Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

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My Problem with Christian Dating

Okay, normally I try not to rant on here, but I’ve recently read something that made me lose it.

It was midnight, and I was looking online for devotions for dating couples. And then somehow I stumbled upon some forum post from a Christian girl saying she refused to do devotionals with a boyfriend because she wanted to guard her heart.

Yup. She said even praying together was too intimate–more than sex!

I’m not trying to judge this person, as we all have different convictions. And she did have some good points about making sure people are solid in their faith personally before entering a relationship.

The real problem I’m having is that I see this type of thinking in a lot of Christian relationships.

Guard your heart. Protect yourself. No intimacy of any kind.

No vulnerability.

Why Are We Guarding? 

Sometimes as Christians, we can take scripture and twist it in ways that seem harmless, but are actually out of balance.

Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it. (Proverbs 4:23 NIV)

When Jesus tells us to guard our hearts, it’s not so we can shut people out. We need to guard our hearts from sin so we can love others better–so love can flow from us.

I used to be afraid because when I was younger and not a serious Christian, I was in relationships that I gave my heart into–foolishly.

That’s my nature. I’m caring, and I’m not afraid to love. I did make mistakes, but I’ve also learned a lot and how to do things better.

Because of what I read online from Christian articles, I honestly feared I would never find love again. That I had given too much of my emotions or self away. That God would deny me a future with someone to love.

But as always, Jesus proved me wrong. And right now I’m in a relationship with someone amazing (although imperfect–just like me) who loves Jesus too.

The Risk of Love

Lovely one, please remember that you are the daughter of a God of redemption. A God of grace.

A God of love.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. (1 John 3:16 NIV)

Jesus didn’t die for us to shut ourselves away from love or to think we are unworthy of love. He died because He saw us–in our sin and mess–and said we were worth the cost.

Love isn’t safe. It’s risky. But love isn’t something to guard yourself from.

After all, the cross was pretty risky, right? Why on earth would we be commanded to love one another if it was easy?

Finding Freedom

Don't be afraid of love dating quote

Of course, we shouldn’t throw caution to the wind with dating. Love and marriage are important commitments. We should pray and read the Word while asking for wisdom.

But let’s stop dating like scared little girls who won’t let anyone in and calling it Biblical, okay?

Date with purity and reverence for God. Take things slow. Pray and read the Word together. As you grow closer, you will develop a spiritual intimacy that will show whether or not you can ever have a healthy marriage.

This advice isn’t just for dating relationships either. Learning to love with honesty and vulnerability is the key to having thriving relationships in all areas of our lives. Of course it doesn’t always come easily, but God walks with us one step at a time.

Don’t be afraid to love. It’s the very thing that sets us free.

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (1 Corinthians 13:13 NIV)

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

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How to Rock the Latest Fall Fashion

I’m back! Well…my fashion posts are anyway. I know that it’s been a while since I’ve featured my collages, but I’ve been working on creating quality content on faith issues (while juggling school and life as well).

But I plan on making a comeback with my modest fashion posts! What better way to kick off the return of these posts than a jam-packed feature on the latest fall fashions? I hope you enjoy!

Midnight Floral 

Midnight Floral fall fashion

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

Although floral patterns are usually associated with spring, this year they are here to stay! The key to wearing fall florals is making sure that the print is set against a black or navy background.

Pro Tip: If you’re not up to rocking bold florals, try a subtle print on either jewelry or some cute boots. Let your accessories do the talking!

Ruffles and Frills

ruffles and frills fall fashion

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

I just love feminine and vintage fashion. Ladies, it’s okay to be girly. And when it comes to ruffles, tassels, and bell sleeves, being girly is a blast! This look is great because it is classy and modest. The extra ruffles add warmth too…or at least that’s my excuse to say the look is practical.

Pro Tip: I love how pastels are still in style for fall–especially lavender. In order to update the look further, pair these girly pieces with some fall boots or dark earrings.

Girly Grunge

girly grunge fall fashion

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

While I love being a “girly girl,” there’s a part of me that’s still edgy. Perhaps it’s a remnant of my punk wannabe high school days, but somehow I’m always drawn to these kinds of pieces. 90’s kid style is back with plaid, printed skirts, and even fedoras! And just look at those star-studded boots.

Pro Tip: I like to strike a balance when it comes to “edgier” clothing, as to not look too rebellious. That’s why wearing skirts or a flowy kimono is a great way to soften the look.

