A Time of Re-Becoming
August 30, 2018A few weeks ago, I was at my home church in Ayden preaching the funeral of a dear childhood friend. As I mingled among the people there – other classmates and old friends - I thought about how in that place at that time, I was re-becoming Libby Stroud. Once again I was that girl in her hometown and her home church with her classmates from Ayden High School. I was in that place where I did not need to introduce myself or posit my credentials or perform in any way and I realized that in that place, I re-became just me. There is something about being known that removes old have-to’s and shoulds of becoming something or someone parents can be proud of and brag on. Something about being old helps with that too. Stepping back into my life as Libby, not Lib or Elizabeth immediately filled me with great thanksgiving for my life in that place that prepared me for the life I live now. I am re-becoming in a lot of ways now. Re-becoming is the gift of re-tirement. In my retirement I am getting to re-become Libby Stroud. I am re-becoming a homemaker and cook. I am re-becoming a wife and cheerleader to my husband. I am re-becoming a voice for justice, even re-becoming a protester. I like the re-becoming of Libby Stroud. Even the re-freshing of my faith is part of re-becoming. That which sometimes became stale, words I had spoken that I must have spoken a thousand times before are finding new life in a re-becoming voice. I visit the hospital to see a friend and go to the nursing home to see a person I love, just because I love them. Nothing is expected of me save that which my own faith calls forth. My soul is being renewed in this time of re-becoming. In my re-becoming I can live a now without worrying about the next. I can preserve pears and figs, and jars of red and green peppers into relish, and delight in God’s bounty right here, right now. The time afforded in re-becoming is measured in joy and thanksgiving. Small delights fill the blank canvas of the day. I am re-connecting with God’s goodness, with old friends, with my children and grandchildren and my husband who is glad to have me home again. When the psalmist says, “my heart and my flesh sing for joy to the Living God,” I also sing. Stepping off the stage into what seems like a true first becoming is a great gift that I am fully aware of. I recognize the limitations of age and stage, yet what I see ahead is bright with possibility and deep with gratitude. Where this re-becoming will lead is in God’s hands. I am still listening and spending time percolating and sitting like a toad in the middle of the room. I feel full of wisdom and hope; I like the Libby Stroud I am.