Girl on Fire

Whether you love it or hate it, Facebook is an undeniable part of our lives.

And yes, I’m dying a little on the inside admitting that sad, sad, fact.

But sift through all the wedding and baby announcements, the cooking videos and political rants, and sometimes, juuuust sometimes, you’ll come across a gem.

A little nugget of pure goodness…be it a particularly hysterical cat video, a painfully embarrassing #TBT, or something that is actually -DareISayIt- meaningful.


And that happened today.

It was a quote by St. Catherine of Siena.

And let me just pause — I don’t care if you’re Catholic, Methodist, a non-denominational Christ follower, Jewish, atheist, searching, whatever you believe — saints are simply good role models of upstanding lives.

Better a saint than, say, good ol’ Kim Kardashian, amIright?


But I digress.

Writing about having Christ in a person’s heart: “Christ can give life, having in herself such vital force that no one can stay her…She shed forth strength and light and that no one can deprive her of it.

I read that and I had to catch my breath.

Because that, friends, is the story of my recovery from anorexia.

Her description of the power that comes when Christ is living in your heart is exactly how I overcame my eating disorder.

Because I could not break free from the prison of ED. I did not want help. I did not want to be well. I wanted to retreat from the world while I wasted away to 78 pounds.

By all accounts I should not have been able to sustain living in that state, at death’s door, for as long as I did.

But God.

But God came in and broke through my walls I had built around my heart and reassured me and gave me peace and gave me the will to live. To recover. To embrace who I am in Him. Who I had been. Who I could be.

And that was the only way I could put the weight on and continue to choose recovery each and every day.

I can honestly say that Christ in my heart really did give me a “vital force that no one [not even ED] could stay me.”

A vital force.

“Shedding forth strength and light.” 

And let me just pause for a second here. I am not boasting in myself here. The only reason I can say these things is because they are not my doing. Had it been left up to me, I would probably still be a shivering, gaunt and lifeless heap of vacantness. God is these things. Not me.

Reading this today, I felt like it was just a little nudge of encouragement from God, reminding me that with Him, anything is possible. With Him, there is nothing we can’t do together.

And so I wanted to pass that along to you.

Life is hard. There are a lot of things weighing heavily on us all the time. Be it job troubles. Relationship troubles. Family issues. Addiction or abuse. Or even just the little stresses of day to day life. Life can seem overwhelming at times.

Times where we stand slump-shouldered, looking in the mirror, just trying to make it through another day.

With Him, we are a vital force to be reckoned with. Emitting strength and light.

And the final line of Miss Catherine’s quote was my favorite:

What then, is my nature? Fire is my nature.

Gives a whole new meaning to “Girl on Fire,” doesn’t it?

Fire is my nature.

What a powerful image.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me feel like I can conquer the world. Do anything.

It gives me the courage to be brave.

Because He is in my heart.

So thanks, Facebook. This is the prime example why I put up with all your eye-roll worthy poppycock. And it’s for beautiful reminders like this one.

Because of Him, I am a vital force that no one can stay me.

And so are you.

235 responses to “Girl on Fire”

  1. What a beautiful heartwarming and life affirming post. Your journey is remarkable and I thank you so much for sharing it. Light and love to you. xox

  2. Amen. Just so you not all us Ed’s are vindictive etc. You’ve come a long way Hun, but remember the poem Footprints? It is in our darkest and most alone moments that only one set appears, it is then that He is carrying us! Xox

    • Thanks Ed! Haha yeah sorry about that! E.D. is just the personification that many eating disorder treatment centers utilize! But nothing against real Ed’s out there! And so true. God is good and I owe him absolutely everything! Hugs and love xox

  3. Honestly, I know people hate on social media a lot, but I think it brings great joy and inspiration to my life. I may see something I don’t need/want to see, but the good far outweighs the bad. There are things, quotes, pictures on FB, Twitter and Instagram that have lit and spark and changed my life. I’m glad this quote was that for you 🙂

    • Hey Ellie! I feel you girl. I honestly love social media too. It’s so great to be able to keep in touch with my family at home. I just am a little embarrassed by my “dependence” on it. I mean, it’s the first thing I check in the morning when I wake up! 😂😂 but you’re right-they are great and can be bright spots in the day. Thanks for reading my friend! Sending so much love and hugs xox

      • It is great that you have found a post on Facebook that has benefited your life so much. I have to say although social media has obvious downsides since I started writing my blog a year ago and posting it on social media to get people to read it much life is so much bigger and more fulfilled than it was before. I get wonderful comments from people all over the world about my blog on WordPress and Facebook and love to interact with people who empathise with my disorders.

