Not only was she terrible at trying to be normal, she confesses, but somewhere along the way she realized that "normal" was a vapor. "Whenever it appeared within reach, I was unable to grasp it." The unattainability of it made her realize that if she did achieve some semblance of normal, she might actually be bending low, settling for something less. "But what if God has designed me not to bend down low but to stretch up and reach for the stars?" she asks. "Not that normal is bad, but why should you or I settle for normal when we've been created for something far greater?"
This is the foundational question that Story, who has written award-winning songs such as "Blessings," "O Love of God", and Chris Tomlin's "Indescribable," winsomely and transparently explores in So Long, Normal. So Long, Normal is her third book and a follow-up to her recent popular titles, When God Doesn't Fix It and I Give Up.
As she says in her new book, the problem is that "normal" appears to offer us something solid we can stand on. Normal promises to be steady. Yet people end up choosing "the bondage of normal over the promise of better things. Staying in normal for the sake of normal may be shortchanging the very purpose of your life." What's more, it never holds up when times get tough. Normal ultimately disappoints every person on the planet, because life never happens according to plan.
Laura Story's deftly written book combines strong biblical insights with practical wisdom, her signature humor, and many anecdotes and illustrations.
The book also features candid interviews with people Story knows who have faced significant challenges to normal and seen God display his greatness by growing them in unexpected ways. So Long, Normal concludes with a unique, engaging "It's Your Turn" section, where readers can answer the interview questions for themselves and consider the ways God may be working that maybe they haven't recognized before.
"Here is the good news of this book as a whole," Story offers. "When life becomes shaky, we do not have to be shaken. We can be steadfast in a world that's beyond our control." By gaining a vision for what it looks like and feels like to be tethered to God, readers of every age and circumstance can find the faith to step out and greet the unknown with the hope and expectation that only God makes possible.
Laura Story also released a new single to coincide with the book release titled "Hello Unknown." She wrote both the book and the song amid the global pandemic. "The song, 'Hello Unknown,' was birthed in those COVID pandemic days when our world was under strict quarantine and the country was plagued with social and political unrest," she shares. "Everyone that I knew was anxious over everything. But the truth about change is this: in the shifting or even collapsing of everything familiar in life, we don't have to wring our hands and fear." Both the book and the single encourage audiences to embrace change as a part of life and find security in their faith over the familiar so that they can step into the glorious adventure that God invites them to embark upon.
So Long, Normal: Living and Loving the Free Fall of Faith is available now everywhere books are sold. Learn more by clicking here.