“Keep saying ‘We will find a new normal.’”

When things in our life change, we often find ourselves longing for simpler days. Focus on the Family’s Dr. Greg Smalley says the worst thing we can do is look back instead of forward. The past is known and familiar to us, but dwelling on it will guarantee that any upcoming transition will be more difficult.

“What we have to accept is one, things have changed. It’s going to be different. But [two], what’s the new normal going to be like?”

The Smalley family is going through several transitions, including the loss of Greg’s father Gary, daughter Murphey going to college, and daughter Taylor planning a wedding. It would be easy in the face of such drastic changes to ignore the pain and try to fill the voids.

Greg challenges us instead to look for the new normal.

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, that person is a new creation. The old has gone, the new is here!” 2 Corinthians 5:17

That Scripture refers to salvation, but it is wonderfully instructive when we’re facing a time of change. There are new seasons ahead. There are new opportunities ahead; Jesus makes things new. What can you rediscover about God or yourself as the changes unfold? Ask yourself what’s good about this season and dwell on that instead of reliving the past.

Greg also urges us to care for ourselves in the midst of transition.

“It’s easy for me to go into the isolation mode, shutting down, going down to our basement, turning on the T.V. with a big honkin’ bag of chips…We might launch into some depression and just not want to do the things that that normally help us to just stay healthy and fit.”

Greg challenges us to do things that keep us healthy in every sense of the word, for our sake and for others.

“I make myself get up in the morning, even though I’m tired or I don’t want to, knowing that the endorphins that are released…it gives me more to be able to give out to my family.”

Dr. Greg Smalley serves as executive director of Marriage and Family Formation at Focus on the Family.  In this role, he develops and oversees initiatives that prepare individuals for marriage, strengthen and nurture existing marriages and help couples in marital crises. He also serves as a media spokesperson on these matters.

Key Scriptures: 1 Corinthians 7:28

Featured Songs: Trust in You by Lauren Daigle; Deeper by Meredith Andrews; Move by Toby Mac


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