What does a new kind of normal look like? That was the question I asked myself one year ago on February 25, 2017 when we received an unexpected call that my youngest sister, and mom of three, had suddenly passed away. Now what? How do we go on? How do we comfort our 86 year-old Mom who has now lost her oldest son and youngest daughter to a sudden death 7 years apart? This is not how life is supposed to be. But I am glad that after the initial shock wore off, I was able to comfort myself with His promise in Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” We may not understand all the “whys” but we can trust Him and His promises.
That year was a year of losses for our family with my sister’s sudden passing, then my father-in-law passing away in May and although he had been battling cancer for a few years, you are never prepared. But once again, I am thankful for a Heavenly Father that comforts us and holds us very close during these times of grief and times of not always understanding. We can count on Him to not put more on us than what He will help us through.
A book that I have found very comforting when life doesn’t go the way we had expected is A New Kind of Normal by Carol Kent. I would encourage you to purchase this book and allow it to bless you as it has me, or if you already have it, I would suggest you pull it off the shelf or off your Kindle and re-read it. It doesn’t matter whether our world has been turned upside down with death or some other tragedy, this book will relate. Here is a short description of the book.
How do you carry on when the unexpected changes your life forever? A romance collapses. A job is lost. A child is born with a disability. A friend is betrayed. A rejection letter arrives in the mail. A teenager rebels. A spouse strays. And the dream you had for your lifelong marriage, your comfortable retirement, your successful career is no longer possible. What do you do when life takes a sharp turn to the left? What if you can’t get it “back on track?”
Carol Kent knows better than anyone that sometimes you cannot force life to meet your expectations. Instead, you must adjust to a new kind of normal. With gripping honesty, Carol weaves together her own dramatic story with the stories of others who have learned to live the lives they were given, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. The result is a compelling treatise on hope and survival, as Carol shows again and again that it is possible to persevere against despair, to hold on to hope, and to trust God’s faithfulness in an upside-down world.
We all need stories we can relate to when life throws us a curve ball and Carol’s story is one that will encourage you that you can weather the storm whatever it may be.
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