Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: depression (page 2 of 6)

How to Find Your Self Worth

This is going to sound totally cliché, but I had a real “God moment” at Chick Fil A a couple of weeks ago.

While I waited for my food, I noticed an older woman sitting in a wheel chair. My heart just melted. For some reason she reminded me of my grandma, who passed away last year.

The woman and I introduced ourselves and discussed flowers. As I was leaving the restaurant, she said something that caught me off guard:

It’s nice to know you. 

How many people do we meet everyday, yet we don’t even really know or see their worth? 

At that moment, when I looked into the woman’s dark yet vibrant eyes, I realized how important it is to actually be known by someone. To slow down and look at a person’s face and take it all in. To find out that their favorite flower is a purple cone flower.

If you want to know the key to finding your self worth, then please keep reading. 

Worth in Creation

There are a lot of people who are lost, not realizing their identity and worth in Christ. I know this because I was that person. As a teenager I didn’t feel like anyone saw me–unless they were looking at my flaws.

I know I’m not the only one who understands these feelings. Many teens and adults have experienced this. Maybe even you, lovely reader.

“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” (Jeremiah 1:5 NIV

It still blows my mind to know that God created me and set me apart–and it was for His own will and pleasure! You are not an accident, lovely one. No matter what anyone else says–whether they are a parent, friend, or someone else close to you–you matter.

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

Not only are we created by God, but He thinks we’re awesome! Although we are sinners, as soon as we come to know Christ, we are washed clean by His blood. This is when we can shine God’s light and see what He sees in us.

Worth in Relationship

“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—” (John 10:14 NIV)

When we choose to follow Jesus, we enter into a relationship with Him that is more dynamic than we could ever fathom. Not only does God know us, but now we can get to know Him.

And that’s not all. Through this lifelong journey, we can also get to know ourselves. We can discover our strengths, weaknesses, and talents. We can watch God’s purpose for our lives unfold as we build a life with Him.

The only way you’ll ever find your worth is if you find yourself in Jesus. You won’t find it in earthly things like work, success, or relationships.

God knows you, and He wants every single piece of your heart. It’s amazing when somebody knows you, but there is nothing like being known by the King who created you. 


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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!

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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! 

What Suicide Can Teach Us About Being a Light

Some of you may be surprised how hard I’ve been hit by the tragic news of the suicide of Chester Bennington, the lead singer of the band Linkin Park. This was a band I listened to during my adolescence, a time of turmoil and angst like it is for many other teens. I didn’t really know the Lord during my early teens, and so secular music was all I listened to. This was a band that helped me through some pretty rough times.

Suicide Affects Everyone

Chester Bennington died in a tragic way that no one should ever have to experience. He committed suicide. He hanged himself. Sounds pretty heavy, right? Not something we tend to talk about in prayer circles or Sunday breakfast clubs.

And that’s exactly what’s wrong with our culture.

Bennington is not the only celebrity to suffer from depression and commit suicide. Think of Robin Williams, Kurt Cobain, or L’Wren Scott.  Think of the rise in Christian pastors  struggling with depression and suicide.

Suicide isn’t just something that happens to “really messed up” people. It happens to our neighbors, our pastors, our friends, and our family. And now with shows like 13 Reasons Why, suicide and self-harm is more glamorized than ever. Suddenly young people are becoming desensitized to the consequences of these actions. After all, what harm could it be if all of the celebrities and cool TV characters are doing it?

The most important thing to remember is that suicide is never an isolated incident. We all feel the ripple effects, whether we are close family, a neighbor, or a fan of the person’s art. Suicide affects everyone.

The Calling

If there’s one thing I’ve noticed, it’s that after a celebrity or prominent person of society dies or commits suicide, suddenly everyone decides that now is the time to reach out and show their love. I’m not saying that it is bad to pay your respects when someone dies, or that it means you didn’t do anything to help when they were alive. But if you take a moment to search Chester Bennington’s name in Twitter, you will find an outpouring of love and concern that you just normally wouldn’t see.

