Posts tagged Scripture
5 Truths to Remember When You're Feeling Fragile

Have you ever been in a season when you felt incredibly fragile? Or maybe you are in one now. You have higher levels of anxiety or fear or you are just all-around burnt out. You are at your most vulnerable, afraid you will completely fall apart at any given moment.

Maybe the trials keep coming and the earth keeps spinning and you are just trying to put one foot in front of the other. Maybe you sit in your car, pleading with God and trying not to cry. Maybe you wear the mask of having it all together, when in reality it feels like the drumbeats of Jumanji are about to erupt from your heart. Maybe you are about one rude comment away from losing your ever-loving mind and pulling a Britney Spears.

(At the time she went off the deep end and shaved her head, I remember thinking, “Wow. What kind of mad (wo)man does that sort of thing?! She is crazy.” And now I’m like, “Eh. We all have those days. Cut her some slack.” She just cracked a little more clearly than everyone else. Because maybe she isn’t so lucky. And she does just cry, cry, cry in her lonely heart.)

I digress.

I guess my point is this: we have all been through seasons of fragility or we will face them in the future. We are living in the not-yet, and the brokenness is all around us. The brokenness is inside of us. Life can be hard and incredibly Toxic. (Oops…I did it again. Guys, I’m just saying: she has been sending out cries for help ALL ALONG.)


But because of all of the brokenness, it’s easy to react to our fragilities in not-so-Christian ways. Sometimes we play the victim and sometimes we play the martyr. We might take out our pent-up weaknesses out on others, trying to hurt someone else in the ways we are hurting. Or we might just embrace the emotional train wreck in which we are living and little by little—we lose hope. 

Here are 5 truths and Scriptures to remember when you’re feeling fragile (I am preaching to myself here, friends):

1.     When you find yourself anxious and afraid, remember that there is no chaos in God. Anxiety and fear are not fruits of the Spirit. Our God is a God of perfect peace. The more I battle worry and fear, the more I think anxiety is a form of spiritual warfare. Satan feeds on these weak spots and hits us in the pressure points; he wants us to become trapped in his web of lies. We have to re-align our focus on God approximately one million times a day. This is a discipline worth fighting for, over and over again.

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You because he trusts in You.
—  Isaiah 26:3

2.     You are not a victim; you are a warrior. It’s okay to feel fragile, but it’s not okay to play the victim. You are a part of God’s army and we need you to be who God created you to be. We need you to show up with your beautiful gifts and abilities, taking up the space in the world like only you can. If we are constantly feeling sorry for ourselves and licking our wounds, we are still being self-centered and self-focused. Once again, we must shift our gaze and remember our identity is from the Maker, not from this world.

…yet I will not forget you.  Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands
— Isaiah 49:15-16
True humility is not thinking less of yourself; it is thinking of yourself less.
— Rick Warren

3.     When you are deeply hurting, remember that it becomes increasingly easier to hurt others. This is part of the problem and not the solution. We have to get out of this crazy spin cycle. I know we all crave a good revenge story—but while revenge might make us happier in the short run, it is an extremely toxic (I promise that time was inadvertent) way to live. Forgiven people forgive people in this beautiful, upside-down Gospel.

For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.
— Matthew 6:14-15
Holding on to anger is like drinking poison and waiting for the other person to die.

4.    You are not alone in this. Dear one, I know it sometimes feels like you are taking on the entire world by yourself. But there are people around you, ready to jump in the game and cheer you on. Ready to speak truths with you and pray over you. If there is no one in your life right now that you feel comfortable sharing the burden with, go out and find someone. In the meantime, I am raising my hand over here. We should not ignore the importance of community. We all need each other more than we know. 

