Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: dating (page 1 of 3)

What it’s Really Like Being a Newlywed

Hello, lovely one! If you’re new here, welcome. If you’ve been a faithful follower of this blog, then I ‘m sure you can tell it’s been a while since I’ve last posed. I apologize for that, but I’m so happy for all that God has been working in me these last several months.

Over the last year, I’ve been through a huge transition. I graduated college, got a new job, and moved out on my own.

And just a month ago, I got married to my husband Owen. I know that marriage is something that many women–Christian or not–desire. I know I did!

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Photography by Maliya Wayner

And while marriage is an awesome adventure, I found out some surprising lessons about being married that no one really prepared me for. My hope is that you’ll read these 3 unexpected lessons I’ve learned as a newlywed and store them in your heart for now and the future.

Being a Newlywed Doesn’t Change Who You Are

When you get engaged, you are suddenly labeled as a bride. You feel special, and that’s how it should be! I felt like a Disney princess on my wedding day and will always remember that. 

So naturally, I thought this princess transformation would last into newlywed life. I was wrong. Reality soon hit after the honeymoon.

Work, grocery shopping, cleaning, and then my brand new husband coming down with a cold snapped me back to reality real quick. 

Don’t get me wrong, marriage does change your life. I’m living with my husband and sharing everything with him. I’m spending each day with my best friend. That’s life changing in the greatest way!

But marriage doesn’t change who you are on the inside. 

I still battle with fear and insecurity, just like I did when I was single. The enemy can and will attack us, so we can’t let our guard down, whether single or married. 

This is why it’s so important to learn who we are in Christ and be rooted in our identity as children of God. 

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV)

Our worth does not depend on our relationship status. Our worth is based on the love Christ showed us by dying for us on the cross. Having this foundation for our confidence will make for a healthy and joyful life–whether single or married. 

Marriage Comes with a Grieving Process 

The hardest part of marriage so far has been letting go of my old life. I love being a newlywed. Owen and I have so much fun together and are enjoying the adventure of making our home (and cooking lots of yummy food!). 

But I miss my mom. I miss my childhood home. I miss some of the familiarity of my old routine. 

This is normal and all part of the “cleaving” process of becoming one flesh. 

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

I wouldn’t trade my marriage to Owen for anything in the world. And we are learning to allocate time alone for friends and family, as well as using our marriage as a ministry of hospitality. 

With any major life change, we must close one chapter as we begin another. And with the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit, we can do this with courage and excitement. 

Marriage Points to Something Greater Than Ourselves

There are so many books and sermons that explain how marriage teaches us to love like Jesus. I always nodded in agreement, knowing deep down that I could never fully understand until I became a newlywed.

And I’m learning. Marriage requires giving and sacrifice. Sometimes I can’t always watch the movie I want, or I may need to step up and care for my husband’s cold. And he does the same for me. 

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16 NIV

But that’s what true love is. Jesus showed the greatest love for us when He willingly gave Himself as the perfect sacrifice on the cross. 

This is the romance of the Gospel, and the reason why we love weddings and romantic movies. We all want to be swept off our feet by a Savior prince who loves us unconditionally. 

Whether you are single or married, you can experience the fulfilling love of God that comes from knowing His Son Jesus. 

That is the love that transforms us in our singleness and in our marriage. It’s the love of Christ that transforms us into who we truly are–His eternal bride. 

Thanks for reading! What about you? Has marriage taught you any surprising lessons? Is there anything you hope to learn to prepare yourself for marriage one day? 

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

(Our wedding photography was shot by the talented Maliya Wayner)

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

I still remember the pain of ending that relationship three years ago. We weren’t right for each other, and though I tried to deny it, I had known it deep within my heart for awhile.

The next several months following that breakup were filled with conflicting emotions. Although I had peace about my decision, I still thought about what could have been. I cried and got angry. I grieved, and then I moved on.

There’s no magic formula for grieving a breakup, however, there are lessons we can learn to better our future. We can choose to let the loss defeat us, or make us stronger. And ultimately, I think that’s what God wants for our lives.

