- Tabitha Caplinger
Cracks in the Dam
My 2019 word of the year has been Breakthrough. I talked all about it back in January and just read through that post again this morning. It was a little invigorating remembering all that God had been speaking to me in those cold winter months.
What I didn't share in that post was something God had spoken to me during a prayer time a few months earlier. It was something I was keeping close to my heart, a secret between me and Jesus. It wasn't until the last couple of weeks that I have felt open to talk about it outside my tight inner circle.
It had been a rough few months for me leading up to that prayer time. Writing is hard. Getting published is hard. Selling books is hard. This thing that I love and that I knew God wanted me to do, well, it was really hard and I was wondering if I was cut out to do it anymore. I was questioning if writing was just a season and it was over and I should walk away from it. Those questions were painful because I loved what I had written, what I was writing. But it was hard. So hard and I doubted I was cut out for it.
So, I did what I always do when I am struggling and unsure, I prayed. And not just a little whisper prayer (though those are totally fine). No, this was a battle prayer, this was an all or nothing, laying it on the line, getting real with myself and Jesus prayer. I was home alone so I cranked up the worship music and walked circles around my living room praying and crying and sorting out my heart and mind with Jesus. I pleaded for answers and strength and something that would tell me what to do. (I'm pretty sure I scared my dogs, y'all. LOL) I needed answers and I wasn't walking away until I had them. Ever have that kind of moment with Jesus?
God is so good. I don't know if you even believe in God (if you don't this might all sound a little weird but it's honest), but believe in Him or not, He is good! In that desperate moment He showed up, whispering words that my heart and soul could hear. He reminded me of the last time I had these doubts about pursuing writing. (Yes, I needed to be told twice, sometimes I'm stubborn.) I needed that sweet reminder, the patience of a God who would repeat Himself because I needed Him to. But after the grace of the reminding came a new picture.
I started thinking about a dam. I could see it in my mind, a wall blocking a river. I could feel it in my spirit, the wall trying to hold back my dreams, my purpose. Then I started to see cracks in the dam. Small at first. Not even enough for water to drip through. But then the cracks lengthened and expanded until water dribbled down the wall. Drops and dribbles turned to small streams that pushed the cracks even further apart, splitting the stone of the wall until the river gushed out, no longer held back.
It was invigorating and scary for all the reasons I mentioned in that January Word of the Year post. I took that secret, that image, the words God gave me and I tucked them away, a promise to save for later. I didn't know when, just later. Then that word, BREAKTHROUGH, woke me up and I tried to ignore it. I told myself it was just me. I knew it wasn't. (I don't know how I knew, I just knew. Sometimes with God you just know in a deep place that you can't explain.) So I embraced the word and I remembered the secret, but, if I'm honest, I didn't get my hopes up. Not really.
Here we are, halfway through 2019, and I see the cracks in the dam. It's been kind of surreal. I'm nowhere near hitting a best seller list. I'm currently just trying to find a publisher for my next book. I'm writing away on another manuscript. I'm enjoying it again. It's still hard, but hard isn't stealing my joy or making me doubt. And there are cracks. Little ones, just big enough for water to drip through.
What's the water look like when it comes to my purpose, to me living chosen? It looks like doors opening that were previously closed. It looks like a no turning to a yes. It looks like fuller schedules and new readers. It looks like momentum. (That's something I haven't felt for a while, by the way.)
It hasn't all just fallen in my lap. I'm true to my word and have done what I set out to do, "pray like it depends on God and work like it depends on me." But work that wasn't working before is working now. I see the cracks in the dam. I can feel the pressure of the water and the freedom of it all at the same time. I don't know that by the end of the year if the whole river will burst through or if it'll take another five years, but I see the cracks in the dam.
Are you waiting on a breakthrough? Are you waiting on a promise to be fulfilled or revealed? Are you praying like it depends on God and working like it depends on you? God is good and I'd love to join you in prayer and encourage you in the work of it. Send me an email or leave a comment.