After about a week of just quietness and resting, I started to turn to music.
I was desperate for comfort, for hope, and for truth. I started listening to some amazing Christian songs. Raw. Gritty. Real. Songs that are almost organic in how they dig down into the angst and struggles that sometimes come to His people. Songs that reached into the struggle. Songs that were real.
I love what Randy Alcorn said in If God Is Good. “Laments make up more than one-third of the psalms. The contrast between Israel’s hymnbook and the church’s says a great deal about our failure to acknowledge suffering. If we don’t sing about suffering and struggle, why shouldn’t our people feel surprised when it comes?”
Enter The Struggle by Tenth Avenue North. I don’t know how many times I listened to it. Lots. It is still one of my favorites and often brings me to tears.
“Hallelujah! We are free to struggle. We’re not struggling to be free.”
For quite a while, that was the only part of the song I could remember. I sang it over and over. Finally I pulled it up on YouTube and watched the lyrics video. I remember one day that I sat on the couch, hands lifted, tears pouring from my eyes.
This. This. We are free to struggle, but we’re not struggling to be free. Hallelujah!
“Your blood bought and makes us children. Children drop your chains and sing!”
And then I realized. That was me. I was that child whose chains had been broken. And yet I was living as if I was still shackled. A clear image came to mind of me sitting on the ground, weeping in deep anguish, slashing the air like a mad woman, chains rattling and clanking every time I moved. And then I saw it. Those chains binding me were severed. They were not attached to anything. I had picked up those chains and I was holding them myself.
God had freed me. His Word is truth. Because I confess with my mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in my heart that He rose from the dead, those chains do not bind me.
Or to go back to the analogy of drowning from my first post….I have been sputtering around, thrashing wildly, clawing at the rope…..while sitting firmly on the deck of the boat. I wasn’t drowning. I was safe. I was secure the whole time.
I didn’t dissect. I didn’t try to start running ahead and putting other pieces together in my head, based on what I already knew the Bible was saying. I waited. I held on to this truth. Clung to it. And waited to see where it would take me.
Part One Part Two Part Three
Part Four Part Five
Thank you, Bonnie, for sharing your story – I’ve been appreciating your honesty and hearing how God has been at work in your life through the hard times of doubting and guilt and oppression.
Love this post! I truly am enjoying getting to know your heart. And this song has been on my favorite list for a while. Love the raw in the song and in your post.
What a beautiful song! I’ve never heard of that band or song before. I agree with you that raw songs have spoken to me too and we need more. That’s one reason I like country music (when it’s not dark and dreary) – it often is raw, in telling a story, and touching. 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Wow! I’m loving your super honest posts lately 🙂
Also, love your new blog layout!
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