Shackled Down

It has been over 2 months since I have last written something, don’t get me wrong I have tried so hard to write but I just couldn’t. Nothing I wrote I felt was good enough, these past few months I haven’t felt good enough. There is heaps to fill you in about what has happened in the past 2 months. What I wrote last was about my latest adventure which was Hillsong and the 2 year mark of the assault. If you haven’t read it yet, you should check it out. Domestic Violence and Adventure 3

In those two absent months, my dance ministry went on a schools tour and had our outreach night joined by out team in WA, found out that we couldn’t go to the Philippines for our mission trip and I turned 19, which was a sad but exciting event and I also redid my whole bedroom!

If you know me or have read my blogs you would know that I have struggled with mental health for quite a long time and it’s something I still struggle with big time now but I know now that God still loves me no matter what, that He will still be there for me when I feel like no one cares or that no one loves me. When I am hating myself, He whispers ever so gently “I have made you in my image and I love you.” For a long time I have struggled with my self-image and have always found something to not like, and that may be something that you struggle with also.
I hate admitting it but I struggle with it on a daily basis, and recently it has become more of a problem especially concerning my weight and it is something I’m working through once again, it’s hard to not believe the voice in your head telling you that “you’re fat” or that “you need to stop eating, no one is ever going to love you”. There have been days where I do believe the lies but that’s just it, they’re lies. I have to stop myself and change the way I think – God doesn’t say this about me, He doesn’t say it about you either so if it’s not from Him, they’re not for you. They’re lies. I know that it is hard to believe that what the voices say are lies but they are and you are amazing, talented, unique, a child of our Heavenly Father. Made in the likeness of God.
This brings me to the school tour. My dance ministry went around to local high-schools for a week alongside our team from WA and did a body-image workshop. It is something I really believe in, I believe can change lives and I have seen it happen. It is something that is needed in so many schools, the youth of today are so heavily affected by negative body-image both boys and girls and it needs to be stopped instead of fed. The media plays a big part of this and it is literally destroying lives. Every workshop we did, my heart broke for the kids that were there, my soul was so heavy from what they’re dealing with, I could feel what they felt and it hurt me so badly. The second last night I got attacked spiritually and the enemy was telling me that I would not make a difference, that I wasn’t worth it, that God can’t use me, that I was too broken to be used by God and I may as well just give up, this was the night before this one school in particular, when they came in for the workshop I could feel all the brokeness, all the anger, all the hurt, all the sadness and I wanted to take it all away from them. There were these particular girls that caught my eyes and felt led by God to talk to them, thankfully I obeyed Him. They told me they didn’t think they were beautiful, they didn’t like themselves because of what their fathers have said to them, the way that their father’s have made them feel made them feel worthless. I believe God led me to these girls for a specific reason and if I listened to the enemy’s voice the night before I would never have been in that position where I could speak life into them. I could understand how they felt so I was able to share a bit of my story with them and that as much as a little girl wants their father’s love and validation they have to make up their own mind and know that they are good enough, that they are beautiful enough and that they’re not alone. As schools don’t allow you to talk about God I wasn’t able to share with them directly how much their Father in Heaven loves them and how much He cares for them and that He made them the way they are and the way He looks at them, He is in complete awe and that He also breaks when they break. God still showed up in the schools and did amazing things, we were able to speak life back into kids, we were able to share hope which is something that everyone is searching for. So many people are searching for a hope and purpose in so many things that only give them satisfaction for a short period, like sex, alcohol, drugs, smoking, pornography, gossiping, lying, these things only give you satisfaction for a short time and then you’ll need to do it again and again until it becomes a default setting.

What are we doing to empower the next generation? What are we doing to build them up? What are we feeding them? There is just so much pain in the youth of today, so much hurt and anger consumes them leaving nothing but hate for themselves. There are so many teen suicides, the statistics are increasing. What are we doing to prevent this? The youth need love, they need purpose and hope. We need to make a difference and we need to bring Christ back into the equation. Please stop looking down at the youth when they find themselves in trouble, all they are looking for is something to fill the void, something to give them a sense of purpose, a sense of happiness, stop cursing out the youth and start doing something to bring them up, to make them feel valuable. 

