Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: salvation

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 2

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 2 of my new series called Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. If you missed part 1, you can read it here. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 

Sam fought the urge to glare at the customer in front of him. The man just stood there, puckering his lips as he spoke.

“How long does a person gotta’ wait for a table ’round here?”

Sam grabbed a menu as he turned away from him. “Sorry sir. We’re quite busy.”

As the man muttered more complaints, Sam found his thoughts slipping into a new world. One that wasn’t a diner that attracted permanently dissatisfied middle-aged people who grated against his last nerve.

He dreamed about a fresh start, a new town where no one knew his name. Somewhere his past didn’t haunt him anymore.

Not five minutes after his shift ended, Sam felt his phone vibrate in his pocket. He ignored it, running his hand through his sandy blonde hair as he left the diner. His twin sister, Paulena, was relentless in her quest to contact him.  After their argument that morning, Sam decided it was about time he moved out.

“What the…” Sam looked around as he approached his motorcycle, the January air biting his face. When he checked the storage compartment, he noticed that his helmet was gone, and in its place was a black, shiny new one–the expensive kind. What he couldn’t figure out was how someone had picked the storage lock to commit this odd vandalism.

He shook his head as he examined the helmet. That’s when he noticed the piece of paper that had fallen out onto the snow-dusted concrete.

Suddenly Sam felt immune to the cold as he became absorbed by the letter’s words.

My Dear Sam,

I know you’ve been running lately, thinking that you can escape the mistakes of your past. I want you to know that you can stop running now. You can come back home to me– I welcome you back with loving arms. Please wear this armor of mine. It will always keep you safe. 

Love, Jesus. 

Sam couldn’t make sense of the emotions that were twisting themselves into a violent knot inside of him. Who knew about his past? About the wrong he had done? He used to be a good little church kid…until he did the unthinkable.

But not even Paulena knew about that.

Sam clenched his shaking hands as he strapped the strange helmet onto his head. He crumpled the letter into his pocket, wishing he could forget about the whole “God’s armor” thing.

Sam started the engine of his motorcycle, revving it as the darkness of night enveloped him. can stop running now.

Sam could hardly see as the shadows grew darker, like an ominous fog trying to choke him.

You can come back home….

He screamed as he lost all control, his bike flying out from under him as he landed head-first onto the frigid pavement.

When he opened his eyes, Sam knew he had to be dead–or at least close to it. It took his breath away when he realized he felt no pain. He sat up and brushed off the snow from his leather jacket. Not only was he alive, but he didn’t have a single scratch on him.

Sam reached up to remove his strange new helmet, but stopped when he saw a flash of light breaking through the shadowy fog.

Without hesitation, Sam got up and ran to the light, forgetting about his bike. When he reached the parking lot of the old apartment complex, he gasped at what he found.

A woman about his age was dancing around the lot. She moved gracefully–almost otherworldly–her face relaxed as every step she took lit up the night around her and left footprints that looked like sparks.

Sam dropped to his knees.

“This can’t be real. God, am I in heaven?”

That’s when he heard the whisper in the wind.

No, but will you come home? 

“You don’t want me,” Sam wept with clenched teeth.

The words of the letter flashed like lightening, brightening his spirit.

I welcome you back with loving arms.

Sam’s tears turned into laughter as he accepted the invitation. He found himself letting go of all the guilt and hurt as a warmth he couldn’t explain wrapped around him like a thick blanket.

After a few minutes, Sam finally stood, unsure of what all of this meant. Was he a Christian again, after all this time of separation?

And then he remembered that he wasn’t alone. The dancing woman stopped to look at him, the dazzling lights of her footprints glowing behind her.

Looking for something? 

The question hung in the air and he knew they both could hear it. Before he could say or do anything, Sam felt his pocket vibrate. Stunned that his phone still worked, he answered.

Paulena’s voice pierced his ear like a knife.

“Sam? Something’s happening. I think it’s…God.”

Take the helmet of salvation… (Ephesians 6:17 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Click here for Part 3 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at, 2017 © No part of this content may be copied or shared unless given permission by the author and linked back to this web address. However, you are encouraged to share the link to this post as well as all other posts! 

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). 


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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The Lie of the Good Enough Christian

Most of the time my Instagram feed is filled with posts about fashion and food (which are two things  I am very passionate about). However, there are posts that really make you stop and think wow, I really needed that.

I wanted to share one of these posts from @cultureandgod with you today.


Do you ever feel like God is unapproachable? Maybe you’ve repented of your sins and asked Jesus to be your Lord and Savior. Now what? How do I become a good enough Christian? How do I prove myself worthy to God?

The simple truth is that you can’t. Sorry to all of my fellow recovering perfectionists out there, but you will never be  good enough to earn salvation. None of us are.

That’s okay, Jesus has us covered. When you realized He died on the cross for you and accepted His Lordship, you were washed in His blood. God no longer sees your sins. When He looks at you, He sees you through the eyes of perfect love.

 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ (Ephesians 2:13 NKJV).

Isn’t that freeing? You don’t have to perform or try to earn God’s love. He’s already defeated sin and death. That just really amazes me. I don’t need to be a good enough Christian because I have a better than life Savior!


Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV).

Maybe you’re a new Christian, or maybe you’ve been a part of God’s family for decades. Wherever you are in your walk with the Lord, remember that you are now resurrected with Him.

God’s salvation power did not stop at the cross. He conquered the grave–which includes all of the chains that once held you and me back from Him.

