Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Finding Jesus in a Breakup

I still remember the pain of ending that relationship three years ago. We weren’t right for each other, and though I tried to deny it, I had known it deep within my heart for awhile.

The next several months following that breakup were filled with conflicting emotions. Although I had peace about my decision, I still thought about what could have been. I cried and got angry. I grieved, and then I moved on.

There’s no magic formula for grieving a breakup, however, there are lessons we can learn to better our future. We can choose to let the loss defeat us, or make us stronger. And ultimately, I think that’s what God wants for our lives.

Finding Meaning in a Breakup 

After ending that relationship, I remember walking outside in the snow and staring up at the dull gray sky. I kept asking God, why? The answer I got almost took my breath away, and it surely made me smile.

God said, “Because I am jealous for you.”

That’s the thing about walking with Jesus. You’re either all in or all out. He doesn’t want half-devoted followers who will most likely compromise their faith.

That past relationship kept me from blooming into the Christian I was supposed to be. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just not meant to be.

Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 NIV)

God isn’t jealous for us in a selfish, human way. If that were true, then no one would be able to be in a relationship or get married!

However, God does want our relationships to reflect His love for us and to ultimately lead us closer to Him. When a relationship is built on this firm foundation, love can truly grow and flourish.

Finding Identity in a Breakup 

My first breakup happened in high school. I got dumped.

You can never understand the haunting pain of that rejection until it happens to you. I felt so unlovable and worthless, but Satan wanted me to believe these lies so I would never discover the truth.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10 NIV)

Dear lovely one, if you are suffering the pain of rejection, please know that you are loved and chosen by God.

Although there will always be people in this life who reject us, our Heavenly Father never will. God sent His Son to die for our sins and prove His radical love for us.

Although going through a breakup is painful, it leads us to the most powerful truth in existence. God can use rejection to point us to the One who will always love us. Jesus is our eternal bridegroom, and He is wild about us.

It doesn’t matter if you have an awesome love life or have failed at relationships. If you aren’t confident of your identity in Christ, you have nothing to stand on in a relationship.

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

Finding Hope in a Breakup

When I look back on the heartbreaks I’ve endured, I know it was worth it. I’ve grown as a person, and as a daughter of God. I also see how the Lord graciously protected me from harm by letting me experience heartbreak.

Every single trial leads us closer to victory. But we must choose to hold on and weather the storm.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

Right now I am so blessed to be engaged to the love of my life. Was the wait difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? A thousand times yes.

But I know I wouldn’t have met the one God prepared for me unless I pressed on and bloomed into the woman I am today.

Breakups are painful, but they are not the end of your story. If you allow Jesus to walk you through your pain, you will find meaning, identity, and a love that’s eternal.


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24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Today is a special day, lovely readers and followers. It’s my 24th birthday and I get to share it with you! I know there are so many ideas for birthday posts out there, but I hope this one will inspire and encourage you.

Today is a day of celebration, ice cream (hopefully), and reflection. I want to reflect on 24 life lessons I’ve learned over the years–but with a twist. These 24 nuggets of God-given wisdom will be spread out evenly in the categories of love, life, and faith. I hope you enjoy!

Love

1. Never settle for less than God’s best for you. The person you’re dating might be nice, but he’s not necessarily the right one for you.

2. Keep friendships as a healthy priority when you’re in a relationship. Good friends build you up, and without them, you won’t reach your full potential in life.

3. Never compromise who you are or your beliefs for another person. This applies to all relationships.

4.  Pray and do devotionals with your boyfriend/fiance/husband every day. God will move in amazing ways when you take the time to honor Him.

5. Planning a wedding is fun and an important step, but planning for your marriage is what really matters.

6. Be with someone who makes you laugh. Life is too short not to enjoy the adventure.

7. It’s never too late to honor God and yourself with purity. Don’t let any mistakes from the past hinder you. Everyone falls short in this area; however, everyone is redeemable.

