Oh no! I'm having a feeling!!

If you're an 80's kid like I am, then when I belt out the lyrics "Joy and pain, like sunshine and rain," you'll channel your inner Rob Base and start singing along. What a jam that is!! The other day I went and saw the new Pixar movie Inside Out with my kids. I LOVED IT!! As a life coach I was soaking up all the emotional metaphors they were throwin' down. After watching a movie that shows why all emotions are important and how sadness and joy go hand in hand, I couldn't help but sing those words out as I left the theater "Joy and pain, like sunshine and rain....pump it up, pump it up!" 

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Love Changes Everything

So often we want to jump in and fix everything that is wrong, then move on with our lives and forget about everything that took us to the places we've been to begin with. I get it! Even as I write this, I want that too. I want to jump right in and tell you all the reasons why you are doing what you are doing, fix what is wrong, and help you to live the life God has for you. Seems reasonable, right?! HA! As you can imagine, I was pretty shocked when I was writing my "How to Fix Everyone" manuscript and God stopped me to give me this revelation: I had gotten it backwards!!! 
I was dumbfounded as God gently showed me that I had gotten it ALL WRONG. Jesus, through prayer, took me back to my own dark days of healing and took me to the very first moment I knew I needed help.  
Far before my life hit rock bottom, He was calling to me, showing me one powerful word OVER AND OVER again. He showed me through my imperfect parents, he showed me in the quiet nights of my shame and guilt. Relentlessly he pursued me with one word. LOVE. I could never escape it.  
There were so many times I didn't believe it, so many times I knew I didn't deserve it, and so many times I rejected it, but no matter what, there it was.  
When I opened my eyes, when I went to sleep... Love. When I would reluctantly go to church, and even when I wanted to end it all... LOVE.  
I never really thought about it until I took a step back and looked over my life. It was there, always comforting me, begging me to come to HIM. People judged me and society wrote me off. My parents were hurt and many times I put God's love for me through the grid created by the type of love I'd given and been given. I thought that God loved the way others love. I WAS WRONG. He loved me in my darkest moments and finally, after years of fighting and years of hopelessness, I decided to see if He really meant it.  
Turning from my rebellious behavior, going to therapy, digging deep and really facing the truth about why I hurt and who had hurt me, forgiving all those who wronged me and forgiving myself for the ways I had wronged others were all part of my journey towards healing.  
But I want to make something crystal clear: NONE of this would have happened if it were not for GOD'S unending love for me.  
Something happens to us we we realize we are loved, especially when we know we don't deserve it. Love heals in ways nothing else can. Without love, we have nothing. When I realized God truly loved me, I was finally able to see myself through a grid of unconditional love instead of the flawed grid I had previously created for myself.  
Resting in his love was a challenge. My self-destructive brain naturally veered back towards shame and judgment, but His love would not let me go there. It surrounded me. His love gave me a new identity. It gave me hope and purpose. Christ's pure love, over time, changed my name from defeated to overcomer.  
I AM LOVED! And not only am I loved, I AM HIS!  
ME! The girl who had made mistake after mistake, who was abandoned, and who brought shame upon her family and herself. LOVED. How could this be?  
God does not love with human love. It's perfect, untainted by human junk. When I would feel like giving up, throwing in the towel, His love would scream to me...YOU ARE MINE. Don't believe the lies. Trust Me. I will set you FREE.  
Why did I fight against this love for so long? Why did I not cry out to Him sooner? The hurt that I felt and the things that had happened to me caused me to believe that I was not worthy of this kind of love. I thought that I needed to get my life together in order to accept it. Boy, was I wrong. I wasted so many years believing God was like we often are, judgmental and harsh. I imagined he had a to-do list for me and that until all of those things were checked off the list, I couldn't be close to Him. Again, I was so wrong. I believed Jesus is who people said He is instead of who His word says He is.  
How this must break His heart for us.  
Jeremiah 31:3 says He loves us with and everlasting love. EVERLASTING. It never ends! It has no stipulations on it, it is just there, waiting to be received.  
I hope that you will realize the power of this love and begin to trust that what Jesus says is true. Then and only then will your heart find the courage to start to change.  
His love gives you a new identity. It causes you to be identified with someone perfect. You'll no longer be identified by the hurts of your past but with the King of Kings, the Creator of the universe. You are His most beloved and that understanding changes everything!  
This won't mean that the struggle disappears, but knowing you are not alone in the fight will give you a new strength to press on through it, onto the other side of the pain. His love gives you courage to fight hard to be healed.  
I remember many days when I felt that the fight to be healed was more than I could bare, but as I would literally cry out to God, He would pour out His love onto me. He would give me the courage to keep going, and remind me that healing was coming. It was His love for me that ministered to me. When you are identified by God's love, you are given a new name. A new identity starts to rise up within your soul and the things that controlled you before don't have the power they once had.
There is only one thing you have to do: Accept this gift.  
It is waiting for you to receive it, and true, deep change can not happen until you choose to accept what Jesus has for you. To know you are loved, to feel His acceptance of you, and to walk in the confidence of this will be the beginning of a life forever changed.  
Romans 8:37-39 - In all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.  
Found. Unbound,
Karrie Garcia

Why The Freedom Movement?

