Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: faith (page 1 of 12)

How a Season of Growth Can Transform Your Faith

It was one of the most vivid dreams I have ever had. And believe me, I dream of some crazy stuff. I rolled the ankle of my jeans up to reveal tiny green stems with leaves sprouting from my legs.

Yes, lovely reader, I was Groot (any Guardians of the Galaxy fans out there?). I was seriously freaked out by this dream, and paranoid that I really would become some sort of plant woman. This was only a few months ago, but I had forgotten about it until spring came with its budding trees.

For me, this dream represents growth. Growing is never easy, and something that all of us fear at some point in our lives. Growth involves change and stepping out of our comfort zones.

Growth strips us of our safe hiding places and reveals our hidden nature. It breaks and rebuilds. It tears apart and transforms. For more on what God has taught me in this season of growth, please read on.

Growth is Painful, but Powerful

Growth hurts. Just ask any pregnant woman, and they will tell you the discomfort and pain that comes along with a growing baby stretching out in the womb.

As human beings, we want to do things the easy way. However, masterpieces are created with time and effort. And the truth is that you are God’s masterpiece (Ephesians 2:10). 

In order to grow and pursue the awesome calling God has for your life, sometimes you have to let God refine you. This will hurt, and it may even feel like the Lord is disciplining you. However, God is helping you grow as a person by stripping you of the things  that hold you back from Him.

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Sometimes we must be led to a place of need in order to completely surrender our lives to the only One who can truly transform us. In order to grow, we must be refined. This refining process removes the dirt and gunk clogging up our souls in order to reveal the gold.

See, I have refined you, though not as silver; I have tested you in the furnace of affliction. (Isaiah 48:10 NIV

Growth Takes Time

I frequently wish that Jesus would just perfect me this instant. That He would take away all of my failures, weaknesses, and temptations so I wouldn’t have to worry about them anymore.

But perfection in the the Lord’s eyes looks quite different from our expectations. Godly perfection requires growth, and growth takes time.

Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. (Philippians 3:12 NKJV)

We need to be patient with ourselves in order to nurture our spiritual growth and maturity. You can’t force a plant to bloom, and the same goes with people.

If we didn’t have any weaknesses, then we wouldn’t need Christ. His death and resurrection was a one time event made for all of time. When we learn to surrender our weaknesses to God, then we can lean on His strength and glorify His name. Once we realize that growth isn’t about us, but about Jesus and His plan, we will flourish spiritually. 

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. (2 Corinthians 12:9 NIV)

Growth Breaks Through Darkness

When a seed is buried in the ground, it is surrounded by darkness. Yet somehow, the water and nutrients from the soil help this seed to sprout and break through the ground–into the light.

Lovely one, have you felt surrounded by darkness lately? When plans don’t go our way or one of life’s storms hit, sometimes the darkness can leave us feeling lost and alone.

However, we are never alone. Just when we think we are without light–without hope–God shines a light into the darkness and helps us break through the soil of our circumstances.

The Love of Jesus Empowers Us to Grow in Grace

The dark times of life are some of the worst, and often times, people will shrink back. As believers in  Christ, we are called to press on in faith, even when we can’t see the way out. We must trust that God is nourishing and preparing us until we are ready for our breakthrough.

You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. (Psalm 18:28 NIV

The love of Jesus empowers us to grow in grace. And this grace helps us transform little by little into our highest calling–a child of the Most High God.


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(Photography by Adarsh Ik and Jay Ma)

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What Godly Confidence Really Looks Like

Nothing can squelch self-confidence like having health issues. Having physical limitations and not being like everyone else is hard. And it’s something I’ve struggled with for the last six years.

Although God has done tremendous healing in me and blessed me with excellent healthcare, there are still moments of struggle. One thing I choose not to do is drive. I have POTS and vertigo, which make driving uncomfortable.

I have some visual sensory issues and great anxiety with driving, and this has affected my confidence in significant ways. Not only is not being able to drive inconvenient, but it’s also a little embarrassing when you’re almost 24 years old and graduating from college. But it’s still my choice–at least for now.

The world preaches for us to have self-confidence, but what happens when that fails us? What happens when we screw up, or when the person we trusted wholeheartedly lets us down?

What I’ve learned over the past six years is that in order to have a lasting confidence, you must be rooted in God-confidence. Read on to find out what Godly confidence truly looks like.

Running to God

Where do you run to when you feel weak? Where do you turn to in times of trouble? As human beings, we tend to seek others for comfort and familiarity. This isn’t bad, as God created us to be relational people.

However, when we completely depend on others to make us feel good about ourselves, we turn into people-pleasers who can lean towards perfectionism.

“Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne? Though she may forget, I will not forget you! (Isaiah 49:15 NIV)

The thing is, people will let us down. Even those closest to us can wound us deeply, but the Lord never will. Jesus is always there for us and goes before us. Even though it may feel like we are alone, He never abandons us.

When we realize that we can always turn to God and that He is our refuge in times of trouble and pain, we develop strong confidence when life gets rocky.

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Godly Confidence

Confidence is rooted in trust. When we trust in the Lord, we know that our confidence will never be shaken.

I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” (Psalm 91:2 NIV)

Listening to God

It’s almost impossible to feel confident when people make you feel like you aren’t good enough, pretty enough, or smart enough. But I’ve come to realize that this will happen again and again.

Satan can even warp the words of those who love us to make us believe lies about ourselves. So who do we trust? Do we place our confidence in the words of others, hoping to hear nothing but positive things? Or do we turn elsewhere?

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” (Matthew 4:4 NIV)

A truly confident woman roots herself in the Word of God. The Bible will always be true and relevant to our lives, no matter how much time passes.

Just look at my past posts! Everything I write is based on what the Word of God says. He says we are loved, valued, redeemed, and set free. We have purpose. Anyone who tells you otherwise is going against the truth.

Instead of believing the lies of the world, root yourself in scripture. Your confidence will grow as you begin to speak the truth over your life.

Remembering God

When we feel like life isn’t going our way, it can zap the confidence right out of us. I know I hate feeling like I’ve lost control, but the truth is, it was never in my grasp to begin with.

In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps. (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)

Although we should have plans and goals for our lives, we need to remember that God is sovereign. When we forget that He is on the throne of our lives–and of the whole universe–then we start depending on ourselves.

We cannot create the perfect life for ourselves. Things happen that are beyond our control, and that can actually be for the better. Although I don’t always like having a chronic illness, my healing journey has increased my faith and led me closer to God and to people in ways I couldn’t imagine.

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. (Romans 8:28 NIV)

When we surrender our dreams and our will over to the God of all creation, we can rest peacefully and confidently knowing that we will be taken care of.

Jesus has called us into a great life. Yes, that does come with pain and struggle since we live in a fallen world. But it also comes with abundant blessings that can only come from confidence in God’s faithfulness.

I know that self-confidence will never last in the long run. The only true source of eternal confidence comes from running to God, soaking up His Word, and remembering that He is always faithful.

This, lovely one, is true confidence.


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How to Survive Politics as a Christian Woman

One Hot Mess

Last week for one of my classes, I underwent a media deprivation experiment. The goal was no TV, Internet, or news media (except for what was necessary), for four days. When the experiment was over, I realized something profound about today’s American culture.

We are a hot mess politically, and it’s driving us crazy.

It seems that in modern day society, if you’re not following the crowd on certain political stances or ideologies, then there’s something wrong with you. Just look at the Golden Globes and the Grammy Awards from this year. Everyone’s making a statement–to the point where it’s no longer about movies or music at all.

Now I’m not writing this to tell you what to believe, lovely reader. You can decide for yourself. And I’m certainly not suggesting that we stay silent on important political issues. On the contrary, Christians should be outspoken on issues such as abortion, sexual assault, and racism.

So how can Christian women find balance in this secular political climate? Here are 3 points to consider.

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Find the “Why” 

Everyone believes in something. And as Christian women, we believe that Jesus Christ is God and has died for our sins to save us from hell. He came as a man to usher in the greatest rescue mission the world has ever seen, so we can have eternal life with Him!

This should be our core foundation when we ask ourselves why we stand for a certain political party or ideology.

I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. (Revelation 3:15-16 NIV)

There are a lot of people who are “rebelling” against traditional values…to the point where they are becoming conformists! Most people are lukewarm about their beliefs because they are afraid of stirring the pot. But that’s not how Christians should be. It’s one thing to think critically on certain issues, however, our values must always be clear.

Another reason to know the why behind your beliefs is so that you can defend them.  If I say I’m pro-life but do not have any reason for it, then no one will care. Our why should be spiritual, as well as logical. Our beliefs about this world should reflect our belief in the hope of Jesus Christ.

Our beliefs should reflect the hope of Christ.

Be Kind

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect (1 Peter 3:15 NIV)

Although we must understand the reason for our beliefs and be able to defend them, we must do so with kindness. This world is full of division and hatred, even among Christians. However, we are called to gentleness and maturity in our conduct.

We must realize that no political party or ideology is perfect. We are human beings, so we tend to mess things up…a lot. Whether you are a Republican or Democrat, or something in between, please don’t fall into political idolatry.

