Fearfully Wonderfully Me

Growing in God and Inspiring Young Women Through Faith and Fashion

Tag: the Gospel (page 1 of 4)

Choosing Freedom in a Sinful World

Happy Independence Day to all of my fellow American readers and followers! And of course, a big hello to those from other countries who are reading this post. I’m so glad you’re here 🙂 Today is a celebration of summer, the birth of America, and more importantly, of freedom.

When it comes to the word freedom, many images come to our minds. We picture fireworks and family cookouts. We see soldiers sacrificing everything, including their lives, in order to protect our country.

While all of these images are beautiful and accurate for the American Independence Day, true freedom goes beyond even our patriotic celebrations. In order to understand what freedom really looks like, we must know the God who paid the price for our liberty.

A State of Bondage

Whether we realize it or not, we are in bondage. This world is full of sin and its consequences. We are lying to ourselves when we say we’re not in bondage.

Things like hatred, violence, jealousy, selfishness, lust, addiction, abuse, and shame fill our lives. No one is left unaffected by sin.

If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. (1 John 1:8 NIV)

This sin stems from the fall of man in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3). Almost everyone knows the story of Adam and Eve eating the forbidden fruit. Although it may seem like some cute ancient Bible story, the consequences of mankind’s first rebellion still affect us all today.

No one is perfect, and we all fall short of God’s standard for holiness. We must realize the state of our sin and the eternal separation it places between us and the Lord. Once we know how sinful we are, we can truly repent and make a change in our lives.

The Price of Freedom

Okay, so now we understand that we are in bondage to sin and shame. We also know to repent, but how do we experience freedom? What must we do to free ourselves from sin?

The bad news is that there is nothing you can do to free yourself from sin. Remember when I said that we will never be perfect? But that’s okay, I have great news!

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are all justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus. (Romans 3:23-24 NIV)

The price to pay for sin and eternal separation from God is through death. God sent His Son Jesus Christ to pay the ransom for all of the world’s sins by dying on the cross and rising again.

It is finished, lovely one. Jesus paid the price once and for all, and the only thing we need to do is turn to Him and accept this precious gift.

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Spirit of Freedom  

Although we were once slaves to sin and shame, Jesus freed us by His death and resurrection. How amazing is it to know that we can experience true freedom even in the midst of living in a sinful world?

When we choose to follow Christ, we are no longer slaves, but children of God. We have a perfect Heavenly Father who loves us unconditionally and wants to watch us walk in freedom.

Choosing Freedom in a Sinful World

We are no longer separated from God, but have His Holy Spirit inside of us to empower and guide us. Instead of a spirit of slavery, we now have God’s Spirit of freedom!

Because you are his sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, Father.” So you are no longer a slave, but God’s child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir. (Galatians 4:6-7 NIV)

Today is a great day, lovely one. It’s a day of celebration for the joys of freedom. Will you choose the eternal joy of the only true freedom found in Jesus?


Happy Independence Day and thank you for reading! Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below 🙂

FearfullyWonderfullyMe would like to thank all military members for their service in protecting our freedom. God bless America!

(Photography by Cristian Escobar and Toa Heftiba)

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Turning on the Light in a Dark World

Several weeks ago, it was a high school in Parkland, Florida. Yesterday, it was a high school in Maryland. These school shootings are happening all over America.  Innocent kids and teachers are dying or suffering from scarring physical and mental injuries.

And our response is a chaotic mess of noise. We blame guns. We blame mental illness. We blame politicians. Perhaps there is fault in all of these things. We can certainly do better.

But what if it’s something more? 

Where is God?

When tragedies like these happen, our first response is usually to send our thoughts and prayers. Of course, this is a loving and powerful thing to do, but it does beg the question–where is God in all of this?

Is He there? And if He is, then how can God be good if He allows such evil to happen?

