Wednesday, December 31, 2008

New Year's Eve

The old is gone, the new is starting. Old what? new what?

My wife still carries in her brain that old scar from an aneurysm, she also carries in her heart the renewed hope that things are getting better for her. Her brain is doing the incredible job of re-writing by itself, without any previous training or rehearsal, all the programs that control the functions she lost. In a very real way, the design of her brain is new.

In another way, her character is the same. Her foibles are aggravated by her illness. Her short term memory is too short, the master filter for emotions is still not fully functional, her sight is diminishing. The old groves carved in her brain by years of repeating the same behaviors, beliefs and choices are too deep to be changed even by an aneurysm.

My faith in Christ tells me that we are transformed from the inside out when we believe in his words. The old nature based on self-gratification and disobedience is changed, a new person starts growing in our core because we have been put right with God. This brings clarity to my purpose and a clear map for how to live my life. This movement from darkness into light is so radical that it is equated to having a second birth. If I live by these convictions, I am a new person. The old is left behind, the new takes over progressively until all of me is new.

Jan also believes this. However, the effects of the aneurysm pushed her renewal process back. Some days I see her behaviour similar to that of a little 3 year-old girl. Old ways of reacting, of relating, of believing crop up and the lovely, mature and intelligent woman I married disappear.

Aphasia, lack of control over emotions, old beliefs, make me think about this movement from the old to the new. I pray that my wife sheds the old and dresses herself with the new. This is my hope in a new year.


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