Questionable Authenticity

Maybe it’s because I’m listening to some vintage John Mayer (Room for Squares — holla!), or the fact that I’ve spent the last 30 minutes wistfully looking through old pictures of my family, but here I am, back at the keyboard, taking on a subject that has been weighing on my heart all day today.

I’m not going to lie…I found myself lying awake at 2am last night, with this pit in my stomach. And no…it has nothing to do with the nerves of excitement I may feel about my date tomorrow.  Or the trepidation I feel about the fact that there is now Pumpkin Spice flavored toothpaste…


It was because, recently, my authenticity has been questioned by a few people.

Not authenticity in my recovery. But the authenticity of my character. Who I am.

And I’m going to be really honest here…it hurt.

Please don’t read this as a cry for affirmation or attention or fishing for praise or anything like that. This is just me, being open and painfully honest with my friends.

Writing this blog, though I love it, is a bit frightening. Nerve wracking. Anxiety inducing sometimes. Bearing my soul to almost 18,000 people…that’s some scary crap.

But every time I go to hit publish, I just remember that I’m writing for an audience of One. And it is my deepest prayer that this blog may stumble into the hands of even one person who needs some hope.

But what hurt the most about these recent remarks of skepticism, is that the whole point of this blog – the purpose of this “podunk ministry” – has been founded on being transparent  — painfully transparent: Sharing my past and all the garbage that accompanies it, illustrating current prayers/fears/hopes/struggles/funny moments, and hopefully future lessons and growth. I’m literally holding nothing back…however irresponsible that may be.

But more than that…my recovery from anorexia has been about remembering who I was. 

My favorite way to sum up recovery is this: Allowing myself to become who I’d always been. 

Because the truth is, I lost who I was during my disease. The vibrant, loving, carefree girl with hopes and dreams and faith and spunk and sassiness and a thirst for life & love & God — she was trampled, suffocated by ED.

One of the exercises we did during family week at inpatient was an art project where we had to depict how the anorexia impacted you. Each person in my family had to make something, including me.

And I made a black box…a coffin. And inside the coffin I put rainbow confetti. My anorexia was the box and my previous self was the rainbow construction paper. It had put to death the girl who was once full of life.

And my recovery has been about finding that girl. Rediscovering the rainbow confetti of my soul. Of my spirit.

Remembering who I was – at my core…and then allowing myself to become that girl again.

2 Corinthians 5:17 When you were dead…God made you alive with Christ. 

That’s full recovery.

That’s what this journey is all about.

And that’s what I’ve been doing on this blog – remembering and liberating the authentic me. The genuine me that has so long been shut away.

And that’s why this blog is so near and dear to my heart. Because each one of you has been so accepting and loving towards the true me, as I’ve shakily stretched my wings for the first time.

So why am I saying this.

I guess I just want to express that…this is me. I mean every word I write on this blog, every reply, every eye-roll-inducing cheesy quip that I just can’t resist…this is who I am.

I hope that you sense the authenticity of me: Caralyn. Because I really do hold each person who reads this blog in my heart and in my prayers. And I am genuinely grateful for the friendships and little community we have here.

That’s all for tonight.

Sending massive hugs and love — and yes — I mean that 🙂


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376 responses to “Questionable Authenticity”

  1. You are who you are. You are the sum of your experiences. Those that matter understand your posts. Those that don’t ……. don’t. You have your following, of significant mass, for a reason. Trust in that. All the very best from across the pond.

  2. Your story is a vision of light to others who suffer, and an encouragement to continue the fight to freedom, to the return of that delightful fun loving, bright, delightful person that was there all along, but who for whatever reason was momentarily lost. You’ve found her! Never let her go, and consider what others day, but never ever let them try to put you back in that box. You don’t belong there, you never did! I adore you! This is in no way a sympathy card. This is a congratulatory card! I’m proud of you! I know I don’t “know” you, but from what I’ve seen, your a remarkable young woman. Recently someone did the same to me. It hurt and I was astounded for it was an unfair attack, by someone who has no clue who I am. Perhaps it was motivated by their own security, or jealousy. I have no idea. What I do know, is, it was absolutely untrue! I know who I am. Enjoy your date! Have some fun, relax and let yourself shine. Your deserve it, and you are definitely worth it! I’d sincerely love to know how it goes. PM me if you wish privacy. Take care, talk soon.

  3. If you have reached one person by sharing your journey and provided them with hope for their future, think about what a blessing you were and remain! I write about my depression and anxiety now and then for the same reason you share your journey.
    To raise awareness and if I too could or have reached at least one person, it is all worth it!

  4. Only you know if you’re being authentic and that’s who matters.

    Personally, I like reading your blog and I watch your YT videos so I find value there. People are always going to troll, question and disagree with you. In some cases that’s great because it allows you to consider otger perspectives. Other times it might hurt. In a way, that can teach us to roll with the punches and evaluate whetger they’re right.

    Keep it up and good luck on the date!

    • Thanks friend 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoy my blog! You’re right-just roll with the punches. That’s awesome advice 🙂 hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  5. I am so proud of you. What I’ve learned reading you has been a gift that I am so glad to have stumbled upon. I am completely unfamiliar with the struggles of anorexia, but I am not unfamiliar with struggle. I’m sure I’m old enough to be your father, but that just confirms your ministry. <3

  6. Just wanted to say
    I think you’re absolutely gorgeous
    So beautiful, body and soul
    Loving and forgiving, of yourself and others

    I expect nothing in return
    Just knowing that you know
    That you are deeply loved
    And never live in fear is enough

  7. You are amazing the way you are nobody not even ED will take that from you, the most important being in the universe loves you with an ever lasting love and takes so much joy in you 😄 I am one person you have helped and encouraged so much more than you will probably ever know ❤ I love you for the encouragement and love you show me! ❤

  8. When we get lost and are working on finding our way to who we are, sometimes it may appear to others as being disingenuous. However, when we are in this fog and time of recovering self, for anyone to expect more then what we can give, whether it is true or just the best we can do for that day- if they love you, they must except what you can give. People will judge and question what they do not understand, give yourself permission to distance yourself from this negativity. xo

