From Chains to Children


November 8, 2012 by A Girl Like Me

Tour.  Unbelievable.  I can’t believe it’s been a whole month since I have written anything.  My brain seems a bit fried from lack of writing, changing poopy diapers in small spaces, showering in so many public showers and eating more mexican food than anyone should ever be allowed to eat.  To say I’m exhausted is an understatement.  I am ready to get home.  I am ready to be clean and to only pretend I’m a hippie rather than actually be one. ;) I feel a little left out from the world.  So on this specific night I went to gain some relief from the Bible.  However, you know those times when you go to open it and you realize that you haven’t actually seen its pages in a while?  You feel disconnected from the words?  You feel really far from God?  This is me.  As I flipped through the pages I came to only find myself lost.  Where do I even go?  What should I read?  What’s going to bring hope to the voids that have sneaked in while I’ve been busy with life?  And slowly the fears have come back, the worries have chained themselves to my feet again, and I am honestly just plain irritable.  How do you get back to the relationship with an old friend that you haven’t spent life with in a while?  How do you move past the feelings of forcefulness and surface crap to the feelings of connection and deep realness when you’ve been apart for so long?  I don’t know.

So I decided that tonight I would step out of the four walls of this bus and go listen to some of the Tenth Ave concert.  I didn’t want to feel forced into reading the Bible.  I wanted to long for it… and in this moment I needed worship.  As I embraced the moment of freedom,  I stood there watching the man I love sing the song “The Struggle” and something caught my eye.  As I looked over I see this boy standing there with his arms raised, one arm slightly bent, one leg slightly shorter and a smile that you couldn’t help but notice when the stage lights slid across his face.  He had a disability, but in that moment he sure didn’t care.  As soon as the song begins he’s already singing the words.  And you can tell he’s not just singing them because he knows them, he’s singing them because he believes in what they say.  He believes that in this world where he walks crooked, talks too loud, and is looked at with strange looks- his chains have been dropped.  He has been set free and He is going to sing.  He is going to sing at the top of his lungs because he believes in His God, his best friend and closest companion.   A lot of the people around him have slowly stepped farther and farther away.  Probably because he was looked at as a distraction.  But when I saw him, I saw someone who I wanted to be and I began to cry.  I stood there and I saw someone who had every reason to be upset, every reason to walk around confused and anxious and distant from God, and yet he was there praising in the presence of God!  There I was knowing that I have not a thing to complain about, not a thing to be scared of and yet I still cling to certain nasty chains.  Still bound by fearful thoughts that crowd out my peace and places wedges between me and my maker. I then see this boy begin to  look around for others to join him in his ecstasy.. . he even caught my eye a couple of times.  I wanted to go dance with him, to not care about what everyone else was thinking, to let go of these chains that have been clanking together over the last month.  I wanted to be that close with God again and sing with a heart that believes.  I wanted to be a child again like he has had the courage to do.  But instead I walked away heavy with cheeks stained with tears, and the conviction to draw closer to my God.
Lord, where do I begin?  How do you change an apathetic heart who has been living with chains that weigh her down?  How do I come to a place of praising with my WHOLE heart even in the midst of my disabilities?  I miss you.  I need you.  I am absolutely nothing without you.  Free me and give me the courage to sing at the top of my lungs and the courage to dance until my legs give way.
So, How do you bring back the feelings of connectedness to our God who loves us and has the power to free us?  You ask Him.  Ask Him to bring about the closeness once again.  Selah= sit and listen… rid your mind of all that invades.  And then open up that dusty Bible of yours and begin to read the words that God has ready to speak to you.  I fall so easily into the world of apathy, I am one who goes through seasons of amazing times with God and then seasons of getting by without Him.  In those times of getting by I find myself chained up to fears and sins.  Do you relate?  So right now, I am going to open up my Bible, even though I feel forced, even though I feel disconnected, I will act upon what my heart desires.  And I will trust that through my actions the beautiful feelings of closeness to my Father will once again resurface and replace the chains.  I encourage you to do the same.

24 thoughts on “From Chains to Children

  1. Jaci says:

    Thank you. For your honest words and constant reminders, thank you.

