How to Cope with the New Normal
Strategies to help us cope, embrace, release and carry hope to others moving forward
Most of us love something new. New car, a new outfit, new jewelry, a new baby, new kitten or puppy.
We embrace the new very quickly without much thought, only the joy of the moment. Many times, we grasp the new in hopes of relieving ourselves of the old. New pet, loneliness goes. New outfit new confidence. New home, fresh new start.
Sometimes the new is thrust upon us as in this COVID-19. We are encountering a new normal. Other new things that are presented to us without the desire is the loss of a loved one or even a loved one moving away. Those are new things we don’t look forward to and wrestle with. We wrestle with the whys. Letting go is most difficult and takes time and work to allow God to bring us to and through this new normal. But remember, He is your strength, He is your comforter.
This morning I woke up in my new abode and excitedly jumped out of bed. I got dressed right away and made the bed complete with the fancy pillows on top. I bounced through my morning routine thinking to myself that I want to keep this routine. I want this to be my new normal.
I began to reflect on the idea of new routines, and the thought came to me. It takes 14 days to establish a new habit in our lives. Interesting that the time of quarantine is 14 days. Interesting that in this time we begin to seek the Lord, whether it is for the protection of loved ones or a quick ending to the endless boredom of being shut in, we are seeking Him.
How did we get out of the habit of spending time with God, of praying and seeking His will, His blessing, and His presence in our lives?
When our relationship began it was shiny and new — it was fun. It was an exciting new experience.
What we don’t think about when we receive something new is that there is always work to maintain it.
I have just read through Exodus. God brought the Israelites out of Egypt. They were given a new normal too. At first, it was exciting and new, but that soon wore off. They had to learn to trust God every step of the way. That took work! And they didn’t always get it right.
So how do we keep the new, new?
How do we keep it shiny; how do we keep our relationship with Him fresh, pulling us daily to Him? How do we keep our relationships new even with others?
It takes work.
Are you tempted to stop reading right there? I would be.
But pressing through is part of the work. God said to the Israelites — remember, I am the Lord your God who brought you out of Egypt. So many times, God reminded them of the goodness He laid before them, of His provision, of who he is, and that He chose them.
There are some strategies right there we can employ. Remember the good things, remember and practice in your mind the times when God has seen you through. Write them down, along with your gratitude and praise. Read His word to see how many times God saw the people of the Bible through.
Get to know God and who He is. I could write a whole blog on this! It is so amazing to me who God is. He is not just a God who does but a God who is.
So, remembering is a strategy to keep things new. Focus is part of remembering. With all the chaos right now, remember to focus on the fact that God is in control despite what it looks like. He has a plan and a purpose, and He will use everything for good when we love Him and trust him.
New habits, practicing them daily. Rehearsing in your mind how good it makes you feel when these things are done
New mindset. This takes diligence to think about the things that are good, right, holy, encouraging, edifying, etc. This takes work, especially right now when the news has so much fear and uncertainty.
I feel like I hear you say — but it is all so scary, and I am so anxious.
Yes, it is but peace is available to us. We have the Prince of Peace, we have a place of peace. Sometimes we must fight to hold that position of peace. That is where holding onto and knowing who God is really helps.
Guard the new. It is work, but it is so worth it.
This story is published in Koinonia — stories by Christians to encourage, entertain, and empower you in your faith, food, fitness, family, and fun.