      • Hi Caroline! Thank you so much for this reflection. Oh that is so wonderful! I’m so glad that your words are touching so many! That’s terrific:) sending hugs and love xox

  4. Excellent word! When we are weak, He is strong…which means, we are strong.
    I appreciate your musings here online. Sometimes they are more relevant than the devotionals I read daily. God bless ya, young lady!

  5. I actually know this quote from Catherine of Siena and love it. Thanks for the reminder that “fire is my nature.”

  6. “Fire is my nature.” is my new favorite motto. Thank you so much for this post! (Now I have to go change my facebook status!) But in all seriousness, thank you. St. Catherine is amazing and I am so thankful that you wanted to share this tidbit with us all. I am off to conquer the world now, la-de-da!

    • Hi Elizabeth! Mine too! ☺️☺️ thanks so much for such a beautiful comment. Amen my friend! Go conquer the world! ☺️😘 so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  7. “CAST your cares on the LORD & he WILL Sustain YOU. He will never let the Righteous Fall.” PSALM 55:22 . . . Having Christ in my heart and my faith in him, his power, a power greater then myself is what restored me from gambling addiction and alcohol abuse living with mental health challenges.

    He alone can and does still performs “MIRACLES” if people really look close enough. You and I both are just a couple of those miracles from over coming what we have in recovery. I AM a firm believer in that. I would have never survived all I went through including 2 failed suicides …. That was and still is ALL GOD … Glory Be To God! XOXO

    Author, Catherine Townsend-Lyon ~ Beautiful Post! ODAAT 🙂 🙂

    • Hi friend. Thank you so much for sharing this. Praise God! So glad that he delivered you. You’re so right. He performs miracles every single day. So glad that he is at work in your spirit, Catherine. Have a beautiful night. Hugs and love xox

  8. Your faith, your fire is truly a great gift Jesus has given you. I look at some of these comments and am impressed that you can reach and encourage so many people! Thanks for continuing to write and help others heal!

  9. I love that… “But God!”
    Even when we think there is no hope, there is One who is greater than every circumstance!!

  10. I love the tone of this–gratefulness & affection for Jesus come through. And you’re right about saints. Christ in you transcends denominations. He is with–& in–believers of all stripes. Praise Him!

  11. Great post 🙂 I will admit that facebook is pretty much love it or hate it, but If their is a celebrity or friend who has a facebook account, it is totally worth looking at because (If one has a facebook account themselves) they can talk to them via typing. I actually do not have a facebook account because I can never find the time. It is always great though when you find something interesting on their like what you just talked about in this blog entry 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

    • Thanks John! Yeah Facebook it pretty much love it or leave it. It is a great way to stay in touch though! Thanks for your encouraging words! You always brighten my day! Hugs and love xox

  12. Thank you. I needed that tonight as I’m dealing with my own doubts.

    And Facebook? Sure I have complaints, but without it we wouldn’t have had nearly the support that we had after our loss. So I’m thankful for the community that Facebook helped to create.

  13. Keep burning for Him! He will refine you and you won’t even smell like smoke! Keep keeping on! One step one day at a time. Great blog and thanks for sharing the encouragement you found today.

  14. Christ in us is a real active element – no pun intended. 😛 He is brought there by the Spirit, and the Spirit is a consuming fire. The fire consumes in us what is not of Christ. This has been your experience, as you’ve mentioned.