  9. Right off the bat, BBB, I’m sending you lots of what my daughter call “squeezy hugs” plus honest love and respect. With all the followers you have I think you are bound to get some whacked-out opinions and accusations that can be hurtful if you take them to heart. Maybe you can dismiss them as they should be by listening to 1 John 4:”Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God”. As these various spirits come to you, test them, and don’t let the ones who do not come from God cause you to change or withhold one iota of who you are.
    Lots of hugs and love XOXOX, Rich

    • aww squeezy hugs! Love it! thanks Rich 🙂 🙂 🙂 haha Powerful verse. Definite some great food for thought — and it’s from the Word of God so it’s gotta be true! thanks for stopping by! xox

  10. It is very difficult for me to imagine anyone doubting your authenticity, but reading this latest blog carefully (or trying my best) something deep inside tells me that, as you’ve said, it’s not so much your recovery that they’re questioning but your faith and (perceived) “podunk ministry.” In other words, it’s not so much the overcoming anorexia that bothers them as it is you simply, openly, honestly being YOU! Perhaps they have misconstrued what you are doing here as carrying out some kind of covert, quasi-religious agenda??? (My take on this may be totally off and, if so, I apologize.) At any rate, this is one reader who has ALWAYS accepted you as being genuine, authentic . . . the real deal! And may God continue to bless you abundantly!

  11. I enjoy and appreciate every moment of your authenticity. You are absolutely one of my favorite bloggers. You can only be who you are. Everyone will not appreciate that, but it does not change your journey to beauty, inner peace, and all that life has to offer. Keep your head up!

  12. Pumpkin spice flavored toothpaste…. :/ When I was growing up, they had fruit punch flavored toothpaste, which tasted good, but it got me wondering if it really was all that good for my teeth. I could just imagine the sugar nomming down on my enamel. (I was a kid. I figured, “Tastes like fruit punch = sugar.”) I think I’d feel the same way about the pumpkin spice flavored one.

    As for whether or not you’re being authentic on this blog, I don’t understand that accusation at all. In your written words and in your videos, you come across as being a very genuine person. The words you write and say are what you mean and believe.

    May God bless you.

  13. Caralyn my little sister:

    You be you and we either love you for who you are or we don’t. PS. What’s not to love anyway? I know I speak for a lot in your community, we appreciate you and your candor!

    By the way Caralyn, my wife is Karlyn…sisters.

    All our love,
    Bro Stef and Karlyn

  14. You know who you are, you’re a child of God, and a warrior & survivor. I just started reading your blog, but i already really appreciate the positivity and encouragement that you serve up with every post. Just you, you’re the only one who can! Keep writing, you’re making a difference sister!

  15. Remember Jesus said, “When we are not received to shake the dust off of our feet.” I think often in life we have to do that with some, I know I have. I had to do so to move on in life, with my heart intact.

    I am not saying it is easy, but sometimes life calls us to do just that. Always remember, even though at times, others say things which hurt us, we must always ask ourselves, “Is this worth my time in defending me and my cause are not?”

    The main thing is, you move past it, just like you did with ED. The shame of this would be, is that YOU would let it become a stumbling block so BIG for you, that you would fall, and not move forward.

    We can never control the emotions, feelings, or tongues of another, but we can always CONTROL how we respond to them, or if it is even worth our time. Always remember that. Love you and God Bless, SR

    • Hey SR. This is really really great advice. Thank you so much. It’s funny my mom actually has given me this same sentiment before and it really is a powerful perspective. Shake the dust off. Thanks for being such a positive light! Big hugs xox

  16. Wow, really?!? I will never understand why people feel the need to write comments like that. But to you? Im really shocked. You always come across as open and honest. Absolutley real! 💕

  17. The world is full of people who doubt everyone that doesn’t see the world through their eyes. No one ever will and no one need try. You have been as transparent as anyone dare and it is evident that your transparency comes with a cost to you and yet you bear it in hopes of helping others. There is nothing inauthentic about that. God offered salvation to all that believed, accepted, and lived with faith. Not all accepted. You offer a balm to wounded souls, a sublime felicity to those touched by it. Not all will partake. I like to say that when our challenges are greatest, our faith should be at its strongest. Be strong. Be you. Be that rainbow free of the box. Let the doubters know you by your deeds and let those that believe in your story love you for being you. I hope you enjoy your date. I suspect a young man will know he is in the presence of a lady and treat her well.

  18. I have no idea why someone would make those comments. You are one of the most genuine and transparent bloggers I’ve come across. The truths and personal stories you share are changing people’s lives, so don’t let this get you down. And on a later note, I LOVE Room for Squares! John’s music has gotten me through some tough times in my life.

  19. You’re always going to get people who don’t understand you, or pretend not to, online. All they have are your words and photos. You know your story to be true and that’s all that should matter. At least how I see it.

  20. Never thought you to be anything but genuine. In this world of unlimited technology it is difficult to identify something genuine. You are blessed with that gift. Hold on to it, grow it and continue to share it. Seems you have a higher calling from Someone. Thanks

    • Thank you so much John. This is such a beautiful and kind comment. I am just so grateful for the saving power that Someone has had in my life:) I feel it my duty to share:) hope you’re having a great week. Hugs xox

  21. Many doubted Jesus was who He said He was. Many still do. I love that you really do write for Him, so as long as He’s pleased, you are good!

    But, and I’m sorry… pumpkin spice toothpaste??? Really?!?!

    • Thanks for saying that, HM. That’s a powerful way to look at it. 🙂 and haha I know! I am ALL FOR pumpkin spice…I mean I even made a cooking video about pumpkin spice ice cream…but I know-no thank you!! Haha have a great night! Hugs and love xox

  22. That’s exactly what I’m going through, right now. On some way or the other, rediscovering my true self.
    Luckily I have professional help, to guide me through this oh-so-difficult path.
    Your posts always include something to relate to.
    Truly love it!!!

