Thursday, August 15, 2013

A New Definition Of Normal

It was with exhilarating joy that I walked into my house on Friday 9th, 2013, knowing that I am back home to stay and not on a day visit. A number of things had changed, the three oxygen reservoirs were gone. And there were no more blue tubes lining the stairway and the floor in the sitting room. Hallelujah! It was pure joy.

On the following Sunday, with joy overflowing everywhere I was received back into the church. I walked to the altar and with my family besides me, we gave thanks to God for keeping me alive and for bringing me back into His house. We sang "Praise My Soul The King Of Heaven" and "I Am A Living Testimony" by the Mighty Clouds Of Joy. I could sing again. Isn't God wonderful?

I noticed another change, we were not in a hurry to leave the church immediately after the service, because I was running out of oxygen. We had time to share fellowship with the brethren and our friends. Praise be to God.

Dealing With Change:

After a few days back at home, I was quick to realize that our definition of normal had changed. We had to implement a number of changes in the way we do things in order to accommodate the changes that had taken place in my life. There were moments in these past few days that I felt overwhelmed by these changes. At such moments I had to quickly remind myself that I have been singing, "I could have been dead and gone, but You kept me living on. I thank You, Lord, I'm still alive."

Change comes to us in diverse way through our experiences and sometimes, through the challenges we face. It could be the death of a loved one, ill-health, loss of a job, loss of limbs, broken relationships, change in location, failed project and accidents to name but a few. In most cases, we are not given time to prepare for change. It could take just a phone-call.

Things may never be the same again after such changes. I watched a film yesterday called "Courageous." In it, the Pastor said, while counselling the grief-stricken Mitchell whose nine year old daughter just died, that dealing with grief is like dealing with an amputation, because every amputee knows that that you will heal but you will never be the same again. This hit me like a thunderbolt because I know just how true that is. 

Change brings brand new beginnings.

As I adapt to this new phase on my life, I know that there are some things that will never be the same again. A major change has occurred in my life. As the Pastor I mentioned earlier also said, you can choose to be angry with God for what you have lost and what you can not have again or you can choose to be thankful for what you had, what you now have and what you can still have if you entrust your life into God's hands.

Ultimately, your change, whatever it is, can become a change for good depending on your attitude and your posture towards God. Because God always work all things together for our good.

Job had to deal with a massive change in his life, after the loss of his children, property and health, but no where in the entire book was it recorded that he was angry with God. He did not sin or charge God foolishly. Notice his posture of resignation to the sovereign will of God in his period of adversity (Job 1: 21-22).

Learning To Persevere:

In my blog post last week, I discussed enduring hardships, trials and suffering. I had the opportunity to discuss with a number of friends during the past week on this subject, and it appeared that often Christians are ill-prepared to endure hardship or to persevere through it. As soon as something goes wrong and not in accordance to their expectations, they get angry with God become sour in their attitude.

Jesus learnt obedience through the things He suffered, and He is the Son of God. This experience made Him to be perfectly equipped to become the Author and Source of eternal salvation (Heb. 5: 8-9). Christ's sonship did not exempt Him from obedience, suffering or change.

How can we as His co-heirs think that in our walk with Him, we will not partake of His suffering if we are to partake in His glory when it is revealed. We also being sons of God are not exempted from suffering, challenges and changes. These are instructive in deepening our knowledge of God and by them we learn experience. If we endure with Him, we will also reign with Him (2Tim. 2:12).

How do we learn perseverance if we have no reason to persevere?

How do we learn to be steadfast during trials if we are not tested?

How do we learn patient endurance if there no challenges to endure?

Yet, the Bible encourages us to add all these qualities to our faith so that we can become fully matured. Because, if we possess these qualities in increasing measures, they will keep us from being idle and unfruitful in our knowledge of Jesus Christ. Whosoever lacks these qualities is short-sighted  and spiritually blind. We are therefore admonished to be all the more eager to make our calling as Christians sure.

Perseverance, patient endurance and steadfastness are essential qualities for fruitful Christianity. They only come through what we suffer when we go through trials and testing. All these bring about changes in our lives. They define a new normal for us.

Through this new definition of normal, we are equipped to fulfil our God-given purpose and destiny.

This song by the Brooklyn Tabernacle ministered to me in one of those moments when I felt overwhelmed.

For every mountain You've brought me over. 
For every trial You've seen me through. 
For every blessing, hallelujah; 
for this I give You praise.

Dear Friends, whatever change is taking place in your life at this moment, I pray that the superabundant grace of God may richly abound to you as you learn to persevere through it.


  1. Oh sister Irene, what a joy to read about your return to church!! I wish I was there. My eyes fill with tears to imagie that. God is wonderful. God is faithful and you are a true living testimony. Praise be to God!! You are right to say we are not prepared for changes, but that's part of or moving in life, right? Thank you for your teachings. Keep blessed. Much love.

    1. It's always great to read from you, Juliana. I missed seeing you in church on Sunday and sharing fellowship with you. The change that comes with relocation also offers opportunities for new beginnings. I hope you have found a vibrant church out there. Warm thots and God bless.

  2. Amen and amen,Irene. So glad you are home. May His name be praised always.

    1. Thanks, CN. It is really great to be back at home. I give God all the praise. You are much appreciated.

  3. There is a glory waiting to be fully revealed...the glory of 'the God of the Amazing Grace of Great Signs and Great Wonders in the Life of Irene Olumese'...And as it has begun, may it continue with you! Undoubtedly, my spirit gives me assurance...we are just beginning to see the manifestation of the glory of God in your life sister...For your pain and shame, you shall receive more than double blessing and honour. The thief has been caught and the Lord himself shall exact your restoration in seven-fold. He himself is the finisher, the perfecter and he shall make all things goodly beautiful, including our faith. All glory and praise be unto his holy name. We thank him...

    1. My dear Aburo, I give all praise and glory to God. It shall indeed be marvellous in our sight when His plans and purpose for my life are fully manifested. I wait with great expectation and hope. Thank you very much for your prayers, encouragement and support. I'm blessed to have you as my brother. God bless you richly.

  4. We reverence and glorify our Lord Jesus Christ for fulfilling His promise to His faithful one. You are indeed the apple of God's eye. Thank you for this edition "A new definition of normal" and for reminding us to tackle our trials looking up to Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith. May God continue to show His blessings upon you and family.

    1. My dear Sister Irene, thank you so much for your encouraging words. God bless you richly. It is indeed by the grace of God. Finally, you succeeded with the comments :-) Warm wishes to you and yours.


Thank you for taking time to share your thoughts and comments. I appreciate you. God bless you.