Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Page 2 of 53

What Makes a Woman Beautiful?

Beauty. It’s absolutely everywhere in our culture, isn’t it? We idolize beautiful women, or at least, those we consider beautiful according to superficial standards. Take a look at celebrities like  Kendall and Kylie Jenner. Women who are famous for good looks, sexuality, and materialism…but not much else.

A Beautiful Lie

Even Taylor Swift, a talented songwriter and singer, is losing fans because of her newfound focus on vengeance and victimization in her songs. But what ever happened to grace, values, or class? Is Hollywood and social media portraying an accurate depiction of beauty?

Ladies, we’ve been robbed. We live in a culture that says it’s wrong to be feminine or modest. We are told that beauty is in our looks and sexuality. Sin is outwardly celebrated while truth and morality is reviled.

Now that we understand the lies we’ve been fed about beauty, it’s time to uncover the truth.

The Beauty Within

Do not let your adornment be merely outward—arranging the hair, wearing gold, or putting on fine apparel—rather let it be the hidden person of the heart, with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God. (1 Peter 3:3-4 NKJV)

For some reason, a lot of people read these verses and believe that it is wrong for women to wear beautiful clothes or jewelry. That’s not true at all. Peter tells us not to let our beauty be merely from outside things.

Biblical femininity goes way deeper than frilly dresses or lipstick. It’s about gentleness, strength, dignity, purity, modesty, kindness, and compassion. These attributes aren’t raved about in the latest pop song, but they are eternal qualities that never lose their beauty.

It’s fun to be a girl–to dress up and wear makeup and jewelry. But that is not where we should base our worth. You may not have the body type or complexion that pop-culture says is beautiful, but that’s not what God thinks.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Jesus, the Creator of the universe, sees women as beautiful both inside and out. He created your body, spirit, and soul. He knows what you look like, your talents and weaknesses, and your personality.

And guess what? God is absolutely crazy about you.

A Beauty That Never Fades 

Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. (Proverbs 31:30 NIV)

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Every culture has a different interpretation of what is beautiful on the outside. And with all of the trends on social media, it’s almost impossible to keep up.

But what happens when we grow older? Because we won’t stay twenty forever, and our physical features may stop being “on trend.” What happens when we ditch the charm and sensuality the world pressures us to mold ourselves into?

Close your eyes and think of a woman in your life that you love. What makes her beautiful? Is it her body shape or makeup? Or is it something deeper? Perhaps it’s her kindness, humor, or intellect. Maybe it’s her selflessness or inner strength.

Although we may not always see our outer beauty, a woman of faith and good character will always shine. No one can resist a kind smile or loving demeanor. The beauty that comes from our good deeds and acts of compassion toward humanity outweigh that of any runway model.

A woman who knows her worth in Jesus will exude a confidence that can never be shaken. It’s okay to be the way God created you to be. And it’s okay to look beautiful–inside and out.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

signature

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 5

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 5 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s ArmorPlease don’t forget to check out Part 4 here.  This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 


Ryan gasped as he hit the floor, not allowing one second to pass before he hopped to his feet. No matter how hard his opponent tried, he would always try harder.

It was his promise.

After regaining his footing, Ryan struck his opponent with a hard kick, whipping his leg around in a blur. It was enough to take him down.

After practicing drills and forms, Ryan made it to the locker room and sat down on the bench, running a hand across his sweaty brow as he smiled with pride.

After practicing martial arts for over three years, he’d finally earned his black belt. In three days he would fight in one of the most difficult tournaments of his life.

“You ready for the big day?” Alex, a buddy from class, called from the other end of the locker room.

Ryan shrugged. Was he ready? Could he take first place?

“Yeah, I’m ready,” he said as he slammed his locker door in defiance. He had to be ready. He’d do anything to keep his promise.

After saying goodbye to Alex and showering off, Ryan looked in the mirror. His jaw was set like rigid stone, and his dark eyes pierced against his almond skin. His muscles held taut beneath his t-shirt.

On the outside, he looked like a fighter. But on the inside, he was shaking.

