I wasn't a runner. And then I was.
I wasn't a writer. And then I was.
I wasn't a teacher. And then I was.
I have become things that I'd categorically dismissed - those definitions? Those people? They weren't Me. I was the armchair athlete. I was the enthusiastic supporter of other writers - people who were good, you know? I was in awe of my kids' teachers, certain that it was nothing I could ever organize, this teaching children to ... do stuff.
Yet. Yet. Somewhere deep in there was a spirit that refused to let those definitions stick. A spirit that fought against decisions I thought had been made. A spirit that kept piping up, whispering but you might be that. You could be that.
Indeed. This year, I became all of those people.
Here we run up against the word that gets tossed around at spa days, at therapy sessions, after a good cry: "I feel renewed."
Renewed. Made new. NEW. It isn't a fluffy word that simply means "oh hey I feel so much better!" It isn't the lazy woman's way of saying "wow I'm so relaxed and now I feel happier about the world." Renewed is when the raw materials are taken, re-molded, and transformed into something entirely new.
I have been renewed. I have been remade, by these deep gut messages that say You are NOT only this, just that, merely these things. In seismic, unalterable ways, I have become new. A new person who does do things like sign up for a half marathon. Who returns to the writing again again again like a horse returns to the stable each evening. Who teaches a small boy every morning, never failing to marvel that he is actually learning something.
And I am not finished. I have been renewed, have become something new, and the most transformative thing of all is realizing that we are never finished. I will be formed, and then formed again. The raw material that makes Me will be many things.
Renewal - again and again and again - is the sign of a life well lived.
At this point in my life, I have to say that the first thing to come to mind when thinking "Renewal" is all of my overdue library books. But I was grateful to be asked to think further. This post is part of the One Word at a Time blog carnival: Renewal hosted by Peter Pollock. To read more posts considering Renewal, visit his blog, PeterPollock.com.
Also, anyone out there interested in a Christian perspective on renewal - the "making all things new" - please do read this by Rev. Doctor Ken Kovacs. Powerful words, transformative words. The very best kind.