Gideon asked these same questions in the book of Judges when Israel was under the oppression of the Midianites. Gideon was a humble man chosen by God to deliver the Israelites, but first, Gideon had to get some things off of his chest.

When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, he said, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but if the Lord is with us, why has all this happened to us? Where are all his wonders that our ancestors told us about when they said, ‘Did not the Lord bring us up out of Egypt?’ But now the Lord has abandoned us and given us into the hand of Midian.” (Judges 6:12-13 NIV).

To Gideon, it didn’t seem like God was with them. In fact, he felt abandoned by God. In today’s world, it can be easy to feel like God has abandoned our nation. With all of the violence, hatred, and immorality, America seems to have lost its connection with God.

But that was also Israel in the book of Judges. They had turned far away from God to worship false idols, so God let the Midianites oppress them. All of this was part of a redemption story to save God’s people from their sin.

America, it’s time to wake up to your redemption story. It’s time to turn on the light.

Created for Light

Check out God’s response to Gideon’s cries.

The Lord turned to him and said, “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?” (Judges 6:14 NIV)

We look at this dark world and wonder where God is. But God created us to shine as lights in the darkness. As Christians, sometimes it seems easier to just sit back and relax until we get to heaven.

But that’s not our calling.

We must be the light that pierces through this dark world. When the world cries violence, we cry peace. When the world cries hatred, we cry love. And when the world cries bondage, we cry freedom.

God is sending you and I to bring His people back.

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Lead the world back to God

Our One Job

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:14-16 NIV)

We are living in a dying world, and this country obviously can’t heal itself solely through laws and protests. We need the only cure for sin–Jesus Christ.

This Jesus, who died a gruesome and humiliating death on a cross to save us, has called us to go out and shine a light for Him. God has done His job. He has made salvation free and available to all who will come to Him.

Our job is to make this salvation known.

This world is dark, and sometimes downright scary. But if we choose to follow Christ, a powerful light resides in us that can vanquish any darkness and fear. It will shine through our actions and our words.

This is why we were created, and this is our job. This world isn’t going to cure itself, but we can lead it to the only One who can.


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

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NEDA Week and the Call of the Gospel

For those of you who don’t know, February 26-March 4 is NEDA week. NEDA week is about raising awareness for different types of eating disorders and encouraging recovery. It’s about ending the stigma and shame associated with this branch of mental illness.

It’s about saving the lives of women and young girls, who die physically and spiritually from this disease every year.

NEDA Meets Jesus

If you’ve been following my blog for a while, then you may know that I have struggled with an eating disorder.

Mine was not the type that anyone noticed. I did not stop eating or puke, and I have always been naturally thin. However, due to a mix of low self-esteem, anxiety, and health issues affecting my digestive system, I had a very negative view of eating.

Two years ago I made the life-changing choice of recovery. I knew that I couldn’t serve both God and an eating disorder, so with the help of the Lord, online support groups, and a close friend, I started getting better.

I thought that I would never win this mental battle, and truthfully, the devil still haunts my mind with self-defeating thoughts. But everyday I’m getting stronger. The victory is God’s.

This is one of the reasons why I care so much about encouraging other young women. The Bible says we are to lift each other up, creating a ripple effect of impact on those around us.

Becoming an Example

Similarly, teach the older women to live in a way that honors God. They must not slander others or be heavy drinkers. Instead, they should teach others what is good. (Titus 2:3 NLT)

As women of God, we have been commanded to teach younger women how to lead God-honoring lives. We are supposed to be an example to those who don’t know Jesus or who are new to the faith.

That doesn’t mean we won’t make mistakes or struggle with sin. I know I am definitely not perfect. But we should be humble enough to admit our mistakes and learn from them. We should take what we’ve learned and teach younger women and girls.

One of the reasons I chose recovery is because I knew Christian women who were more mature in their faith. They poured into my life and guided me to the right path. They helped me learn my identity in Christ.

Answering the Call

Today there are girls in elementary school who diet and hate the way they look. They are turning to their phones and social media for validation. They idolize celebrities for their self worth.

