March 15, 2022

Recognizing Dysfunction & Redefining Normal

Being healthy spiritually, physically, and mentally doesn’t just happen by accident. It takes intentionality in every aspect of life.

But sometimes we get so comfortable in unhealth and dysfunction, we don’t even realize that what has become normal to us is not in fact normal. It takes a lot of internal work, but also a lot of help from those we trust to help us see the things we’ve become blind to. So, how do we redefine what’s normal?

Check out our episode:

You can’t thrive on autopilot.

It takes a lot of “active” thinking to be intentional with physical and emotional health, and it takes a lot of active thinking to be a follower of Christ.

Think about it: if we aren’t actively working towards health, then we’re actively moving away from it. And if we aren’t actively following Jesus, it’s only a matter of time before we stumble.  If we’re unable or unwilling to consistently self-assess, we might not even realize the place we’re in; dysfunction has become our “normal.”

Signs You May Be Unaware of Dysfunction:

  1. You feel consistently apathetic, numb, or unmotivated.
  2. You make automatic decisions because they’re familiar, not because they’re serving you or your health.
  3. You are unaware of the deeper motivations and desires behind your actions.

Here are some ways to take back control:

  1. Give yourself some space to think about the root of your desires.

It could be as simple as assessing why you’re randomly craving a treat, asking, why do I want this? Am I rewarding myself with sugar? Am I soothing myself?

  1. Understand your limits and say no to things when you need to.

“If I want to be who the Lord wants me to be . . . I have to pause and ask myself, is this the best choice for me?”

Being aware of where you are at will help you better understand what you need. Don’t mindlessly step into situations that put your mental well-being in jeopardy. Be intentional about the things you say yes to as well as the things you say no to.

  1. Ask those closest to you to point out areas of dysfunction you may not be aware of.

Ultimately, we can’t do this alone. When things start to feel normal to us that aren’t normal, we can only discover those things in relationship with people. We can’t see your blind spots on your own.

“As I got healthier, I could tell a difference.”

When we’re healthy, we are able to notice the nuanced changes in ourselves. We can look back at old behaviors and patterns and see the dysfunction that we were unaware of before.

We stop making automatic and unconscious choices, and instead we are able to analyze our true desires and motivations and choose a different route of action.

Our “normal” becomes redefined not by what we have gotten used to, but by what is truly best and sustainable for us in all areas of life.

We can’t always trust ourselves, but we can always trust the Lord.

As we have come to find, we can’t always trust our own judgement. But we can trust that God will never leave us or forsake us and that He knows exactly what we need.

“I think change really happens when we can shift our perspective from us to the Lord.”

But we can’t feel nudges from the Lord if we don’t have close relationship with him.

We can start by bringing ourselves fully to Him—every irrational thought and feeling. Slowly, we will begin to find the balance of experiencing our feelings and recognizing when it’s time to give them to God and not pick them back up again

“who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.” 2 Corinthians 1:4

Ultimately, when we reach a place of health and self-awareness, we are better equipped to serve others.

It’s because of the painful seasons we’ve experienced that we can offer true empathy, and we can guide others to seek more than mindless dysfunction, but the fullness of life in Jesus.


What are you doing that brings you joy in this season?  We want to hear from you! Text “Life”to 23101.

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A great way to work through dysfunction is by working with a counselor. Thinking about counseling? Check out this episode!

Counseling: What To Expect and When To Go



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