"You there...young lady on the back row, stand up," the white-haired prophet from Florida commanded me. I looked around but my friends on both sides poked me. Reluctantly I stood up.
I didn't know what a prophet was, or a prophecy. Everyone seemed excited about this prophet but I was terrified. I was a brand-new Christian and I thought prophets spoke doom and gloom. I cringed as he spoke.
"Thus sayeth the Lord: I have called you into a place of prominence. You will be like Esther who moves without fear and with favor ... "
I shook my head because I knew he was talking to the wrong person. Plus, who the heck was Esther?
The prophet saw me shaking my head, looking at my friends confused. "No I'm talking to you. You're the right person," he said. He went on to prophecy about the calling of God on my life to speak the truth before leaders.
I was dumbfounded because I was 18-years-old. I had no ambitions or aspirations for leadership. If I wasn't at church that Sunday, I would probably be lying on the beach. I didn't want to change the world. I just wanted to understand the Bible and how to love God and get along with people.
My roommates were surprised as I was about the prophecy. One of my roommates told me there was a book in the Bible about a woman named Esther. I stayed up all night reading the book of Esther. I was even more convinced that the prophet missed it.
I didn't see how an 18-year-old beach bum could become a woman of grace, comfortable among world leaders. Even though I thought the prophet called out the wrong girl, there was a fire lit inside of me to know the God who could take an orphan and raise her up to be a queen to bring deliverance to her nation.
I voraciously devoured my Bible and filled up notebooks with sermons that no one ever heard. I locked myself away on weekends to listen to sermons on cassette tapes. I joined the weekly prayer group and led Bible studies.
I majored in Political Science and studied the Christian principles of government over Christmas break. I also ran for student senate and got elected. The following year I ran for an executive position as secretary and got elected.
During that time I volunteered on a state representative's campaign. I was chosen to be part of a team that the political party sent to teach how to win a campaign. Their teaching has influenced the way I do marketing to this day.
Somehow my name came up with a state representative named Hal Jones, who needed to hire staff. He asked my friend, Kenny and I to join him for lunch. During the lunch he asked about our views on government. I shared with Hal what I had learned from the books about Christian principles of government.
After lunch, Hal wanted to buy the books and offered me a job. I had very little professional office experience and he assured me that his wife, Lana, would teach me everything. I accepted the job offer, although I didn't know the title or my responsibilities.
When I showed up at his office in the state capitol building, his beautiful wife, Lana, taught me how to answer the phone, write letters, handle dignitaries and requests from the media and their constituents. I started the job when the legislature wasn't in session. That gave me a lot of time to learn how the legislative system worked, as well as research background for potential legislation and attend meetings.
That prophet's words rang in my ears one day when I was sitting in a meeting with the governor of Hawaii, a prime minister, a supreme court justice, several presidents and other dignitaries of Pacific rim nations. The glory of that moment of the greatness of God who would send a prophet to call out a girl who spent part of her teens on a sugar cane plantation with no dreams for her life had marked me. A year later, I stood next to Barbara Bush, former President George Bush's wife, on a stage in front of thousands of students.
God demonstrated His glory over and over again in my life by fulfilling that prophecy in astounding ways. He has put me in front of many celebrities, leaders, athletes, artists and influencers. Even today I help get His message in front of millions of women as an editor of an online magazine.
I had many other prophecies spoken over my life in my twenties. And while I don't believe that you base your life on a prophecy, I'm thankful for those prophecies that were given to an unsure, insecure young girl who wanted to serve God. Those prophecies opened up a new world of possibility and expanded my mind with opportunity.
That prophet's word was a part of my foundation as a Christian. I long for the prophets to come forth to call out the destiny and purpose in a person's life. That moment when the Florida prophet called me out was a moment when I saw God the Father calling me as His daughter.
I know Christians shouldn't look for personal prophecy and I've seen abusive practices such as ministers charging for prophetic sessions. Yet I believe that this office and gift is desperately needed in these chaotic and confusing times, especially with young people who want to know what God is calling them to do. I'm a strong proponent of solid bible teaching, but we need the prophets to arise.
I've seen prophetic words delivered by leaders at my church and they are spot-on. I've prophesied myself over people under the submission of my leaders. I'm not afraid of being tested or questioned because I honor the body of Christ. I don't consider myself a prophet yet I want my life to be someone else's prophecy.
What about you? Have you had an experience with prophecy? I would love to hear it. Post your comments below.
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