Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: life (page 1 of 12)

Finding Your Anchor in Life’s Storms

I shall not be moved; I shall not be shaken. How many times have I repeated these familiar Bible verses in my mind, thinking that as long as I am truly rooted in God, nothing will ever rock my world.

I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. (Psalm 16:8 NIV)

But the world keeps rocking and rolling all around me, and sometimes, no matter how hard I cling to the grace of God, I find myself rolling along with it.

I shake with every burst of bad news. I tighten my grip as my feet slip on unexpected losses or financial stress. No one is immune to the unsteady waves of this sinful world.

So how do we stay rooted?

One day I realized that I had it all wrong just asking this question. It was during my lunch hour at my new job. I was sitting outside on the patio, watching the ripples of the company pond as people walked along the wrap-around trail.

It was a breezy day, and I noticed how the ornamental grass waved about in the wind. I marveled at how even though the thin, almost hair-like blades of grass swayed and rocked, they were never uprooted.

Steady they held on, anchored in the ground by an invisible root system designed to protect them from life’s wind and rain.

And that’s when I heard the voice of Jesus whisper that He is my anchor.

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, (Hebrews 6:19 NKJV)

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Finding Your Anchor in Life's Storms

Life will move us, lovely one. It will move our earthly bodies and minds in ways that feel almost impossible to recover from. But when we anchor ourselves in the love and salvation of our Savior, we find that our eternal soul and spirit can never be moved.

Just like that plant, we have an invisible root system that anchors us in the Kingdom of God. This allows us to walk confidently through the storms of this life, knowing that our God is always holding onto us.

Though the earth give way and the mountains be cast into the midst of the sea, we remain rooted in Christ. Although life and the choices we make may move us, God always has us right where He wants us.

I want to remember that I always have an anchor in the unsteady waves of this world.  I want to remember how all that I am is secured in the loving arms of my Father.

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When It Feels Like Your Life Has No Direction

I remember sitting in the library of my local community college. I was trying to figure out what career I wanted to pursue, and how to go about life while facing a chronic illness.

Any young adult can relate to the pressures of this world. It’s like as soon as you turn 18, you need to have everything all figured out.

College majors, jobs, dating, and relationships. There’s just so much to figure out, and sometimes it feels like you’re the only one without a clue of what to do–the only one without direction.

When you feel like your life has no direction, this is actually an opportunity for God to reveal His purpose in incredible ways.

A Godly Perspective

God is omniscient, which means He knows everything. He has an eternal perspective that our human minds can’t comprehend.

Although we may feel lost or confused in this life, nothing about our lives ever takes Jesus by surprise.

I make known the end from the beginning, from ancient times, what is still to come. I say, ‘My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please.’ (Isaiah 46:10 NIV)

Sometimes we face challenges or disappointments that rattle our faith. Whenever we face life’s hurdles, we have two choices:

We can choose to reject God and trust in ourselves (or give up), or we can cling to the promise that His ways are higher than ours.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV)

God’s plans may be different from ours, but that’s a good thing! My life looks drastically different than I thought it would 3 years ago, and I’m so thankful for that now.

Surrendering to Purpose 

Trusting in God and clinging to His promises starts with surrender. Often times we want our lives to go a certain way, and when there’s a plot twist, we feel lost. Other times, we just don’t know what it is God’s calling us to do.

There’s beauty in not knowing. This is where our faith can truly flourish. When God derails our plans, it’s always because His purpose is greater.

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)

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When It Feels Like Your Life Has No Direction

Although it may seem like we are walking in darkness, God is leading us down a path that develops faith, character, and promise.

When it suddenly feels like you’ve lost all direction, this is the perfect opportunity to say “I trust You Lord,” and surrender your future to the one who is always faithful.

A Present Direction

So we know that Jesus is good, and that we can surrender our lives to him in full trust. But what action can we take to better our lives in the waiting?

As a recent college graduate, I know all too well the haunting uncertainties of the future. What will my career be? How will I take care of myself financially?

Worrying about the future doesn’t do anything but make us feel stressed and worn out. I recently received a wise word that has helped me through this season of uncertainty.

Live in the present moment.

Although this might sound like a hippie slogan, it’s actually Biblical.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)

God has everything all figured out, and when we surrender our lives to Him, His plans will always come to pass.

We find joy every day while focusing on the Lord and the small ministries he places before us. When we worry over our lives, we miss out on the opportunity to love others and build God’s Kingdom.

When you live a life that’s fully surrendered to God and His daily provision, there is a peace and joy that goes beyond all understanding.

Maybe we got it all wrong. Perhaps a life with an earthly direction isn’t as important as we thought. Maybe our plans are just a distraction from the true purpose God has given us.

A woman who is dedicated to Jesus has a life of purpose and direction. When we look to the Kingdom instead of this world, we find all that we are truly looking for.


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How God Turns Disappointment into Purpose

I felt the pain hit me like a tsunami as the doctor said the words, you need surgery again. After I broke my elbow last winter and had emergency surgery, I thought healing would come relatively quickly and easily.

After months of physical therapy, my movement is still restricted due to the size of the plate that helped fuse my bones together. Now that plate has to go so my arm can be free.

Whether it’s a breakup, job loss, or some other life altering event, disappointment affects us all. But where do we find healing?

If we look to the Bible, we find a woman named Hannah, who endured some heartbreaking disappointment with humility and faith. She found healing and victory, and so can we.

