“New Normal”

There is a lot of sensitivity and controversy regarding the terminology “new normal”, and I get it. Many (nations!) are experiencing grief collectively and some more intimately. A lot of our comforts are gone, and to be frank, some. things. just. suck! Feel that, breathe, and release that, friend.

God is doing something interesting in this season that we can’t ignore. Honestly, aspects of this experience have been a bit like déjà vu for me. I’ve been here before, and I’m telling you: this is a temporary, great and loving time of preparation that can be so refining if we let it! *sings* “Let every hearrrt, prepare Him roooom!”

I don’t know about you, but my soul yearns for something new! I no longer want to settle for the old, warped, way anymore. Maybe you have to wrestle with the fact that you really liked the old way, even if it was a little toxic. Own and grieve your truth, but I really do hope that you can eventually get on board with the great things that God has in store for us. Don’t you want Jesus to return?! Well, there are some things that must take place inside, out.

We can all come out of this at a new level in Christ, closer to who we’re destined to be. Whatever test(s) that you’ve been administered in this season, I know that with The Helper (the Holy Spirit), you can pass it! Whatever personal storm you might be caught in, I know that you can walk through it peacefully with the Holy Spirit as your guide.

Once all of this COVID-19 social distancing mayhem is over, we will never be the same again. For our souls’ sake, there will be a new normal and it’s a good thing! Allow my heart to elaborate, the best way I know how…

The new normal was birthed in quarantine.
It stripped us of our rags
Destroying every seam
It looked like a nightmare
Until we discovered it’s disguise
Some questioned, some drew near
Started to prioritize and compromise

True colors readily revealed
While we all sat with God
Exposed and finally still
Comforted by His staff and His rod

Laid off, furloughed,
Working from home
Wearing a mask, keeping our distance
Spending time with family
And alone

Snacks and more snacks
Another email and zoom meeting
Online schooling in pajamas
Tiktok, Instagram, Facebook,
Yet the time is still fleeting

Can’t sit at a restaurant?
Face your fears
Have a seat at this table
‘Wash your hands all ye sinners’
Trust God…He’s able

Everything’s been factored in…
to The Master’s plan of perfection
Please believe we’re still winning
The news you hear is full of deception

6 feet apart, or else 6 feet under
Is what they say, and so it seems
Whatever
Just save our souls first, Jesus
Is all my heart screams

So serious about The Sabbath
He lent us time for keeps
A sigh of relief and contrite heart of worship
Peace…as the nation weeps

This isn’t a game of poker
#StayHome
No bids on covid, all in on GOD
Straighter posture for the weak
20/20 vision for the road we trod.

©2020 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson

Awakening Love

As I lay face up on the massage table, my personable and talkative masseuse chatted away about life, love and relationships. She was comfortable, giddy, and in need of conversation. Most of her clients had canceled for the day due to the weather and cabin fever was becoming.

After ranting for some time, she paused and must have realized that she’d shared so much about her and had gathered very little about me. I’m mostly okay with that.

I knew it was coming; it always does. It was my turn to share something of the subject. She asked, “So, do you have a husband or are you married?” Not sure what the difference was, but I felt something like the Samaritan woman at the well. Just kidding. Like a broken record on repeat, I casually responded, “no, not yet”. This seemed to thrust her towards the next question, “Well, do you have a boyfriend?” I casually responded again with a “no, not yet”. We both chuckled. I’ve done this many times before.

I asked her how she met her boyfriend and she embarrassingly shared how she bumped into him randomly at a store. I want to say it was Home Depot. They shared the aisle and she thought he was cute, so she asked for his input on 2 products she was trying to decide between. Smart girl. That was the beginning. A cute, and organic beginning.

I told her (and discovered simultaneously) that that is my fear. Though I say I would love for a romantic relationship to happen organically, it actually happening or almost happening frightens me. I get so awkward. I told her, I go into stores, see guys looking at me and think to myself…”please don’t look at me, I’m just here for celery.” I need to get out of my own way, but I just don’t know how to. This “leave me alone” sticker must be glued on. Anybody have some Goo Gone? Excuse me while I run to Home Depot, ha!

Maybe that’s an odd issue, and some would judge that it is an issue at all. Not wanting to be approached or addressed by attractive men?! Ridiculous? Maybe. I mean, I feel beautiful inside and out. But hear me out. I realized that fear of being approached was actually masked by this fear…

In my past romantic relationships, I have allowed men to lead me astray from my first love (God); we were unequally yoked. If there was a book about the history of me, you would see a trend of me choosing wolves in sheep’s clothing and constantly being preyed upon and deceived. Ugh. Over it.

He goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice. – John 10:4‭b-‬5 (NIV)

Scarcely had I passed them when I found the one my heart loves. I held him and would not let him go… – Song of Songs 3:4a (NIV)

You have no idea what a safe exhale of relief that second scripture is for me. It is true of my First Love, and a hopeful testimony of my second. Inserts heart eyes emoji.

Okay, that’s it. Instead of being continually anxious about this whole meeting my heart’s desire thing, I need to just address it in prayer right now. If that’s you too, then let us pray.

Lord, forgive me for being fearful. Help me to trust the authenticity of my relationship with you, check for the fruit of your spirit in others, and heed Your God-given discernment. I know that fear and love cannot live together, so I kick fear out and welcome love in Your timing. Continue to prepare me to be the woman you have destined me to be on earth as it is in heaven, bringing glory to Your great name. May I be a sheep that heeds Your voice only; undistracted by the calls of a stranger. May Thy kingdom come, and Your will be done. In the name of Yeshua, my Savior. Amen.

That’s it. That’s all.

©2019 • Chan’tel Nikole Grayson