Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: eating disorders

The Mask Effect

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Isn’t it funny how we fill our Instagram and Facebook feeds with pictures of our food or pets? We photograph and write about our lives for the sake of a like or follow.

Okay, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. The truth is that we do like the attention (even I do). We like how social media can turn us into little online celebrities. However, sometimes scrolling through these sites for too long can make me feel depressed and shrink away my confidence. Do you ever feel that way, lovely reader?

What is the problem here? The cause of our social media induced anxiety is what I like to call the “Mask Effect.”

Online, we can be whoever we want to be. We can post nothing but the highlights of our lives (which we often do). We can edit our photos to give us the “perfect body,” or only post pictures of salads and kale smoothies for dinner (when most of the time we eat PB&J and pizza, right?).

We create a little utopia for ourselves, only the problem is, we’re not really living this out in real life. After all, no one is perfect.  The psychology term for this is cognitive dissonance.

I’m not saying social media is all bad, but it has become a mask to hide our true selves. We all want to feel worthy and loved, and social media seems to be our outlet for this. Social media is fun and useful. As a blogger, I use it frequently! But in order to utilize it in a healthy way, we need to recognize that our self-worth does not come from other people’s approval.

The only true source of self-worth and love can come from Jesus. He is the well that never runs empty.

Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:13-14 NKJV).

When we seek after the things of this world, like approval from people, we can never be truly satisfied. Only God can satisfy us with a love that never fails. 

Life is a balance. Enjoy your social media, but remember that’s not all life is about. Keep your heart and mind focused on God, and you will find true peace and joy that can never be taken away.

I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope (Psalm 16:8-9 NKJV).


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Enough

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You are enough
To dance without a care,
And breathe in a new day.

To wear that dress
And love the way it wraps
Around every single curve.

To cry and scream
And let the feelings wash in like the tide,
Only to drift away again.

To eat that cake
And fill your body with energy,
As your soul fills with joy.

To put that razor blade down
And remember that God is there
To hold your trembling hands.

To get some rest
And let your mind fall
Into a fairy tale web of dreams.

You are enough
For the Savior to take nails in His hands
And trade them for your scars.

For God to give His Son’s life
To make you a daughter.

You are beautiful
You are loved
You are enough.

~Written by Emily @fearfullywonderfullyme.com.

Please feel free to comment and share! I only ask that you link back to my blog for credit 🙂

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Hope–A Letter to Myself at 16

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Dear Emily at Sixteen,  

Hey girl, it’s your twenty-one going on twenty-two year old self–the “older, wiser self” you’ll constantly wonder about in the future. I just want you to know that it’s okay, you’re going to make it.

That boy you love–the one you’re clinging on to so desperately–he will shatter your heart into a million little pieces. It’s okay; it will hurt more than anything you’ve felt in a long time, but you will be okay. There is beauty in the breaking, and in it you will find true love and life. And yes, you will fall in love again. And you will get your heart broken–a few times actually. You’ll also be the heart breaker, and you will learn that love is rarely a fair game of give and take.

It’s worth it though–never regret falling in love. It’s the closest we can get to the moon and stars without actually being in heaven.

This coming year will be one of the most difficult years of your life so far. That seed of low self-esteem will sprout into a hatred you thought could never happen. Suddenly the mirror will become the enemy, and so will every single bite you take.

Little girl I wish I could stop this. Letting this happen is the one thing I regret in my twenty-one years of stupid mistakes. Instead of viewing your body as a temple, you will see it as dirty, too fat, too skinny, too weak, too ugly, and not ever enough.

And it won’t be enough. It won’t be enough to keep him around. It won’t be enough to make you popular, or better than your friends. It won’t be enough to make your father put you first again. Little girl you can’t change people, and you can’t stop the world from breaking your heart. For the next four years you will feel inadequate, but then something beautiful will happen.

This beautiful thing is already unraveling inside of you. As you lie awake at night over the next few years, crying and feeling swallowed up by the whole universe, you will feel that gentle pull. Even when you want nothing more than to just escape and end the pain and anxiety, you’ll know you’re not alone. As you lie awake, crying out to God, you will start to feel His presence. Hold on to this with everything in you. Hold on to this hope, because it’s the only foundation that won’t let you down–even when everything else does.

This hope and your desperate longing for something more will lead you to the doors of a wonderful church. It will be a battle, but eventually you will find out how much God truly loves you. All those days and nights of feeling numb and you wondered, am I alone? You’re not alone. Jesus loves you just as you are. Nothing you’ve done can make Him love you any less. He died so you could know that–plain and simple.