Finding Meaning in a Breakup 

After ending that relationship, I remember walking outside in the snow and staring up at the dull gray sky. I kept asking God, why? The answer I got almost took my breath away, and it surely made me smile.

God said, “Because I am jealous for you.”

That’s the thing about walking with Jesus. You’re either all in or all out. He doesn’t want half-devoted followers who will most likely compromise their faith.

That past relationship kept me from blooming into the Christian I was supposed to be. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just not meant to be.

Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 NIV)

God isn’t jealous for us in a selfish, human way. If that were true, then no one would be able to be in a relationship or get married!

However, God does want our relationships to reflect His love for us and to ultimately lead us closer to Him. When a relationship is built on this firm foundation, love can truly grow and flourish.

Finding Identity in a Breakup 

My first breakup happened in high school. I got dumped.

You can never understand the haunting pain of that rejection until it happens to you. I felt so unlovable and worthless, but Satan wanted me to believe these lies so I would never discover the truth.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10 NIV)

Dear lovely one, if you are suffering the pain of rejection, please know that you are loved and chosen by God.

Although there will always be people in this life who reject us, our Heavenly Father never will. God sent His Son to die for our sins and prove His radical love for us.

Although going through a breakup is painful, it leads us to the most powerful truth in existence. God can use rejection to point us to the One who will always love us. Jesus is our eternal bridegroom, and He is wild about us.

It doesn’t matter if you have an awesome love life or have failed at relationships. If you aren’t confident of your identity in Christ, you have nothing to stand on in a relationship.

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

Finding Hope in a Breakup

When I look back on the heartbreaks I’ve endured, I know it was worth it. I’ve grown as a person, and as a daughter of God. I also see how the Lord graciously protected me from harm by letting me experience heartbreak.

Every single trial leads us closer to victory. But we must choose to hold on and weather the storm.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

Right now I am so blessed to be engaged to the love of my life. Was the wait difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? A thousand times yes.

But I know I wouldn’t have met the one God prepared for me unless I pressed on and bloomed into the woman I am today.

Breakups are painful, but they are not the end of your story. If you allow Jesus to walk you through your pain, you will find meaning, identity, and a love that’s eternal.


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24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Today is a special day, lovely readers and followers. It’s my 24th birthday and I get to share it with you! I know there are so many ideas for birthday posts out there, but I hope this one will inspire and encourage you.

Today is a day of celebration, ice cream (hopefully), and reflection. I want to reflect on 24 life lessons I’ve learned over the years–but with a twist. These 24 nuggets of God-given wisdom will be spread out evenly in the categories of love, life, and faith. I hope you enjoy!

Love

1. Never settle for less than God’s best for you. The person you’re dating might be nice, but he’s not necessarily the right one for you.

2. Keep friendships as a healthy priority when you’re in a relationship. Good friends build you up, and without them, you won’t reach your full potential in life.

3. Never compromise who you are or your beliefs for another person. This applies to all relationships.

4.  Pray and do devotionals with your boyfriend/fiance/husband every day. God will move in amazing ways when you take the time to honor Him.

5. Planning a wedding is fun and an important step, but planning for your marriage is what really matters.

6. Be with someone who makes you laugh. Life is too short not to enjoy the adventure.

7. It’s never too late to honor God and yourself with purity. Don’t let any mistakes from the past hinder you. Everyone falls short in this area; however, everyone is redeemable.

8. Make Jesus your first love, and when you’re ready, He will lead you to the one you should marry. 

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Life

1. Take a moment to look up at the sunset or the stars in the night sky. It puts life into perspective.

2. Animals are one of the most precious gifts God has given us. Treat them with love and kindness and you will be blessed.

3. If you have a passion for something, then go for it. Maybe you’ll make money from it, maybe you won’t. At least you’ll be living your life with passion.

4. Live life with balance. Fruits and veggies are important, but so is pizza. Don’t argue with me here. I know what I’m talking about.

5. You can’t fail if you never stop trying. Keep moving forward. This nugget was inspired by the Disney movie, Meet the Robinson’s. You need to see this movie.

