Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: short story

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 5

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 5 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s ArmorPlease don’t forget to check out Part 4 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! 


Ryan gasped as he hit the floor, not allowing one second to pass before he hopped to his feet. No matter how hard his opponent tried, he would always try harder.

It was his promise.

After regaining his footing, Ryan struck his opponent with a hard kick, whipping his leg around in a blur. It was enough to take him down.

After practicing drills and forms, Ryan made it to the locker room and sat down on the bench, running a hand across his sweaty brow as he smiled with pride.

After practicing martial arts for over three years, he’d finally earned his black belt. In three days he would fight in one of the most difficult tournaments of his life.

“You ready for the big day?” Alex, a buddy from class, called from the other end of the locker room.

Ryan shrugged. Was he ready? Could he take first place?

“Yeah, I’m ready,” he said as he slammed his locker door in defiance. He had to be ready. He’d do anything to keep his promise.

After saying goodbye to Alex and showering off, Ryan looked in the mirror. His jaw was set like rigid stone, and his dark eyes pierced against his almond skin. His muscles held taut beneath his t-shirt.

On the outside, he looked like a fighter. But on the inside, he was shaking.

When Ryan hoisted his duffel bag over his shoulder, he noticed something fall to the floor. He winced as he picked up the photo–the one of his father right before he died.

A wave of darkness enveloped Ryan as he thought about his last words to his father. He had made him a promise that he would always do his best. That he would win. He wanted his father to know that before the cancer took hold of his final breaths.

Ryan shuffled over to his locker, suddenly nauseous at the oath he’d made. What if he failed? What would he become?

Nothing.

The room was silent–the kind of silence that gave him the chills. Everything looked darker, as if he were consumed by a giant shadow.

When Ryan opened his locker, he frowned. The solid, yet lightweight, chest guard that he sometimes used in practice drills was gone–and in its place was an embossed metal shield with a note attached.

“What?” Ryan whispered as he grabbed and unfolded the note. This must’ve been a prank.

My Dear Ryan, 

I alone know what you are up against. You’re afraid of failing and letting your father down. But you don’t have to fight alone. Take My shield of faith into all of your battles. My armor will never let you down. I am your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on Me. 

Love, Jesus. 

Ryan stood there, frozen. This couldn’t be a prank. No one knew about the promise he’d made to his dad. Tears welled in his eyes as he slumped down on the bench.

Was Jesus real? He’d always been searching for the right religion–for something to believe in. Was this a sign?

As if in perfect response, suddenly the lights flickered and died out. Ryan shot up from the bench. There, glowing in his locker like a flame, was the new shield.

His armor.

Ryan swallowed as the darkness closed in, compressing the air from his lungs with lies of failure and danger.

Without another thought, Ryan grabbed the shield. He held it close to his chest and followed the light that radiated from its metal core.

Ryan didn’t know where he was going as he ran out of the back exit of the gym. All he knew was that he felt free. He wasn’t strong enough, but maybe God was.

I am Your Heavenly Father, and you can always count on me. 

Ryan kept running, following the trail of light that blazed through the fresh blanket of wet snow. Shadows filled the night around him as he cut across the alley.

Ryan stopped when he found himself in the parking lot of a small apartment complex. Four other people stood on the concrete, glowing from the inside out.

“Who are you?” Ryan asked. Logically, he should’ve been afraid. But somehow, he wasn’t.

Looking for something? 

It was not the response he expected. The voice swept through the wind like a whisper. Ryan gasped and dropped to his knees.

God was real. And he believed.


In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. (Ephesians 6:16 NIV)

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

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Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 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!

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 4

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 4 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. Please don’t forget to check out Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 


Luke tightened his grip on the steering wheel, squinting his eyes to see the road through the shadowy, snow-filled night. It was just a month after Christmas, in other words, the loneliest time of the year.

“Do you know the difference between a truth and a lie?”

Those were the words that haunted Luke–words from the dream he had last night. That wasn’t the first time he had heard them. The dream was a replay of his childhood, when the social worker came to his school.

She said her goal was to keep him safe. That was a lie. At least, that’s what his parents had told him. She asked him so many questions in that little stuffy office.

