Jesus over Everything
by Karrie Garcia
What does it mean to be free? This is the burning question within each of us. And, in seeking the answer, we often look to external contexts and definitions. Ideas like freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, and others, come to mind. I mean, we live in the land of the FREE and the home of the brave! In our faith journeys, though, freedom can feel elusive, like an idea we can’t fully wrap our minds around. So, what does freedom actually look like in our own lives?
In John 8:36, Jesus tells us that when He sets us free, we are free indeed. WOW, these are such amazing words that we tightly cling to with hope. Yet, when the lights are out and no one is around, we feel disconnected from this powerful truth. The hurts we’ve faced and our disillusionment become overwhelming, leaving us to wonder if the freedom Jesus speaks about is true for everyone. We think we’ve missed the secret door to this place we crave.
In my own life, I grew up hearing about all God could do for me. I heard all the ways I was supposed to be more like Him. This left me bewildered and feeling like I was somehow less than because I was not living up to the standard being portrayed. With all the things to DO that was being taught, I really didn’t understand HOW to do any of it! How does this freedom Jesus speaks of begin to have power in my life? I mean, sure, I heard things like, “read your bible,” “memorize scripture,” and “go to church.” All that was good, but for me, it didn’t bring the healing and freedom for which I was longing. I believed He could do it all (at least I wanted to believe), but the weight of my hidden and not-so-hidden sins seemed too big for a simple verse to heal. I needed a complete overhaul!
I read about the importance of surrender and submission, but still struggled with understanding HOW to do those things. Then, one day, I was reading in Psalm 139 – you know, the famous passage about how fearfully and wonderfully we were made. How no matter where we go, no matter how HIGH or LOW we go, God is with us. His right hand holds us. I knew this passage well, but that day something jumped out I hadn’t seen before. In verses 23 and 24, David writes “Search me God and SHOW me any anxious way within me.” Even David, who knew all these powerful characteristics of God, needed HELP to know what was keeping him from more freedom!
I prayed this over and over again. “Search me God and show me.” He began to reveal places in my heart that brought shame – places in my heart that felt tender and fragile – not to condemn me, but to bring freedom. As I discovered these places, I began to realize that if I wanted Him to exchange my hurt for His hope, my past for His plan, my mourning for his joy, I had to get honest. Through honesty came an invitation. It’s not that He needed me to KNOW more about Him, He wanted me to experience more of Him. He needed to be welcomed into these fragile places so HE could begin to do what only He can do.
Freedom comes through the courageous act of inviting God into the places that hurt and trusting that through this invitation He will do what ONLY HE can do: heal. If we want Jesus to be over everything, then we need to invite Him into everything.
You’re not alone, friends. I stand with you in the hard work of opening our fragile hearts to the gracious love of our father. It is in these fragile places that God will become all you’ve needed Him to be.
by Karrie Garcia, Founder of the Freedom Movement.
The Freedom Movement is a non-profit that provides resources