8. Make Jesus your first love, and when you’re ready, He will lead you to the one you should marry. 

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Life

1. Take a moment to look up at the sunset or the stars in the night sky. It puts life into perspective.

2. Animals are one of the most precious gifts God has given us. Treat them with love and kindness and you will be blessed.

3. If you have a passion for something, then go for it. Maybe you’ll make money from it, maybe you won’t. At least you’ll be living your life with passion.

4. Live life with balance. Fruits and veggies are important, but so is pizza. Don’t argue with me here. I know what I’m talking about.

5. You can’t fail if you never stop trying. Keep moving forward. This nugget was inspired by the Disney movie, Meet the Robinson’s. You need to see this movie.

6. Quit comparing your life or “progress” with others. Live for God instead–it’s way more fulfilling.

7. You don’t need to have life all figured out upon graduating high school. Life is unpredictable, and that is what makes it so incredible.

8.  Learn to love yourself and focus less on your outward appearance. It only distracts you from the things that really matter.

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Faith

1. God wants to build your character and your faith. Sometimes this will mean trials and stepping out of your comfort zone. This is hard, but so worth it.

2. Sometimes you will have doubts. That’s okay. The important thing is to tell God and keep seeking Him. Faith is found in the waiting.

3. Sometimes the best prayer is, “Jesus, I need you.”

4. The Word of God always has the final say. Don’t let lies from the devil or another person dictate your worth.

5. Don’t be afraid to dance and be wild and free in worship. David of the Bible gave his all to God, and so should we.

6. You’re never going to have Christianity all figured out. Just keep walking and keep growing.

7. You really can do anything through Christ. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus wants you. He died to save you from your sins. Jesus  wants to heal, restore, and love you to wholeness. 

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

There you go! Some life lessons from me to you. God is still working these lessons into my heart, and I’m so grateful. Do you have any nuggets of wisdom to share with me on my birthday? Please comment below!


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How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

I remember having a movie night with a childhood friend. We were eating snacks and talking, and everything was awesome. That is, until I realized the superhero movie we were watching was so full of swear words that I couldn’t make it past the first fifteen minutes.

As the years go by and I continue to grow in my faith, I can see the way media affects my life and the lives of those around me. Season two of the show 13 Reasons Why was recently released on Netflix, and reading this incredible post from blogger Beauty Beyond Bones has inspired me to also discuss the dangers of media.

13 Reasons Why focuses on a teen girl who committed suicide, and the blame she places on those around her through a series of tapes. I’ve never seen this show before, and I do not plan to. It graphically portrays suicide, bullying, rape, and other issues in a way that is often too traumatizing for teens and adults to process.

Media is powerful, and can either hinder our faith or build it up. Read on for more on the dangers of media and ways to view media in a wise and God-honoring way.

When Media Becomes a Compromise

It’s borderline impossible to watch a movie without some degree of  swearing, violence, or sexuality in it. Even kids movies contain these things! However, sometimes we are tempted to watch something that is beyond the threshold of what we know is appropriate.

During that movie night with my friend, I could have chosen to keep watching the superhero movie. However, this would be compromising my values because I knew it wasn’t right. There was a ton of violence and crude swearing–both of which I am sensitive to.

As Christians, compromising media is thrown at our faces so much that all of us are tempted at times. And that’s okay, the Lord doesn’t expect perfection from us. God does, however, expect us to be on guard over what we view on our TVs, phones, and computers.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

Although one bad movie or book might not seem like a big deal, it opens the door for compromise. We must prayerfully assess all that we watch, read, and listen to in order to avoid compromise.

The Need for Discernment

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 that what we put into our hearts eventually manifests itself in our lives. That is why we must be careful of the media we view. When we watch shows like 13 Reasons Why, we are thrown into the dark world of depression and suicide. And if you’re someone who is struggling with these issues, this can cause great harm. 

When we view content on social media, we are influenced by the crude and sometimes borderline pornographic content on these sites. Even worse, sometimes we become desensitized to these things and our values no longer hold true to us anymore.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

There is no way we can avoid everything “wrong” in media. We would have to avoid it completely, which is legalistic and missing the point of what God wants for us.

