Home > Blog > I Just Want Normality.

I Just Want Normality.

Currently my life is cyclical. It fluctuates in a 2-weekly pattern between well and unwell, between normality and nausea. In the well times, it is easy to pretend there is nothing wrong. It’s easy to pretend that life continues as normal, with power bills, rent and cooking. And then, just as normality feels as though it might last forever, it comes crashing to the ground with more chemo.

Chemo is a two weekly ordeal for me this time round. It is the punctuation mark at the end of the normal week, just to serve emphasis that normality is not a given, but a priviledge. Its fortnightly cycle comes around too soon to make you forget. But that is exactly what I wish I could do…. forget.

I want to forget that I have cancer. I want to forget that death is running me down faster than it should be. I want to forget that I will be putting friends, family and Hannah through so much heartache. I want to forget that whatever suffering that this world serves up is an indiscriminate force that choses no one in particular, but is as arbitrary as the direction of the wind.

And then I feel well again, beginning to feel like what life used be like for me. Pretending that normality is the way my life is going, that I am well, that Hannah and I will have family.

… Shattered by the next round of chemo….


The flip side of this desire for normality is of course, once we have it, we are never satisfied with it. Humans want more than normality. For me normality has become a commodity that is in rare supply, for most of you reading this, normality is the beige that keeps life from being one of extra-ordinary significance.

I covet normality, but normality just puts me with the masses. No more different that the next person.

This is what makes me want to strive for more than normality. Yes, I want the comfort that normality provides, but my circumstances are such that I will never have that. And so I strive for something bigger, something greater.

I strive for a life of significance.

Significance reaches out beyond our normality, it reaches beyond our suffering, and it makes a difference in the world. Significance is embracing the fact that each of us have the capability to change the world, regardless of our brokenness. Changing the world doesnt have to be on the scale of Ghandi or Nelson Mandella…. but it might be.

Changing the world is stepping outside of ourselves to reach out to those around us, to other people living normality. It demonstrates that life is something to be celebrated, and not a chore. It shows that brokenness is in fact a vessel to wholeness, its demonstrating that Christ’s love goes greater than any of our misgivings, any of our insecurities and to the core of who we are, redeeming us to something extra-ordinary, something significant.

I want normality in my life, because it is scarce. But I know normality is a pipe dream.

What I crave more than normality is significance, something that reaches beyond normalness and into the lives and hearts of those around me. I want the world to be a better place because I was here….. even if it is fleeting. I want the world to know that God’s plans are bigger than any we could ever concieve of for ourselves.

Bigger than normality.

…And then I have more chemo…

Thanks for Listening.

*NB The Gingerbread men were made by the lovely Jill Andrews. 🙂

  1. Louise
    February 9, 2010 at 8:54 pm

    The world already is a better place because you are in it. Sounds trite – but it is true.
    We are praying for you. Thank you for your courage and honesty.

  2. Frances
    February 10, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    This brings a very much sharper focus to our daily lives. Thank you.

  3. February 23, 2010 at 10:32 am

    This blog was hard for me to read. I remember so clearly my own two week cycle and how hard it eventually became after 10 cyles, 11, 12 to keep showing up at chemo when all I wanted to do was drive straight past the hospital and take a hike on the Abel Tasman, drink coffee with friends, or go home and watch my kids playing. I can barely recall my daughters first year of life because the chemo brain was so bad.
    God has already chosen to make you significant, or he wouldn’t have given such a smart and caring young man a cancer that couldn’t be cured. It may not become evident to you in this life what that significance is but Hannah will be your witness.
    Please give Hannah a squeeze for me.

    • Jared
      February 23, 2010 at 5:42 pm

      Thanks for you comment… Having only completed round 5, I can only dread what round 10, 11, and 12 might have in store for me. I think the first 4 -5 rounds have been pretty light on my compared to what the final ones will be. Its definitely a mental battle, which I know you understand :-).

  4. October 11, 2010 at 9:44 pm

    Ha ha, I am rapidly ploughing through your archives, thanks to an absent hubby and a comatose TV. The pull and longing for the “nice little life” (I quote John Eldredge) is so strong at times, but if we are walking with God, we don’t get to have that.

    A few months ago, I was praying about this issue, but in a rather different context, and God showed me a picture of my baby girl clinging onto my trousers (for dear life!), as she walked falteringly with me, trying to keep in step. I guess this is what life is supposed to look like, but it takes such an enormous amount of trust, it really threatens my independence 🙂

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