The Chains Fall Off

“The louder I sing, the faster the chains fall off.”

That’s what my friend answered when someone asked why she sings so loudly during worship.

Maybe “friend” isn’t the right word, since we don’t hang out and drink coffee together, but “sister” is more accurate because she is my sister in Christ.

I’m just a little in awe of her because she is an overcomer in the truest sense of the word.

One Sunday, not long ago, we were singing in church – Russ on my right, Zoe* and her mom on my left, kids spreading further to each side.

There was a little commotion as the row behind us filled with people, and soon, a loud voice broke forth in a truly joyful noise.

What my friend lacks in perfect pitch she makes up for in all-out love for God and true wholehearted worship. With her son on her hip, her other hand in the air, she sings – loudly.

I had to smile. Here we were, a small circle of women in this space, my foster daughter, her mom, me (foster mom/former foster youth), and then right behind us another mom and her son, previously separated through foster care, now reunified.

Then the profound beauty of it struck me – so much redemption, so much sorrow turned to joy, so much hope. Tears flowed down my face through the rest of worship.

My friend posted some of her story on Facebook last December and I asked her permission to share it.

Today 3 years ago I was arrested for possession of meth and my son was taken from me and placed in foster care with some amazing people (aunt Phillis and uncle Doug). after 10 months of heartbreak no car no job no phone no place to stay or to stay clean and most of all no child to take care of for a new mother, lost and alone, God got ahold of me and even though I wasn’t clean all the time I was in his hands the whole time.

Today 3 years ago I was told I will never see my son again. I was high and strung out on meth. Today I am 2 and a half years clean I have a real job my own place a phone a car and most of all my son !!!! This wasn’t because I’m super awesome it’s because God takes ashes and turns them into beauty !!! Because I can’t do this without him or alone. I am so thankful today for life and love and freedom !!!!

Lessons for Us

Let’s take a few lessons from my friend:

1.| When the world tells us we’ve failed and it’s over – it’s not.

2.| We can’t do it alone – we need God and other people.

3. | God makes beauty from ashes.

And best of all, maybe, just maybe:

4. | The louder we sing, the faster the chains will fall off.

Don’t give up. Find your people. Cry out to God. Trust him to make your life beautiful. Sing.

[*Zoe is the name my foster daughter chose to use on my blog. It is not her real name.]


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Let me introduce myself. Russ and I are the parents of twelve children by birth and adoption, and sometimes more through foster care. I'm the creator of One Thankful Mom which has been as much of a gift to me as to my readers. In 2011 I became a TBRI® Pracitioner* and have lived and breathed connected parenting ever since. I'm deeply honored to be the co-author, together with the late Dr. Karyn Purvis, of The Connected Parent; it is her final written work. I love speaking at events for adoptive and foster parents. I'm also the co-founder of The Adoption Connection, a podcast and resource site for adoptive moms. I mentor and encourage adoptive moms so you can find courage and hope in your journeys of loving your children well.


  1. Tori
    April 28, 2017

    Praise God! What a beautiful truth!

  2. Alyce
    April 29, 2017

    I LOVE this!!! This SO brings tears to my eyes!!! …and I LOVE Tosha! She is AMAZING!!!! I LOVE what the Lord has done in her life!!! <3


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