There are movies and books that contain some swearing or violence, however, they have excellent messages. One movie I can think of in particular is The Blind Side, which happens to have a strong faith message rooted in the story.

We must study God’s Word, which is our source of truth. The Holy Spirit guides  us so we can avoid media that might harm us instead of building up our faith.

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How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

Media in Focus

The truth of God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit helps us avoid harmful shows, movies, and websites. And of course, we should always be on guard against sinful media.

But there’s something we must focus on that can be easily forgotten in our fight against compromise. We need to set our eyes on good things that draw us closer to Jesus and the message of the Gospel.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

When we fill our lives with truthful, lovely, and pure things, it drowns out the evil in this world. There are so many movies and books with good messages  and values. And there are Christian podcasts, social media accounts, and websites to entertain and inform us. With all this free media at our fingertips, it’s easy to find wholesome things to view.

Media has powerful influence to either distract us from Jesus, or to encourage our pursuit of Him. Seeking the Lord and pursuing honorable sources of media and entertainment is the key to a balanced life.


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Answering 3 Important Questions About Modesty

It’s almost Memorial Day weekend, which means summer is just around the corner! I can smell the pollen and fresh cut grass already (and so can my allergies). Along with warm summer weather comes summer fashion, which often leaves Christians asking questions about modesty.

Are these shorts long enough? Are tank-tops modest? And what about swimsuits!? Almost every Christian girl has asked herself these questions at some point, including myself. In fact, I’ve written about modesty a few times on this blog.

I think that many of us have questions about modesty that seldom get answered.  I want to use my experience, the Word of God, and the Holy Spirit to tackle 3 important questions about modesty.

1. What Makes Clothing Modest? 

When reading scripture on modesty, it’s only natural to have the desire to reflect that in your life. I know that when I was exploring modest fashion, I went a little crazy trying to discern what was appropriate or not.

However, I’ve learned that it’s easy to border on legalism if all we focus on is hemlines. In fact, we can become so obsessed with modesty that we lose our focus on Jesus! Instead of asking what is modest, we need to remember the why behind modesty.

Modesty is not about rules or regulations; it’s about giving Jesus the glory by taking the attention off of ourselves. 

 in like manner also, that the women adorn themselves in modest apparel, with propriety and moderation, not with braided hair or gold or pearls or costly clothing, but, which is proper for women professing godliness, with good works. (1 Timothy 2:9-10 NKJV

This verse about modesty addresses the core issue behind why we choose to dress immodestly. We want the focus on ourselves. When we dress in revealing or flashy clothes, we are basically wearing a huge sign that says, “look at me.”

Modesty is about dressing with moderation. Instead of trying to have all the latest brands and follow every trend, we should be focused on the mission of spreading the Gospel.

That doesn’t mean we can’t focus on our looks at all or must dress like we’re from the 1800’s. That in itself would be immodest because it’s not following the concept of moderation. Modesty is about balance and turning our hearts toward Jesus as we care for our appearance. 

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Answering 3 Important Questions About Modesty

 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. (Colossians 3:2 NIV)

2. Is Modesty Oppressive Toward Women?

The secular argument against modest fashion is that it’s oppressive toward women. The only case that I would agree with this is when a church or organization starts imposing legalistic rules about women’s clothing.

However, this is not true Biblical modesty. We’ve already established that modesty is a heart response to giving Jesus glory with our fashion choices. This is a choice we make freely out of love. How awesome is that?

Modesty actually empowers women by allowing us to root our confidence in Jesus Christ instead of our bodies or clothes. We can focus on the more important eternal qualities, such as helping others and learning new things, when we’re not obsessing over our outward appearance.

True Biblical modesty is not about controlling or oppressing women. It’s about freeing women to celebrate the beauty God gave us inside and out.

Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NIV)

3. Is Modesty Only for Girls? 

When the topic of modest fashion comes up, it’s often addressed to girls or women. This is probably because modesty is often associated with the goal to prevent men from lusting after us.