Velvet Crush

Velvet Crush fall fashion

(See more of my Polyvore collections)

There are some trends that I just wait to come back in style. Crushed velvet is one of them. I’m so happy to see these soft, textured pieces in stores! Crushed velvet is perfect in cute pastel colors. Pairing these pieces with black colored clothing or accessories makes them stand out in a perfect way.

Pro Tip: How do you keep crushed velvet classy? You can always start with accessories–such as shoes or a purse. I also like a crushed velvet tank top under a black jacket or cardigan. This keeps the look modest and mature.


“The grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of our God endures forever.” (Isaiah 40:8 NIV)

Thanks for reading! I hope you all enjoyed this post. What is your favorite part of fall? Let me know in the comments below!

***Did you know that yesterday was Mesothelioma Awareness Day? You can read my post on this disease here.

You can find more education from a mesothelioma survivor and activist here. For more information about mesothelioma and it’s definition, visit here , and for more info on what one organization is doing for Mesothelioma Awareness Day, visit here.

Thank you for supporting this cause!

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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Conclusion (For Now)

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


Kass swallowed the lump in her throat, lying back against the tissue paper covering the medical exam table. She wasn’t afraid of anything.

All of her life she had overcome the odds. The odds of having a drug-addict dad in prison and losing her mother at age ten. The odds of living with a disabled grandmother. Or the odds of taking care of herself, despite their poverty.

Kass looked at the little silver bracelet in her hand, watching the way it sparkled against her caramel skin. Her grandma had given it to her before she passed away last year–the day she graduated high school.

She closed her eyes, hearing her grandma’s buttery voice singing the familiar soulful hymn.

Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say…it is well, it is well, with my soul.

Kass opened her eyes when she heard the door open. She sat up, inhaling cold, sterile air as the doctor looked at her with clinical eyes. Maybe he would finally have the answer for all of these strange migraines and fevers.

“What’s going on Doctor?” She asked with boldness. She wasn’t afraid of anything.

“I’m sorry,” the doctor said.

The rest of his words sounded fuzzy and far away. Cancer. Nothing we can do. No insurance. Sorry. 

Kass just sat there, nodding her head. For some reason, none of it shocked her. It was as if she knew she were dying. Slowly, but surely.

Kass quickly dressed inside the exam room, looking in the mirror above the sink. She saw the dark circles underneath her brown eyes, and the way her curls bounced in ringlets around her face. She trembled, remembering the one who also mirrored these features.

And that’s when Kass realized that although she wasn’t afraid to die, she was terrified of leaving the only person in the world who mattered to her.

Her daughter Sophie.

Kass walked alone, watching the sun set against the cold, desolate January sky. She pulled her scarf tighter around her neck. She had to walk because she didn’t have a car. That broke down after senior year, and she was already working two jobs just to pay the bills.

It is well, it is well with my soul.

Kass stopped suddenly. Her teeth gritted and her gloved fists clenched in her jacket pockets.

“You think this is funny?” She yelled into the sky, realizing that no one was around except for a few passing cars. “I was a good girl. I went to church every Sunday and read my Bible with Grandma.” She felt the tears fill her eyes. “I’ve been nothing but poor and alone. Nothing but suffering.”

Kass sank to her knees, closing her eyes to seal off her tears. “I believed in You. Why me? Why my one year old daughter?”

Kass sighed, feeling nothing but frozen inside. She finally stood, finishing her walk to the tiny apartment complex. She climbed the stairs, feeling the sun sink into shadows behind her back.

Kass relieved the babysitter, not saying a word about the appointment or her diagnosis. She melted when she looked at Sophie, who was sitting in her highchair eating crackers. She was all her little girl had in this world. What could she do?

Kass went to the pantry, deciding to distract herself by making some sort of dinner. But as she opened the pantry door, a long object fell out, crashing to the kitchen floor and startling Sophie.

“What the–”

Kass knelt to the floor, staring wide-eyed at the long silver sword, glimmering under the kitchen light. She shook her head as she removed the piece of paper that was attached to the handle. Did cancer come with delusions?

My Dear Kass,

You’ve been on quite a journey–one of faith and perseverance. I know nothing in your life makes sense right now, but trust that I have something greater in store for you than you could ever imagine. Your grandma carried a gift of faith and courage. And so do you. Take My armor and fight. My Word will give you life. 