It isn’t wise to enter a conversation with people of different political beliefs to try to change their minds (it doesn’t work anyway). Seek to understand them and their background. Ask God to help you empathize with them as you politely state your views. This will glorify God.

Seek Godly Wisdom

The Internet and cable news is filled to the brim with information trying to sway our beliefs. How on earth do we make a wise decision?

 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)

What an amazing gift! I think we tend to forget that God is our Father, and that we can climb into His lap and ask for His love and wisdom. Don’t put God into a box. He will guide you in all areas of life, including political beliefs.

One of the best ways to find wisdom is by reading the Bible. Scripture is full of wisdom on how to live a Godly life. Don’t know where to start? Try the book of Proverbs. Even if you read one chapter a day, in just a month you will gain a lot of Godly wisdom.

This world is full of ideas and beliefs–many of which are totally against God. Although we might not be able to disconnect from all media and news, we can find balance in politics. A woman of faith must walk in values, kindness, and Godly wisdom. If you strive for this, then you will not only survive politics, you’ll thrive.


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The Christmas Promise

Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill his promises to her!” (Luke 1:45 NIV)

Sometimes we go through difficulties or hardships that seem to never end. Maybe even our faith gets shaken, as we question whether God will create a breakthrough.

When Elizabeth saw the young, pregnant Virgin Mary walking down the road toward her home, I can only imagine what went through her mind. An angel of the Lord visited both women with the good news that they were supernaturally pregnant.

Elizabeth and her husband, Zechariah, had struggled with infertility their whole marriage, yet the Lord considered them righteous (Luke 1:6-7).

This is how the Bible shows us that even though the children of God are made righteous through His blood, sometimes bad things still happen. Sickness invades us, or loss afflicts us. But there is still hope for those who believe.

Suddenly, Elizabeth saw the grace of God when she became pregnant with the prophet John at such an old age. She also witnessed how God took a poor virgin girl from a no-name town, and made her the mother of Jesus Christ, the Messiah and Savior of the world.

All of her prayers were miraculously answered after all that time!

What promises are you looking for the Lord to fulfill? Is it healing from sickness? Is it to get married or have a child? Or is it to pursue a career goal or lifelong dream?

The promise I am currently waiting for is healing from chronic illness, and I know God is faithful. If He can do wonders in Elizabeth and Mary, surely He can still work miracles in me.

Keep believing, lovely one. There is blessing in the waiting.

the christmas promise

(Photo Credit)

 

Update on My Arm: I got my splint taken off on Wednesday! It feels so good to be out of it, but my arm is very stiff and weak. I am doing physical therapy at home, so please pray that I will gain strength and range of motion back.

Thank you so much for all of your support. I pray you all have a very merry Christmas!


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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How a Broken Arm Showed Me God’s Faithfulness

Happy Friday everyone! As many of you may know from my social media post, I have recently broken my arm and had to have surgery. Because of this, my posts have been more sporadic.

I’m going to start posting again, but a lot of them will be much shorter. I plan to write devotionals based on a single Bible verse for some inspiration during your holiday season.

An Unexpected Plot Twist

Have you ever felt consumed by life? I know I’ve felt that way before. The morning of my accident, I was getting out of the shower when I saw a large spider coming down from a web right next to my head.

Like any other sane human being, I freaked out, but tried to exit the bathroom as carefully as possible. Somehow I still managed to slip on water and fell, breaking the radial head on my left arm… which just happens to be my dominant arm.

My radius, which is one of the long bones in your arm, was completely broken off from my elbow. I had surgery and now have a piece of metal holding this bone to my elbow. I am now bionic woman! Recovery is challenging, that’s for sure. But I’m doing much better and will be getting the splint off next week.

Managing the pain, preparing for Christmas, and making up school work have all been hurdles. But the most tragic complication from this accident was that it took away my ability to write.

I have found creative ways such as talking into my phone…which is exactly how this blog post is being written. But it’s just not the same as actually writing things out. And of course, book editing is now on hold.

An Unexpected Lesson

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NIV)

Even though sometimes it feels like I’m being consumed by this injury, I realize that the Lord’s great love for me has sustained me. He has gotten me through so much, both in the hospital and at home. I know that He is healing me and teaching me lessons in faith and trust. I am also grateful for all that I have, since so many people are worse off.

God's faithfulness

Although being injured wasn’t a part of my holiday plans, God brought good out of it. I know that He did not want to see me suffer. Even though the enemy tried to hurt me, Jesus is using it for good. He is always faithful.

What about you, lovely reader? How have you seen God’s compassion and love in your life recently? As you look back on 2017, try to see the ways that God has been faithful to you.

It may just surprise you how some of the things that you thought were meant for your destruction actually ended up being God’s faithfulness in disguise.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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