Monday, September 24, 2012

The New Normal

North Park, PA May 2010
This past week has been extremely busy, but the Lord did give me an opportunity to reflect upon “the new normal” in my life. I’ll try to explain what I mean. Recently, I was talking with a group of people who are grieving the loss of a loved one. Several of them expressed that they just want things to get back to normal. They’re tired of hurting and missing their loved ones. One woman said that she would never forget her loved one and time won’t change that. For her, life will never be “normal” again. I agreed with her.

I shared with them that on March 26, 1998, I was the mother of a vivacious twelve year old boy and twenty-four hours later, I wasn’t. All of a sudden my life, which had revolved around loving and raising my son, was without purpose. I was a childless mother lost in a haze of old life purpose and habit, walking in this new land of…..what? Every moment of my life had been about seeing to Bryan’s welfare and now, my moments were empty and useless. I had to learn how to traverse the new landscape of my life - a life that didn’t include him anymore. I even had to learn a new way to remember things because everything, up until the moment of his death, was stored in my mind as “when Bryan was two, or when Bryan and I were here, and when Bryan did that…” I needed a whole new frame of reference just to sort my memories. The day my son died, the “normal” of my life died with him.

North Park, PA May 2010
I was stuck in this “new normal” and had to learn how to survive within its confines. As the days and years went by, I was no longer just living within its confines, but exploring this land of “New Normal” and discovering joy and purpose again – not the joy and purpose I had known before, but a new, engaging way of life. Fourteen years later, I can say wholeheartedly that I love my new normal! I like me more now than I ever did before. I enjoy life and look forward to each day.

Everyone has to face change in their lives. And for those who go through a transformative change like a loved one dying, or a divorce, getting married, relocation, going to college, major health issues, or having a child…, these things transform what you know your life to be into something else – a new normal. What I’ve learned in exploring this new normal is that if you look for the joy and hope instead of trying in vain to find what you’ve lost, you will find incredible blessing.

North Park, PA May 2010
It can be uneasy, scary even, to go into the unknown of “the new normal” but we are not alone on the journey. Now this is where you are probably expecting me to say God is with you through the journey and that is true. God is with us in every moment whether we acknowledge him or not. But like world explorers who choose a guide to see them safely through uncharted wilderness and willingly follow their guide deep into the unknown, so we choose in our every attitude, action and decision the guide we will follow on our own personal adventure called life. Will we follow the Holy Spirit’s leading, the Guide sent to us by the Father at Jesus’ request, or will we choose to be led in circles by the guides of this world?


Audrey said...

Thank you for sharing this wonderful story...and even though the death of your son Bryon was a terrible and sad tragedy, this story is wonderful! It is wonderful because his death did not stop you from living your life or following His path. It is wonderful because you learned how to accept and then thrive within your "new normal"! And most of all, it is wonderful because you use this story to witness to the love of Him and all that He makes possible in your life. My heart aches for you having to go through all that you did...but my heart loves you for sharing all that you learned along the way!

Audrey said...

I'm sorry for misspelling Bryan's name.

Maureen Profeta said...

Thank you for your kind words Audrey. It's a joy to share God's love with you.