The Single Word That Set Me Free3
by Kim McNeer
Several Januarys ago, Jim and I chaperoned a trip of high school and college students to the Passion268 conference in Atlanta, Georgia. If you are not familiar with Passion conferences or Louie Giglio, I have copied from the website the mission statement below and the link:
“Rooted in the confession of Isaiah 26:8, Passion exists to glorify God by uniting students in worship, prayer and justice for spiritual awakening in this generation.
From its start in 1995, the Passion movement has had a singular mission—calling students from campuses across the nation and around the world to live for what matters most. For us, what matters most is the name and renown of Jesus. We believe in this generation and are watching God use them to change the climate of faith around the globe.
Since the first gathering in 1997, Passion has had the privilege of encountering millions of students and 18-25 year olds, a sea of young people whose lives have been transformed by the power of the holy spirit. Their voice is getting louder as they rise, united as a generation, bringing hope and light to the world.
Since 2007, believing worship + justice are two sides of the same coin, students at passion have generously given over $18 million to 70 amazing partner organizations around the world.
Passion is more than music. More than events. Passion is a generation living for his name.
The wave is growing into a global awakening. Join the movement.”
Passion 268generation website
I have been a Christian for many years, taught countless Sunday school classes, served on more committees than I can count, been in the mission field & am very strong in my faith, but like so many others, I struggled with doubt and worry. Those of you that know me know how OCD I am. I am always in control of the situation and have life planned down to the minute details. The chains of worry and doubt bound me like no other. The what-if’s haunted me daily, roaming around in my mind. I struggled with anxiety and sleepless nights. My mind never stopped questioning what I knew God would take care of. There were times I worried so that only medication could calm me down. I was SHACKLED!
- Was I being the Christian woman God called me to be?
- Was I the wife Jim needed me to be?
- What if my children got kidnapped?
- What if something tragic(other than kidnapping) happened to my child?
- Was I the daughter God called me to be for my parents?
- What kind of friend am I if I cannot even remember birthdays?
- Had I given my children all the tools they needed to make wise decisions?
- Were they ok at college?
- What if our business failed?
- What if, What if, What if…..the list was HUGE and continued to grow everyday—(mostly stupid stuff)
No matter how many times I read or heard a message on, Matthew 6:34 (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.) or how many times I prayed and laid my worries at the feet of Jesus, I ALWAYS turned around and picked that worry or concern back up. I am human, I am a wife and I am a mother, I am supposed to fix things, make everything perfect for everyone else….well little did I know God was about to put me in my place in a very big way that only HE could do.
Louie Giglio began preaching the first night of Passion about one of the most important words spoken in the Bible, Tetelestai. It translates “It is finished” (John 19:30: When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.) Jesus came and completed the task to open and assure our future. No matter how many times, I had read or heard these verses preached, I never understood the true impact those words had on my life. What was finished, how was it finished and why was this such an important message for me? Well let me assure you God showed up and showed out for me, little Kim McNeer, that night. It was like he was standing over me asking… so you think I cannot handle all this for you?
Worship closed that night with some of the most amazing worship leaders of our day praising God through song. I am such a fan of worship music and the role it plays in leading us to the Holy Spirit. My heart, soul, and mind were full of the words and thoughts I had just received. As I lay there that night reflecting and praying over the words spoken during that sermon, the most amazing peace and understanding came over me. In the next few days as I reflected on that, I grew in my knowledge and understanding and here is how it changed me.
Tetelestai, It is finished. My God sent his son in my place this I know, but what else did I need to learn from that? No matter what I am facing my God has already “finished it”, he already knows the outcome, he has won the war! He already has the answer to the “what-ifs” and is sovereign. He knows what is best for me and His will for me and honestly, I cannot micromanage what he has planned nor does he need my help. From that moment of revelation on, I literally laid down everything that shackled me. These worries that had kept me up all hours of the night, made me sick at my stomach, brought me to my knees in tears, I absolutely laid them down. It was so freeing and so amazing all at the same time. It was like a weight lifted that I didn’t even realize was there. I felt God’s amazing grace and comfort like I never had before. I was free!!!
That freedom doesn’t allow me to live in a fairytale world, I still realize there are troubles every day that I need to pray over, ask for guidance or simply just be still and listen. What I do know is that I don’t have to worry about them! No matter the outcome, God has me in the palm of his hand and guides and directs me every step along with everyone I worried and stressed over.
Being who I am, I knew I would need something to hold me accountable and remind me how powerful my God really is. So today I have the word Tetelestai on my left wrist under my watch band. When I feel overwhelmed and tempted to let worry consume me, I just look at that one word and I remember God has it and he doesn’t need my help! No matter what I tried to do to help God out, He never needed my help. He knows the outcome and His will for my life. He knows what I can handle and what I cannot! Today I am thankful I serve a sovereign, merciful, mighty God that loves me so much he sent a Savior for me and you!!!!