• Linda Hefner

The Power of the Prophetic

I love the prophetic because its a declaration from the God who is outside of time calling us into the incredible identity and purpose that we were created for but have not yet seen. I love that I get to reprint this story because it's about my daughter, Rachel, who is pretty amazing. The story was recently printed in her high school magazine as the alumni spotlight. What the story didn't share was that, while still in grade school, a precious prophetic friend in California, Ethel Peters, prophesied over Rachel that she saw her as a large sailing vessel going from nation to nation around the world with other sailing ships following behind her. She told her that she would touch the nations and that she would lead others to do the same. Those words felt immediately at home in Rachel's heart and settled deep in her spirit. When others were making different decisions or when her circumstances were difficult, they steered her in the direction that God had for her and helped mold her into who she is and is yet to become. I'm SO grateful for the many people who have, over the years, spoken prophetic destiny into my children's lives. RACHEL'S STORY Up until my senior year in high school, I planned on following in the family path of medicine. However, in January of 2010 an earthquake ripped apart the nation of Haiti, and my parents and I immediately volunteered to care for Haitian victims in a hospital on the border of the Dominican Republic. Witnessing the suffering of amputees and paraplegics, those who had lost everything - their homes, their children, their spouses - shifted something in me. To this day my dad laughs that I decided not to become a doctor while in a war zone. Nevertheless, I knew medicine wasn’t God’s avenue for me. I took a gap year as planned and joined Youth With a Mission (YWAM) in Kona, Hawaii. From Kona, I traveled to the Maldives and to India to serve in hospitals for children terminally ill with AIDS, to colonies designated for lepers and to outcasted communities where the lowest castes of society dwelled. We also spent significant amounts of time building homes for widows and the elderly in the more remote regions of Mahabalipuram. After another quick stint in Kona, I spent the next several years traveling with YWAM to schools in Southern California as well as Ivy League universities in an effort to inspire students to use their own talents to change the world. By 2014, I had relocated to Harrisburg, Pennsylvania and was serving on the organization's leadership team, overseeing their accounting, supporting myself financially as a waitress and attending full-time school online. In the midst of all of this, I applied to a school in California, Biola University, which was way above my budget. I therefore applied for every scholarship I could find and worked towards maintaining a 4.0 GPA in order to obtain the financial aid I needed. However, my limited experience with college led me to attempt four online summer classes. Suffice it to say, upon completing my last exam, I closed my computer and cried for three days from pure exhaustion. I felt that I had failed, that school in California was no longer a possibility, and that I would never accomplish what was on my heart to do. I had seen too many individuals across the globe striving, suffering and succeeding unbeknownst to the rest of the world, and all I wanted to do was tell their stories. But, I knew I had to be excellent in order for those stories to be told the way they deserved to be. So, in spite of what seemed like failure, I decided not to lower my expectations for the future but, instead, to raise them. I drove the 3,000 miles to California, worked for a year to gain residency, spent several months serving refugees in Northern Iraq, came back, attended a community college, and gained entrance into the number one public university in the country, UCLA. Suffice it to say, when the digital confetti poured down over my acceptance email, I burst into tears on the side of the road. It had been a long journey. I have just graduated from UCLA at almost 27-years-old with a bachelor’s in English, but I have definitely overcome those feelings of inadequacy that always seem nearby. Not only did I graduate Summa Cum Laude, but, throughout my entire time at UCLA, I nannied full time and worked as a photographer and writer for UCLA’s newspaper, the Daily Bruin. I have definitely lived a lot of life since I graduated from Christian Academy of Louisville, and none of it has been conventional. To be honesty, some of it hasn’t been that fun. But, God always knew where I was going, and it’s been my greatest joy and my greatest challenge to know that all I ever really get to ask is, what’s next?

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