Fearfully Wonderfully Me

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How Fear Becomes Faith

I didn’t realize what a hypocrite I can be until I broke down in my room a couple of weeks ago. I was in the midst of making decisions about my education and the fear of the future was absolutely crippling.

I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t even write. I was crying and crawling into my bed, wishing that I could just quit adulting.

Ever felt that way before, lovely reader? I have a feeling I’m not alone.

The only problem is that I didn’t feel like I could turn to God.  

I write a lot on overcoming anxiety and trusting God, so freaking out and having a meltdown makes me feel like a huge failure–like my faith isn’t real enough. 

Eventually God tugged at my heart enough to pray. And that’s when it hit me. Jesus freaked out too. Don’t believe me?

Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, “Sit here while I go and pray over there.”  And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. Then He said to them, “My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me.” (Matthew 26:36-38 NKJV)

Jesus was greatly troubled in the garden of Gethsemane–enough to sweat drops of blood (Luke 22:44). I believe this is God’s way of saying, “I get it. I understand your fears. It’s okay.”

It’s okay to be afraid sometimes.

Is that hard for you to read, lovely reader? It probably is, considering that most Christians are taught that fear is a sign of a lack of faith. Now I’m not saying that we should go around living in fear all the time, but God can actually take our fears and work wonders in them.

Jesus was with me that day I broke down. He made me ask myself, do I trust Him enough to open up about my fear? Am I ready for that kind of intimacy with God?

If you want to let go of your fears, then you’re going to have to let Jesus experience them with you. 

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. (1 Peter 5:6-7 NKJV)

How great is our God that He constantly wants to talk with us? Although a lot of times we try to figure out how we should feel and pray, God just wants us to come as we are.  We can only grow when we are honest and vulnerable, allowing God’s power and grace to work within us.

This is how fear becomes faith. 

I know that I am slowly growing in my faith and learning to trust Jesus. But in the meantime, I’m going to let Him into all of my human moments and feelings–even the messy ones.


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

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How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Getting diagnosed with a chronic illness turns your whole world upside down. Suddenly you can’t do many of the daily activities most people never think twice about. Fear becomes a constant nag in the corner of your mind, and you lose confidence in your future.

I know this because it happened to me. Getting diagnosed with POTS  and IBS was one of the hardest, yet most rewarding trials I have faced so far.

I’ve learned patience, compassion, perseverance, and most importantly, dependence on God.

I truly believe my faith and the prayers of those who love me have brought me this far in my healing journey. Although I’m not cured (yet) of these issues, I’m in a much better place than I was years ago.

I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to make friends with others who struggle with illness. Though I hope for their healing, I’m so glad God uses us to shine a light for each other. I’m often asked how I do it. How do I manage my life when sometimes just standing makes me dizzy or weak?

Well, here you are lovely ones. My insider pro-tips on thriving with a chronic illness.

1. Set Daily Goals

Having a chronic illness can force you out of your usual routine and school/work life. Suddenly you are dependent on others, and you feel helpless.

Although it may feel this way at first, it’s actually a hidden blessing. Why? Because we are all helpless on our own.

Every human being is one tragedy away from losing everything. The only thing that can’t be taken away is our relationship with Christ. When our dependence is on Jesus, we can learn to walk with humble confidence.

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My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26 NIV)

Having this confidence in God is crucial in order to be fruitful and set a daily goal. A good challenge is to write down one goal you want to accomplish everyday.

Maybe your goal is to clean the house or get an assignment done. Perhaps it’s showering or a doctor’s appointment. It doesn’t matter if it’s big or small. Just give it all you’ve got and lean on the Lord for confidence.

There are days when I still don’t feel productive. I get wiped out easily and fall asleep randomly from chronic fatigue. Not everything gets checked off on my list, but at least one thing does, and that’s good enough.

2. Make Time for Rest and Renewal

While goal crushing is fun, it’s important to balance work with rest. All bodies require rest, but in our fast-paced American culture, we hardly get the rest we need. Healing takes place when we listen to our bodies and just slow down.

It’s awesome to get things done, but don’t forget to take time to do something relaxing. Maybe this is taking a nap or warm bath. Perhaps a good book or listening to music is your thing. Find whatever it is that relaxes you and do it everyday.

The greatest rest we find is in Jesus, who renews us daily. The only way I got through five years of college with an illness is by God’s renewing strength.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5 NIV)

If we don’t abide in Jesus, we have nothing. If we seek Him constantly, we find physical healing, as well as spiritual renewal. Abiding in Jesus helps us bear fruit far richer than any worldly pursuit can give us.

