Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: grace (page 2 of 4)

The God of Messy People

I felt like I was watching a reality TV show unfold right before my very eyes. I found myself glued to the window as a young woman was handcuffed and patted down right on my very street.

I live near a busy road and have seen many police stops. But never in my life have I witnessed someone being arrested–until now. It was kind of addicting, watching this woman being hauled off to jail. I felt awful, but I couldn’t pry my eyes away. I have no idea what she’d done, and it really wasn’t any of my business.

So why couldn’t I stop watching?

Eventually I went on with the rest of my day as usual. And that’s when God reminded me of something.

With Easter weekend just fading off of the calendar, images of the cross and Jesus’ death and resurrection are still fresh in many of our minds. However, I think that a lot of us tend to forget that our Lord and Savior died the death of a lowly criminal.

And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head. And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified. (Matthew 27:28-31 NKJV

Jesus was bruised, mocked, and beaten. He was stripped and humiliated. He was hung on the cross between two criminals.

Jesus took my place.

Jesus took your place.

Jesus took the place of the woman I’d seen being arrested.

Our God chose to die a lowly criminal’s death so we don’t have to. Even though we all mess up and sin, our eternity with God is secure if we believe in Jesus (Romans 10:9).

Watching that woman being arrested is a lot like the drama in our culture that most of us tend to feed off of. Things like reality TV, tabloids, and celebrity gossip. Can I get an amen, lovely reader?

As I started to ponder all of this, I wondered how I would have felt if I were in that woman’s place. Of course, I don’t know what she did, and I am thankful for our justice system for keeping us safe. But I wondered how humiliating it must have been for even a guilty person to be arrested in broad daylight in the middle of a quiet suburb.

And then I wondered how awful it must have been for our sinless and perfect Jesus to go through some of the roughest torture a prisoner could go through. I’m telling you, experiencing God’s selfless love will change your perspective on humanity. 

Though I am far from perfect, I am gratefully covered by God’s grace and freedom. And I want to extend this grace to all human beings, and sometimes this means putting my lust for entertainment aside in order to give a person going through a rough time their dignity.

We all tend to go about our lives, unaware or unsympathetic toward those who are lost and broken. But Jesus is always in the midst of these messy people, calling them His beloved children. And you know what? I’m so thankful God gets into the middle of my messy life to call me His daughter.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. (Philippians 2:3-4 NIV)


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Finding God in Our Problems

Happy Friday lovely readers and followers! Unfortunately I don’t have a fashion post for you today, but I am still rolling with the 30 Day Blog Challenge!

Today is Day 14: A problem you have or have had in the past.

If you read Wednesday’s post, then you know that I have recently opened up about my struggle with an eating disorder. I have been in recovery for a year now, and to be honest, I’m pretty sure it will be a lifelong thing. Although God has delivered me, I know that I need Him to keep me on the right path in my life.

A current problem that I’m facing would be fearing the unknown of my future. I have blogged about this before, and I know that it is something so many young adults struggle with. I still have doubts over my career choice as a counselor and whether I will be good enough at it. And I still don’t have a clue how to approach grad school. I’m trying to take things one day at a time right now, which is the way God wants me to think.

I believe everyone can relate to this in some way. How on earth do we solve all of these problems we face? How do we face all of the things in life that weigh us down? How on earth do we even approach God when all we have are issues?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. (Matthew 6:33-34 NIV)

Jesus is a present God. He is in the thick of our lives, however messy they may be. He is aware of all our needs, our struggles, and our fears. A lot of people view God as a relationship they can only attain once they become “perfect” or fix what is broken in their lives. But I’m telling you, that’s never going to happen.

But seek first his kingdom.

 I don’t think we realize just how powerful this is! You don’t need to have it all together to find God. He wants you for who you are right at this moment.

Are you depressed or anxious? God wants you. Do you struggle with body image issues or an eating disorder? God wants you. Are you facing an addiction or habitual sin? God wants you. Nothing can change the love God has for you. Nothing can get in the way of His beautiful grace.

