It was an early evening, Sunday service at a church in Traverse City where my husband and I have ministered the last few years. We’d ministered that morning, and were now back for the evening worship service.
As we stood before the congregation singing, right in the middle of one of the songs, the Holy Spirit started speaking the word “SHANTUNG” to me.
He spoke it at least three times with enough emphasis to get my attention.
I’d heard the word shantung before, but had no immediate recollection of what it was, and why it mattered in that moment.
Then I remembered that it was a fabric, but still was not sure.
My mom used to make all of our clothes growing up, and had passed beginner’s sewing abilities to me, and more moderate skills to my sister. We’d visited our fair share of Joann Fabrics stores. So perhaps I’d seen it there, or on one of my many shopping adventures while reading fabric contents on clothing.
But it was still very much the most foreign and random thing to me in that moment, in that setting, and altogether, to be honest.
But He spoke it so adamantly to my spirit that I knew enough to know that I had to find out why.
I stopped singing, walked off the stage with the microphone still in my hand, and went to my seat to fish my phone out of my purse.
I walked back up on the stage and looked up the word SHANTUNG.
With a quick search on BING, I found that Shantung is a version of silk fabric. But it’s not just any type of silk, it is one of the most rare and costly types of silk that you can buy.
From the description, I knew that it was likely that I had not saw it at Joann’s -
Probably, and definitely NOT.
It is often used to make very high end, expensive wedding gowns, and is known in the bridal world as a very rich, silk fabric.
When I finished reading this, I began to ask the Lord who this word was for. He spoke a young ladies name to me in the audience.
I called the young lady's name, and without any idea exactly where God was going, I simply began to share what I'd just experienced.
After that one introduction of sharing how the Lord had communicated to me one word, and one name, the Holy Spirit began to give the rest of the word for her.
I rarely remember a lot of the words that I give in detail.
But I usually remember the occasions that are unique and rare like this one was.
I remember telling her that God was her Father, and that he would give her away.
And that because she was rare and precious, he would not just give her away to anyone.
When he gives her away, it would be under his watch, consent, and leading.
I remember referencing the rarity of shantung fabric, and how costly it is in reference to how God plans to send her off, and place her in the right hands, the right marriage, and in his time because she’d set her heart to seek him, and do things his way after trying on her own.
There was such a sweet presence in that moment.
I could feel how valuable she was to God.
I could feel his Lordship over her, but mostly that he stood in the role of a father.
It mattered more to him that she knew him as Father in that moment, and that her value in his eyes was beautiful.
As I watched the tears fall from her cheeks, I felt the release. I knew that was the end of the word.
Then, right after, the Lord led me to the right side of the church.
All the way in the back, with a baseball cap on, was young man standing with his eyes closed.
I’d never met him, and had only seen him in the morning service.
I began ministering to him as led by the Holy Spirit, and though I don't remember all of the details of the word that I gave, I remember God referencing another chance, and a new start for him.
Later that night, while at the pastors home, they told me something really funny.
That afternoon the young lady that I’d ministered to had gone out to eat with friends.
She specifically told them in conversation, “I need a word from the Lord, and I’ve asked God to have Pastor Shaunee to give it to me.”
I also found out that she and the young man in the baseball cap had just went on their first group date that Friday.
I had no point of reference or connection at all with them two.
Their relationship was very, very early, and I certainly didn’t know anything about it.
But I later realized that it was important to God that the young man see her in context to God’s intentions for her, and that she see him in reality to the way that God see’s him.
God did not waste time providing clarity to a fairly new relationship.
He cares like that.
That’s part of who He is.
Fast forward 10 months, and here I am today, back in Traverse City, in the same church, sitting on the back row, watching God fulfill his promise to give her away, and to provide the young man a whole new start.
I have been around prophetic ministry all of my life.
I grew up in church seeing it in operation.
And I’ve operated in my gifting as led for sometime now.
But it took me a long time to even discover many of my gifts.
I took most of them for granted, underestimated them, or considered them coincidental.
I never grew up having my spiritual gifts affirmed or mentioned.
