I remember back in high school, and college years having the hope that perhaps “this summer I will meet him.” A “summer love.” Maybe I would meet Mr. Wonderful at summer camp? Or maybe I would bump into him at a coffee shop, summer job, sailing lessons or a summer concert? I wanted to experience having that special someone to enjoy the warm, lazy days of summer with. Sharing time at the lake, bike rides, tennis games, ice cream and long talks. Having that special someone to make the summer most memorable. You know, like in the movies.
I did have a few summer loves. They were all wonderful guys who I had the joy of creating special memories with, but none of them became the love of my life. I met my Mr. Wonderful the winter of 1985 and had the most romantic, fairytale spring and summer with him in Amsterdam, ending with an engagement at the end of that summer! We’ve been married 28 years now and have had many more wonderful summers since that first together in Amsterdam.
That first summer with my husband was an amazing summer, and I love my husband dearly, but I have to say the best summer love I ever had was the summer of 1974 when I met Jesus at summer camp and was baptized in a lake a month later. I was 17 and He lovingly rescued me from the dark and slimy pit of depression and despair and showed me what unconditional love was all about. I felt loved like I never had before. A deep, soul fulfilling love that only He can give. I was so excited to get to know this new love and wanted to spend as much time as possible with Him. I joined a Bible study group that warmly welcomed me, showed me how to dig into God’s Word and nurtured my new found faith. I talked to Him all the time and journaled about all the new things I was learning and hearing Him say to me. It was a life changing summer!
Many summers have gone by and over time I have lost some of the thrills of that first found summer love with the Lord. Life and the tyranny of the urgent crowd Him out at times as well as some “desert experiences” that can draw me away from intimate time with Him. I also found that things can get so familiar that I begin to take the other for granted, feeling I can fall back on previous special times with the Lord or remembering how He’s spoken into my spirit through His Word. Not that those things are not vital to a strong relationship with the Him, but I can begin to coast in the relationship.
“You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.” Deuteronomy 6:5
I felt the Lord told me that HE wanted to be my summer love again this summer. That I need to spend more time with Him and get to KNOW Him at an even deeper level than I currently do. To LOVE Him at a deeper level than I am. Not to take a vacation from my quiet times with Him or let things slide because it’s summer, but instead to take advantage of a lighter schedule and flexibility to grow closer to Him.
So I am now slowing down and enjoying morning quiet times with Him on the porch. Listening to the birds and wind chimes in the soft breeze; reading His Word, and quenching my thirst to gain more wisdom and understanding in Him. I am having unhurried conversations with Him and writing down what I hear Him say to me. I am reading books I have not taken the time to read, listening to faith building podcasts, and visiting inspiring blogs. As I do this, I am experiencing a new showering of His love and compassion, and learning to trust Him at a level I never thought possible.
Another awesome result of loving the Lord with my WHOLE heart, soul and might is I am able to love others more. As I make Him my summer love, I am filled with His love, which then overflows to others. He satisfies my deepest needs and longings which then sets me free to love others with His unconditional love.
Make Him your summer love this summer and discover that it will be a love like no other. A love that will not let you down or disappoint. A love that will heal your deepest wounds and will set you free from fear and worry. A love that will make your heart explode with joy and gratitude. A love that will carry you through every day and circumstance this summer, year and years to come!
For His Glory,