    • Thank you so much 🙂 You’re right — He IS a real active element! hehe I love how you put that! thanks for stopping by! have a great night! hugs and love xox

  15. Short but very sweet. I can honestly say I don’t have a Facebook page nor a Twitter account. I tried once and found no use for either in my life. With that said, we find those gems in life through the things that we do use. You found a wonderful gem. One that I am experiencing in some ways for myself. A fire that is guided by the Lord. Not by my foolish desires. I am nobody filled with the Lord who is my Somebody.

    Thank you for sharing you feelings and thoughts about this gem you found. A beautiful read. 🙂

  16. I may have to print “Fire is my nature” and put it up on my wall. What a great metaphor for who we are. Most of the time when people think of fire they think of destruction but we forget that fire is a part of our everyday lives and it without it we wouldn’t be able to survive. Thanks for this post.

    • Thanks! isn’t it such a great quote?! Catherine was pretty amazing. and you’re so right. i love that perspective. so true – without fire, we have nothing. thanks for stopping by! hugs and love xo

  17. I love your honesty with the struggles you’ve had and how you see that it was God who brought you out of it. I always enjoy reading your posts 🙂
    2 Corinthians 12:9! It’s been a great verse for me over the last few months but I think it may fit you better 🙂

    • Thank you so much! That really means a lot Jon. And thanks for passing that verse along. Going to go look it up right now! Hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  18. Thank you for this post. I tend to be a private person and thats why I’m not on facebook. You’ve taught me a lesson, not about facebook but about sharing lifes experiences because lets face it, we all need encouragement.

  19. Light?…indeed. You are more intense in this writing. Your intensity has shot up a couple notches. Nice…uh, courage, inner strength, power. You are unstoppable. Glad I met you. Thanks for the encouragement. This one really stands out for me. I don’t know how long it’s been since I read words so intense as these. Maybe never. Powerful driving force. You seem to have re-invented yourself from the 78-pound self that you describe here. This one is a triple-like for me. Really motivating. You sure do have a sense for precision. You words not like dull pocketknife but highly sharpened scalpel deft so to find and repair, find and repair. I can only imagine you must have gone very low to be surging with this intensity now. It’s noticeable that you have overcome a lot. Thanks for sharing so intimately your story, your music of song, and your colors and sayings to inspire. I hope all your dreams come true. I am reminded of the sentiment I had on Broadway listening to “Can Your Hear the People Sing?” Don’t know if you’ve ever gone to see it…?

    Can You Hear the People Sing, singing the song of angry men?
    It is the voice of a people who will not be slaves again.
    When the beating of your heart echoes the beating of the drum,
    There is a life about to start when tomorrow comes.
    Will you give all you can give so that our banner may advance?
    Some will live, and some will die. Will you stand up and take a chance?
    The blood of the martyrs will water the meadows of France.
    Can you hear the people sing?

    Anyway, very sad play, but it sure jerked on my emotions. Sometimes I feel like we are back in 1776 with a revolution again on the cusp. I don’t know much, but it does seem that the Apocalypse is upon us. I know you’re ready, so that is not a concern. Your voice is very clear and unequivocal. Your God sounds great. You almost make me a believer. I think I believed too fiercely and then fell. It was the God of Israel for me way back when, but I don’t know much, anymore. Life a laberynth that I can’t quite grasp neither where I come from nor where I’m going. That time I saw Les Mis, I was right up front, third row but way out on the edge. Being so close helped me a lot. I almost didn’t go. Didn’t think I could afford it, but a guy insisted that everything would be fine. I believed him. I don’t believe much, anymore, of anything. How things have changed! I’m a very hard case to convince of anything, anymore. Not that I don’t try to allow myself to be teachable. I just find it so hard let anything in. You talk about walls that God broke through. My heart has so many walls around it that I am forever a captive within my own walls. God seemed to rejoice in only thing for me: boldness. If I wasn’t bold enough for him, punishment after punishment. I suppose I should thank Him, and I do. Deep down I do believe. It’s hard to go there, though. Digging through all the turmoil just to get there is sometimes a little overwhelming. The darkness has been thick. Night has been hard. You mention so many challenges that may arise. I’m glad you do. I always hate to hear from people that everything is just “alright.” It seems trite and even more cold than disbelief. Disbelief can be remedied, but an attitude of nonchalance only leads to more nonchalance. Wishing you a good trip to the bar or wherever you feel relieved. After a writing like this, you gotta feel enervated.

