Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: grace (page 1 of 4)

The Secret to Finding True Strength

I’ve never thought of myself as a strong woman. I’m not too physically strong, and I’m definitely emotionally sensitive. People have often seen me as delicate, which is a wonderful feminine quality the Lord gave me.

However, the way I view strength started to change the week my Grandpa was dying in the hospital. He fell down a flight of stairs and suffered a brain bleed. He was in a coma, and passed away after four grueling days.

My aunt and I were in the hospital hallway when she told me that I was strong. Somehow, I managed to keep calm in the chaos. I helped whenever I could and was always there to hold my grandpa’s hand.

Inside, I just wanted to curl up and forget this nightmare was even happening.

Truthfully, the only way I was strong enough for this was through my faith. And that’s when I realized that if I wanted to become strong, I had to seek something beyond myself.

The Pride of Our Strength 

As human beings, we tend to hide behind our strengths. We take pride in being physically strong, or emotionally tough. We revel in our intellectual strengths or our resourcefulness.

Our human strengths are nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, they should be celebrated. God has given all of us unique abilities and strengths. For some, it’s easier to see what they excel at, while others carry a more quiet strength.

The problem isn’t with our strengths, but when we hide behind them. When the focus in on being the strong one, sometimes we lose vulnerability. And without vulnerability, we lose the ability to let people in.

Not only does a lack of vulnerability shut others out, but it also prevents us from intimacy with God. Christianity is more than just a religion, it’s a relationship with a Savior who wants to transform our hearts.

When we hide behind our strengths, we become prideful. Pride prevents us from seeing our sin and repenting.

Pride brings a person low, but the lowly in spirit gain honor. (Proverbs 29:23 NIV)

The only way we can let go of our pride and become vulnerable with Jesus is when we come out from hiding behind our strengths.

Out of Hiding

The problem with coming out of hiding is that it exposes our weaknesses. I know, that’s a word none of us like to hear. Weakness is associated with failure and not being good enough. These are the deepest fears of most individuals, so why would we want to expose them?

The thing about Jesus is that He wants our weaknesses. He wants us to let Him into our ugly parts and sinful messes. He already knows them anyway, so why are we hiding?

Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (Genesis 3:8 NIV)

Ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, we’ve been trying to hide from God. Instead of coming to Him for help when we mess up or rebel, we run and hide, which only makes our failures worse.

Everyone has weaknesses, and none of us are without sin (1 John 1:8). When we hide ourselves from Jesus, we miss out on the opportunity to have a relationship with our Lord that is full of love and freedom.

The Power of Weakness

Our human strength is weak in comparison to the strength of God. Although we may give off the appearance of having it all together, eventually our weaknesses catch up with us.

But what if I told you that the secret to your greatest strength is found in your weaknesses? You would probably think I’m crazy, but this truth isn’t from me. It’s from God.

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

The Secret to Finding True Strength

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)

When we let go of the lie that we are strong enough to handle everything life throws our way, we make room for the Holy Spirit to display the power of God in our lives.

Letting go of our pride and choosing Jesus as our strength gives us a supernatural ability we could only dream of. This strength has nothing to do with our own abilities, but the endless ability of God to work miracles in us and through us.

The strengths God gives us are not even about us. Although we all want to feel capable and self-confident, there’s something so freeing about giving Jesus all the glory.

As daughters of God, our strength should be one of beauty, quietness, meekness, and humility. Our strength should reflect the resurrection power of Jesus Christ, a gift the world can never take away.


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

(Photography by Unsplash)

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

signature

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.

(Like this post? SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL for more!)

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.


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

(Photography by Adarsh Ik and Jay Ma)

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

signature

The Problem with Perfectionism

I was eating lunch with my mom on a beautiful Saturday afternoon when I broke down. The pressures had been building up all week–school, friends, family, writing. Even everyday things or my own thoughts made me feel like I was about to crack.

No matter what, I couldn’t shake the thought out of my head that I wasn’t good enough. I wasn’t talented, smart, or pretty enough. I place so many unrealistic expectations on myself that I would never put on anyone else. It’s what fueled my struggle with an eating disorder when I was younger.

But I know I’m not alone in this struggle, lovely one. The problem is perfectionism and it needs to be unraveled and seen for what it truly is–the need for something greater than ourselves.

The Lie of Perfectionism  

I have yet to meet a perfect person. I’ve met people who seem perfect or who share doctored up photos of a perfect life on social media (I’m guilty of it too).

But when you actually get to know someone and break through their mask, you see that this person is a human being–filled with struggles, sin, fears, and hurt.

During Biblical times, there were groups of people called Pharisees who kept up the appearance of perfection with a bunch of rules and regulations. Meanwhile, they were shaming everyone around them while letting sin reign in their hearts. Jesus called them out on this.

