“It is easier to tell a person what life is not, rather than to tell them what it is. A child understands weeds that grow from lack of attention, in a garden. However, it is hard to explain the wild flowers that one gardener calls weeds, and another considers beautiful ground cover.”
― Shannon L. Alder
In October 2009 I found myself on the tail end of a healing season. My family and I had experienced the loss of my eldest child in 2005 and if that grieving season were not enough my marriage hit the rocks the Christmas a little more than a year before the night my husband and I made our way to Gateway Church for the much anticipated, by me, Leadership Presbytery. (read more about Leadership Presbytery click here)
Leadership Presbytery is a time when couples who are leading in areas of ministry are prayed over and given words of encouragement through prophetic ministry. (See 1 Corinthians 14)
My husband and I were still recovering in our relationship after an emotional betrayal. By October, Scott’s work had sent him out of town to work for several weeks. He drove, took a cab, stayed overnight in a hotel, and took an airplane ride to join me on this very special night. I knew God was going to show up and give us an incredible word.
I had prayed God would really speak a strong word to my husband. I secretly hoped I would get some amazing word about being a rising star… God delivered. He gave Scott an amazing word and He called out greatness in my heart. But, it may not be exactly what you’d think of as greatness.
Here is my portion of the Presbytery…
Michelle, I see you bringing great beauty into people’s lives. It’s like I see you in a barren room, and you have a basket and you are pulling out these beautiful, beautiful objects. Pottery and Glass and Decorations for the windows, but it’s – I have a feeling that people who are lacking in their lives who don’t have that extra, who don’t have that beauty, who haven’t encountered the living God like you have are drawn to you. And, you champion them. You partner with them to show them the richness of what their true inheritance is. Because what you are pulling out isn’t what you’ve bought, it’s what Jesus purchased for them. And, you are helping them know that they know that they know this is really their inheritance. You are not showing them something that is you. You are showing them themselves. And, I just feel Father’s love for you for doing that. You’ve opened people’s eyes to the richness of Christ, to the richness of their Father God, and you delight His heart.
Well, Michelle, this is what I feel like the Lord wants to say to you. I just, what I heard was that you were a wildflower, perfect and beautiful. You dance with delight and I am so pleased. Your heart of worship is pure, true and strong. I smell a sweet fragrance around you when you dance. I just heard, “Dance, dance, dance!” I don’t know if you dance, but maybe He wants you to dance. Worship Me like never before! I want to spend time with you and I want you to know Me.
Hidden things will be revealed and truth is coming to you about your present situation. You have the gift of wisdom. I want to bring clarity and focus to you.
“Ask ME and I will tell you some remarkable secrets about what is going to happen here.” ~ Jeremiah 33:3
A Wildflower is a flower that can be hidden on a hill only for My eyes or it can be for the pleasure of any man. That’s how I have made you. You minister to Me, but you also minister to others. You are soft and sweet and you draw people to you.
You know how to navigate people with ease and grace. They are comfortable in your presence and because of this trust they come to you for wisdom and counsel. Speak MY words and speak them often. I have made you to be an encourager and I want you to look for every opportunity to share. It doesn’t have to be heavy, just be available. A word here, a word there, and opportunities will present themselves in ways that will astound.
People just want to be loved. These are hard times. You bring refreshing. Do as I ask and you will develop the gifts within. You are a jewel in my crown!
Michelle, when I prayed for you the first two words that came so clearly were that you are gifted and that you’re treasured. And, the Scripture was in Matthew 6:21 where it says, “For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”(AMP) And I really feel like what the Lord said to me was You are…Because you have…You know where your treasure is. You know where your heart is. You have chosen to plant your heart in Him, and He sees you as a treasure. He sees you as just a very, very precious thing to be cherished, and He does cherish you.
Um… I felt like the Lord said you’ve had great brokenness in your life. Great Brokenness. He took me to Isaiah 61 about beauty for ashes. And, the Lord has been systematically over the last (however long) He has been giving you beauty for those ashes. And what He’s calling you to now is what it says in Isaiah, to bind up the brokenhearted. He’s sending you back! Sometimes it’s going to feel like you’ve gone backwards in your brokenness, you haven’t. You’re whole. You’re healed. But He’s sending you back to that point because there are other people who are broken and they need to be brought back to where you are. They need to be brought forward, that’s what I feel like the Lord’s really calling you to.
So I share all that not to say how great I am… I share all that to highlight one thing. I despised that word. I didn’t hear greatness in it – though as I re-read it tonight… Greatness is all over it. I couldn’t figure out how being a spiritual decorator and a wildflower was a great calling – I thought, “Have you ever seen a wildflower?”
I am pretty sure God said it, but at the time it seemed like my idea. What if I started painting people’s prophetic words.
I started right away. I drug out the large plastic tub with my art supplies in it and ran down to Hobby Lobby to buy a canvas or two and then I started marking out the words Scott and I received just a few days earlier. My heart began to sing. I painted long into the night that particular Saturday evening. I found myself unwilling to stop.
Over time I’ve painted roughly 50 paintings that I would call prophetic art, but it was in the early days of 2012 that God gave me the piece featured in this post.
Her Name is Wildflower…
I had been gathering for weeks with women on Saturday mornings displaying paintings I had been creating in the healing rooms as people came to receive prayer for physical healing. We prayed down heaven week after week for Pink Impact, the Gateway Women’s Conference event. I had served on the prayer team for four years. And it was only just a year or two before that praying for this very conference had begun my journey of painting my own prophetic visions for the first time.
I discovered this little treasure for my heart as we paced the floor, speaking with love toward God and the women He was wooing to His heart that year. I sketched her out in my sketchpad. I painted a version of her in the prayer room during breaks at the conference and I took her home and tucked her away in my art room on a shelf. I did not feel I can do her justice with the stroke of a brush so I decided to leave her as she lay.
As I approached a transition in my season, God began to speak to me about wildflowers through His Word. I attended a women’s leadership class at church and when I asked God why I was there He told me I am One. Wild. Broad. Yep, He did.
More than that — He made me get up in front of 150 women and make that confession. Many of the pastors there that evening said it was very memorable because the moment of laughter was followed by deep meaning. W. I. L. D. was the name of the class. (Women in Leadership Development) And the reason I attended? So I could BROADEN myself in the area of leadership. One. Wild. Broad.
Then He led me on a treasure hunt… The Message Bible sat in my lap as I Googled Scripture after Scripture of references to the Wildflowers. Luke 12:27-28. Matthew 6:30-33. Isaiah 40:7-12.
Song of Songs 1:14a “My beloved is a bouquet of wildflowers picked just for me…”
Psalm 30:11 “You did it! You changed my wild lament into whirling dancing.
You stripped off my mourning bands and decked me in wildflowers.”
And finally I understood. I understood the greatness of the story God had woven through that word received three years earlier. I printed my beautiful Wildflower off on watercolor paper and prepped a 16×20 canvas and adorned my Wildflower as God had revealed her to me. Then I fixed her to her background and watched her mourning bands take flight as newness of life and provision fresh rose up all around her. My Wildflower is me. How sweet is the Lord’s love on us that He would hide these beautiful gifts in His Word, in our identity and in the hearts of others toward us. Like a great treasure hunt waiting to be discovered – the Greatness of God rests in each of us and with hope it will be discovered.