3. Don’t Isolate Yourself in Illness

When you feel bad, it’s only natural to isolate yourself. However, constantly shutting the world out will only make things worse.

Yes, we all need time alone to rest and recharge, but surrounding ourselves with loved ones uplifts us and even improves our symptoms.

I know that when I hang out with my friends and family, I can’t do everything they can. Although I may need accommodations, I still have plenty of fun with my loved ones.

There will always be those who don’t understand or who get annoyed by you. These people will either learn to adjust, or you’ll find their friendship isn’t as deep as you thought it was.

A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. (Proverbs 18:24 ESV)

How to Thrive with a Chronic Illness

Don’t let your limitations discourage you. You are more than your abilities. Our worth comes from the inside–the soul Jesus died to save.  No illness can stop your awesome self from truly shining.

Although living with a chronic illness is life changing, God can still use it for good. He is still a miracle worker and healer. As we wait on God’s healing, we can live for Him in faith, hope, and love.


Thanks for reading! If you or a loved one struggle with an illness, please feel free to comment below so I can pray for you.

(Photography by rawpixel and Saksham Gangwar)

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How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

I remember having a movie night with a childhood friend. We were eating snacks and talking, and everything was awesome. That is, until I realized the superhero movie we were watching was so full of swear words that I couldn’t make it past the first fifteen minutes.

As the years go by and I continue to grow in my faith, I can see the way media affects my life and the lives of those around me. Season two of the show 13 Reasons Why was recently released on Netflix, and reading this incredible post from blogger Beauty Beyond Bones has inspired me to also discuss the dangers of media.

13 Reasons Why focuses on a teen girl who committed suicide, and the blame she places on those around her through a series of tapes. I’ve never seen this show before, and I do not plan to. It graphically portrays suicide, bullying, rape, and other issues in a way that is often too traumatizing for teens and adults to process.

Media is powerful, and can either hinder our faith or build it up. Read on for more on the dangers of media and ways to view media in a wise and God-honoring way.

When Media Becomes a Compromise

It’s borderline impossible to watch a movie without some degree of  swearing, violence, or sexuality in it. Even kids movies contain these things! However, sometimes we are tempted to watch something that is beyond the threshold of what we know is appropriate.

During that movie night with my friend, I could have chosen to keep watching the superhero movie. However, this would be compromising my values because I knew it wasn’t right. There was a ton of violence and crude swearing–both of which I am sensitive to.

As Christians, compromising media is thrown at our faces so much that all of us are tempted at times. And that’s okay, the Lord doesn’t expect perfection from us. God does, however, expect us to be on guard over what we view on our TVs, phones, and computers.

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

Although one bad movie or book might not seem like a big deal, it opens the door for compromise. We must prayerfully assess all that we watch, read, and listen to in order to avoid compromise.

The Need for Discernment

The Bible tells us in Proverbs 4:23 that what we put into our hearts eventually manifests itself in our lives. That is why we must be careful of the media we view. When we watch shows like 13 Reasons Why, we are thrown into the dark world of depression and suicide. And if you’re someone who is struggling with these issues, this can cause great harm. 

When we view content on social media, we are influenced by the crude and sometimes borderline pornographic content on these sites. Even worse, sometimes we become desensitized to these things and our values no longer hold true to us anymore.

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2 NIV)

There is no way we can avoid everything “wrong” in media. We would have to avoid it completely, which is legalistic and missing the point of what God wants for us.

There are movies and books that contain some swearing or violence, however, they have excellent messages. One movie I can think of in particular is The Blind Side, which happens to have a strong faith message rooted in the story.

We must study God’s Word, which is our source of truth. The Holy Spirit guides  us so we can avoid media that might harm us instead of building up our faith.

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How to View Media in a God Honoring Way

Media in Focus

The truth of God’s Word and the guidance of the Holy Spirit helps us avoid harmful shows, movies, and websites. And of course, we should always be on guard against sinful media.

But there’s something we must focus on that can be easily forgotten in our fight against compromise. We need to set our eyes on good things that draw us closer to Jesus and the message of the Gospel.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. (Philippians 4:8 NIV)

When we fill our lives with truthful, lovely, and pure things, it drowns out the evil in this world. There are so many movies and books with good messages  and values. And there are Christian podcasts, social media accounts, and websites to entertain and inform us. With all this free media at our fingertips, it’s easy to find wholesome things to view.

Media has powerful influence to either distract us from Jesus, or to encourage our pursuit of Him. Seeking the Lord and pursuing honorable sources of media and entertainment is the key to a balanced life.


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

(Photography by Becca Tapert and Annie Spratt)

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Mystery Blogger Award!

