Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: hope (page 1 of 4)

What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

This blog post is co-authored by my boyfriend, Owen Wolf.

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A Year of Hope

2017 is coming to an end. Another year filled to the brim with memories that are already fading away as 2018 looms ahead with unwritten adventures.

This year has been a crazy one for me. I was heavily involved in my church and finished my last year at community college. Eventually, I decided to take a break from being a youth leader as I started my senior year of college. Not only that, but I’m also in a relationship (as you can clearly see)!

One theme of 2017 that Owen and I have clearly seen in our lives is Hope. Owen had lost hope while focusing on the temporal. He did not want to think about the road ahead.

However, I struggled to grip onto the anchor of hope in a different way. Anxiety paralyzed me as I tried to gaze into something not meant to be seen. I was trying to control my future, to set in stone what is really shifting sand.

It’s so easy to get caught up in the past or try to grasp for control of the future. But both ways of thinking can cause us to lose hope. As we have grown, Owen and I now see the importance of standing on the solid rock that is Jesus Christ.

 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. (John 10:29 NIV)

Our salvation is secured in Jesus. We don’t have to worry about our past or future with God. He washes all of the old things away, and He makes all things new.

An Eternal Perspective

We need to start acting in the present while having a more eternal perspective. The Bible tells us to think about today and not worry about tomorrow, but it also tells us to focus on the Kingdom of God.

Eternity is not just some concept from the far away future; it is a reality for the past, present, and future. Eternity is in this very moment. We are eternal souls in temporary bodies.

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)

What 2017 Taught Me About Hope

My challenge for you today is to look back on 2017. What do you remember? Chances are, you only remember the highlight reels of the good and bad times.

When Owen and I tried looking back on the past two years, we found that we could hardly remember anything!

The point is to remember that this life is fleeting. It is good to live life to the fullest and be present, and to plan for the years you may have left. However, it is even more important to have an eternal perspective. Ask God what that looks like for you, and what legacy He wants you to leave.

We can hold on to hope, knowing that God is with us every step of the way and that He is ultimately in control of our lives. He has great plans for us, and 2018 is only just the beginning.

Happy New Year, lovely one! I hope you have a fabulous and blessed 2018.


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

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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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Being Thankful During Hard Times

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There are a lot of things to be grateful for in life, but sometimes it’s hard to be glad if you are struggling.

Right now I’m going through a lot of change in my life–both good and difficult. That’s life. There’s change and loss. I’m just being real.

I want you to know that it’s possible to be a thankful Christian even when life gets tough. 

Emotions aren’t singular; at times it can seem like they overwhelm us.  We can be a whole rainbow of emotions on any given day, and that’s okay. That’s also  good news for those of us who may be sad or stressed this year, but still want to take part in Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is more than just a holiday, it’s a lifestyle–through the good times and the bad.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God (Philippians 4:6 NKJV).

We can talk to God about anything and everything. Through our deepest hurts and fears we can still be thankful because God hears us and He cares for us.

So what am I thankful for?

My Family. We are not perfect, and we have experienced loss, but I still love them. Lord help me to never take them for granted.

My Friends and Church. A community of imperfect people who always have your back is more than amazing.

My Health. Although my body is complicated and I do struggle, I know it can be so much worse. The doctors tell me I’m lucky. I know I’m blessed with purpose.

The Youth Group I Serve. We will always be a family–through the good, the bad, and the hilarious.

My Blog and the Blogging Community. There have been times of writer’s block and discouragement, but lovely reader you give me so much support and love.  Thank you for being a part of my journey.

My Faithful Jesus. You are the God who lifts me up when I fall. You give me strength when I am weak. I am so thankful to be Your daughter.


Thank you for reading this! I hope you all have a blessed Thanksgiving (with lots of good food!).

What are you thankful for?  Let me know in the comments below 🙂

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FirstFruits~Mirrors of Faith

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to Part 4 of the FirstFruits series, which is the last part of our adventure together in James 1.

