A Bittersweet Summer

09 July 2015


A season that is known for all the awesome, fun, good things that happen. Summer is a sweet season, a sweet stretch of time in their lives every year. It is usually filled with family vacations, fishing/camping/boating trips, late nights making s'mores and telling stories around a campfire, lighting fireworks and celebrating independence, and so much more. Summer is known for many, many sweet memories.

I could list of a lot of sweet memories from summers past as well as several from this summer. Stories filled with laughter and joy. They are sweet glimpses into my past, into my life. They are a time to reminisce and look back at how things used to be. They are a chance to remember people who used to be in my life and share a smile or laugh with those who are still in my life. They are full of so much joy, so much good.

I had hoped that this summer would be filled and overflowing with its own fair share of sweet memories and stories. Yet as I find myself her in this moment I feel as though the memories are few. We are already almost halfway through July and we are just passed the halfway mark of summer. The days and weeks are flying by fast. Life is in full swing.

And here I am curled up on a couch under a blanket at 12:30am. I am processing the summer so far and all that has taken place. There has been some good. There has been some bad. Yet I find myself feeling like the bad has outweighed the good. I haven't written much in this space because of that. I am not entirely sure what I am feeling and for someone who finds comfort in writing the words just haven't been coming. My mind goes blank and any ideas for a post disappear.

I desperately crave the sweetness of life that is associated with summertime. I want more of it in my life. But it seems to be being taken over by the bitter. From a situation that one of my sisters is in that I can't condone and am struggling to come to terms with to a possible relationship that is challenging my thoughts on relationships as a whole to the tension and pressure being turned towards Christians due to issues such as Jenner and the Supreme Court. I could list off more but I think it is easy to see where I am coming from. The bitter seems so overwhelming.

And yet there are those sweet moments that counteract the bitter. Good days with my kids at work, watching fireworks with "family" that has welcomed me in, good conversations with friends, brunch with former roommates, and so much more. They are the small but highly impactful moments that aren't caught on camera or generally talked about beyond a brief mention. Yet they change the tone of life. They take what was bitter and make it taste better. 

It is often these contrasting moments where I find God teaching me the most. Reminding me of things that I know but can find hard to put into practice. This summer has proven to be a great reminder of what love, grace, and mercy look like. So many moments and situations have given me the opportunity to be an example of these things and to lavish them on others. Even in the difficult situations I have been learning of just how important they are and how much of an impact they can have. 

So while there are days and nights where it seems like the bitter is overtaking, there are indeed many, many sweet moments and situations that counteract the bitter. This results in a 'bittersweet' summer. A summer of lessons to be learned, new memories to be made, and healing to take place. A summer for so much more than the typical summer activities and memories. A summer that I will look back on for the impact it has on my life.

I am learning to embrace the bitter moments for the lessons they provide and be open to realizing just how sweet the small moments are. The days and weeks left are short but I can't wait to see what they hold.


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