“Don’t be afraid to go where God wants to take you.The world around us tugs for our wants and desires. It’s so subtle that we don’t even recognize it at times. We have to be on guard at all times. I know in my own mind I can be distracted so easily by so many things. Resting in the one true God is the only place to be.” -Denise Crosby
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you- Matthew 6:33
You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness– Romans 6:18
If you were of the world, the world would love you as its own; but because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you- John 15:19
What do all of these verses have in common? (Besides being evidences of how God’s grace moves us into a life of righteousness) They all bring up the fact that following God means going against the world. God says, follow me! I will provide! I will bring you comfort! I will bring you joy! The world says, be like everyone else! Fit in! Get all that you can! Find comfort and pleasure in whatever you want! Make your own “joy.”
We have two opposing views here, don’t we? This would mean that choosing one way would be rejecting the other, wouldn’t it? And not only that, but if almost everyone is choosing one path and you feel called to go down another, what does that make you? Normal? Ha, it makes you anything but! It makes you the weirdo, the outcast, the rebel. Your sense of normality wouldn’t be able to be defined with the majority because the majority would most likely look at you as the fool.
So, what do we do? We can either choose to hate the idea of not being like by everyone else. We can choose to provide our own comforts, our own agendas, be our own god’s (because that just feels safer if we’re being honest, does it not?) Or…. we can choose to look and take in the love, grace, and glory, of the Mighty King who created the universe with a word, and who chooses to love us with the same amount of power, and say…why be normal? God has already demonstrated that He loves me deeply. Where else would I go? What else could i possibly turn to?
Why be normal?
This is something my mother said to us all the time while my two brothers, sister, and I were growing up. And I will never forget it. It changed my life. And not just the fact that she would say it, but because she chose to live it out everyday.
Let’s give her a rundown, shall we?
5 kids in today’s world? Why be normal?
Faithful wife, never divorced, even though tough times hit? Why be normal?
Stay at home mom/wife? Why be normal?
Homeschooling mom? Why be normal?
Leader, mentor, teacher to women not only at her church but all throughout her city? Why be normal?
You get my point?
That said, I know she would kill me if I didn’t mention the truth of the fact that it was her perfect Father who equipped her to lead the life she has. And I also know this. Because my mother need’s God’s grace just as much as you or me. I know there were times while our dad was oversees serving in the military while she stayed home alone with 4 small crying children when she must have asked, “why can’t I be normal?” I know there were times when she would look at the lives of her friends, out talking about their careers and experiences, when she asked “why can’t I be normal?”
I remember a time when us children were young and my mom was doing her best to start our homeschool day off with some time in the word of God. (She really wanted us to know the love of Jesus). But for some reason, we were just not having it that day. We were all being rude and talking back, and not caring about listening to one thing my mom had to say from scripture. Finally, after multiple failed attempts to love her children the best way she knew how, she screamed “That’s it!” And went up i to her bedroom, slammed her door, with eyes full of tears, leaving my siblings and I sitting at the kitchen table by ourselves. Why can’t I be normal? I’m sure she thought. God, why am I not like other mom’s who can just put their kids in school, get a “real job” and do things that make me the happiest? I should just give up. She must have thought all of this with tears, loneliness, confusion, and frustration, in her eyes. She must have. But like I said, my mom needs God’s grace. And through His love, He wiped away her tears, took her hand, lead her back downstairs to her kids, as she opened up her bible and continued to teach us about Jesus….(after she took away our video game privileges).
God had a plan (He always does). He knew that my mom’s “against the norm” way of life would lead to Him doing work on our entire family’s heart.
Mom…through you not giving into the ways of the world, God has used you to standby, speak into, love, and serve a man who is now Godly husband who loves his wife, loves his kids, and loves his church.
Through you not giving into the ways of the world, God has given you the heart to adopt a beautiful baby boy who could have ended up in the worst situations, but now gets to grow up in a safe, loving, home where he’ll get to hear about Jesus and grow into an awesome man. My brother
Through you not giving into the ways of the world, God has used you to lead your four children into a life and love with His son Jesus. And through this love, we are all now (in our own ways) out in the world sharing and living out the gospel with hundreds of people.
Through you not giving into the ways of the world, God has used you to speak truth into so many women’s lives. They now know that they can live life with a purpose and a plan that’s far greater than they could have ever imagined.
So, to you mom. I say thank you. You are my mentor, my inspiration, my beautiful mother, and my best friend
And to anyone else reading this, I want to tell you that the love Jesus is so good…it changes lives. It provides far more for you than anything else this world has to offer. Like a lighthouse, He always brings you back to safety. So, I end by asking you….why be normal?
“Remember God sees the big picture. It is so easy to get tripped up on what is right in front of us-focusing on a distorted view. Instead, let us put our focus where it rightly belongs-Jesus Christ“- Denise Crosby