Navigate the New Normal

The other day I saw fallen autumn leaves…in August! As time slips away (faster) each year, we navigate the new normal of seasons. These seasons aren’t simply flipping the calendar page, they often denote a change of life, a shift into what’s next. This can be difficult as we age whether on the back half of that hill or beginning the ascent. But one thing remains constant as always-God’s presence. Knowing He’s with us makes navigating the new normal less scary, more adventurous, and brings peace.

Watching older friends age well and younger friends lean into what’s next inspires me to dig into my new normal too. It can be daunting on the descent of life’s hill, but it doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of life to be lived. Different stages of life just mean different priorities, plans, and prayers. Daily life shifts from running on the field of parenting to watching their lives unfold from the sidelines. Or working at a job to working on what’s next. Again, different priorities, plans, and prayers! So how do we navigate the new normal well?

Every stage of life presents its own set of navigation issues. But just like we trust navigation applications because they know what’s ahead, we need to trust in God who knows everything. We have been created by Him, on purpose, for this time and place. He has a plan and we need to let Him lead us. This isn’t simple, especially when life takes an unexpected turn. It’s tempting and often easier to worry, wonder, or wander off course than stick to God’s plan. But let’s stay the course.

Here are a few ways I’m trying to navigate the new normal this season:

  1. Stay connected. Like those navigation apps, if we’re not connected, it’s hard to see where we’re going. Reading my Bible, connecting in prayer, Bible study, and worship keeps me connected to the One who has the ultimate map to my life. Making this a priority has helped in countless ways as I take one step after another following Him.
  2. Be still and listen. Quiet time in prayer or reading my Bible should be just that-quiet. But so often, I’m eager to get to what’s next and it’s hard to be still and listen to God in those moments. As best I can, (and praying for help) I try to eliminate distractions especially throughout my day to be still and listen to what God shares. It may be a big revelation or a quiet whisper, but I won’t hear it if I’m not still and listening.
  3. Hold our plans loosely. As a planner, this can be difficult. But holding my plans with open hands and surrendering them to God is important. Letting go of what I want and letting God direct my path has led to some amazing experiences in life. Reminding myself of this helps me to relax my grip and hold my plans loosely.
  4. Follow the detours. When planned paths aren’t working, it’s ok to follow the detours. It’s often along these unexpected routes, we experience new adventures and make memories we wouldn’t otherwise. But if we aren’t open to them, or hold our plans too tightly, we can miss these experiences. It may take longer or not be as envisioned, but let’s follow the God detours and see where they take us.

Navigating the new normal isn’t for the faint of heart. It’s easier to follow well-worn paths or lament unexpected turns. But opening our hearts and minds to follow God’s plans as we experience His constant presence is the key. The seasons of our life may change, but our God doesn’t. Let’s trust and follow His lead as we navigate into what’s next.

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