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With my husband now gone for at least 10 months, I keep saying it is time for me to find my new normal. Life without him is different. How could it be anything but different?

Well then I go and pick up a book by Jennie Allen called Anything. It's a book I've wanted to read for quite some time. I love how God knows when the time is right.

So as I search for my new normal and wonder what it will look like, I eventually get to these words from Jennie,

“What if heaven and God and forever became our normal?”

What if? 

The thing is, as I look for a new normal, the one thing I know I need to have is more of Him. Seriously, I know I cannot get through a single day without Him. But am I making Him everything? Am I still searching for other things to fill me while my husband is gone? Do I just want God to be a part of my normal or do I want to make Him my normal?

Because making God my normal comes down to the act of surrender. Am I willing to surrender everything for Him?

At a recent Thanksgiving service, person after person got up to share what they were thankful for. This time of listening was incredibly moving. Between sharing our thanks, we sang praise to Him. My cup was full.

Our pastor closed our time together asking, “What if we lost everything?” What if, like those in the Philippines and in Washington, Il, we had lost everything? Would we still find reasons to be thankful?

One by one we shouted out what we would still be thankful for. His love, His forgiveness, His mercies that are new every morning. His grace. 

I couldn't help but wonder still…If I really lost everything, would my faith remain strong? Am I truly rooted and grounded in Him enough not to be shaken by great loss?

I will not lie...I have visions of this war taking my husband. I have nightmares of two men in uniform approaching my door. There are times the nightmare ends there; there are times it continues to play out. Every time this occurs, I shed tears and plead to God not to take my husband from me

Please God bring him home safely.

My trust is in God that He will bring my husband home to me. Maybe though there is another question God is asking. Maybe He led me to Jennie’s book to ask me this question as I seek this new normal.

Is my trust in Him period? Will my trust be in Him regardless of what may happen?

The new year has begun and I’m journeying to make God, heaven and forever my new normal. To make Him my new normal, I know spending time in His Word needs to be a priority. My goal for 2014 is to read through the Bible in its entirety for the first time. God has also led me to choose the word JOY as my One Word for the New Year.

What does life look like when we make God, heaven and forever our normal? I’m still discovering this. But, I can say as I seek Him, peace fills my heart and a new spring lightens my steps. I am learning to trust in Him and find joy regardless of my circumstances.

What if God, heaven, and forever became your new normal?


Beth Stiff is a wife, mom of two boys, and a mother-in-law. They are a military family with her husband in the Army Reserves and her oldest son in the Navy. Through over 20 years of marriage, Beth and her husband have been through a lot, but their love for each other is stronger than ever. 

Beth loves Jesus, family, friends, reading, and a hot cup of coffee to begin her day. She writes on her blog, Simply Beth, about how her relationship with Jesus has changed her life. Her promise is to always speak from the heart...to speak with love. 

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