Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 3

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


I love you. 

The words bounced like ping-pong balls off the walls of Paulena’s mind. Jeremy always said those words, but they usually clung to the fringes of some selfish choice he’d made.

Paulena sighed as she placed the last dish into the cabinet. She volunteered every Tuesday for the last four years at this soup kitchen. And now Jeremy wanted her to give it up, to live with him in another state.

Paulena shrugged on her old wool jacket, feeling the tiny gold cross kiss the edge of her collar bone. She knew that being with Jeremy wasn’t the best option–at least not when it came to her faith. He never really cared about her moral convictions. In fact, he often mocked her for being old-fashioned.

But she loved him…

As the familiar words echoed inside, Paulena couldn’t muster the courage to speak them into existence. It was as if her heart was synthetic–made of cold plastic. She was doing what the world wanted, and as a result, had melted into its mold.

Paulena looked out the drafty window of the old, now-empty building as she absentmindedly pulled out her phone. She tried to call her brother, Sam, but only caught his voicemail. Paulena sighed, tucking a lock of shoulder-length blonde hair behind her ear.

She knew he would be out of work by now, but after their argument that morning, he had decided to ignore all of her phone calls. She wished her younger brother would go back to church with her–that he would stop turning his back on God. But the more she tried to encourage him, the more he pushed her away.

After leaving a tired voicemail, Paulena hung up and turned around. That’s when she noticed something sparkle on the freshly cleaned counter.

Paulena frowned. “How did I miss something?”

When she examined the glittering object, she realized it was a pendant on a silver chain. It looked like an elongated plate of some kind, with the engraving of a cross.

Paulena shook her head in disbelief as she unfolded the piece of paper that had been tucked underneath it. The words lit up her brain like fireworks.

My Dear Paulena, 

I know you’ve been trying so hard lately. You want to please Me, but the world also desires your devotion. This is a hard line to walk. Please take a piece of My armor–this pendant of righteousness. Wear it close to your heart, and you will know which path is the right one.  

Love, Jesus. 

“Armor…” As Paulena muttered the word, she heard a knock on the front door. She quickly shoved the letter into her pocket, and then clasped the pendant around her neck, hiding it underneath her sweater.

When Paulena opened the door, a burst of frigid wind hit her face. Jeremy stood like a shadow, illuminated by the glow of the snowy landscape.

“Hey Paulena. I’ve been waiting all day–”

His words went right through her as his silhouette darkened, fading into the blackened sky. For a moment, Paulena thought she was going crazy. That is, until she felt a warm sensation radiating from her chest.

“Jeremy,” she interrupted him. “I’m sorry. But I can’t be with you.”

“What?”

Paulena dodged him and ran, fleeing the hungry claws of the shadows surrounding him. She followed the glow of the snow, entranced as she remembered the letter’s words.

…you will know which path is the right one.

She found herself reaching for her phone again. Surprised that her brother answered, Paulena could feel the desperation in her voice as she spoke.

“Sam? Something’s happening. I think it’s…God.”

Before Sam could respond, Paulena dropped her phone. She stopped running when she noticed the glistening footprints of snow against the shadowy sky.

“Paulena!” She heard Sam call in the distance.

Paulena ignored him, watching as a figure emerged from the shadows, a golden band of fabric wrapped around his waist.

Out of the shadows, a voice radiated, echoing across the sky.

Looking for something?


…with the breastplate of righteousness in place… (Ephesians 6:14 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Stay tuned for Part 4 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you’ll be notified when Part 4 is posted! 

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! 

In a Boat With Fear and Jesus

Picture this: Three girls are sitting in a canoe on windy waters. One of them is in the middle, clutching onto the sides of the boat for dear life as it tilts and bobs. Even though her friends are paddling and assuring her that everything is perfectly fine, she can’t stop shaking and singing “Oceans” by Hillsong.

That girl is me. 

A picture of me, overcoming my fear by going canoeing.

It sounds ridiculous now, considering how I was wearing a life jacket and was in a boat with two skillfully trained swimmers who I love and trust. But sitting in that canoe last weekend reminded me just how shaky and unstable this life can feel sometimes. Like a beautiful, scary, and mysterious adventure. 

 “Come,” he said.

Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!”

 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” (Matthew 14: 29-31 NIV)

Focus

I know I quote this passage a lot, but it is just that relevant. Anyone who has struggled with anxiety or fear can relate to Peter’s woes in those stormy waters.

As I was trying to keep calm on that canoe, all I could think about was the movie, The Shack. If you haven’t seen this movie, I highly recommend it. It’s an inspiring story about a man named Mack, who has an encounter with God after a series of tragic, faith-shaking events in his life.

In one scene of the movie, Mack is in a boat, being plagued by dismal waters. He can’t see any way out. He is completely consumed by darkness and fear.

That is, until Jesus shows up. Suddenly God is asking Mack to focus his gaze on Him instead of the dark waves around him. When Mack finally musters the courage and faith to do this, he finds that the storm around him dissipates. He is free to see only Jesus.

