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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


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?


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


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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302 responses to “Seeing the Big Picture”

  1. All things are in God’s time my friend. If it is to be it will and all we have to be is gratefully patient. I am thankful to have crossed paths with you. Peace and Love.

  2. Once again you have written an honest and heart touching post. Maybe it is because I have two daughters and the message from your Dad being so timely. I once asked one of my pastors to pray for a healing from my depression…which he did but also wondered if my role is to be an advocate for treatment which I do through my blog. You have an understanding of your illness and a platform here which could be helping so many people as you share your walk of faith. You and I would not be the people we are today and have our public platform had we not lived our illness. Thank you.

    • Thank you Rick, that really means a lot. So true – those things have shaped in a way that nothing else could. We have learned, grown, but most importantly, learned to depend on God. Thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  3. What an awesome, amazing, affirmative testimony! So very, very encouraging and I want to personally THANK YOU b/c I’ve been struggling lately with my own “dreams that seemed to have died.” But you know what, deep down inside I’ve always believed that God is the ultimate Dream-maker AND (eventually) the Dream-fulfiller. I’m holding on to that now, believing that God can and will take my writing to newer, better and more exciting, purposeful and fulfilling heights! I really believe He will do the same in your life! As always, blessings to you!

  4. “…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…”

    But I’d bet you’d never have imagined what Father knitted into your destiny when he said, “Let us make…Caralyn.”

    “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give some of the hidden manna to eat. And I will give him a white stone, and on the stone a new name written which no one knows except him who receives it.”’

    To you who have overcome, who has been victorious, hidden manna, secret strength and sustenance only available because you are an overcomer, and a white stone with–what is it?–a new name, a new identity, only you know because only you have gone through what you have gone through–and after years of having this false Caralyn identity full of sickness and self-destructive spirals it’s time for you–just you–to know to the core, ‘This is who I really am’ … so look at your white stone, it’s the purest ‘you’, and it’s the reason why you are where you are, and it’s the reason why you are growing in the direction you’re going, and it’s the reason why you have a place in the rest of eternity–because Father made you–one face in billions and trillions and zillions–to be your own unique reflection of His glory. Don’t drop your stone <3

    And that's all I have to say about that (:

    • Oh my gosh, Carson, this brought a tear to my eye – seriously. Wow. Thank you for this incredibly beautiful and powerful response. I love that imagery of the stone. So true – God has handcrafted each and everyone of use, and has a unique plan in place for every one of his children. Thanks for this beautiful reminder. hugs xox

      • (Totally forgot to add that reference is from Revelation 2) It was the first thing that came to mind and the more I was thinking/writing (because yes, I think before I write haha 😉 ) about it, it just feels so like what Father wanted you to hear from me from him today, SO! Thank-you Father for your hidden manna; we love it and how You provide for us and take special care of us when we’ve faced our darkest places.

        You know, I’ve kind of shied away from anything sort of like, institutionalized about Christianity, what I mean by that, for example, the idea that God has a ‘plan’ for everyone, that almost makes me a little sick (and I know that God does have a plan for everyone because he said so through Jeremiah, ‘I know the plans I have for you, they’re good!’) but what church culture, especially the one I grew up in, has done with that has turned it into work and how he’s just going to use us (and I know how silly or whatever ‘just going to use us’ sounds because it should be a privilege from the Creator of the Universe but…)

        I guess what I’m trying to get at is, it’s so much more. His plans are so much more than me getting a great, tear-jerk testimony to do his work with, his plans for us are to love us, and to care for us tenderly and compassionately, to create a world with us included in his family…and yeah, when we become so full of his love and his identity for us in Jesus there’s no question, I can’t help but want to share it, but he’s in it for me, and ultimately he’ll go after everyone else with or without me, because he’s in it for them too. It just works out that we become family together with him as we come together with each other, because family is his nature.

        And okay I don’t have any idea where that all came from so I’ll end my rant while I’m ahead!!! Haha… Happy Monday Caralyn!