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ.
— Galatians 6:2
We sometimes choose the most locked up, dark versions of the story, but what a good friend does is turn on the lights, open the window, and remind us that there are a whole lot of ways to tell the same story.
— Shauna Niequist

5.     When it feels like you’re falling apart, remember that God is in the business of putting pieces back together. This is the best news, isn’t it? No matter how many times we crumble, our Father is there to pick us up off the floor. He sees our mess and loves us still. He wipes our tears and calls us by name. We are deeply known and forgiven and made new, washed by His blood. God’s arms are always open for the brokenhearted. Especially for the brokenhearted.

The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in Spirit.
— Psalm 34:18


I know I'm always looking for podcast, music, and book recommendations, so I thought it might be helpful to share a few of my recent favorites as well (and feel free to send any my way that you've been loving)!

To Watch: Priscilla Shirer's talk at Passion 2018

Turn off Netflix and turn on this. I am so serious, y'all. I was working while I was watching, and I kept stopping what I was doing so I could write down all of the brilliant, Spirit-filled things she was saying. The last ten or so minutes, I could not look away because our sister Priscilla was plain BRINGING IT.

"Yes, come as you are, but don't stay as you are."

"We have sacrificed holiness on the altar of impressing people...You [have to] live for the applause of heaven. You [have to] decide, 'I will not be politically correct before I will choose to be holy.'"

To Read: 12 Ways Your Phone Is Changing You by Tony Reinke

I am finishing up this book, and I'm finding myself talking about it constantly in everyday conversation. We are learning the advantages and disadvantages of this smartphone era, and this Biblical perspective on all things technology is worth the read for anyone who is prone to the Instagram-comparison trap or the occasional Netflix binge. 

“The more we take refuge in distraction, the more habituated we become to mere stimulation and the more desensitized to delight. We lose our capacity to stop and ponder something deeply, to admire something beautiful for its own sake, to lose ourselves in the passion for a game, a story, or a person.”

To Listen: Face to Face by Mat Kearney

All of his new songs have been on repeat over here, but especially this one. 

"I feel your thunder pourin' like rain
Down on the mountains of all my mistakes
Rolling like rivers, running with grace
Into the ocean of your embrace
Your hand of my side, leading the way
Ten thousand horses couldn't pull me away
I hear the music, heaven has made
Oh when we're standing, standing
Face to face."

Between Brokenness & Beauty
Photo by Love Be Photography

If you know me or my family, then you know that I look a lot like my mom. With every year, I am basically morphing into a clone replica of Becky Sager. On a regular basis, strangers will literally come up to me and say, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be Becky's daughter!" I smile and nod. I might as well go around wearing a name tag that says as much. I don't mind, because my mom is awesome. If she had a bad reputation or emerged on America's Most Wanted, then I would probably rethink my association. 

But I've been thinking-- what if our lives shone so brightly that people came up to us and said, "Oh my gosh. You HAVE to be a child of the King"? What if we are constantly recognized as followers of Jesus? I crave that association.


I was recently reading 2 Corinthians, and a few verses hit home more than usual. In chapter 3, Paul talks about the hope we have in the new covenant, in Jesus and His ridiculously-amazing sacrifice. He writes about the veil as a symbol of separation from God and the tremendous opportunity of removing that veil when turning to the Lord. In verses 17-18 Paul writes,

“Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit” (emphasis added).

You guys, that’s INCREDIBLE! We are being transformed to look more like God. I literally drew an arrow beside that verse and wrote “WOW” at the top of the page while sipping too-hot coffee. It’s more than my mind can comprehend.

In Christ, I’ve always known we are called to purity and holiness, but something about that verse made me think about this transformation in a whole new light. I picture God as a sculptor, chipping away at the rock and dirt of our lives—He’s polishing us and carving us to be more like Him, with more glory and grace than imaginable.

It made me rethink my strategy in presenting the Gospel in my own life. I don’t want to align myself with the Pharisees in all of their pomp and rule-following, but I don’t want to align myself with the unsaved and unrighteous, either. Because the story doesn’t end with mess and rubble and heartache. It ends with Jesus.