Becoming Vulnerable

In 1 Samuel 1, we meet Hannah in the midst of her anguish. She’s married to a man named Elkanah, but she can’t have any children. Although infertility is heart wrenching enough for women today, it felt like complete failure in ancient times.

Elkanah’s second wife, Peninnah, kept provoking Hannah, causing her to weep in distress as they went up to the house of the Lord to make their yearly sacrifice.

Hannah had a choice in how to respond. She could have chosen bitterness toward Peninnah or to wallow alone in her misery. Instead, Hannah took her burden to the Lord.

In her deep anguish Hannah prayed to the Lord, weeping bitterly. (1 Samuel 1:10 NIV)

When we are heartbroken and in anguish, sometimes our first response is to hide from God. However, this is the opposite of what God wants for us. He wants us to be open and vulnerable. He wants raw tears and haunting fears.

Our Heavenly Father wants His children right where they are. God can only transform our lives when we let Him into our hearts.

Turning our Disappointment into Surrender 

Sometimes what we think we want isn’t always the best thing for us. Or, as in Hannah’s case, we must wait for our prayers to be answered.

When we feel disappointed, we must grieve for the loss of what we had or wanted. After pouring out our grief to the Lord, we must surrender our dreams, hurts, and expectations to God’s sovereign care.

And she made a vow, saying, “Lord Almighty, if you will only look on your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the Lord for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” (1 Samuel 1:11 NIV)

When Hannah made  this vow to the Lord, she knew that any future child of hers would be dedicated to God. She had to let go of her past expectations and trust in the Lord fully.

When we’ve been hurt or disappointed, trusting the Lord is a challenge. But Jesus is always in full control of our lives. Nothing takes Him by surprise–not a job loss or diagnosis–nothing.

When Hannah dedicated her dream of having a son to the Lord, she showed true faith. Faith goes beyond this realm and is found only in complete dependence upon our Savior.

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How God Turns Disappointment into Purpose

A New Expectation  

Hannah didn’t stop at vulnerability and surrender. As she pressed on in faith, her expectations changed.

She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the Lord and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah made love to his wife Hannah, and the Lord remembered her. (1 Samuel 1:18-19 NIV)

Instead of the deep anguish of her disappointment, Hannah’s face held hope. She got up and worshipped with her family. And then her miracle finally happened; the Lord gave her a son named Samuel!

Now, we might not always get what we want when going through a disappointing situation. But when we press on in faith and worship, God remembers us.

Jesus is known for showing up in unexpected ways, and He does what seems impossible by human standards.

In 1 Samuel 2, God honors Hannah’s faithfulness in giving up Samuel to the priest so that he could serve God all of his life. In return, Hannah received many more sons and daughters, as well as the honor of Samuel becoming a great judge for Israel’s kings.

When we trust God and keep our hope in the promise of His Word, we find that He is always faithful.

Having a second surgery on my arm was not something I wanted, but I believe that God is working out a higher purpose out of what now feels like a disappointment. If there’s one thing I know, it’s that with Jesus, no struggle we go through is ever wasted. It’s a journey of vulnerability, surrender, and faith for the future.


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(Photography by Mohamed Nohassi and Annie Spratt)

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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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These Little Moments: A Letter to the High School Graduate

To the High School Graduate,

I know it feels like it’s taking forever to leave school, and that you can’t get out fast enough. But slow down a minute, I promise it will be worth it.

Maybe you’re excited to leave; to embark on new adventures such as college, a new job, or independence from your parents. Or maybe you’re more like me, leaning on the side of terrified because you have no idea what to expect.

You see, this is the pattern of life that never ends. We expect, hope, and dream. We fear and are lost as to what the future holds.

You might not get into that college you applied to, and even if you do, it won’t be everything you’ve ever dreamed it would be.

You might not land that job you thought was easily yours. Maybe the one you do get will take you to places you only dreamed of going.

You might not end up with your high school sweetheart. In fact, you might be single for quite awhile. That’s okay. It’s good to learn about yourself, and to be comfortable with who you are without somebody else.

You might not follow the path or timing of everyone else, and that’s okay too. After all, a late bloom gets to enjoy days of longer sunshine and warmer weather.

College is exciting, daunting, and confusing. There is so much to learn and so many new people to connect with. Choose your friends wisely, as they help determine the course of your future.

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Remember that you are more than your work or your grades. Though these things can bring you purpose and joy, they should never be your source of fulfillment.

You see, the only thing that ever really lasts forever is what is rooted in eternity–in heaven. If you have Jesus, then you have the one thing that nothing in this world can take away from you.

When you’re young, you feel invincible. Although the trials of life will come, they can never take away your salvation.

Breakups, failure, job loss, disease, disability, unmet expectations, addiction, and even death can never separate you from the love of God. As long as you hold fast to His presence, you have all you will ever need.

Although there are trials and pain in this life, there is also great joy. The joy of a bonfire with close friends, or the smell of coming home during Christmas. The joy of accomplishing something you never thought you could, or the mysterious adventure of falling in love.

Hold on to hope and expect joy. Life is offering you amazing opportunities, so take them and run.

Keep on wondering and wandering. Stop and look at the world around you, never losing your childlike spirit. Everyone is rushing ahead to grow up, and while you should always be growing, never forget that the Kingdom of Heaven is made for children.

Never give up; not on faith or hope. And always believe in the power of love. As you walk across that stage, take a deep breath. Slow down–if only for a moment. These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

(Photography by Baim Hanif and Annie Spratt)


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