Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: Jesus (page 1 of 2)

The Promise of His Presence

Why is it that you can seem to have everything, and yet feel so empty and alone?

This world promises us happiness and fulfillment in so many ways: money, relationships, jobs, new experiences–the list goes on.

The Hollow Promise 

But what happens when that’s not enough? What about that hollow feeling? The one tugging at you, making you work until your knuckles bleed, so you can forget that it’s there.

The hollowness that leaks out as tears as you lie awake in bed at night. The hollow feeling that makes people cut, starve, and lash out at others?

This post isn’t pretty, but it’s real and raw. Because I’ve been there.

I know what it’s like to have people around you, even loving you, and still feel lonely. I know the dread of falling asleep, only to wake up to another day of pretending that everything is okay.

But I also know of the only thing that can fill this void–this hollow promise of the world around me.

His name is Jesus. 

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)

Made for More

When I look to myself or anything else to fulfill me, I always come up empty. The glow of clothing and makeup fades after a few days. Confidence in my own performance is never a guarantee.

It’s not that I don’t take joy in things outside of God. On the contrary, we weren’t made to live outside of God. 

I love my life. I love my home, my work, and my husband. But none of these things–not even marriage–can take the place of God.

We were made for more than what we can see in front of us. That hollow feeling points us to our need for the Great I Am.

A Love That Never Leaves 

Jesus promised that He would never leave us as orphans. Though everyone else may reject or misunderstand us, our Lord gives us His Holy Spirit to comfort us and make us His sons and daughters.

I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. (John 14: 18-19 NIV

There is no friendship as beautiful as the one we can have with Jesus. He hears every prayer and sees every tear.

He is the most faithful husband. For better or worse, Jesus isn’t going anywhere. When we repent of our sins, the Lord forgives and forgets them. He has also purposefully forgotten how to leave us.

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The Promise of His Presence

God’s love is that strong. His love is that unbreakable.

Lovely one, this post may not have started off pretty, but my prayer is that it filled you with hope.

The promise of the presence of God is the greatest joy we can ever attain. It is the only joy that nothing in this world can ever take away.

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (John 14:27)

Will you choose the promise of Jesus today? 

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3 Lessons Karate Taught Me About Jesus

A few weeks ago I had the privilege of watching Owen, my fiance, practice karate. He’s a black belt, which absolutely blows me away. His passion for martial arts and learning new things is so inspiring, and I felt honored to be able to watch him in his element.

Although some people may consider me graceful, athleticism is not something the Lord has gifted me in. So I was in awe watching Owen and his friends as they showed off their skills.

There are several lessons I’ve learned from watching just that one hour of practice. There were moments when the teacher (called a sensei) corrected his students or gave them some karate wisdom. However, I found that most of this wisdom reflected Godly principles on humility, perseverance, and focus.

Overcoming Failure With Humility

Even though Owen is a black belt, there were a few instances when he messed up a kick or got hit while sparring. Even the sensei messed up at times! It didn’t surprise me that these awesome people failed, but rather, how gracefully they handled each failure.

Each student was humble enough to acknowledge his mistake and accept correction. They were humble and open to receiving wisdom.

This is the posture we need to have towards God. None of us are perfect, but when we mess up or sin, we must be willing to humbly repent and receive forgiveness and instruction in order to live righteously.

Hide your face from my sins and blot out all my iniquity. Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. (Psalm 51:9-10 NIV)

When we take the posture of humility like David from the Bible, God will honor us and lift us up into victory.

For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. (Matthew 23:12 NIV)

Pressing on Through Trials

Owen helped his sensei teach a newer student different kinds of kicks, and although it was harder for the student to grasp, he never gave up trying.

Perseverance is one of the core values that makes faith possible. The things we want to achieve often take more time and effort than expected. The things we want God to do often take longer than we want them to.

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3 Lessons Karate Taught Me About Jesus

However, when we learn to persevere, we find that it builds our character and strengthens our faith. If life came easily and we got everything we wanted immediately, then there would be no reason to have faith or hope. But there is beauty in pressing on toward the things we are hopeful for.

I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:14 NIV)

A Karate Focus  

One thing that surprised me as I was watching Owen’s karate practice was the way the instructor often told the newer student to stop overthinking.

When the student was sparring, he was trying so hard to predict his opponent’s next move that he failed to recognize the opportunities for attack right in front of him.

This is so common in my faith walk, and I know I’m not alone. Often times I get so worried or caught up in my own thoughts that I lose sight of Jesus.

Life is exciting, challenging, and surprising. There are so many distractions the enemy hurls at us to take our focus away from God and fill us with anxiety and temptation instead.

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. (2 Corinthians 10:3-4 NIV)

When we are so focused on trying to figure out our next move and how to win at this life, we open up a target for the devil to attack. The only way to win this spiritual battle is to keep our eyes focused on Jesus. He is sovereign and is the only one who will never fail us.

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

I’m so thankful for the opportunity to be able to watch my future husband practice such an incredible sport. It’s amazing how, if we have our hearts turned toward the Lord, we can find Godly wisdom in everything around us. When our focus is on the only One who truly matters, it changes our perspective on everything.  


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

(Photography by Jason Briscoe and Luke Stackpoole)

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Turning on the Light in a Dark World

Several weeks ago, it was a high school in Parkland, Florida. Yesterday, it was a high school in Maryland. These school shootings are happening all over America.  Innocent kids and teachers are dying or suffering from scarring physical and mental injuries.

And our response is a chaotic mess of noise. We blame guns. We blame mental illness. We blame politicians. Perhaps there is fault in all of these things. We can certainly do better.

But what if it’s something more? 

Where is God?

When tragedies like these happen, our first response is usually to send our thoughts and prayers. Of course, this is a loving and powerful thing to do, but it does beg the question–where is God in all of this?