Love, Jesus. 

Kass felt the kitchen walls grow dark, as if the room were one dark shadow.

Take My armor and fight.

She reached for the sword, grasping the weighty metal in her shaky hand. And that’s when it hit her. Armor. Sword. 

This was the Armor of God…what she had read about in Ephesians 6 all those years ago.

“The sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”*

And that’s when it all came flooding back. Every verse Kass had ever read. She gasped as the sword started glowing, the whole room illuminated by its light. She realized right then that she had the power to tap into any part of the Word of God.

Kass crumpled to the floor, sobbing as she thought of what this could mean. Of how proud her grandma would be of her right now. If only she could survive…

My Word will give you life. 

Kass opened her eyes, remembering the letter. Without hesitation, she stood up, holding the sword up high. She looked at the wonder in her daughter’s face, and then smiled. Closing her eyes, she repeated the scripture that pierced through her memory as she felt the sword quiver in her grasp.

“I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.**” As soon as Kass declared the words, she felt a weight lift inside of her. The constant headache that haunted her disappeared. She felt energized, revived.

Kass shook her head, setting the sword on the table and watching its glow dim to nothing. “God, why?” She laughed incredulously. “I mean, thank you. But what do you want me to do now?”

She shuddered, feeling a familiar chilly breeze. Kass turned to see that her tiny living room window was open. She ran to the window, gazing out into the parking lot. There stood five people, illuminated against the darkened sky just like her sword had been.

God did this so that they would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from any one of us.***

Kass smiled. She knew what they were looking for. And together they would make Him known.


Thanks for reading and supporting! How did you like this series? Tell me in the comments below. Stay tuned, for I have plans to continue this series on a new platform for my readers to enjoy!

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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! 

*Ephesians 6:17 NIV

**John 10:10 NIV 

***Acts 17:27 NIV 

“It Is Well With My Soul” Lyrics. 

The Truth About Shame

I have a confession to make. I am twenty-three years old, and am just learning how to drive. It’s a huge victory in my battle with a chronic illness that prevented me from driving. But it’s also a struggle.

Learning to drive isn’t easy–at least not for me (and not for the poor souls who help me practice). And to be honest, it makes me anxious. Though I am getting better with every lesson, I still feel a terrible, self-defeating feeling that shrouds me in darkness.

I’m talking about shame.

The Poison of Shame

Merriam-Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” This feeling, lovely reader, is the weapon the devil uses to try and condemn us.

It’s normal and healthy to feel guilty when one does something wrong.  Guilt can lead us to repentance, which then sets us free. It’s also normal to feel insecure, which again, can also be freeing when we learn to seek our worth in Christ.

But what about that feeling of condemnation, no matter how many times you repent? What about that feeling of not being good enough, no matter how hard you try?

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NIV)

Shame is a poison that seeps into our lives even when we are born again in Christ. We have to remember that we are dead to sin, and that Christ nailed all condemnation to the cross. It’s not our sin that makes us feel condemned, but the shame that the enemy uses to make us believe we are separated from God.

The Power of the Cross

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

As a Christian, I have heard the story of the cross countless times. But what really makes me understand Christ’s sacrifice is watching a movie or reenactment of the crucifixion. Then I can clearly see the shame Jesus bore while he was mocked, stripped, and beaten–all alone.

And guess what? He did it for me, and He did it for you! Our God chose to take on human form in order to understand the temptations we face and the struggles we battle. Though Jesus knew no sin, He did know our shame. And He took it upon Himself in order to free us and bring us eternal joy.

Freedom from Shame

‘“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.’ (Isaiah 54:4 NIV)

We all make mistakes. We all have our weaknesses and failures.  And we all sin–no matter how hard we try not to. It’s part of the human condition. The good news is that we can always run to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom.

shame is a lie

I know that I’m not perfect, and that learning to drive, like all things, takes patience. Although at times I may fail, I know that God always brings good out of the bad.

Jesus is the fresh start from our past mistakes. He is our joy and strength, despite our human weakness. Jesus is our freedom from sin and the shame that binds us. 

The truth about shame is that it’s a lie. A lie meant to steal, kill, and destroy God’s precious children. But we have access to the only antidote on earth–the powerful and freeing truth of the love of Jesus.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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

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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

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