  23. Everyone and everything has detractors and naysayers. Some people simply don’t have the capacity to see good, do good, or feel good. They wallow in negativity and enjoy pulling others down to their level. Feel sorry for them. You have nothing to prove to anyone. Keep doing you! 👍😉

  24. I think you are a blessing to everyone who reads your blog. You are taking something tragic and with God’s help, living a life of purpose. You’re an inspiration to others and God’s light shines through you. This 44 year old single mother, gains such encouragement from you. Your public display of faith, inspires me to be a better person. Isn’t that what we’re put on earth for? To help others? That’s pretty authentic to me.

    Keep smiling pretty lady. It’s contagious!

    • Oh my gosh thank you Penelope. What an incredibly kind thing to say. You’re right-it has been God’s saving power in my life:) and yes! We’re here to cheer each other on, and know that I am cheering you on! Sending massive hugs xox

  25. There is a genuineness and authenticity to your writing that is borne out in your incredible vulnerability. Those who question it are probably saying more about themselves than about you, although that doesn’t really make it hurt any less. Not infrequently, I find myself meditating on something that you wrote or one of your word art quotes. You have been given a blessing of being able to express your faith, hope, and love with such simple eloquence. I am so grateful for your posts. My reaction is often, “Yes! That’s it, exactly! I just never could put my finger on it before!” Also, as for recovery, it is tremendously encouraging to me that you are so many years ahead of me. I like to wonder how I’ll be in another 5 or 10 years. So, thank you!

    • Thank you so much Lulu. Honest to goodness if im ever feeling down I always go back and read your comments because they are so positive and uplifting and full of so much love and support. I am so grateful for you and your friendship. And I know I must sound like a broken record, but that’s the truth: you are awesome! Big hugs to you xox

      • Thank you so much, Caralyn! I am honestly relieved that you find my comments uplifting and encouraging. I often feel like a broken record, too, but maybe we all need a little of that in our lives. After all, the voices of doubt and despair can be very loud in all of our ears. Hope your week gets off to a good start! I’m looking forward to your next post! ❤️

  26. From one recovering girl to another…thank you. Thank you for your honesty. Thank you for your thoughtfulness and the healing intent of your message. I know how hurtful it is to have others fail to recognize the real you. Don’t worry about them; they are looking outward. You are looking inward. You are feeling, and for many of us, that is true progress. We always felt more than we could handle and we shut down, each in our own way. You have acknowledged the hurt, and now you are turning it around and giving us hope. Well done, girl!

  27. Still listening to you at Patreon! My comments are over there. Too bad more folks don’t see you over there too! Especially with the Journal entries from in-patient! *WARNING* I’m afraid I went “dad” on you again…

  28. I admire you so much. And the way that you are able to be open, candid, and vulnerable. It takes a lot of courage to do that. There will always be haters and people who question realness and authenticity, but who are they to question others?
    Recently, I noticed a theme in my life where I ran into friends/ more like acquaintances who I used to consider close friends. After hearing what they had been up to since the last time we met I shared what I have been currently working on in school and they both said (on separate ocasions )almost in the exact words, “Oh, I thought you already did that.” By “that” it was go to the university. I have been struggling for years and have worked so hard to get to the point where I could have this luxury of studying and their judgements felt harsh, hurtful, and made me feel small… Once I got through the initial sting, I realized that these were not the types of people that I wanted in my life.
    I think that our friends should be in our corners cheering us on no matter how long it takes us to reach our dreams.
    I’m sorry, I rambled on and on here…
    Sending you lots of hugs! Xoxoxo

  29. All I can say is, I’ve enjoyed what I’ve read of yours so far .. .and from one soul to another, who is trying to ‘recover’ / reconcile themselves … You go you good thing you!! 🙂 😉

  30. There is nothing “podunk” in what you are doing here. Your experience is inspiring and your theology is sound. More importantly, the love of Christ is being revealed through your witness.

  31. Thank you for being transparent and honest, which is very unpopular in this contemporary world! Being transparent and brutally honest makes you vulnerable and many would consider that as a weakness, but it’s one of the greatest strength anyone could harness.

    Maybe someday you should write a book or a pamphlet, however small it is and entitle it “Beauty Beyond Bones: Rediscovering the Rainbow Confetti of my Soul”….and share your story.

    Just saying!

    Anywho…You’ve found purpose in your pain and struggle, just like everyone must do, someday, keep it up!

    • Hey Paul! Oh thank you so much:) you’re right! It’s scary to put yourself out there like that! Haha I like that title! Thanks again for the encouragement and for brightening my day! Big hugs xox

  32. Your writing is compelling because of your honesty, because you have a story to tell and you tell it fearlessly. When we live fearlessly, when we pursue our goals and are authentic, we threaten those who are insecure and fearful. They strike out at us, usually in our most vulnerable moments or in the most hurtful way. Try to use this as a reminder that what you’re sharing is touching people, deeply. Some people are ready for that and some aren’t. Thank you for inviting me into your world, it’s beautiful.

    • Thank you so much Jordyn. That really is a powerful perspective. Gotta just keep on keeping on 🙂 and thank you for joining me on the journey! Grateful for you:) hope you’re having a great night xox

  33. I love how you bare yourself on this blog, that vulnerability is scary to some and it makes it tough. You will always draw attention from people who don’t understand, but if God is calling you to write then write. I feel ridiculous writing my story sometimes but maybe if one person takes his or her first step toward healing because of what i write then I can take 10K critics…

  34. We shouldn’t care what other people think of who we are, its pointless. Most people don’t even understand who they are, how would they understand who you are? Not saying you’re super concerned one way or the other just felt like sharing

  35. Always be yourself. In my blog, I look back and realize that I have no idea who I am. I am on a journey of discovering who I am and I think that if we are all honest with each other and ourselves we will see that this is all a journey. I have no idea who said things to you or what they said. But don’t let it discourage you from sharing from your heart. Don’t let it discourage you from being yourself.

  36. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks about you. It only matters what you think and what God thinks. If you are in alignment with Him then you are ok. I’m so sorry you were criticized.