As children of light, our storylines should be a progression toward holiness. Is my past part of me? Yes. Am I going to mess up even in my pursuit of Jesus? Definitely. But we are being remade into a new and wonderful thing, a God-shaped and infinitely better thing. We can’t dwell on our brokenness so much that we forget the incredible beauty of transformation.

Our lives should look different than the ungodly because we are different. We have experienced this crazy-good love of Jesus firsthand, and it’s impossible to leave unchanged from that.

So, yes—let’s highlight our sins and shortcomings. Lord knows we aren’t perfect and shouldn’t claim to be. But let’s not expound our offenses without a hand pointed heavenward and the workings of a holy life. 

Insecurities & Jonah

There’s a place on the way to the beach called Tin Top Café. I’ve never eaten there, but it looks like one of those wonderful hole-in-the-wall restaurants that people boast about frequenting. It’s a little run down, like it’s been in that middle-of-nowhere stretch of highway for ages. The thing I like most about it, though, is the sign out front.

It reads, “Tin Top Café. Good food.”

It’s simple and a little sassy. I like that.

I like that it’s not claiming to be anything that it’s not. The restaurant doesn’t claim to have the best coffee or service or atmosphere. It just says, “Hey, we have good food. Take it or leave it.”

It seems they are completely secure in their identity, and I’m a little jealous of that.

Too often, my insecurities follow me around like a small herd of stray cats. They want to be fed with more fear and jealousy and people-pleasing. I’ve tried kicking them out and I’ve tried praying them away. But these insecurities show up persistently and relentlessly, begging to be kept around a little longer in my heart.

I hate that. It makes me feel like I’m not as strong as other believers—not as bold or secure in my standing with God. I tell myself that I’m clinging to humility and meekness, but then I look at the Gospel and my life doesn’t line up. I look at Jesus and I find myself feeling more and more like Jonah, running away from God’s beckoning call.


I recently reread Jonah, this Bible story that I grew up knowing by heart. I could hardly make it through, though, because I was crying those ugly tears and they kept blurring my vision. I was reading and crying while the TODAY show was on in the background. Al Roker was talking about the weather in Orlando and my dog kept looking at me confusedly, like “What the heck is wrong with you?”

God keeps messing up my tidy little life. . . THAT'S WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME, COPPER.

But the story hit me harder than ever before, because I saw myself so clearly as Jonah. God called him to go to Ninevah, a city filled with evil and strife. But Jonah knew that God might show up big-time there, that He might forgive the people of Ninevah despite their wickedness and prevailing sins. Or maybe he even feared for his life, which doesn’t seem all that crazy to me.

Jonah was full of fear and insecurity about the Lord’s commands, so he ran. He boarded a ship, but God made a storm. He was thrown overboard, but God gave him a whale. Jonah cried out to God, and He answered. He always does. When the whale spit Jonah on dry land, he finally followed God’s command. Jonah was so angry about God’s forgiveness of the wicked people that he just wanted to die. But God kept saving him. The Lord poured out compassion even when he didn’t want it.

I saw myself as Jonah because I am filled with fear in stepping out into the wildness that is the full grace of God. I saw myself as Jonah because I’ve tried to be holy and perfect, but God keeps knocking down barriers and handing out mercy to the least deserving. I saw myself as Jonah because I keep finding myself in the belly of a whale, desperate and insecure, and God keeps showing up anyway.

But I also saw myself as the people of Ninevah, sitting in sackcloth and ashes and begging God for forgiveness. I think their part of the story hit me the hardest. Because when you’re at the end of your rope and you realize your sins, what choice do you have but to come to the throne in desperation and ashes, crying out, “Who knows? God may turn and relent and turn from His fierce anger, so that we may not perish” (3:9).

The Lord is so full of extravagant mercy, y’all. I just can’t wrap my mind around it. God’s relentless pursuit of us is unnerving and ridiculous, wild and unruly. His love is crazy good.


