Where We Fell in Love

"Don't forget this place.
[He whispers softly.]

"This is where we fell in love."

I can still remember the little moments of falling in love with Bryan. With each glance, each smile, each tenderly spoken word my heart became one with his. Each summer breeze across sun kissed skin, each nervous laugh, each ginger touch. They all gently awakened my love for this man who arrested my heart.

I don't believe that any lover can forget how they fell in love... or the special place where it happened.

It just so happens that the same place where I truly fell in love with my now husband, is also the same place I fell irrevocably in love with my Creator God.

Bethany College of Missions, 2006. I arrived on the small campus with 2 bags and a heart full of dreams. I wanted nothing more than to change the world--and this was the place where I'd learn to do it. Little did I know in my naivety that the world would indeed change there. My world, that is.

Of course, I knew God when I got there. He was the reason I'd come after all. But I wasn't prepared for the Him I'd discover through being there. 

I saw a fire in the eyes of my fellow students. An unquenchable desire for things unseen. A thirst for eternity, for the honest presence of the Almighty. A need to fulfill a purpose in life more excellent than anything now known. That fire was in me as well. And I'd do anything to set my entire soul ablaze with it.

Bethany wasn't what I'd expected it to be. But it was exactly what I needed. Our professors weren't simply spouting out a rote curriculum... no, they were passionately relaying tales of things they'd seen on the front lines. There weren't initials at the ends of their names. No Dr. preceded their titles. But they were more than qualified to speak about changing the world for Christ--because that's exactly what they'd spent their lives doing. As I sat, rigid in their classrooms, I heard the most remarkable stories. I heard first hand accounts of miracles--things we only dream of being possible. I heard of sick being healed, dead being raised again, and freedom being found. Through the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony, my heart was awakened. Heavily it beat with the passionate rhythm of desire. I longed for those stories to become my own.

Searching the Scriptures and studying the life breathed Word of God became my homework assignment. I spent my nights with a can of Mountain Dew in one hand and a Greek Lexicon in the other. I wanted TRUTH. I needed it. I needed to know what God meant when He spoke about His return. I needed to know what it meant to be baptized with fire. I longed to discover the mind and heart of God. And I was surrounded by a class full of others who wanted it just as badly. And iron sharpened iron.

One day I was sitting in chapel when our director began to speak about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. What it was, I had no idea. I'd never heard the term before. In my 17 years of church going, I'd never heard of it. I was wary, skeptical and closed off. I didn't want a weird encounter. But I did want truth. And if this was truly something God had planned for me, than you better believe I wanted every part of it. I knelt in the corner and I told God that if this wasn't of Him, I didn't want it. But if it was, then I was ready. As I walked up to the front, a stranger who is now my friend laid her hands on me. She prayed in a language I'd never heard. Then her words came, clear as day, in plain English. "Open your mouth and He will fill it." Words bubbled forth from me like a fountain. Words my ears did not recognize, but words that made my heart tremble. I didn't know what they meant, but I knew they were holy. I knelt to the ground and I worshiped my God for what seemed like hours. I repeated the phrase over and over and over again and I felt my spirit being built up. I trembled and I fell in love. For the first time in my life I felt I had a glimpse of what it will be like to sing with the angels forever and never grow weary. I was a Bride. Waiting on my Bridegroom, wanting only to bring pleasure to Him.

When I stood up from that place, I was changed. I'm not one to be ethereal, mysterious or transitory. But what I found that day caught me off guard. I met a God I thought didn't exist. I spoke words I didn't understand. I fell headfirst into the things that I had scoffed at and I found them beautiful. I was a changed woman and I didn't have much for an explanation.

Days after that moment, you would find me often there again. Back in that spot. Back with my eyes shut tight and my heart wide open. Back to the place we fell in love. Music would play, my soul would dance and my mind would bask in revelation. It didn't matter the tune, the lyric... I would lay there for hours knowing that my Lover and I were one.

I realize this post is a different one for me. I don't often speak poetically and I don't always reveal this much of my heart. But sometimes remembering how you fell in love is what you need... to remind yourself that you ARE.


Casey said...

Beautiful Claire.

"But sometimes remembering how you fell in love is what you need... to remind yourself that you ARE."

Love this!

Emily said...

I love your reliving of when you fell in love with Christ. So beautiful. And something to always remember.

Hannah Lee said...

Thank you Claire. This was beautiful. I went to your page and felt I should click on this blog and now I know why. it was just what I needed to hear. When we were young we used to be best friends, now I believe we are kindred spirits at heart with one thing in mind: Making Jesus Christ our all in all. <3 you!

Emy Roo :) said...

Oh my dear Claire Bear! I am crying right now! How I needed to hear this! Your writing is so beautiful and your heart is even more beautiful! You were (and still are) such a huge blessing to me at Bethany and I am forever grateful for you! I will never forget the day Jesus began to heal my back and I lifted you up in pure joy! hahaha. You are still blessing me by reminding me of the many things He's done in my life and how much He's changed me since Bethany and before! So thank you Claire! I miss you but am so honored to and blessed to know that we will at least see each other in heaven, worshiping Jesus for all eternity! :) Ah, I am soooo happy and excited right now!

Thank you Claire for being vulnerable and sharing your heart! Oh how HE loves you so!!

I think and pray for you often and your adorable little family! If ever you want to take a trip to IHOP-KC and bask in His presence at the prayer room let me know! I would love to see you! :)

Tatiana said...

Lady, your love and faith for God is so beautiful and touching. You are amazing!