The dock stretched long across the lake, mist rising off the water and the sounds of early morning beckoned me closer. The gentle waves lapped against the hull of the old row boat that bobbed and dipped upon the water.
It was the summer I turned 13. I can still remember my tall and lean frame, a girl blossoming woman. My legs tanned and slender, I lived that summer in my red bathing suit. It was early morning and as I sat on the end of the dock echoes of the week washed over me and I heard the remnants of joy’s song rising clear across the lake as cousins and siblings were a tangle of arms and legs in that old boat. Life jackets slung carelessly over shoulders and laughter the only rain on a hot summer’s day. Howls and delighted squeals piercing the air as joy and content rode the waves to shore.
There is another moment of that summer that brings me back to that dock and the waters that held it buoyant. It was the summer I turned my heart over to the One who had made me. I stood on the steps of that dock with family and friends gathered and the preacher-lady gently placed her palm on the top of my head and I held my nose. “In the name of the Father, The Son and the Holy Spirit...” she whispered close to my ear as I professed my love for a Saviour much needed. And I remember opening my eyes for just a moment before I breached the water’s smooth surface and seeing light play and dance upon the clouds.
And as I rose from the depths, my sin and shackles sinking lower, I felt purpose and faith begin its faint beating in my young and tender heart. With my rising out of the depths I felt the courage I needed to unlock the secrets that I had kept too close and guarded too well. Secrets that little girls should not have to keep so I opened my mouth laid bare my fragile heart and said the words that I whispered in sleep and through tears many a night “Please help me.”
I remember well the summer I turned 13. The summer that I was saved.