Shackles and Chains

Have you ever taken the time to visualize what it must feel like to have real shackles and chains holding you down in a prison? The thought of this terrifies many people, but I want you to see yourself in that situation.

It is very hard to understand this concept, but most, if not all of us are walking around day after day, with shackles and chains so heavily attached to us, that we have become numb to the fact that we are captive to our own struggles and failures.

Every day is just another punch of the clock. Life has lost meaning. Our relationships are failing. We have no drive to become better because the thought of what that entails drains every ounce of energy that we don’t have in the first place. The weights of our failures keep us stagnant.

The shackles and chains of addiction, abuse, neglect, control, pride, anger, selfishness, greed, jealously, negativity, etc., have consumed us.

If you are reading this and are nodding your head, and I know most of you are, listen closely as I reveal some hard, yet hopeful truths about the bondage you are struggling to break free from.

Vulnerability, Honesty and Truth

Why are we conditioned to keep so many aspects of our lives private? Why is the thought of someone finding out who we really are so nerve wracking?

I have a saying that I just love…THEY CAN’T EAT YOU!

For real y’all! Is it your reputation you are so concerned with? Is it the fear of being rejected by everyone around you? What if the freedom you have been searching for is all in revealing who you are and loving that person?

Truth

I have never been more accepted or loved than when I accepted the truth of who I am and what my struggles are, but the biggest freedom has been in me revealing my faults and victories to the world.

Vulnerability is the key to human connection

You can have a thousand relationships, but I bet you consider your best friend someone that knows something deep and personal about you. Why is this? When we become vulnerable, we often see that the person we are sharing with will break their walls down and share as well. This creates a bond of trust and love, and this is when you can begin experiencing fulfillment in human connection.

It is impossible to be honest with others if you have not been honest with yourself

Honesty, like real ugly honesty, seems to be rare these days. We think we live a fulfilling life by hiding all of our secrets, yet we discover that we turn to addictive behaviors to mask the problems we have. Why do you think accountability is such a strong mechanism to staying on track? If no one knows what you struggle with, it is ten times easier to self sabotage!

You don’t have to agree with everything here but know that these few changes I have made have changed who I am and how I navigate each day.

Halie’s TRUTH

As many times as I have shared my story, I still can’t believe that I become so vulnerable, but I keep sharing because I know what my openness has done for me and thousands of others.

When I was a child, I remember having to have everything perfect; from the placement of my hamburger meat on my bun, to the way I did my school work. Perfectionism was my life and the moment things didn’t go my way, I flipped. Like, complete meltdowns…

I continued this way of thinking and behavior into my teenage years and adulthood. As many of you, I made more than my fair share of mistakes as a teenager and young adult. Those times were full of guilt and self-doubt. I have always been a very confident person, but back then that confidence was more on the surface than what was deep inside of me.

I sometimes compare myself to Robin Williams. His dynamic personality and ability to draw in all kinds of people was astounding, but how could someone that “happy” possibly struggle with debilitating anxiety and depression the way he did?

I lost a very good friend and first boyfriend when I was 17. My anxiety and depression spiked at that time and I honestly never remember being quite the same. My trust in God was shaky and I really had no idea who God was.

I was brought up in church. We went every Wednesday night and twice on Sundays, but I mostly knew God as a dictator that would be ready at any moment to strike me down if I disobeyed Him. I felt very different and misunderstood in a huge room of believers that “seemed” to have it all together. This was not necessarily a fault of the church people, but regardless, I constantly had a tug in my heart that there was something more I needed to know about this all mighty and loving God.

My childhood was amazing and I truly have the best parents anyone could dream of having, but this was not an issue with my parents, this was an issue with religion. You see, religion forced me into a corner with rules and regulations and made it almost impossible for me to embrace a loving, gracious, merciful and forgiving God. Have you ever been there? Yeah, I hear ya.

So, I rebelled.

Rebellion’s sidekick is named Control

I struggled to control my life and everyone else’s life around me. Is control an illusion? It absolutely is and a very dangerous illusion at that. The false sense of control that I had, and still struggle with to this day, consumed every day of my life. My feelings were all that mattered. I had closed ears and a mouth that was wide opened and ready to tell you how I was right about all things.

My compassion and love for people was indeed genuine, but only until it crossed paths with my number one priority…me…

And what follows control is often times stress, more anxiety and anger. This is because you never truly have control. The world will always throw you curve balls and not everything will go as you plan. Plus, there is no need for a savior if we have everything figured out, right?

My anger was dangerous. My short fuse and superior attitude was a true recipe for a huge disaster.

From a failed marriage in 2010, that I mostly caused, to getting lost in a lifestyle of poor choices, I became more controlling and more angry. If control equaled power and a happy-go-lucky life, then why did I not have either? Just as eating pizza leads to drinking coke and drinking coke leads to laying on the couch and so on, so does making one bad choice lead to another bad choice.