6. Quit comparing your life or “progress” with others. Live for God instead–it’s way more fulfilling.

7. You don’t need to have life all figured out upon graduating high school. Life is unpredictable, and that is what makes it so incredible.

8.  Learn to love yourself and focus less on your outward appearance. It only distracts you from the things that really matter.

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

Faith

1. God wants to build your character and your faith. Sometimes this will mean trials and stepping out of your comfort zone. This is hard, but so worth it.

2. Sometimes you will have doubts. That’s okay. The important thing is to tell God and keep seeking Him. Faith is found in the waiting.

3. Sometimes the best prayer is, “Jesus, I need you.”

4. The Word of God always has the final say. Don’t let lies from the devil or another person dictate your worth.

5. Don’t be afraid to dance and be wild and free in worship. David of the Bible gave his all to God, and so should we.

6. You’re never going to have Christianity all figured out. Just keep walking and keep growing.

7. You really can do anything through Christ. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

8. No matter who you are or what you’ve done, Jesus wants you. He died to save you from your sins. Jesus  wants to heal, restore, and love you to wholeness. 

24 Lessons on Love, Life, and Faith

There you go! Some life lessons from me to you. God is still working these lessons into my heart, and I’m so grateful. Do you have any nuggets of wisdom to share with me on my birthday? Please comment below!


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Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Online dating. It’s a term that causes controversy in the minds of many. We all know the horror stories of creepy online profiles and dates gone wrong.

However, I don’t think that online dating has a worse reputation among anyone than Christians. You might as well wear a cone of shame if you’re going to admit you’re on a dating app.

But what if it’s possible to meet a nice guy online who also happens to love Jesus?

Well, it actually is possible. I met my fiancé online last year, and even though it isn’t the most “romantic” way to meet a person, we couldn’t be any happier about our love story.

So what is better, traditional dating or meeting someone online? Can a Christian girl navigate the world of online dating in a Biblically sound way? Read on to explore this topic!

The Myth of Traditional Dating

A lot of times when I tell someone how I met my fiancé online, the standard reply is something like this: “that’s nice for you, but I prefer to meet someone the traditional way.”

It almost implies that meeting someone online is artificial, or that your relationship is less special if you first made contact behind a screen.

As a shameless lover of all things romantic, I get it. We all want the movie scene where two people stumble into each other and realize they have a spark. This does happen for some, but for most of us, it’s just a fantasy. 

There really is no “traditional” way to meet someone. Most people meet by social contacts. Work, school, church, and other social groups tend to attract those who are like us.

Even meeting my fiancé happened because I realized we already had social connections. Online dating tends to work this way, as the developers of these companies know that using your social media, location, and interests is going to bring you near people who are more like you.

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When you think about it, traditional dating is a vague term. What is traditional in today’s hookup culture definitely does not agree with dating practices 50 years ago. Tradition also varies by culture, ethnicity, and family.

Online dating is just another way of meeting someone. Although it carries its own unique risks, it’s kind of becoming a tradition of its own in this digital age.

Dating Wisely 

Instead of asking whether it is better to meet someone online or in person, the real question to ask is how do we date Biblically?

Worldly traditions and practices change constantly. We certainly do not “date” the same way as people did in Biblical times. In fact, the Bible says very little about dating and courtship.

The only way we can date Biblically is to date wisely. This applies to meeting someone in any given situation, including online.

If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you. (James 1:5 NIV)

God is the source of all wisdom, and He wants to bless us abundantly! Although we should consider the advice of those around us, we must remember that God’s Word is what ultimately stands true.

Letting God Lead 

When meeting someone online, it is always best to use Internet safety precautions and get to know the other person slowly. In fact, online dating can be a great way to ask a person some initial questions without being blinded by the attraction of seeing them in person.

When it comes to establishing a romantic relationship, it is wise to pray about standards such as purity, faith, commitment, integrity, and kindness. Everyone is different in what they are looking for in a person, but these core values are standards that should never be compromised.