      • oh! gotcha. it is amazing how He provides for us. And you’re so right, His plans are so so much more. no, no, I love it! You have such a kind heart and it shows in the passion in your writing. You’re right, it all boils down to His love, because no matter how we strive, or achieve, or titles we earn or degrees or whatever…without knowing His love, we will never truly feel whole and at peace. Thanks again, Carson. hugs xo

      • And I just really love that rock picture because it’s solid and permenant and that means our odentities are true and permenant and eternal in Father’s love for us… wonderful!
        Haha, I’m glad you get something out of my rants cause sometimes I look back and I’m just like, “Wha– …who is this guy and where the heckle freckle was he going with this???” So thank-you for being gracious and patient! ;D
        And again, you’re also very welcome!

  5. I think I went “Exactly!” like five times while reading this XD gratitude truly is the key to happiness. I’m glad that you were able to find the beauty in your life again and not feel so sad anymore. As I’m sure you know, celebrity life isn’t all that it’s cut out to be either. Your life is always good enough, you just have to be able to see it 🙂 God bless you.

  6. Your life is a gift just the way it is. God has you just where he wants you. Am thankful I found your blog and through share some of your life. And any daughter who is a hero to her father the way you are has received an award that most of those on the show you watched may never receive. The love of not only an earthly father but a heavenly One too. Thank you and have a blessed Thanksgiving. You truly are blessed. John

    • Thank you so much John, what a kind thing to say. you’re right, I have so many things to be thankful for in my life. I should focus on that 🙂 thanks for the encouragement! big big hugs and happy thanksgiving xox

  7. To add comment, and to take you a little bit further in that line of thinking-I was just thinking yesterday, life isn’t fair. Let me back up. BEFORE that, I was thinking of all of the people who have SO much, and I never have been in that position, and maybe never will. I too am struggling right now, wondering if it will ever become easier, by God’s providence. THEN I thought-life isn’t fair, which I was trying not to think. Because it’s like an admission that you wish for more or aren’t content. Well, the next thought-or small, still voice- was, no, it isn’t fair. And then next…it never was meant to be. And that was it. So I’m sharing this with you-I hope you are encouraged even more. And it was left there-with that as the last thought. So I adjusted my attitude with that last thought, knowing I was right where I was supposed to be. 1. God is in control of the details and 2. you never know what He will do in your life-He can do anything remember. So don’t give up on Him, He never gives up on us.

  8. I cried watching the AMAs too for similar reason. Many of us have unfulfilled dreams but whatever our circumstance, things are most often as they should be. Often in hindsight do we realize that though. You’re fortunate to find your way to thanksgiving / gratitude now.

    Selena Gomez’s acceptance speech about having everything yet being broken. No words and more tears. The best is yet to be.

    Thank you for sharing.

    • Thanks for this Jdub. I appreciate your kind words. You’re right – everything is going to turn out the way is is supposed to be 🙂 And yes, love Selena. what a powerful speech. hope you have a beautiful thanksgiving! xox

  9. Fame and commercial success are shallow accomplishments compared to the grace and wisdom you have earned through real life experience. Congratulations on real success. You have so much to be proud of. Have a happy and blessed Thanksgiving!

  10. This was so totally inspiring! As a musician, I can relate to your struggle. It really helped put things into perspective. Thank you for you constant thoughtful, supportive and comforting posts! 🙂

    • thank you so much. what a kind thing to say. I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 yeah, we keep at it because we have a passion for the artistry of it all. hang in there friend. 🙂 big big hugs xo

  11. @Beautybeyondbones

    This was written in such a wonderful manner. I just wanted to encourage you. Just because you see younger artists out there with a career, does not mean you are failing in life. You have the beautiful experience to grow in life while pursuing your career and that is a beautiful thing because as I once heard it said, “What good is it to have position if you do not have the substance to sustain it?”