There’s one part of the story that I haven’t addressed yet, and I think it might be my favorite part. After Jonah boarded the boat that was headed to Tarshish and the storm rose up to a scary level, the crew of the ship found Jonah beneath the deck. They angrily told Jonah to “call out to [his] god” to save them. The crew obviously did not believe in this God that Jonah served, but they were desperate. When they found out that Jonah was the reason for the storm, they hurled him into the sea after agreeing they were out of options. The storm ceased immediately, and the crew was amazed. In Jonah 1:16, it says, “Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and they offered a sacrifice to the Lord and made vows.”

How amazing is that? Jonah wasn’t supposed to be there, on that boat, in the midst of a storm. In fact, he was directly defying the Lord’s commands. But God cannot be limited, and He used this interruption for His glory anyways.

Not only did God reveal Himself to Jonah and the 120,000+ people of Ninevah, but He also showed up to the crew of the boat- the very boat that Jonah was using to flee the Lord. I think that’s incredibly reassuring. Not that we should defy the Lord’s commands, but that He’s there when we mess up.

He can use any circumstance for His glory. The Lord is not limited by kings or countries, timing or timidity, lands or seas.

I’m going to keep praying for bravery, for the removal of the unholy kind of fear and insecurities. I'm going to keep stepping in the direction of faith and boldness. But I’m also going to rest in the assurance that God is going to keep showing up anyway— no matter if I’m confident in my calling or in the belly of a whale. 

10 Practical Resources for a Godly Woman

Although a relationship with Christ is deeply personal and unique to each individual, I think this crazy spiritual journey is also meant to be shared. We are walking these roads together, learning and growing and pursuing the God we serve. 

We are movers, shakers, dreamers and doers; we are disciples and outcasts, children of the Most High. We are kingdom builders, piecing together palaces brick by brick. We are not our own because we were bought at a price. 

Fellow believers, we are not alone. 

There are so many passionate, godly people out there-- sharing encouragement and passing along wisdom and giving away love. I want to be part of this gospel-centered community, to participate in this marathon of runners toward Jesus. I also want to learn from those surrounding me and invest in Biblical living, being filled up so I can be poured out. 

And this is easier said than done, right? Day to day life tends to drown out the One voice that matters as we get caught up in to-do lists and trivial quests. I know I need all the help I can get to fix my eyes on Jesus, so I've rounded up some of my favorite resources (besides the Bible) that do just that:

  1. Deeply Rooted Magazine- Although this magazine has not been around long, it has quickly become my favorite. Visually and spiritually appealing, it has a unique purpose and mission in a content saturated world. Plus it's hard to pass up the digital copy when it only costs $4!
  2. Val Marie Paper Prayer Journals- There are journal options made specifically for women, men, children, and for different stages of life. My favorite is the undated prayer journal in blue... I learned so much while praying through this journal and love following along with Val on Instagram
  3. Women of the Word by Jen Wilkin- This book had been on my reading list for about a year, and I am kicking myself for waiting so long to dig into all of its goodness.  She offers practical and purposeful steps on learning the Bible, while shedding light on popular methods that don't always work. 
  4. Scripture Boxes // Scripture Memory Sets- I believe dwelling on and memorizing Scripture is so vital in your walk with Christ, which is why I created both of these products. They are made to sit in your homes or offices to reflect on/memorize daily. 
  5. She Reads Truth- Not only is the website beautiful, but it is also filled with beautiful content. They have hundreds of studies, Scripture focused products, and an app. Be sure to sign up for the e-mail list to receive daily readings & truths straight to your inbox!
  6. Write the Word Journals- I just discovered these journals by Lara Casey and am dying to make my first purchase. I love the idea of writing down different passages each morning and focusing on gratitude as you start your day.
  7. Free (Scripture) Lock Screens- I can't tell you how many people have come up to me and shown me the lock screen on their phones to reveal one of my designs, and it makes my heart leap every time! As long as people are still using them, I will keep making them (I try to add a new one every week, but don't always succeed so check back regularly to see what's new).
  8. Illustrated Faith- Art and hand lettering throughout your journaling Bibles? These people speak my love language. 
  9. Scarlet & Gold- Check out this awesome company (based out of Auburn!) for lovely, Biblical phone cases and Scripture-filled tees. 
  10. Prayer Cards- It has been on my heart for a few months to create these prayer cards, and I think I finally came up with the right design. Simple and lovely, each card contains a different chapter of Psalm to pray through and lines to scribble down your prayers of the week. Keep track of answered prayers and requests by hanging them on your walls & mirrors, storing them in your Bibles & planners, or carrying them in your purse.

