Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: life (page 1 of 12)

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.


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

(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)

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How to Survive Politics as a Christian Woman

One Hot Mess

Last week for one of my classes, I underwent a media deprivation experiment. The goal was no TV, Internet, or news media (except for what was necessary), for four days. When the experiment was over, I realized something profound about today’s American culture.

We are a hot mess politically, and it’s driving us crazy.

It seems that in modern day society, if you’re not following the crowd on certain political stances or ideologies, then there’s something wrong with you. Just look at the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards from this year. Everyone’s making a statement–to the point where it’s no longer about movies or music at all.

Now I’m not writing this to tell you what to believe, lovely reader. You can decide for yourself. And I’m certainly not suggesting that we stay silent on important political issues. On the contrary, Christians should be outspoken on issues such as abortion, sexual assault, and racism.

So how can Christian women find balance in this secular political climate? Here are 3 points to consider.

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Find the “Why” 

Everyone believes in something. And as Christian women, we believe that Jesus Christ is God and has died for our sins to save us from hell. He came as a man to usher in the greatest rescue mission the world has ever seen, so we can have eternal life with Him!

This should be our core foundation when we ask ourselves why we stand for a certain political party or ideology.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 NIV)

There are a lot of people who are “rebelling” against traditional values…to the point where they are becoming conformists! Most people are lukewarm about their beliefs because they are afraid of stirring the pot. But that’s not how Christians should be. It’s one thing to think critically on certain issues, however, our values must always be clear.

Another reason to know the why behind your beliefs is so that you can defend them.  If I say I’m pro-life but do not have any reason for it, then no one will care. Our why should be spiritual, as well as logical. Our beliefs about this world should reflect our belief in the hope of Jesus Christ.

Our beliefs should reflect the hope of Christ.

Be Kind

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Although we must understand the reason for our beliefs and be able to defend them, we must do so with kindness. This world is full of division and hatred, even among Christians. However, we are called to gentleness and maturity in our conduct.

We must realize that no political party or ideology is perfect. We are human beings, so we tend to mess things up…a lot. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or something in between, please don’t fall into political idolatry.

It isn’t wise to enter a conversation with people of different political beliefs to try to change their minds (it doesn’t work anyway). Seek to understand them and their background. Ask God to help you empathize with them as you politely state your views. This will glorify God.

Seek Godly Wisdom

The Internet and cable news is filled to the brim with information trying to sway our beliefs. How on earth do we make a wise decision?

 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

What an amazing gift! I think we tend to forget that God is our Father, and that we can climb into His lap and ask for His love and wisdom. Don’t put God into a box. He will guide you in all areas of life, including political beliefs.

One of the best ways to find wisdom is by reading the Bible. Scripture is full of wisdom on how to live a Godly life. Don’t know where to start? Try the book of Proverbs. Even if you read one chapter a day, in just a month you will gain a lot of Godly wisdom.

This world is full of ideas and beliefs–many of which are totally against God. Although we might not be able to disconnect from all media and news, we can find balance in politics. A woman of faith must walk in values, kindness, and Godly wisdom. If you strive for this, then you will not only survive politics, you’ll thrive.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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