Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: college

These Little Moments: A Letter to the High School Graduate

To the High School Graduate,

I know it feels like it’s taking forever to leave school, and that you can’t get out fast enough. But slow down a minute, I promise it will be worth it.

Maybe you’re excited to leave; to embark on new adventures such as college, a new job, or independence from your parents. Or maybe you’re more like me, leaning on the side of terrified because you have no idea what to expect.

You see, this is the pattern of life that never ends. We expect, hope, and dream. We fear and are lost as to what the future holds.

You might not get into that college you applied to, and even if you do, it won’t be everything you’ve ever dreamed it would be.

You might not land that job you thought was easily yours. Maybe the one you do get will take you to places you only dreamed of going.

You might not end up with your high school sweetheart. In fact, you might be single for quite awhile. That’s okay. It’s good to learn about yourself, and to be comfortable with who you are without somebody else.

You might not follow the path or timing of everyone else, and that’s okay too. After all, a late bloom gets to enjoy days of longer sunshine and warmer weather.

College is exciting, daunting, and confusing. There is so much to learn and so many new people to connect with. Choose your friends wisely, as they help determine the course of your future.

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Remember that you are more than your work or your grades. Though these things can bring you purpose and joy, they should never be your source of fulfillment.

You see, the only thing that ever really lasts forever is what is rooted in eternity–in heaven. If you have Jesus, then you have the one thing that nothing in this world can take away from you.

When you’re young, you feel invincible. Although the trials of life will come, they can never take away your salvation.

Breakups, failure, job loss, disease, disability, unmet expectations, addiction, and even death can never separate you from the love of God. As long as you hold fast to His presence, you have all you will ever need.

Although there are trials and pain in this life, there is also great joy. The joy of a bonfire with close friends, or the smell of coming home during Christmas. The joy of accomplishing something you never thought you could, or the mysterious adventure of falling in love.

Hold on to hope and expect joy. Life is offering you amazing opportunities, so take them and run.

Keep on wondering and wandering. Stop and look at the world around you, never losing your childlike spirit. Everyone is rushing ahead to grow up, and while you should always be growing, never forget that the Kingdom of Heaven is made for children.

Never give up; not on faith or hope. And always believe in the power of love. As you walk across that stage, take a deep breath. Slow down–if only for a moment. These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

These little moments are what shape us for a lifetime.

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

(Photography by Baim Hanif and Annie Spratt)


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The Single Life~Day 3 of The 30 Day Blog Challenge

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome back to Day 3 of the 30 Day Blog Challenge. 

Today’s Topic: Describe Being Single


Well, I’ve already written a guest post on being a single Christian lady, but I didn’t really share my personal experience. I guess that’s because writing about love and relationships is a very personal and sensitive topic to approach.

I’ve dated before. I had a couple of relationships in high school that ended badly, and one at the beginning of college that wasn’t what God wanted for me. Right now I am single, and I would say that I am pretty content–most of the time. There are definitely moments I wish I was in a relationship, especially during holidays and family gatherings. But most of the time I’m so busy with school, writing, and church, that I hardly notice it.

I guess one of the biggest worries for a single Christian woman is if they will remain that way forever (assuming they want to be married one day). I do want to be married one day, but I’m quite young to be worried about timing I guess. I know I just need to trust that God is a good Father with good plans for my life. He knows what I need, and He knows what you need. We just have to wait on His timing.

I guess the plan for my single years is to glorify God as much as I can, growing in my faith and having a blast while doing it. I am working on building friendships with other Christians and discovering the talents and gifts God has instilled in me. Of course, it’s a rocky road being a twenty-something girl with no clue what the future holds. But isn’t that in itself kind of romantic and inspiring?

Life is an adventure, and I want to make the most of it–even the challenging parts. God can use a single person just as much as He can a married person, if not more (Hello Jesus and Paul!). So I guess this is my prime time to help make an impact on the world around me.