  37. Ugh, I have absolutely nothing nice to say about trolls, so I will say nothing about them except I get them often. I have such a spongy, sensitive personality that it just destroys me, but like you, I have a few people counting on me to speak the truth.

    The people who matter, those of us counting on you, we love no matter what you do. You’ve done so much for me and I’m just a stranger to you. I’m sure there are so many more besides me. So don’t fret. Here, I have something for you for when you get haters, it’s provided me with plenty of giggles through the tears <3 :

    • Hey Rebecca! I’m so sorry you can relate to the trolls, but thank you so much for that little nugget of cuteness! Haha let’s go hula hoop together haha seriously though, thank you for your encouraging words. Big hugs xox

  38. My friend….I know the sting of assumption…especially in this realm of pain. I can’t add much more to what you said other than this: You have a story to be told and you’re right, there may be someone out there who needs hope.

    Pardon my language but screw the ones who call into question your authenticity. Screw em all and keep being you. You’re lovely and you put a smile on my face everytime I see you.

    Don’t quit.

    • Hey Matthew, thank you so much for this encouragement. I’m sorry you can personally relate to this. That’s great advice. And awww what a kind thing to say! You’ve put a smile on MY face! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  39. I’m glad to see all the positive responses. My comments are similar to others . . . just that I’ve learned much from your honest, open discussion and that I hope you continue plugging away. You’ve given your readers a lot to think about and you’re making a positive difference in so many people’s lives. Keep the faith!

  40. Caralyn I’m so sorry you have been hurt. I’ve lived through this type of thing and it can be so painful. But so many of us love your blog and are blessed with each post. Thank you for your courage to be real! You encourage us on so many levels. Peace and be blessed.

  41. God bless you, dear one. I applause you for putting your vulnerability in display. It’s not easy, but it is necessary. Especially in recovery and healing. You got this ❤️

      • Hi I have never questioned the authenticity of your blog – it seems full of deeply held feelings and beliefs to me. Many people love your blog as evidenced by your large number of followers, don’t let a tiny minority put you off. I prayed yesterday although I’m not sure I believe in God anymore. I’m not sure whether the prayer worked but it did make me see what I was really upset about rather than the surface issue.

      • Thanks Caroline. I really appreciate that. That’s awesome that you prayed yesterday:) I’m glad it gave you some deeper understanding of your situation. Sending big big hugs xox

  42. Caralyn,

    Do not let those people question whether you are being false. If they can’t read the emotion that you put into your words, then they lack empathy towards anyone. Do not let others judge you for your walk. Not sure how you feel about rap, but there is a song by Andy Mineo called Wild Things, and in it he says, “I talk about Jesus, all the Christians love me, I walk like Jesus now they wanna judge me, ain’t it funny?”

    From the moment I first started reading your writings, I didn’t doubt you were being real, honest, and truthful. Remember, you are sharing your spiritual walk with God and what He has been able to bring you through. It is not up to us to determine whether you are being authentic. Something I wish Christians would stop doing is saying other believers are not following Jesus. All they can see is the outside, but God doesn’t judge that way, He judges by what’s in the heart, and I believe you are extremely real and authentic here.

    I also find it appalling that there are people who do that especially when it’s already difficult for you to share some of these things. I’m guessing when you read those remarks, you just wanted to stop writing altogether.

    Keep strong, Caralyn, and let Jesus be the only one to guide you.

    • Thanks for this Tom. Wow what a powerful line in that song. Really makes ya think. You’re right-God is the true judge and He looks at the heart. Thanks again for your kindness. Hugs and love xox

      • And don’t worry about those people, you won’t be able to please everyone and it’s not a good idea to try. You’ve got yourself, your friends, your family, and us here who love you and care about and are always praying for you!

  43. My beautiful sister, please know and always be mindful of the fact that everyone IS NOT ready for who you are. Sure, confession and openness are AWESOME for the mind and the soul, but, yes, they also open us to questions about “who” we are and “why” we operate as we do. In other words, you’re going to be misunderstood because of your authenticity. I think the real matter you’re facing is that your transparency makes others obligated to be just as transparent, and it makes them uncomfortable. People, in general, just aren’t ready for truth; they have to be taught to hear/receive it and to share it.

    I pray for protection of your heart as you continue to share of yourself openly. Likewise, I pray for God’s wisdom to be heaped upon you so that you “Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces” (Matthew 7:6).


  44. You know we’re still on the same wave-length I think. Authenticity came up recently when I was talking to a friend and it got me thinking I am so glad I never jumped on the “Fake-hate” bandwagon that was going around the internet for several years, it was so brutal. I hold to the attitude that, even fake people are real if you care enough to dig deeply enough, and literally if I saw someone being ridiculed by multiple people for being fake I’d want even more to be their friend.

    The thing that happened to make me think of this again was that my friend confessed she’d basically, been fake, and as a result she’s lost a close friend.

    And I’ll just say this now, Caralyn; I don’t hate fakes, I love them. Even if you weren’t being totally authentic, I’d still be your friend 😉 I don’t see ‘fake’, I see ‘hurt,’ ‘scared,’ ‘alone,’ ‘insecure,’ …

    Okay, I’ll be truthful (since we’re being real and authentic) I forgot where I was going with this (or maybe I never knew in the first place–maybe?)

    But I like your attitude. And you don’t have to try to defend yourself for the truth because Truth has a name and He always wins 🙂

    • Hey Carson! Thank you for this. You have such great insight. Always. I feel like i learn so much from you! haha but it’s true! You’re so so right – fake=hurt/scared/alone. I have literally never thought of that before now, but it is so spot on. And it shows so much of your character that you want to befriend those “fake” people because you do care to dig deeper. Thanks for stopping by and for your wonderful words of kindness, as always 🙂 and yes — God ALWAYS wins! big hugs xox

  45. Dear Caralyn,
    I am one of your many followers who don’t put your authenticity in question! I’m old and a doctor and I don’t question my own judgement in this.
    One thing that makes me sad and wondering is that if one posts the nicest thing on a blog, Youtube or wherever, it attracts trolls, haters and others who loves to hurt people.
    Just ignore them and stick your real friends!