When Ryan hoisted his duffel bag over his shoulder, he noticed something fall to the floor. He winced as he picked up the photo–the one of his father right before he died.

A wave of darkness enveloped Ryan as he thought about his last words to his father. He had made him a promise that he would always do his best. That he would win. He wanted his father to know that before the cancer took hold of his final breaths.

Ryan shuffled over to his locker, suddenly nauseous at the oath he’d made. What if he failed? What would he become?

Nothing.

The room was silent–the kind of silence that gave him the chills. Everything looked darker, as if he were consumed by a giant shadow.

When Ryan opened his locker, he frowned. The solid, yet lightweight, chest guard that he sometimes used in practice drills was gone–and in its place was an embossed metal shield with a note attached.

“What?” Ryan whispered as he grabbed and unfolded the note. This must’ve been a prank.

My Dear Ryan, 

I alone know what you are up against. You’re afraid of failing and letting your father down. But you don’t have to fight alone. Take My shield of faith into all of your battles. My armor will never let you down. I am your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on Me. 

Love, Jesus. 

Ryan stood there, frozen. This couldn’t be a prank. No one knew about the promise he’d made to his dad. Tears welled in his eyes as he slumped down on the bench.

Was Jesus real? He’d always been searching for the right religion–for something to believe in. Was this a sign?

As if in perfect response, suddenly the lights flickered and died out. Ryan shot up from the bench. There, glowing in his locker like a flame, was the new shield.

His armor.

Ryan swallowed as the darkness closed in, compressing the air from his lungs with lies of failure and danger.

Without another thought, Ryan grabbed the shield. He held it close to his chest and followed the light that radiated from its metal core.

Ryan didn’t know where he was going as he ran out of the back exit of the gym. All he knew was that he felt free. He wasn’t strong enough, but maybe God was.

I am Your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on me. 

Ryan kept running, following the trail of light that blazed through the fresh blanket of wet snow. Shadows filled the night around him as he cut across the alley.

Ryan stopped when he found himself in the parking lot of a small apartment complex. Four other people stood on the concrete, glowing from the inside out.

“Who are you?” Ryan asked. Logically, he should’ve been afraid. But somehow, he wasn’t.

Looking for something? 

It was not the response he expected. The voice swept through the wind like a whisper. Ryan gasped and dropped to his knees.

God was real. And he believed.


In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Click here for the conclusion of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more exciting info on this expanding series

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2017 © No part of this content may be copied or shared unless given permission by the author and linked back to this web address. However, you are encouraged to share the link to this post as well as all other posts!

How to Find Your Self Worth

This is going to sound totally cliché, but I had a real “God moment” at Chick Fil A a couple of weeks ago.

While I waited for my food, I noticed an older woman sitting in a wheel chair. My heart just melted. For some reason she reminded me of my grandma, who passed away last year.

The woman and I introduced ourselves and discussed flowers. As I was leaving the restaurant, she said something that caught me off guard:

It’s nice to know you. 

How many people do we meet everyday, yet we don’t even really know or see their worth? 

At that moment, when I looked into the woman’s dark yet vibrant eyes, I realized how important it is to actually be known by someone. To slow down and look at a person’s face and take it all in. To find out that their favorite flower is a purple cone flower.

If you want to know the key to finding your self worth, then please keep reading. 

Worth in Creation

There are a lot of people who are lost, not realizing their identity and worth in Christ. I know this because I was that person. As a teenager I didn’t feel like anyone saw me–unless they were looking at my flaws.

I know I’m not the only one who understands these feelings. Many teens and adults have experienced this. Maybe even you, lovely reader.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

It still blows my mind to know that God created me and set me apart–and it was for His own will and pleasure! You are not an accident, lovely one. No matter what anyone else says–whether they are a parent, friend, or someone else close to you–you matter.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV

Not only are we created by God, but He thinks we’re awesome! Although we are sinners, as soon as we come to know Christ, we are washed clean by His blood. This is when we can shine God’s light and see what He sees in us.