Hello lovely readers and followers! Today is a great day because I have been nominated for the Mystery Blogger Award by the creative, funny, and wise blogger,  Dainty M. I love getting these awards, as it shows just how strong the bonds are between writers in the blogging community. Though they may require effort, they are also a blast. So let’s get started!

This award was first initiated by the wonderful Okoto Enigma, and I think it’s a great way to meet other like-minded bloggers and make new friends.

Here are the rules of the award

  1. Display the award logo on your blog.
  2. List the Rules.
  3. Thank the blogger who nominated you and provide a link to their blog.
  4. Mention the creator of the award and provide a link as well.
  5. Tell your readers three things about yourself.
  6. Answer five questions from the nominee.
  7. Nominate anywhere from ten to twenty bloggers.
  8. Notify the bloggers by leaving a comment on their blog.
  9. Ask your nominees any five questions of your choice, including one weird or funny question.
  10. Share the link to your best post.

Three Things About Myself

  1. I’m a daughter of God, and I strive to honor Him everyday.
  2. I firmly believe that napping is a lifestyle.
  3. I love hair and makeup. I’m not the best at it, but it’s a passion of mine.

Dainty M’s Questions

1. What’s your favourite season of the year?

I really love spring and fall. It’s neither too hot nor too cold, and the transition of the seasons is beautiful.

2. What’s the one thing you’d do if there was no stopping you?

I would get on an airplane and fly to the beach!

3. Soda or juice?

Soda–Diet Coke is my favorite source of caffeine.

4. What’s your idea of fun?

Eating, shopping, reading, writing, sitting outside, and talking with friends.

5. One piece of advice you would tell your younger self?

Your worth is in Jesus alone–not looks or performance. You don’t have to do anything to earn God’s love.

My Best Post

This is kind of a tricky question, but I think that this post is one of my recent favorites.

I Nominate

Courtney

Wendy

Karina

Dan

Wally

Grvya

Tianna

Beckie Lindsey

Questions for My Nominees

1. Would you rather skydive or bungee jump (if you had to choose)?

2. Name a pet peeve of yours.

3. What do you like to do to relax?

4. What is something you’ve learned over this past year?

5. What’s your favorite summertime treat?


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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Out of Focus

I didn’t realize I was having a panic attack until I couldn’t breathe. I felt my throat constrict as I tried desperately to remember how to control my inhales and exhales. The only thing that seemed to bring me back was saying the name of Jesus.

Anxiety is not something that is easily understood. I think that a lot of times, Christians simplify it by saying that anxiety is just a sign of a lack of faith. Even I was starting to wonder if my belief was strong enough.

However, my world-shaking experience that day was not just from a lack of faith. I finally realized that, at the root of my anxiety, I had somehow lost focus on God. I knew that I could trust Him,  but He wasn’t at the forefront of my mind and heart in the way that Jesus should always be.

Sound familiar? It’s actually something the Apostle Peter experienced.

So He said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” (Matthew 14:29-30 NKJV)

Although most of us look at Peter’s rebuke for having a lack of faith, we often forget where this unbelief and fear actually originated. Peter lost his focus. Instead of looking toward Jesus as he took his steps on top of the violent waves, he got distracted by the storm around him.

I am a Peter sometimes. I step off of the boat and into some of the great things that God has called me to be a part of, and I forget to fix my eyes on Him.

I am so busy trying to be the “good girl” and please those around me, and do anything  that I can to help and make up for my weaknesses. My intentions are good, maybe even noble, but they’re also deceptively self-destructive.

Now that I’ve made the decision to step back from a couple of things, I’ve found a small void that can now be filled by the presence of Jesus. I can let Him in even more.

Work is good. School is good. Ministry is good. But what happens when jobs, positions, and people become idols in our lives? What happens when they fall apart or are ripped away from us?

But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.”

 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:40-43 NKJV)

We can easily fall into the Martha trap of doing and serving (which is fine when done right). But when things stop going our way or become too much, we realize that what we really need is to focus on God and rest in His presence like Mary.

Falling apart or feeling anxious when life gets stressful does not make you a “bad Christian.” It makes you human. At least you’re stepping off of the boat.

Lovely reader, you don’t have to live this way permanently. Little by little, start fixing your eyes on Jesus. Put  your time, thoughts, and energy on His unrelenting love.

Right now, I’m still learning to do this, but that’s okay. God is still walking with me, cheering me on. He is for me, and He is for you too (Romans 8:31)! Even in my moment of dire panic, He never left my side.

For now I’ll keep pressing in and reaching out to Jesus, trusting that my fears will keep fading, until they are no more.

You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You. (Isaiah 26:3 NKJV)


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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