Faith That Conquers: Summertime is a season of milestones

by Kelly Mescher Collins | June 14, 2022

Kelly Mescher Collins

Summertime marks a lot of milestones. 

The last day of school, followed by the first day of summer. 

The first watermelon of the season. The first cookout or bonfire. The first time at camp. 
Growing up on a farm, we had unofficial milestones around crops. The first day of walking beans. Corn that’s knee-high by the Fourth of July. Husking the first homegrown sweetcorn of the season. Baling hay for the first time. Picking the first batch of strawberries from the garden. 

Summer is filled with graduation parties, a time marked by closing one chapter of life before venturing out to start a new one. 

Summers are also filled with weddings – a joyous occasion celebrating the milestone of two lives joining as one. 

Excitement builds as major summer events begin, reaffirming my love of the season. The first day of vacation. The first day of the Downtown Farmer’s Market. The first day of the Des Moines Arts Festival. The first day of RAGBRAI. The first day of the Iowa State Fair.  
Summer once again offers us new opportunities. The first day hitting the bike trail. The first time sitting on a rooftop patio. Appreciating beautiful flowers in our yard that looked dead for so long. 

Of course, good things come to an end at some point – even if just temporarily. 
The joy of winning a blue ribbon at fair is joined by the sorrow of saying goodbye to animals you may have helped raise, show and sell. 

The joy and relief of detasseling your last corn field. But also the dread and sadness in saying goodbye to friends attending a college different than yours.

As summer comes to a close, graduates move away from home for the very first time. Their excitement is paired with parents’ grappling with a flood of mixed emotions. 
Celebrations are familiar. Warm. Comforting. 

New chapters and major life changes can feel scary. Unfamiliar. And sometimes solitary. 
But these moments offer us the opportunity to lean on God and his promises. 

“For I know well the plans I have in mind for you—plans for your welfare and not for woe, so as to give you a future of hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11) 

When tempted to believe that we alone are responsible for the outcome of our future, I return time and again to one of my favorite Scripture passages. 

“Have no anxiety at all, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, make your requests known to God. Then the peace of God that surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:6-7) 

In what seems like the blink of an eye, we will soon be closing the books on another summer season. 

But a new chapter is just around the corner, filled with new opportunities.

Kelly Mescher Collins is a multimedia journalist for the Diocese of Des Moines. She can be reached at kcollins@dmdio or 515-237-5054.