Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Category: the Gospel (page 1 of 6)

Choosing Freedom in a Sinful World

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow American readers and followers! And of course, a big hello to those from other countries who are reading this post. I’m so glad you’re here 🙂 Today is a celebration of summer, the birth of America, and more importantly, of freedom.

When it comes to the word freedom, many images come to our minds. We picture fireworks and family cookouts. We see soldiers sacrificing everything, including their lives, in order to protect our country.

While all of these images are beautiful and accurate for the American Independence Day, true freedom goes beyond even our patriotic celebrations. In order to understand what freedom really looks like, we must know the God who paid the price for our liberty.

A State of Bondage

Whether we realize it or not, we are in bondage. This world is full of sin and its consequences. We are lying to ourselves when we say we’re not in bondage.

Things like hatred, violence, jealousy, selfishness, lust, addiction, abuse, and shame fill our lives. No one is left unaffected by sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8 NIV)

This sin stems from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Almost everyone knows the story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although it may seem like some cute ancient Bible story, the consequences of mankind’s first rebellion still affect us all today.

No one is perfect, and we all fall short of God’s standard for holiness. We must realize the state of our sin and the eternal separation it places between us and the Lord. Once we know how sinful we are, we can truly repent and make a change in our lives.

The Price of Freedom

Okay, so now we understand that we are in bondage to sin and shame. We also know to repent, but how do we experience freedom? What must we do to free ourselves from sin?

The bad news is that there is nothing you can do to free yourself from sin. Remember when I said that we will never be perfect? But that’s okay, I have great news!

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are all justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

The price to pay for sin and eternal separation from God is through death. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the ransom for all of the world’s sins by dying on the cross and rising again.

It is finished, lovely one. Jesus paid the price once and for all, and the only thing we need to do is turn to Him and accept this precious gift.

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Spirit of Freedom  

Although we were once slaves to sin and shame, Jesus freed us by His death and resurrection. How amazing is it to know that we can experience true freedom even in the midst of living in a sinful world?

When we choose to follow Christ, we are no longer slaves, but children of God. We have a perfect Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and wants to watch us walk in freedom.

Choosing Freedom in a Sinful World

We are no longer separated from God, but have His Holy Spirit inside of us to empower and guide us. Instead of a spirit of slavery, we now have God’s Spirit of freedom!

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7 NIV)

Today is a great day, lovely one. It’s a day of celebration for the joys of freedom. Will you choose the eternal joy of the only true freedom found in Jesus?


Happy Independence Day and thank you for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

FearfullyWonderfullyMe would like to thank all military members for their service in protecting our freedom. God bless America!

(Photography by Cristian Escobar and Toa Heftiba)

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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.


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

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NEDA Week and the Call of the Gospel

For those of you who don’t know, February 26-March 4 is NEDA week. NEDA week is about raising awareness for different types of eating disorders and encouraging recovery. It’s about ending the stigma and shame associated with this branch of mental illness.

It’s about saving the lives of women and young girls, who die physically and spiritually from this disease every year.

NEDA Meets Jesus

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may know that I have struggled with an eating disorder.

Mine was not the type that anyone noticed. I did not stop eating or puke, and I have always been naturally thin. However, due to a mix of low self-esteem, anxiety, and health issues affecting my digestive system, I had a very negative view of eating.

Two years ago I made the life-changing choice of recovery. I knew that I couldn’t serve both God and an eating disorder, so with the help of the Lord, online support groups, and a close friend, I started getting better.

I thought that I would never win this mental battle, and truthfully, the devil still haunts my mind with self-defeating thoughts. But everyday I’m getting stronger. The victory is God’s.

This is one of the reasons why I care so much about encouraging other young women. The Bible says we are to lift each other up, creating a ripple effect of impact on those around us.

Becoming an Example

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. (Titus 2:3 NLT)

As women of God, we have been commanded to teach younger women how to lead God-honoring lives. We are supposed to be an example to those who don’t know Jesus or who are new to the faith.

That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes or struggle with sin. I know I am definitely not perfect. But we should be humble enough to admit our mistakes and learn from them. We should take what we’ve learned and teach younger women and girls.

One of the reasons I chose recovery is because I knew Christian women who were more mature in their faith. They poured into my life and guided me to the right path. They helped me learn my identity in Christ.

Answering the Call

Today there are girls in elementary school who diet and hate the way they look. They are turning to their phones and social media for validation. They idolize celebrities for their self worth.

These girls and teens are the enemy’s main target for mental illnesses such as eating disorders and depression.

While campaigns such as NEDA week are helpful and needed, the true cure for eating disorders is Jesus.

NEDA week and the call of the Gospel

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Only the power of Jesus can take away our fear of food. Only the salvation of Jesus can redeem our broken past. And only the love of Jesus can teach us how to love ourselves.

Lovely one, you are more valuable in the eyes of God than you will ever know. He wants you to root your identity in Him and be set free. He wants you to be a light for the next generation.

Young women and girls everywhere need our help. Will you rise up to answer the call?

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)

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help! Please check out these links or contact me for additional information.

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline (call or text support line)

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment/treatment-and-support-groups (Find treatment)

Want a relationship with Jesus? Click here!


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

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You May Not Be Worthy, but You Are Valued

I scroll through Instagram, glancing at the images when I see the increasingly popular hashtag attached to inspirational Christian posts.