The question I’m wondering is, why can’t we always be like this?

You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5: 14-16 NIV)

 

As Christians, we have an amazing calling. We are called to be lights in this dark world. Imagine a world where every Christian encouraged at least one person every day. Instead of just waiting for tomorrow, why aren’t we expressing our love for one another right now? Why aren’t we forgiving one another and expressing our love today?

I don’t say this to be critical. I say this because I know I need it too. One of Linkin Park’s latest songs is called One More Light, and I find it to be a song of both sadness and inspiration. It’s a wake-up call, for you and for me.

Becoming The Light

I struggled with depression in high school and college, especially when my chronic health issues developed. Thankfully I have been healed of it by God’s grace, therapy, and supportive family and friends. But I still remember how the darkness haunted me. I wasn’t pulled as deep into the shadows as some people are, but I know enough to realize that we can’t ignore this issue any longer.

We don’t have to wait until another person commits suicide to start caring about the depressed and those struggling with mental health issues. We don’t have to wait until one more light goes out before we do something. You and I can be a light for Jesus right now, and it doesn’t have to be difficult. Just find one person to encourage today.

Find one person and tell them that they matter. Because every soul matters to God, and He wants their light to shine eternally.


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

Note: If you or someone you know is depressed or feels suicidal, please contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. You don’t have to fight this alone. 

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When You Feel Far From God

When I was a sophomore in high school, I got into a huge fight with my best childhood friend. We didn’t speak for a month, but one day, near the end of the school year, I broke down and sent her a text asking her to meet me by “the wall.”

I stood alone at our usual social spot, biting my nails and trying to think of something to say–maybe even to make her feel bad. However, I couldn’t even remember what our fight had really been about.

When I saw her walking toward me, something in my heart melted. This was my friend–my sister. I dropped my bag and went running to meet her,  as she did me. We embraced then, crying and laughing as forgiveness overflowed between us.

When I think about this incredible moment and life lesson, I am reminded that this is what God is all about. Sometimes we have seasons in our lives when we feel far from God. Maybe we’ve screwed things up or went through a hard time emotionally. Whatever the cause, these seasons leave us feeling dead spiritually.

Maybe this is you right now, lovely reader. Maybe you feel distant from God, or maybe you’ve never known Him because you think there’s no way you could ever be loved or forgiven by Him. Don’t worry, you’re in good company. I’ve been there too, and so have many others.

In Luke 15:11-32, the Bible tells us the story of the lost son, which is used as a beautiful metaphor of a child who has wandered away from God.

After the son in this story ran off with his dad’s money and basically spent it all on partying, a realization dawned on his heart.

 After he had spent everything, there was a severe famine in that whole country, and he began to be in need. (Luke 15:14 NIV)

…and he began to be in need. 

Are you in need, lovely reader? Have you done all that you can by your own strength, or sought after the approval of those around you? Are you still coming up empty inside?

So he got up and went to his father. “But while he was still a long way off, his father saw him and was filled with compassion for him; he ran to his son, threw his arms around him and kissed him.

“The son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’

 “But the father said to his servants, ‘Quick! Bring the best robe and put it on him. Put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Bring the fattened calf and kill it. Let’s have a feast and celebrate. For this son of mine was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.’ So they began to celebrate. (Luke 15:20-24 NIV)

…But while he was still a long way off…

When I saw my friend in the hall that day, I didn’t wait until she met me at the wall. Instead I took off running to meet her, love driving my feet toward her.

It may feel like you have a long way to go in order to be right with God, but that’s not the truth. Jesus paid it all for your sins on the cross (John 3:16) to get you back.

The only thing you need to do to have a relationship with Jesus is repent (apologize and turn away from your sins) and believe in His death and resurrection (Romans 10:9). If you take the first steps and open your heart, God will meet you with a feast of love and joy. It’s what He wants the most.