    These artists that are younger tend to not know what to do with what they get, but this much I can tell you, that once you do get your breakthrough in your career, you’ll be able to enjoy it fully, because you learned how to enjoy the journey getting there, and that plays a big role, in the heart of Thanksgiving.

    Stay strong.

    • oh gosh, thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. I am so touched. Truly. You’re right, gratitude goes a long way in life. So does hard work and perspective. 🙂 So glad you stopped by. big big hugs xox

  12. Wow, you really are a great writer 🙂 I felt a lot while reading this – esp when your dad stepped in with that text. He loves you so much! I’m thankful I got to read this post from you :)) youve been through so much & youre so authentic and not afraid to be emotional. Happy thanksgiving!

  13. I’m sure I’ve mentioned this before, but seriously. Your dad is an awesome guy. Plain and simple. You are so incredibly blessed to have the parents you do have.

    May your Thanksgiving be blessed with family and turkey and pumpkin pie (unless you prefer apple…?) and God’s peace. 😀

  14. My dear friend I’m going to do something that is an occupational hazard of sorts. I’m going to give you scripture and it’s my favorite piece from the Old Testament. It sort of sums up our life here on earth. Take time and read it…then listen to the song about it. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8.

    You know what I’m thankful for? I’m thankful for the people like you, for friends and family and most importantly the sacrifice that was made for me on Calvary. Keep your chin up hun and if you need an ear or a shoulder (I have to big ones) I’m here for you.

    • Hi Padre Tatro, thank you so much for sharing this. There is always so much comfort in God’s Word, and if this is YOUR favorite passage, then I KNOW it’s gonna be good:) amen to that- We all have a lot to be grateful for–we just have to look at the cross. Thanks for stopping by. Looking forward to diving into scripture tonight. Hugs and love xox

  15. OMG! You got me crying with this. As a man, I feel exposed just saying that. But I could relate to why you were feeling down, as in I’ve got a manuscript for a novel that I’m very proud of, that took me 12 years to write, and I was so thankful to God when it was done, except now I have a hard time finding an agent or editor who sees it the way I do because it doesn’t fit neatly into any genre. It has Christian characters and themes, but it’s not Christian fiction because the Roman world where it’s set was a very seedy culture, and I’m a stickler about portraying that realistically, so it’s too risque for most Christian publishing and too Christian for secular publishing, but I can’t change it without taking the soul out of the story and the characters, so do I sell my soul – figuratively speaking – to get it published, or do I self-publish and face the daunting task of doing all the marketing myself? And wondering why did God give me a story that took so long to get right with no clear path on how to sell it… AAARRGGHHH!!!!
    And then that message from your father. I couldn’t help it. I broke down and cried myself. I know it was addressed to you, but it struck me as if it were my heavenly father talking to me and saying, “Don’t worry, Son. I’ve got this. I didn’t take you this far to leave you in the middle of a no-win situation. I know the way I have prepared for you. I’m here with you, as always.”
    Sorry this is so long. I know with all the comments you have to read I shouldn’t have just dumped all my thoughts here. But thank you for helping me be thankful again.

  16. Your post was so sincere, it brought tears to my eyes. You have something else to be thankful for…the blessing and gift of being able to touch others through words. That is not an easy thing for anyone. I believe it is a God given talent. You have gone through hell, and you kept going…and, you have been richly blessed. And, one of the greatet things is that you realize it. Being a single father of three kids, I hope they will grow up being thankful for everything in their lives. That they will not take things for granted. I can tell you ceratinly don’t. Thank you for sharing this. It wasa very touching.

    • Thank you so much Robby. That’s so kind of your to say. I pray that my words will give even one person hope. So thanks for the affirmation. Truly. You’ve made my day. Your kids are lucky to have you as a dad 🙂 hugs xox

  17. Just. Wow. You never cease to amaze me with the way you can put so much heart and soul and truth and REALNESS into your posts. Your writing is so all encompassing and I’m so glad to be a part of your audience. You didn’t know it when you started writing, but this was partly for me today, for the kind of day I’ve had and the raw emotions I’ve had to deal with from “things”. I know that God led me to this tonight and used it to soothe me in so many ways. Thank you, and God bless you!