    I once met a woman who spoke of colors…I was much intrigued. “Everything is about colors,” she said. She rambled on and on about how society was so disrespectful to colors. When I paint, I like the vibrant colors. The stimulation gives me life. Your colors are vibrant as the photos you share. (y)

    • Wow thank you so much for this Dan. I’m so glad it struck a chord with you. Oh les Mis. That’s one of my favorite shows. I was actually in it when I was a kid and played young cosette, so yes I know that song really well! Jean Val Jean is actually a metaphor for Jesus – how he gave everything to save Eponine and Cosette and then Cosettes love. And his forgiveness. I cry every time I see it because that love is just so powerful. Gosh you’ve really given me something to think about today. Thank you for reading! Hugs and love my friend xox

      • I did actually wonder if I was risking embarrassment by asking if you had SEEN Les Mis., where you are an actress. Turns out my fears are realized. My acting debut was second grade class play The Unicorn Race. I won the race because I was “the unicorn with the whitest coat in all the land” who would not help anyone, just run fast to the end. ‘Course, at the end I lost, because I guess we were supposed help the needy along the way to win the race, and I just wouldn’t do that–and risk getting my beautiful white coat dirty! Anyway, I quit after that. No more acting for me. I did love the feeling, though, standing chest out in front of all the parents pronouncing my line. I was nearly a God for a total of 7 seconds.

        I kept my Les Mis. playbill for awhile after watching it. I had really enjoyed Jean Val Jean’s booming voice. Quite impressive! I don’t remember who played the part. That was ’99. April, I believe. I don’t have the playbill, anymore, but yes the memory. When I walked out of the theater, I felt like I was higher than I had ever been. It was like I wasn’t on planet earth, anymore, but way high up the in sky, untouchable, omnipotent. It didn’t last very long, though. Manhattan with its myriad of sounds and commotion took care of that. As I have been in jail, locked up, drugged up, persecuted by the law, etc. sometimes I have referred back to Jean Val Jean in my mind. The music has always been a source of comfort. “…Stars in their multitude scarce to be counted. We are the sentinels taking watch in the night, taking watch in the night…” Makes sense what you say about Jesus and Jean Val Jean. I have oft pondered when he spoke about us humans not having to suffer more than he. Or at least, something to that effect. “They can do no more unto you than they have done unto me…” That’s always comforting–that there is a limit to the abuse that can be/may be afflicted on for one’s feeble attempts to follow Jesus. Oh, wretched man that I am!

        “Don’t go down any dark alleys.” Sorry, stole that from Spider-man.

        Sometimes, many times, I wish it was all over. I dreamt that I was destroyed in some great blast in the distance with the shock wave hitting me and the dream ending. I supposed that I was dead. I look for that day, I guess, when it’s just all over. I’m hopeless, so there’s really no sense anyone trying to fix that. It’s just for whatever reason, I am still alive, I try to do something ANYTHING and go on to at least merit a noble death of some kind rather than, possibly, suicide. I don’t mean to drag you down or anyone else for that matter. I’m just a real mess. There’s really no sense in hiding it.

  20. It’s so great to hear about your victory in Christ, and that Christ’s light has shone through the dark. It’s so good to know that we are a vital force because of Christ.
    I am currently mentoring a 21-year-old friend with an eating disorder, and am praying hard for her recovery. It seems like such a spiritual battle.

    • Thank you so much! Amen to that. God is so good and I am so grateful for all he’s done in my life. I will definitely keep your friend in my prayers. Sending so much love and hugs xox

  21. Romans 8:37
    37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

    Phillipians 4:13
    13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    This is what came to mind reading this, thank you for singing your song for all to hear, there is power in your testimony!

  22. I’m glad you mentioned the post about the saints. When people put their trust in the saints to help them, they are relying on the wrong person. Jesus is the one who helps us. He’s the one who’s there for us. With him, all things are possible. You have been putting your trust in the right person to help you through your difficulties. I’m happy for you that because of him, your recovery is going well. Praying that you will remain on the path of recovery and victory!