These girls and teens are the enemy’s main target for mental illnesses such as eating disorders and depression.

While campaigns such as NEDA week are helpful and needed, the true cure for eating disorders is Jesus.

NEDA week and the call of the Gospel

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Only the power of Jesus can take away our fear of food. Only the salvation of Jesus can redeem our broken past. And only the love of Jesus can teach us how to love ourselves.

Lovely one, you are more valuable in the eyes of God than you will ever know. He wants you to root your identity in Him and be set free. He wants you to be a light for the next generation.

Young women and girls everywhere need our help. Will you rise up to answer the call?

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)

If you or a loved one is struggling with an eating disorder, there is help! Please check out these links or contact me for additional information.

www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/help-support/contact-helpline (call or text support line)

https://www.nationaleatingdisorders.org/find-treatment/treatment-and-support-groups (Find treatment)

Want a relationship with Jesus? Click here!


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

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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 Truth About Shame

I have a confession to make. I am twenty-three years old, and am just learning how to drive. It’s a huge victory in my battle with a chronic illness that prevented me from driving. But it’s also a struggle.

Learning to drive isn’t easy–at least not for me (and not for the poor souls who help me practice). And to be honest, it makes me anxious. Though I am getting better with every lesson, I still feel a terrible, self-defeating feeling that shrouds me in darkness.

I’m talking about shame.

The Poison of Shame

Merriam-Webster defines shame as “a painful emotion caused by consciousness of guilt, shortcoming, or impropriety.” This feeling, lovely reader, is the weapon the devil uses to try and condemn us.

It’s normal and healthy to feel guilty when one does something wrong.  Guilt can lead us to repentance, which then sets us free. It’s also normal to feel insecure, which again, can also be freeing when we learn to seek our worth in Christ.

But what about that feeling of condemnation, no matter how many times you repent? What about that feeling of not being good enough, no matter how hard you try?

When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, having canceled the charge of our legal indebtedness, which stood against us and condemned us; he has taken it away, nailing it to the cross. (Colossians 2:13-14 NIV)

Shame is a poison that seeps into our lives even when we are born again in Christ. We have to remember that we are dead to sin, and that Christ nailed all condemnation to the cross. It’s not our sin that makes us feel condemned, but the shame that the enemy uses to make us believe we are separated from God.

The Power of the Cross

…fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

As a Christian, I have heard the story of the cross countless times. But what really makes me understand Christ’s sacrifice is watching a movie or reenactment of the crucifixion. Then I can clearly see the shame Jesus bore while he was mocked, stripped, and beaten–all alone.

And guess what? He did it for me, and He did it for you! Our God chose to take on human form in order to understand the temptations we face and the struggles we battle. Though Jesus knew no sin, He did know our shame. And He took it upon Himself in order to free us and bring us eternal joy.

Freedom from Shame

‘“Do not be afraid; you will not be put to shame. Do not fear disgrace; you will not be humiliated. You will forget the shame of your youth and remember no more the reproach of your widowhood.’ (Isaiah 54:4 NIV)

We all make mistakes. We all have our weaknesses and failures.  And we all sin–no matter how hard we try not to. It’s part of the human condition. The good news is that we can always run to Jesus for forgiveness and freedom.

shame is a lie

I know that I’m not perfect, and that learning to drive, like all things, takes patience. Although at times I may fail, I know that God always brings good out of the bad.

Jesus is the fresh start from our past mistakes. He is our joy and strength, despite our human weakness. Jesus is our freedom from sin and the shame that binds us. 

The truth about shame is that it’s a lie. A lie meant to steal, kill, and destroy God’s precious children. But we have access to the only antidote on earth–the powerful and freeing truth of the love of Jesus.


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

Connect with me on Instagram @fearfullywonderfullyme

**I’m on Twitter!** Follow me @Emily_Susanne1

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