Day 27 of 30 Days of Breakthrough

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Today’s story comes from a woman I consider family. She is a young wife, mother, and friend whose journey God has allowed me to be an intimate part of. I walked with her through this part of her life, and I saw first-hand the toll it took on her and her family. But I also saw her struggle to endure, no matter how dark it got. I saw her, and her husband, press in and choose to trust and wait for God, to humbly reach for help rather than give up and let the enemy have what he wanted. And I had the amazing privilege of witnessing her moment of breakthrough. I stood beside her as God lifted off her oppression, and truly, she has embraced that freedom ever since, and continues to pursue its fullest reality every day.

In a sense, I feel a personal anguish and celebratory joy as I read her honest recounting of the nightmare she lived for nearly two years, and the arrival of the long-awaited morning that came after her dark night. Through prayers and tears, I stood with her, battling the enemy she could not see, the enemy that wanted to devour her identity, her family, her ministry, and her trust in God.

On the day of her breakthrough, God brought revelation through a vision which made my heart rejoice all the more. In the vision, she, with her husband beside her and her children behind them, were standing in front of the gates of hell. They were preparing to go in after the captives. (They are both incredibly gifted and anointed worship leaders). As they stood before those gates, determined and ready to enter into their mission to take back, through their worship, the hearts the enemy had stolen, suddenly a vicious onslaught came from the entrance to the gates. Rocks and sticks were being hurled at them, in an effort to deter them from entering. She was struck in the head and wounded, several times, the blows nearly incapacitating. But they stood, refusing to retreat. And as they stood, the Word of the Lord spoke over them, like a banner: ‘The gates of hell will not prevail,” (Matthew 16:18).

And then her breakthrough came. Just like that, the enemy lost his power over her, and she took her stand with a new authority, and a fresh determination. Not only was she delivered from deep darkness and oppression, but her marriage and her children were also preserved. Their ministry and calling were confirmed and empowered. It was, truly, one of the most beautiful things I have had the deep pleasure of witnessing. It still brings tears to my eyes as I remember it, and it allows me the privilege of praying and encouraging her and her family with a deep conviction for all God has revealed that He intends to do with and through them.

Her story, and the gift God has given me in being a witness to it, makes me hungrier than ever to see women not only breakthrough, but invite other women into their breakthrough…Which means, of course, that we first have to be willing to invite other women into the part that comes before the breakthrough. Into our pain. Into our mess. Into our fears. Into our darkness. Into our failures and imperfections. Into our confusion.

But as we do, when we do, God does so much more with our stories than He ever could if we kept them to ourselves. Instead of one woman finding breakthrough, many do. And as many do, there begins to be a ripple effect in entire communities. Our stories, our testimonies, are treasures. And when we open them up, in faith, and become willing to share them – before we see the breakthrough on the horizon – their value multiplies, to the glory of God and to the restoration of His beautiful, amazing daughters, His Beloved Women of Breakthrough.

Only God could craft something so perfect, and bring such rich beauty out of our ashes. May you be inspired today to endure your own darkness with newfound faith that God is surely working something wonderful beyond imagination in it. May you be empowered by His grace to believe Him for revelation and breakthrough, and to trust Him in the midst of what you cannot yet understand. And may you open the door and invite some women in to walk beside you on your journey toward breakthrough, that your rejoicing may be all the more celebrated when the time comes!

“My name is Elizabeth, and this is my resurrection story...

Two months after my second child was born, I was diagnosed with severe post-partum depression and anxiety. It was so severe that I constantly struggled, motivating myself to get up in the morning and do what I was expected to do as a wife and mother. Most days, I was so emotional that I would cry over the smallest of situations. I was never at my best; so, my husband and I started growing apart, and my children were frequently exposed to my anger and frustration. My doctor recommended I see a psychiatrist because I was a candidate for therapy and medication. I refused to seek help because I was ashamed, and thought I could give myself time and everything would go back to “normal”. Ten months went by and I was still in the same predicament. One night, as we were driving home, my daughter started crying and it caused me to have a panic attack. My heart started racing, my body breaking into cold sweats, and I felt as if I was going to explode if the crying didn’t stop. I was so confused at that moment, so when we reached home, I told my husband I needed to get away. At midnight, I ran away from home. I was a mess. I was irreparable. I was damaged. My life was crumbling right before my eyes and all I could do was watch it shatter into pieces.

Or so I thought…

In the midst of my brokenness, God was getting ready to make something beautiful. While I was feeling downcast and hopeless, He was stirring up something new for me. All I had to do was surrender. This meant seeking help and allowing Him to peel back every layer of my inner man, no matter how painful the process would be. With the help of my Pastor and some amazing sisters in Christ, I began my journey to inner healing through therapy and seeking God’s face through prayer and worship. It was a long process- one that I tried to give up on countless of times. But every time it got harder, I felt (and still feel) His grace gently carrying me and allowing me to take just one more step…and then one more…and then another one…Until one day, at our women’s conference, I was asked to sing. The song I chose to sing was my heart’s anthem during my season of depression and anxiety. It speaks about God’s endless love and faithfulness, which chases us down no matter how far we run and wherever we may try to hide. At the end of my song, I felt a breakthrough. What had me bound was finally, in a moment, lifted off.

One of the verses that helped me through this season of my life was Psalm 40:1-3 – “I waited patiently for the Lord; he turned to me and heard my cry. He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire; he set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. He put a new song in my mouth, a hymn of praise to our God.”

I have been walking in liberty since. And though there are times when Satan lies to me and makes me believe that I am not set free, God reminds me of who I am in Him, and gives me the strength to face my adversary and remind him of my salvation in Christ.”

{Photo images courtesy of http://www.pixabay.com}

 


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