Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: faith (page 1 of 20)

Uninvited By Beckie Lindsey–A Book Review

Sometimes we read books that touch our lives in a thoughtful or emotional way . Then there are books that really transform us; books that become a part of our souls and influence how we view the world. 

Beauties from Ashes, a young adult book series by fellow blogger and author Beckie Lindsey, has transformed my way of thinking about prayer and spiritual warfare. 

I’ve already reviewed book one, Secrets, here. And now I’d like to share my thoughts on book two, Uninvited

Faith Meets Fiction  

I bought a hard copy of Uninvited not only because I love the feeling of holding an actual book in my hands, but because the cover art is so cool! Thankfully the content lives up to the alluring cover. 

Uninvited continues the stories of Krystal, Mackenzie, Tammi, and Sadie as their present lives mix with their traumatic pasts and intertwine with one another.

These characters are real and relatable, without falling into the “teenage girl” stereotype. I like how Beckie mixes strength and vulnerability into all of her characters. 

The plot of Uninvited is driven by the collision of present events and the secrets of each girl’s past. There’s friendship and boy drama, along with some real life issues such as eating disorders, sexual abuse, depression, and abortion. 

All of these topics are explored in a realistic way that is still appropriate for most teen readers. Premarital sex is also a topic that Beckie writes about, and I believe she does it in a believable way that is still God honoring. 

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Uninvited by Beckie Lindsey

(Photo owned by Beckie Lindsey)

Supernatural Suspense 

One of my favorite aspects of the Beauties from Ashes series is how Beckie portrays spiritual warfare. Angels and demons are interwoven throughout the story as they battle for the souls of the main characters. 

Fans of books like the Screwtape Letters or This Present Darkness will love the way the supernatural collides with the everyday world, and how prayer changes the course of these girls’ lives. 

Overall, I would say that Uninvited is my favorite book of the series yet! It has drama, humor, romance, and the spiritual element that drives the plot into supernatural suspense. 

And if you love cliffhangers, Uninvited ends on one so big that I’m thankful the third book, Daybreak, is already on sale! You can find the links to these awesome books below. 

What about you, lovely one? Do you have any awesome book recommendations? Please comment below! 🙂 

Order Secrets, Uninvited, and Daybreak here! 

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Content on this website is copyrighted and may not be used, sold, or distributed without the author’s written permission. 

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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.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

(Photography by Adarsh Ik and Jay Ma)

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What Godly Confidence Really Looks Like

Nothing can squelch self-confidence like having health issues. Having physical limitations and not being like everyone else is hard. And it’s something I’ve struggled with for the last six years.

Although God has done tremendous healing in me and blessed me with excellent healthcare, there are still moments of struggle. One thing I choose not to do is drive. I have POTS and vertigo, which make driving uncomfortable.

I have some visual sensory issues and great anxiety with driving, and this has affected my confidence in significant ways. Not only is not being able to drive inconvenient, but it’s also a little embarrassing when you’re almost 24 years old and graduating from college. But it’s still my choice–at least for now.

The world preaches for us to have self-confidence, but what happens when that fails us? What happens when we screw up, or when the person we trusted wholeheartedly lets us down?

What I’ve learned over the past six years is that in order to have a lasting confidence, you must be rooted in God-confidence. Read on to find out what Godly confidence truly looks like.

Running to God

Where do you run to when you feel weak? Where do you turn to in times of trouble? As human beings, we tend to seek others for comfort and familiarity. This isn’t bad, as God created us to be relational people.

However, when we completely depend on others to make us feel good about ourselves, we turn into people-pleasers who can lean towards perfectionism.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15 NIV)

The thing is, people will let us down. Even those closest to us can wound us deeply, but the Lord never will. Jesus is always there for us and goes before us. Even though it may feel like we are alone, He never abandons us.

When we realize that we can always turn to God and that He is our refuge in times of trouble and pain, we develop strong confidence when life gets rocky.

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Godly Confidence

Confidence is rooted in trust. When we trust in the Lord, we know that our confidence will never be shaken.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2 NIV)

Listening to God

It’s almost impossible to feel confident when people make you feel like you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. But I’ve come to realize that this will happen again and again.

Satan can even warp the words of those who love us to make us believe lies about ourselves. So who do we trust? Do we place our confidence in the words of others, hoping to hear nothing but positive things? Or do we turn elsewhere?

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)

A truly confident woman roots herself in the Word of God. The Bible will always be true and relevant to our lives, no matter how much time passes.

Just look at my past posts! Everything I write is based on what the Word of God says. He says we are loved, valued, redeemed, and set free. We have purpose. Anyone who tells you otherwise is going against the truth.

Instead of believing the lies of the world, root yourself in scripture. Your confidence will grow as you begin to speak the truth over your life.

Remembering God

When we feel like life isn’t going our way, it can zap the confidence right out of us. I know I hate feeling like I’ve lost control, but the truth is, it was never in my grasp to begin with.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

Although we should have plans and goals for our lives, we need to remember that God is sovereign. When we forget that He is on the throne of our lives–and of the whole universe–then we start depending on ourselves.

