Many people ask how I got interested in the prophetic. To understand this story, I need to share the back story, so you can feel the full impact of God’s words through a stranger named Grace.
I grew up in a strict religious home and school, which was very restraining, depressing and draining. I loved God and asked him in my heart at a very young age. But as I got older, after experiencing many painful dissapointments, I let my heart become bitter.
I went away to college, hoping to leave the past and create a new future. The last thing I wanted or needed was a boyfriend. I wanted to discover myself, away from the strict religious control of my parents, school, and church.
Although it was a fresh start, I was traumatized. Going from an extremely micro-managed and controlled life, to being totally on my own was a big jump. I was under such an extreme amount of stress that I had trouble sleeping, eating, suffered from digestive issues.
I went to a campus party hoping to have fun and make some friends but this guy zoomed in on me and stuck by my side the whole night. I let him walk me home because he was following me anyway. This was a big mistake because he knew my dorm and kept showing up there. I made it clear I was not interested in a boyfriend, but he kept visiting, insisting we could hang out and just be friends.
For safety reasons, I stayed in the only ‘all girls dorm’ on campus. This particular dorm was known for being filled with seniors who wanted to hunker down and study for their last semester. On campus, people called it the ‘virgin vault’. All the gals on my floor were seniors (including my roommate!) and no one was interested in hanging out with an annoying freshman who wanted to meet new people.
Mark was the only person who joined me for meals, etc…Eventually, he wore me down and I agreed to be his girlfriend. Girls, never date someone who stalks you into being their girlfriend. I firmly expressed that I was a virgin and wanted to stay that way. At first, he was very respectful of my wishes, but eventually things changed.
I wanted to have the sorority college experience, but I couldn’t afford to rush. The one thing I always enjoyed that didn’t cost anything was working out. Mark offered to train me. It was hard to say no when all I wanted was company and Mark was always there.
I share the longer version of this story on my testimony playlist, but a girl I met on campus invited me to check out the strip club she worked at. Long story short, my money issues were enough to get me in the door and the huge tips flowing my way were enough to keep me there.
At first, Mark didn’t like the idea of me dancing for other men. When he saw how much money I was bringing in, he encouraged me to quit school and work full time. He used guilt to get me to buying things for him…which quickly turned into me supporting him financially the whole time we were together. Eventually, Mark wore me down into giving him my precious virginity.
It was such a pathetic entry into womanhood. Hearing this guy beg and plead as if he were going to die if I didn’t give myself up. I’m still angry with myself for letting him whine me into this life changing decision. Over time, Mark got lazier and more entitled; the weekends were consumed with me working while Mark went out and partied…on my dime.
Mark would gaslight me about my own admissions to being bad with math. He broke into my safes, briefcases, and every hidden place where I stored money. Money was always missing. If I had a stack of one hundred dollars, it would mysteriously become eighty. Of course, he was unable to explain the upgrade in his wardrobe or lifestyle. Deep down, I knew I was the one funding him but every time I’d confront Mark he would argue and make my life miserable.
I’m naturally feminine and grew up in a traditional household. I’ve always believed men were created to be protectors and providers. Me being used in this way did not feel good or right. Not only was I cooking, cleaning, paying for rent and food and working full time, but Mark couldn’t be bothered to help or support me in any way. It felt like rape. Financial rape and emotional manipulation.
Let me remind you, I was not exposed to normal high school experiences. This guy was my first real boyfriend. I didn’t know what normal was because I didn’t see or experience ‘normal’. My parents did not enjoy a healthy relationship, my father never gave me the talk or expressed my value, and my mom simply said all men were perverts. I knew this blanket statement was her own issue with men and dismissed it as extremism. Because I grew up so sheltered, I was not warned or aware men could prey on you in the way I was being exploited. Unfortunately, ignorance is the devil’s playground.
During this time, I was experiencing stomach issues and was seeing a woman named Wanda for massages. Wanda was the wise big sister I never had. I talked to her about everything. She was very concerned about my life, warning me I was in a toxic situation. One day she suggested I visit her Prophetic friend named Grace. Grace was ninety eight years old, a staunch Catholic who had a gift of hearing from God. Up until this point, I had never heard of the gift of prophecy.
At the time, I was far from God and the church. I wasn’t open to setting foot in a church but my life was so chaotic and confusing that I was open to getting any kind of help I could.
I made an appointment with Grace and found myself knocking on her trailer door a few days later. She was frail, her eyes clouded from glaucoma. I wasn’t sure what to expect as I never visited anyone with her gifting before. I sat in front of Grace, she held my hands, piercing deep into my soul with her milky eyes. Then she began to speak.
“You are connected to great darkness. This person you are dating is very bad for you. He has been lying and hiding many things. He meets with a tall blonde woman at a diner in the city late at night.”
She continued to describe the physical and personality traits of my best friend. My stomach churned. I went to Grace to get some clarity; to feel better, not worse. Everything she was saying was a bit too much, so I politely thanked her for her time and tried giving her money for her time and trouble. Grace refused, saying this was her gift from God to help others. It was something she has carried her whole life and felt it was her calling to bless others with. Her kindness and generosity touched me; it was such a rare experience for in the strip club, there was a price for everything.