My shackles and chains have been broken because I am learning and willing to listen to what God has been telling me all of my life. I have always known I was made for so much more. I am nothing in the big scheme of God’s plan, yet I am as valuable to Him as the most precious piece of gold.

That same pulling I felt on my heart as a child was the same feeling I had when I stepped out into faith of God’s plan for me about a year ago.

I have so much more to share with you, but that is for a later time! Stay strong my friend! Not because you control your strength, but because there is no other way to be truly strong without the power of Christ Himself!

Conclusion

Do you truly believe you are all alone in your struggles? If you do, I understand. We are conditioned in our society to put on a happy face and act as if there is nothing going on behind closed doors.

The hard core truth is that there is not one single person in the world that does not struggle with something! Even the preacher of your church has issues and sins that they deal with.

One step in this journey of self discovery and healing is to put your pride away, open up and find people that need your honesty as much as you need theirs! Our lives become fulling when we become vulnerable and real and not when we pretend to be happy.

We want to be that safe place for you! We want you to know we struggle every single day but we refuse to let those struggles define who we are or where we are going.

Join us on this journey!

Stop the madness of hiding who you are!

If you still have no idea how to hand the keys over to God and let him help you navigate every day of this life, stay tuned. We have exciting learning and growing tools coming your way soon!

Much Love Y’all!

Comment Below and let us know what you think or share your story with us!

 

 

About Chasing Mae

Hey Y’all! Wow! We are so glad you are here and can’t wait to share our lives with you! We also hope to have the opportunity to meet and get to know you!

Chasing Mae is brand new, but Heath and I have been playing music together since we were 13! I won’t tell you our ages but that would make us performing together for 19 years! 😉 We both gravitated toward one another at a young age because at that time we both discovered that we had a dying love for Matchbox Twenty…who knew…

Over the years we have seen each other through a lot of life…lots of good and bad struggles along the way. I also have the best of both worlds because Heath is married to my sister, so we are now truly family! You can imagine how confusing this can be with new people that we meet. 😉

We are so glad you are here! This site is brand new and we are adding to it every day! Check back with us frequently for updates.

A LITTLE BIT ABOUT HALIE AND HEATH  

Hey y’all, Halie here! I am going to start with giving y’all some background into my life then will hand it over to Heath.

Some of my earliest memories are of me singing and songwriting. I had two tape recorders and I would sit in my room and sing and record over different harmonies. It was a natural process for me and I had no idea how gifted I was.

I am also a Ventriloquist, so I performed all over our area for years! I was a little more shy back then but always loved the stage! The more people, the better!

Heath and I performed all over town and for different competitions in our area. Our parents would be so nervous because we never practiced till the night before, but always pulled off great shows! That is the way we still work best to this day!

Throughout college, I sang in plays, events and was also in a cover band that toured all during the summers. Those were so incredible years of my life that I will never forget. I thought I was at the top of my singing career at that time but little did I know, I was just getting started!

In 2012 I was on American Idol and made it to Hollywood! I had a great hope of how my music career was playing out. After Idol I was contacted by several record labels. My husband and I were going to travel to Nashville to meet some of them, but the unthinkable happened shortly after I just finished writing my first album.

My husband was burned from building power lines on May 22, 2013, from the horrible tornadoes that hit Oklahoma that year. I would love to tell you the entire story in detail, but it might take 5 websites for that. Long story short, he lost his life, was saved by someone he didn’t know, was rehabilitated in a hospital in OKC for 43 days, when the prediction of days was somewhere far in the hundreds. He is a living miracle!

My husband is a fighter. He is a survivor. I also found out I was pregnant on May 25, 2013,. This was a tremendous shock to us and the timing just felt horrible. I was scared. I was lost. I will never forget the song We Won’t Be Shaken by Building 429. I would sing this song every day when I went down to my room and just sob on the floor, begging for the Lord to give me strength and wisdom. My dreams of being on the big stage singing were ripped so quickly from my arms that my brain didn’t have time to catch up with my current situation at that time. I would never sing again…

Fast forward…

I gave up music for 4 years. Something inside me just couldn’t bring myself to sing again, although every time I performed, I felt alive.

Mental illness was a key component to my removal from all that I loved, but I will explain that later.

It wasn’t until Christmas of 2017 that something came over me as we were spending time with family in Angel Fire, NM. I mentioned to Heath that we needed to start a YouTube channel and pursue our music. That was all it took.

We have been tirelessly working behind the scenes since then and can’t wait to see what the Lord has always had in store for us! I truly believe we were given these talents for a greater purpose and God has been patiently waiting for us to use them as He is the one that equipped us with these great talents that need to be shared with you!