Once we realize this, we can finally be set free from whatever it is that holds us back or causes us pain. Only when we realize God’s extravagant love for us can we be free from our sins. That’s why a relationship with Jesus is so important. If we don’t have that, then all we have is empty religion that tells us we need to be perfect without giving us a way.

Knowing how much Jesus loves me makes me feel beautiful. It makes me feel protected and safe–even when the world is scary and uncertain.  Knowing the love of my Savior makes me feel like no matter what problem I face, I will be okay.

Because I am God’s and He is mine.

Do you want this love, dear reader? I know that you do deep down. You know that you can’t solve your problems in your own strength. If you could, then you wouldn’t be reading this right now. It’s okay–God can make you whole. He can restore your life and future. And this is coming from a woman who knows what it’s like to be broken!

Surrender your life to Jesus. Tell Him that you believe He died for your sins on the cross. Believe in His loving sacrifice and you will be saved. You will be freed.

You will know your worth. And that, my friend, is the key to having peace in any situation.

 If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. (Romans 10:9 NIV)


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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Once Was Enough

My hands cramp up as I

Knit stitch after stitch,

Trying to form the perfect tapestry

Out of an imperfect heart.

It never ends

This cloak of guilt.

Day after day I punch the sky,

Trying to find a way out

A way to freedom.

 

My legs are on fire as I

Run in staggered steps,

My lungs constricted by the winter chill.

I don’t know what I’m running from,

But I can feel the weight of it

Reaching for me like a dense fog.

Day after day I collapse into its dark embrace,

Wondering if there’s a way out

A  way to deliverance.

 

Always I try

To do more good.

To beat the pressure

Of a soul that’s constantly thirsty.

 

Always I try

To fix each stitch.

To pull together

The yarns of my sin.

 

Always I try

To run a little farther.

To leave behind

My ghost stained past.

 

But the yarn is cold and metallic,

A binding chain wrapped around my wrists.

I’m running around in circles,

But getting nowhere.

 

And that’s when You lift up my face,

Reaching for my hands as my fingers

Slip through the holes in Your palms.

 

And that’s when You smile

With blood cracked skin,

Revealing the burden You’ve chosen to carry.

 

And  that’s when I set

My needles down.

The chains breaking

As the yarn of rituals unravel.

 

And that’s when my feet

Come to a stand still.

My breath coming back in waves

As I inhale the present.

 

And that’s when I see

The cross in the thicket

Of my messy life.

 

I drop to my knees knowing that

Once was enough.

 

You’ve always been enough.

 

Written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2016 ©


This is actually a poem that I am working on for my creative writing class. I wanted to share it with you, lovely reader, because I know what it’s like to struggle with guilt from the past. 

Sin has a way of trapping and isolating us. Even our well-intended mistakes as Christians can make us feel separated from God.

But God is a loving Father. You don’t have to keep trying to make up for your past sins. You don’t have to keep punishing yourself for your past.

Jesus died for your sins and faults. He was mocked, beaten, scourged, humiliated, and nailed to a cross to take YOUR place.  Why did He do this? Because God loves you. He loves you so much that He would, and has, gone to the most extreme measure to set you free.

It only took one sacrifice by our God on the cross to set us free. Once was enough. Now walk in this love.

 For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy (Hebrews 10:14 NIV).


Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

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Quote Challenge~Day 2 (James Dean)

Hello lovely readers and followers! It’s Day 2 of the Quote challenge–where I post my favorite quotes and nominate other bloggers for 3 days.

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Today’s quote is by the late Hollywood actor, James Dean. To be honest, I’ve never seen any of his movies. However, I always thought he was cute as a teen and still have a picture of him in my room with this quote!

When I first heard this quote, I loved how it encouraged me to dream impossible dreams. I am a dreamer at heart, and that’s probably why I love to write. But I want to be more than just a dreamer. I want to take my dreams and make them a reality.

