It was 1998, and my husband Malcolm and I were on a ministry trip, visiting churches in the South Island of New Zealand. As we were travelling, I was reading about a prophetic vision. In the book, eagles symbolised the prophets who had been hidden until the end times, and who collectively were shown what God was doing. 
One day, as I read about the eagles who were the prophets, a huge response took place in my heart concerning prophetic ministry. It was as though a light turned on, and I found myself crying out to the Lord, ‘That’s me!’
That evening we were having dinner with leaders in a church where we were ministering. As we prayed together, our friend shared a vision he was seeing:
“Helen I have this picture of you wearing a large, baggy sweatshirt.  There is a motif running each sleeve that is like the eagles heads that you see on Indian totem poles, with the large eyes and beak. There are a series of these running down each sleeve.”
He had no idea of my encounter with God earlier that day.
I recorded in my diary, ‘I realised that the reason the sweatshirt was ‘big’ was that I am yet to grow into the ministry.’
When we returned home from that trip, a package was waiting for us. It was from my Mum, who was living in the USA at that time. Inside was a decorative plate, featuring an eagle’s face.
Prophetic Signs, Events and Unusual Coincidences
It is no surprise that sometimes God speaks to those of us who are gifted prophetically in ways that we especially relate to. This includes the means of signs, symbols and unusual coincidences.
In Scripture, God sometimes gave many prophetic words and signs to His people over a long period, often years before the promise they related to was ever fulfilled.
A Grace Gift From God
A personal prophetic word or event can be like a signpost pointing to something God is doing in the future. During times of hiddenness, transition or trial, we can look back on what God has spoken in the past and be encouraged concerning God’s faithfulness to perform His word.
Shortly after the events I recorded above, I entered a season of severe trial and failure in prophetic and prayer ministry (I write about this in the book, ‘Prophetic People in a Changing Church.’)
During the years that followed, of restoration, waiting, measures of release into ministry and burnout, this event, along with other prophecies, continued to remind me of God’s purpose for my life. The eagle plate sat where I could see it every day. Looking into its eyes was like looking into a mirror—a reminder of who God created and called me to be.
Processing Prophetic Signs
Here are some things to remember when you are processing about prophetic insights received by way of unusual signs, coincidences.
1. Prophetic Signs Often Relate to a Future Time
There are times to hold things in our hearts as Mary did (Luke 2:19), whilst getting on with the business of everyday life, being faithful and preparing as we have the opportunity to do so. At the right time, the prophetic sign or word will prove to be confirmation.
2. Prophetic Signs and Insights Need to be Weighed up
The Biblical mandate to weigh up prophecy applies to all prophetic revelation, no matter how it is received. (1 Thess 5:19-22) There is no hierarchy of prophetic revelation where a particular way we receive it is not subject to being weighed up. An open vision, for example, needs to be tested and submitted to oversight just as much as any other word. As the Apostle Paul said, ‘Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.’ (2 Cor 11:14)
If you are confused about time frames or you think a prophetic revelation requires an immediate response, having oversight is not only helpful, but also necessary. 
It was 12 years before the doorway to step into full time prophetic ministry with David McCracken Ministries opened up to me. And the prophetic call was prayed over and weighed up by all parties—including my own church pastor. It was time to step fully into my calling.
3. Keep a Record of Prophetic Events and Signs when they Occur.
Keeping a record of events that seem to be orchestrated by the Holy Spirit can be a great means of encouragement later on, for reflection, confirmation and prayer. (Hab 2:2-3)
 The Final Quest, Rick Joyner, Morningstar Publications, 1996
 ‘Sweatshirt’ is Kiwi for ‘jumper’—or ‘jersey’, depending on where you are from!
 For more information on processing personal prophetic guidance, see Personal Guidance for the Important Decisions of Life
© Helen Calder, Enliven Blog
Enliven Ministries: In the David McCracken Ministries family