Online Dating and the Christian Girl

Yes, it is difficult to find a nice Christian guy online, but meeting serious Christians is hard in any situation. Whether you choose to date online or meet someone in person is up to you, but it is important to be led by the Holy Spirit and sound Biblical wisdom.

Remember lovely one, the best love story is one that is led by the Author of love. Always trust in God’s timing and His ways. He will never let you down.

I charge you, O daughters of Jerusalem, Do not stir up nor awaken love Until it pleases. (Song of Solomon 8;4 NKJV)


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3 Myths About Purity (And the Freeing Truth)

There’s a girl driving by a church, shaking her head because she knows she’ll never fit in. She’s slept with more than just one guy, and is now too dirty to enter heaven. How could God ever want her when all she was good for was her body?

There’s a girl in youth group, pretending to have it all together. No one needs to know that she went just a little too far with her boyfriend. It was no big deal anyway. It was just a passionate make out session, right?

There’s a girl listening to a sermon on Sunday morning, nodding her head to the line about purity. She has been saving herself for marriage for over two decades now. She takes great pride in her purity, and knows it will bring her the reward of a good husband one day.

Do any of these girls resonate with you, lovely one? I know I can relate. The thing is, all three of these girls are buying into the myths about purity that have pervaded our culture.

It’s time to find the truth in God’s Word and be set free. It’s time to expose the 3 myths about purity, and discover what true purity really is.

Myth #1: Purity is Achievable 

Perhaps the biggest lie surrounding purity is that it comes from our own actions. That somehow, we can make ourselves pure if we act a certain way or abstain from certain things.

If this were true, then we wouldn’t need a Savior. The truth is, all of us give into issues with lust or sexual boundaries in some way–even if it’s just in our minds.

Purity encompasses more than just sex anyway. Sin is what makes us impure. And guess what? We’re all affected by it. Since the fall of man in the book of Genesis, we have all suffered from the stain of sin.

But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. (1 John 1:7 NIV)

When Jesus died on the cross, He sacrificed Himself to free us from all of our sins. We are cleansed only by the power of His blood, not by our own actions.

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Myth #2: Sex is Not Sacred

Another myth about sex is the idea that sex itself is impure or dirty. Just the mention of the word makes us blush, right?

But the  truth is that sex is pure, beautiful, and sacred–in the covenant of marriage.

That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh. (Genesis 2:24 NIV)

God ordained marriage so that a man and a woman could become one in every way, including physically. Sex is for more than just procreation, although that is miraculous in itself. Sex is an expression of powerful love and bonding reserved exclusively for marriage.

God isn’t withholding sex from us because He wants to ruin our fun. He is a good Father who loves His children, and He wants what’s best for us. It can definitely be hard to wait, especially in modern culture. But it’s worth it. 

The world wants to sell us a cheap counterfeit of sex with no limits, but this is damaging. We all know of the consequences of premarital sex. Saving yourself for a loving, Godly marriage will be way more fulfilling than the counterfeit the world has to offer.

Myth #3: Sexual Sin is Unforgivable 

The final myth about purity that needs to be exposed is that once you’ve had sex, or lusted in any way, that you’re beyond redemption.

We tend to treat sexual sin as if it were the worst sin to commit, when in reality, sin is sin. Yes, sexual sin does have earthly consequences that are painful, such as emotional trauma or damaged marriages.

But no matter what you’ve done, you are never beyond God’s salvation. Jesus doesn’t want your perfection. He wants you to submit your life to Him and let His love transform you.

…while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good. (Titus 2:13-14 NIV)

Remember those three girls you first read about? It doesn’t matter which one you’ve identified yourself with.  As a daughter of God, you have been called to find yourself in in His Son. The world can never take your purity away when it’s rooted in Jesus.

purity rooted in Jesus

Purity isn’t a chore, and it isn’t something than can be achieved. It does not bring us the reward of a future spouse, nor does it condemn us forever. When we choose to fully give our lives to Christ, we then discover what purity really is–a life surrendered to God.


For more on purity, check out this awesome post by blogger, Ashleigh Rich! 

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

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