    This year I have had my third, and worst, episode of depression. This time I have been completely open with my illness, and I don’t regret it, because of the wonderful support I have got from co-workers and friends, from far or near.

    God Bless you, dear Sister in Christ!


    • thanks Lennart.that really means a lot. You’re right, just gotta ignore the noise! i’m so sorry you’ve been dealing with that this year, but I’m so glad you’ve had supportive company on that walk. Sending so much love xox

  46. I’m so sorry Caralyn – whoever said that is not worth it. You have no idea how many people you’ve impacted and inspired through your blogging journey – including me. Please continue glorifying God and being a beautiful light 🙂 <3

  47. “To become who I’d always been.” That really resonates with me. We get reborn into the world and we have to focus on learning how to operate our new equipment and we forget who we are. We lose track of our souls. I look at you from a distance and I see this enormous ball of light and I have a strong sense that you don’t understand how your ED was just the darkness trying to keep that light from shining.

    When I was going through this, I used to sit in fast-food restaurants and just listen to the voices of the patrons, holding each one in my mind and sending it love. People would go quiet and a great peace would enter the place.

    I had to stop doing things in the world and just pay attention to being to figure out how to separate myself from the shadows that had been laid over me. I hope that you have a sacred place in which you meditate every now and then, just looking deep into yourself to rediscover the things that you’ve brought forward from the past.

    • Hey Brian, this is so powerful. And wow I am so touched by this. That’s so true, we need to purposely quiet ourselves and reflect upon the state of our souls. Hope you’re having a great day xox

  48. I LOVE all the comments on this recent post of yours, Beautiful. Its so inspiring to see someone speaking honestly. I didn’t have an eating disorder but alcoholism and other issues of shattered self worth. I love that idea of a coffin with the rainbow confetti signifying the rainbow multi-hued being that got buried. I SO identify with that.

    I have learned through hard experience that what others say is a reflection of them and not me. Honest feedback is valuable but all of us are in a process of uncovering layers of ourselves, and I believe we are as authentic as we are called to be and if we are not there is a reason why, maybe fear of some kind.

    Keep writing and I know you will…look at all the people who resonate with you and your journey. You are a light being in the process of throwing off the dark shadows and forces that try to keep your light imprisoned. Big hug, sister.

    • Thank you so much. I know, I am seriously so touched by the outpouring of support and love. Frankly, I am humbled. I’m sorry that you can personally relate to my art project, I’m so glad that you are out of that place, embracing freedom and colors again:) thanks again for your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  49. You are authentic, vulnerable, courageous, strong. Those four words describing a single person is an incredible feat, one that you conquer with grace. Be humbled, not hardened, by those questioning you, for they are seeking it within themselves. <3

  50. As someone who also shares openly on my blog, I understand both the anxiety of hitting “publish” and the strength it takes to stand up to criticism. I remind myself that when my sharing bothers someone else, that is about that person, not me–and I say a prayer for his or her healing. Keep sharing–you give such glory to God.

  51. So much gratitude always for my fellow lioness sister! God gently takes care of your date, too, and I pray he is just as authentic, Caralyn. Enfolding you in glowing Divine Love, Leon

  52. Thanks for this. I appreciate your sharing, and I think authenticity is misunderstood and used as a unreal Barby judge others based on a sometimes warped understanding of real. When you pour your heart out, God is the only one who gets to say what is authentic. You know your truth. Your words inspire because your experiences are authentic. Be blessed always, brave and true warrior😇

    • Thank you so much for this kind reflection:) that’s a powerful perspective-it’s true-God is the one and only judge and I’ve got to remember that. Thanks for stopping by! Big big hugs xox

  53. Caralyn, journeys of the heart are filled with mystery. Only those who are willing to follow their deepest longings for truth and self-discovery will travel those paths. To take the journey is always commendable, to honestly journal the trip and post one’s findings and impressions is courageous!

    Many hide behind a mask of their making because it’s safer. Those masks come off once they’ve encountered the authenticity of another, because something resonated within them, much deeper than they want to admit. To dismiss their inward impression with criticism is a their only defense against the scary alternative. Your honesty touched a chord, something in themselves they either don’t want to know or aren’t ready to address.

    Truth about ourselves can be a scary thing, but we’re all the stronger for facing it… not perfect, just stronger. Don’t dwell on the negatives, just pray for them (they keep reading your blog for a reason). Sometimes the best way to answer our critics is to not answer them at all.

    Continue your journey and Be Encouraged! -JSP

    • Hey JSP, wow I am so encouraged by this powerful reflection. Thank you for your kind words about my blog. You’re right- praying for them is the absolute best approach. That is what Jesus would do. Remember those bracelets? WWJD? I wish I still had mine. It’s a great reminder. Thanks for reminding me what’s important:) Hugs and love xox

  54. Reblogged this on Church Set Free and commented:
    Not the usual “Christian Fare” in this post. Something else. Someone else who can feel persecuted by the world and (some of) those in it – simply for being “who they are”.
    This blog is written by someone who has walked through Eating Disorders (ED). And has written with humbling honesty at each step of that journey. And – for that – she receives comments of disdain. Comments questioning whether she is “real”. Who becomes the target for those who choose to disparage.
    BeautyBeyondBones is as special as every other sacred being on this planet. And yes, she has a relationship with God – and is unashamed of talking about that. But mainly she talks of her own journey – and I cannot help but love her.
    Christian – non-Christian …
    Isn’t it down to each of us whether we love and encourage – whether we hate and pull-down – not because of our “beliefs” … Isn’t it a choice we should make simply because we are all of one on this spinning blob we call “our” Earth?

