“Brianna, the Spirit of the Lord says ‘Daughter, I’ve put within you a Miriam anointing. I’ve made you as a young woman that is going to carry authority, a young woman that will lead. I’ve made you as a young woman that will prophesy, and a young woman that will dance and sing . . . I’m going to hook others to your left and to your right. Daughter, I’m going to bless you, just because I love you’ says the Lord.‘
And I saw where the Spirit of the Lord has put creativity into you, on the inside. I even saw a pen or a pencil in your hand that you have an ability to display, an ability to bring a reflection of other things. The Spirit of the Lord says ‘I have made your life like that for me . . . Daughter I am bringing forth my dreams in you. I am bringing forth my ideas on the inside of you. You are going to be a woman where the creativity is going to flow, but at the same time you’re going to be a woman that is going to be able to stand.‘”
I was ten years old, a shy, small girl, the day these words were spoken over me. At the front of a little church, my parents next to me, a woman named Sharon Stone shared with my family what was given to her by the Holy Spirit. We had never met her before, and at the time, I had no idea what to make of what she said. I’m still not sure I do. I listened politely, and as most young children do, promptly forgot the things said that night.
But God didn’t. He brought them to pass. A few years later, living in a different state in a different house with a different world around us, God began to give me songs. At twelve or thirteen years old, I would write little ballads. Prayers set to music, mostly. I’d sing them to myself, write down the words, spend hours plunking out a few chords on the keyboard. Pure and tenderhearted psalms, the offerings of a child innocent of the world and all the things it would bring to my life.
And then one day, as quickly as they came, the songs stopped. I grew up, got a driver’s license and a job, and turned my attention to things like good grades and college essays. And I set aside my little songs, girlhood fading as I stepped forward to fill the shoes in front of me.
Adulthood came like a flash flood, and I grew up fast. A teaching job and college degree just after my 20th birthday, married a few months later, baby at 23, and three more to follow in the years to come. I was so busy teaching classes, raising littles, and trying to be a good wife to notice all that God was doing in my heart.
By 29, I had another new baby in my arms; life in yet another new house after yet another move. Three kids, homeschooling, and a husband who’s business was precariously adjusting to our new life circumstances. That’s when God woke me up–grabbed ahold of that heart He’d hemmed to Himself and opened my eyes to see His word in new ways.
Truth upon truth, line upon line. I devoured His word like never before. With righteous greed, I read the Bible straight though, cover to cover, in a month. I inhaled any text or commentary or book I could get my hands on. I took every class I could manage, listened to every lecture and podcast out there, and spent hours and hours studying, learning, digesting what He was revealing to me. How I managed to learn what I did in the all-consuming season of small children, pregnancies, and multiple moves I will never know. All I know is that when the Spirit speaks, you’re compelled to respond.
The apcoloyspe of my faith went on for years. Truth told, it is still going on. I am still up to my eyeballs in the Scriptures, studying, learning, praying, teaching, leading. Still mystified and in love with my God, with His son, with the story He’s working in this world. He has burdened my heart with so much that it overwhelms me. There is so much to share, to teach, and give to others. And even though I usually feel inadequate and underprepared, somehow He gives me the words when I need them. He guides me, humbles me, and teaches me what to say to inspire goodness around me.
So, when I began writing The Family Prophecies project, I had no lack of truth to proclaim over the beautiful family God has blessed me with. Their individual poems and prayers, their ballads and blessings all flowed from my fingertips with ease, line after line falling into place. But as I considered the collection, I realized it wouldn’t be complete without including a prophecy for myself. And that has been the hardest piece to write.
I stared at blank screens for hours, praying the words to come. But they didn’t. Nothing, for weeks. Then months. I was lost. How do you forecast your own heart, speak truth over the person have yet to become? The person you’re not sure you can become? I asked for His imagination to see myself as He does, but I came up empty every time. As usual, I seem to be able to see the needs and read the hearts of everyone but me.
But God is faithful. In the deep hours of the night, I woke up and the words were there. As they always are. And I realized they were words He gave me long ago, recalled from the corners of my mind and from a 25 year old transcript my mom had saved. I had long forgotten them, the prophecies He gave to me through the songs of my youth and the words of Ms. Stone.
In the stillness of my bedroom, all the lyrics, melodies, and meaning suddenly made perfect sense. And I should have known they would. Because long ago His servant spoke truth over my life. She told me what goodness lay inside of me and how God would use it for His glory. Even though I may have forgotten her words until recently, He didn’t forget His plans for that dark haired, dark eyed little girl. He nurtured that tender heart, cultivated that Miriam spirit, gifted that young woman, and taught me the lessons I would need to be the wife, mother, teacher, mentor, daughter, sister, and leader He is raising up within me.
The truth is that He has multiplied the prophecies of a woman I met only once and never saw again. He has breathed them back to me, because the songs I wrote way back when are the anthem of my life now. I have lived them out, unaware of their power and truth when my little hands first wrote them down.
And that’s how I know His prophecies are real. Because they are not a fortune-telling crystal ball, not a mystical prediction of my future. They are the evidence of His goodness of in life: His mercy, His grace, His plan, woven and spun through my many short-comings and mistakes; my many failures to be the covenant partner He desires. I have failed, but He has not. He has materialized the words He spoke through His servant, Ms. Stone, and answered prayers I sung over myself as a child. He has blessed me without merit, multiplying His goodness in me when poor choices and a hard heart were all I had to offer.
So today on my birthday, I don’t know that I have ever been more grateful for His grace. Because He could have let me go. He could have hidden His face from the simple faith of my child’s heart and handed me over to what I deserved when I came of age. Because boy do I ever deserve it. But instead, He looked at me with imagination.
And I think that may be the hardest part to accept. I never asked for the gifts He’s given me, and sometimes on the hard days, I wish I never had them at all. It’s easier when you don’t see the truth; easier when you just don’t care. It’s easier to be normal, to be satisfied with average, easier to blend in when His story doesn’t stand out in every blooming detail of your life. It’s easier to sleep when the words are not staring back at you in the dark.
But He never promised it would be easy. It’s no accident that a prophetess handed down His blessing to me when I was barely old enough to comprehend it. It’s no accident that He woke me up to remember. And it’s no an accident that the words just come. They always come. They remind me why He woke me up and why He’ll wake me up again.
Now more than ever I am convinced that The Family Prophecies is a story He began and left me to finish. And so when I sat up in the dark a few weeks back, I knew it was time to write the final stanza of a song I started as a child, but left unfinished. He gave me the words then, and He gives me the words today. And I only hope that I can live up to the gifts Ms. Stone saw me in all those years ago. That I can be blameless, humble, and brave enough to live out the future He is calling me into. Like I said, He’s always been faithful to me.
Sing me a sweet melody with words that have wings to carry me through each day. Compose me a symphony of Your great plans for me. Make me a singer of Your song. And when the last note is played through start up again with a prelude. Plant me a garden with soil unhardened, but rich and brimming with truth. Teach me to till it, help me to fill it with the grace and justice of You. And when the harvest is not it's best water me with Your righteousness. Make me a tree planted by a stream with waters cold, and deep, and true. A source of life for all who seek You. And all around me, let seeds surround me. May they grow tall and point straight to you. And when my season is over and done May they be the ones who carry it on. Because You were the One who gave me the song.