Unchained

I’m always amazed at how God will let events converge so that I can be unchained from the not-so-necessary and so be able to receive from Him what is truly necessary.  His patience with and grace toward me are priceless!

A metallic chain with an explosed link.

I’m a Type A (mostly), so whether it’s relationships, work, play, health, or social media, I’m either “all in” or “meh.”

But being “all in” can sometimes obscure objectivity and divert blessings.

My constant prayer request is for self-control regarding time, thoughts, money, and food.  For a few months, I’ve been hearing that still, small voice nudging me to rethink my priorities and to apply self-discipline in how I use my time.  

A look at my prayer journal shows God progressively giving me words of caution and course-correction:

  • “There is too much going on.  You cannot meditate in a crowded space.”  11/18/12
  • “You need to be more sensitive to the voice of the Lord.”  12/24/12
  • “There are too many distractions.  Activity does not mean community.”  1/11/13
  •  “You showed me today the idolatry in my heart.  The blog and the internet (internot) have my affections.  There is no excuse.  Please forgive me.”  2/1/13

But was I truly listening?  Not really.

 So, God let events take their toll. 

A fatigue–more mental and emotional than physical–began to overtake me last month.  The desire to be online–even to blog–diminished to the point where I didn’t even want to turn on the laptop.  Blogging was becoming work, not a joy.  I had gotten away from my original goal:  to give God honor through my writing.

Other events and circumstances emerged.

  • I struggled to commit to spend time in the prayer room with God.
  • My godmother passed, and I was determined to go home to St. Kitts for the funeral.  
  • Work continued to pile up relentlessly.  
  • I felt overwhelmed  and isolated.
  • Just before my trip home, a pipe burst in the house.  

Lord. Have. Mercy.  It was time for an intervention.  

So, although Lent had already begun, I decided to remove myself from Facebook and Twitter for the rest of the Lenten period.  Even from this blog, I took a two-week hiatus.

It may sound weird to be fasting from social media for Lent, but I chose to unchain myself from “other gods” that I had  substituted for my relationship with God.  Those of us who love social media know how addicting it can be and how subtly it can consume chunks of time that could be spent more productively.

Being unchained from social networks has become very freeing.  I’ve begun to realize that, despite my claims that “I don’t have time,”  I do have time.  In, particular, I do have time to recalibrate spiritually.

While sharing with my mom about being distracted mentally, she made a very sage point about prioritizing.   This time, I really listened.  There was enough space in my mind, heart, and spirit to receive her admonition, accept it, and act upon it.  God was at work, unchaining me from busy thoughts and lack of perspective.  

How will I handle things after Lent is over?  My goal is to continue living unchained, not just from social networks, but from anything that I allow, willingly or not, to encroach on my walk with God.  Will it be a struggle?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But I have the God of angel armies on my side.  #Winning!

 What do you need to be unchained from, even temporarily?

 

 


Comments

  1. This is such a POWER POST! and a definite confirmation to be unchained from “other gods” and those things that consume us and distract us from our relationship with Christ. Right now, as I type, I’m listening to Chris Tomlin’s Amazing Grace: (My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me, And like a flood His mercy rains, Unending love, Amazing grace) in tears. I’ve been making a few sacrifices for Lent, but there is always room for more.

    My condolences for your loss. Continued blessings my dear.
    Hope recently posted..Empty Spaces: Guest PostMy Profile

  2. Hi Hope! We are so absolutely set free, as that song says, but sometimes we take up one form or another of bondage, sometimes willfully, sometimes unwittingly. Thank God for this grace in which we stand, a grace that sets us free from condemnation yet leads us into kingdom life as the Spirit convicts us!

  3. I totally get you doing a hiatus from the internet (I don’t know that I could do it unlsess God really got on me). It can really suck your time away. That’s why when I write my posts, believe it or not, I do it on one day on the weekend. I spend hours but I’d rather do that than spend every single day. This way I can really just spend a few mins daily checking in and not having all my time sucked away.

    LOL@Was I listening? Not really. I think we have all been there. Thank God for his mercy and patience.
    Ali, I so appreciate the time and passion you put into this post. I revised my Scripture Saturday posts over at the specialmomspace.com blog to do somewhat of this very thing. I’ve repurposed that saturday post and called it “Scripture and Spirit.” Instead of just sharing a quick little scripture (which by the way took very little effort), I decided to really think about what I’m learning in church and in quiet time (oh those moments are too rare) and then sharing them on the blog. I now share the scripture and some deeper explaining or expounding of the Word that was given to me.

    After all, if I can put that much oomph into my regular, carnal posts I should do as much for God. Thank you for this reminder.
    michelle@radiant brown beauty recently posted..How Humectants and Emollients Combat Dry SkinMy Profile

    • I wish I could have that discipline to write it all on one day, Michelle. I really do. But not sneaking away to see what’s on FB or Twitter while I write a post has been a revelation as to how much of a time suck those babies can be.

      I’m going to check out your Saturday posts on Special Mom Space. Isn’t it great how God will give us something that has an even greater blessing than the one we got directly from Him? We truly are blessed to be a blessing.

      Love,

      Ali
      Alison recently posted..UnchainedMy Profile

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