Living as if you’ll die tomorrow is kind of a #yolo quote. When I was younger I thought it meant that I should be having fun, traveling the world, and doing crazy amazing things. While all of that is good and should be pursued to a degree, I’ve learned that there is so much more to living life to the fullest.

As someone who suffers from IBS and POTS, my life has roadblocks. Currently I can’t work  or drive, and that sucks. I am a full time student, youth leader, and blogger, but of course the perfectionist in me often won’t let that be enough.

I’m just so thankful that my God says it’s enough. There’s nothing I can do to make Him love me any more or less (Romans 8:38). The grace of Jesus Christ is enough to satisfy me even in my trials.

And you know what? My life is so full. Sure I might not be out traveling the world or partying like crazy, but I am making an impact for Christ. I am so blessed to be a youth leader and help students who inspire me everyday. I am so blessed to be able to write to you on this blog–pouring out my heart and giving encouragement.

I also have lots of family and friends who are always by my side, through good times and bad. I am having lots of fun with them this summer!

My point is this: Keep dreaming because that revives your soul. Always know that living a full life is more than what you can do, it’s about who you impact for good. If you want to live an awesome life, keep dreaming and seek God’s heart for others.

My Nominations for Day 2:
You are under no obligation to undertake this challenge, but it would be great fun if you do that.
Rules:
  1. 3 quotes, one a day or all 3 quotes on the same day.
  2. You have to nominate three bloggers to undertake this challenge for each quote posted.
  3. Thank the person who nominated you.
  4. Inform your nominees.

Thanks for reading! Stay tuned for Day 3! As always, please feel free to comment and share 🙂 

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More Than Good Enough

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Good enough. It’s something that, like me, you have probably tried to achieve. As a Christian, sometimes we turn Jesus’ statement to love Him by keeping the commandments (John 14:15) into a burdening chore that we can’t simply accomplish on our own.

We try to look right–wear nice clothing and have pretty hair and a toned figure. We try to eat right–healthy and not too much. We try to obey our parents and keep them happy. We try to be hard workers, good friends, charitable, and leaders in our church and community.

This is all suffocating. No wonder we burn out or get crazy anxiety. Is it just me, or do women get the brunt of all this pressure for perfection? We are expected to look, think, and act like angelic saints.

No one really fits this mold. We can look at our neighbor or friend and assume she’s got it all figured out. She is beautiful, confident, and all put together. But the truth of the matter is that everyone is thinking the same thing we are. Sadly, most of us compare ourselves to our friends and family (which isn’t necessarily a bad thing when done with a healthy mindset).

The thing is, no one can be perfect. I had a wise professor who once said, “nobody’s perfect. Only one perfect person existed, and look what they did to Him!”

A little blunt, but true. Jesus is perfect because He isn’t just human, He’s God. He gets us and understands the weight and pressure to be “good enough.” Jesus understands the weight of the Law upon our shoulders–which is why He took it from us and placed it on His own. 

We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all (Isaiah 53:6 NIV). 

I have been writing a lot on grace lately because it is something the Lord is helping me understand in my own life. My performance or works cannot save me. Only the blood of Jesus and my faith in Him can save me. 

Love cannot be earned. It was already bought by the perfect blood of Jesus Christ. 

However, to the one who does not work but trusts God who justifies the ungodly, their faith is credited as righteousness (Romans 4:5 NIV).

In this world, we may have to work and perform, but Jesus is our rest (Matthew 11:30). God’s love conquers all of our imperfections, and our trust in His love is what sustains our faith. I think Angela Thomas described the love of God for us perfectly in her book, Do You Think I’m Beautiful?

God’s love is unrelenting. He does not turn away even if you do. –Angela Thomas (p. 25).

It does not matter how far we fall or how imperfect we are. We may not always do, say, or think the right things, but Jesus is powerful enough to make up for whatever we may lack. Walking in this love is what frees us from the chains of “good enough” living. Knowing God’s unfailing love is what allows us to walk in abundant, freeing faith.

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to comment and share. I love hearing from you 🙂

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