I always thought a prophetic word would be spoken to me during a worship service or in broken English by an old French woman while I was touring Notre Dame. No, God usually shows up in the ordinary and this was no exception. My experienced happened around midnight in a Steak n Shake off the interstate in central Illinois.
My friend Phoebe and I were catching up over cheese fries and steakburgers. It was a year of change for me; I was in the process of getting myself down the right path and contemplating leaving Illinois for good. It was still just a thought, I hadn’t made plans yet.
We were talking about relationships – or in my case, lack thereof – and I said, “Oh, I don’t even know if I’ll get married.”
“You will,” she said with confidence.
“How do you know?” I asked, an eyebrow raised. Platitudes did nothing for me.
“I’ve seen it,” she said as she tapped her forehead. The third eye. Phoebe was a spiritual Catholic with a hint of charismatic charm. She had a knack for seeing the future, although her own future was often too clouded for her to see clearly.
I shrugged and went back to eating my cheese fries.
“I know he’s older than you.”
I froze mid fry. That was certainly interesting. I had my heart set on someone who was a few years my senior. If he wanted a serious romantic relationship with me, I would have dropped everything and moved to his city – a place I also loved.
With my heart racing, I thought for a moment about heading out east, and then added, “He’s not in Illinois, is he?” I knew full well his truck had Illinois plates and chances of him leaving his homeland were slim to none.
“He’s not in Illinois,” Phoebe said with a mouthful of fries.
While the air went out of my proverbial balloon around the restaurant, I knew she was right. It was another sign I needed to leave.
Fast forward a year from that very conversation. I was the new kid on the block in Wilmington, North Carolina. The cute guy I met on my job interview tour and I began dating. He was eleven years older than me. We were married a year and a half later.
If you knew me before, you’d know I had no desire for children. Yet this was slowly changing. I remember calling Phoebe right after her first baby was born – five years after our prophetic Steak ‘n Shake conversation – to see how she was getting on in motherhood. She was overloaded, stressed, tired – in short, a complete mess as first time mamas go.
“Do you see me having kids?” I asked. This was before the painful infertility tests and the lackluster meeting with the miracle worker doctor who suggested adoption to fix our issues. Like my move to North Carolina, this was still a thought out in space.
“No, I do not.” After a moment she added, “I’m so sorry, Simonne.”
Again, I was deflated, but this didn’t deter me – us – from trying. But ultimately, her words rang true, just like last time.
The crazy thing is, after years of ignoring my own intuition, I started sensing things.
I’m am not clairvoyant by any stretch of the imagination. I do not have the gift of prophecy. I cannot look at someone or a situation and tell you things about it. The feelings come to me. I’m always a receiver of this information, never a transmitter.
I’ve predicted twice a friend’s marriage would fail the first time I met their intended spouse. Both marriages collapsed due to the spouse placing C4 explosives at the foundation of the union and pressing the detonator button. Nonetheless, I am not infallible. I said the same about another friend, yet they’re still together and happy – although it’s been a tough road.
I told my sister she’d get pregnant right away and the baby would be healthy. And that happened.
Another friend once told me about her new professional venture and at once I felt this would open doors for her and it was a good thing to pursue, not knowing what specific good things would happen. The words flew out of my mouth before I had time to contemplate them and hoped I didn’t say anything I’d have to eat later. By the by, she met her future husband through this connection, an answer to many years of intense prayer.
And the thing is, I got that feeling again recently.
It descended upon me out of the blue after I was told something quite bland, and my reaction was, “Holy [expletive], [redacted] is going to happen.” And if this happens, it will be a very good thing, an Isaiah 54:2 moment, if you will. A part of me fears I’m completely off base and it’s just the sugar high from the Christmas cookies. I wrote it in my journal with a sketched out timeline (more my personal predictions than the feeling). I’ll confess it if it comes to pass.
Until then, I’m wrapping it up in prayer, hoping with all my hope that my feeling is right on the money.
I can’t wait to tell Phoebe.