Bit by bit, as time goes on, you will learn to surrender to God’s incredible love. This will hurt at times, as He will demand more out of you than you are willing to give. Slowly you will learn to give Him your trust, your insecurities, your relationships, your fears, and all that comes with your old life.

I’m not going to lie–the depression still creeps up sometimes, and anxiety will still cage your heart and mind like wings wrapped around too tight. But God is there, and you will get through it. 

You will see your dad again. You will be scared, you will cry, and you will fight. But you will also laugh, give, and love. He’s still the same as always, but your heart will finally be released from any guilt or anger.

Emily, I am writing this to make peace with you. It feels like we’ve been waging a war with each other for far too long. I just want you to know that you are beautiful. You always have been, and you always will be. Soon you will come to realize that true beauty is the essence of a woman’s spirit. 

Emily it’s not your fault when people hurt you. We are all flawed, and people make mistakes. It is theirs’ to own–not your’s. Forgive them and move on; maybe you will have to move on without them, but it will be okay.

Emily you have a future. Life will always be a bit scary and unknown, but that’s all part of the adventure.

Here’s what I want you to remember. Love others, and give them your time to help them. This will bring you the greatest joy. Go through the hard times. They will mold you and shape you, and continue to build your faith. Cherish your family, because people are fragile and this life with them won’t last forever.

Be yourself, and know that it’s okay to love Disney, collect dolls, and do yoga at ten o’clock at night. Never stop writing, but let the Lord help your words blossom onto each page. Most of all, hold on to your faith. It will take you to places you could never even dream of. Remember that God loves you and is holding your hand, and He never lets go.

Love, Emily.


Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share. I only ask that you link back to my blog for credit 🙂

This is one of the most difficult pieces of writing I have ever shared. But it is so worth it! I hope my words speak to each one of you lovely readers, no matter how young or old you may be. You are beautiful and you are loved by the One who created the heavens and the earth. 

 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:11-13 NIV). 

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Worthy or Not?

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Sinner. Bad. Weak. Ugly. Stupid. Dirty. Either we have had these words hurled at us by others, or we have given at least one of them to ourselves. If you are anything like me, then you are one of the many Christians who battle low self-esteem or self hatred.

However, this isn’t working. As Christians we are told to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength–and to love our neighbor as ourselves (Luke 10:27).

How can we love others the way Christ does if we can’t even like ourselves?

So many issues that people, especially teens, face today reflect our failure to see ourselves the way God does. Depression, eating disorders, self-harm, addictions, sexual promiscuity, and other unhealthy behaviors often stem from a root of self hatred. We don’t see ourselves as good or worthy of love, so how can God love us?

First of all, God really does love you.

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life (John 3:16 KJV).

It does not surprise God that we aren’t perfect. He knows we screw up. He knows we make mistakes, and that we can’t possibly save ourselves. The Old Testament laws only served to remind humanity that we are inadequate on our own; we need a Savior.

God gave us His perfect, sinless Son Jesus Christ as payment for our sins and short-comings. Now even though Jesus is perfect and lived a sinless life, that doesn’t mean He can’t understand our imperfections. Jesus was tempted in every way we are (Hebrews 4:15), so He totally understands our weaknesses.

Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new (2 Corinthians 5:17).

Okay, so I’m a new creation in Christ now that I’ve accepted Him as my Savior. So why aren’t I perfect now? Here’s the thing–as Christians, we will still struggle with sin. In fact, the struggle might seem even worse as our hearts are convicted by the Holy Spirit.

Don’t worry. God knows this, and we are still covered by the blood of Jesus. All of our sins–past, present, and future–are covered by the blood of Jesus. This is not an excuse to go on sinning without a care, but it gives us the freedom to walk in the righteousness of Christ.

We are God’s children. You are His precious child. He knows you and loves you. He thinks you’re beautiful.  Even though you still struggle with sin, even though society tells you that you’re not enough, even though life can be hard, God loves you and nothing else can change this.

God’s love is relentless. 

You are worth it to God. You are worth being here. Once you believe that Jesus died for your sins and you surrender your life to Him, God gives you a new heart that is like His.

A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26).

Even though our flesh may fail, God knows our hearts. As long as we repent and have faith, He will forgive. The power of Jesus’ blood is greater than any sin we could ever commit. We are no longer stained or in bondage by our past mistakes. Instead we need to walk in the freedom that is made possible by what Jesus did for us!

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

Just a reminder! This weekend I will be at winter camp with my church’s youth group, so there will be no post on Friday. Please pray for our trip, and that the students experience God in miraculous ways!

Don’t forget to join the #GoLoveSomeoneChallenge on Instagram (@fearfullywonderfullyme)!

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