Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: faith (page 1 of 20)

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!


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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 🙂

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How to Find Your Self Worth

This is going to sound totally cliché, but I had a real “God moment” at Chick Fil A a couple of weeks ago.

While I waited for my food, I noticed an older woman sitting in a wheel chair. My heart just melted. For some reason she reminded me of my grandma, who passed away last year.

The woman and I introduced ourselves and discussed flowers. As I was leaving the restaurant, she said something that caught me off guard:

It’s nice to know you. 

How many people do we meet everyday, yet we don’t even really know or see their worth? 

At that moment, when I looked into the woman’s dark yet vibrant eyes, I realized how important it is to actually be known by someone. To slow down and look at a person’s face and take it all in. To find out that their favorite flower is a purple cone flower.

If you want to know the key to finding your self worth, then please keep reading. 

Worth in Creation

There are a lot of people who are lost, not realizing their identity and worth in Christ. I know this because I was that person. As a teenager I didn’t feel like anyone saw me–unless they were looking at my flaws.

I know I’m not the only one who understands these feelings. Many teens and adults have experienced this. Maybe even you, lovely reader.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

It still blows my mind to know that God created me and set me apart–and it was for His own will and pleasure! You are not an accident, lovely one. No matter what anyone else says–whether they are a parent, friend, or someone else close to you–you matter.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Not only are we created by God, but He thinks we’re awesome! Although we are sinners, as soon as we come to know Christ, we are washed clean by His blood. This is when we can shine God’s light and see what He sees in us.

Worth in Relationship

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—” (John 10:14 NIV)

When we choose to follow Jesus, we enter into a relationship with Him that is more dynamic than we could ever fathom. Not only does God know us, but now we can get to know Him.

And that’s not all. Through this lifelong journey, we can also get to know ourselves. We can discover our strengths, weaknesses, and talents. We can watch God’s purpose for our lives unfold as we build a life with Him.

The only way you’ll ever find your worth is if you find yourself in Jesus. You won’t find it in earthly things like work, success, or relationships.

God knows you, and He wants every single piece of your heart. It’s amazing when somebody knows you, but there is nothing like being known by the King who created you. 


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Christians, It’s Okay to Grieve

Christians can be some of the most encouraging, helpful people on earth. But when it comes to grief, we have a lot of work to do. Since my grandma died last summer, I find myself stumbling across Christian blog posts and advice about “overcoming grief” or “finding joy” instead of pain.

It can be very tempting to encourage others to fly past their grief. Believe me, I know. But it does more harm than good. I don’t want to blame my fellow Christians here though. I think American culture has ingrained a tough, busy exterior in us that doesn’t really allow the process of grief.

But did you know that it’s okay to grieve? In fact, it’s even Biblical!

Jesus Knows Grief

He is despised and rejected by men, A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him; He was despised, and we did not esteem Him. (Isaiah 53:3 NKJV)

Jesus is described as one acquainted with grief–a Man of sorrows. Our God knows what it means to bear grief and sadness. When Jesus came down to earth, He was met with a mess of pain and suffering. Our grief.

Our greatest comfort should be in knowing that God understands our mourning. To grieve the loss of someone is to express your love for them. And since Jesus is love, He wants that affection to pour out of us through our loss.

There’s a Time to Grieve

To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven…A time to weep, And a time to laugh; A time to mourn, And a time to dance; (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 NKJV)

The Bible tells us there is a time for everything. Life isn’t just one big party (I know, surprise), and there are times when it is appropriate to feel sad. The wonderful news is that grief doesn’t last forever. Though we may always miss our loved ones, God does give us joy and laughter in time.

Blessed are those who mourn, For they shall be comforted. (Matthew 5:4 NKJV)

Not only is it okay for us to grieve, but Jesus actually gives those in mourning a blessing. God sees our troubles and sorrows here on earth. His heart breaks for us, and as long as we stay faithful, we will be rewarded for our season of grief.