You, my lovely reader, can be free from the chains of shame and perfectionism. Just lean on the only God who gave His perfect self in order to win His precious child back.

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

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Renaming the Ten Commandments

The Ten Commandments. The Ten Laws, Statutes, Kill Joys. Whatever you want to call them, they are the principles that all Christians should try to follow.

The word “commandment” is sort of daunting if you ask me. The Old Testament is filled with rules, the Ten Commandments being the core of the “shall nots” and best behaviors. No one likes being given a bunch of rules– it just goes against our fleshly nature. And a lot of Christians use the grace of their salvation as an excuse to hold on to their sins.

renaming ten commandments image

Almost all of us are guilty of this. It’s as if we are re-writing the Ten Commandments with our own stipulations that fulfill our wants. We have premarital sex, cuss, or lie, and say that we’re forgiven because of grace– only there’s no attempt to change. The grace God gives us through salvation is not an excuse to sin more; it is the only way we can break free from the chains of sin.

If we are so full of God’s grace and mercy, then the desire to sin should start to repulse us. We should try to please God just because of our love for Him. Love is the most powerful force that God has given us. In fact, love fulfills the law.

When the Pharisees got together to try and trick Jesus, they asked, “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the law?” Jesus’ reply was simply this: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

And then Jesus says something so profound, but often we don’t even realize it. “All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:34-40 NIV).

new love

All the Law. That means Every. Single. Commandment. Jesus said, “‘Do not think that I have came to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them'” (Matthew 5:17). Jesus fulfills the Law and we all say that Jesus is love; therefore love fulfills the Law– All the Law.

So how does love keep us from sinning? The answer is actually quite simple. If you love God with all of your heart and everything in you, then you will want to do His will. The Holy Spirit inside of you (that was given upon salvation) will convict you of sin and you will not desire it. After all, why would you want to do something that displeases God if you love Him so much?

And if you love everyone around you (no, you can’t pick and choose your neighbor) then you obviously can’t hate them. You also won’t want to lie to them or gossip about them either. Love fulfills the Law.

God did not give us these commandments because He wants to ruin our fun. He loves us, and knows what’s best for us. So about that name… The Ten Commandments. Wouldn’t a better name be “The Law of Love?” or “The Commandment of Love?”

It sounds a little silly maybe, but it helps to remind me that I will screw up on my own if I try to adhere to a bunch of rules. Only God and His love through the salvation of Jesus Christ can fulfill me and give me the power to love with abandon– the kind of love God’s Law commands.

Love, Emily <3

Why Jesus?

So maybe you’ve been reading this blog or have been looking at other material/scripture, and are looking to start a relationship with Jesus Christ. There’s a reason why I said relationship instead of religion.

Unlike the staunch, legalistic rules that the word “religion” usually implies, true Christianity is all about love, grace, and mercy. Jesus was a whole lot more than just a great teacher of God’s laws and grace. He was (and is) “The Word [who became] flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth (John 1:14 NIV).

This is the grace and truth of God, who sent His son Jesus (who is God yet man) to be born of a virgin named Mary (Matthew 1:18). So why Jesus? Why did God have to send His only Son to Earth, and why did He have to die for us?

The answer can be traced back to Genesis, where the first sin was committed by Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Humankind is not perfect– we know this. We live in a broken world full of war, poverty, violence, and disease. The fall of man has caused this, and we have failed to redeem ourselves. Although this sounds like a bleak and hopeless situation, there’s good news!

Jesus is our hope; the light that shines though darkness.

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it (John 1:5 NIV).

We need a savior to rescue us from our sins, and make us righteous and new in His eyes (2 Corinthians 5:17-19). Some of us can clearly see our sins and know we need salvation right off the bat. For others, it may take time or they may never even realize the magnitude of their sins.

If you’re reading this, then the good news is that you probably are starting to realize that the human race, that you, need Jesus. No matter what you do, you cannot save yourself. The salvation through Jesus Christ is a gift from God, and all you have to do is accept it and surrender your life to Him (Ephesians 2:4-5).

Jesus is a perfect and sinless man. He is also God, being one with His father. He was sent to die on the cross to bear the world’s sins (Matthew 27), and then He made His ascension to heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Jesus was the lamb who died for your sins. He paid the ultimate price–death– so you don’t have to.

Jesus has given us His helper, the Holy Spirit, to live inside of us and guide us. This is the spirit of God that every person who gives their lives to Jesus receives. The Holy Spirit convicts you of sin and allows you to witness to everyone the power of salvation (Acts 1:5-8)!

This might seem like a lot to take in all at once. For those of you who have not ever heard the gospel before, please read these Bible verses for yourselves! I also encourage you to find a good Bible centered church, and ask the pastor to help you with any questions you may have.

Remember, God’s gift of salvation is free to all who ask for it. No matter what you’ve done, or how far you’ve turned from God, He still loves you. He still wants you in His kingdom! Once you ask for forgiveness for your sins they are removed “as far as the east is from the west…” (Psalm 103:12 NIV). Instead of a dirty, hopeless sinner you will be made clean and righteous by the blood of Jesus Christ!

Ask God to forgive you for all of your sins and make Jesus Christ the Lord of your life. Then ask to receive His Holy Spirit and you will be born again! As a child of God, you can be sure of His love for you.

For new believers, or those wanting to know more about Jesus and salvation, here are some helpful links (Note: I am not affiliated with these websites; I just think they are helpful):

Love, Emily <3

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