One of my prayers during this pandemic is that my life doesn’t just “go back to normal.” My normal wasn’t working. My normal was too fast.
I need a new normal. And I suspect you might be looking for a new normal, too.
I want more nights of dinner at the table with my husband and movies on the couch. I want slow mornings with God and evening walks in my neighborhood. I want less “go go go,” and way more “slow slow slow.”
My soul needs it desperately.
While there has been much sadness and pain in the midst of COVID-19, if we look closely, we can also see the good God has been working together.
So, how can we endure the uncertainty and hardship while also sifting out the gold we want to take with us?
I’m not giving you a task or telling you you have to journal. I certainly don’t want to make anyone feel like they “have” to do anything while also navigating an incredibly difficult time.
When I say daily reflection, I just mean to sit down for a few minutes, think through your day, check in with your feelings, and really process it all with God. Think about what brought you peace, what brought you stress, and what you did that you want to experience every day.
Again, I’m not assigning meaningless tasks. We don’t always love making lists, but writing down the things we want to hold onto when this is all over is a powerful practice.
Think about the new routines and habits you’ve built through this season. Highlight in your mind the ones that have been the most restorative and life-giving. Then write down five things you would like to continue to do to re-center your soul and experience true joy and rest.
For me, every day, I want to read the Bible, go for a walk, drink a good cup of coffee (and a lot of water), call or text someone I care about, and show my husband how much I love him. They are all simple things that have a major impact on my day.
Life doesn’t have to be complicated to be beautiful.
Although I’m listing prayer third, it’s the most important. Through prayer, we ask God to search our hearts and weed out any bitter roots that are holding us back from the abundant life he offers.
Through prayer, we clearly see what we need to be grateful for, how God is working in our lives, and how we can better pursue his heart. We can pray against burnout and exhaustion, in Jesus’ name.
Most importantly, we praise God through prayer. The point of prayer isn’t to ask God to solve all our problems—although he does care about the things we care about. It’s also to thank him for who he is and to recognize how faithful he is through the good times and the bad times.
To do those three things every day, and all we need is a quiet space, God’s Word, and some paper. By going to God for guidance on what we can learn through every season of our lives, we calm our souls and remember that we will cross this sea. God will make a way, and we will be forever changed.
The truth is: We don’t want to be the same when it’s all over.
You don’t have to learn a new skill, renovate your home, or write a book to experience real heart change. You only need to sit with God and ask him to help you create a new normal that involves more rest, more peace, and more of him.
We can feel the heartache of this season while also seeking the beauty.
God is preparing our hearts for a slower, more intentional pace that will usher in more of his grace, joy, and abundance.
Kaitlin Chappell Rogers is a writer, wife, and woman of God living in Huntsville, AL with her baseball-coachin' husband, Caleb. She never meets a stranger and her love language is coffee. Kaitlin lives by Revelation 12:11 and strives to make an eternal difference whenever and wherever she can. You can get to know Kaitlin better by grabbing her first book, "Not from God: Taking Back the Narrative of Your Life," visiting kaitlinchappellrogers.com, or following her on Instagram!