Worth in Relationship

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—” (John 10:14 NIV)

When we choose to follow Jesus, we enter into a relationship with Him that is more dynamic than we could ever fathom. Not only does God know us, but now we can get to know Him.

And that’s not all. Through this lifelong journey, we can also get to know ourselves. We can discover our strengths, weaknesses, and talents. We can watch God’s purpose for our lives unfold as we build a life with Him.

The only way you’ll ever find your worth is if you find yourself in Jesus. You won’t find it in earthly things like work, success, or relationships.

God knows you, and He wants every single piece of your heart. It’s amazing when somebody knows you, but there is nothing like being known by the King who created you. 


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

signature

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 4

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 4 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. Please don’t forget to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 


Luke tightened his grip on the steering wheel, squinting his eyes to see the road through the shadowy, snow-filled night. It was just a month after Christmas, in other words, the loneliest time of the year.

“Do you know the difference between a truth and a lie?”

Those were the words that haunted Luke–words from the dream he had last night. That wasn’t the first time he had heard them. The dream was a replay of his childhood, when the social worker came to his school.

She said her goal was to keep him safe. That was a lie. At least, that’s what his parents had told him. She asked him so many questions in that little stuffy office.

Eventually, the truth came out. Though it wasn’t what Luke had been taught. He never thought his parents were hurting him. Yeah, his mom drank a lot and got mad sometimes. Maybe she’d hit him or forget dinner. But his father loved him. At least, that’s what he said behind closed doors.

Luke felt his knuckles grow hot, but he knew it wasn’t because of the car heater. He had been wrong. His mother was a drunk and his father violated him in ways that no child should experience.

It had been a lie. Everything. His whole childhood. But what about his entire life? Was everything a lie—pointless?

When Luke found the house, he put on his blinker and turned into the driveway. Everything looked so dark and desolate tonight. Delivering groceries to the elderly and disabled wasn’t a job he thought he’d ever do. It was actually his second job, the money he needed so he could afford college.

Luke worked hard, and he was proud of that. He’d made a vow to himself that once he got out of the foster care system, he would make his own life. Find his own path. So that’s what he was doing. The only problem is that he wasn’t a good student.

The elderly woman—Shirley—smiled and handed him a wad of cash. She gave him a few quarters, her standard tip. Luke felt guilty every time he took money from that woman because he knew she didn’t have much. She was a forgotten widow. And as an orphan, he knew what that felt like.

“Have a good night Luke,” she called out in a throaty voice as he walked away. “Stay out of trouble.”

He grinned as he turned to wave at her. “I’ll try.”

When Luke got back in the car, he leaned over to buckle the seat belt, only to pause when he saw the small box laying on the passenger seat. He frowned, knowing he always kept his car locked. He’d been a victim of theft too many times before.

There was also a piece of paper on top of the box. Luke carefully unfolded it, his dark eyes widening as he read.

My Dear Luke,

You have no idea the joy it brings Me to watch you as you grow. You have been through a lot, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like I care, but I do. I am always with you, my son. You keep searching for truth and meaning, not realizing that the only way you can find it is through Me. Wear a piece of My armor, the belt of truth. It will give you the strength you need to go on.

Love, Jesus.

Jesus? Luke shook his head. He wasn’t a Christian. Sure, he believed in God. He was a spiritual man who dabbled in parts of different religions or rituals. He had to have something to ground him morally, after all. But was this message really for him?

Luke grabbed the box, opening it in the now chilly car. It really was a belt, plain black leather. Curious, Luke took off his old worn belt and slid this new one around his skinny waist. He clasped it shut. Nothing happened.

“This is some armor, God,” he chuckled as he started the car engine.

Luke drove down the road, speeding so he wouldn’t be late for his last delivery of the night. Suddenly, his dream came flooding back in full force.

Lies. His parents were wrong. Lies. He wasn’t safe.

Truth. He had been safe, all along. Luke slammed on his breaks, almost causing an accident as he felt the warmth grow up his torso. He looked down at his waist—at the glowing belt that was around him.

