There’s a place I’ve always wanted to live but have only seen from afar. Other people live there. I think. At least it looks like they do. A few times I visited this place in a dream, but then I woke.
I’m not allowed to go there, you see, because of this thing I live with that most women never do. They have what I want more than anything. They have what I don’t. They have a home in a place called…
I’ve had the thought “if only…” about a hundred million times. But this thing is always there, messing with the rhyme. Blocking the way to Normal.
Of course, she lives in that place called Normal, so does he, along with him and her. They all live there in their normal homes and they drive their normal cars and drop their normal kids off at a normal school and then they go to a normal job.
Only they don’t really live there, do they?
At least not for any length of time. That thing they struggle with, the thing that blocks their rhyme, is every bit as real. It’s just different than mine.
Normal is a fiction, a fairy tale, a farce. It is a city with no citizens, a ghost town filled with ghosts. It is a neighborhood of vacant shops and restaurants, churches and homes, but no folks to fill them. It is the Christmas village on the mantle with make-believe people in a make-believe time. Perfect. Idyllic. Blissful. Tranquil. Sublime.
Why? Why do I want to live there so desperately?
Surely any citizen of Normal would be naïve and shallow, untested and weak. Surely, she couldn’t accomplish anything significant or special, or even satisfying. Or unique.
And yet… Normal occupies my mind like a catchy tune that I just can’t shake. I sing that song over and over and all the while, it makes me ache.
Yes, that woman has it all!
But what I don’t know, what I can’t see, is that she looks at me and longs for the thing I wrap my arms around, the thing I take for granted. The thing that blocks her way to the tantalizing shore. The thing all the other women in her elusive land of Normal have.
A thing… that never even crosses my mind.
Normal is the siren that beckons from the rocky shore, calling us to come. We embark on a never-ending journey to get there, but this jagged obstacle stands in the way. The sharp edges cut us, leaving scars we cannot hide. We cannot land. We cannot live there.
We cannot be Normal.
No one can.
You see, Normal is one of the Devil’s greatest hits. “Everyone lives there,” he says. “But you—you never will.”
It is a half-truth, you know, because that jagged obstacle is real. Oh, so very real.
But God says something very different about you. He says, “That thing that keeps you from Normal is your strength. It beckons you to another shore. The shore where My grace abounds in your weakness, where you press into the fullness of who I am and who I’ve called you to be.”
If you were Normal you wouldn’t need Him. Normal people don’t need God. Which means Normal people don’t exist.
We weren’t created to be Normal. We were created to be needy, in need of a God who covers the weak, lost, dying, broken, and barren places in our lives.
Oh, dear God, give us a new song…
“And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness’.” (2 Corinthians 12:9)
Heavenly Father, help us to reject the lie of Normal and embrace the truth of Need, knowing that You meet us in this tender place, and there You cover us with Your grace.
Catherine Segars is an award-winning actress and playwright — turned stay-at-home-mother—turned author, podcaster, speaker and blogger. She is dedicated to helping parents raise Godly kids in an ungodly world.
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