Recently I went to a youth convention with the youth group I help lead. It was awesome–over a thousand students worshiping Jesus together and hearing some powerful preaching! It really made an impact on my life as well. One of the speakers who preached (I don’t know why I didn’t write down his name) said something that really inspired me, and I think it goes really well with today’s post.

Are we going to spend our life looking in a mirror or walking out the door?

This is basically asking us if we are going to spend our lives focusing on ourselves and our wants, or are we going to go out and love people and tell them about Jesus? Are we going to be focusing on our glory or God’s?

James actually asks the same question in verses 22-25.

For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does (James 1:23-25 NKJV). 

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We can read the Bible from cover to cover and listen to sermons all day, but what does it mean if we don’t apply it to our lives? What does it all mean if we don’t spend time with God and His beloved children? What does it all mean if we don’t live out the faith we claim to have?

I’m not trying to make anyone feel bad. This was a huge wake up call for me too. Life gets busy with school, work, social media, and other distractions. We live in a “me” culture that teaches us to serve ourselves above all else.

But you and I can fix this. We can be the change this world is so desperately craving. If you want to make a difference, commit yourself to being a “doer” of the Word. Walk out your faith by following the footsteps of Jesus. We need to constantly abide in our Heavenly Father and seek His Holy Spirit for empowerment and guidance.

We need to look for opportunities to love and serve others. We need to build relationships with non-Christians to show them the way to God. It may not always be easy, but it’s worth it to save souls.

Above all, we need to remember that Jesus died for us so we can live for Him.


I hope you liked this series! I think that James 1 is such a powerful chapter on overcoming trials, keeping our hearts focused on Christ, remembering our identity, and walking out our faith.

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

Missed Part 3 of the FirstFruits series? Click here!

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FirstFruits~Why You Were Created

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to Part 3 of the FirstFruits series, where we continue to explore the concepts of James 1.

James 1 focuses on the Christian under trials. Most of us know what it’s like to experience trials and losses, and it doesn’t make us feel very special. It doesn’t always make us feel very loved.

Yup, I went there. It’s hard to feel loved by God when your whole world is falling apart. After all, where is God when all of these awful things are happening–when we’re persecuted, grieving, or fighting a battle? Why is He letting these things happen to us? 

Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures (James 1:16-18 NKJV). 

These verses seem pretty positive compared to the feelings I previously stirred up. Let’s backtrack to verse 13.

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone (James 1:13 NKJV).

God does not tempt us or cause our trials. He is a God of good and perfect gifts. When James says that God has “no variation or shadow of turning” (verse 17), he is reminding us that God is constant in His love. We can know that God is still giving His children good gifts, and that He is not just sitting up above punishing us. He is a good and faithful Father!

The reason God lets us endure trials is so we can become perfected like Jesus (James 1:4). Once we put this chapter together–piece by piece–we can see how this all makes sense.

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The reason why I entitled this series FirstFruits is because that is a part of our identity in Christ. We are God’s children, and we are made in His image (Genesis 1:27). We are His most beloved creation. God didn’t have to make you, but He did, of his own will. He has a purpose for you.

In the Bible a firstfruit is the first part of the harvest that is the most important, as it is given as an offering to God.  As a child of God, you are more important than any other creature on the planet.

Now of course God loves all of His creation, but we humans bear something special. We are a reflection of God, and with His Holy Spirit, we can produce the fruit of love and grace just like Jesus Christ!

As God’s firstfruits, we need to give our lives as an offering to our King. This means surrendering our will for His. It means giving up our sins for His grace. It means trusting God to guide us and help us develop our gifts and passions for His glory.

No matter what trials we may face or what hardships may come our way, we can rest in knowing that our God is there, loving us and creating us for purpose. God wants good things for our lives and has given us the most perfect gift of all–a Savior. 

Jesus is the answer to all of our battles. He is the one who will never fail us. Trust in Him, beloved child of God. This is your purpose. This is why you were created. 


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

Missed Part 2 of the FirstFruits series? Click here!

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