A blogger I follow (delightfully-tacky) challenged her readers last week to share what personal attributes keep them from reaching their dreams/goals? I didn't truly want to post about this. I mean I've had this blog for what? Two, three weeks? And you already want me to expose my soul to the whole wide internet? This was supposed to be a light/fun blog. Jeez. I don't wanna.
However, I was in the shower listening to worship music and the song "Chains Hit the Ground" by Leeland came on my laptop. It is just one of those songs that make you raise your hands even when your in the shower, ya know? And I felt the conviction that those things 'holding me back from my dreams' or rather 'holding me back from obedience' at times are indeed, my chains.
This photo has nothing to do with this post. I just really miss Disney World. I mean...Rapunzel was kind of "in chains" right?
Self-doubt. Yikes. That's one of my biggest chains. One that probably latches on to lots if not most people at least during some point in their life. But still, it has such a tight and crippling grip on my thoughts and my self-esteem. Ultimately, self-doubt is doubting God. Ouch. God made us, did he not? He called us to certain things, did he not? So when I doubt a calling, or my ability, I am indeed doubting Him. Yet even when I'm most certain God has called me to do something, I'm still doubtful that I won't be able to accomplish it.
Worrying what people think of me. This pretty much goes hand in hand and contributes to my chain of self-doubt. It's (probably) not so much people's actual thoughts towards me, but rather, my paranoia of what I imagine them to think of me. Even as I write each post, I am apprehensive to publish them. I figure that most people will probably think they are stupid or that they don't make sense. Thankfully as I have gotten older this chain has lengthened. Still a chain, nonetheless, but allows me more room to move around at times and gives me the impression that I am free from it.
Other chains that hold me back- jealousy, laziness, pride, self-pity, unforgiveness, assuming someone else can take care of a certain task. ( I could probably keep going)
In this time of transition that my husband and I have been in lately ( graduating college, moving to a new town, serving in a new church, both starting new jobs, trusting God in buying our first home) it seems that once again my chains resurface and begin to hold me back in a more obvious way than when I am comfortable in my surroundings. I think once you're in a place of vulnerability, it's much easier to let your chains imprison you. It's easy to fall back into those chains because of uncertainty of basically everything and every choice you are making.
Don't get me wrong friends. I don't write this post as a 'feel sorry for Molly' post. I am the one solely responsible for the chains that bind me. Jesus has already given me the key to release myself from them when He died for my sins. He has done that for all of us! And by golly, I accepted that key! It is in my possession and I have had it for sixteen years now! But sometimes the freedom becomes a little overwhelming and I creep back into my chains like a scared little child. I think at much of the time while we resent our chains, we are comfortable in them at the same time. We have always had these attributes, why change now? It's an awful lot of work to change. My chains not only keep me from experiencing joy from various things in my life, but they hold me back from obedience.
Sometimes I even use them as an excuse. God calls me to build a friendship with someone and I hold up my chain to Him and say, but God, what if they don't like me? Don't you see this chain clearly holding me back from doing that? He says, start a Bible study in your church and I pull my chain around me and say, what if they don't get it? What if no one comes? What if I don't say the right things? He called me to nursing and I shook my chains at Him and said, but God I'm no where near smart enough! That is too hard! I don't want the responsibility! What if I hurt someone? What if, what if, what if?
But God says to me, more gently than I deserve, through scripture and through songs such as these, "Molly, why do you keep forgetting that those chains don't hold you anymore? I've given you the power and the strength, now do as I have called you!"
I cycle through this process daily. It is not a one time thing. I have to keep praying, now God, this is what you want me to do, right? God if this really is what you want me to do, I'm going to need you to come through here. And He does. He ALWAYS does. Maybe not always how you expect, but nevertheless, He does.
So, I will fire back and challenge you as a reader- what are some chains in your life that are keeping you from obedience? Maybe your chain is a sin you struggle with or the situation you are in. Maybe your chains are people you surround yourself with or past bad decisions that are haunting you and making you feel guilty. Well here's the good news if you haven't already caught on. You can be free from those things too.
Can you see into my heart a little bit as to what God has been dealing with me lately, with this and my previous post? It's all about obedience and relying on Him and ONLY Him. Putting your WHOLE trust in Him to where you simply CANNOT do it without Him. That's real faith people. You would think I would start to get it, start to realize that His plan is better. But I am sinful, and I am guilty, and I am human. BUT. I am redeemed and I am free through the blood of Christ.
Do you think you may have missed out on some wonderful blessings from God by allowing your chains to hold you back? Well...don't, okay! Let God work through you sans chains and let Him bless you with the life He intended for you.
Jesus said, "I tell you most solemnly that anyone who chooses a life of sin is trapped in a dead-end life and is, in fact, a slave. A slave is a transient, who can't come and go at will. The Son, though, has an established position, the run of the house. So if the Son sets you free, you are FREE through and through."