The Giver & The Gift
“In His grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you.” Romans 12:6
Many years ago, God gave me a beautiful gift and over the past year or so, He has shined a light on it from Heaven. But, for all of us here below operating in our spiritual areas of influence, we know that there’s another side to these granted graces: the story of our lives before the gift was given.
My childhood and teen years were full of worldly endeavors and an endless manhunt for approval and recognition. Despite my lukewarm love for God, He was faithful in making my dreams of being a model come true. But I quickly found out that the industry isn’t as flawless as the magazines made it appear. This dream came with a heavy burden of extreme self-awareness, public criticism, and a highly competitive environment. By the time I went to college, I was ready for a break and decided I would learn about the other side of the industry – what happens behind the camera. It was during those years that I fell in love with writing and producing and operating under a different kind of pressure. After I graduated from college, God gave me a position at a local news station where I could produce evening news broadcasts and, occasionally, appear in commercials and station voiceovers. I felt like all my worldly dreams were exploding and just as I was getting very comfortable with my view at the top of it all, the cracks in my personal life were getting deeper by the day. So deep, they soon reached my heart and in what seemed like the blink of an eye, I went from having a platform to reach millions of people to being in complete obscurity, broken down, and for the first time ever, not having a single dream to fuel my days and nights.
Divorce proved to be the greatest thief of my worldly possessions, but as I would soon discover in the years afterward, it had no hold on the blessings, promises, and favor God had always reserved for me. My 30’s started off in a low and lonely place where I didn’t even have my name to my name. And then very quietly, one thousand lies entered into my heart. One of the most damaging being that God had taken everything away from me, because I had made such a mess out of my life. I felt so undeserving to even have a thought about anything that didn’t involve me being punished for my sin. I honestly believed I would never be the recipient of any of His precious gifts again.
As I began to rise from the ashes of my life, God surrounded me with a family of prophets and glorious saints who interceded for me and my daughters with words that held His resurrection power. I had never felt chains break so easily before and I’d never experienced the power of a love that could heal me right now and also prepare a path for me to walk on in the moments ahead. I was completely captivated and revived by the gift of prophecy. The Father was showing me that He alone would make all the impossibilities of my life possible by His spoken word, but I wasn’t ready yet to hold on to such a big piece of His heart.
About a year later, I was remarried and relocated with our blended family to Georgia. I thought for sure things could only get better for me, but they didn’t. My new marriage exposed just how wounded my heart was from my first marriage. I was discouraged to realize that I hadn’t gotten very far in overcoming the abuse, torment, and damage I had suffered for 8 years and how much it effected the current relationship. And then both of our ex-spouses took us back to court and started legal battles that are still going on to this day. In addition to that and much more, we found out through a painful journey that our youngest daughter was diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum. It was honestly hard to breathe in those days and if I could, I would go back in time and hug that LeeAnn, because she became a hopeless, defeated, offended wreck of a woman.
I remember crying out to God and depleting all my emotions on the floor of my bedroom. I told Him I wasn’t going to make it like this and there was no way I could ever love again – not anyone, not even myself. I went to sleep in that puddle of tears and confessed loss, but it certainly wasn’t over yet. Just like He promises us, a new morning met me the next day. But, something had shifted in me and everything began to look different. My empty heart from the night before was now filled with heavenly insight and divine knowledge. My words came out softer and my eyes held a compassion for everyone in front of me. Understanding met me in places that had never made sense to me before. Revelation became a doorway in my soul that contained an eternity of other open doors. As I walked into His brilliant light, I began to carry it with me and shine it on everyone I could get close to. The gift of prophecy saved my life by giving me access to the Father’s heart so I could see and love like He does.
I was right when I told God I wasn’t going to make it in the flesh and was totally surprised when He didn’t argue with me. He didn’t have to, because I had fully surrendered my heart back into His hands; so, He could finally elevate my sight to no longer recognize souls in the flesh, but only see them purely in the Spirit. I felt the full weight of delight as The Giver so joyfully imparted Himself within me and I clasped my hands around my heart and made a vow to never let Him go.
Yes, He gave me His words to speak prophetically to His children, but greater than that, He first brought me back to life with His words of love for me. Then He carried me, wiping away the ashes of my sin with His own tears, so I could begin to see that Heaven held onto me, even when I was blind to it for so long. And I believe Heaven is holding on to you in the same way. By His grace and in His timing, I trust that all of His sons and daughters will prophesy just as He promised us at the beginning of time and together we will change atmospheres for His glory!