There came a point when I was sitting in that little canoe that I realized I would have to trust Jesus and that He is who He says He is. My fear didn’t matter, and it would serve no purpose in my life other than to paralyze me. 

Trust

When I stop to think about what might have happened to me if I had tipped over the canoe, I realize that God would have kept me safe. He has never let me down before, so why would He start now? Instead of being like Peter and focusing on the rough waters around me, I should have just kept my eyes on Jesus. 

I don’t know where you are in life or your walk with God, lovely reader. Maybe you don’t even know who Jesus is. But I urge you to remember that nothing you can do will cease the waves and storms of this life. Only God’s perfect peace can bring you through it.

It can be so easy to look at all of the problems and stress around us, but we need to remember that there is a God who is bigger than any storm we may face. 

Despite my anxiety-ridden first experience at canoeing, I still ended up having a blast with my friends. I also learned that faith requires trust, despite the stormy seas of life. If I keep looking at the King who holds my entire world, I know that no matter what, I am safe. 

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life. (Psalm 143:8 NIV)


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 2

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 2 of my new series called Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. If you missed part 1, you can read it 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! 


Sam fought the urge to glare at the customer in front of him. The man just stood there, puckering his lips as he spoke.

“How long does a person gotta’ wait for a table ’round here?”

Sam grabbed a menu as he turned away from him. “Sorry sir. We’re quite busy.”

As the man muttered more complaints, Sam found his thoughts slipping into a new world. One that wasn’t a diner that attracted permanently dissatisfied middle-aged people who grated against his last nerve.

He dreamed about a fresh start, a new town where no one knew his name. Somewhere his past didn’t haunt him anymore.

Not five minutes after his shift ended, Sam felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He ignored it, running his hand through his sandy blonde hair as he left the diner. His twin sister, Paulena, was relentless in her quest to contact him.  After their argument that morning, Sam decided it was about time he moved out.

“What the…” Sam looked around as he approached his motorcycle, the January air biting his face. When he checked the storage compartment, he noticed that his helmet was gone, and in its place was a black, shiny new one–the expensive kind. What he couldn’t figure out was how someone had picked the storage lock to commit this odd vandalism.

He shook his head as he examined the helmet. That’s when he noticed the piece of paper that had fallen out onto the snow-dusted concrete.

Suddenly Sam felt immune to the cold as he became absorbed by the letter’s words.

My Dear Sam,

I know you’ve been running lately, thinking that you can escape the mistakes of your past. I want you to know that you can stop running now. You can come back home to me– I welcome you back with loving arms. Please wear this armor of mine. It will always keep you safe. 

Love, Jesus. 

Sam couldn’t make sense of the emotions that were twisting themselves into a violent knot inside of him. Who knew about his past? About the wrong he had done? He used to be a good little church kid…until he did the unthinkable.

But not even Paulena knew about that.

Sam clenched his shaking hands as he strapped the strange helmet onto his head. He crumpled the letter into his pocket, wishing he could forget about the whole “God’s armor” thing.

Sam started the engine of his motorcycle, revving it as the darkness of night enveloped him.

..you can stop running now.

Sam could hardly see as the shadows grew darker, like an ominous fog trying to choke him.

You can come back home….

He screamed as he lost all control, his bike flying out from under him as he landed head-first onto the frigid pavement.

When he opened his eyes, Sam knew he had to be dead–or at least close to it. It took his breath away when he realized he felt no pain. He sat up and brushed off the snow from his leather jacket. Not only was he alive, but he didn’t have a single scratch on him.

Sam reached up to remove his strange new helmet, but stopped when he saw a flash of light breaking through the shadowy fog.

Without hesitation, Sam got up and ran to the light, forgetting about his bike. When he reached the parking lot of the old apartment complex, he gasped at what he found.

A woman about his age was dancing around the lot. She moved gracefully–almost otherworldly–her face relaxed as every step she took lit up the night around her and left footprints that looked like sparks.

Sam dropped to his knees.

“This can’t be real. God, am I in heaven?”

That’s when he heard the whisper in the wind.

No, but will you come home? 

“You don’t want me,” Sam wept with clenched teeth.

The words of the letter flashed like lightening, brightening his spirit.

I welcome you back with loving arms.

Sam’s tears turned into laughter as he accepted the invitation. He found himself letting go of all the guilt and hurt as a warmth he couldn’t explain wrapped around him like a thick blanket.

After a few minutes, Sam finally stood, unsure of what all of this meant. Was he a Christian again, after all this time of separation?

And then he remembered that he wasn’t alone. The dancing woman stopped to look at him, the dazzling lights of her footprints glowing behind her.

Looking for something? 

The question hung in the air and he knew they both could hear it. Before he could say or do anything, Sam felt his pocket vibrate. Stunned that his phone still worked, he answered.

Paulena’s voice pierced his ear like a knife.

“Sam? Something’s happening. I think it’s…God.”


Take the helmet of salvation… (Ephesians 6:17 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Stay tuned for Part 3 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you’ll be notified when Part 3 is posted! 

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! 

