October was an interesting month.
I knew breakthrough was coming; I was anticipating it, I was ready for it, I was looking for it. I’d been declaring it for months, and inviting others into my journey of faith.
Then a series of breakthroughs came! … And looked nothing like I’d expected them to…
Instead of bringing me closer to the promises that God has been speaking over me this year, circumstances appeared to broaden the chasm between where I am, and where I believe God is leading me. And when I asked God about it? Well, His answer was simple and sincere: with me, nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37).
You might argue, because I didn’t see the fulfilment of any one of the promises that I am waiting for, that I didn’t really receive breakthrough. But there was a noticeable spiritual shift; a re-focus; progress, regardless of my circumstances. My focus had been on taking ‘two steps forward’, toward these promises, but I felt God nearer to me still, having seemingly taken ‘three steps back’.
Much of the time that has lapsed since then has been spent in prayer, as I determine to focus on the Truth of what God has promised, rather than the truth of current circumstances around me.
There’s no denying the facts that I have been confronted with in recent weeks; my surprise was not based on doubt, or questions, or perceptions, they were based on hard facts: truth.
‘Why hold on, when things look so hopeless?’, you may ask.
Because truth is no object for the Truth of God’s Word to contend with. Because circumstances mean nothing to the God who created all things and orchestrates them around us. Because the peace and joy in my heart encourages me to hold on to faith.
Faith can defy facts.
As I’ve battled with God in prayer and worship, He asks me to remain on this path. He reassures me that I am being obedient. He reiterates these promises, reminding me that they are not lost. There are way too many ‘coincidences’ to make me think this is anything but an act of God.
Common sense makes me want to self-protect; to run away; to analyse my circumstances; to justify my thoughts or actions; to compare my situation to others’. But God is saying something different.
“Invite people in,” He says. “Invite people into your testimony. It is a miracle in motion. It may not yet look the way You want or expect it to, but that is when I do My best work. Invite them to be a part of this ‘meantime’ season. Gather a crowd of witnesses around you so that, when My fire falls, they all may know that I am God (1 Kings 18:36-39).”
So here’s the thing: I’ve written a book. Some of you already know that, but for most this is probably a new insight. It’s been a dream of mine for many years to write, and on arriving in Germany, I felt God prompt me to begin the journey towards my first book. Having no idea what to write about, or how to begin such an abstract process, I depended on God to guide me step by step. And He did.
By December 2017, my first manuscript was complete, and I began to submit it to publishers. But rejection after rejection came, and I soon ran out of options. So I laid it aside, and got on with life.
Then in the early part of this year, God began to draw my attention to my forgotten script, saved in the archives of my computer. The truth was, I was afraid to pursue publication any further; I was afraid of more rejection.
“Jane,” He said, “your fear is stealing breakthrough from others.”
My fear of rejection; of being so vulnerable in sharing my tear-stained words with the world; of worrying what others might say or think of me; of daring to believe an impossible dream, was stealing the opportunity for God’s Word and testimony to bring freedom and peace in the lives of many others?! Well, not for much longer!
I didn’t have much left in me to fight for myself, but this Word had lit a fire under me that propelled me back into the ring, to fight for the sake of others. (I documented this particular breakthrough in an earlier post, Humility: Redefined).
I spent my six-week summer break re-reading, editing, and adding to my manuscript, completing my review just days before I returned to school in August. Then I, once again, began the long, time-consuming process of identifying and submitting to publishers.
My progress to date? More rejections.
My attitude, this time round? Determination. Hope. Perseverance.
I no longer take the rejections personally, for my fight is for a greater promise; a greater crowd of witnesses. But it doesn’t always soothe the niggle of doubt or make this journey of ups and downs any easier, I simply have to be obedient and continue to trust God’s leading.
The publication of my book is just one of the many promises I am waiting for and trusting God with.
So I hereby invite you into my inexplicable, don’t-know-what-comes-next, seemingly impossible, confusing meantime moment. I am opening the door to my heart and giving you the opportunity to witness my current, rejection-weary reality, believing that all the promises that God has spoken over me will be fulfilled at His appointed time. I am asking you to look beyond the truth that is before me, and instead focus on the Truth of His promises.
A bank balance may state that you have no money, but God promises to provide for all of your needs (Philippians 4:19).
A medical diagnosis may condemn you, but no sickness is too advanced to stop God from healing you and restoring you (Jeremiah 30:17).
A rejection may discourage you, but God uses all things to protect us and to lead us into His best (Romans 8:28).
The manifestation of His promises are coming. They are coming.
Join me, as I (continue to) watch this space.