    • Hi there Isabelle! Thank you for this reflection! Amen to that: Jesus makes all things possible! What a comforting thought! Thanks for stopping by! Have a great weekend! Hugs and love xox

  23. It’s so hard to find photos that capture the nature of that fire – the fire that leaves not ashes, but rather vanquishes the ashes of the lies that the world has told us about ourselves, the lies that we have told ourselves – the lies that have covered us over and buried us in sin. It is indeed a marvel when that sacred light, the light of the truth of the beauty that was meant to shine through us, enters into the world to inspire others to cast aside their ashes.

    Keep on shining, lady!

    • Hi Brian! Wow what beautiful words. You’ve really hit the nail on the head worth this one. The light of truth is an incredible blessing. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

      • Thanks for the compliment. I know that I go through kind of this bipolar oscillation in my comments to you, but I’m just trying to offer my experience of the journey of faith.

        The joy Christ finds in loving is to empower the expression of personalities that choose not to adulterate grace. Any corruption of our personalities forces him to retreat lest his power amplify our vices. To actually be allowed into the world to do work in it is his great joy.

        But when we become that window, he reaches out to others not yet so pure, and their vice mingles in us. That creates this spiritual experience of tides of grace and profanity moving through us. Sometimes the profane gets caught in us again, and we have to repeat the work that we thought we had already completed.

        It sometimes helps me to remember that I’m not doing the work only for myself, but for all those that Christ seeks through my presence. This is the true meaning of the parable of the talents: do not bury his light! Even if you don’t have great skill in increasing its reach, just the evidence of your grace among others is worthy of the greatest rewards!

  24. This is a great post. Thanks for following my blog a few weeks back so I could find yours. I love reading it.

    I’d like to hear your experience and advice. My blog has a pretty similar theme to yours; healing. And for me personally, I believe God was instrumental to my healing. I am not sure how much “God” I should include explicitly in my posts. I have not always followed Jesus, and know how off-put some people can be by others talking about Jesus. Paradoxically, I also think true healing cannot come except by Jesus. I always try to think “Unless the Lord builds the house, the builder labors in vain”.

    Do you think you have a lot of non-Christian readers? I am inspired by the way you talk about God in such a humble and sincere way. Thank you for writing.

  25. Ha. Great minds on the “But God…” thing…go read what I wrote just yesterday. Thank you for offering your words as worship for those who read them.

  26. It’s wonderful that you have found that strength outside of yourself 🙂
    Jesus is always that person standing ready to give you a helping hand, to hold you up when you are down – or to carry you when you just can’t find the strength on your own 🙂

  27. I am so glad that someone finally found something worthwhile on Facebook. 😉 I left it a few years ago and never thought to go back. It made me lose faith in humanity but finding this quote brings some of the faith back.

    I love this post – it reminds me how much we have to be thankful for and to accept the help that God is so anxious to give to us.

  28. Joyful for your continual deliverance. Keep on; you know the steps in the sacred dance 😀

  29. I immediately smiled when I started reading this. i have just begun my second month of being Facebook free. Turns out deactivating my account after 8-9 years was the best thing I have done for myself in ages. We really don’t NEED it…but then I have a whole lifetimes behind me that was free of all social media to draw from. Lol. This was a beautiful piece. Without Jesus, I would be dead or curled up in a ball in a corner somewhere, dribbling and glassy eyed. Your testimony is heartwarming. Xox

  30. I am constantly touched by your words and insights. You are an warrior! I’m so proud of you and the real reason isn’t because of the photos you post it’s because you talk about the satisfying Christ. Continue on to do wonderful in his name. I wish you well and many joyus blessings.

  31. Now, where is the “Love” option, as Facebook has so delightfully added on as a option to react to a post? I agree with your feelings on Facebook, and you nailed it once again. God gave you such a gift – Wisdom. 🙂 Thank you for sharing it.

