Normal

3-20-20
 
 
Normal, nothing is normal in our lives right now. Because of COVID-19, our schedules are disrupted, our plans have changed dramatically, every major event we have looked forward to has been cancelled, and our homes are starting to feel a little like a prison rather than a haven. 
 
Most of us have been hit hard financially, including me. Every single event I had booked from now until the end of May has been cancelled, meaning I have absolutely nothing coming in. I know many of you face similar hardships. 
 
Just like you, I’m trying to navigate my way through this new “normal” that we all find ourselves in. We feel tense. We feel fearful. We are anxious. We don’t know what to expect next because everything is changing so quickly. We are trying to figure out what to do in the midst of this ever-changing reality we find ourselves in.
 
We are even fighting over toilet paper, for heaven’s sake! It feels like the world’s gone a little bit, okay a whole lot crazy!
 
So how do we stay strong in our faith in this new normal? How do we not give in to the hysteria that is around us?
 
This verse is a great one to focus on right now: 
 
Everything I’ve taught you is so that the peace which is in me will be in you and will give you great confidence as you rest in me. For in this unbelieving world you will experience trouble and sorrows, but you must be courageous, for I have conquered the world!
John 16:33 (TPT)
 
As I read these words, it literally felt like soothing water to my stressed-out spirit. It reminded my heart that all God has been teaching me through the years is still true. The world may be in chaos, but God is not! God is in His normal place, right there beside me, walking through this with me. I can choose in the midst of the chaos to have confidence as I face the world right now. 
 
Here are a few practical things God has taught me through my journey that I want to share with you.
 
1.  Talk about your fears – with God and with others. Even though we are going through this period of social distancing, we can still connect. I thank God for our phones and the fact that we can Facetime or Zoom or Skype with others right now. We need it! Yes, it’s not the same as being in the same room with someone, but it helps us feel less isolated when we see a living, breathing person in front of us. So even if you’ve never done Facebook live or Zoom or Skype, figure it out and do it!
 
And I encourage you to talk to God – out loud! There is something that happens in my spirit when I voice my prayers and concerns audibly. I’m in the house by myself most of the time, so I can get away with it easier than some; but try it, my friend! Call on His name and His strength verbally. I prayed all of my prayers out loud this morning, and they honestly felt more powerful than when I say them silently.
 
2.  Worship through the fear. Yesterday, to be honest, I felt waves of panic wash over me as my gigs were cancelling right and left. All the “what if’s” and “how will I’s” were racing through my mind like a river out of control. In the midst of that, I started singing one of the worship songs I had written last month, and my atmosphere changed. I felt His perfect peace washing over me.
 
When you feel the fear that is undoubtedly going to rise up during this season we are facing, this new normal, quiet it by focusing on the one thing in this world that will NEVER change, no matter how bad this pandemic gets – the love of our Father in heaven! He is our rock and our refuge, and His peace is waiting for us. We can access that peace through worship. And His Living Word. 
 
3.  Take a break from the news and turn to His Word. We can use this time of reduced schedules and workload to dive deep into scripture. In a world that’s changing so rapidly, I find incredible comfort in the timeless truths contained in words written thousands of years ago. Sit for a while with the verse above and let the beautiful truth of it sink deep into your soul. Let if flow like living water through your spirit.
 
Someday we will be back to normal. Someday schedules will once again be filled with activity. Use this in-between time to draw closer to Him. 
 
And if you need a good laugh, click the video below and listen to a song Rachel, Laura and I from the Choose Conference wrote while we were in Nashville last weekend about the toilet paper panic! It’s pretty silly, but it will give you a much-needed laughter break!
 
And above all, remember God is in His normal place, right there beside you, walking through this with you!
 
Hugs and love,
 
Jill
 

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