What’s Your New Normal?

Jen’s Gem: Lean on God to find your new normal.

A couple of months ago, my son, like many, was stunned over the loss of his beloved basketball hero, Kobe Bryant. He took it hard. We all did actually. I watched as my son grieved, questioned, and yes, cried for the first time since the passing of my Dad.  He didn’t understand it. He was angry. 

“2020 sucks.” These were the words out of his mouth the other day when the NBA cancelled all of its games due to COVID-19. For the first time in several years, his favorite team, the L.A. Lakers, had a real shot at going to the playoffs and he was excited beyond words. Now this plan to watch every game has been thwarted and he struggles to fill this time. A life without basketball – his new normal.

Last week, my daughter’s college evacuated and she is home at least until the end of her spring break. The school will make a decision tomorrow about the remainder of the semester. My gut is telling me that we may be packing her up this week, but I pray for the opposite. Her freshman year at college cut short. Distance learning – her new normal.

For the first time in months, I have two children at home. I’m sleeping on an air bed. I’m cooking for three instead of doing take out for one or two. Some of my client’s needs are changing due to COVID-19. Longer days wearing multiple hats again – my new normal.

Our world as we know is changing. We are all experiencing our own “new normals” as we navigate this unprecedented time. What does post-COVID-19 life look like? How will we be forever changed after this is over? Will social distancing become permanent? Will alcohol wipes and hand sanitizers permanently reside in our pockets?

I don’t the answer to any of these questions, but here’s what I do know. If anything, as a country, we are a resilient people. We are like Weebles – we wobble but we don’t fall down. Oh, we may look like we’ve been knocked over, but we’re just adjusting so that we can be on even firmer ground when the dust settles. We did it after the Great Depression. We did it after two world wars. We did it after 9/11. We did it after Sandy Hook. We will do it again.

I am reading John Tesh’s new book, “Relentless.” It’s a page-turner. In this compelling memoir, Mr. Tesh details his life story and beautifully describes how he navigated from trial to trial and win to win in his quest to live a life of purpose.

The story is idyllic and I found myself slightly envious as his journey appears to be one that followed a perfect plan. Each new job opportunity seemed an obvious choice and in many cases, “fell into his lap” seamlessly. It seemed like he lived a charmed life – until he wasn’t. A dire cancer diagnosis turned everything upside down and marked the beginning of his own new normal.

I believe these “shockers” in our lives are meant to do just that. Shock us into a new normal. They are meant to raise our awareness about how we are living, what we are focusing on, or simply to re-evaluate what we consider a priority. They test our resilience, our patience, and our faith.

As we spend the next few weeks hunkered down in our homes, we will be forced to do things differently. We may be pushed to our limits with kids at home and remote work piling up. Our freedom to do what we want when we want may be restricted. What will you do? Do you have a plan?

Here’s what I’m doing. I’m talking to my kids more. I’m cooking real meals instead of doing take out. I’m limiting my time on social media and watching the news. I’m praying more and leaning into my faith, knowing that God loves us and He will turn this evil thing into good. He’s done it before and He will do it again.

How do I know this? I know this because God is intrinsically good and evil will never, ever win. I know this because I know God loves His children and wants no harm to come to them. I know this because God is faithful and always keeps His word.

Don’t believe me? Read the story of Abraham or Moses or the apostle Paul. God told Abraham he’d have a baby at 100 years old. He did. God told Moses he’d lead the people out of Egypt. He did. God told Paul he’d bring the Gospel to the world. He did. God told Mary she’d give birth to the Savior of the world. She did.

I’m so grateful for my faith and my relationship with God through His Son, Jesus. Because whether it’s coronavirus or Kobe Bryant or a college semester cut short, I know that God will turn everything  around for good and we will all adjust to a new normal. 

This week I’d like to encourage you to add time with God into your new normal. Consider a deeper relationship with Him and His Son. Not sure where to start? Read Psalm 91. Recite the Lord’s Prayer.

Lean into God and His Son. Jesus is the King of new normals so there’s no one better to help you find yours.

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Jennifer Covello, Copyright 2020