As you may know the word for this year is Break Free, it is something that God had spoken to me at the end of last year about this year. It is something I have encountered over and over again, I hear sermons or songs about breaking free and about chains being broken, testimonies about people breaking free of things such as illnesses, diseases, curses, mental health issues and so on all on a regular basis. Though I still haven’t gotten my breakthrough that I was hoping for just yet, it’s okay because I can still use it for other people, I can use my weakness’ to be my asset, to be my greatest strength. Although I still have received many different breakthroughs in other areas. The other day I was on the train to the city listening to a podcast by no other than Pastor Steven Furtick. The title of his message was ‘Choosing Your Chains’. He was asking the church are the “chains breaking [your] praise or [is] your praise breaking chains?” Which reminded me of a message Pastor John Gray preached at Hillsong Conference saying that we have to keep praising even when we don’t feel like it because we could be one praise away from our breakthrough. What is your joy chained to? You get to choose where your joy comes from, is it from a temporary high? Is it tied to someone’s opinion of you, if you tie your joy to that then it’ll only bring you down because not everyone will like you so putting your joy in people will only disappoint you. You see God gave us a gift of choice, we can choose to do what we want, the choices we make tend to become habits. “just once” – the famous saying by a lot of people, soon enough you’ll need a bit more and more to get that high you’re after. Today’s choices can become tomorrow’s chains. What are you chained to? What areas are you needing a breakthrough in? What areas do you need healing in? What is that default setting you have in your life when things go wrong?
God’s promise about Break Free hasn’t been forgotten, there are people are being broken free from chains that have been holding them back and I am so excited. I need to continue to be His vessel and continue to seek Him daily and not give up. It may seem like God isn’t listening to you or that you are alone and you haven’t received your breakthrough – it will come, God is listening to you just don’t turn your back away from Him, continue to be desperate for Him, continue to depend on solely Him.

A birthday to me is usually really exciting. I honestly never thought I would ever be 19 years old, I really thought I would be dead and so reaching another age is an achievement for myself. This year I had very mixed feelings about being another year older and reaching the end of my teenage years. The thoughts going through my head were “when I’m in my 20’s or 30’s and so on I’m going to look back and just regret my teenage years, that for my whole teenage life I spent hurting myself even though I knew I had other options.” It’s probably not something that goes through a lot of people’s minds but I was so torn by that and was just feeling so disappointed in myself. Until I heard that sermon. Yes I made the choice in doing the things I had done which then became a habit which then turned into an automatic setting and I can’t change the past but God can use the chains for me and for others around me. The devil trapped me at an early age, deceiving me into thinking I wasn’t enough, that I wasn’t worth it and gave me a choice thinking that this was the only way to get through it because the devil is scared of what God put inside of me and the devil knows my purpose, he knows your purpose as well. he will do anything to get you away from the calling God gave to you. I’ve made many choices that have not been the best and although I regret them, God has used them for greater and I have been able to help other people who are in a similar position that I was once in. “It took a lot of the breaking to get me to the blessing.” 

Now I know a love that has never given up on me, that has never failed me, that has always fought for me, that has died for me and His name is Jesus. He died to set us free, He died on the cross to forgive you, to forgive me of my sins because God loved the world that He was willing to give up His one and only Son to die so WE could have eternal life. Jesus died then rose 3 days later, defeating death. Death could not hold Him no longer. He took our punishment upon Himself, so we could be FREE. We don’t have to feel free to be free. If God says it then we are. “This is real love—not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to take away our sins” – 1 John 4:10
“So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.” – Galatians 5:1
“So if the Son sets you free, you are truly free.” – John 8:36
“For this is how God loved the world: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16
I have decided to chain myself to this love, something that will never perish, something that will never let me go and give me joy at all times. 899ffa915b59ea54cf4ddce1ccdf38e8

“My chains are gone
I’ve been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy reigns
Unending love, amazing grace” – Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) Chris Tomlin

What are you putting your hope in to?
What are you living for?

What choices are you going to start making?
What areas do you need breakthrough in?
Where are you putting your all in?
What are you depending on?


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