Let's do this, shall we? Let's be lovers and learners, an army of believers, a generation of Jesus-followers and proclaimers of that amazing grace which saved our souls. Let's build our war rooms, ladies. 'Til kingdom come.

*Disclaimer: By no means are these resources meant to replace or diminish the importance of the Holy Bible. They are neither necessary nor needed to understand God's Word, and what may be helpful for one person could be a distraction for another. Check your heart and notice what's helping or hurting your relationship with Christ. 

**Also, since we're in this together, I would love to hear some of your favorite resources for following Jesus. What has helped or pushed you deeper in your walk of faith? Comment below or shoot me an email with your favorites!

Salvation & Sinners

My salvation wasn’t like the ones we constantly hear about-- the ones where there are tears on the bathroom floor and an earthquake-like awakening of an indwelling Spirit. My salvation was quiet and consuming, peaceful and full of grace. It wasn’t like I expected—this surrendering of a heart. It was better and harder and all encompassing. I felt both broken and whole, vulnerable and steady; I was ready to run.

I was around 10 when I asked Jesus into my heart. Then I asked Him again and again because I wanted to be sure He was going to stay there.

I remember my parents sitting me down and asking me if I knew Jesus. I was eating a bowl of chocolate ice cream and kept scraping the bottom with my spoon, the metal clanging against the ceramic bowl, trying to savor every last bit of chocolate that was left. I gave all of the right answers and knew them in my heart to be true.

When the day for my baptism came, I wore one of my dad’s white dress shirts as my family gathered around the pool in our front yard. Familiar faces were looking down at me while my favorite verses were read and my parents wept and my Papa dunked me under the water. There were little tea candles and flowers floating gently in the water while the sun was setting, and I thought it was so beautiful and perfect and wondered if we could always let flowers and candles float in the pool. 

I didn’t realize until much later that this salvation of mine was not a one-stop shop but a continuous surrender and brokenness. I will keep coming to this place over and over, this place of desperation and the receiving of grace. I will keep having the tendency to try earning my way into heaven, like the Pharisee counting his accomplishments, and I will continue realizing that I need to be more like the tax collector, beating my chest and begging, “God, be merciful to me, a sinner!”  

When we start admitting we need God, it becomes easier to find Him. 

He also told this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and treated others with contempt: 10 ‘Two men went up into the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. 11 The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I get.’ 13 But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, this man went down to his house justified, rather than the other. For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, but the one who humbles himself will be exalted.
— Luke 18:9-14

Sometimes it feels as if I’ve been walking with Jesus all my life, constantly knowing that He was right beside me in the trials and the triumphs, the guts and the glory. And other times it feels as if I am just now getting to know this God I’ve claimed to always serve. As He leads me through different stages of life, as He continues to proclaim His magnificence, God beckons deeper and deeper still and I think about this heavenly, holy Jesus in a new way.

It seems I’m walking with a flashlight and with each step I take, the light shines a bit further, reveals a little more of my surroundings -- and yet there’s still so much the light has not revealed.

But I suppose that's faith. 

The believing man does not claim to understand. He falls to his knees and whispers, ‘God.’
— A.W. Tozer