??The author and her husband reared their son in a supportive and loving Christian home. A devastating phone call destroyed their “normal” in 1999. The phone call brought the startling news that their adult son had killed his stepdaughters? father. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison without parole. Since then, Carol?s “normal” has been shattered.
Hence the title: A New Kind of Normal.
Most people have had to adapt to a “normal” that is not the “normal” envisioned for their life. For some, it comes in the form of a shocking phone call like the one Carol received: devastating news that comes out of nowhere. For others, difficulties are expected or in an ongoing form: family member?s illness, joblessness, a difficult relationship, or financial struggles. We all face disappointments in life related to family, marriage, children, work, health, dreams, and things simply not going the way we want.
I resonated with a quote stated later in the book: “Choosing to remain faithful in the face of deeply disappointing and hurtful circumstances is the most important choice we can make.”
It is easy to want to throw a pity party, withdraw, and allow oneself to be overcome when situations are overwhelming. It’s also tempting to forsake God and question his character. Yet God is still good and has a mission for us as we adapt to a “new” normal, which is probably not what we imagined. In Carol?s case, “normal” is now Christmas in a prison visit room instead of at home with grandchildren, a decorated tree, and elegantly set table. However, her new normal also involves ministry to inmates and their families- something she never envisioned doing.
This book encouraged me to move forward despite life?s storms yet pursue honesty and transparency in my relationship with God and others. The author includes testimonies of several people she knows who have overcome crushing circumstances with God?s help. My hope is that you add this title to your reading list and find encouragement through it as I have.