    (Comments disabled here as always for a reblog from me. Please join the conversation at BBB’s place. Thank you)

  55. By His stripes you are healed! Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story ! I’m praying Gods hand continually be on your life! Your blog has definitely encouraged me to be more transparent with my blogging as well! Can’t wait to see how your journey continues! Lots of love and light your way! Xx

  56. Stay true to yourself, there will always be doubters and haters unfortunately that’s something you can’t control! You are a true inspiration for anyone that is or has been on that same path, your recovery gives others hope! 🙂 xx


    Questionable Authenticity →

    Beautybeyondbones is the personal journey of a recovering Anorexic in her relationship with Jesus Christ. It is her mission to aid and assist others in like and similar situations. She is a great inspiration to many, including myself. Should you visit her blog then Read This First

  58. The courage you show by being yourself is awe-inspiring. There will always be people who want to tear others down but they’re not worth a response. The only real judge of your heart is Jesus and He’s on your side. And so am I.

    • Wow thank you so much Elizabeth! You’re right-Jesus is the true judge. That’s a powerful thing to remember. And thanks for your personal encouragement. Truly means so much:) big hugs xox

  59. As the Mom of an AD, my heart knows that what you are writing is real. In my book, “Grandma, Where’s my Mommy?” I constantly encourage the child that the Mommy he sees right now (in active addiction) is NOT the Mommy inside who loves him. And, just as you write, that person returns, but with a whole new set of fears and doubts.

    Don’t ever stop writing. If no one ever reads it, God is speaking to you through your writing. Be blessed and know that prayers are going up for you.

    • Hi Sheila, thank you so much for sharing this. Your book sounds incredibly powerful. And so true-one truly is not themselves when in an active addiction or ED. Thank you for the encouragement and prayers. Know that you and your family are in mine too:) Hugs and love xox

  60. I love how you express your thoughts. I do not know how your authenticity was question. When people go through hurts, betrayal and deceptions in ways they do not expect especially from people who they have trusted, they find it difficult to identify genuine authenticity.
    I was staved for many years by friends, family members, church members, because of my open spirit, I kept going back trying to keep it the christian way until my emotion was badly damage. I built a wall around myself. I was so hurt and bitter that I could no more trust or see the good in whatever others would say or do. This was eating me up like cancer, I had to cry out to God for healing because it became a stronghold.

    Why am I saying all of this; maybe those that are questioning your authenticity have gone through some emotional trauma that is making it difficult to trust or love;
    or they are just operating in the spirit of the age according to 2 Timothy 3: 1-5 But mark this: There will be terrible times in the last days. People will be lovers of themselves….abusive…ungrateful…without love… slanderous, without self-control…not lovers of the good…rash, conceited. I omitted some words for emphasis.

    Lastly ships do not sink because of the water around them, but because of the water that gets in them. This is your opportunity to prove your authenticity by using the stones they have thrown at you to continue building this platform for your voice to be heard; showing your genuine love and desire to help people learn from your authentic life experience. Do not let the water enter your ship, sail on. May God handle this and bring healing to all.

    • Wow thank you for this. I seriously feel so empowered and encouraged after this. You’re right-everyone is coming from a different place, and I should just keep focused on the ultimate Healer. I’m sorry that you can personally relate but I am so glad that you’ve also come to know the healing power of our Stronghold. Thanks again for this beautiful reflection. Hugs and love xox

  61. Maybe your critics are like me, before I really got Romans 14:4–
    “Who are you to judge the servant of another? To his own master he stands or falls; and stand he will, for the Lord is able to make him stand.”
    You will stand, Caralyn, before your loving Master because He will make you stand! Keep on serving and trusting His work in and through you.

  62. I feel bad for those who point, with accusation, the finger of scorn at anyone’s sincerity and truthfulness, because, usually, they, themselves, have either been burned by someone’s insincerity, they personally struggle with being sincere while surrounded by insincerity, and they’re disheartened when they try to be sincere and their own efforts have been mocked or made trivial. For so long.

    To actually meet someone who actually means it becomes foreign, unfamiliar. It triggers within their heart their own longing and hunger for sincerity and truth. Their accusation is really a reflection of their own hungers and doubts about themselves…not about others.

    People don’t usually doubt God. They doubt themselves.

    • Thank you for this powerful insight. You’re right, I don’t know where these people were coming from in their own lives, but all I can do is pray for them and whatever they’re going through to make them speak out in that way. Thank you for that. Hugs and love xox

  63. Another stellar post, Caralyn. Even though I don’t have, and have never had, ED, a very close friend of mine does. It is truly a monstrous disorder. Keep up the good work of baring your bones and supporting others who suffer!

  64. The amazing thing about authenticity is that it is not derived from ourselves or even others judgment. “But He who calls us by name”, God is the ultimate source for authenticity as He has promised that we are carefully and wonderfully made, we are His habitation, His people, His children, Accepted and beloved in the spirit of adoption so that we in truth can cry “Father”.

    God redeemed you out from ED, God defines who you are and His Love will define who you are yet to become, no one and nothing else can do that!

    Psa 139 and Psa 27 my go to chapters….stepping down from the pulpit😃

    “Believe…I know it sounds like a cat poster, but it’s true”

  65. One thing that shines through your blogs is your honesty and that cant be faked. I sense that you are rebuilding your life brick by brick on a very firm foundation. With God as the architec, the way ahead for you is very bright.

  66. It’s kind of sad that people would question your authenticity.
    For me, I wonder why I blog sometimes. A lot of it is selfish. I like to be heard, and sometimes the words in my head get so overwhelming they have to be released somewhere. I didn’t like to think about that, since I thought I was writing so that I could encourage others –
    You… DO encourage others. It is so clear that you never write for yourself. You share yourself, but that’s not the same thing. Every time you write a blog post I see how God uses that post and your transparency to bring help or healing to someone else.

    Sometimes seeing the truth hurts. Others will see you, and be reminded of struggles they don’t want to let go of yet. For bloggers who are not as successful as you it is tempting to wonder how your blog is so much better; feelings like that have this draw to look for a chink in your armor.

    They won’t ever find it. You say that you write for One, and it is so clear that you do. His words cannot be silenced. The righteous, in their understanding, use words to encourage and one another up…..the wicked destroy with their words, but they cannot tear down what has been built in the name of the Lord.

