Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: Christian writer

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!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more details and posts! 

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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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. 

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! 

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? Click here for Part 4 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! 

Hoodies and Hope

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I remember being wrapped up

In an over-sized hoodie

Folding in on myself,

As I ignored God’s quiet whisper

To come home.

Now here I am

Staring at the hazy walls of the hospital

As I wait for news.

The sun is setting and

The humidity is like a curtain.

I’m trying to balance

Who I was yesterday

And the storms I now face.

I trace the gold anchor

Wrapped around my neck.

Hope–

That one word.

I know I’ll make it through somehow.

I know You’ll always love me

Even when the hoodies are gone.

I know You’ll never leave me

Even when I run

Down the hall,

Looking for a way to

Make myself smaller.

Let me fall into you,

So I don’t break.

Let me take root where

Your anchor stands.

I’m coming home.

 

Written by Emily Smith at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2016 ©

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil (Hebrews 6:19 NKJV).

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share (all I ask is that you link back to my blog for credit). 

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The Writing Diaries: Overcoming Writer's Block

writer block

It is one of the most dreaded nightmares for writers everywhere. It is the one that keeps us up at night–haunted and staring at a computer screen. It is absolutely paralyzing, and (if nothing is done about it) could lead to the demise of a piece of work.

Writer’s block.

What do we do about it? Well first of all, we need to acknowledge this fear for what it is. Writer’s block is when a writer of any kind gets stuck–whether it be creatively or motivational. It’s important to know that everyone gets writer’s block; even Stephen King battles it! That said, it can be conquered. Here are three ways to overcome writer’s block.

Go Through It

Sometimes the only way to get past life’s storms is to go through them. This is the same with writer’s block when you lack motivation. Instead of racking your brain trying to resist the blockage and writing whatever it is you think you should write, just go with the flow.

A good idea is to set the mood with some music. You can always practice some creative writing prompts or write down poetry (it makes you a better writer anyway). The key is to sit there and get something down on paper. And yes, I mean paper. The worse thing you can do when you are stuck or unmotivated is to be connected to the internet. Unplug and get out your notebook!

Remember:

  • Set the mood (use music, lighting, writing prompts, etc.)
  • Don’t leave until you write something!
  • Unplug–use pen and paper.

Think Outside the Box

Sometimes writer’s block is a creative slump–which is always the worst kind. Your words don’t flow, and you feel like someone with absolutely no talent (which is a lie). A great way to spark creativity is to think outside the box.

Let’s say you are writing a story about two orphans on a journey in the forest to find their long-lost parents, but you get stuck. Maybe you need to re-imagine these characters somewhere else. Write about these little orphans as if they got lost in a Wal-Mart. Maybe you need to shift the perspective and look at the story through the parent’s eyes!

Or perhaps you can create an interesting (although temporary) plot twist. Maybe a tornado will come and the orphans need to find a place to hide. Who knows, this plot twist may actually be the very thing you needed in your story!

Remember:

  • Play around with your characters! Re-imagine them in new places/situations
  • Shift the perspective to a minor character. How are they viewing life?
  • Create a random plot twist (even if it’s temporary)!

Always Know What Happens Next

I’m not sure what blog I found this precious nugget of advice, but it is priceless. This tip can cure writer’s block whether it be a motivational or creativity problem. Before you stop writing, always make sure you leave off knowing what happens next. If you read my last post in this series, How Not to Start a Novel, then you might remember my advice of creating a plot outline. This will guide you through your story–one plot twist to the next. It’s essential.

One of my biggest issues with writer’s block with this first novel is that I would have no idea what to write next. The point is to stop writing before you run out of ideas. All you have to do is jot down a sentence or two for when you come back. Bam. No more excuses. Doing this allows you to get your thoughts running so you can generate new ideas as you expand on yesterday’s.

Check out this blog, where I found a piece of wise advice excerpted from the great Stephen King himself. Sometimes we run into writer’s block because the story has gotten too boring. He suggests adding a new problem/tragedy. It’s kind of like my plot twist idea…only more professional.

Remember:

  • Stop writing before you run out of ideas
  • Jot down the next scene or plot twist in a sentence or two for when you come back to it
  • Story getting boring? Add a new problem or plot twist! (Thanks Stephen King)

How do you handle writer’s block? Let me know in the comments below! As always, thanks for reading 🙂

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