re·new. verb \ri-ˈnü, -ˈnyü\
return to doing something: to begin something or doing something again, or be begun again. To make (something) new, fresh, or strong again. To begin (something) again especially with more force or enthusiasm. To make like new : restore to freshness, vigor, or perfection.
extend something: to make something such as a contract, lease, or license effective for a longer period, or be made effective for a longer period.
replace something worn: to replace something that is worn, broken, or no longer suitable for use.
There is a pattern here. This past year was a time of great brokenness and of healing and joy. If ever there was going to be a time in my life where my “energised idealism” was going to be tested, it was in the last three years. And yet, I hope I have come out of it all with a sense of hope, of knowledge of the value of friends who are with you on the worst of days, and of trust in a God who protects, preserves, and restores. Oh, and of the need to acknowledge that I can’t do life on my own! It is not weakness but great strength that recognises the need for help, for advice, for friendship, for love, for assistance, for correction, for someone to dream with, pray with, and hope with.
Refresh. Restore. Relish. Resolve. Reform. Renew.
These synonyms are shaping my thinking and writing and reflections. As I sit on grassy banks and look at pink infused sunsets and feel the warmth of the sun and cooling of the sea breezes, I reflect on the last year and the changes ahead.
to return to, reintroduce, repeat, restart, recommence, begin again, revive, regenerate, rebuild, resume, replenish, replace. freshen, recharge, recreate, refresh, refreshen, regenerate, rejuvenate, repair, restore, resuscitate, revitalize, revivify.make over, overhaul, reclaim, recondition, reconstitute, redesign, redevelop, redo, reengineer, refurbish, rehab, rehabilitate, remake, remodel, renovate; refill, replenish, resupply; modernize, update.
I failed and stumbled and fell often in 2013. It will be a year that is remembered both for these things and for the immense joy of meeting and falling in love with the man I will promise to spend the rest of my life with. It was a year of contrasts. It was a year of challenges, of difficulty, of hope, of joy, and of humbling shaping and transition. I found myself in the midst of a community that I didn’t even know I needed. I found myself bereft too at times and so very confused. I found myself recognising the sparks of hope, of the beginnings of a deep and abiding love, and of momentous and life changing decisions.
And so the word for 2014 is Renew: To be made new, to be made holy, to be made again, to be rebuilt, to be given a new hope and new opportunity. That I, my spirit, my church, my hope, and my mind, might be renewed.
To return again.