Eventually, the truth came out. Though it wasn’t what Luke had been taught. He never thought his parents were hurting him. Yeah, his mom drank a lot and got mad sometimes. Maybe she’d hit him or forget dinner. But his father loved him. At least, that’s what he said behind closed doors.

Luke felt his knuckles grow hot, but he knew it wasn’t because of the car heater. He had been wrong. His mother was a drunk and his father violated him in ways that no child should experience.

It had been a lie. Everything. His whole childhood. But what about his entire life? Was everything a lie—pointless?

When Luke found the house, he put on his blinker and turned into the driveway. Everything looked so dark and desolate tonight. Delivering groceries to the elderly and disabled wasn’t a job he thought he’d ever do. It was actually his second job, the money he needed so he could afford college.

Luke worked hard, and he was proud of that. He’d made a vow to himself that once he got out of the foster care system, he would make his own life. Find his own path. So that’s what he was doing. The only problem is that he wasn’t a good student.

The elderly woman—Shirley—smiled and handed him a wad of cash. She gave him a few quarters, her standard tip. Luke felt guilty every time he took money from that woman because he knew she didn’t have much. She was a forgotten widow. And as an orphan, he knew what that felt like.

“Have a good night Luke,” she called out in a throaty voice as he walked away. “Stay out of trouble.”

He grinned as he turned to wave at her. “I’ll try.”

When Luke got back in the car, he leaned over to buckle the seat belt, only to pause when he saw the small box laying on the passenger seat. He frowned, knowing he always kept his car locked. He’d been a victim of theft too many times before.

There was also a piece of paper on top of the box. Luke carefully unfolded it, his dark eyes widening as he read.

My Dear Luke,

You have no idea the joy it brings Me to watch you as you grow. You have been through a lot, and sometimes it doesn’t feel like I care, but I do. I am always with you, my son. You keep searching for truth and meaning, not realizing that the only way you can find it is through Me. Wear a piece of My armor, the belt of truth. It will give you the strength you need to go on.

Love, Jesus.

Jesus? Luke shook his head. He wasn’t a Christian. Sure, he believed in God. He was a spiritual man who dabbled in parts of different religions or rituals. He had to have something to ground him morally, after all. But was this message really for him?

Luke grabbed the box, opening it in the now chilly car. It really was a belt, plain black leather. Curious, Luke took off his old worn belt and slid this new one around his skinny waist. He clasped it shut. Nothing happened.

“This is some armor, God,” he chuckled as he started the car engine.

Luke drove down the road, speeding so he wouldn’t be late for his last delivery of the night. Suddenly, his dream came flooding back in full force.

Lies. His parents were wrong. Lies. He wasn’t safe.

Truth. He had been safe, all along. Luke slammed on his breaks, almost causing an accident as he felt the warmth grow up his torso. He looked down at his waist—at the glowing belt that was around him.

 I am always with you, my son.

Was that the truth? Luke’s heart started racing when he saw what was up ahead. A dance of shadows and light, coming from an empty parking lot.

Luke bolted from the car, the belt still shining radiantly from his waist. He realized that if there really was truth–and if he wasn’t alone–then this Jesus must be the answer.

Luke ran to the lot, only stopping when he saw three figures standing, like candles, against the dense shadowy horizon. One woman stepped forward, a golden pendant blazing around her neck.

And suddenly, Luke knew the truth. These people were good. They were from God. He could trust them.

The darkness that surrounded them, on the other hand, was evil. Of that he was certain.

Looking for something?

The voice echoed across the lot like a soft wind.

And Luke smiled, because he knew he had already found it.


Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist… (Ephesians 6:14 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Click here for Part 5 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL  for more exciting info on this expanding series!  

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 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! 

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor~Part 3

Hello lovely readers and followers! Welcome to part 3 of my series, Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor. Please don’t forget to check out Part 1 and Part 2. This series will be focusing on all 6 attributes of the armor of God listed in Ephesians 6:10-18. I hope you enjoy! 


I love you. 

The words bounced like ping-pong balls off the walls of Paulena’s mind. Jeremy always said those words, but they usually clung to the fringes of some selfish choice he’d made.

Paulena sighed as she placed the last dish into the cabinet. She volunteered every Tuesday for the last four years at this soup kitchen. And now Jeremy wanted her to give it up, to live with him in another state.