Yes, I am single–but that’s okay! Even though I sometimes wonder about my mysterious future husband, I am happy. Yup, that’s right. I am happy–right here and right now. My joy is Christ, and He has blessed me beyond belief.

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well (Matthew 6:33 NIV).


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share. 

Make sure to check out Courtney at 1Timothy4:12Girl as she partners with me in this challenge! I’ll be back tomorrow with Day 4 of the challenge 🙂

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One Semester~A Story of Faith Overcoming Fear

The following is a guest post by the talented blogger Courtney of 1 Timothy 4:12 Girl. I hope you enjoy her creative story on how God used her to reach a lost fellow student.


The story below is based heavily on my own experience at a local state college. While names have been changed for privacy purposes, the accounts described are true, and it speaks of how I believe God chose to use me during my semester at my former college. I pray that you can be inspired and encouraged, and that this story inspires you to live boldly for Christ.

 Dear God,

Remember what I wrote in my diary five years ago–about how I needed to go to Greensburg State College to reach someone for you? Well, over this past semester, I think I finally figured out who it was.

Liam Anderson.

Somehow I knew. Five years ago, when I was only thirteen years old, I knew that someone at Greensburg needed to hear about Jesus. I knew you were calling me there–just like how you called Jonah to go to Nineveh in the Old Testament.

All that was missing was the face and name. Somehow, in an event that could only be explained in the language of divine intervention, you had a plan for me to share the good news of your love and grace with a fellow classmate.

Who would have thought it would be Liam, the one guy in class who was openly involved in Wicca, and a self-proclaimed witch?

I certainly didn’t know–at least not at first. I remember the fear that washed over me when he gave a speech about his beliefs, which served as a stark contrast to my own Christian faith. I’ll be honest, I had one very distinct feeling in the midst of it. A feeling that I rarely seem to have around other people.

Fear.

Like Jonah, my instinct was to run–quite literally even, as I stood outside the classroom in the following week, very tempted to ditch class–something that I have never done before in my entire life. But this felt different, like a battle between darkness and light. A battle between two very different sides of the spiritual realm.

You gave me the courage to go back–to face my fear head on. I talked to pretty much every Christian I knew about it–my pastor’s wife, my closest friends, my parents…in a battle between fear and faith, I thought for certain that fear was going to win. But, it didn’t. Faith won–faith had the last word.

Due to the classroom setup and the way that the seats were positioned, I had the opportunity to talk to Liam on more than one occasion. I held on tightly to my faith and got up the courage to talk to someone from a very different belief system and worldview. In the midst of it, you taught me something that I should have realized all along.

Liam is a person–a person who is undoubtedly on the wrong path, but a person nonetheless. You formed him with the same hands that crafted the most devout believers on the planet. He is someone you care about–someone you’re pursuing even as I write this. As the semester continued, I began to see the many ways that you’ve gifted him. I began to see past the sin to the heart of a very sincere person, who had the capacity to make a mark for you, if he only knew you.

But there have been signs you’re doing something powerful in his life, and all this time you were using me to help plant a seed. Two weeks ago, when I gave a speech, incorporating Bible verses as I spoke, I caught him nodding–as if something about the verses resonated with something deep inside of him. He’s been surrounded by Christians this whole semester, and was sitting right up front when another girl mustered up the courage to read straight from the Bible in class.

Not to mention that dream that I had about a month ago–the one where I ran into him and he announced that he became a Christian. After that, I have an unexplainable peace about the situation–a strange sort of knowing that I’ll see him in Heaven someday. His words on the last day of class served as further confirmation of this: “I’ll see you around.”

Maybe not at Greensburg, as I’ve recently made the decision to transfer to a school that will be better fit for my degree and career, but I believe I will see him again someday. I believe that you’re leading him to you–and that my urgency to go to Greensburg, even for just one semester, was a chapter in the story that you’re writing in his life.