We cannot create the perfect life for ourselves. Things happen that are beyond our control, and that can actually be for the better. Although I don’t always like having a chronic illness, my healing journey has increased my faith and led me closer to God and to people in ways I couldn’t imagine.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

When we surrender our dreams and our will over to the God of all creation, we can rest peacefully and confidently knowing that we will be taken care of.

Jesus has called us into a great life. Yes, that does come with pain and struggle since we live in a fallen world. But it also comes with abundant blessings that can only come from confidence in God’s faithfulness.

I know that self-confidence will never last in the long run. The only true source of eternal confidence comes from running to God, soaking up His Word, and remembering that He is always faithful.

This, lovely one, is true confidence.


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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The Christmas Promise

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45 NIV)

Sometimes we go through difficulties or hardships that seem to never end. Maybe even our faith gets shaken, as we question whether God will create a breakthrough.

When Elizabeth saw the young, pregnant Virgin Mary walking down the road toward her home, I can only imagine what went through her mind. An angel of the Lord visited both women with the good news that they were supernaturally pregnant.

Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, had struggled with infertility their whole marriage, yet the Lord considered them righteous (Luke 1:6-7).

This is how the Bible shows us that even though the children of God are made righteous through His blood, sometimes bad things still happen. Sickness invades us, or loss afflicts us. But there is still hope for those who believe.

Suddenly, Elizabeth saw the grace of God when she became pregnant with the prophet John at such an old age. She also witnessed how God took a poor virgin girl from a no-name town, and made her the mother of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of the world.

All of her prayers were miraculously answered after all that time!

What promises are you looking for the Lord to fulfill? Is it healing from sickness? Is it to get married or have a child? Or is it to pursue a career goal or lifelong dream?

The promise I am currently waiting for is healing from chronic illness, and I know God is faithful. If He can do wonders in Elizabeth and Mary, surely He can still work miracles in me.

Keep believing, lovely one. There is blessing in the waiting.

the christmas promise

(Photo Credit)

 

Update on My Arm: I got my splint taken off on Wednesday! It feels so good to be out of it, but my arm is very stiff and weak. I am doing physical therapy at home, so please pray that I will gain strength and range of motion back.

Thank you so much for all of your support. I pray you all have a very merry Christmas!


Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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Why Prayer is Not a Waste of Time

On what should’ve been a quiet, peaceful Sunday morning, our nation was rattled by the tragic news of a shooting at a church in Sutherland Springs, Texas. Over two dozen are dead and many have been injured.

In the face of such tragedy, many of us rally together in prayer and peaceful vigils. However, some people on social media are saying that prayers are useless. They don’t do anything to help, and therefore, a waste of time.

As a Christian who believes deeply in the power of prayer, these statements really made me pause to think. If you’re on the fence about prayer, or are just worn down by all of the tragedies in our nation, then this post is for you.

A New Perspective

There are things in this world we just don’t understand. We live in a world where bad things happen and injustice seems to be the norm.

So where’s God in all of this? Why isn’t He answering our prayers?

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)

You see, Jesus never promised His followers an easy life with no problems or disasters. On the contrary, there is a target on every Christian’s back solely based on their devotion to God.

Our perspective on life is wrong. We are only human beings restricted by the confines of time and space. God sees the whole picture–from beginning to end–and He has promised us a victorious ending (Revelation 21).

Sin is the root cause of the evil in this world, and it is the reason people are filled with anger, hatred, and violence. This is more than just a political or cultural issue–it’s a spiritual one.

The only cure for sin is Jesus, and our pursuit should be the freedom of His saving grace.

Prayer in Action

People want action in times of crisis. We want a sense of control in turbulent times. However, one must not discount the power and motivation of prayer. Prayer is an action of love and faith.

If we pray for those in need, we are uniting with them both mentally and spiritually. We are sacrificing time and energy to focus our hearts on our neighbors.

That’s action.

But the Bible tells us not to stop at prayer. Rather, we should carry our faith into loving deeds in the physical realm as well.

You see that his faith and his actions were working together, and his faith was made complete by what he did. (James 2:22 NIV)

When we pray for others, we take the center of our hearts off of ourselves. This acts as a catalyst for real change in both our lives and the lives of those around us.

I know of Christians who send their prayers on social media, but many of these saints also give money and sacrifice time to help disaster relief organizations.

When we pray, God transforms our hearts into vessels of compassion and action.

Prayer in compassion and action

A Spiritual Battle

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. (Ephesians 6:12 NIV)

The visible world around us if often distracting and terrifying. However, it is only temporary. Our true battle isn’t with social or political issues (although they shouldn’t be ignored).

There is a spiritual war being waged against God’s sons and daughters right now. The devil knows that Jesus has won, and that He is coming to reign on earth soon (Matthew 24). This is causing the enemy to attack God’s children like never before, in the hopes of preventing one more soul from being saved.

Remember, we don’t have the whole perspective. We can’t see into eternity or into the battles that are taking place in the heavenly realms. I don’t have all the answers for life’s tragedies, but I do know this:

God sees our struggles and He hears our prayers. Jesus loves us, and can turn any situation–no matter how tragic–into a message of redemption and salvation. 

Don’t stop praying, lovely one. It could be the very action that saves someone’s soul.

Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (James 5:16 NIV)

Thanks for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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