Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: relationships (page 1 of 3)

Hospitality–An Overlooked Ministry

As a newly married couple, my husband and I love having people over for food, games, talking, and prayer. Although hospitality comes naturally to my husband (who comes from a big family), this is something I’m learning to be intentional about.

But why? Isn’t hospitality a southern term or something that only applies to housewives with perfectly decorated homes?

Actually, hospitality goes far beyond the appearance of one’s home. This practice is for every believer–whether single or married.

You don’t have to own a fancy house or expensive china to be hospitable. In fact, you can practice hospitality anywhere! Let’s dive into this often overlooked ministry and why it’s crucial for your Christian walk.

A Lifestyle of Love and Obedience

Hospitality opens the doors of our hearts to others, allowing vulnerability and love to grow. 

When we let people into our space–whether that’s our home, dorm room, car, or lunch hour–we are letting them know that they are valuable.

This is what Jesus did for us when He laid down His life on the cross. Instead of living for Himself, He chose to obey the Father and endure the cross because He loves us.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We can (and should) follow Christ’s example of radical obedience and love in every area of our lives. The essence of hospitality is to invite someone in and share our lives with them.

Hospitality is a lifestyle of giving and receiving abundant love. 

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The Bible commands us to show hospitality to others. All disciples of Christ need to practice hospitality. In doing so, we grow the church, make disciples, and connect with unbelievers as we share the love of God.

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. (Romans 12:13 NIV)

Hospitality Fosters Community

Jesus didn’t just model hospitality in His death. He practiced hospitality in His earthly ministry as well. He often went into homes and ate with sinners, disciples, and anyone else with a hunger for God.

Millennials are known for living in isolated bubbles. We skip church for our phones. We avoid friends for a Netflix binge.

And while everyone needs downtime to rest, we must not forget to meet with the body of Christ regularly.

not giving up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.(Hebrews 10:25 NIV)

When we share a meal or coffee with a friend or small group, we are actually feeding our spiritual hunger for connection and intimacy. 

Jesus wants to make His home in our hearts (Ephesians 3:17), but He also wants us to go out and invite others into His holy family.

A Creative Practice 

We know how important hospitality is for living out the Gospel, but how do we show hospitality in everyday life?

If you don’t think you’re qualified for hospitality because you’re young, single, working, etc, check out the example of Lydia from Acts 16.

One of those listening was a woman from the city of Thyatira named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth. She was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul’s message. When she and the members of her household were baptized, she invited us to her home.(Acts 16:14-15 NIV)

Lydia was a professional business woman who loved the Lord. She was a working woman with a family. Sounds pretty modern, right?

But even though she had so many responsibilities, the call of the Gospel took first priority as she opened her heart to the Lord and her home to the apostles.

Here are a few practical ways you can show hospitality, whether you’re single or married. 

  • Invite a friend to your favorite coffee shop. Bring a note of encouragement for her.
  • If a neighbor or coworker is sick, deliver a meal or a care package to her. 
  • Make your desk or office space hospitable by hanging encouraging Bible verses and setting out a bowl of candy or mints. 
  • Throw a board game or movie night. Have everyone bring a game or snack so you’re not overworked. 
  • If you live with your parents and they are having company over, offer to cook, vacuum, or set the table.

There are so many creative ways to practice hospitality. In fact, most of the above examples can take place outside of the home.

If we intentionally look for opportunities to show hospitality to others, the love of Christ will overflow with abundant grace.

What about you, lovely one? How do you show hospitality? Let me know in the comments below! 🙂

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What it’s Really Like Being a Newlywed

Hello, lovely one! If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been a faithful follower of this blog, then I ‘m sure you can tell it’s been a while since I’ve last posed. I apologize for that, but I’m so happy for all that God has been working in me these last several months.

Over the last year, I’ve been through a huge transition. I graduated college, got a new job, and moved out on my own.

And just a month ago, I got married to my husband Owen. I know that marriage is something that many women–Christian or not–desire. I know I did!

