Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: recovery

An Unexpected Lesson on Confidence

There I was, looking in the mirror of the thrift store fitting room as I tried on a pair of super cute jeans. I didn’t like the reflection I saw, and for some reason,  I was having a hard time getting over it.

If you’ve been following my blog for a while now, then you know that I’m in recovery from an eating disorder.  Although I have come a long way, there are still moments when I lose confidence in who I am. This was one of those times.

As I threw on my regular clothes and left the fitting room, I tried to shrug off the negative thoughts about my appearance that I knew were just lies from the enemy. And that’s when I saw her.

She was sitting on an old dusty sofa, looking at her feet. I sat down beside her, unsure of what to say. This was a woman who was “different” in terms of what society says is beautiful or worthy of attention. She was a little overweight and wearing old clothes and no makeup. But her smile and voice could melt any heart.

When I started talking to her, I realized that she had a mental disability of some kind.  I couldn’t make out her name or a lot of what she tried to say to me,  but when I complimented her long braided hair, she lit up like a  candle.

After I left the thrift store, I sat in the car for a moment to pray for the woman, who I knew was very dear to God’s heart. And that’s when it hit me–God sees that woman, and He sees me too.

Jesus loves and died for that woman, just like He did for me. If I could see the beauty and worth in a complete stranger, then that must mean that God can see the beauty and worth in me, His beloved daughter.

See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. (1 John 3:1 NIV

Isn’t it amazing how God uses the most unexpected people to speak into our lives? I sure hope I could bless that woman in some way because she sure was a gift to me. She reminded me that God created us all uniquely–with different strengths and weaknesses.

Once we become secured in our identity as children of God, we begin to view ourselves a whole lot differently. This world seems to be plagued by one identity crisis after another. Why? Because people don’t know Jesus and that they belong to Him.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

Lovely reader, the next time you feel like you’re not thin enough, pretty enough, smart enough, or good enough, remember that God sees you. Remember that He knows you in ways that you don’t even know yourself. And yet, despite our flaws and sins, He loves us anyway. The blood of Jesus makes us new.

I want you to remember this so that the next time you look in the mirror, you realize that you are made in God’s image, and that He calls you good (Genesis 1:27). This is the confidence that no enemy can rob you of.


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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)


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To Make His Love Known~My Recovery From An Eating Disorder

I’ve been wringing my hands with the urge to write this for the past few months, but to be honest, I never thought I’d muster up the courage to. My name is Emily, and God has set me free to recover from an eating disorder.

Okay, now that I can breathe again, I think you should know why it’s even relevant that I would share such intimate details of my life with you. I believe in obedience to God. I know that He has great plans for me, and I’ve also learned that He uses the pain from our past to help heal the wounds of others.

With the encouragement of my mom and other family and friends, I am finally sharing why I believe so strongly in telling other women about their beauty and worth in Christ.

Growing up, I had a lot of issues with self confidence. It didn’t help that in high school I developed chronic health issues that are difficult for others to understand. I’ve always been a bit different, but instead of embracing who I was in God, it made me feel depressed and anxious.

When you combine that with digestive issues that make eating difficult, food starts to become the enemy. Every bite makes you nervous about how you’ll feel after you consume it. No matter what you do, the lies from the enemy inside your head remind you that you’re never good enough anyway.

We live in a world dominated by the media telling girls and women what we should look like. Be thin, but have curves. Have flawless skin, that’s neither too pale nor too dark. Be the image of perfection that cannot exist in a human being.

Even though I’ve always been thin, it hasn’t immunized me against the effects of these messages. Truthfully, my lowest weight had nothing to do with my eating disorder. During my second year of college, I developed hyperthyroidism. I lost ten pounds and was always weak and tired. I thought I was dying.

As I became healthier and went back to my normal weight, I found myself being challenged by body image, food, and the lies that pervade our society. That’s when three revelations dawned on me:

1. Weight doesn’t really change the things in life that are beyond my control. It also doesn’t make me more worthy or lovable.

2. Eating might always be challenging for me because of my IBS, but food has never been, and never will be, the enemy. 

3. I can’t live a life that’s fully surrendered to God while holding on to my eating disorder. 

While those first two truths are extremely valuable, number three has been the key to my freedom. A year ago,  I made the decision to really recover while at Winter Camp with the youth group I help lead. Although I was eating like a normal person, my heart and mind still weren’t in the right place. I wasn’t all-in.

It was at this camp when I felt and saw Jesus move in incredible ways. I helped students come to know the Lord and saw young women and men devote their lives to God with such passion that I wanted it too. So I surrendered–right there in the crowd of hundreds of students. I quietly sobbed and told Jesus that He could finally have all of me. I wouldn’t hold back anymore.

It’s been a full year now since this decision, and I’ll tell you that though recovery is hard, it was so worth it. Though I still have IBS, it is better managed and I can embrace food again. I have found my identity and worth in Christ, and it has changed the way I see myself and others.

Although I still struggle with depression and anxiety at times, I no longer feel held captive to those dark emotions. God has lifted that weight off of my shoulders. I have a long way to go with self confidence, but I’m growing. I’m blooming.

What I want my girls out there to know–whether you’re a friend, family, a student, or a reader who has just stumbled upon my blog–is that you’re beautiful. You don’t have to change your size or the food you eat to make yourself feel worthy of love. God has always seen your worth.

For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. (Psalm 139:13-14 NIV)

I also want you to know, lovely one, that if you’re struggling with an eating disorder–or any other kind of mental or emotional battle–that you need to speak up! The devil wants to lock you in a box of shame, but God has come to set you free.  Please tell a pastor, counselor, parent, or call a hotline. You are not alone in this fight.

It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1 NIV).

The only way we can help change the world is by letting God have control of our own lives first. The love of Jesus is the only perfect love that exists, and what I want more than anything is for everyone reading this to experience this freeing love. I want it to crash over you and cleanse every part of your life.

Lovely reader, I want you to be filled to the brim with the love of God, so that you can pour it out on this thirsty and broken world. That is why I shared my story.

This is my purpose–to be loved by God and to make His love known. 

But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light. (1 Peter 2:9 NIV)


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

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On the Edge

 

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I’m on the edge,

My feet hanging off as I stare down

Into the pit.

My heart sinks,

Someone get me out of here.

There are vultures surrounding,

Waiting for my defeat.

There are ropes binding

My hands behind my back.

Every thought is a dagger

Piercing through my soul.

 

I’m on the edge Lord,

Standing here as You call me,

As You beckon me to dive

Into life.

I take a deep breath and

Fall forward.

Suddenly the pit becomes my platform

As the vultures fly away.

The ropes are unraveling,

My thoughts shatter,

As You begin to burn within me.

 

I’m on the edge,

And it has never felt so freeing.

As I leap through the sky,

You give me wings.

As the fiery darts target me,

You shield me with Your promises.

 

You revive my soul

You give me life

And it all starts with meeting You on

The edge of something new.

 

Written by Emily Smith at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 2016 ©


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