On Becoming a New Creature

Have your life challenges caused you to lose your old identity? Do you feel there is no hope for something new?  God can (and will!) surprise us if we remain open to Him.

Walrus Saxophone.tiff

Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.      2 Corinthians 5:17

I usually get pretty excited over new things.

When I was little, the best possible present in the world was a box of brand-new crayons - especially the box of 64.  

Right now I'm waiting for a new bamboo flute I've ordered to come. (They have an amazingly haunting, beautiful sound.) I'm waiting eagerly for the email that it is on its way.

I'm not the world's greatest recycler.  It's something that comes hard for me.

I like brand new things.

I also  like the idea of being a "new creature."

I've gotten pretty fed up with the old me.  I guess that with my husband's passing, I've done a lot of looking back.  I see the times I could have been kinder, the times I wanted my own way, the times I wasn't as loving as I could be.

While I so deeply regret those times, I know I can't dwell on them.  

I need to look forward to the new things that God can do in this as yet undiscovered new life of mine.

I think I began to develop that attitude when my illnesses really took hold.  I had to stop looking back at what I was leaving behind, however much that hurt.

I lost so much freedom.  No longer able to drive or get about on my own.  Now being confined to a wheelchair for outings - so dependent on others to get me where I need to go.  (I am thinking power-scooter now, though.)

I lost my much-loved job as a child-psychologist.

I lost my identity.

But I gradually found a new one - and have been pretty content with it.

Now - another change in front of me.  When my husband died, who I was changed.

And I have the confidence deep within me - that I can, with God's guidance, continue to become the person God created me to be.

I have learned, sometimes day-by-day, to view the challenges I face as my teachers.

Formidable ones, indeed.

Sometimes, I wish I didn't have to be taught anymore!  That the lessons would be over.

But then I see the growth in me and those around me.  I continually see this world through new eyes.

And I've my illnesses and challenges to thank for that.

I can almost hear some of you saying, "Well, that's fine for her.  She doesn't understand where I am.  She can't possible know what it's like for ________ to happen in your life."

And if you are saying that, you are right.  I can't possible know the depth of your despair or the pain you feel or exactly understand.

But I do know pain.  I do know loss.  I do know facing the seemingly impossible.

And I know that if God can work in my life the way He has over the past 20 years of challenges, that He can (and will!)  work that way in yours.

It can be so hard to open up that protective shell we put around ourselves.  It is daunting to tell God, "Go ahead.  Do what's necessary to bring that new creature in me to life."  I still waver at those words.

But I also know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God is good, that what happens in our life makes us stronger if we let it.

No, it may not be our bodies that become stronger. But it will be our spirit.  It will be our ability to love.  It will be our courage to face whatever stands in front of us.

But it begins with God.  It is accomplished by God.  And it will end with God calling us home to the words:

"Well done."

Father God, I earnestly pray for each person who reads these words, that they will begin to know and understand and trust the depth of the love that you have for us.  That you do walk with us through that valley of shadows and that the new creature that we will be is incomparable to what we could ever become on our own.  Amen and amen.

(Don't worry if the photo that accompanies the post makes no sense to you.  My husband was an avid jazz sax player and loved this picture of a walrus playing a soprano sax. I found it a humorous touch and needed a smile today.)

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