I've been thinking about the love of God lately. I've been pondering its fierceness, determination, passion. I've been thinking about how it changed me. So I thought, today, I would share my own story of the moment when God overwhelmed me with His love, when He captured my heart and called me deeper - called me to surrender to a Love like no other. The moment when my life changed forever.
This is from the first chapter of Wrestling with Wonder (which, by the way, has new DISCUSSION QUESTIONS FOR GROUPS (click for link) on my website -- please suggest the book for any group studies you're involved in!)
Here is my story . . .
I remember the day that God first broke into my life, interrupting my ordinary with a glimpse of wonder beyond my wildest dreams. For me, it happened in a dorm room at Stanford University. I lay on my rumpled bed with chemistry books scattered among great works of Western culture. A thin tome by Bernard of Clairvaux, a fat text with selected works from Martin Luther, a black paperback of the Confessions of Augustine. Chemistry and Confessions and Clairvaux ... and midterms the next day. I stared out the window and followed the dance of dead leaves over the brick walkway outside. I heard the rustle of them through the slightly opened pane. And then it came. An inaudible whisper. A flutter in my soul.
And then came the tiniest glimpse in my heart of a love like I’d never seen, never experienced before. Sweet and piercing. Like the quiet whisper of a relentless wind. Like the powerful pull of the ocean’s tide. Like deep, rumbling laughter. Like thunder across the sky.
God loved me.
With a love that broke me. Restored me.
Called me to more.
So there, among books and papers and pencils chewed to a nub, I accepted the call of love. I gave my life to the One who loved me with that kind of love.
I am yours, God. May it be to me as you want ...
I didn’t speak those words exactly, but it was what I meant, an echo of a girl who had encountered God millennia before me.
And like her, I knew some of what it meant to say those words. For me, it meant a new major (in chemistry, of all things!), digging deep into the Bible with friends, choosing worship over achievement. But, in truth, I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. I didn’t see years of infertility, miscarriage, disappointments, and doubts. I didn’t see failures in ministries, family and friends who didn’t understand, confusion and darkness.
All I knew was that he loved me, and I was his. And that changed everything. I’d been called. Called out of my ordinary life, with my ordinary plans. Called to something more.
More wondrous? Yes. But also more painful, more confusing, more wild and unexpected than I could have ever imagined.
Because that’s what it means to follow him. It means your plans are no longer your own. Your life itself belongs to him.