Paulena shrugged on her old wool jacket, feeling the tiny gold cross kiss the edge of her collar bone. She knew that being with Jeremy wasn’t the best option–at least not when it came to her faith. He never really cared about her moral convictions. In fact, he often mocked her for being old-fashioned.

But she loved him…

As the familiar words echoed inside, Paulena couldn’t muster the courage to speak them into existence. It was as if her heart was synthetic–made of cold plastic. She was doing what the world wanted, and as a result, had melted into its mold.

Paulena looked out the drafty window of the old, now-empty building as she absentmindedly pulled out her phone. She tried to call her brother, Sam, but only caught his voicemail. Paulena sighed, tucking a lock of shoulder-length blonde hair behind her ear.

She knew he would be out of work by now, but after their argument that morning, he had decided to ignore all of her phone calls. She wished her younger brother would go back to church with her–that he would stop turning his back on God. But the more she tried to encourage him, the more he pushed her away.

After leaving a tired voicemail, Paulena hung up and turned around. That’s when she noticed something sparkle on the freshly cleaned counter.

Paulena frowned. “How did I miss something?”

When she examined the glittering object, she realized it was a pendant on a silver chain. It looked like an elongated plate of some kind, with the engraving of a cross.

Paulena shook her head in disbelief as she unfolded the piece of paper that had been tucked underneath it. The words lit up her brain like fireworks.

My Dear Paulena, 

I know you’ve been trying so hard lately. You want to please Me, but the world also desires your devotion. This is a hard line to walk. Please take a piece of My armor–this pendant of righteousness. Wear it close to your heart, and you will know which path is the right one.  

Love, Jesus. 

“Armor…” As Paulena muttered the word, she heard a knock on the front door. She quickly shoved the letter into her pocket, and then clasped the pendant around her neck, hiding it underneath her sweater.

When Paulena opened the door, a burst of frigid wind hit her face. Jeremy stood like a shadow, illuminated by the glow of the snowy landscape.

“Hey Paulena. I’ve been waiting all day–”

His words went right through her as his silhouette darkened, fading into the blackened sky. For a moment, Paulena thought she was going crazy. That is, until she felt a warm sensation radiating from her chest.

“Jeremy,” she interrupted him. “I’m sorry. But I can’t be with you.”

“What?”

Paulena dodged him and ran, fleeing the hungry claws of the shadows surrounding him. She followed the glow of the snow, entranced as she remembered the letter’s words.

…you will know which path is the right one.

She found herself reaching for her phone again. Surprised that her brother answered, Paulena could feel the desperation in her voice as she spoke.

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

Before Sam could respond, Paulena dropped her phone. She stopped running when she noticed the glistening footprints of snow against the shadowy sky.

“Paulena!” She heard Sam call in the distance.

Paulena ignored him, watching as a figure emerged from the shadows, a golden band of fabric wrapped around his waist.

Out of the shadows, a voice radiated, echoing across the sky.

Looking for something?


…with the breastplate of righteousness in place… (Ephesians 6:14 NIV)

Thanks for reading and supporting! What do you think of the series so far? Click here for Part 4 of Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL  for more exciting info on this expanding series!  

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 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! 

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.

..you 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!

SUBSCRIBE BY EMAIL  for more exciting info on this expanding series!  

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

Slaying Shadows with God’s Armor is written by Emily Susanne at fearfullywonderfullyme.com, 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! 

The Girl With the Flowers

we love him

(Photo Credit)

There once was a girl who wanted nothing more than to be loved. She was a peasant with no family, who lived in a tiny town. Every time she looked in the mirror all she could see was dirt and ugly.

She would always sigh to herself, “No one could ever love me like this.”

One day as the girl was out picking berries and flowers, a handsome, strong, and mighty king rode up to her on a magnificent horse. The girl fell to the ground immediately and worshiped him, hiding her face on the stones.

“Oh great and mighty King, I am not worthy to look at you. Please pass me by.”

“Nonsense,” the king said as he stretched out his strong hand. “Fair maiden, get up. Your face was not meant to be mangled by dirt and stones.” With great fear the girl lifted herself up, knowing that once the king saw her common and dirty face, surely he would leave her. She held out her basket, catching the berries and flowers that were starting to tumble out. “Forgive me for my common face your Majesty. Please accept this offering; it is all I have on me.”

