I wanted to crawl under a rock and die or just go to Heaven and be done with it all...BUT GOD. The NORMAL Changer. 

As I continue to be transformed into who He wants me to be, I never want to forget where He's brought me from. He has turned my mourning into gladness. I thank Him for His mercy and grace in my life.

Are you struggling today? It might not be depression, fear or doubt for you, but whatever IT is, don't allow it to become the norm in your life. It's not God's will that we live below our privileges as His children. I'm so thankful for a God who will stop and ask, "What will thou that I shall do unto thee?" 

When we wake up and realize that He can go to the root of the issue and not just heal the symptoms, we can receive whatever we ask.  

This is my testimony and I hope it will encourage you today. I pray you will allow the NORMAL CHANGER to do a work in your heart. This could be a new season in your life too. Not only outside but inside your heart. Blessings~