It’s Okay

At the very end of the youth conference, my friend Jenny introduced me to a girl named Rachel outside the auditorium at night.

“Wait, before you guys go I have a word for both of you!” Rachel exclaimed.

Oh dear, not again.

She looked at me first, and then smiled. “I just saw you furiously writing. I feel like you already write a lot. Kind of like what Lisa Bevere said, I think God wants you to keep writing everything He is revealing to you down.”

“And you,” she said, smiling at Jenny, “I just saw you painting. I saw a picture of a little kids painting set. And I think your creativity is going to go up a level.”

“Wait, that sounds so accurate!” I exclaimed. “I have a blog. I write everything down. I take so many notes on my phone,” I said, astonished. There was no way she could’ve known that about me.

“So keep doing that. God loves what you write, and He will reveal stuff to you through your writing,” she said, confidently.

So here I am, writing, because I don’t understand anything at this point. And that’s okay.

~

The next day, I walked into my teacher’s room again early in the morning.

“What’s up?” she said, reading the ‘I need to tell you something’ look on my face.

“I went to My City.”

“And?”

“Nothing happened.”

“And?” She said, smiling.

“I still feel terrible!” I cried, laughing.

“Oh, my Lea!” She hugged me. “My City isn’t God! My City can’t solve all your problems. They create these youth conferences to help students encounter God. But you, you already know what you know.”

“I mean, I thought God was doing something in me because I cried honestly a lot. But then I woke up, and I still cried and didn’t want to go school. My parents were even like, ‘you went to My City and your attitude is still this?'” I laughed.

“This is what I need you to do,” she said, gently. “You need to start learning to say no. The devil can tear you apart. Every time a thought comes into your head that makes you want to cry, you’ve got to say no.”

“Right now you’re letting all these birds poop on your head! Stop giving them power over you. Stop letting them in! Because when you let them in, you hear things likeβ€””

“I don’t want to go to school. I don’t want to do anything,” I said super sassily while rolling my eyes. We both laugh.

“Yeah. That. But you’re here. That’s already good.”

“I made myself go,” I said, laughing.

She takes my hands in hers. “This might be one of the hardest things you ever do in your life. This is a new season of growth.” She looks into my eyes.

“I did not think I would ever be able to say no to those thoughts. You gotta let go of mama now. Youth conferences will not solve all your problems.”

“So can you do that for me? Can you try to say no to those thoughts?” She pleaded.

“I’ll try,” I said. She nodded, still holding my hands, empathy flooding her eyes as she slowly let me go to class.

~

Today was an emotional day at youth group. Everyone was sharing their breakthrough stories from the conference. My friend Anna’s knee injury got completely healed. People shared about how God met them right where they were at, about how they asked leaders to pray for them not knowing what they needed, but then the leader somehow managing to hit every point so perfectly. They shared about strangers they randomly prayed for and emotional breakthroughs.

I ended up sharing about my friend Jenny’s word from my last post, and about what my teacher told me, and went on to share about how yes, I was that person who woke up after the conference thinking God did nothing, but that didn’t mean God wasn’t going to come through. I shared that it is okay to be in a season of waiting for breakthrough. And that yes, my week was still hard, but there was so much peace in that. Everyone cheered as I shared my teacher’s words, when I said I would never stop praying for a breakthrough.

Afterwards, a girl who didn’t come to the conference shared about how much pain she was in from a super rare, genetic, paralysis disorder. I could almost feel her pain through her tears as she bravely shared what she had been going through. Almost instantly I felt like I needed to pray for her.

Becky asked if we could pray for her. My friend Timmy took the mic first, declaring, “I think God wants to heal you right now.” When He finished his declarations, I took the mic.

“God, we declare this disorder to leave in Jesus name! I know this is rare and genetic, but it does not exist in the kingdom of heaven!” Everyone chimes in. “And I pray that you would help her to know that you are good, that you did not purposely inflict this on her, and that you do indeed want to heal her. God, we declare her body to be healed on earth as it will be in heaven, that this will no longer hinder her from anything you’ve called her to do!”

Becky took the mic last. We then went into a time of prayer, as she asked all of us who got something at My City to pray it into others.

“If any of you are feeling like a disappointment, I’m going to have Annie pray over y’all right now,” Becky said. My beautiful friend Annie had shared about how a lot of people were telling her she wasn’t good enough despite her quick recovery since her 7th surgery, but at the conference God had met her and took that whole feeling of disappointment away.

And I raised my hand. And everybody prayed for me. And as Becky kept declaring things more people walked around and found people raising their hands and prayed, and everybody was crying and holding each other while they were crying and it was amazing. I don’t really know how to describe what happened. There was just a lot of praying, and a lot of crying, and a lot of healing, and a lot of breakthrough.