I left, thinking hard about what she said and what it could mean for me. I tried breaking up with this Mark several times but he always found a way to weasel back into my life. With this knowledge tucked close to my heart, I moved with my eyes open, looking for confirmation of what Grace had spoken. After a couple of weeks, I relaxed, thinking maybe Grace had it wrong. Then one night, around nine pm, I got a call.
I heard wailing and sobbing on the other end. I was confused as to what was going on. The caller ID stated the call was from my best friend. After lots of commotion, I heard my best friend’s boyfriend yell, “Tell Julia the truth!”
My friend refused to jump on the line, I heard a struggle. Eventually, the boyfriend announced, “Guess who I found parked in front of our home, making out in the car? Your best friend and boyfriend. Don’t trust either of them, Julia. You deserve better than this. I’m sorry I had to be the one to break the news.”
Grace’s words echoed in my mind. She warned me about this, but I wasn’t brave enough to listen, to really let it all sink in. I needed the truth to hit me in the face and here it was.
I kicked Mark out and he went to live with his mother, just like any winner without a job would do. For weeks he would cry and beg, sleep on my doorstep when it was raining outside, do anything and everything to instill guilt on my end, as if I was the one who owed him. He would wait for me to come home from work and beg to sit in my presence. Once again, he wore me down. I wasn’t back with him, but I did allow him to have more access to me.
I was in a state of limbo; not knowing what to do or how to move forward in my life. So, I made an appointment to see Grace again.
As soon as she opened the door, she looked at me, her clouded eyes darkening with anger.
“You’re seeing him again!”
“No! He just keeps coming over. What am I supposed to do?”
“Kick him to the curb! You’re letting him under your threshold. You’re destroying your own peace when you do that!”
Grace said she would no longer make appointments with me if I continued allowing Mark access to me so I promised I would find the strength to follow through. Reluctantly, Grace let me back in. She grabbed my hands, looked straight into my eyes, and said:
“If you continue the path with this man, your life will become a living hell. You will wish you were never born, that’s how terrible your life will be. He is going to call you from jail. If you don’t hang up the phone, your life will be filled with darkness.
I see a man—he’s beautiful. He’s good, kind and honest. He comes from a good family. He is everything this man is not. When he meets you, he will treat you well because he has been wanting a girl like you his whole life. You will never meet this man if you don’t hang up the phone. You will never see him or give him a chance if you do because your loyalty to the wrong man won’t allow it. You must break the curse by breaking the connection.”
With that advice, she ended our meeting. I remember driving home in a daze, unable to process all I had been told. About two weeks later, the phone rang. It was Mark calling from jail. Never, in the six years we were together had he called from jail!
I froze. Everything slowed down…Mark babbled, asking for several thousand dollars to bail him out. My heart was beating so rapidly, it muffled out his voice.
In the past, every time he asked for my help, I stepped in. I felt so abandoned by my own family, being a loyal was something very important to me. Mark used my own value system to manipulate me.
For the first time since we were together, I imagined my life and future. I thought about the husband I prayed for since I was a little girl; the kind and beautiful soul Grace saw in my future.
“Mark, it’s time for you to grow up and help yourself. I will not bail you out. Don’t ever call me again. You’re on your own.”
Quickly, I hung up. It was the hardest thing I have ever done but I couldn’t think about him or feel sorry for him. Mark’s life was his problem to solve. I couldn’t do it anymore.
Without a doubt, God brought Grace to intercept my path. It’s no accident her name was Grace for she truly was a GIFT of GRACE I did not deserve. God could have let my life crash and burn. I was making bad choices, being foolish and trusting in the wrong things and people, but it was His goodness which opened a new path towards Him.
“Do the riches of his extraordinary kindness make you take him for granted and despise Him? Haven’t you experienced how kind and understanding he has been to you? Don’t mistake his tolerance for acceptance. Do you realize that all the wealth of his extravagant kindness is meant to melt your heart and lead you into repentance?” Romans 2:4 (TPT)
I believe God has many pivotal moments in our lives; things we should be paying attention to. Without a doubt, I believe if I had not let Grace’s words change the direction of my path, I would NOT be alive today. My loyal nature was used against me. Just like God will use the enemy’s plans for evil to bring good to your life, I believe the enemy will try to use the good things in you to take you down.
Today I have a man worthy of my loyalty. My husband is not typical, but I say, gifts from God are always exceedingly above all that we could think or ask for.
For those who need a simple understanding of the prophetic. It is a gift that can be cultivated. Think of it like this: The deeper you are in a relationship with somebody, the more attuned you are to their quirks, essence, and moods. Sometimes, I find myself telling my husband his thoughts because we’ve been together for over 20 years, and I am familiar with how his mind works.
The more time we spend in God’s word, the more accustomed we get with His voice. The more intentional we are to sit in His presence, the more God can give us. It’s our dedication which opens opportunity and favor.
Grace was amazing. She used her gift to help others and this came at a time when everyone around me was only taking from me. I was so depleted. It wasn’t just Grace’s words which refreshed my spirit. It was her generosity of time and care. She gave without expectation of receiving and this touched my heart.
I’ve never been comfortable just receiving, so of course, I would send Grace cash anonymously. Just because we are accustomed to giving doesn’t mean we should always be the one to do it. I believe receiving is something we must learn to do because sometimes, we are called to receive. And we must learn the art of receiving so we can allow God to care for us through the kindness of others.
The prophetic has set my life on a new course. I can speak from experience, that one word from God has the power to change everything. I know this, I believe it and my life is living proof of it.