Lost? I am off on a rant without clearly explaining what I mean. Stick with me. Take it word by word. Today, I am going to attempt to stick with one of these nasty little words and challenge myself and you to
Lets talk about Normal and why we think normal is okay. We certainly don’t use this word in a bad way. Its not a curse word by any means but that doesn’t mean we should simply accept this idea of normal. Here is the definition of normal when used as an adjective.
1 conforming to a standard; usual, typical, or expected: it's quite normal for puppies to bolt their food | normal working hours.
- (of a person) free from physical or mental disorders.
I really don’t like this word because let’s face it, I am not normal. My family is not normal. Is there even one person in my family tree who is completely free of physical or mental disorders? Nope. Even if we were once normal, as we age we naturally decline from the norm. Our bodies start to fail, our eyes site goes, and our memories jump ship. By this very definition… old people are not normal if they have physical disorders.
What? So even If I was normal I would age into an abnormality? So lets set aside the aging issue, and the mental disorder issue for now and look at things from a spiritual point of view.
My eyes (squinting abnormally) keep going back to the first word. Conforming. Conforming to the standard.Who’s standard? Mr. Normal’s standard again. How about God’s standard? How does that factor in? I am sure that God does not wants us to conform to just any old standard. “Typical” is not a world I use to describe my God, so why would I strive to be typical? God’s word leads me to a completely different kind of truth.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2
I also like the NLT translation of this verse. It makes it pretty clear that normal as defined by the world is not what I should be striving for. It is not the standard by which I should measure myself, my children, my family or my life
Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God's will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect. Romans 12:2
Think about it. Do you really want to be normal? Just like everyone else, conforming to the normal standards of our world. If you do, I urge you to take a second look at what our cultural norms are right now. Do they follow God’s standards? Conform to his ways? Not from where I am standing
Do I want my children to be normal? I want to say no, but deep in my heart there is an ache that wants my children to be comfortable, accepted and free from the cruelty that comes from being anything that doesn’t look normal. No good parent wants their child to suffer the difficulty of not fitting in. Dig deeper, and look at the cost of being normal when normal goes against what God wants, when it goes against the way he created us to be. The cost is high.
When we strive for a worldly normal we are setting ourselves against God. We are not conforming to him. We are not accepting that he made us and our children just as he intended. Not abnormal, but in his image. And image that is not one of this world.
I will strive to fight against Mr. Normal. I will conform to God and his ways and not those of the world. I will accept my children, just as God accepts me. With love, grace, mercy, compassion and accepting of the parts of them that don’t fall into Mr. Normals neat little box
I will love my children with their emotional, mental, and learning disabilities just as they are. I will not hold them to the standards of the world but to the standards of God. The same goes for me. I am broken, imperfect, full of sin, and I struggle with my own mental disabilities. I am not normal in this world but I am loved, accepted and set free by my heavenly father. We will talk about those other nasty words another day!