Our New Normal

Not all of our changes felt comfortable. There were great risks involved.

We feared that a person who was compassionate and cooperative might easily be mistaken as weak. We knew that a person who was trusting, had the potential to be conned. We struggled with the concept of humility, for within our vulnerability lurked the danger of humiliation. We were concerned that if we relinquished control, we might become powerless.

In our old lives, we had well-developed self-defense techniques which would protect us from harm, and maintain our position of control. The power plays, manipulations, and rhetoric we formed, became so deeply ingrained in our personalities, we didn’t know who we were without them.

As God delivered us from our sense of self-obsession, and led us to a life of service in His Kingdom, our old methods of self-preservation seemed to stop working. When we disrespected others, we felt disgraced. When we shouted our aggression, we were repulsed by the sound of our own voice. When we played our manipulative mind games, we became sickened by our own maneuvers.

This left us in a peculiar predicament. Our former defense mechanisms and power plays were useless. The methods we had developed and perfected were worthless. There was nothing left of any value in our bag of tricks. The old life and the new life were out of sync. The disharmony in our souls sounded like an elementary school orchestra warming up before a concert. The conflict was deafening and the sound of chaos nearly drove us mad.

Thankfully, our old ways became so frustrating and futile, we finally let go. We felt like a gymnast on the uneven parallel bars. Releasing our grip on what had previously stabilized us, we spun helplessly in mid-air, hoping to catch hold of the new life when it came within reach. We prayed for the strength to hold on as we spiraled upward toward a higher level of existence.

Eventually, we found some stability within our new normal. The old comfort zone had become uncomfortable. Our former stability had become unstable. The discomfort turned out to be our assurance that we were changing. We learned to embrace our instability, for it revealed the cracks in our old foundation. We grew to appreciate the sounds of disharmony, for in its chaos, we discovered what was out of tune.