the end of summer.

As Labor day weekend is upon us, I’m faced with the inevitability of autumn’s rapid approach. And as much as I love chai lattes and baking and pumpkin pie, I just don’t feel ready this year. I want to email the seasonal professor and ask for an extension for summer, if there were such a thing. This summer was the fourth summer in a row that involved a huge life-transition for me and to be honest, autumn’s arrival almost feels like a personal blow. I simply don’t feel ready for summer to be over.

I read an article by Meredith Toering this week (who I’d never heard of before) and I might have passed it by, if not for the title. The name of her article was what made me click on the link, since all I could think was, “me too.”

“When your summer was a bit of a bust and not at all what you hoped.”

Yep, me too.

Our specifics were vastly different since she lives in China and runs a foster home for babies with complex congenital heart defects, but our hearts spoke the same disappointment.

Summer was not what we hoped.

It held far more stress for our worried little hearts than we would have chosen.

For a girl who loves sunshine and berries and sweet peas and peaches and the beach, summer holds the top place in my heart as the best season. I wanted to ease myself into enjoying these good gifts, instead of what I got: engaging in the hard work of choosing gratitude when they appear in the midst of everything I don’t want.

But as I read Meredith’s conclusion for her summer, I couldn’t help but think once again, “me too.”

I found that summer’s gift is not always what we expect – but it’s everything we need.

In the midst of worried hearts and hopes and fears, Jesus meets us where we are.

He is by our side as we brave-step into unknowns — and He will not let us down.

In every season, we can trust that He is good, because we know He always is.

But in summer, this summer, in the midst of her unexpected storms and beautiful miracles, I could feel His goodness surely. He goes before and behind and He is always faithful.

The Lord truly gave me EVERYTHING I needed this summer. It may not have been everything I wanted or would have chosen, but he gave me all that I needed, along with some sweet extras. He isn’t a bare-minimum kind of Dad. He loves his kids with the best, most complete love. In the midst of moving and tears and good-byes, Jesus didn’t just give me the basic package of getting from A to B in one piece.

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He gave me a beach day. He gave me a late harvest garden. He gave me date nights. He gave me a new library card, which has already been put to much use. He gave me a porch swing and a glass of wine, and someone to share it with. He gave me peaches and berries and sweet peas. He gave me baby snuggles and kisses.  He gave me weeks of sweet peas in my backyard. He gave me people to cheer me on and call me brave. He gave me truth to cling to when I needed it most. He gave me himself as my HOME.

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