Is He there? And if He is, then how can God be good if He allows such evil to happen?

Gideon asked these same questions in the book of Judges when Israel was under the oppression of the Midianites. Gideon was a humble man chosen by God to deliver the Israelites, but first, Gideon had to get some things off of his chest.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:12-13 NIV).

To Gideon, it didn’t seem like God was with them. In fact, he felt abandoned by God. In today’s world, it can be easy to feel like God has abandoned our nation. With all of the violence, hatred, and immorality, America seems to have lost its connection with God.

But that was also Israel in the book of Judges. They had turned far away from God to worship false idols, so God let the Midianites oppress them. All of this was part of a redemption story to save God’s people from their sin.

America, it’s time to wake up to your redemption story. It’s time to turn on the light.

Created for Light

Check out God’s response to Gideon’s cries.

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14 NIV)

We look at this dark world and wonder where God is. But God created us to shine as lights in the darkness. As Christians, sometimes it seems easier to just sit back and relax until we get to heaven.

But that’s not our calling.

We must be the light that pierces through this dark world. When the world cries violence, we cry peace. When the world cries hatred, we cry love. And when the world cries bondage, we cry freedom.

God is sending you and I to bring His people back.

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Lead the world back to God

Our One Job

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

We are living in a dying world, and this country obviously can’t heal itself solely through laws and protests. We need the only cure for sin–Jesus Christ.

This Jesus, who died a gruesome and humiliating death on a cross to save us, has called us to go out and shine a light for Him. God has done His job. He has made salvation free and available to all who will come to Him.

Our job is to make this salvation known.

This world is dark, and sometimes downright scary. But if we choose to follow Christ, a powerful light resides in us that can vanquish any darkness and fear. It will shine through our actions and our words.

This is why we were created, and this is our job. This world isn’t going to cure itself, but we can lead it to the only One who can.


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A Surprising Way to Cultivate Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving–a celebration of joy, gratitude, family, and delicious food. And while I plan on spending time with loved ones and going into a turkey coma, I can’t help but think of those who are overlooked this season.

You see, I know a woman whose teenage son died last weekend. Her heart is broken. I also know a family whose father is slowly dying of cancer. Their spirits are weary.

Where is the Thanksgiving turkey for these people? Most of the time we struggle to find gratitude in our everyday lives (myself included). How does remembering these hurting souls help us in cultivating a heart of gratitude?

The Calling

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 NIV

God has given us a calling to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. Our calling is to feed the hungry, love the outcast, and comfort the brokenhearted.

However, we are so easily distracted by everyday problems that we don’t even notice those who are hurting right in front of us. We all go through seasons of hardship and loss. Right now I am battling a chronic illness, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in my room and focus on how bad I feel.

But the best way to experience healing and joy is by sharing the Gospel and helping somebody else.

True Gratitude

The moment we turn our focus outward and love the people around us is the moment we experience the love of Christ flowing through us. The moment we stop focusing on all of our problems and dedicate time to encourage others is the moment we experience an overflow of gratitude.

That’s powerful! Imagine shining a light by praying for someone you know is hurting, or volunteering to feed the hungry. Imagine inviting a person who has no place to go to your Thanksgiving dinner. Even a simple text message of encouragement makes more of an impact than we realize.

This, lovely one, is how you love your neighbor. And this is how you cultivate true gratitude.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV)

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

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The Truth About Shame

I have a confession to make. I am twenty-three years old, and am just learning how to drive. It’s a huge victory in my battle with a chronic illness that prevented me from driving. But it’s also a struggle.

Learning to drive isn’t easy–at least not for me (and not for the poor souls who help me practice). And to be honest, it makes me anxious. Though I am getting better with every lesson, I still feel a terrible, self-defeating feeling that shrouds me in darkness.

I’m talking about shame.

The Poison of Shame

Merriam-Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” This feeling, lovely reader, is the weapon the devil uses to try and condemn us.

It’s normal and healthy to feel guilty when one does something wrong.  Guilt can lead us to repentance, which then sets us free. It’s also normal to feel insecure, which again, can also be freeing when we learn to seek our worth in Christ.

But what about that feeling of condemnation, no matter how many times you repent? What about that feeling of not being good enough, no matter how hard you try?

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NIV)

Shame is a poison that seeps into our lives even when we are born again in Christ. We have to remember that we are dead to sin, and that Christ nailed all condemnation to the cross. It’s not our sin that makes us feel condemned, but the shame that the enemy uses to make us believe we are separated from God.

The Power of the Cross

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

As a Christian, I have heard the story of the cross countless times. But what really makes me understand Christ’s sacrifice is watching a movie or reenactment of the crucifixion. Then I can clearly see the shame Jesus bore while he was mocked, stripped, and beaten–all alone.

And guess what? He did it for me, and He did it for you! Our God chose to take on human form in order to understand the temptations we face and the struggles we battle. Though Jesus knew no sin, He did know our shame. And He took it upon Himself in order to free us and bring us eternal joy.

Freedom from Shame

‘“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.’ (Isaiah 54:4 NIV)

We all make mistakes. We all have our weaknesses and failures.  And we all sin–no matter how hard we try not to. It’s part of the human condition. The good news is that we can always run to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom.

shame is a lie

I know that I’m not perfect, and that learning to drive, like all things, takes patience. Although at times I may fail, I know that God always brings good out of the bad.

Jesus is the fresh start from our past mistakes. He is our joy and strength, despite our human weakness. Jesus is our freedom from sin and the shame that binds us. 

The truth about shame is that it’s a lie. A lie meant to steal, kill, and destroy God’s precious children. But we have access to the only antidote on earth–the powerful and freeing truth of the love of Jesus.


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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