  2. Holli says:

    I am right there with u. My distraction is busyness. Busy with classes, work, internship, volunteering, church, friends, family, … And the list goes on and on! And I find myself reading the word, but not diving into the deep waters of His word. I too have a sin struggle and when I’m not diving in it slowly creeps up on me, when all of a sudden BOOM!! There it is, the big nasty temptation. If I’m weak and not relying on God’s strength, it’s all over there! But when I’ve dived into the deep waters of my Creator’s Holy Word, nothing stands a chance. For He is fighting my battles with me. And I am not alone. AMEN!!

  3. emartin88 says:

    This was exactly what I needed to hear. I’ve drastically neglected my time reading the Word and now I have no idea how to even start or where to start. All I know is that I suddenly have this longing to run back to it and back to God.

    I was subscribing to the lie that I was a terrible Christian because I haven’t truly been in the Word for well over a year. But that’s not true, is it? I’m not the only one who slips like that, am I? Even now the other voices that definitely are not from God are telling me “yes” to all of that.

    Well, I say enough of them. I’m going to open my Bible too. I’m ready.

  4. Mariana says:

    Thank you. I found myself tearing up, because this exactly what I have been going through and a lot of times instead of running to HIM, I am afraid/ashamed to do so because I know that I haven’t set Him as my priority and I’ve let the craziness of life get in the way, once again. Thanks for encouraging me.

  5. Heather says:

    Thank you father for speaking to me through this post!

  6. Lisa says:

    wow…awesome words to get us going and get out of our apathy….I always find that even when I don’t feel like it, once I start reading God’s word He always makes something jump out at me….usually something I have read many times before, but it has a new meaning in that moment. Love how His word is ALIVE! Thanks so much for this post today!!

  7. Cc says:

    O my… This is what I needed to hear spot on yes I’ve been feeling like this…. lost and disconnected from God and ive been wondering how to get back into his word wow Thanks Kelly :)

  8. Linda says:

    Kelly, thank you so much for sharing this. I find myself in that place sometimes, but God is so gracious that He draws us near.

    Also, I wanted to thank you and all the wives of TAN, thank you for the support you provide. I’m sure your husbands couldn’t do it with outyou! I pray that the Lord gives you all strength and joy!

  9. siubarbie says:

    Wow. Once again you have said what I needed to hear. It has been very hard for me to find my way back to a comfortable place in the word again. I was so mad after the rape at humans and even God. I know it wasn’t his fault, but he was easy to blame and I was sure he would find his way back in. I lost all hope for so long in life and hope itself that I feel like I walked away from everything. I haven’t known were to start again. I promised myself that I would join a bible study at church if they offered one at a time when I could be there, but they don’t. The bible studies are during the day while I am at work. The only real bible study at my church that is really offered to me is my 45 mins with my Sunday school kids. They amaze me as to what some of them know about the stories that we cover. I think sometimes they should be teaching and not me. The other night when I had a nightmare I woke up and was very up set, normally I reach for my ipod and put on music to calm me down. I reached for it a realized that I forgot it at work. The only thing that was close was my bible. I sat there for almost a half hour just clinging to it thinking that something in the word would be able to take the fear away, I never opened it the book as I just started to run verses in my head. I shocked my self as to how many I still remember from grade school. I need to stop worring about getting the right verse and just read the books around the verses I remember to start. I need to feel so much closer to were I want to be.

    Thanks Kelley

  10. Jennifer says:

    Thanks Kelly, you spoke words straight from my soul.

  11. Megan says:

    Wow. This post really resonates with me. I find that in my life as well, my connection with God is really up and down. I’ll have periods where I’m on fire for the Lord and I have a huge desire to learn more about him. And then there are times where I don’t touch my Bible for months and really have no desire to grow closer to God. And I find when I’m in those times where I don’t spend time with the Lord, sin really invades my life. I was talking to my friends a couple days ago, and it all seems like we’re going through that right now :/ So we’re starting a Bible study! It’s going to be on 1 Peter which talks about how Christians suffer, but in that suffering we have the hope of the gospel :)
    So thanks for this Kelly! It really means a lot that you and Heather do this. We will defiantly be mentioning/referencing your blog during some of our Bible studies :)

  12. Sarah says:

    As I write tears are falling. This was meant for me tonight. This season I am in has been difficult and I find myself “doing” life on my own. The desires that were there before have not been there lately. At times I wonder if I will ever get back to where I was before in my relationship with HIM. Thank you for this glimmer of hope.

