Embracing the New Normal
I remember the first days in 2011 after I got off the plane here in Indonesia. So many strange things surrounded me. Motorcycles piled up with 4 or 5 people at a time. Street vendors constantly and vigorously selling me anything and everything. And rice for EVERY meal. I kept reminding myself, this is your new normal.
New normal. It’s a popular phrase lately as we adjust to life in a post-pandemic world. New protocols, new ways of shopping, dining, traveling and relating to each other. New ways of doing school.
(Above) I teach music through dance to grade 3 students.
Here on the Island of Promise, our kids are finally able to come to school, albeit in shifts and for a maximum of two hours per day. No more hugs from teachers, snack time, or close proximity partner work. But finally our kids are back to school! We praise God for this. Over the last year and a half of this pandemic, many of our students have been stunted in their reading and writing skills, with little opportunity to learn. Now, our kids are back, and we can finally teach them again. Not only teach them, but love them too. New normal.
My husband and I recently entered our own new normal. A few months ago, we gave birth to our first son. Talk about new! I had no idea what was in store. Before you become a parent you hear the stories of sleepless nights and how a baby changes your life, but it takes on a whole new meaning to experience it. We are still adapting to our new normal, which is of course full of challenges. But there are amazing parts of this new normal as well. His bright little smile that wakes us in the morning. His squishy arms and legs that hug us. I can’t wait to come home from school each day to hug him and kiss his chubby cheeks. We are so thankful for the blessings this new normal has brought us.
As we entered into this new year, I was reminded of Paul’s words to the Corinthians: “This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!” (2 Corinthians 5:17) Sometimes new beginnings and new normals can be intimidating. Uncomfortable. Scary. Sometimes when we enter a new season in our lives, we have expectations of what that new season will be like, but then what we experience is entirely different. But I love the use of punctuation in this verse. New life has begun! Newness can be so exciting. Newness pushes us to grow, to be better. Newness brings opportunity.
In the beginning of this new year, my prayer for all of us is that we may embrace the newness this year brings us, and strive for new life in Christ.
Happy New Year! May God bless you.