The Joy of Renewal




Psalms 118:24 “This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.”


The first spring after my husband’s passing brought fresh reminders of my loss. His favorite past times were all around me. When our sons were young, Ken was a soccer coach. He embraced the game fully in spite of having never played it himself. When our grandchildren came along, he enjoyed the comfort of the sidelines as he watched our younger son coach his boys. Ken also loved baseball and was a pitcher for his high school team. He coached our boy’s baseball teams and instilled in them fairness and excellence.

Fishing was something he preferred to do alone or with a buddy. He turned into a serious competitor when he was matching wits with a large mouth bass. I enjoyed eating what he brought home as long as he cleaned and filleted his catch.

Everywhere I looked that first spring I remembered the joy my husband had in these simple pleasures. It brought the pain of losing him into sharp focus over and over. I needed to turn my attention elsewhere. I decided to tackle my long-neglected flower garden and it became an oasis of peace for me. Ken always said that I had never met a weed that I didn’t want to pull. I always laughed, but it is true. I hate weeds! As I removed the offending intruders from my garden, I saw the emerging miracles pushing their way to the surface. Crocus, daffodils, and Snow Drops were ready to show off their blooms.

The new life springing out of the soil reminded me of the cycle of renewal. All things are made new in Christ Jesus.  God renews us in the same way as the delicate flowers growing in my garden. When we tend to our souls by accepting Jesus as our Savior, we become new in His love.

My backyard has been transformed since I turned my attention to it. New bushes and trees and a stone path to a weeping cherry tree have made the small space inviting. I planted lots of flowers that are perfect for cutting and arranging and I delight in giving a vase of flowers to someone else who needs a lift in spirit. It is a small gesture but it conveys love and caring.

I am still sad and always will be that my partner and best friend is no longer with me to share life’s moments, big and small, but now I have regained my sense of balance. God’s Holy Spirit has renewed me and given me a path to the Joy only He can provide.


Debra Ison