This, however, is not the true purpose for modesty. Don’t get me wrong–I’m all for helping out our brothers in Christ. I also realize that we live in a sexually perverted culture due to sin. Therefore, it is wise to teach both our sons and daughters how to dress and act in a way that honors purity.

But we need to remember that modest fashion is about moderation and keeping the focus on Christ instead of ourselves. I know I sound like a broken record, but this really is what modesty is all about.

And this applies to guys as well. Although women commonly struggle in this area because of society’s pressures on outward appearance, there are plenty of men who dress immodestly or for attention.

Modesty is something both men and women should follow in order to honor God and each other. When we seek to love the Lord and one another over our own desires for attention, we build a culture of respect and humility.

In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” (1 Peter 5:5 NIV)

Modesty is more than just rules and regulations. It’s empowering for women by encouraging us to root our confidence in Christ. Modesty also teaches both men and women about respect and moderation. The most beautiful truth about modesty is that it guides our hearts back to our amazing Savior. And that, lovely one, is a goal worth pursuing with our whole lives.


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How a Season of Growth Can Transform Your Faith

It was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had. And believe me, I dream of some crazy stuff. I rolled the ankle of my jeans up to reveal tiny green stems with leaves sprouting from my legs.

Yes, lovely reader, I was Groot (any Guardians of the Galaxy fans out there?). I was seriously freaked out by this dream, and paranoid that I really would become some sort of plant woman. This was only a few months ago, but I had forgotten about it until spring came with its budding trees.

For me, this dream represents growth. Growing is never easy, and something that all of us fear at some point in our lives. Growth involves change and stepping out of our comfort zones.

Growth strips us of our safe hiding places and reveals our hidden nature. It breaks and rebuilds. It tears apart and transforms. For more on what God has taught me in this season of growth, please read on.

Growth is Painful, but Powerful

Growth hurts. Just ask any pregnant woman, and they will tell you the discomfort and pain that comes along with a growing baby stretching out in the womb.

As human beings, we want to do things the easy way. However, masterpieces are created with time and effort. And the truth is that you are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). 

In order to grow and pursue the awesome calling God has for your life, sometimes you have to let God refine you. This will hurt, and it may even feel like the Lord is disciplining you. However, God is helping you grow as a person by stripping you of the things  that hold you back from Him.

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Sometimes we must be led to a place of need in order to completely surrender our lives to the only One who can truly transform us. In order to grow, we must be refined. This refining process removes the dirt and gunk clogging up our souls in order to reveal the gold.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10 NIV

Growth Takes Time

I frequently wish that Jesus would just perfect me this instant. That He would take away all of my failures, weaknesses, and temptations so I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore.

But perfection in the the Lord’s eyes looks quite different from our expectations. Godly perfection requires growth, and growth takes time.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12 NKJV)

We need to be patient with ourselves in order to nurture our spiritual growth and maturity. You can’t force a plant to bloom, and the same goes with people.

If we didn’t have any weaknesses, then we wouldn’t need Christ. His death and resurrection was a one time event made for all of time. When we learn to surrender our weaknesses to God, then we can lean on His strength and glorify His name. Once we realize that growth isn’t about us, but about Jesus and His plan, we will flourish spiritually. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

Growth Breaks Through Darkness

When a seed is buried in the ground, it is surrounded by darkness. Yet somehow, the water and nutrients from the soil help this seed to sprout and break through the ground–into the light.

Lovely one, have you felt surrounded by darkness lately? When plans don’t go our way or one of life’s storms hit, sometimes the darkness can leave us feeling lost and alone.

However, we are never alone. Just when we think we are without light–without hope–God shines a light into the darkness and helps us break through the soil of our circumstances.

The Love of Jesus Empowers Us to Grow in Grace

The dark times of life are some of the worst, and often times, people will shrink back. As believers in  Christ, we are called to press on in faith, even when we can’t see the way out. We must trust that God is nourishing and preparing us until we are ready for our breakthrough.

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28 NIV

The love of Jesus empowers us to grow in grace. And this grace helps us transform little by little into our highest calling–a child of the Most High God.


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