About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once all the prison doors flew open, and everyone’s chains came loose. (Acts 16:25-26)
Feeling overwhelmed by the expectations of the world, I watched as every perfect marriage graced my timeline. While I struggled to find that same perfect love in my home, I hid from anyone who may come close enough to know that I had not mastered the American Dream. After getting married I experienced a miscarriage that had enslaved me in ways I never anticipated. My faith was locked up in chains and no matter how hard I fought to believe God again I couldn’t. Unable to keep up the façade, I finally broke. My breaking happened at an unfamiliar church on NYE 2012. I shattered at the altar and watched as pieces of my hope began to gather into wholeness. A deep cry flew from my belly and in that moment, the voice of pride was silenced in the presence of my worship.
I continued to weep for my miscarriage, my marriage, and my faith. I mourned and rejoiced in the same breath. I was officially broken. It was a necessary breaking. The chains of grief, perfection, pretending, hopelessness, and fear were finally broken. In my breaking, I found freedom. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t the only one needing to be free. My worship created a domino effect or chain reaction. Men and women began to shout and call on the name of the Lord. Unknowingly, my unscripted worship had given them the permission to break, to finally shatter in the presence of the Holy Spirit.
A chain reaction is defined as a number of events triggered by the same initial event. Sister, do you know how many chains will break at the very moment you allow yours to break? Do you know that your freedom is bigger than you? There’s someone watching how you react to the chains that want to keep you stagnant. If you open your mouth, they will listen. If you worship, they will too. And when your chains break, so will theirs. You don’t know them, but they are out there struggling with the very thing you are about to overcome.
God gave me wholeness. That wholeness gave me a testimony, a ministry, and a voice. All that time I was trying to hold it all together and God was waiting for the break. Imprisoned by a false sense of perfection I was afraid to let people know that I was in pain (depressed and disappointed). My pain wasn't pretty. I learned that pretty and perfect are not the same. Sometimes we chase after the pretty picture hoping that it will represent perfection. It wasn’t until I no longer feared things getting ugly that I was able to see the perfect work of God.
The Lord will perfect that which concerns me; Your mercy, O Lord, endures forever; Do not forsake the works of Your hands. (Psalm 138:8)
When I finally got ok with the ‘ugly cry’ and was willing to acknowledge that I had chains that needed to be broken, that’s when I was free. Now my goal is to see others experience that same freedom. Perhaps what you are going through has nothing to do with you but everything to do with those surrounding you. Perhaps God sent you to this very place to introduce others to a God who sets the captives free.
In your secret place declare Luke 4:18 over your life: “The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to set the oppressed free…”
It is my prayer that you know that your breakthrough is going to be the very thing that allows others to find freedom in Christ. I believe you will help someone experience freedom in their faith, career, finances, goals, health, or love life. Remember that ‘this’ is bigger than you. We are either showing people how to get up or give up.
How can you initiate a positive chain reaction this week?
Worship. Go to your secret place (car, closet, shower) and give God a good ugly cry!
Find at least 5 people and ask them how you can pray for them this week.
Be a random blessing to someone. Pay for their coffee or buy a co-worker’s lunch just because.
Spread love. No, seriously actually say the words “I love you”. Sometimes people just need to hear that.
That’s all for today. As always, it is our prayer that this challenge is a blessing for you. Please keep sharing your testimonies with us! Happy Seeking!
P.S. I LOVE YOU!