For ten years, Anja Gibson has prophesied about marriage, decreeing the centrality of Christ and the couple as the pillar for the restoration of the earth. Eventually, in 2020, following a cascade of God-ordained circumstances, Anja entered into her own kingdom marriage
It started with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I was 34 and working for YWAM [Youth With a Mission] in Kansas City. My three roommates and I had closed our bedroom door on 26 January 2012 and said to God: “We will not move until you walk into the room.” And we didn’t. For 12 hours we waited! And then, a minute before midnight, the Holy Spirit walked into the room. The next seven days were supernatural. We didn’t eat or sleep – sustained solely by the Spirit. I began to speak out, prophesying about kingdom marriage:
“Kingdom marriage consists of one woman and one man, in full union with God, representing the Trinity on earth. Kingdom marriages will represent the face of God to humanity and build bridges for nations, ministries and businesses. Kingdom marriages will be God-ordained and based on the solid foundation of his word. The bride of Christ will dwell in her identity as the beloved of God and the truth of God will cement her spirit. The fullness of time has arrived and God’s eternal kingdom will be established!”
I was single but God told me to speak out about Kingdom marriage
This outpouring of the Holy Spirit was a watershed moment in my life. So significant, that I continue to acknowledge and celebrate 26 January nearly ten years later. I also knew that this date would be significant to the man I would marry. This is the first sign God gave me about my future husband – he would have also had an encounter with the Holy Spirit on this date.
Following this experience, I was ready to proclaim God’s truth about kingdom marriage from the rooftops… and this is exactly what God asked me to do. “Stand on Mount Zion in Israel, wearing a wedding dress and give a decree about kingdom marriage,” God told me. Perhaps this sounds crazy, but his voice was clear and my heart so willing. I flew to Israel six months later. And, standing on Mount Zion, I made the decree, repeating the prophecy God had given me, just as he had asked. But I neglected one detail: the dress.
As I stepped out in obedience my heart started to come under attack. Disheartened by worldly things, I had made no effort to find a wedding dress to wear while saying the decree. It turned out that this detail really mattered to God.
In 2015, God asked me to make the decree again – this time from Mount Carmel in Israel. I decided to trust him this time for the dress, deciding to myself: “If this is what he wants, someone will knock on my door and give me a wedding dress.”
Thirty minutes later a friend from America rang. God had told her to make me a dress. Not for the decree, she went on to explain, but for my wedding day…God would give me the material in Jerusalem, she prophesied. And he did. The day I arrived in Jerusalem I was handed a package of white lace. I was astounded and full of hope!
I made the decree on Mount Carmel in a wedding dress I borrowed from a friend. And unlike the previous decree, which was followed by a deluge of spiritual attacks leading to destructive choices and painful restoration, this decree ushered in a new season of wholeness. I was a bride of God.
The white lace material for my wedding day lay waiting, and it was four years before God indicated to my American friend that it was time to make the dress. By 2019 my wedding dress finally hung in my room, ready and waiting. This is the same year that my world collided with Andy’s.
Andy and I had known each other for years. My best friend had fallen in love with him, and I had faithfully prayed for the two of them. If it was about ticking boxes, he ticked a very important one. Andy had experienced a profound encounter with an angel on 26 January 2012, which also happened to be his birthday. I knew I’d marry someone for whom that date was spiritually significant – God had made this clear to me – but it wasn’t until 2019, when my best friend was happily married to someone else and Andy randomly reconnected with me through Facebook, that I began to wonder about him.
When you see me in someone then you know he is from me
We unexpectedly ended up spending time together in my homeland of South Africa that year, while Andy was on sabbatical from America. He made it clear that we were just hanging out as friends, but I knew pretty quickly that I liked him; he was open to the Spirit and sold out for God. It wasn’t long before a myriad of God-ordained moments gave me a quiet, spirit-filled confidence that he would be my husband.
The most significant ‘God moment’ was in early 2020, when a Ugandan pastor approached me during a church service with a word of knowledge, which included the following details: my marriage was in a delay, and the number 39 was important. That day happened to be 26 January, the anniversary of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on me, and Andy’s 39th birthday.
A few weeks later I stood on my grandfather’s land, looking out over the landscape that remarkably resembles Mount Carmel. For the third time, I proclaimed God’s truth about kingdom marriage. “When you see me in someone then you know he is from me,” God whispered as I stood there. I thought of Andy and his godly character. He was like no one else I’d ever met.
God continued to work in the details, engineering circumstances so that I ended up arriving in the US on a trip to teach at YWAM Kansas City on 13 March, the day the borders shut in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. I was stuck in the US and all my plans were cancelled. Needing somewhere to stay, Andy invited me to take a spare room in the community house where he lived. I ended up staying there for the next three months.
“Your heart will get broken,” friends warned me, as Andy and I continued to spend time together once restrictions lifted. And there were certainly moments when my heart grew weary of waiting. I was 43 and so ready for marriage. “Had I understood God correctly?” I wondered, especially in the conversations where Andy specifically said he had no intention of marrying me!
But in a moment of profound encounter with God – which to this day Andy struggles to find the words for – God aligned his heart with mine. God presented me to Andy, and he knew in his spirit that he wanted to marry me. After three days of quietly processing, it all tumbled out.
We were married ten days later, celebrating first in America, surrounded by Andy’s family, and then on my grandfather’s land in South Africa. I stood there again, in the dress God had given me, this time with Andy alongside me. Together we declared the restorative power and unity of marriage in the kingdom of God.
We’ve been married for two years now, and it’s been utterly incredible. Well-meaning friends warned us that the first year or so of marriage could be hard. This has not been our reality. We’ve had to fight to maintain a renewed mind, responding to all negativity around marriage with a resounding: “not in God’s kingdom!” Our words are so powerful and we want to speak life and acknowledge the beauty and abundance of marriage in the kingdom of God.
We should not underestimate what God is capable of when we allow him to orchestrate our relationship
Both Andy and I went on journeys of inner healing with God before we were married; we were two wholes coming together. And the reality of this is so stunning. The Apostle Paul outlines what love looks like in 1 Corinthians 13 – I’m sure you know the words: “Love is patient, love is kind…” We are living this. Our marriage embodies this picture. We should not underestimate what God is capable of when we allow him to orchestrate our relationship.
There was a time when I wanted to know the future. But now, I don’t feel like I need to have it all figured out in advance. God is our source. We are riding the waves of his goodness and grace. We are all in, unshackled and available, walking hand-in-hand in our Father’s garden and living out his vision for kingdom marriage.
You can follow Anja and Andy on Instagram: @enjoying_everyday_life_