The king stretched his hand farther, took the basket, and set it in front of him. “My what beautiful flowers, but they hold no candle to the light of your gorgeous face. Come maiden, let me make a royal daughter of you. My kingdom is yours to inherit.”

The girl’s jaw dropped. This couldn’t be so! She was just a peasant–not fit to be a princess! “Your Majesty, you must be mistaken for someone else.”

“No my daughter,” The king said as he took the girl’s had and raised her up. “I have chosen you. Now come and take your place.”

The girl smiled. Someone loved her. Someone thought she was beautiful. Someone wanted her for her who she was.

So the girl went to the king’s palace, where he gave her a tiara and had her dressed in a beautiful gown. She also freely received jewels, decadent food, and servants. He showered her with love every chance he got–all he asked was for her faithfulness and that she stay within the palace borders.

The new princess couldn’t have been happier as the months passed. When he birthday came, the girl woke up early, put on her silk robe, and went out to the palace courtyard. She marveled at the bushes and the flowers the king had planted in her honor. They were the same type of flower that she had picked the day she met her king.

She walked up to a bush and smelled a flower, but then movement distracted her from its sweetness. Beyond the courtyard and into the forest was a handsome peasant man riding a horse. Suddenly the princess remembered where she came from and missed her home.

“The king has no right to keep me here,” she thought.

She decided to sneak out of the palace and into the forest, where she talked with the man who adored her with his sweet charm. After the day was over, the girl discovered that she had fallen in love with the peasant. Surely her father would understand.

As she entered the courtyard, she was whisked away by the guards into the palace. Once she was delivered to the king, she saw how upset he was.

“I was worried sick about you!” He cried.

“I’m sorry Father, but I have fallen in love. Please let me go. I know what is best for me.”

“Nonsense!” The king yelled with mighty thunder. “I was searching for just the right nobleman for you. Don’t you realize that I know what you need? You have broken your promise, and since you have rebelled you can no longer be called my daughter.”

The girl threw off the tiara in defiance. Then she stomped out of the palace and into the forest to where her true love awaited her. “My love! Please run away with me!”

But the man was not there. The girl wandered around the forest for three days in search of her true love, but did not find any sign of him. The girl’s heart was crushed. She was rejected from the man she thought loved her. She tried to go back to the palace, but no one would let her in. She had rebelled against the king, and now she had no one.

The girl started to wander the forest again, alone and sobbing. Now she knew for sure that no one loved her, not even the king. She had no idea what to do now as she had betrayed the only one she should have loved.

Just as she started to enter the deep woods, the girl heard a magnificent horse in the distance. She turned in shock to see a royal horse ridden by a valiant man who looked like a younger version of the king. It was his only son.

The girl bowed down immediately as the mighty man commanded his horse to halt in front of her. Had he come to shame her?

“Forgive me my Lord,” the girl begged. “I have betrayed your father, the king.”

The king’s son got down from his horse and knelt beside the girl. “All is well now sister.”

The girl looked up at his face, astonished. Was she still considered to be family after all she had done? “Why are you here?” She asked.

“To bring you home.” The king’s son said smiling. “I took the punishment on your behalf. Come home with me now dear sister.”

The girl couldn’t believe this. “This is ridiculous…why in the world would you be punished for my wrong doing?”

The king’s son helped the girl onto his horse. “Because I love you, and so does your father. We wanted to show you how much we really love you. You are family no matter what.”

The girl’s heart swelled as they rode back to the palace. Once there, she was delivered to the king’s throne. She bowed before him and humbled herself, apologizing for her betrayal and thanking him for punishing his only son.

The king wrapped her in his arms and placed the tiara back on her head. “Your wrong is forgiven my daughter. I will remember it no more. I love you more than anyone else ever could, and I just want you to trust me.”

The girl smiled as she remembered how much the King really did love her and all that he did for her. “I know my King, I trust you. I love you.”

Then as the princess hugged her king, she noticed  the table beside his royal throne. There sat a vase with the dried out flowers she had picked the day he had chosen her. She smiled and thanked him once more, knowing that she would never look back again.

I hope you enjoyed my story! Is there any part of it that you, as a woman, can identify with? How do you see the Gospel displayed here? Please comment and discuss below!

Thanks for reading 🙂

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