  13. Kellyn says:

    AMEN! Thank you.

  14. Rebekah W. says:

    Oh my…Such a great post. So so so good. And yes, I can relate. Love. :)

  15. Susan says:

    Thank you – I’m so glad someone could articulate the thoughts/feelings that I have too. So much of this resonated with me. Thank you for being faithful to God working in you in writing this post!

  16. I can absolutely relate.
    Also, something tells me Mike would have started crying if he saw you dancing with that boy.

  17. Sometimes through my deafness, I experience those real bad moments and there out of nowhere…someone will say something, do something that will change how I feel and look at things. Just the other day, I was kind of upset with my friends because they had said something about deaf culture that offended me…and I got into the cafe and there’s this girl, deaf like me, surgical pins sticking out of her legs. I could literally see people staring and talking and I realized I had absolutely nothing to complain about.

    Spiritually…..I can be a real rollercoaster. Don’t ask me when I last read the Bible. Don’t even ask when I last went to church. (Maybe about three weeks ago.) I have those moments in time when I am ready to give a whole sermon and there are others where I can totally be numb. Sounds horrible I know.

    This post really was the “Gibbs” smack I needed to see that I need less time being busy in my life and more time with God. Thank you for posting such awesome posts!

  18. Njeri says:

    I totally relate with this post… Beauty is, if we draw near to Him, He draws near to us :)

  19. Katrina Riehl says:

    You know those moments when you desperately plead with God for something… anything to show you that He really is closer than you think or feel? That was me this morning. I sat on my bed and cried for God to give me peace and the assurance that I am forgiven and that He is right beside me. When nothing happened, I was kinda disappointed. Then I came across your post… it was exactly what I needed. Thank-you Kelly. Thank-you so, so much.

  20. Julia Gregory says:

    Kelly, thank you so much! I feel the exact same! I know how you feel even though I’m not married and I don’t have kids, and also not on tour but I know how you feel! I have school, non-Christian family, and my own struggles! One of my teachers tells us we’re not real Christans and we don’t know anything about our religion. I struggle with ALOT of things and I’m trying to learn to give them to God but I just can’t. I trust God with everything but I still hold on to my chains! My chains are weighing me down. I feel forced to open my Bible I’m not “wanting” it like I should, I’m not longing for it. I have nobody to really talk to about this so I keep to myself.

  21. Carly says:

    Thank you so much for this post! I needed it so much because I’ve felt the exact same way lately. Thank you

  22. Kelsey H. says:

    Thank you so much for this. I find my self in the same cycles of distance from God. Then when apathy takes over, I forget how to be with him again. I know I desire it, and I get frustrated when that desire isn’t making the relationship come back again. Sometimes desire is not practical, or has no practical steps, but it is the first step.
    I have to keep going though, read when it seems like it won’t help, fellowship with friends when I don’t feel like talking.
    Keep my heart an open vessel for love. Because His love will never cease to desire me.

  23. Talitha K says:

    I know this is ages after you wrote this, but it really hit home to me today. We moved to another city about a month ago and everything has been SO busy. Just before we moved I went on a church youth camp where I was involved in the worship team. I really put everything into it and I felt so much closer to God there. And then somehow, the other day, I just realized that I wasn’t that close to Him anymore. I’d started to just go through the motions, read my Bible, go to church, pray. But my heart wasn’t in it. It hurts a bit right now on the journey back, I’m starting to question the motives behind my habits. It is a struggle, but I want God, I want to be close to Him, to lean on Him in the hard, in the lonely times; to thank Him through it all. In short, to be ‘poor in spirit’. I’m really tired of doing things my own way, and yet I find myself doing just that so often, no matter my intentions. Thanks for this open, honest post. It really helps, and also thanks that I can express myself here. Thank you for listening to God and bringing so much glory to Him in what you do :)

    Love in Christ
    Talitha :)

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