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 1

Hello lovely readers and followers! Today I’m launching a new series called Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 


Madeline swallowed back the lump in her throat as she ran her hands through her dark, sweaty locks.

She had been practicing for hours, on that old dusty laminate floor–turning and leaping to try and master every single move. She knew she never would, but that didn’t matter. It was a ballerina’s curse.

She finally gave in, her stomach crying out for nourishment. When was her last meal? She stood up trembling, realizing that both appetite and sleep were hard to come by these days.

As she left the desolate studio, Madeline just couldn’t shake the feeling of a shadow following her out the door. It was always there, oppressing her soul with fear and throwing off every turn or step she took. Life was a dance, and she just couldn’t find her rhythm.

By the time Madeline parked her car and made it up the stairs to her apartment, her feet were killing her. She could barely move her toes, as pointe shoes had a way of melting them together into a blistering fury.

She was so preoccupied by her aching feet that she barely noticed the small box in front of her door. It caught the corner of her eye, like a ray of light breaking up the shadows.

“What?” Madeline picked up the box, scrutinizing it as she entered her apartment. Christmas was a month ago, and she didn’t really have any friends to drop off a surprise gift.

When Madeline sat on her sofa and turned on a lamp, she noticed the piece of paper taped to the box. Taking it eagerly into her delicate hand, Madeline read aloud.

My dear Madeline,

I know you’ve been weary lately. Life can be so hard and confusing. I hope this gift takes some pressure off of you. Remember that whenever life becomes too much, you can always call on My name. My burden is light enough for you to dance through. Take this armor and have courage. 

Love, Jesus.

Madeline blinked as she dropped the paper. Was this a joke? She didn’t come from a religious family, and her dance academy didn’t exactly boast many devout Christians.

Take this armor and have courage. She didn’t know what the letter meant, but receiving a box that claimed to hold God’s armor peaked her curiosity.

Madeline sighed and opened the box. When she saw the pair of powder pink suede boots, her breath caught.

“No way,” she mused as she slipped them on her feet. The moment she stood and her soles hit the bottom, Madeline felt relief flood her body. The pain in her feet instantly vanished, as well as the hunger and fatigue.

They fit perfectly.

“Whoa.” Madeline couldn’t help but grin. Without another thought, she grabbed her jacket and ran outside.

The parking lot of the apartment complex was dark, the winter moon tucked beneath a blanket of clouds. Madeline didn’t care. She giggled like a child as she swayed and turned, using the blanket of snow beneath her feet to give her leverage as she spun like a figurine.

There was no pain. No fear. No stress.

Only freedom. Only peace.

When she finally stopped dancing, Madeline looked out over the snow glazed parking lot. Although her world was dark and silent, every single footprint she had left behind shimmered like a light, casting away any shadow that had surrounded her.

Madeline gasped as she saw what was etched into the snow print of each step. She raised her foot to examine the bottom of her new boot. Sure enough, engraved into its sole was one word.

“Jesus,” Madeline exhaled as the fog rolled out of her mouth. She didn’t understand much about God, and at this point, she didn’t have to. All she knew was that she needed this Jesus, and she would do anything to find Him.

Madeline turned to head toward her car, but then stopped when she noticed the figure standing near the curb. A low male voice echoed across the lot.

“Looking for something?”


…and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. (Ephesians 6:15 NIV). 

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Stay tuned for Part 2 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you’ll be notified when Part 2 is posted! 

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! 

Summer Crochet + God’s Awesome Story

Happy Friday lovely readers and followers! I want to take a few moments to thank everyone who wished me a happy birthday this week. I am now twenty-three years old, and feel as if I’m on the starting line of some awesome changes and life adventures.

I always thought that being a teenager was supposed to be the best part of life. Even with the freedom and naivety of adolescence, I still think that the wisdom and relationship I have with Jesus now has opened the door to even more freedom.

Don’t get me wrong–I’m still far from having everything figured out. But I know deep inside that I’ll never have it all figured out. Only God can see the whole picture of our lives.

The worship pastor at my church gave me some really good advice this week. He told me to keep seeking and praising God and live without fear of the future. If we keep chasing after God, then when we look back at our lives, all of the things in life that don’t make sense right now will come together to create an awesome story.

I know that my story is just beginning, and I’m excited to see what God has in store for my future. 

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

In the meantime…let’s talk fashion! I don’t think there’s a better summer staple when it comes to fabrics than crochet. It’s light and airy, yet still textured enough to make a statement. I’m a decent knitter, but I can’t wrap my head around how people can loop yarn into these beautiful designs and patterns with their hooks.

Crochet is everywhere this season, bordering the hems of blouses or showing up on bags and sandals. You can wear it as a pop of color, or in the traditional summer white. Don’t be afraid to mix things up and wear crochet patterns that are in the form of flowers or other girly designs. I also think a crochet cardigan makes the perfect summer cover-up to any dress or swimsuit. Crochet is definitely a trend you can experiment with in a playful, yet classy way.

for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. (Philippians 2:13 NIV)


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!

 

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