In planning out my 31 Day project, I wanted to include words that weren’t always my own. So Saturdays are going to be Bounce Back days. I read a library worth of books during the desert journey, and one of my favorite was The Bounce Back Book by Karen Salmansohn. It wasn’t a book of great spiritual measure, but there was some real practical advice in these pages, the designer in me loved the layout with combination of colors, fonts, and images, and I loved that it was put together as tips with exercises designed to help you “thrive in the face of adversity, setbacks, and losses.”
Today, it's tips numbers 2 and 3 that I want to share. Because they’re so true and yet in the midst of trials and hard times, it’s so easy to lose sight of this truth.
#2 – What you’re going through right now is normal.
#3 – There is no such thing as normal.
Whatever your difficult circumstance, you are not alone. You are not being called out to suffer in silence and by yourself. God does not hate you. He has not abandoned you. He has not decided to make an example of you just to mess with you.
You may be going through illness, divorce, job loss, heatbreak, betrayal, a death in the family, economic struggles – maybe multiple things at once. Maybe you saw it coming. Maybe you didn’t.
Whatever your circumstance, you’re probably experiencing aftereffects on multiple levels; physical, emotional, spiritual, behavioral. All of these are normal. Even if no one else who has been through something similar is going through or has gone through the same thing. They’re not you. How you respond to these circumstances is unique to who you are and everything that has gone into creating the person that you have become.
The Bounce Back Book encourages, and I would strongly second, that you allow yourself time to recover. In the same way that physical wounds heal at different rates, so do emotional wounds and damage. Give yourself permission to heal. Don’t rush to get back to normal. It’s entirely possible that normal is going to look a lot different on the other side of your experience – on the other side of your dessert.
I know for the first few months (yes months) after my resignation, I did nothing that resembled a job search or to be perfectly honest, anything productive. I felt like I had run through a gauntlet of sociopathic boxers and I needed to re-learn how to breathe; how to sleep; how to be around other people without flinching; how to just be.
As you take a step back and take a breath, meditate on these words of David and consider how the Lord can be your shelter as you prepare to bounce back.
You are my hiding place; you will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance.
Psalm 32:7 NIV
Tomorrow: A Word from 1 Kings
I'd love to connect with you some more - stop on by the Three Bees Facebook Page or connect with me on Twitter @3BeesBlueBonnet. During the 31 Days Challenge, I'll be using the hashtags #desertjourney and #inspirationalandfaith80 if you'd like to join in or follow along. Let's continue the conversation!