n o r m a l

n o r m a l

What we call normal, God calls broken. ~Steven Furtick

It’s now level 7 of Jumungy as the state I live in has more lockdowns due to COVID effecting people in the second wave. I wrote what follows at the start of the first wave lockdowns.

It goes like this….

This morning when I couldn’t sleep I found myself in Facebook land. I don’t spend a lot of time in Facebook during “normal” hours. It’s full of more adds than people I know. I check on those who I do life with, and to be honest, I’m often just checking who and how many liked my last post. Hense, I don’t post like I used to for a reason.

What I found this week was Steven Furtick speaking at his Sunday online service. Last week it was Louie Gigglio. It’s this content of my feed that I am more conscious of. Today, for the first time I have started writing without first having an image to write too. The idea of this being our new normal, what we are yet to see, is the place God is trying to get us too. To get me to.

And there’s the image. In church today with my local family, I started work on this image. An eye looking up in expectation. Not to get back to the known, but looking forward to the unknown, the uncomfortable, the new normal God’s going to create from this pandemic. Yet resting in full peace like Jesus did while he slept through the storm on the boat….. while the disciples panicked. I want this confidence and peace in the turmoil. I desire a new normal because the current one is not good for me.

I desire this peace for me and my family in this time of the unknown. Until last week we were a 3 person working family. This is rapidly changing and I am more thankful than ever for the preparation and provision that God has provided for a time such as this.

Last week I had the chance to walk back onto my work place campus and meet with some of my VCE students briefly as I handed out A2 bags of art materials so they wouldn’t be disadvantaged while they are working from home. I gave myself 45 minutes to put together 8 kits of items from lists they had sent to me. It was a workout to say the least. What I realised while I was there was I missed my teaching space. It’s only been 4 weeks and 2 of them were term break holidays.

I miss what happens in this space. The demostrations of what we’re exploring with each day. This is the space where I see students working, were I walk around the class engaging each student at the level they are at in their skill development. Seeing where they struggle and demonstrate again the techniques they are learning. It’s where I encourage, when I see they get it, but they can’t see it yet, and for those who get it, advance them onto the next task, or advance them to new media.

I miss the students.

I miss this “normal”.

What I am reminded of though is that this is the year I needed a time of rest. It would be the year started with the idea that maybe teaching wasn’t for me. I couldn’t maintain the expectations I had on me and the ones I placed on myself were even higher.

Last year was the year that nearly broke me. It was the year that nearly broke many people. I know I am not alone in that, but I can only speak into mine. This year started with doubt in my ability to lead. Not knowing if I was in the right place, with little to offer. 2020 needed to bring new vision, and change. And I laugh a tired exhausted laugh just 2 weeks into remote teaching.

This year sure brought change. It also reminded me of all the same lies the enemy had been reminding me. Not good enough. Not smart enough. Not young enough. That’s a funny one, because it used to be too young. Not talented enough. Not healthy enough. Lazy. Forgotten. Alone. The list is long. The list is painful. The list is hard to navigated alone.

What this year has reminded me of is I have a God that sees all these things and disqualifies the negative daily. I have amazing mentors that pray for me and reach out, but everyone has their own lives too. It’s also why I see a professional regularly to unpack and to vent and to gain some human connection on the issues that are too weighty for others to carry.

This battle with these words is consistent, a cycle on repeat that is designed to wear me out. This is where I have been.

But the vision is different now.

You see, in all the repeat lies of the enemy designed to wear me out, are the key points that remind me of Gods truth over my life every time I hear them.

God is my cornerstone

He is my rock

He has a plan and purpose for my life

I am loved

I am not forgotten

He calls me my name

He carries me

He strengthens me

He transforms me

He is enough

I am enough

I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Not to be fearful. I am made in the image of God.

God sees it all. I can’t. When he made creation he knew it would need a saviour. When Noah faithfully constructed an ark in a dry land that had not seen rain, he did it without question because he knew the voice of God when he spoke.

And that brings me to today…

Seven weeks of remote teaching have now past. Four weeks of on campus teaching that has seen my art room transformed like I could have never imagined before Jumungy started. Now it’s the start of the second week of school holidays and the second wave is yet to reach its full effect. I am currently in a safe area, but the numbers are rising everywhere. What will work look like next week is my latest thought.

God has a purpose for this time and I will remember his promises. I will speak out daily the putting on of the full armour of God and walking into this day ready for what ever it brings. The internal attacks will happen, but the more I focus on God when I hear them the quieter they get until I win that battle through God’s strength. I am reminded to focus on the truth of God.

What truth do you see and speak over your life each new day that negates the negative that comes in to steal and rob you of hope?