  32. Hello Beautybeyondbones! Lovely post, thank you. Yes the love-hate thing with FB, is growing among thinking people. I too struggled with wanting to recover (this time). For a short time I was so beaten down I didn’t even want to get back up. Now the struggle is the vitality part. I have inner fire.I always have had it. Currently I just want to protect the little-bitty lighter-like flame. I don’t want to lose myself again by trying to get it any bigger. Higher Power, HELP!!
    Here’s to YOUR fire through Christ!

  33. I stopped by to thank you for visiting “Lillith’s Landing.” Although I have a couple other blogs that have been around a while, “L.L.” is a new project, and you were the fourth visitor to the site.
    I also wanted to tell you that this post is so lovely — and very encouraging.

  34. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog to read – it’s such an encouragement during these first months of writing! Sure appreciate you and all you pour into your own blog. Grace & peace, my friend…

  35. It is good to find support. It is also good you believe in it and in God that makes you stronger. I basically am looking for strength inside me, whenever I feel like the world is crashing down again and I fall into pain and depression, I find some forces inside me. It is also good you are recovering. I wish my injuries were something that can be cured without surgeon’s help, but they aren’t. Well, the depth of suffering is huge, but I rely on myself to get out of there. I always have, I also think most people can lots of things which they don’t dare or try just because some time somebody told them: You cannot do it on your own”. You can. Practically anything.
    I also appreciate anybody who follows my “invisible”secondary blog:

  36. That is beautiful. I am an atheist, but I believe that if your faith helps you get through this life then more power to you. But don’t give all the credit to Christ, or God, because it was YOU who survived, and got through it. You really are that strong. Don’t forget it. Xx

    • Thank you so much for this Kelly. I really appreciate that. Yeah, it was definitely a difficult season for sure. But I am grateful to be on the other side. So glad you stopped by ❤️Sending hugs and love xox

  37. I have a Facebook account to keep up with things that interest me, that requires Facebook. But I don’t use my regular account anymore. I’m too much of an IT insider – I know what can be done with all that data we carelessly spread about ourselves on the internet. Think “it’s the last day” and “mark of the beast” for ye true believers….
    From purely secular perspective, It’s simply creepy with that amount of insight into people’s lives, and even creepier what happens to the data you leave in the “safe” hands of Facebook (goes straight into the NSA vaults, just for starters). You cross reference Google’s data on you, with that of WordPress, Gravatar, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. No. I’m not taking that risk. Think of the Stasi in East Germany – people are still upset about that, but it really was nothing compared to what these IT companies and the NSA are already doing. Think about all the Jews in Europe who registered when asked in the 1930s. And look where that got them. You just never know. Nobody’s going to be profiling my life on the internet. I’ve taken measures 🙂

    • Hi Hanna, thank you for this perspective! It is frightening when you stop and think about how much of our lives are on the Internet. They don’t call it it Facebook -stalking- for nothing! Haha but seriously-it’s a little alarming. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  38. Thanks for your faithful following of Miss Marple on her recovery journey! I hope you agree that the description of the recovery process could apply to many troubles that we have in our lives, not just alcohol addiction. I’m sure you will know much more than me about this from the inside so your support has meant a great deal to me.

    • Thank you so much for this. You’re so right – recovery, whether from anorexia or addiction – definitely encompasses lessons that can be applied to so much of life. glad you stopped by! hugs and love xox

  39. Yes, we really do need to remember the “but God” influence in one’s life. With his help, we can change. Your story proves that so well. Thanks.

  40. This is a beautifully written testimony of how Gods love and light breaks through. I’ve had dark struggles in my past (not an eating disorder, but equally destructive behavior) and I can honestly say that God had to break me. He broke me down into a thousand pieces and put me back together with such care that I could feel the process. I’m still feeling the process. Now, his light shines through the cracks and holes that were once a sign of my brokenness. Lots of love sister.

  41. Thanks for your honesty! As a recovering addict, I can relate. I remember a mewithoutYou lyric, “we’re not half as bad as God is good”. Anyways, keep it and, oh, thanks for the follow!

  42. Amen, Sister! Fire is our nature!! I love how your blog tracks the shifting identity of the utter brokenness of doing to the freedom of being. Being Who God designed and breathed you to be. What a beautiful witness you are. Many, many, many blessings!!

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