Seeing the Big Picture

It always amazes me how the littlest thing can really set you off, emotionally.

I don’t know if it was because the election has emotions running high, or because I was overly tired after a weekend of perhaps a little too much fun, but I found myself watching the American Music Awards (AMAs) last night, and just…crying.

And not because of a particularly moving Justin Bieber performance. Or because Drake made a Degrassi reference in his acceptance speech.

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I was crying for a reason that I am embarrassed to admit. Because, it’s rather…well…not the most attractive. Let’s call it what it is…

I was crying for me.

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I was watching these performances and singers and presenters and just feeling sad that, frankly, I’m a struggling actor/singer in NYC.

It was a bit of a harsh dose of reality that these “kids” who were always a year or two younger than I, are now adults, with seasoned careers, and even – dare I say it – beginning to show their age.

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My life has not been the smooth sail I thought it would be. It has taken several life altering detours that, the fire-cracker child actor in me would have never imagined.

Right when I was on the precipice of perhaps a career launching college decision, I developed ulcerative colitis, and shortly after, a life threatening case of anorexia. The former, incurable, the latter, might as well have been for a good, oh, 2 years.

But my life was never the same. After becoming “well” and finishing college and moving to NYC, thinking I was back on track and on my way to achieving my dreams, my ulcerative colitis decided to roar back, and I was left, debilitated on bed rest for a full 11 months.

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And writing this right now, the tears are just streaming down my face, stuck in a headspace of self pity and just what could my life have been?

Watching the performers – all of whom are my age – and the energy and allure of it all, I couldn’t help but imagine…I’ll let you finish that thought because the sheer absurdity of it, I just can’t.

Opening up my laptop tonight, I had fully thought I was going to be writing a Thanksgiving post. But interrupted by the onslaught of waterworks, I veered from the plan. But I’m reeling it in.

After I was done crying and having a mini pity party, I took a step back and finally began to see the lesson that God was trying to teach me, by allowing this tearful moment.

I remembered my purpose for writing tonight in the first place: Thanksgiving.

I have a lot to be thankful for:

Namely: my life.

Sure, maybe the plans for my life were interrupted, but I’m here.

I’m alive.

Entering inpatient, I was hovering at 78 pounds, barely hanging on, and by the grace of God, I was able to get better and truly heal, mind, body and spirit.

And to have been also able to heal from my ulcerative colitis and keep it in remission, God has come through time and time again for me.

And that’s what I need to remember. That’s what I need to think about the next time I get a lump in my throat, thinking about the dreams that I may feel have died.

Because I didn’t.

I didn’t die.

lived.

And that’s a damn big thing to be grateful for.

Sitting here on the cusp of 2017, am I thankful for having gone through such a severe case of anorexia and my autoimmune disease?

No.

But I am thankful for the lessons I’ve learned along the way. For the way it annihilated my pride, and made me truly have to learn to put my trust, my faith, my body, my plans, my schedule, my everything in God’s hands. For the way it has strengthened the relationships in my family. For the way it has changed me for the better.

And as if God hadn’t shown me enough tonight, right as I was finishing this, I received this text message from my father

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The person I have become. 

What a father. Thanks, dad.

So this Thanksgiving, I’m going to look around the table, and be grateful. Grateful that I’m no longer ridden with anxiety at the food on my plate. That I’m healthy and able to live my life without the crippling ravages of ulcerative colitis. That I’m surrounded by a family that loves me unconditionally. And delighted in by a Father in Heaven that has shown me again and again that He will rescue me.

My life may not be the flashy Hollywood performance I once dreamed of, but God’s been flashy in His mercy and grace. And I’m okay with that.

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beautybeyondbones

BBB: Because we're all recovering from something. // For speaking/business inquiries: beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com

302 thoughts on “Seeing the Big Picture

  1. You write with courage and unfeigned honesty, unafraid to bare your soul and expose your inner turmoil. You do it with beautiful writing and a lovely voice. I feel your heartbreak and taste the sense of loss and hope in your tears, I think you’re the most open blogger I follow.
    I hope you’re writing a novel, poetry, or lyrics, or all three. I would stand in a long line your work.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. “Happy digesting”, indeed! I also live with ulcerative colitis and you’ve reminded me to be grateful when I can eat, and digest, well 🙂 God bless!

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      2. Hi Lynn! Oh I’m sorry that we have that connection 😦 but yes, I am also grateful for that too! Hang in there, friend:) it’s an “invisible disease” but know that I know what you’re going through and admire your courage. Thanks for stopping by, friend! Hope you had a great thanksgiving! Hugs and love xox

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Caralyn, I wish you and your family a very Happy Thanksgiving. I agree, we all have so much to be thankful for. I am very thankful for your honesty in sharing your life. All of us who read what you write most likely face a multitude of life’s challenges yet here we are, loved by our Savior and given

    Liked by 2 people

  3. another day of life. I hope that you will accept God’s will peacefully though I hope you find marriage in the man God has prepared for you and you become the singer/actor/writer that God will touch the world with just as he has touched those who follow you on your blog. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I myself am having my own personal detour of my life. It’s had me unable to work…having to relearn life’s “easy/normal” every day life. Reading your stuff helps me to realize I’m not the only one! Thank you so much for being so real! For telling it like it is!! Thank you for being you!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Beautybeyondbones, that name is perfect, keep up the good fight, keep speaking out about it. I respect that quite a lot. You’re turning a scary thing into a great one, hopefully for a lot of people in the same spot.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Wow that was an amazing post. I definitely know how you feel and have gone through some tragedy in my life. I’m an actor as well and know what you are going through. I’m actually going to Cosmetology school in order to help with getting my career started. It’s definitely hard, but I know that God has some big plans for me and I know He has some for you too! I just want you to know I’m an here for you and you will be in my prayers! Hugs!!

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  7. Hi, let me start by saying thank you. You were kind enough to like one of my blog posts today so I wanted to return the favour in some way. I read that you take the time to read all of your comments and after seeing this thread I believe that to be true so I am sure that you will read this. I read this post fully and have got to say that your writing is absolutely magnificent, when I read the text from your dad I had goosebumps! No one can truly understand the things that you have been through, only you know that first hand but the way you put pen to paper is both inspiring and touching. Thank you for sharing with us. I would massively appreciate if you would follow myself and read more of my posts as I have only been writing for literally a week. If you would be kind enough to comment and give me any pointers you don’t know how grateful I would be. If I can get through to only a handful of people like you have I would be more than happy. Thank you again! MaxDadUk / Jason 🙂

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    1. Thank you so much:) I really appreciate your encouraging words and that you stopped by! I know, my dad is such an awesome guy. I am so lucky to have him in my life. Thanks for being awesome!! Hugs and love xox

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  8. I can truly understand what it must have been like. I am a patient of rheumatoid arthritis. Living with it and its several side effects since my childhood. I know how many things you need to sacrifice when you have an incurable disease. But, I’m a very upbeat person and I challenge myself no matter what. I liked your post and your attitude. Keep inspiring!

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  9. It’s funny how I was thinking in the middle of the morning how God still decides to ‘wake us up’ to see a new day, though we may fight such great battles in the night ! The fact that He gives us life is an indication that, ‘We’re not out of the game ! ‘ The devil may be fighting (and sometimes it looks as though He’s winning) but God’s angels are fighting for us !
    We are alive! And hope is still in Christ , It’s somewhere in Christ !
    God bless you

    Like

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