What exactly is normal? Your guess is as good as mine. I have searched and attempted to figure out what normal is for a long time. Each person’s definition of normal is different. My normal and yours are not exactly the same. When I was younger I thought being normal meant having a successful career. Later, normal meant I would have a husband who would love me unconditionally and children who played every sport. When the husband I thought I needed didn’t work out so well, I had no idea what normal meant.
My definition of normal was skewed and lost in the rubble of my first marriage. My focus switched from being a wife and a mother to just being a mother. I had a good job, but I was back at home with mom and dad. I love my parents, but did not want to stay there long. I simply had to capture my own normal life.
Enter the second husband. Soon after my first divorce, I still searched for normal. I married another man and we had a blended family together. After almost seven years, I still didn’t have the normal I thought I wanted. There seemed to be more I was missing. Then comes divorce number two. Is this normal? Is this the way my life is supposed to end up? Normal couldn’t be farther from my grasp.
I dated a boy in high school and we were engaged. I broke his heart. He was in the Navy and I was still in school. In the beginning of our relationship, I thought he was going to give me my normal, but the closer our marriage came the more fearful I became; so I dumped him. (That’s how he describes it, anyway.) Being only 17, fear of leaving my family set in and I just couldn’t see myself away from them. I should have gone about it a different way, but I was too young to see it then.
Fast forward twenty years, Patrick and I reconnected and began our lives together. We married on October 10, 2010. That’s right, 10-10-10. We thought it was cool and we were completely swept up in the rekindled romance after over twenty years apart. We also knew age was not exactly on our side and that anniversary would be easy for both of us to remember. I also thought I had finally found my normal. We bought a house and started our life. Our life consisted of waking up, going to work, coming home, eating dinner, going to bed and doing it all again the next day. So, this is normal? Ugh! How boring!
Then one day, it hit me. I had been searching for normal for so long, but I didn’t really know what it meant to have a normal life. Each of us has a different normal. Since I was not born into a rich and famous family, it is not normal for me to jump on a jet plane and go to Paris for the weekend. Since my children are all grown and out of the house, it is not normal for me to go to ball games and birthday parties anymore. Since I am not a top executive in a multi-million dollar corporation, it is not normal for me to be in high-powered business meetings everyday and discuss sales and profit-margins. I am doing my normal, right now, this second and each day. My normal is doing exactly what I am supposed to be doing according to God’s will for me.
My normal is having a loving, supportive husband washing dishes while I pursue my dream. My normal is having my three dogs snoring beside me on the couch as I write. My normal is falling asleep on the couch in the middle of a movie on a Saturday night. My normal may be boring to some, but to me it is exactly what it should be.
I thank God I no longer have the kind of normal that is an abusive marriage. I do not have the kind of normal that involves drugs, prison or sickness. I am blessed with the normal I have and it is exactly the way my story is being written every day by the One who created me. He knew how my story would go before I was born and He knows how it will end. For that I am humbly grateful.
This is my story, what's yours? Click on the "Tell Me Your Story" link I may even contact you for permission to use your story as a featured post in the future!
Until next week,