Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: love (page 1 of 15)

How to Reach Out to the Heart of God

I was not excited when my husband and I went with two of our closest friends to see the new movie adaptation of Cats. 

Although I do enjoy musicals, I’d rather see a live show than a movie (except for maybe High School Musical…Go Wild Cats!). And let’s be honest, Cats is CREEPY. 

The costumes, sultry CGI movements, and don’t get me started on the odd plot about cat sacrifice. 

If you love Cats, I’m sorry if I’ve offended you. I actually did find redeeming qualities to this film that struck me deep.

Even beyond the incredible ballet dancing and Jennifer Hudson’s ballad was a theme often overlooked in modern movies. 

While pretty much everyone in the movie is concerned with trying to be chosen as a “jellicle cat” so they can be sacrificed and reborn into a new and better life (I know, it’s disturbing), the main cat, Victoria, is different.

Victoria sees a cat who is all alone, ridiculed and beaten down–thrown into the alley. Grizabella is just the shadow of the star she was in the past. 

Grizabella’s heart-wrenching song and tearful gaze could make an audience weep. And while everyone rejects her, Victoria sees her, and reaches out her hand. 

Victoria could have done what most of us would do (had it all not been creepy). She could have used her talent, beauty, and kindness to get a better life for herself. 

Even I rooted for her because she was one of the only characters I could stand. 

But Victoria looked beyond herself–beyond her own needs and desires–and she chose to lift someone else up instead. 

Victoria reached into the shadows, found a rejected, worn-out, lost soul, and loved her. 

She rescued one of the least of these.

And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me. (Matthew 25:40 NKJV

Isn’t this supposed to be the Christian walk? Aren’t we supposed to reach into the alleyways of our work, schools, and communities to find the least of these?

We all know someone. Maybe it’s that girl in the back of the classroom who’s quiet–the one everyone mocks in secret.

Maybe it’s the single mom at work struggling to pay the bills and feel good enough for her child.

Perhaps it’s the older man on the street corner who’s begging for some cash–and for someone to stop and look him in the eye.

When we reach out to the least of these–the people who are often neglected, left out, or in desperate situations–we reach out to Jesus Himself.

Lovely one, if you want to grow close to God, start loving the lost children He passionately died for.

How to Reach Out to the Heart of God

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The closer we get to the ones Jesus loves, the closer we become to His heart.

I don’t know about you, but I really want to love the Lord like crazy. My desire is to know His heart and walk intimately with Jesus. I want to please Him, just like a new bride wishes to please her groom.

So next time I ever see a Cats poster or hear the “Memories” ballad, I will remember God’s call for each of us to shine His light in the darkness.

We all have a part to play in redeeming this fallen world, and I want mine to count–not just for me–but for someone else in need.

I know I have all the reward I could ask for when I think of the approval and unfailing love of the Lord.

What about you, lovely one? Who comes to mind when you think of loving the least of these? How will you step out to reach them? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below. 🙂

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

I still remember the pain of ending that relationship three years ago. We weren’t right for each other, and though I tried to deny it, I had known it deep within my heart for awhile.

The next several months following that breakup were filled with conflicting emotions. Although I had peace about my decision, I still thought about what could have been. I cried and got angry. I grieved, and then I moved on.

There’s no magic formula for grieving a breakup, however, there are lessons we can learn to better our future. We can choose to let the loss defeat us, or make us stronger. And ultimately, I think that’s what God wants for our lives.

Finding Meaning in a Breakup 

After ending that relationship, I remember walking outside in the snow and staring up at the dull gray sky. I kept asking God, why? The answer I got almost took my breath away, and it surely made me smile.

God said, “Because I am jealous for you.”

That’s the thing about walking with Jesus. You’re either all in or all out. He doesn’t want half-devoted followers who will most likely compromise their faith.

That past relationship kept me from blooming into the Christian I was supposed to be. It wasn’t anyone’s fault; it was just not meant to be.

Be careful not to forget the covenant of the Lord your God that he made with you; do not make for yourselves an idol in the form of anything the Lord your God has forbidden. For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 4: 23-24 NIV)

God isn’t jealous for us in a selfish, human way. If that were true, then no one would be able to be in a relationship or get married!

However, God does want our relationships to reflect His love for us and to ultimately lead us closer to Him. When a relationship is built on this firm foundation, love can truly grow and flourish.

Finding Identity in a Breakup 

My first breakup happened in high school. I got dumped.

You can never understand the haunting pain of that rejection until it happens to you. I felt so unlovable and worthless, but Satan wanted me to believe these lies so I would never discover the truth.

The Lord appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness. (Jeremiah 31:3 NIV)

Though my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will receive me. (Psalm 27:10 NIV)

Dear lovely one, if you are suffering the pain of rejection, please know that you are loved and chosen by God.

Although there will always be people in this life who reject us, our Heavenly Father never will. God sent His Son to die for our sins and prove His radical love for us.

Although going through a breakup is painful, it leads us to the most powerful truth in existence. God can use rejection to point us to the One who will always love us. Jesus is our eternal bridegroom, and He is wild about us.

It doesn’t matter if you have an awesome love life or have failed at relationships. If you aren’t confident of your identity in Christ, you have nothing to stand on in a relationship.

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Finding Jesus in a Breakup

Finding Hope in a Breakup

When I look back on the heartbreaks I’ve endured, I know it was worth it. I’ve grown as a person, and as a daughter of God. I also see how the Lord graciously protected me from harm by letting me experience heartbreak.

