• Debbie Salter Goodwin

New Normal isn't New or Normal!


I am ready to accept that normal is just a setting on the dryer. Looking for normal these days is like chasing a butterfly. No matter how close you get, the winged beauty just flies away leaving any hopeful hunter empty-handed.


The first time I heard the term, new normal, was after 9-11. It was a way of looking at the tumultuous change that brought nothing normal. Calling it new normal was an attempt to move people toward accepting our new predicament.


I applied this term to another life changing event in our family's life when our daughter was diagnosed with heart failure from which we knew she could not survive. I wrote about it on April 16, 2016. You can read it here.


While new normal brings new, I don’t think it brings anything normal. However, the juxtaposed words are an attempt to make us face two facts: tumultuous change is ahead and you will have to adjust to it.


Isn’t that where we are again?


How does one make something new, normal? One thing I know: it’s not a head journey. It certainly is not mind over matter because matters that change the way we live from day to day, matter! We can’t reject a reality that stays in front of us like our own mirror image.


I do understand that if I don’t accept new normal, I play the denial game. Denial is never my friend. Denial forces me to work harder to believe what I want rather than what I must.

I learned this powerfully when the medical team met with us and told us we had months, not years with Lisa, I grabbed my life verse: “the truth will set you free.” I wore it on my heart, clinging to its hope. I realized that nothing would enslave me more than a distorted perception of reality that is nothing more than denial.


Today we must apply this verse to these strange times as we understand that not much is going back to normal like we hoped. Predictions are dire about what could still happen if we don’t maintain new normal practices. I’m wondering if we will ever feel safe to give a friend a hug, or meander through a store without fear, or gather in a crowd with no elbow room.


New normal stinks!


Still, we must accept it. How will we do new normal? For me, I will adopt the same tenets of faith I formed in April, 2016:


· I will not fear what God already knows. · I refuse to waste emotional and spiritual energy with what-ifs. · I will ask for wisdom and discernment about my attitudes and desires. · I will share my journey because of the surprising ways God seasons it with His presence.

Here is my prayer from 2016. It still rings loud with truth for today:



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