  18. You are truly inspiring! Thank you for always putting yourself out there and keeping it real. I love reading all your post! They are highlights of my day when I get an email notification. Blessings to you!!

  19. And because of everything you’ve been through, you also started an uplifting awesome blog that you’ve used to connect with people all around the world and help them in their time of need. That’s something to be thankful for.

  20. This post truly has inspired me. You have overcome so much, and gotten so far. My struggles don’t even begin to hold a candle to yours, and you’re doing so well.

    It’s a proverbial kick in the arse!

    If YOU, being what you have been through, can be gracious, determined, and overcoming, than what says I can’t! Whose to say I can’t overcome my struggles, and that my struggle isn’t worth it?

    so with that, THANK YOU!!!! You ma’am, are awesome!

  21. If your life would have been a flashy Hollywood performance, who knows you may have voted for Hillary. So there is one more reason to be thankful for😊

  22. This is great victory! In everything that matters, you have won, Caralyn. There is still a little bit of groaning associated with it, perhaps, as with everything we face on this side of the Veil. But there is a crown in heaven that awaits you for this. Jesus will be telling your story to others. Come to think of it, he’s doing that now, through this blog. Well done, good and faithful servant.

    • Thank you Brandon. I so appreciate your encouraging words. So true, nothing will ever be as sweet as Heaven. This life is an exercise in trust and faith in His goodness. Amen to that. Thank you so much, my friend. I am incredibly touched by your kindness. big big hugs xo

  23. I can relate to your story. I’m not a singer or actor or even in a remotely related field . . . but those shows have occasionally left me feeling that I’ve somehow fallen behind in some way in my career. USA Today had a story last week that that talked about how social media often has the same affect, playing with our minds “to keep up with the Jones.” The lesson for me anyway is to remind myself how far I’ve come and how far I still want to go. As your post shows, you’ve come through so much. Keeping battling and remember too how far you’ve already come. God has a plan for you. Thank you once again for sharing!

    • Thanks for this, Brian. Oh gosh, I so feel you. Social media can often feel like just one big competition of people’s highlight reels. I sometimes just have to log off and be like, “you is kind…you is smart…you is important…” haha jk jk…but really. So true, thank you for the encouragement! big big hugs xox

  24. I feel the same way all the time–what have I done with my life? Especially when people a lot younger than me seem to have done a lot more. But I try to remember that God takes each of us on the journey that will make our souls the most beautiful–not necessarily our resumes. 😉

    I’m reading the book Unbroken now–it’s about an Olympic runner whose career is interrupted by WWII and a nightmarish imprisonment in a POW camp, which leaves him crippled so he can’t run, and with a bad case of PTSD. In the end, I’m told, he finds God and manages to forgive the captors who tortured him. So I don’t think we can really say his story is just about running–and I wonder if my story is about what I think it is, either.

    I think a lot of the saints had similar cataclysmic interruptions in their stories . . .

    • Thank you for this, Rose Marie. Amen to that – He takes us on an incredible journey — one prepared especially for us. And yes, we become soul-beautiful along the way. I love that thought. thank you for sharing it. And that sounds like an incredibly powerful book! I’ll have to look into it. thanks for stopping by. happy thanksgiving xox

  25. Another thing to consider…God gave you those obstacles to possibly save you from something even worse than what those were (and those two were/are pretty hard to deal with!). So thankful that God gave you life, even when your dreams had to be put on hold. He has walked you through the fire and refined you to be better than you were yesterday. Keep letting him refine you. The process may be super uncomfortable and downright hard, but the beauty after is so worth the pain and suffering. Blessings!