There’s Hope in Grief

Jesus wept (John 11:35). This is a famous Bible verse because it is so short, yet so moving. Jesus was heartbroken when his good friend Lazarus died. He knew He would raise him from the dead, but His overwhelming love for Lazarus and his family broke through in tears. Yet there is hope in the final victory of Lazarus’ resurrection.

Brothers and sisters, we do not want you to be uninformed about those who sleep in death, so that you do not grieve like the rest of mankind, who have no hope. For we believe that Jesus died and rose again, and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in him. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 NIV)

There’s hope for you too, lovely one. If you’re grieving a loved one right now, please know that you have hope in Jesus. He is our greatest comfort, and our only hope for eternity with those we’ve lost.

Grieving Victoriously

When I lost my grandma, it hit me in a way I never expected. I was in shock and tried to bury the pain for months. I ended up having panic attacks from the trauma of watching her pass over, which made me feel even worse.

The same questions kept playing like a broken record inside my head. Why was my grief so different? Why couldn’t I just cry for a month and get better like other people?

I truly believe that God was trying to teach me a lesson about grief and how it can draw us closer to Him. Sometimes things happen in life that bring us to a place where all we have left is our faith. These are the moments God wants to use to invade our lives. 

It’s okay to grieve. You have permission to cry, panic, or be numb. It’s okay to not be okay, to miss someone.

The important thing is that you don’t lose sight of Jesus. He’s there to hold you and walk you through this season of pain. With God, we have all we need to mourn victoriously.


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

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In a Boat With Fear and Jesus

Picture this: Three girls are sitting in a canoe on windy waters. One of them is in the middle, clutching onto the sides of the boat for dear life as it tilts and bobs. Even though her friends are paddling and assuring her that everything is perfectly fine, she can’t stop shaking and singing “Oceans” by Hillsong.

That girl is me. 

A picture of me, overcoming my fear by going canoeing.

It sounds ridiculous now, considering how I was wearing a life jacket and was in a boat with two skillfully trained swimmers who I love and trust. But sitting in that canoe last weekend reminded me just how shaky and unstable this life can feel sometimes. Like a beautiful, scary, and mysterious adventure. 

 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV)

Focus

I know I quote this passage a lot, but it is just that relevant. Anyone who has struggled with anxiety or fear can relate to Peter’s woes in those stormy waters.

As I was trying to keep calm on that canoe, all I could think about was the movie, The Shack. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It’s an inspiring story about a man named Mack, who has an encounter with God after a series of tragic, faith-shaking events in his life.

In one scene of the movie, Mack is in a boat, being plagued by dismal waters. He can’t see any way out. He is completely consumed by darkness and fear.

That is, until Jesus shows up. Suddenly God is asking Mack to focus his gaze on Him instead of the dark waves around him. When Mack finally musters the courage and faith to do this, he finds that the storm around him dissipates. He is free to see only Jesus.

There came a point when I was sitting in that little canoe that I realized I would have to trust Jesus and that He is who He says He is. My fear didn’t matter, and it would serve no purpose in my life other than to paralyze me. 

Trust

When I stop to think about what might have happened to me if I had tipped over the canoe, I realize that God would have kept me safe. He has never let me down before, so why would He start now? Instead of being like Peter and focusing on the rough waters around me, I should have just kept my eyes on Jesus. 

I don’t know where you are in life or your walk with God, lovely reader. Maybe you don’t even know who Jesus is. But I urge you to remember that nothing you can do will cease the waves and storms of this life. Only God’s perfect peace can bring you through it.

It can be so easy to look at all of the problems and stress around us, but we need to remember that there is a God who is bigger than any storm we may face. 

Despite my anxiety-ridden first experience at canoeing, I still ended up having a blast with my friends. I also learned that faith requires trust, despite the stormy seas of life. If I keep looking at the King who holds my entire world, I know that no matter what, I am safe. 

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)


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