“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.]