I don’t know what you have in store for the rest of my life or for the lives of my former classmates at Greensburg, but I know you have good plans for all those who earnestly seek you. I can trust you with my story because you’ve already written itfrom my first inkling of my mission to go there, to the last day of my semester, to the time you will call me home. You have a story.

And because of this I can have faith–a faith that’s big enough to overcome any fear.

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9).


I hope you like this post! For more writing by Courtney, check out her blog here.

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How I'm Surviving Midterms (As Told by Memes)

What have I been up to this week?

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Yup. This is going to be a post that’s filled to the brim with memes about midterms. I’m sure all of you other college students (or graduates) can sympathize with me here.

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So how am I doing? Well, to be honest sometimes I really don’t feel like I know what I’m doing (economics I’m looking at you). It’s helpful that I am able to use notes on half of my exams though!

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Seriously though…four??

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But I know God is with me giving me strength! We can do this everyone! I find prayer and caffeine to be the most effective techniques for studying.

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And when the week is over, I know I will feel victorious! All I can do is study and trust God to help me. In the words of my good friend Janae: “Fake it ’till you make it.”
Hope you enjoyed this post and laughed a little bit! As always, thanks for reading. Please feel free to comment and share 🙂

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How to Study (When It's the Last Thing You Want to Do)

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A new semester has crept up on all of us college students, and the smell of overpriced text-books and coffee are in the air. This is my second year as a full-time student, and let me tell you, I’ve learned a few things about how to succeed (and fail) when it comes to studying and getting work done. One of my New Year’s resolutions is to study smarter (notice how I didn’t say harder) and to not cram for my exams. Although I’ve been doing pretty well with my weekend cramming and all-nighters, the stress and anxiety that comes with this is enough to make me want to change my ways.

So I am going to share what I’ve learned over these last three semesters, and how you can study smarter and improve your grades. Maybe this is your first year of college, or you already have several semesters behind you. Or maybe you’re a highschooler trying to prepare for college (way to go!). Wherever you’re at, hopefully these tips will help you too.

1. Get Ahead 

The only way to beat procrastination is to do the exact opposite. Getting ahead helps to cut down on all of the anxiety that can trigger even more procrastination. Before classes even start, try to find the class syllabus to see if you can prepare yourself. It’s also a good idea to do any required reading before the lecture, and get a head start on papers way before they are due.

2. Make it a Daily Thing

Don’t cram. I know, everyone says that; but that’s because it’s not the most efficient way to study. I don’t care if you say that’s how you study best. I used to say this too– and it isn’t even about that (a little cramming is not bad); the reason you should study everyday is to break up the work and relieve the stress. When you’re overwhelmed and stressed out, the anxiety can keep you from ever hitting the books– until the night before that is.

Even though you may not think you have time to study everyday, just 15-30 minutes of focus being devoted to each class can make a huge difference. Your brain can absorb the material much better this way. Once exam week rolls around you can increase your time intervals. Breaking up studying into chunks like this makes it way easier to focus.

3. Don’t Be a Copy Cat 

Although your best friend might have aced her exam by reading the text-book five times, that is not necessarily the best method for you. Everyone is different; some people are note takers, while others would benefit from a tape recorder or just listening to the instructor. You have to find what works for you, and the only way to do this is to try different learning/study methods.

4. Find Your Environment

Again, this is something that will be different for everyone. I study better when I’m not at home. There’s just too many distractions for me. I prefer to be at my college’s library, study lounge, or local cafe. However, you might like working at home. Other things to think about are music, snacks, and whether you do better studying in a group or solo. A good environment that’s free of distractions (um…YouTube) can make all the difference in the world.

There you have it! My best tips for studying/working on assignments. I’ve decided that I’m ready for this semester, and I’m already planning out how I will study for each class. Hope this helps you all! And if you have any other study tips, please comment below 🙂

Love, Emily <3

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