Can I just say, the last couple of months have been hard. Like downright, knock you off your feet, curl up in a ball, and weep kind of hard. Frankly, I’d say the last 4 years have been this way off and on. But then, I realize I might say this a lot.

Depending on what I remember, life’s been hard for a long time.

I keep thinking, “God, can’t I just have a normal life?”

Immediately, it’s like the Spirit says, “What’s normal?”

And I chuckle in response, “You got me there.”

Can't I Just Have a Normal Life?

I said this to a friend recently after listing off things I was dealing with. I blurted out, “UGH! Can’t I just have a normal life?!” She initially responded with the tell-tale signs of, “Oh, girl. Me too!”

I took a deep breath and followed up with, “Whatever. Does anyone really have a normal life?”

We both laughed. Suddenly, we realized the ridiculous nature of our expectations. While our situations are different, neither comply with our version of normal.

No one has a normal life. Not in the way I’ve defined normal, anyway.

Maybe you’ve had these thoughts too? When life hits hard repeatedly and you wonder why you’re life isn’t like so-and-so, do you ever want to burst out with a similar plea?

We might scream, either figuratively on the inside or literally outside.


  • chronic illness affects you or someone you love. You’re bone weary tired of it all & scared of outcomes.
  • repeated financial blows make it feel like you can never get out from underneath the mound of debts accumulated.
  • raising rebellious and/or strong-willed children is all-consuming. Trying to reach the heart of one of your children is a daily struggle. You feel lost, overwhelmed, and frequently lacking.
  • loneliness keeps knocking. It’s been going on for a darn long time, only you’re so hurt and angry about it you wouldn’t say darn. You’d list off a whole other string of words, even if only to yourself and in the quiet of your mind lest someone think bad of you for doing so.
  • you know the pain of being misunderstood, dismissed, and treated poorly.
  • your challenges are not the ones you can talk openly about. If you did, many wouldn’t know how to help. Or, maybe you’ve tried and what they said hurt even more.
  • it seems there’s no one to talk to who’s gone before you. No one to tell you what you need in order to navigate these challenges.

…and this doesn’t feel normal. You’re not OK with this kind of life and you want it to be different.

What is normal anyway?

I tend to think of normal as life free of hardships and long-standing challenges. This kind of normal says there will always be money to pay the bills. No one is sick. No one injured. Fear, anxiety, and sadness never hang around. Relationships don’t break and people continually live in harmony.

But, you know what? Normal isn’t a life absent of everything that is normal.

If normal is what’s common to all people, normal is the reality of living in a world where sin, death, decay, and a prowling enemy surround us. Normal is how these show up in our lives on a regular basis.

This kind of normal doesn’t sit on its haunches in ease. Rather, it’s a life in need of help beyond ourselves because the pains of sin are frequent and deadly.

Our current normal changes because life ebbs and flows. The only thing that stays the same is Jesus. He is our constant. He is the source of knowing how to navigate our current normal, even if that looks like making hard decisions, or letting pride be stripped away and the process hurts like hell.

We zig and we zag. We fall and we get back up.

Rather than pleading for normal, we need to plead for the power of our abnormal God in the presence of our normal lives.

In our normal living, we find a God who is anything but. Nothing compares to Him and nothing ever will. God leads and equips us to walk through our current normal in a way that is abnormal to the world around us.

Normal is a journey we take individually, but experience differently. We don’t walk it alone.

It’s life, with all it’s ups and downs, where something unexpected is always on the horizon. It’s a journey in need of daily grace and mercies.

I’m taking deep breaths with this. I’m choosing to accept what my normal is because it helps keep me from living stuck. So, I’m thinking of re-framing my question.

God, can I just have more of you in my normal life?




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