Being disabled is also to be adaptive. I must be adaptive to the “new normal” until it becomes my own.

All around me is the “normal” world from which I’ve come. People move quickly everywhere, like ants on hot concrete, multi-tasking on their cell phones while they go; not necessarily being efficient with every move, although thinking they are.

As for me, my movements are much less frenetic, as each direction of effort is intentional, even calculated, for efficiency. Why? Because my “new normal” requires it, if I am to accomplish anything, and stay upright at the same time.

Oh how I miss the world of normal! I fit in, like everyone else. I was able to naturally come and go, doing many things quickly if I needed to. Although I was never a fan of “The Rat Race,” I enjoyed jogging along with others at my own pace on the same track. There was a rhythm to my day, not a reaction to it. Although I didn’t seek to control my Life or have it control me, I relinquished much of it to the Lord while keeping some of it for myself.

Now, it seems, much of Life has sought to take hold of me. What I once favored as my own, was lost to disease merely years ago, and what I’m not able to find or restore has become for me my “new normal,” with which to live. I must adapt to it, not it to me.

Adaption is not normal! There is a degree of tension between what is and what should be (or once was). Necessary changes though, can be exhausting.

Frustration frequently nips at me like a chained dog seeking to control its territory. If I let it get out of control it will bite me, and I will be further disabled. I must show it my “alpha side” and hold my ground. The territory of new normal is mine! I must own it.

Adaption is a process and a practice. It will be an ongoing process as I encounter things not currently mastered, and I must practice what I have learned until I master it. Many things that “were” in my normal world have become “not” in my new world, which aren’t to be dismissed or ignored.

I must become adaptive. Things that were originally perceived as one action are actually broken down to several. My new world has become one of realizing connecting components; parts that must be mastered and then applied in correct order. To fail to do so will be to immediately stumble, fall, or fail.

A decision to simply go and get something, now requires intentional assessment of what I must do, either there or on the way, that will insure my time and efforts are not wasted. It brings the practice of good stewardship into a whole new light! It is so easy to waste what is not appreciated. I knew that before but I KNOW it much more now.

Fortunately there are many who are caring and compassionate along the way, offering to help me – as one disabled – with whatever obstacle I face. If anything, my own pride is my biggest obstacle. Pride must be overcome. It must die. Such is painful, but true.

So I need to un-hesitantly practice acceptance as well as thankfulness; receiving as well as giving. I must become lesser, that others become greater in their maturing practice of love.

In accepting the benevolent actions of others, I must remember that I was once also eager to assist others in need, with no expectation of reciprocation. It’s easy to label myself “a burden.” It’s much harder to view myself as a blessing. Indeed, the question may arise, “How can being disabled also be a blessing?” The process of discovering how, is daily mine.

So, in many ways, “disabled” can mean a new ability to be adaptive. I am an alien in a world I once knew as “normal,” although still extremely familiar to me. What is not as familiar is my “new normal” world. The goal in it, therefore, is “to live free or die.” As for me, I want to live!

And may the Lord teach me the skills to do so. ( –7/19 RWO)

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
Philippians 2:3-4 NIV