When Your Breakthrough Doesn’t Come

http://www.dreamstime.com/stock-photos-no-image11590733There were more than thirty of us in the room.

Each of us standing before God, declaring war against the one thing we felt was holding us back the most. The one thing that had become an obstacle on our path to serve him. Like warriors, we were preparing for battle, revving up to overcome it once and for all. To defeat the enemy, with God leading the way.

I’d been struggling with mine for years.

Maybe because I didn’t grow up in the church, or because I’d only been a Christian for the last 10 years, the enemy used it as a tool to nip and gnaw at me when I was most vulnerable. It kept me on the sidelines more often than I’d like to admit, and held me back from pushing forward with ministry opportunities I wanted to pursue.

I was ready, and willing, to give it the boot. To overcome it once and for all.

This feeling of ungodliness.

I psyched myself up, prayed continually, and stood toe-to-toe with the enemy, ready to take it down.

Nearly thirty went before me, accomplished their task, and celebrated.

When it was my turn, I was the only one who failed.

The. Only. One.

It felt cruel to me, this failure. And almost as if my obstacle was being thrown in my face. My struggle with feeling ungodly around groups of Christians had actually manifested in real life. In front of everyone. A roomful of sold-out-for-Christ Christians.

As everyone celebrated their victories, I was embarrassed. And hurt. And, just plain mad.

For whatever reason, God had shown up for more than thirty people, and left me standing alone. I could feel the enemy breathing down my neck, poking and laughing at me, telling me that I should have listened to him instead.

I left the room and didn’t want to come back. I visited the nearby bathroom and threw a little pity party. I listened out for an explanation from God, but found only silence.

Again.

My mind played tricks with me that day. Did God have my back? Was I even his? Why would he leave me there like that? Why did he help everyone but me?

I let the questions flow this time instead of holding them in their proper place. I accepted the fact that it just wasn’t my turn somehow. And put on a brave face.

As I drove home from the event, I had a long talk with God. Okay–so, it was completely one-sided, and gave no room for input. But I wanted to know:

What was I doing wrong?

Was I being selfish?

Was it a pride issue?

Why wouldn’t he show up for me like he did for all the others?

How could he leave me there like that?

Didn’t he know that was my one THING? The THING I struggled with the most?

Did he like me this way? Did he want me to feel less than?

Did he care about me at all?

 

Then . . . a whisper in the corner of my mind.

 

I’m still using it.

I sat stunned. My running mouth momentarily shut.

The very thing that haunted me the most. The single thing that seemed to hold me back again and again, was something God found useful. And I realized something new:

God won’t allow a breakthrough on something that he is

still using to mold us.

It made me think of other breakthroughs I’d prayed for in my life:

  • Breakthroughs . . . in relationships with family members
  • Breakthroughs . . . in finances
  • Breakthroughs . . .  in my marriage
  • Breakthroughs  . . . with friendships
  • Breakthroughs . . . in my ministry

All denied at times when I was sure a breakthrough was coming.

All used to mold, and shape, and sometimes painfully carve me into the person he wanted me to be.

While I pouted, and sulked, and felt tiny and unworthy to God, he was busy using these very things to create the woman he saw inside. Stronger and more fit for his service than I’d been before.

A new woman who:

  • Became more vulnerable with other women so that she could be used to help them
  • Reached to learn more about him so that she could in turn teach others
  • Felt small in this world so that she could help others to reach toward something bigger than anything she could ever offer

And so today, I thank him for the breakthroughs that don’t come.

For the desperate prayers that don’t get answered. For the cries in the night that ask him to fix it all. And the mornings when they’re not fixed.

Because he knows that what he has for me is much better than what I’m asking him for myself. And he won’t settle for giving me less than his very best. He won’t allow me to come out of the fire half-baked. He won’t grant me the things I long for most, if those are the very things that he is using to make me stronger.

What breakthrough are you praying for right now?

 

 

8 Comments

  1. Thank you for this……I needed it SO much this morning as I am in a similar place myself……..and YES ! The Lord is STILL using this in your life to reach out to others of us. To let us know we are not alone, and that His thoughts and plans and purposes are so much higher than ours.
    Thanks for your transparency and vulnerability.
    May He continue to work in you and through you xox

  2. Letting go and letting the Lord lead me through a friend across turbulent waters where He has given her talents, power, and strength is my breakthrough. I believe we both will be blessed. The core of this breakthrough is trust and talent!

    God uses the domino effect to make something beautiful when we each stand up and wait for the Lord to push us forward by touching one another’s lives. Not all of us have our breakthroughs at the same time.

    Like a domino who is way up front hearing the clicking that sounds like cheers as those behind her are bump forward; she must stand. It’s the wait and staying where God put her that causes His perfect breakthrough pattern to be see by more than the waiting domino can imagine. Her time is coming.

    Thank you, Laura for showing us your breakthrough just between you and God on your drive home. It never matters to God if we are new Christians or old warriors, He takes us all through barriers when we standup for Him. Sometimes He breaks barriers that look different. Some barriers are invisible walls He puts before the one He knows only they can breakthrough.

    Write on!

  3. Carolyn,
    Your image of the dominoes gave me chills. I love that. Thanks so much for your encouragement. I can’t wait to see where God takes your new project. <3

  4. Have been praying for healing for years, most recently over a year with stomach issues and anxiety. I claim scripture, cast mountains into the sea, call my body to align itself with the Kingdom, have others praying. Yet there is no manifestation of healing, and currently I’ve been out of work for several days. I watch and see around me that even unbelievers are being healed — then I’ve asked all the questions you asked.
    I pray this is making me stronger — yet most times I feel it is breaking me down.
    But I’m not giving up (even though I confess sometimes I want to).
    Thank you for sharing your story, Laura!

  5. Kathy,

    I pray that God not only heals you, but uses your story for his glory. It’s so hard to understand why we go through things when we are going through them. But, on the other side, it seems obvious that he had a plan all along. He’s got one for you too, and never puts us in any situation that he doesn’t want to redeem for his purposes. Sweet blessings to you. <3

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