I can’t wait for y’all to hear some of

Heath’s story…

My love for music started at the age of 13. For Christmas, I received an acoustic guitar that wasn’t anything close to being called “playable”. The strings were so far off of the fret board that pressing them down to make a chord was nearly impossible. However, that didn’t stop me from trying.

Living out in the country in the middle of winter left me with nothing but time to pick around on it. Apparently my parents got tired of listening to my horrible playing, because not long after I took a lesson from one of our neighbors who lived a few miles down the road. I’ll never forget taking him the guitar. He took one look at it and said, “……..Heath why don’t you just take one of mine home for a while until you can get another one.” As I suspected from the start, it was indeed a piece of crap.

He showed me three chords that afternoon and sent me home with his guitar and a chord book. I was instantly in love with playing the guitar. It was like magic to be able to take an instrument and make an emotion ring out of it from a simple placement of my fingers.

After I started playing, it wasn’t long before I started writing my own songs. This proved to be a great outlet for me during my teenage years and ultimately, beyond them. I was in a few different bands in junior high and high school that didn’t lead anywhere, but they were great experiences.

Somewhere in that time period (perhaps 14 years old) I started playing guitar for my friend Halie…..yes the same one. We were already friends and she knew I played guitar so we got together and the music seemed to come out of both us effortlessly. Most of the communication was essentially done with not much talking, as we seemed to be able to just know what the other was trying to say in just a few words.

We would continue to team up on and off throughout the years to come. Although, creating something permanent never seemed to happen as the timing was never quite right. Aside from that, I believe we both needed room to grow as people. Also…..we may have been interested in chasing teenage relationships. Having Halie as one of my best friends ultimately lead to me meeting my wife, which happened to be her older sister Corlie.

Although I was a couple of years younger than Corlie we hit it off and connected immediately. After she graduated from high school she went to college at Oklahoma Christian in Edmond, Ok. I, of course, followed. When got to college our relationship continued to grow. I tried out for a band called Summer Singers there that played top 40 and Christian music to camps all around the United States and earned a spot playing bass and guitar. However, while things appeared to be good on the outside I had hidden problems with addiction to alcohol which only proved to get progressively worse over time. Despite this Corlie stuck with me and we got married while living in Edmond on July 22, 2006.

We eventually moved back to our hometown and in August 2008 we had our first child. It changed our lives forever. We were forced to grow up and we loved it. Two years later we had our second child, and in 2013, we had our third.

I continued to work and Corlie bravely decided to be a stay at home mother. Again, things looked wonderful on the outside but on the inside my problems with alcohol were taking a serious toll on my marriage and my own health. Music continued to be a part of my life during this time although my passion for it would come and go due to my problems with alcohol.

Halie had tried out for American Idol during this time and received a lot of much deserved attention. She asked me to help her get something started musically and was receiving calls from various people for a promising career in it. We started writing and getting things together for her new music project but disaster struck when her husband, Josh, was in an awful electrical accident which understandably brought things to a halt. While she cared for Josh she found out she was pregnant. Needless to say we both moved on from our music dreams and continued along our own paths.

Eventually my family life and health got bad enough from my alcohol abuse that I knew it was time to quit. It was making me lose interest in every area of life including my family, music, and my own health. Giving it up has been the best decision I’ve ever made. My family life has never been better and my passion for music has never been stronger!

FINALLY, Halie and I have the timing right for us to pursue a project together and we are more excited about it then we ever have been. We hope to bring our own personal experiences to Chasing Mae to help and encourage others along their path. Our goal is to reach people wherever they are at, and hopefully make their day just a little bit brighter.

WHY DO WE WANT TO HELP YOU?

One of the most painful and heartbreaking experiences we can face is the fear or reality of not being good enough; of not being accepted for who we really are; of not knowing how we are going to make it through one more day.

We put on so many masks that say we are doing great when we are dying inside from past hurts, or present situations or even from future fears.

We want to help you discover your purpose. We want to help you love who you are. We want you to dwell so deeply and fully in God’s presence that you have no doubt of why you are where you are in life.

We love to sing and song write but we also love to share our testimonies so that you can realize you are not alone!

WHY ARE WE HERE?

You know, life is extremely short. We have let too many years slip by without fully sharing the talents God has so richly blessed us with. Now is our time because it’s His perfect time for us!

We would love nothing more than to inspire every single person we come in contact with. We have many stories to tell. Some that may make you uncomfortable and some that may relate to you in such a deep way that you walk away knowing you aren’t alone.

We want our music to uplift you and create a sense of well being deep in your soul.

If you ever need a hand or two, and have any questions, feel free to leave them below and we will be more than happy to help you out.

All the best,

Chasing Mae support@chasing-mae.com

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