How Do You Handle A New Normal?

My friend could walk and feed herself a year ago.

She could hug her husband, hold her grandchildren, use her mobile phone, drive a car. Pull the bedspread over her shoulders when she was cold at night.

Now Vicki’s life is a new kind of normal.

Physical therapy, medical appointments, caregivers, pain pills, temporarily living with her husband in their married daughter’s home, learning to walk by faith and not by sight.

Doctors predict improvement, but rehabilitation is a slow process. There are never guarantees in life, but there is gratitude. And Vicki is the first to praise God’s mercies and provision in this new normal.

My friend, Terrie, and I visited our mutual friend. A married couple also came. We gathered around the dining room table to eat pancakes, talk, laugh, listen, pray. Tried not to cry.

But it was no small matter—and I doubt it went unnoticed—that a stranger sat among us. The caregiver tried to be inconspicuous as she fed Vicki, waited for her to chew, and swallow. Wiped her mouth and held a glass of orange juice to her lips.

Before we left, Terrie offered to massage Vicki’s feet with lotion.

Vicki smiled. “That’d be great. Thank you.”

Terrie sat on the floor in front of the wheelchair. She removed Vicki’s tennis shoe and compression sock. We mentioned the blue polish on her toenails. My eyes watered (thus the blurry photo) as I watched my friend gently massage and caress Vicki’s feet and the calves of her weak legs.

I thought of the woman in the Bible—who’d been forgiven much—washing Jesus’ feet with her tears; drying them with her long hair.

Did my two friends view this foot massage as a humble, sacred moment?

I snapped a photo to remember how quickly life can change. A visual reminder that no act of kindness is too small if we want others to know that we care.

I wondered how Vicki felt, confined in a wheelchair, allowing people to feed her and massage her feet. Did she swallow her pride? Mentally beat her breast, ‘Why me, Lord?’ Or did she feel loved and cherished?

I can’t speak for Vicki—and wouldn’t share her thoughts if I knew—but I can say this.

From the time we met, this soft-spoken woman’s been a prayer warrior. I’ve seen her rely on the Lord Jesus to sustain her in previous trials, and her stalwart faith hasn’t changed.

Vicki told us that her grandson called her “a Bible-reading Grandma.” She can’t hold her Bible now, but God’s Word upholds her.

For years ago, Vicki chose to immerse herself in scripture. She learned to trust in a sovereign God long before this storm blew into her life. And by God’s grace, she will not be moved even in this.

Author: Karen Foster

I'd like to say I've changed, but after decades of living, I still have the same four passions. My relationship with Jesus, spending time with family, attending live theater, and writing devotions & first-person stories about a loving, faithful God who reveals Himself in our every day circumstances.

12 thoughts on “How Do You Handle A New Normal?”

  1. This is so beautiful and breathtaking! What a joy it is to know and be loved by Jesus! I can feel the joy of God in every word that was written. I can see the emotion in the picture . I to am facing a new normal and I give God praise that the story didn’t happen another way. May God continue to bless you and your friends and may His light continue to shine through you all! Thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thank You for the kind words. I’m always amazed how the Lord gives us a message to share that touches another soul. If only humans spent more time encouraging each other rather than pointing out the negative. You words encouraged me! Thanks for taking the time to comment. And may the Lord empower you to live your new normal with the joy of the Lord and His peace that defies understanding.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Karen. This is a beautiful reflection on a visit with your friend Vickie. Her strength in the Lord shines brightly through your words. Thank you for sharing this powerful and practical post on what it means to handle a new normal.

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  3. With all the mail that comes these days, it is truly a treat when a personal card or letter is among them. This morning I found a card in the laundry basket from my husband (he’s traveling and won’t be home until June 10th). It only said six words, but was a tremendous encouragement. I don’t know when I’ll come across another card, but for today those six words sustains me as I miss him and pray for his safe travels and effective ministry. I agree, no act of kindness is too small.

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  4. Oh, my friend, this is wonderful. You captured the sweetness, the emotions, the sense of change, helplessness yet the power of love, friendship and above all, God. You are gifted!! Excellent article.

    Thank you 💞

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

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    1. You’re prejudice. HA And a jewel of a friend. I don’t know that my words will ever do the situation justice, but if it prompts people to reach out to someone, then God be praised!!

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  5. It’s so true that no act of kindness is too small. I think that it’s in those “small acts” that God’s heart is most visible to the one suffering. What a treat to be able to visit with her and be used by God to make her feel so loved. ♡

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    1. I think the tendency is to pray for someone and send well wishes shortly after an accident or surgery. And then assume that no news is good news. When in fact, people with chronic health issues or disabilities are still coping one day at a time and feel isolated. The price of a stamp and a handwritten note can go a long way to encourage folks at just the right time.

      Liked by 1 person

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