Are the Chains really gone?

Last night, community group resonated thoughts Kristin and I were having earlier that day. I love when that happens. For it seems to me, as if God is giving a seeming “wink-and-nod” towards something He wishes me to dwell on. And that makes me feel closer to Him. So I appreciate those “coincidental” moments.

On another note, just now I caught a glimpse of Mary Kathryn’s post about broken chains. (Quick plug, I’ve never met Mary, and I’m pretty sure we’ve never even spoken through “typing”, but I adore the name of her blog, Beauty For Ashes, more than I can describe. It’s one of the most meaningful songs for me, and the words and truth behind the concept have made a tremendous impact in my life, especially within the year and a half.)
Her post today was titled “Broken Chains”. She focused on Romans 6:1-11, promising to come share more thoughts in relation to that passage later. It was a very good passage to be reminded of. Yet it is her title that captures my attention and sticks to my mind today. 

For CHAINS is a noun, a concept, a force that I am very familiar with.
It has played a large role in my inner correspondence with God, with my own way of processing, with my view of so much in relation to myself.
So I am using this chance encounter with Mary Kathryn’s blog, with this title
as fuel for today’s word. Kristin is still generously willing to provide me with words
for creative flow and helping me get “back on the horse”, but today – 
this is the needed topic for me.
So here’s today’s 5 minute, no pause exercise: Chains


Despite choosing this topic…my fingers stall at the remembrance – the significance of this word in my life.

Chains define a large part of me. There is a dark, musty prison where I chain myself to the wall of immobility. The shackles of insignificance. The stone floor of never-good-enough. 

The chains of lies are thick, twisted pounds of metal, keeping us, as believers, locked in a cycle of disqualification. Because when we believe the sentence charged against us – the lies that swarm as angry hornets, unrelenting…we choose to become deaf to the warming truth bursting through the pebbles. 

I say CHOOSE here because it is a choice. It’s a choice I make when I let the hurt drive my life. When I let the pain, the jabs of life, the enemy’s plan – discount my value in His Kingdom. Because His truth always, always, always wins. He has won. My chains are GONE, I’ve been set FREE….WHY WHY can’t I live freely? Why must I climb back down the dungeon steps as if there were no Love greater than my mess? 

My time was up quickly…it was hard to stop where I was.
I know this may be a little heavy for a Wednesday – but don’t we all sometimes stagger against the heavy once-in-a-while? Don’t you have a day or a few days in a row where the yoke certainly feels anything but light? I doubt I am alone here, but even if I am – I choose to focus on the only thing I am required to do – trust in Him. Place all my value, worth, capability in His hands, because He made my hands, my feet, my easily-breakable heart, my sensitive nature, my clumsy mouth…I am not required to be perfect. I am not required to pretzel myself into submission as I so often do (by MY choice, no one else’s power – because no one can force me to act, react or behave a certain way. I place myself under foot sometimes. I contort myself by my command. I am never forced). 
I am called by only One voice that I am to listen, hear, & believe: my Jehovah Jireh. The Alpha Omega. The Creator of life – life which He holds precious and valuable, no matter how I may forget, how I mistakenly label it. 
If I am forgetting the truth, then by mercy, get it back! Go to the source, Leigh.
I know where to find it. I know what to do. I believe…
It’s time to stop fidgeting. Stop delaying. Stop this irrational fear that I’ll never get there.
That I’m bound for the wandering. For the forever desert. 
That’s a lie. 
          out loud – 

Every day is an opportunity to try. To continue to walk. Confession: I don’t always take that opportunity. I don’t always try. Sometimes I just sit in that chained position, without the desire or strength to fight. 
But let’s get some truth in to mend this confession – 
“God is our refuge and strength, [we don’t have to possess the strength]
a very present help in trouble. [always there, never having left]
Therefore we will not fear [we should not], though the earth should change
and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea;
…Cease striving [Be still] and know that I am God”
(Psalm 46:1-2,10a, emphasis/additions mine)
“He only is my rock and my salvation, 
my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken…
My soul, wait in silence for God only, 
for my hope is from Him…
Trust in Him at all times…pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for [you].”
(Psalm 62:2, 5, 8, emphasis/addition mine)
“The steps of a man are established by the LORD,
and He delights in his way.
When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong,
because the LORD is the One who holds his hand.”
(Psalm 37:23-24, emphasis mine)
“But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 
So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself.”
(Matthew 6:33-34)
“Yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.
The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
He makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
He enables me to go on the heights.”
(Habakkuk 3:18-19, NIV)
How I need truth every day. I want the freedom He has already given me. I want to live in that. My prayer is that He enable me with that strength – for it cannot come from me. I have none. He gives His beauty for my ash. Allelujah. 

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