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Photography by Maliya Wayner

And while marriage is an awesome adventure, I found out some surprising lessons about being married that no one really prepared me for. My hope is that you’ll read these 3 unexpected lessons I’ve learned as a newlywed and store them in your heart for now and the future.

Being a Newlywed Doesn’t Change Who You Are

When you get engaged, you are suddenly labeled as a bride. You feel special, and that’s how it should be! I felt like a Disney princess on my wedding day and will always remember that. 

So naturally, I thought this princess transformation would last into newlywed life. I was wrong. Reality soon hit after the honeymoon.

Work, grocery shopping, cleaning, and then my brand new husband coming down with a cold snapped me back to reality real quick. 

Don’t get me wrong, marriage does change your life. I’m living with my husband and sharing everything with him. I’m spending each day with my best friend. That’s life changing in the greatest way!

But marriage doesn’t change who you are on the inside. 

I still battle with fear and insecurity, just like I did when I was single. The enemy can and will attack us, so we can’t let our guard down, whether single or married. 

This is why it’s so important to learn who we are in Christ and be rooted in our identity as children of God. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV)

Our worth does not depend on our relationship status. Our worth is based on the love Christ showed us by dying for us on the cross. Having this foundation for our confidence will make for a healthy and joyful life–whether single or married. 

Marriage Comes with a Grieving Process 

The hardest part of marriage so far has been letting go of my old life. I love being a newlywed. Owen and I have so much fun together and are enjoying the adventure of making our home (and cooking lots of yummy food!). 

But I miss my mom. I miss my childhood home. I miss some of the familiarity of my old routine. 

This is normal and all part of the “cleaving” process of becoming one flesh. 

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

I wouldn’t trade my marriage to Owen for anything in the world. And we are learning to allocate time alone for friends and family, as well as using our marriage as a ministry of hospitality. 

With any major life change, we must close one chapter as we begin another. And with the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, we can do this with courage and excitement. 

Marriage Points to Something Greater Than Ourselves

There are so many books and sermons that explain how marriage teaches us to love like Jesus. I always nodded in agreement, knowing deep down that I could never fully understand until I became a newlywed.

And I’m learning. Marriage requires giving and sacrifice. Sometimes I can’t always watch the movie I want, or I may need to step up and care for my husband’s cold. And he does the same for me. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV

But that’s what true love is. Jesus showed the greatest love for us when He willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross. 

This is the romance of the Gospel, and the reason why we love weddings and romantic movies. We all want to be swept off our feet by a Savior prince who loves us unconditionally. 

Whether you are single or married, you can experience the fulfilling love of God that comes from knowing His Son Jesus. 

That is the love that transforms us in our singleness and in our marriage. It’s the love of Christ that transforms us into who we truly are–His eternal bride. 

Thanks for reading! What about you? Has marriage taught you any surprising lessons? Is there anything you hope to learn to prepare yourself for marriage one day? 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

(Our wedding photography was shot by the talented Maliya Wayner)

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

I still remember the pain of ending that relationship three years ago. We weren’t right for each other, and though I tried to deny it, I had known it deep within my heart for awhile.

The next several months following that breakup were filled with conflicting emotions. Although I had peace about my decision, I still thought about what could have been. I cried and got angry. I grieved, and then I moved on.

There’s no magic formula for grieving a breakup, however, there are lessons we can learn to better our future. We can choose to let the loss defeat us, or make us stronger. And ultimately, I think that’s what God wants for our lives.

Finding Meaning in a Breakup 

After ending that relationship, I remember walking outside in the snow and staring up at the dull gray sky. I kept asking God, why? The answer I got almost took my breath away, and it surely made me smile.

God said, “Because I am jealous for you.”

That’s the thing about walking with Jesus. You’re either all in or all out. He doesn’t want half-devoted followers who will most likely compromise their faith.

That past relationship kept me from blooming into the Christian I was supposed to be. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just not meant to be.

Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 NIV)

God isn’t jealous for us in a selfish, human way. If that were true, then no one would be able to be in a relationship or get married!

However, God does want our relationships to reflect His love for us and to ultimately lead us closer to Him. When a relationship is built on this firm foundation, love can truly grow and flourish.

Finding Identity in a Breakup 

My first breakup happened in high school. I got dumped.

You can never understand the haunting pain of that rejection until it happens to you. I felt so unlovable and worthless, but Satan wanted me to believe these lies so I would never discover the truth.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10 NIV)

Dear lovely one, if you are suffering the pain of rejection, please know that you are loved and chosen by God.

Although there will always be people in this life who reject us, our Heavenly Father never will. God sent His Son to die for our sins and prove His radical love for us.

Although going through a breakup is painful, it leads us to the most powerful truth in existence. God can use rejection to point us to the One who will always love us. Jesus is our eternal bridegroom, and He is wild about us.

It doesn’t matter if you have an awesome love life or have failed at relationships. If you aren’t confident of your identity in Christ, you have nothing to stand on in a relationship.

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

Finding Hope in a Breakup

When I look back on the heartbreaks I’ve endured, I know it was worth it. I’ve grown as a person, and as a daughter of God. I also see how the Lord graciously protected me from harm by letting me experience heartbreak.

Every single trial leads us closer to victory. But we must choose to hold on and weather the storm.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

Right now I am so blessed to be engaged to the love of my life. Was the wait difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? A thousand times yes.

But I know I wouldn’t have met the one God prepared for me unless I pressed on and bloomed into the woman I am today.

Breakups are painful, but they are not the end of your story. If you allow Jesus to walk you through your pain, you will find meaning, identity, and a love that’s eternal.


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(Photography by Yaoqi LAI and Everton Vila)

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Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Online dating. It’s a term that causes controversy in the minds of many. We all know the horror stories of creepy online profiles and dates gone wrong.

However, I don’t think that online dating has a worse reputation among anyone than Christians. You might as well wear a cone of shame if you’re going to admit you’re on a dating app.

But what if it’s possible to meet a nice guy online who also happens to love Jesus?

Well, it actually is possible. I met my fiancé online last year, and even though it isn’t the most “romantic” way to meet a person, we couldn’t be any happier about our love story.

So what is better, traditional dating or meeting someone online? Can a Christian girl navigate the world of online dating in a Biblically sound way? Read on to explore this topic!

The Myth of Traditional Dating

A lot of times when I tell someone how I met my fiancé online, the standard reply is something like this: “that’s nice for you, but I prefer to meet someone the traditional way.”

It almost implies that meeting someone online is artificial, or that your relationship is less special if you first made contact behind a screen.

As a shameless lover of all things romantic, I get it. We all want the movie scene where two people stumble into each other and realize they have a spark. This does happen for some, but for most of us, it’s just a fantasy. 

There really is no “traditional” way to meet someone. Most people meet by social contacts. Work, school, church, and other social groups tend to attract those who are like us.

Even meeting my fiancé happened because I realized we already had social connections. Online dating tends to work this way, as the developers of these companies know that using your social media, location, and interests is going to bring you near people who are more like you.

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When you think about it, traditional dating is a vague term. What is traditional in today’s hookup culture definitely does not agree with dating practices 50 years ago. Tradition also varies by culture, ethnicity, and family.

Online dating is just another way of meeting someone. Although it carries its own unique risks, it’s kind of becoming a tradition of its own in this digital age.

Dating Wisely 

Instead of asking whether it is better to meet someone online or in person, the real question to ask is how do we date Biblically?

Worldly traditions and practices change constantly. We certainly do not “date” the same way as people did in Biblical times. In fact, the Bible says very little about dating and courtship.

The only way we can date Biblically is to date wisely. This applies to meeting someone in any given situation, including online.

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)

God is the source of all wisdom, and He wants to bless us abundantly! Although we should consider the advice of those around us, we must remember that God’s Word is what ultimately stands true.