 I am always with you, my son.

Was that the truth? Luke’s heart started racing when he saw what was up ahead. A dance of shadows and light, coming from an empty parking lot.

Luke bolted from the car, the belt still shining radiantly from his waist. He realized that if there really was truth–and if he wasn’t alone–then this Jesus must be the answer.

Luke ran to the lot, only stopping when he saw three figures standing, like candles, against the dense shadowy horizon. One woman stepped forward, a golden pendant blazing around her neck.

And suddenly, Luke knew the truth. These people were good. They were from God. He could trust them.

The darkness that surrounded them, on the other hand, was evil. Of that he was certain.

Looking for something?

The voice echoed across the lot like a soft wind.

And Luke smiled, because he knew he had already found it.


Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist… (Ephesians 6:14 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Click here for Part 5 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL  for more exciting info on this expanding series!  

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2017 © No part of this content may be copied or shared unless given permission by the author and linked back to this web address. However, you are encouraged to share the link to this post as well as all other posts! 

What Suicide Can Teach Us About Being a Light

Some of you may be surprised how hard I’ve been hit by the tragic news of the suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the band Linkin Park. This was a band I listened to during my adolescence, a time of turmoil and angst like it is for many other teens. I didn’t really know the Lord during my early teens, and so secular music was all I listened to. This was a band that helped me through some pretty rough times.

Suicide Affects Everyone

Chester Bennington died in a tragic way that no one should ever have to experience. He committed suicide. He hanged himself. Sounds pretty heavy, right? Not something we tend to talk about in prayer circles or Sunday breakfast clubs.

And that’s exactly what’s wrong with our culture.

Bennington is not the only celebrity to suffer from depression and commit suicide. Think of Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, or L’Wren Scott.  Think of the rise in Christian pastors  struggling with depression and suicide.

Suicide isn’t just something that happens to “really messed up” people. It happens to our neighbors, our pastors, our friends, and our family. And now with shows like 13 Reasons Why, suicide and self-harm is more glamorized than ever. Suddenly young people are becoming desensitized to the consequences of these actions. After all, what harm could it be if all of the celebrities and cool TV characters are doing it?

The most important thing to remember is that suicide is never an isolated incident. We all feel the ripple effects, whether we are close family, a neighbor, or a fan of the person’s art. Suicide affects everyone.

The Calling

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that after a celebrity or prominent person of society dies or commits suicide, suddenly everyone decides that now is the time to reach out and show their love. I’m not saying that it is bad to pay your respects when someone dies, or that it means you didn’t do anything to help when they were alive. But if you take a moment to search Chester Bennington’s name in Twitter, you will find an outpouring of love and concern that you just normally wouldn’t see.

The question I’m wondering is, why can’t we always be like this?

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)

 

As Christians, we have an amazing calling. We are called to be lights in this dark world. Imagine a world where every Christian encouraged at least one person every day. Instead of just waiting for tomorrow, why aren’t we expressing our love for one another right now? Why aren’t we forgiving one another and expressing our love today?

I don’t say this to be critical. I say this because I know I need it too. One of Linkin Park’s latest songs is called One More Light, and I find it to be a song of both sadness and inspiration. It’s a wake-up call, for you and for me.

Becoming The Light

I struggled with depression in high school and college, especially when my chronic health issues developed. Thankfully I have been healed of it by God’s grace, therapy, and supportive family and friends. But I still remember how the darkness haunted me. I wasn’t pulled as deep into the shadows as some people are, but I know enough to realize that we can’t ignore this issue any longer.

We don’t have to wait until another person commits suicide to start caring about the depressed and those struggling with mental health issues. We don’t have to wait until one more light goes out before we do something. You and I can be a light for Jesus right now, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Just find one person to encourage today.

Find one person and tell them that they matter. Because every soul matters to God, and He wants their light to shine eternally.


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

Note: If you or someone you know is depressed or feels suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You don’t have to fight this alone. 

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

« Older posts Newer posts »
%d bloggers like this: