Recently, I read a children’s story book as part of a university lecture (strange, I know). The book centred on a child’s older pet cat, which felt left out and annoyed when the child was presented with a new kitten. After running away, the child comes in contact with a wise old owl, who tells the cat “it’s the I want in your tummy that’s making you sad.” Upon hearing this, the cat realised something profound. We have to accept the present situation we’re in, and we need to take responsibility for changing our attitude. Sometimes where we are in life is not where we want to be, sometimes a situation comes up that we never planned on. But in those moments, it is our choice to let go of the ‘I want’ and accept what is. Because what is, is exactly what God planned it to be. Because no matter what the outside situation is, we are still who we are, who God made us, who we were always destined to be. We have to make the choice to view things from another perspective, to look at things in a new light, and realise that though things are not as we would like them to be, we are still who God made us to be. Maybe the problem is not the problem itself, maybe it is our attitude. Maybe we need to let go of the I wants, I planned, I hoped, I prayed. Maybe it’s time to let go, and accept what is. Maybe it’s time to let go and rejoice in today knowing it is the day God has made. Maybe it is time to know that though we do not have all the answers, we have THE ANSWER.
I got to learn this lesson the hard way (of course!) recently. I have always struggled knowing how different my family is from others. I could see this standard for families, you know the one, and it includes one Mum, one Dad, and a few siblings who are all related by blood. It includes kids going to school, growing up, moving out, getting married and having families all of their own. But that’s not my family. There are many parents involved; none of my siblings are related by blood fully, with the oldest being in his 30’s, and the youngest being 3. There’s a lot of stress in our world, and none of our lives are necessarily how we planned them. So yesterday, when it all came to a boiling point, where the fear and frustration and stress and doubt, the uncertainty and anger reached its tensest moment, I had to make a choice. I had to let go of the ‘I want’ in my tummy. And so as I sat in my car, sobbing and pouring my heart out to God, this is what I heard Him say: ‘normal is not a standard to live up to. It’s WHAT IS. It’s who your family is, what your world looks like.’
That picture you have in your head of normal – get rid of it. Picture you, your life, what happens around you – that’s normal. And once you know that, give thanks for that.
“Dare to be grateful for every good thing. And dare to know its all good. That’s what God does: God works everything for good.” (Ann Voskamp)
Today, kneel down in surrender. Rise up and see from a different angle. Lie down and stare straight into the face of Jesus. Let go of the ‘I wants’, the way you wanted things to be. Realise that even when everything changes, HE NEVER DOES. Our identity is strong and stable in Him. We can make it through anything in the One Who makes us who we are (Phil 4:13). Be grateful for your normal, and know that even in the moments where it all seems bad, we can be grateful for the good things, because it is actually all good.