    • Wow, I am so humbled by your words. Thank you so much. I’m so glad that you find my blog encouraging. That is truly my deepest prayer 🙂 you’re right-I’ve got to just remember Who I’m writing for. Big hugs to you friend xox

  67. This world is in desperate need of more people like you. Who are willing to lay it all out there so to speak. I love reading your blog, there is always hope and inspiration to be found.
    Lots of love and hugs to you! Thank you for being you.

      • I use every oppurtunity to remind you how wonderful you are. 😎😝 you can see me as your walking reminder. I don’t know why, but I am proud of you. It takes very much courage to be vulnerable and to stand up and speak your inner truth. If someone doesn’t resonate with the way you express yourself, that’s only their own perception. Bear hugs !!!!! 🐻 you’re more than enough.

  68. Keep writing brave girl. And, like you said, when you are writing for the One, what anyone else thinks, says or throws at you won’t really matter. When you’re counting who cares about you and your writing, you have One + at least one other one here.

  69. Your only job is: to be exactly who you are, as God created you 🙂 Be yourself. Be free. Be different. The opinion and perception of other people is not the truth. They can’t hurt and confuse you, if you don’t give them power. Blessings to you, my Dear… Mark

      • What is freedom? Freedom is for me the ability to let go of who you think you’re supposed to be (or other people ideas and opinions about who you „should“ be, because they have no clue :D) and embrace wholeheartedly who you are. You will never be everybodys darling. For the world, you might be nothing, but for somebody you are the world. You just need to find these souls, these companions of Light in your life, who see you with gentle and gracious eyes. They are your Power Rangers, who follow you even in the the darkest hours of the night, and holding your hands before the fire.

        Bear Hugs :P,

      • In Christ you are always engaging with the world from a place of worthiness. We are already, with all our glorious imperfection, raised up with Him and seated with him in heavenly places where he dwells. You are absolutely worthy of love and belonging. That’s the thing with Jesus: he loves you unconditionally as you are, not as you should be, because nobody is as they should be. This is maybe the most important question of the whole Gospel: “Do you believe that God loves you as you are and not as you should be (in the eyes of others and your own eyes)?”

      • Caralyn, I feel the calling to write a book about that kind of stuff (awakening to the brightness of our imperfection, the beauty and power of vulnerability, the importance to stand up for your inner truth and celebrate your wholeness, transformation through divine grace, healing through the radical acceptance and the deep embrace of who we are in etcetera), I would enjoy to use your story as a positive example? 🙂

  70. Keep doing what you’re doing. I don’t think it of a podunk ministry. I see it as your testimony that is helping others to see the value of a wonderful God that can help you.

  71. Why I look forward to every post: The expression of your faith is childlike. I mean this in the way that Jesus speaks in the Gospels of needing to be like a child. I do not recall ever having that kind of faith, but I want it bad. When it comes it won’t be expressed like your’s (I don’t know how it will be expressed or lived), but your’s is a regular reminder and witness of its reality. That coupled with what by the grace of God you overcame and the recovery you continue to live is a real kindling of hope. Thank you, Caralyn. + In the arms of our mother on this great and holy day.

    • Wow, I am so touched by this. Thank you. All I know is how Jesus rescued me from the depths, and all I want to do is share His love:) thanks for this beautiful affirmation. Big hugs xox

  72. Girl your writing is amazing. Don’t listen to the haters. As long as you’re doing something worthy, people will try to stop you. Your writing helps a lot of people.

  73. I totally get where you’re coming from about why you blog. I want to spread hope too. I’ve been working hard to be more open when I post, I have only a handful of followers and it still scares me. But it does lift my spirits to read your stuff and know I’m not the only one trying to figure this out, I know it wasn’t a plug for praise or anything, but I’ve heard it takes a bunch of positives to outweigh a negative, so fro the record you come across as very open and honest, not too much, just enough to make it meaningful.

    • Oh my gosh you’re so kind. Thank you:) that’s so awesome-you never know whose hands your blog will stumble into and who knows they may need to hear exactly what you have to say:) big hugs to you friend xox

  74. Jesus gives life and life more abundantly, the devil comes to rob, kill, and destroy. You are doing the right thing, giving him the glory, that will attract spiritual flak for sure. Hold fast BB, to the only real truth that counts, you are ‘ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED’, no matter what each day brings. God Bless.

  75. I stumbled upon your blog and have been hooked since. You are authentic, genuine and heart felt. Anyone who has read your journey knows that!! A new reader may have found your Patreon site shout out as a sign of inauthenticity that is because they do not know your soul as others do. Do not question yourself or feel the need to defend yourself. You are so authentic and your followers love you!! 💕💕

  76. I absolutely do understand what you are saying – I am going through the same thing with my family. I know who I am. Yes, i have been through many things they don’t understand and they judge me for it. Yes, I got Hep C from a dirty needle when i was in my early 20’s. I’ve been clean from street drugs for a long time but the disease progressed and 4 years ago I had a liver transplant. I moved home. I lost my home, my business and came close to losing my life. My family didn’t support me so i went through it without my immediate family. I had my husband. No phone call to see if i was dead. No get well card. I try and i try and i try to talk to my sister and she shuts me down. My niece called me a drug addict last week because i tried to explain how much their actions still hurt me. I take a low dose of methadone for nerve damage caused by hep C. The fact is that they don’t know ME. I am judged and found lacking. I’m not asked to come for Christmas or birthdays of extended family. That is enough or I will get carried away, Just know that someone understands.

    • I really dont know, how many of you here are so courageous, to open up. I like the way how nicely the worst period is put up despite this is not anyone would really like to do. I know literally what it is like when no one supports you in the most difficult times (I am going through it). Many times….no…always …I am scared to express…and keep all the pain in my heart. But the best part is that, this forum, “BBB” is the place I get to voice out a little by little. My prayers for you.