They were as much a surprise to me as they were to anyone else.
I’ve had some pretty unbelievable things happen, and have received many confirming phone calls, text messages, and testimonies, along with verbatim events that I dreamed or saw beforehand.
However, I am never NOT surprised or in awe when full circle moments come.
I still sit in amazement of God every time.
It never gets old or common to me.
I am never like: “Well yeah…..of course that happened. I knew it would. I saw it. He told me.”
I’m pretty much live in awe of the way God works.
I’m in awe of what it means to follow the Holy Spirit.
I’m in amazement when he closes the circle and reveals what he was up to the whole time.
It’s the best type of validation to receive.
Because often, up until he closes the circle, you are only living with the great risk, or gamble that you took to say what God said, and walk away never knowing when it will happen…..sometimes even IF, or WHAT.
You are often simply a piece of a very big puzzle or plan.
And that is not always comfortable.
"For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears." 1 Corinthians 13:9-10
I believe that there are many reasons why God keeps us in the mystery of partial knowing.
But one of the most profound reasons that mystery is necessary in our relationship with God is because of the many layers of spiritual growth and character that is produced when we steward it correctly.
If he ever revealed the WHOLE of anything to us, we’d be tempted to gravitate away from the sensitivity required to hear him in the first place.
We'd be robbed of the many stages of awe that come with seeing anything through with God, and the joy that we experienced when he reveals the many parts of his plan.
Many would feel empowered to no longer stand in need of his power.
We'd be mini-God's unto ourselves, abandoning the trust that we must have to walk with God, no matter our anointing, gifting, "level", or position.
You will NEVER arrive to a place where dependence on God is not something he requires or desires from you.
Full circle moments are one of the many unspoken gifts that God grants us.
One of the hardest parts of our process or journey is loopholes, unanswered questions, and hardships without context.
Whenever God closes the circle, or allows you to see into his plan, there is a gentle relief that you feel.
Things start to make sense, and you feel a little less lost, a little less confused, and a little less crazy.
The 'WHO', 'WHAT', 'WHEN', 'WHERE', 'WHY', and 'HOW' all start to come together.
And it feels SATISFYING to take in the answers.
It also builds a confidence in you to follow the little crumbs and the big cookies whenever God presents them.
You start to think about how he followed through the last time, and are often reminded of the discomfort that you felt, but how context eventually came.
And you’re more apt to take risks because of your testimony of the last risk that you took.
For anyone who lives in risk with God, full circle moments are gifts of reward for your obedience. There is no part of your faith walk with God that will not require sacrifice and risk.
I place a lot of emphasis and importance on the voice of God and following the Holy Spirit.
It took quite some time for me to find my mission message.
Everyone called by God may be led to minister, preach, or teach multiple things.
But there is a core mission or message that burns inside of you.
My burning desire is to see people connected to the Holy Spirit, led by his voice, and following his leading in their personal lives and to others.
As a result, I have been pushed to follow him, even to my own bewilderment and discomfort many times.
Sometimes I follow Him blindly, and it may take years for me to receive confirmation as to whether or not it was effective, or even why he went the route that he did.
But each time that I follow, and he’s kind enough to reveal his intentions, it tethers me to him in a way that solidifies our union.
How he operates becomes so much clearer.
And I become so much more enamored with his ability to communicate his view of our past, present, and future.
To those who are growing in their spiritual gifts, or perhaps fully developed, and advanced….
To those on a journey with God that is currently difficult, or riddled with moments for which you still have no context or clarity,
To those who desire to hear God in a very real way, even if only minimally or occasionally…..
I wrote this for you.
There are people depending on your ability to hear God just as much as they depend on their’s to hear him.
While I was away, minding my business, eating pizza for dinner, this young lady was where she was, asking God to give her a word through me that night.
And my sensitivity to him, and willingness to be used was what God was looking for to answer her prayer.
Today I experienced a full circle moment.
I watched God close the loop for someone else, and realized that he was closing one for me too.
I prophesied in part 10 months ago.
Today fullness came, and my eyes beheld God's beauty.
I received the joy of AWE once again.