So many people have asked me what The Freedom Movement is and why I started it. Simply put, The Freedom Movement was created to help free women from the lies they tell themselves so they can live the life they were created to live. But you should know better than to think I'd give you a simple explanation and leave it at that! I want to dive into what that means, so here is my heart behind this movement. For years, I've been watching women struggle. They struggle to believe that they are more than their mistakes. Or they struggle to believe that they could really be loved because their life falls short of perfection.

For years I lived this way, too. I was in bondage to my own failures. I felt like if I just tried harder... to think better, to act better, that I could get better and finally be better. But that never worked and trying harder never produced the results I'd hoped for.

I had fallen prey to drug abuse early on in my teens and had hurt so many people I loved as a result. I eventually stopped the drugs but never really dealt with why I did them in the first place. I moved on, trying to be "normal". I thought if I got married, it would fix everything and move me out of that painful phase in my life and into the next, helping me finally put my past behind me. Unfortunately being broken and trying to love with authentic love was impossible when my wounds went so deep. After some time, the pain and brokenness from my past caught up to me again and I could no longer manage my marriage. I chose to walk away. I thought if I was not in my marriage, then I could finally be free from the pain I had carried for so long... the pain of abandonment from my childhood, the pain of drug abuse, the loss of the life I was supposed to have. If I could just run away from it all, I could get better and stop feeling so bad, right??

WRONG!

That couldn't have been further from the truth. That choice stripped me of all I had known. Again, I had hurt the people I loved and I continued to add to the heap of shame I was under for all of my choices. I believed I was no good, that I was unsaveable. How could I ever make everything right? My destiny was clear... I would never be able to be happy. I was unredeemable.

I watched my mom live the same life I did. Her actions were different but her mindset the same. Both of us were hopeless and damaged from a life full of wrong choices. As long as I can remember my mom struggled to see herself as anything worth loving. She was beautiful and kind, but she could never see that. Everyday she woke up and believed she was a failure. Being beautiful, thin, and young was where she put her value, so she did everything in her power to keep up those appearances. Her life was a daily battle, her mind was her worst enemy. She believed lie after lie until eventually she believed she was worthless. Her pursuit of beauty and youth at any cost ended up costing her everything... her health, her spirit, and eventually her will to live.

My mom and me on the day I married my husband, Mario. Photo: My mom and me on the day I married my husband, Mario.

This woman who started out as a passionate, fun-loving little girl with a sweetness that permeated a room had become a shell of a person. Years of telling herself she was dumb and ugly and fat took its toll. She didn't believe she could ever be good enough or that anyone could love her after of all of her poor choices. All of the pain from the lies she told herself eventually caused her to take her own life.

No little girl grows up and thinks "One day I will take my life." This happens when we believe the lies that say we are a sum of our mistakes. No one is immune to this kind of mind torture. My whole life I watched a woman I loved with my whole heart struggle to believe she was something of worth.

She was beautiful and kind and I miss her greatly. What would her life have looked like if she had chosen to believe that what GOD said about her was really true? How would her life have been different if she had truly seen herself as a child of God... What if she had truly believed that she was loved even though she'd made mistakes, and that God wanted to heal the deepest parts of her pain?

This is where my mom's story and mine are drastically different. I allowed God to invade my story. I chose to believe that what God said is true. I began to believe that I am forgiven, and that I am loved (Acts 13:38). Over time as I allowed God to redeem what had been lost, hope began to spring up in my life and I started to see that my actions do not determine my worth. God has chosen me. ME! The good, the bad, the ugly! He said "I choose you Karrie to be my daughter" (I Peter 2:9). He is proud to identify Himself with me. Going from being bound by pain to being FOUND in Christ has forever changed my life. This new life I can't keep a secret. I had to share these truths with other women so they could experience freedom too, so I started The Freedom Movement.

No woman should ever feel she is alone. Every woman should know that she is loved deeply, no matter what mistakes she has made. Jesus says "I have come to give life, and to give it to the fullest" (John 10:10). Christ has come to free you from the bondage of your mind, and to let you start living in freedom. The heart behind The Freedom Movement is that women would be able to hear from other women and from God's word that it's okay to struggle but you don't have to be defined by those struggles. All it takes is one brave act... an act that says "I am broken and I need you, Jesus, to come heal my broken heart and mind." He is waiting. You owe it to yourself to BE BRAVE. The life God created you for is waiting.

Found... Unbound, Karrie Garcia