Letting God Lead 

When meeting someone online, it is always best to use Internet safety precautions and get to know the other person slowly. In fact, online dating can be a great way to ask a person some initial questions without being blinded by the attraction of seeing them in person.

When it comes to establishing a romantic relationship, it is wise to pray about standards such as purity, faith, commitment, integrity, and kindness. Everyone is different in what they are looking for in a person, but these core values are standards that should never be compromised.

Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Yes, it is difficult to find a nice Christian guy online, but meeting serious Christians is hard in any situation. Whether you choose to date online or meet someone in person is up to you, but it is important to be led by the Holy Spirit and sound Biblical wisdom.

Remember lovely one, the best love story is one that is led by the Author of love. Always trust in God’s timing and His ways. He will never let you down.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases. (Song of Solomon 8;4 NKJV)


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To the Girl Who Feels Unlovable

To the Girl Who Feels Unlovable, 

The day is here. A day of celebration and romance for people in relationships. But for many, it’s a reminder of loneliness.

Although you can choose to make the most of Valentine’s Day as a single person, sometimes heartache just won’t let you.

I was that girl last winter. The girl who worried that she may remain single forever. Let’s face it, finding a nice, Godly man is difficult in today’s world. And it seems nearly impossible when you feel you are unlovable.

As someone who is battling a chronic illness, I often felt that a guy would want nothing to do with me. After all, a lot of days I struggled  just to make it through class or homework. How in the world could I keep up with all of the Instagram-worthy adventurous dates my peers always posted?

I felt hopeless because I couldn’t see my value.

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What God Sees

If you read last week’s post, then you already have a firm foundation on which your true value lies. It cannot be based on our holiness, because we are sinners who are not worthy of God’s holy presence.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)

Even though we are not worthy of salvation on our own, Jesus willingly gave up His life for us anyway. That’s right, lovely one. You are loved enough for God to give up His only Son as a permanent sacrifice for your sins.

If that isn’t heroic and romantic, I don’t know what is.

Although we can’t always see our own value, God does. He loves you no matter what–whether single or married. He loves you even though you have a scarred past or struggle with sin. He loves you even if you’re battling illness or just don’t fit in.

And this will never change.

The Lie of the Unlovable

Sometimes we have to keep reminding ourselves of our value in God’s eyes. The enemy wants you to believe that you’ll be forever alone. And that if you’re single, it means there’s something wrong with you.

Those are lies. Although I can’t guarantee you a spouse, I can promise that God is faithful and knows what’s best for your life. Keep praying and seeking the Lord in your singleness, and you’ll find abundant blessings in your life.

When I was afraid that my health issues made me unworthy of love, a friend of mine reminded me of a beautiful truth.

A man who God wants you to be with will love you for who you are inside, not just for what you can do.

True love is for who you are

True love is about loving someone completely–even their “unlovable” parts. This is what God does for us, and this is the grace that allows relationships to truly thrive.

Just because a guy hasn’t seen your value yet, it doesn’t negate your worth. Good things take time to grow, and the right one is worth the wait.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right. (Song of Songs 8:4 NLT)

Your True Identity 

After finally surrendering my dreams of romance and marriage to God, and allowing Him to become my source of confidence, I found unsurpassing peace.

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, then you probably know I’m in a relationship now. Love is crazy, scary, and good. And when it is real, it goes beyond what we think about ourselves.

To the girl who feels unlovable, I understand. I was you not too long ago, and sometimes I still struggle.

Being in a relationship does not mean you will feel confident and perfectly happy all of the time. People are flawed, and the enemy still creeps in with lies.

But I now know that I am valued by God, no matter what my relationship status is. And so are you, lovely one. Whether you are single or in a relationship, please know that you are loved beyond measure.

God loves the unlovable of this world. He calls you valuable, He calls you daughter, He calls you redeemed.

He calls you His.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV)


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

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