My voice is one of my most powerful assets. I had always been the one who would stand up for truth and silence any kind of mistreatment or negativity. I found I can be a safe place with my words, someone who is compassionate and thrives on speaking life to all people in all situations and circumstances.
It didn’t start that way though. I grew up in a school environment where popularity was founded upon how much criticism you could dish out towards everyone that was different than you. Physically, I was a lot smaller than the jocks. Like the other average kids in school, size and physical appearance became my primary “defects”. I was a smart guy, pretty self aware, though to tell you the truth, I was very insecure and just wanted to be liked by everyone. I felt like I didn’t have influence in anything because I believed for so long that what I had to say didn’t matter to anyone. I was a self-critical, insecure victim.
I hadn’t grown up in an environment where the prophetic existed. I had just moved to a church at 11 years old where there was no grid for spiritual gifts. I didn’t know relationship with God was a thing! I didn’t know that people were being healed or delivered all across the world until one day, my 18th birthday, I encountered Jesus and the Holy Spirit for the first time.
I was attending a youth conference as a leader back in my hometown. I was asked to lead a group I had no relationship with and I didn’t really understand why I was there. During the conference I watched the M.C. reveal information about a young girl in the audience about her life and her family. She was crying, but crying with JOY! For me, the scary thing was they didn’t know each other at all! I was so offended. I thought it was so inappropriate at first, but as I continued to watch, my anger turned to confusion then to tears of compassion and joy. I had never experienced something so beautiful in my entire life.
Then God did a number on me . . .
At the end of the sermon that day, the same man read from Luke 15, the parable of the prodigal son. He asked us to all close our eyes and said, “I feel like the Lord wants to say, ‘Daddy wants you back’”.
In that moment I was immediately sent back to when I was 11 years old. It was 3 months prior to moving church where God reminded me of my first ever encounter I had with Him, the moment He told me I was important and my life mattered and that He wanted me!
I stood up with tears streaming down my face. I mattered to God and believed that HIS words over me were TRUTH and LIFE. I began to encourage people incessantly. My mouth was overflowing with affirmation for everything that moved! The compassion of God for others came pouring out of me like a beautiful waterfall.
From that moment all past criticism fell off me. I was set free! He restored my voice and since then has given me a real grace for flowing in the prophetic, giving accurate words of knowledge and being a mouthpiece of strength, encouragement and comfort. I am his mouthpiece and I will live my life to speak for the King who restored my voice!
By Peter Harrison