I fell in love when I was fifteen.
Summer days became nights became days — when the Ohio sun set late and I didn’t use an alarm clock. We piled into friends’ jeep wranglers and drove around as if this Sophomore summer meant we had unhinged freedom. We formed a pack of “best friends” — we played pranks and made life-long promises and told one another as much of the parts of our hearts that we could access, then.
In the middle of which, I fell in love.
Curfew brought me home. I’d find my spot on the swing in our back-yard and I’d talk to God.
The Bible that sat on my shelf since my First-Communion now had marks. The combination of the moonlight and the spot-light from underneath my parents’ bedroom window became my nightlight. I read His Word and talked to Him and it was electric.
He was near.
It felt natural to place teenage angst at His feet, that summer when everything was romantic. He was new and mysterious and I was hungry and unpracticed.
But somewhere between fifteen and twenty-five the other noise got much louder and what was mysterious, that summer, became just …normal. Just another thing on my list. My Bible and my planner shared a shelf.
He was near — but the swing out back was empty. What did nearness look like when responsibility encroached on my once-freeriding soul and life wasn’t as easy as slumber parties and midnight pranks?
We got a rope swing this week as a housewarming gift and my girls, they squealed.
What will keep them on that swing, I wonder, when fifteen turns into eighteen and college applications are spread across their desk? When papers and deadlines and hourly jobs fill their days?
I want them to fall in love with God – not just for one summer, for one season on that swing. I want them to talk to Him, late into the night and remember the crazy mystery that I lost for nearly a decade after my summer of love. I want them to live life from that swing, Bible open on their laps and heart, hungry.
But I can’t give them what I don’t, first, have.
The real question, mama, is: have you fallen in love lately?
Have you had your heart quickened by a God whose mystery can’t be trapped in one quiet time or a Sunday sermon?
Are you curling up with Him, in His Word, after curfew?
Might I suggest this four minute re-boot … for the mama who wants her baby girls to be crazy-lovers of God, but has to — first — go there herself. This is for the one who’s hungry for more. Or, rather, for the one who — somewhere buried beneath laundry stacks and to-do lists and back-to-school days – wants to be hungry for more.
If you’re reading in an email – click here to watch the trailer.
Every Bitter Thing Is Sweet will be available in stores on October 7th. The team at Zondervan has made available some pretty sweet gifts for those who pre-order — including a 16 Day Walk-Through-Adoration that those of us over here will be using starting September 1st.
To receive these two gifts, please email a copy of your proof of purchase to: EBTISbook@gmail.com