Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: self love (page 1 of 2)

Chasing Worth

I was having lunch with my aunt when she told me about a memory she had of me when I was about seven years old. She said that on my 7th Easter, my cousin and I stood up in church and dedicated our lives to Jesus.

My memory of this is super cloudy, and we never went to church much when I was a kid. However, I always felt that God was real, and that He was drawing me in.

Fast-forward from that childhood moment to ten years later, when I was seventeen and falling apart. I had just broken up with my first boyfriend and was starving myself.

I felt depressed and hopeless, to the point of self-harm. Shame consumed me. I truly thought that the world would be better off without me.

I remember the nights of lying in bed weeping and fighting hunger, asking God if He was there and if He would help me get to sleep. Within a few minutes I would drift off into a warm slumber.

The love of Jesus found other ways to pursue me. I stumbled upon Christian songs and movies, and eventually my mom and I decided to go to church. I was saved the November of my junior year, but the real battle had just begun.

Crumbling Worth

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Soon I started college. I tried finding my worth in places that always crumbled—boys, achievements, looks—they all failed me. I developed chronic health issues, as well as anxiety. Food became a battle, as my digestive issues made it hard to eat.

I hated the way I looked, even though I was thin from being ill. I isolated myself frequently, until one day, a sweet girl invited me to the church college group. Though I was terrified to go, I actually made friends. Slowly, my relationship with Jesus grew stronger.

The things I was stuck in—such as anxiety and disordered eating—lost their grip on my heart. When I became a leader for the church youth group, I realized I wanted more from life than focusing on the superficial or worldly pursuits I was used to.

During an intensive winter retreat with the youth three years ago, I fully surrendered my life to the Lord. Although I still struggle with anxiety or negative self-image at times, I now recognize these feelings as weapons the devil uses to keep us from God.

I now eat healthily and for the first time in years, I appreciate the body God gave me. Panic attacks and breakdowns are decreasing, and when they happen, I know the Lord is always there to hold me through it. Even my physical health is improving!

A Changed Heart

Chasing Worth

Since I decided to follow Jesus with my whole heart, my life has changed. I found meaning and purpose for my life, and am able to love others better.

There is a cost, of course. I had to give up my old ways of living. But I consider that as nothing compared to the life Christ has given me through His death and resurrection. I may not be perfect, but my Savior is.

As my aunt reminded me of my childhood salvation, I couldn’t help but smile. Although I didn’t understand what that fully entailed as a child, it opened my heart to the Lord.

Now it all makes sense why I’ve always felt Jesus there, even in the midst of my darkest moments. The love of my Father has never left me. God pursues me no matter where I run, and He reminds me that my worth is rooted in Him alone.

Will you make a choice today, lovely one? Will you stop running from God and chasing worth in things that will always fail you? Jesus is ready for you to come home. You don’t have to chase self-worth or love. It was already won for you on the cross.

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)

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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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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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A Life Worth Noticing

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Have you ever laid out the on the grass, gazing at the stars as you try (and fail) to number them? Have you ever been struck by the glowing water colors of a sunrise or sunset? Have you ever stood at the shore of the ocean or a great lake and felt infinitely small?

Imagine the God who created all of these things. The God who made the entire universe with His hands (Psalm 8:3)! And then there’s…us.

I don’t know about you, but most of the time I feel like a pretty ordinary person. I go to college, babysit, write, and go to church. And yeah, that’s all awesome, but then I go on Instagram and see all of these posts by girls who travel and have all of the perfect clothes, jobs, and looks. Is it just me, or does everyone look like a celebrity on social media these days?

Now obviously everyone is a person, just the same as you and me. However, getting caught up in the boring daily grind can make us feel just so…ordinary. Or even less than that.

I was struggling with these feelings one day when God spoke into my heart. He reminded me this:

God is our Father. We are His children, so we carry His attributes. Now I’m not saying that we’re God or perfect like Jesus. But what I am saying is that God made us in His image, therefore we all possess some of His unique traits.

 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. (Genesis 1:27 NKJV).

Are you a musician or an artist? God gave you that part of Himself. Are you a writer or public speaker? Again, that is one of God’s gifts. Maybe you carry the humility or service of Jesus in your heart. The beauty of it is that we’re all unique and special to God.