Apparently the girl we prayed for, Maddy, with the rare, muscular, paralysis disorder was doing lunges in the hallway afterwards. Timmy said she could barely get out of bed this morning. I was jumping for joy.

~

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I don’t get this.Β Not gonna lie, even though I love hearing stories of breakthrough, it’s a little bit frustrating to see breakthrough happen to everybody but you.

And I think we are sometimes quick to say why we shouldn’t be feeling something rather than just acknowledging the fact that we do indeed feel tired and terrible. Here’s the truth. It doesn’t matter whether you should or should not be feeling something. You are feeling it. You can acknowledge that it sucks. You can acknowledge that breakthrough didn’t happen to you. It’s okay to be frustrated.

My mentor LeeAnn texted me, “Your feelings will change like the surface of the ocean, but the lasting change is the deep still water underneath.” In other words, you will get angry at the world, and experience happiness, and sadness, and everything in between. But God’s work goes deeper than your feelings.

There is a lot of unbelief in me right now. I am undermining God’s promise for my life every time I wake up saying, “I’m going to die.” And my words may reflect the unbelief in my heart, but that doesn’t mean God isn’t doing something deeper in my soul.

Because faith is not acting like there’s no mountain in front of you, but realizing that there is a greater reality than that mountain.

And it’s okay to acknowledge the mountain. It’s okay to acknowledge the unbelief and the negativity. Because you can’t get over a mountain you don’t know exists.

So yes, we pray for breakthrough. We celebrate when God really does take all that pain away in an instant.

But I think more often than not, it doesn’t work that way. Not because God is purposely making us suffer to teach us stuff, but because life is a journey. I can’t say whether God causes suffering or allows it, but I can say that He is always working, and that he uses it.

So when I fail, He will always make up for my shortcomings. When I don’t think I can keep going, He will strengthen me. If it doesn’t feel like He is strengthening you, it doesn’t mean He isn’t there. When I don’t feel like God is doing anything, he is working behind the scenes. When breakthrough doesn’t happen, it doesn’t mean its not going to happen. It’s okay to be waiting for something to happen. It’s okay to not know everything. It’s okay to have unbelief. It’s okay to get a C on a calculus test.

So now we have acknowledged the reality of where the heart is at. Since the words that come out of our mouths often reflect the reality of our hearts, it is so important to have a heart filled with so much of God’s word that there isn’t any room for unbelief. And I have acknowledged now that my heart is filled with unbelief, because there is so much room for it in my empty heart.

But now that I’ve acknowledged that, God can partner with me in fixing that. A heart filled with God’s word has got to come from the inside out, just like joy, or peace, or strength. Those things come from listening to Him. They come from leaning more into his presence. They come from getting wrecked by His love.

And it’s okay if your heart isn’t filled with joy, peace, or strength right now. You aren’t doing badly. Because you were not created to be stuck in a season like this forever. God has plans for you. So accept how you’re feeling. Begin to work on it. And just keep going, and going, and going. God just needs you to show up. And He will make the wait worth it.

My confidence is your faithfullness

And all your promises are yes and amen.

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23 Replies to “It’s Okay”

  1. Thank you for sharing such personal insights. I am going through a similar season of doubt and frustration. I do want to share some insight from my Bible teacher. God neither causes nor allows suffering. For if he causes it, then he is guilty of horrible sins, which is impossible. And if he allows it, he is still guilty of horrible sins. For whether I kill a man or watch someone else kill him without interfering, I have sinned. God knows no evil, so he neither causes nor allows suffering. The only explanatiom, then, is that suffering goes against God’s will, but it still occurs because he cannot stop it without violating human freedom, which is necessary for us to love him. Does that make sense?

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lea, this is SO good! I wish there was a button for LOTS of likes!
    Satan is telling you there is no breakthrough. Your writing these amazing things that God is doing in you is proof that God is giving you a breakthrough. Your breakthrough doesn’t have to look like everybody else’s. Your friend, Jenny, was right. I think if you keep writing this all down, that eventually you will be able to go back and read it and realize all that God has been speaking to you, and how that confirms how much He adores you.
    He is doing amazing things in your life! I can tell by all these wonderful things you have written! Keep up the good work! Keep on doing the things He has showed you.
    I think it was Priscilla Shirer that was comparing God giving us instructions to a GPS. When the GPS tells you to turn, and you do it, she doesn’t need to give you more instructions until the next time you have to turn. I think this means that you are on the right path, so keep on walking in obedience to what He has already showed you. He will tell you the next step when it is His time.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Wow, that GPS analogy is so good. Thank you so much for that! Haha, it was Jenny’s friend Rachel that gave us both words πŸ˜‰ Thank you so much for confirming them, and all your encouragement and support. Yes, God is definitely doing a lot in my life right now!! I just think we coin the term “breakthrough” with “a snap of fingers that takes away all your problems” haha. Thank you soo sooo much for reading πŸ’œ