#worthy

The concept of worthiness is popular in makeup commercials and diet ads. And that makes sense, of course. Self-care and beauty products tell us we’re worth it because a hardworking woman deserves such things. However, this is a worldly standard, not a Biblical one. When it comes to salvation, we must face a harsh truth.

We are not worthy–not even close.

But we are valued.

Worthy of Nothing

What’s the difference between having worth and being valued? Well, for the spiritual purpose of this post, worthiness is counted as holiness. Throughout history, man has been elevating himself even above God in terms of worth.

Therefore, just as sin entered the world through one man, and death through sin, and in this way death came to all people, because all sinned (Romans 5:12 NIV)

Well, that’s not a feel good Bible verse to highlight. But that’s reality. We’re all sinners deserving of death. Perhaps it might not seem that way to most of us. After all, there are some pretty messed up people out there. All you have to do is watch the news.

But don’t let your pride fool you, lovely one. We all sin. It starts with lust, greed, hatred, and rebellion. It sneaks up slowly. It’s inescapable. And despite what the world says, there are no amount of works we can do to save ourselves.

So why on earth am I preaching this fire and brimstone? Well, lovely one, without darkness, we could not understand light. Without pain and ugliness, we could never know healing and beauty.

We could never fathom how valued we are by God, even in the midst of our unworthiness.

 Valued to The Cross

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. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son. (John 3:16-18 NIV)

It’s one of the most famous passages of the Bible, yet the meaning never ceases to amaze me. In our natural sinful state, we stand condemned.

But God, out of love for His children who have rebelled, decided to sacrifice His perfect Son Jesus Christ, so that we might be saved.

Why did God do this for humanity when we are so unworthy? Because He saw value in us. We may not be worthy of God’s perfect holiness, but He considers us valuable enough to die for!

Jesus paid it all image

 

God came down as a man to reach out to you in all of your imperfections and struggles. He came down to stretch out a loving, tender hand to you. He did this because He values you, lovely one.

We can choose to place our value in many things in this world. Our looks, money, success, or relationships. However, our true value can only come from the one who created us–body and soul.

Perhaps I’m not the “worthy” queen of Instagram. But that’s okay, I don’t have to be. We don’t have to pretend to be perfect and holy, because Jesus values us enough to make us holy through His death on the cross.

Jesus paid it all, and that’s worth more than anything this world has to offer.

But now, this is what the Lord says—he who created you, Jacob, he who formed you, Israel: “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. (Isaiah 43:1 NIV)


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

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Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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The Beauty of Suffering

“Life sucks and then you die.”

That’s what my eccentric eighth grade science teacher used to say whenever one of us would complain about tests or homework. Although that statement is definitely harsh, sometimes it can feel true (just keeping it real).

I have a friend who’s in the fight of his life against a nasty cancer. I know people who have lost their parents and siblings. There are people struggling from hunger and homelessness. This isn’t shocking. This is life. And while there are many blessings in this life, there are also many hardships.

Why? Why does God allow this suffering? I’m pretty sure we have all asked this question at some point in our lives. I could go really deep into theology that even I don’t quite understand, but the simple answer is that we live in a fallen and sinful world (Genesis 3). The consequence of our sin is darkness and death (Romans 6:23).

This isn’t what God wants. That’s why He sent His one and only Son Jesus to die for us on a cross. When we ask for forgiveness for the wrongs we’ve done and believe in Jesus’ love for us, we are made new. So why doesn’t life become suddenly perfect?

 “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).

Jesus knew that until He comes back for His church one day, there will always be suffering. But He never left us without a hope. God has conquered our problems–our diseases, our poverty, our struggles. He claimed victory over them on the cross.

We know the Bible says that problems are inevitable in life, and that Jesus has overcome them. But how can we really change our perception toward all of the hardships we face?

Let’s look at the apostle Paul, who wrote about having a “thorn” in his flesh that wouldn’t go away.

Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:8-10 NIV). 

This is the beauty of suffering. If we had it all together and were doing great, then we would never see our need for a Savior. We would never need to lean on God and get a taste of how powerful He truly is. If we never had a desperate moment, we would never experience a miracle.

This isn’t easy. We all go through things, and sometimes these hardships stick around longer than we’d like them to. For me, it’s been a chronic illness. Although I am doing quite well, I still face difficulties in my everyday life. But I’ve realized that if I had never gotten sick, then I probably wouldn’t have sought after God so hard. This blog might not even exist.

I do believe that God is healing me, but it’s in His timing–not mine. While I wait, His grace is sufficient for me. I have never known true strength until I found myself broken and needy before the Lord. I can do things through God that I could never do by myself!

And guess what lovely reader? You can too. 

I don’t know your situation or your problems. I know there are people going through a lot worse than me, and my heart breaks for them. But I also know that God works all things for our good. Every struggle is an opportunity to lean on God and watch Him work a miracle in our lives. 

I know that I need to work on trusting God–or else I wouldn’t have written a post on it. Will you join me in learning to trust in God more? I think that if we learn to lean on Jesus and view our struggles in the power of Christ’s victory, then we can have true joy and peace.

Although life can be hard, the struggles we face are not the final chapter. They are the key to seeing God work in mighty and miraculous ways.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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