Every single trial leads us closer to victory. But we must choose to hold on and weather the storm.

Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us. (Romans 5:3-5 NIV)

Right now I am so blessed to be engaged to the love of my life. Was the wait difficult? Yes. Was it worth it? A thousand times yes.

But I know I wouldn’t have met the one God prepared for me unless I pressed on and bloomed into the woman I am today.

Breakups are painful, but they are not the end of your story. If you allow Jesus to walk you through your pain, you will find meaning, identity, and a love that’s eternal.


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To the Girl Who Feels Unlovable

To the Girl Who Feels Unlovable, 

The day is here. A day of celebration and romance for people in relationships. But for many, it’s a reminder of loneliness.

Although you can choose to make the most of Valentine’s Day as a single person, sometimes heartache just won’t let you.

I was that girl last winter. The girl who worried that she may remain single forever. Let’s face it, finding a nice, Godly man is difficult in today’s world. And it seems nearly impossible when you feel you are unlovable.

As someone who is battling a chronic illness, I often felt that a guy would want nothing to do with me. After all, a lot of days I struggled  just to make it through class or homework. How in the world could I keep up with all of the Instagram-worthy adventurous dates my peers always posted?

I felt hopeless because I couldn’t see my value.

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What God Sees

If you read last week’s post, then you already have a firm foundation on which your true value lies. It cannot be based on our holiness, because we are sinners who are not worthy of God’s holy presence.

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:21 NIV)

Even though we are not worthy of salvation on our own, Jesus willingly gave up His life for us anyway. That’s right, lovely one. You are loved enough for God to give up His only Son as a permanent sacrifice for your sins.

If that isn’t heroic and romantic, I don’t know what is.

Although we can’t always see our own value, God does. He loves you no matter what–whether single or married. He loves you even though you have a scarred past or struggle with sin. He loves you even if you’re battling illness or just don’t fit in.

And this will never change.

The Lie of the Unlovable

Sometimes we have to keep reminding ourselves of our value in God’s eyes. The enemy wants you to believe that you’ll be forever alone. And that if you’re single, it means there’s something wrong with you.

Those are lies. Although I can’t guarantee you a spouse, I can promise that God is faithful and knows what’s best for your life. Keep praying and seeking the Lord in your singleness, and you’ll find abundant blessings in your life.

When I was afraid that my health issues made me unworthy of love, a friend of mine reminded me of a beautiful truth.

A man who God wants you to be with will love you for who you are inside, not just for what you can do.

True love is for who you are

True love is about loving someone completely–even their “unlovable” parts. This is what God does for us, and this is the grace that allows relationships to truly thrive.

Just because a guy hasn’t seen your value yet, it doesn’t negate your worth. Good things take time to grow, and the right one is worth the wait.

Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right. (Song of Songs 8:4 NLT)

Your True Identity 

After finally surrendering my dreams of romance and marriage to God, and allowing Him to become my source of confidence, I found unsurpassing peace.

If you’ve been keeping up with my posts, then you probably know I’m in a relationship now. Love is crazy, scary, and good. And when it is real, it goes beyond what we think about ourselves.

To the girl who feels unlovable, I understand. I was you not too long ago, and sometimes I still struggle.

Being in a relationship does not mean you will feel confident and perfectly happy all of the time. People are flawed, and the enemy still creeps in with lies.

But I now know that I am valued by God, no matter what my relationship status is. And so are you, lovely one. Whether you are single or in a relationship, please know that you are loved beyond measure.

God loves the unlovable of this world. He calls you valuable, He calls you daughter, He calls you redeemed.

He calls you His.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. (Ephesians 2:4-5 NIV)


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A Surprising Way to Cultivate Gratitude

It’s Thanksgiving–a celebration of joy, gratitude, family, and delicious food. And while I plan on spending time with loved ones and going into a turkey coma, I can’t help but think of those who are overlooked this season.

You see, I know a woman whose teenage son died last weekend. Her heart is broken. I also know a family whose father is slowly dying of cancer. Their spirits are weary.

Where is the Thanksgiving turkey for these people? Most of the time we struggle to find gratitude in our everyday lives (myself included). How does remembering these hurting souls help us in cultivating a heart of gratitude?

The Calling

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, (Isaiah 61:1 NIV

God has given us a calling to bring the good news of the Gospel to others. Our calling is to feed the hungry, love the outcast, and comfort the brokenhearted.

However, we are so easily distracted by everyday problems that we don’t even notice those who are hurting right in front of us. We all go through seasons of hardship and loss. Right now I am battling a chronic illness, and sometimes I just want to lock myself in my room and focus on how bad I feel.

But the best way to experience healing and joy is by sharing the Gospel and helping somebody else.

True Gratitude

The moment we turn our focus outward and love the people around us is the moment we experience the love of Christ flowing through us. The moment we stop focusing on all of our problems and dedicate time to encourage others is the moment we experience an overflow of gratitude.

That’s powerful! Imagine shining a light by praying for someone you know is hurting, or volunteering to feed the hungry. Imagine inviting a person who has no place to go to your Thanksgiving dinner. Even a simple text message of encouragement makes more of an impact than we realize.

This, lovely one, is how you love your neighbor. And this is how you cultivate true gratitude.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NIV)

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

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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

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