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Thank you for sharing. I went through similar experiences with many negative thoughts about how I was not good enough and how I would fail. I learned to say out loud to the negative attacks (it did feel like an attack to me) to first acknowledge that I was not perfect; that I had needs (lots of room to grow and mature in Christ), but that i am a Child of God; I have been washed clean by the blood of Jesus. That the negativity could come an accuse me and I could not deny the truth of my short comings but that I made a free will decision to accept Christ and a commitment to follow Jesus and that I do not change my mind. By the negativity reminding me of my shortcomings, that just became my personal reminder to praise Jesus and to thank Jesus for saving me so thanks negativity for reminding me who I am in Christ and reminding me to Praise and Thank Jesus. I did this every time the negative thoughts came. Gradually the negative thoughts and accusations came less frequently and the positive thoughts came more often.

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Oh the place of wondering and waiting. “Why everyone except me, God?” I’ve found when I think this, and believe this lie, that I get blinded. I fall into the lie and become so longing for the Lord’s hand I fail to see I’m not only having issues with contentment but my trust in Him as well. I truly love your honesty, Lea. I agree, God will use your writing to speak to you. He will use your writing to speak to others, trust me, it’s spoken to me right now ❀ It's like He leaves us all these bread crumbs, snippets of His hand in our life, and we want the whole loaf of bread. Or the illustration He has given me for the past few years, a map, a picture that is blank and slowly things start to come into focus.

    If I'm honest, sometimes when I've wondered where His hand has gone or why I can't feel Him it is because a part of my heart believes I'm unworthy. You know, we go around preaching the gospel and speaking of His love, but in moments of trials or waiting that lie comes to us. "Why would He answer you?"

    In the past couple of years, God has given me an answer to fight back the lie with. "Why not? Who am I to say what God will and won't do? Who am I to take away opportunities He will give me that will give Him glory? He is stronger than me. He is mighty. He is worthy. And He has given me worth <3"

    Lea, I don't know if these words will help you. I hope they do. I've been thinking of you, talking about you to God, and lifting you up in prayer. πŸ™‚ I pray for hope, faith, assurance, comfort, guidance, and peace to be upon you in His holy name. ❀ For mentors to be there for you to lift you up. I know He is answering this prayer already, and as I said, I can't wait to see your breakthrough ❀ ❀ ❀

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Wow Lea, this post in itself is a breakthrough. You’ve covered more realizations in this post than I see in a whole series of posts. My biggest problem is patience. I want it all right now. I want all the happiness, blessings, breakthroughs, love, knowledge, everything, right now. God is showing me that “all right now” isn’t practical. I wouldn’t understand or appreciate everything He has in store for me. It like a baby doesn’t start out walking :):):) Halfway through your post I was so overwhelmed, I had to get up and walk away. I was crying, I was everything all at once. I paced and prayed, for you and me :):):) I don’t have all the answers but I do know that you are on the right path, that the ones that will help the most people are the ones that are the most attacked spiritually. It is a trick of the evil one, planting seeds of doubt, everywhere. I know with all my heart that God loves you more than we could ever put into words. God will show you all your hearts desires, if we will be patient, and look. I didn’t mean to write so much. I do apologize :):) God bless you :):)

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Totally understand the patience thing. Wow, I’m so happy this spoke to you! Thank you for the prayers and encouragement! Yes, I had that awkward moment of realizing I wrote a post about why it’s okay if breakthrough doesn’t happen to you with a post about breakthrough happening to me… lol. You guys confirmed Rachel’s word for me! God will always come through. Thank you so much for reading and commenting. Sending love πŸ’œ

      Liked by 2 people

  6. Psalm 139

    God knows us as an individual

    Knows our frame β€” how we (humans in general) are ‘built’

    Where could we go to be away from God?

    God is everywhere

    After musing on things about God, the Psalmist then asks God to run His refining process and reveal anything that he needs to change.

    God is near to us. I tend to think being a Christian as becoming part of God’s story; God’s work on Earth. Leah, take your part in that story.

    In Him, Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Yes! Most of the “greats” in Scripture had to wait on God to fulfill their calling… Abraham, Moses, Joshua, David… when God has something spectacular in mind, He often prepares His servants for that calling by asking them to wait. I think God has something super special in mind for you Lea! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

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