      • Many times when disowned by the “own”, unknown angels walk in, to hold your hand. Here I am….amidst lots of angels. Love, Vannie

      • Blogging like this – and “putting it out there” is a safe way to open up, especially if doing so is hard for you. For many blogging is like having an interactive diary without starting with “dear diary”. Learning to express yourself when you have spent years learning how to stuff things inside is a scary feeling. But when you find people who understand what you are going through it can be like a cleansing getting things out that you have held inside for so long. There are so many different kinds of blogs for different reasons. I have 2 blogs. One which is serious – about our prison system and I write a lot about one man in particular. But the other one I started because sometimes I have something to say that doesn’t fit right in the other blog, so it covers many ideas. both have their place and have different readers for the most part. Some do check out both. Hopefully you will find a place that lets you feel comfortable enough to slowly let the pain out. You will find your courage.

    • Hi Sonni, thank you for sharing this. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through that. That just breaks my heart that you haven’t had support on your fight. Know that I am in your corner and cheering you on in your journey:) hang in there. Sending big hugs xox

      • Things happen for a reason. There is always something to learn. As I searched for the reason why I can’t look at this as something that was done “to me”. There are many things that happened along the way over many years for this to be this way. If I only look at it as a way of blaming them for treating me this way I also have to look at what I might have done for them to look at me this way. It doesn’t make it less hurtful, but i have to take responsibility for the fact that it happened to me in my life. Why? Are they horrible people? No. It is a lack of communication and a willingness to learn to communicate. Sometimes people are afraid to step outside their cocoon and then there are people like me who took a flying leap out of the cocoon to experience life on all levels and I think that scares them. I can’t expect them to change. I can only change myself. Maybe someday they will be willing to try to understand how their actions affected me – when they get over thinking they didn’t do anything wrong. Maybe that won’t ever happen but it is difficult when you know people have decided you are something you aren’t and won’t talk to you to work things out. How does the saying go . . .”Accept the things you cannot change . . .”

      • I think it is common for many people to want to find a reason to not take responsibility for things that happen in our own personal environment. I’m not saying they want to place blame on another person, but on extenuating circumstance that were beyond their control. Maybe it’s because we don’t want others to see us negatively.Maybe we didn’t mean to cause someone else to be hurt, but we did, so we reason with ourselves because it wasn’t our intention. But if we do hurt someone, the ability to apologize is important for that person to know we are sorry. Wouldn’t you have more respect for someone who was able to humble themselves? The lessons in our lives, different from other people are there for a reason. We either learn them or we don’t – and then have to repeat it until we do. Some people are never able to see these issues for what they are – a lesson to learn. I had a conversation with my mother yesterday about this very thing. But it is so hard to stay rational and think before we act because it is often instantaneous. Someone says something and we verbally react – or overreact -, and if we had told ourselves to wait even 5 seconds to think before we speak it could change everything. I am so guilty of doing that. Then I have to make a determination to try harder. We are often our own worst enemy. Those that use the excuse, “That’s just the way I am,” miss the opportunity to change something in our nature. But what a hard thing to do because our nature is so deep and so ingrained. If changing our nature to one more positive was easy, people would be doing it. Changing isn’t easy and some people even say things like,”God must want me to be this way.” It is a lifelong quest to be the best we can be and there are always ways to improve.

  77. I genuinely wish that the girl full of colors and love and life will never be shut away anymore. You’re story will be a reminder to me or to everybody who reads it to live from acceptance ❤️ xoxo

  78. I understand what you mean. But many time there is this element that keep pulling…here questioning authenticity. But I am sure these are again lessons. I guess there had been some reason, probably the Lord wanted you to open up about this or may be something else. I know it hurts….no matter what. Yet it makes one stronger than ever before. So you are more stronger now…….Stay blessed….Love from India.

  79. You wrote above, QUOTE: “Speak the truth even if your voice shakes.”

    How about the voice of Jesus, The Way The Truth and The Life, speaking in complete consecutive sentences about which commandment is the Most Important one?
    No, it’s not “love”, so “love” is NOT the answer……

    Jesus was asked twice which Commandment is the greatest or most important one, (Matthew 22 and Mark 12)
    Both times Jesus answered quoting the same two commandments, from the Law of Moses.

    Jesus said that one of these two commandments is the first and greatest most important one. Which one is it? The one in Deuteronomy 6:4-5, or the one in Leviticus 19:18 ?

    “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “ is this: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ [Mark 12:29-30, Deuteronomy 6:4-5]

    Jesus replied: “’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment.” [Matthew 22:37-38, Deuteronomy 6:5]

    Poem – What is love?

    Two men came to Jesus
    With different motivations.
    They asked Him the same question
    Relevant to all the nations:

    Which is the Most Important?
    The answer was the same.
    Jesus did not manipulate
    He was not there to play a game.

    “Love the Lord your God” said Jesus
    as He quoted from The Law –
    to fulfill and not abolish
    was His purpose, full of awe.

    Jesus did not make all Scripture
    Into one new great commandment.
    He summarized The Law and Prophets
    “First and Greatest” and “The Second.”

    The Love of God is higher
    Than the love of any man.
    Receive from God, give back to God-
    Then to others, that’s His plan.

    The Love of God involves much more
    Than simply “love your fellow man.”
    Worship, trust, and pray to God,
    and obey Him – that’s His plan

    To worship and pray to neighbors,
    Whoever they may be,
    Or trust and obey our enemies
    Would be idolatry.

    The love of God is first and greatest,
    And the love of man is second.
    “All we need is love” are words
    of dead Beetles on the pavement.

    “The entire law is summed up in a single command”
    are not the words of Jesus our Salvation.
    It’s false teaching of Paul the Pharisee
    an “accuser of our brethren.”

    “Love” without God is Satan’s word through Paul
    in his chapter to the Corinthians.
    “I will show you the most excellent way”
    is the road to eternal perdition.

    Where is God in Paul’s chapter on love?
    Nowhere in view of the eye.
    Paul sings about himself like a Mexican Mariachi
    “I, I, I, I.”

    Jesus is The Most Excellent Way
    Not the words of a Pharisee.
    The words of Jesus are very clear.
    Jesus said, “You must follow ME.”