So what are you waiting for, lovely reader? Drop your baggage and start running toward Jesus. No matter how lost you feel right now, He will make sure you are found. 

He will lead you home. 


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To Make His Love Known~My Recovery From An Eating Disorder

I’ve been wringing my hands with the urge to write this for the past few months, but to be honest, I never thought I’d muster up the courage to. My name is Emily, and God has set me free to recover from an eating disorder.

Okay, now that I can breathe again, I think you should know why it’s even relevant that I would share such intimate details of my life with you. I believe in obedience to God. I know that He has great plans for me, and I’ve also learned that He uses the pain from our past to help heal the wounds of others.

With the encouragement of my mom and other family and friends, I am finally sharing why I believe so strongly in telling other women about their beauty and worth in Christ.

Growing up, I had a lot of issues with self confidence. It didn’t help that in high school I developed chronic health issues that are difficult for others to understand. I’ve always been a bit different, but instead of embracing who I was in God, it made me feel depressed and anxious.

When you combine that with digestive issues that make eating difficult, food starts to become the enemy. Every bite makes you nervous about how you’ll feel after you consume it. No matter what you do, the lies from the enemy inside your head remind you that you’re never good enough anyway.

We live in a world dominated by the media telling girls and women what we should look like. Be thin, but have curves. Have flawless skin, that’s neither too pale nor too dark. Be the image of perfection that cannot exist in a human being.

Even though I’ve always been thin, it hasn’t immunized me against the effects of these messages. Truthfully, my lowest weight had nothing to do with my eating disorder. During my second year of college, I developed hyperthyroidism. I lost ten pounds and was always weak and tired. I thought I was dying.

As I became healthier and went back to my normal weight, I found myself being challenged by body image, food, and the lies that pervade our society. That’s when three revelations dawned on me:

1. Weight doesn’t really change the things in life that are beyond my control. It also doesn’t make me more worthy or lovable.

2. Eating might always be challenging for me because of my IBS, but food has never been, and never will be, the enemy. 

3. I can’t live a life that’s fully surrendered to God while holding on to my eating disorder. 

While those first two truths are extremely valuable, number three has been the key to my freedom. A year ago,  I made the decision to really recover while at Winter Camp with the youth group I help lead. Although I was eating like a normal person, my heart and mind still weren’t in the right place. I wasn’t all-in.

It was at this camp when I felt and saw Jesus move in incredible ways. I helped students come to know the Lord and saw young women and men devote their lives to God with such passion that I wanted it too. So I surrendered–right there in the crowd of hundreds of students. I quietly sobbed and told Jesus that He could finally have all of me. I wouldn’t hold back anymore.

It’s been a full year now since this decision, and I’ll tell you that though recovery is hard, it was so worth it. Though I still have IBS, it is better managed and I can embrace food again. I have found my identity and worth in Christ, and it has changed the way I see myself and others.

Although I still struggle with depression and anxiety at times, I no longer feel held captive to those dark emotions. God has lifted that weight off of my shoulders. I have a long way to go with self confidence, but I’m growing. I’m blooming.

What I want my girls out there to know–whether you’re a friend, family, a student, or a reader who has just stumbled upon my blog–is that you’re beautiful. You don’t have to change your size or the food you eat to make yourself feel worthy of love. God has always seen your worth.

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)

I also want you to know, lovely one, that if you’re struggling with an eating disorder–or any other kind of mental or emotional battle–that you need to speak up! The devil wants to lock you in a box of shame, but God has come to set you free.  Please tell a pastor, counselor, parent, or call a hotline. You are not alone in this fight.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NIV).

The only way we can help change the world is by letting God have control of our own lives first. The love of Jesus is the only perfect love that exists, and what I want more than anything is for everyone reading this to experience this freeing love. I want it to crash over you and cleanse every part of your life.

Lovely reader, I want you to be filled to the brim with the love of God, so that you can pour it out on this thirsty and broken world. That is why I shared my story.

This is my purpose–to be loved by God and to make His love known. 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)


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