‘ “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.’ (Matthew 23:27-28 NIV)

If Jesus were walking in the flesh today, He would see a lot of Christians who look like these “whitewashed” tombs. We can pretend to be perfect to others. Maybe we can even fool ourselves into thinking we have our lives together. But God sees us for who we really are. We can’t hide from Him.

Perfectionism vs. Authenticity

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:8-9 NIV)

God doesn’t want a “perfect looking” son or daughter. He wants our real, authentic selves. The Bible reminds us that none of us are without sin–no matter how much good we do. No one is perfect.

Repentance is all about bringing your authentic self to God–humbly and sincerely. It’s about letting go of our sin and shame, because it was already destroyed when Jesus died on the cross.

If we could be perfect on our own, then we wouldn’t need a savior. We need to stop striving and accept the free gift that Christ paid the price to give us.

Perfect Grace 

The most dangerous thing about perfectionism is that it keeps us focused on ourselves for too long. When you live your life for Jesus, it’s not about you anymore. It’s about His glory.

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)

Even the great apostle Paul wasn’t perfect. He dealt with issues just like the rest of us. But instead of punishing himself for not being good enough, he turned to the only one who is good enough.

Jesus is God, and He is also the only perfect person to walk the earth (John 1:14). When we surrender our weaknesses to Him, we give Him the proper place in our lives as Lord and Savior.

This is called grace. 

Perfectionism-Jesus is enough

Christ is not glorified in our self-righteousness or worldly success. It is only when we are broken and weak that people can truly see the Savior work in us.

I’ll admit that surrendering to grace is still a struggle for me. It was on that lunch date with my mom that I finally came to the end of myself.

I realized something so important, that in fact, it’s the basis of salvation. I am not good enough. But Jesus is more than good enough, and He will always be enough for me.

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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

signature

How to Find Healing In a Sick World

Yesterday was one of the those days where I just couldn’t win. No matter what I did, I could barely get out of bed. Walking was difficult and concentrating took all of the energy I had. My body refused to cooperate with my mind, but I still pressed on.

This is my life with POTS right now. I say “right now” because I believe God’s healing power is at work in me. But I can’t deny the reality that although my body is healthy, it doesn’t work the way it should.

Isn’t it strange how when you’re sick, the feeling leaks into all areas of your life? Work and school become difficult. Your mood tanks, and you stop feeling like yourself.

Unfortunately, there is an illness affecting all people around the world that can hurt our lives far more than any physical ailment.

The Sickness

The crown has fallen from our head; woe to us, for we have sinned! For this our heart has become sick, for these things our eyes have grown dim, (Lamentations 5:16-17 ESV

Sin. It’s the word no one wants to talk about–except for the sweaty preachers yelling about it from the pulpit. But when you really stop and think about it, sin is the cause of the major ills of society.

Wars, mass shootings, racism, dishonest companies–and more. We all see it in the news. It’s obvious we, as human beings, have a problem.

We’ve become so consumed by greed, lust, and hatred, that we don’t even see the wickedness taking root in our hearts.

The Cure

I know I just painted a gloomy picture in your mind, but there is hope in the midst of all this pain. There is a cure for sin, and His name is Jesus.

If we call on the name of Jesus, the Son of God, and honestly turn our hearts away from sin, we will be forgiven and restored!

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9 NIV)

God takes us in His loving arms and places us on the right path again. He helps us see our sickness and restores us to spiritual health.

Sometimes we get so lost in our sin that we can’t even remember what it feels like to be healthy and alive spiritually. But there is healing in Christ, and all we have to do is ask for it and believe.

The Healing 

Although God frees us from sin and condemnation with His grace, we’re not perfect in this life and we still live in a world scarred by sin. Even though as a believer we are made new, we still suffer from temptations, mental health issues, and physical pain and sickness.

How do we experience healing when we live in a spiritually sick world?

When I was at church last Sunday, I found myself unable to stand during worship. The dizziness was pulling me down and I felt too weak to fight it. I’m only 23 years old, and I could have easily let this make me feel bitter and depressed (and I’ll admit that sometimes it does).

But while we were singing about victory in Christ, I couldn’t help but smile as God whispered these words into my heart.

Praise brings healing

I can still praise from here. 

When depression, anxiety, bad news, or sin makes you feel trapped, remember that nothing can rob you of your praise! The devil wants to take you to your knees and make you believe that you have lost.

But you haven’t lost, lovely one. You can still praise. No matter where you’re at–whether on top of a mountain or crumpled on the floor–you can still pour out your heart to God.

The key to healing spiritually is not found in your own strength. It can only be revealed when you pour out your praise, and in return, let the love of Jesus fill your heart.

But I will hope continually, And will praise You yet more and more. (Psalm 71:14 NKJV)

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

I also want to give a shout out to Owen Wolf for giving me the inspiration to write this post. You are so encouraging!

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

signature

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. 


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL so you never miss a post!

« Older posts
%d bloggers like this: