Not Normal

My friend recently gave me a book to read called Anything by Jennie Allen. I’m only a few chapters in, since it is one of those books where you take your time to think about each new idea. It’s good. Really good. The chapter I read this morning was about abandoning entitlement. I didn’t expect the conviction I’m feeling now when I went into reading this chapter.

For most of our marriage, I’ve told people and Zane that I’m okay with being average. I don’t need to go out and be well known for all these different accomplishments (though if I got an award for being the best nanny ever, I probably wouldn’t say no), or to be a “big shot” in any way. Living in a small town, doing the little things well and intentionally…that’s what I intended to do. Have kids, raise them to love Jesus, be a wife to Zane, help out at church, invest in teens and children and friends…

The author pointed out, as we continue to get closer to “normal” (house, kids, good schools, good church..), sometimes God gets pushed out of the picture. We learn to rely on the things instead of the giver of the things. Sometimes, the more we become like everyone else, we hold tightly to the things of this earth, the things that make us the same, and we aren’t willing to let go.

Then there was the paragraph about her friend who was trying to get pregnant for a long time (sound familiar?) and she was in a lot of emotional pain because of that. But in addition to the not getting pregnant part, she was also feeling alone because everyone around her was having babies and being parents and she felt left out. And when I read those words, I knew that is part of my sadness too. I feel left out. I feel like I’m not good enough because this desire I have hasn’t happened for us and everyone else seems to be cashing in. I feel alone, and I don’t like that.

I do feel entitled. I live like I deserve whatever I want and that’s not true. When I’m not grateful for the many gifts God has already bestowed upon me (like my hot husband), I get cranky and irritable and then nothing ever seems like it is enough. I’m also scared of being different and being left behind.

“Normal” isn’t bad, especially when you are living in it with surrender (as I’m learning), but when it is held to this idol-like standard, that’s when God gets squished out. I don’t want to squish God out of my life. Maybe the way my life has taken a different turn from what I expected was a good thing. Perhaps I’m learning to hold blessings loosely in my hands. Perhaps I need to truly say to God that I’ll follow him, even if it means never being normal or average. What if I’m supposed to be more?

I have a lot to think about. Thank goodness I’m on vacation and surrounded by mountains. I feel smaller, in a good way, and I think that’s a good place to be in.

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