Do you want to change the way you see yourself and others? Practice what Jesus did–notice people.

When He had come down from the mountain, great multitudes followed Him. And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean.”

 Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, “I am willing; be cleansed.” Immediately his leprosy was cleansed (Matthew 8:1-3 NKJV). 

In Biblical times, people did not even go near those with leprosy. They were pretty much forgotten. Jesus not only noticed the man with leprosy, but he actually touched him! Have you ever felt the hand of God reach out and touch you at your worst? One reason why Jesus’ love is so special is because He notices us.

When my Grandma Jean was dying in the hospital, I had the amazing opportunity to notice people. I took the time to notice the crying woman alone in the next bed and got to pray with her. I took the time to notice how dry my Grandma’s feet were and rub them with lotion.

No, these are not Instagram worthy acts that will make us famous, but they are acts of love that will make Jesus famous.

If you want to see just how much God loves the world, including you, take the time to notice those around you. Ask God to give you His heart of compassion. You are not just an ordinary person. Any life that points to Jesus is a life of eternal importance. 


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Is Self-Love Selfish?

Hello everyone! I bet you’ve been wondering, “where has Emily been, and what happened to her blog?”  Well, I redesigned my blog and am now self-hosting it. I meant to tell you all about it in a post, but it failed to post correctly -_- Of course, the process was tedious and almost disastrous for my technically disadvantaged self. But the most important thing is that I’m back, and all of you lovely followers and readers are here with me! 

I hope you all love the new look and easier navigation. While I still work on the nooks and crannies, please feel free to comment your thoughts. I’m so happy God has blessed me with such a great blogging community, and I look forward to bringing you some awesome new content!


bold love

While scrolling through social media, I recently read a post about how it’s wrong for Christians to love themselves. That we take the verse “love your neighbor as yourself” (Mark 12:31) a little too selfishly. After all, we are all selfish sinners who really should be less focused on us and more focused on Jesus.

Let me be clear, I do agree that everyone (myself included) is born a sinner and needs Jesus to save them. Only then can we become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21). And of course I believe that we humans are naturally inclined toward selfishness. Our flesh wants what it wants, and that is how we stumble and fall. We need to die daily to our flesh, our wants, and our comforts in order to fully live by the Holy Spirit.

But here’s what a lot of people don’t understand: truly loving yourself also requires you to die to yourself. Before we became Christians and were lost in our sin, did we really truly love ourselves with the love that God has for us–the love we’re supposed to lavish on others? Of course not! We wouldn’t need Jesus if we could be Him.

This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins (1 John 4:10 NIV).

The way we “love ourselves” in our flesh is selfish and twisted. We let sin run rampant because it feels good. We deny ourselves grace or treat it like it’s not even a sacred gift. Only with God can we truly learn to love ourselves. Once we realize how much He loves us and that He gave Himself up for us, only then can we see our true worth.

We are loved. We are called. Even in our brokenness and sin, God loves us just as we are (Romans 5:8). Now God is calling us to new heights. To realize our value and be confident in His perfect love. To walk in this love so all can see.

In one of my psychology classes, the professor once asked what the difference was between pride and self-esteem. This is the answer God led me to:

self esteem

Pride is elevating yourself above God and above others. Self-esteem is realizing God’s sacrificial love for you and walking in this love. I don’t think the problem is that we love ourselves too much. We don’t even know what true love is without the Holy Spirit.

Is it love to chain ourselves up in our own sin and addictions? Is it love to destroy our bodies with self-harm or eating disorders? Is it love to take out our pain and anger on ourselves and those around us? Of course not! Now a lot of these things we cannot help–at least not in our own strength. We don’t know how to love ourselves because we are lost and broken.

Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love (1 John 4:8 NIV).

God is love. Jesus laid down His life on the cross for you and me. Walk in this love and freedom. You don’t have to seek love from other people or things. Jesus’ perfect love is enough. This love will free you to love yourself and others in Spirit and in truth. Don’t live how the world lives and don’t love how the world loves. Live and love with the boldness of Jesus.

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

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