    • What a powerful thought! Thanks for that, Shoni. You’re right – God knows EXACTLY what He’s doing – I just need to trust, and then sit back and enjoy the ride haha. But seriously, thank you for this touching note. you’re a blessing to me! have a beautiful thanksgiving, my friend! xox

  26. It’s absolutely wonderful that you have come through the things you have, and that you know who to look to when things get tough. I believe that you will still achieve your dream. Even though other things might have interrupted it, and halted it a little bit, you can still get there. But always remember not to sacrifice what is important just to get there, and always remember who the people are that support you. I wish you luck on your journey. : )

    • Thank you so much, Carmen. What a kind note of encouragement. So true – I have so much to be grateful for — from my faith, to my family and friends, to my health — there is nothing that would be worth compromising or jeopardizing those things:) I appreciate your kind words! hugs and love to you friend xox

  27. Your tears became my tears as I read this, because tonight I am having the same pity party. It hurts SO much when you look around at your peers and see them living lives you never could because of illness. Thank you for your inspiring words. If no one else needed to hear it, I did. Keep on sharing.

    • Aw thank you so much 🙂 I’m glad it resonated with you. You’re right-it can be an easy place to slip to- but where we are is exactly where we’re supposed to be. We’re being shaped into the people we’re meant to be:) I fully believe that. Hugs to you friend xox

  28. I read a quote just yesterday that feels appropriate for this post. It’s from “Big Magic”–a book about the creative process by Elizabeth Gilbert:

    “You can measure your worth by your dedication to your path, not by your successes or failures.”

  29. An honest and very moving piece. We have all dreamed to be someone or something yet in the majority of cases things do not turn out that way.

    We grow stronger by rising every time we fall and we grow wiser the more times we have to do it.

    Our path may not be the one we wanted, but to be on a path at all given the things we have to overcome at times is indeed something to be thankful for.

    Great post and wishing you all the best for Thanksgiving from the other side of the pond 😀

    • Thank you so much. You’re right, our paths are definitely something to be thankful for-because they make us grow and learn and become the person we’re supposed to be. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  30. Yes Caralyn, we have every reason to be grateful to God for everything, both in sunshine and in rain and even in the darkest of times.

    But we are many who are grateful to YOU, for the love and joy you are spreading on your amazing blog, and for sharing your emotions like few others. Having a #1 hit on the charts is one thing, spreading and sharing love from God, as you do, is by far, superior.


  31. Your conclusion sums it all up. God is who He is, and His plans are to give us an expected end, of course you might have gone through a lot, but God’s plans are great and this is just a stepping stone. You’re alive and that’s the greatest testimony. He has blessed you with life and a wonderful family.
    Great post!

  32. I love this! Thank you! Just remember, there isn’t any shame in admitting something is hard, either. Even if it’s hard to admit you wanted some things that haven’t happened, and cry for yourself. In the words of Victor Frankl: “But there was no need to be ashamed of tears, for tears bore witness that a man had the greatest of courage, the courage to suffer.”

    Have a happy Thanksgiving! I believe in you!

  33. I send you an overflow of love. Thank you for sharing your journey…being vulnerable…sharing your faith…and continuing to grow. You are appreciated. You’re inspiration. Keep pressing forward.

  34. Hi princess Carolyn, remember I told you I call you Princess because you are the precious daughter of an Almighty King… Now, even your earthly father sends you such an uplifting and awesome sms just as u wrapped up that ‘mini self pity party’ like he guessed you needed that. Ain’t that amazing? I could on and on but I really want to tell you am grateful for all you share and the spirit connection I feel each time I think of u or read from u… Let me conclude my comment by sharing one tip I learnt from Michelle McKinney Hammond about being satisfied and grateful with your life as is: Not only is God aware of everything, but even that everything is nothing because it will all come to vanish… All is temporal. Have a great day 🙂

    • Hi Marie! I just have to tell you, it always brings a smile to my face when you call me that because it reminds me of my true identity in Christ! Thank you so much! Aww I’m grateful for YOU and your friendship and uplifting words. It means the words. God is good. Have a beautiful day! Hugs and love xox

  35. I can see where you are coming from after having watched the music awards. I think we all go through some ‘IF’ moments.But once we come down to it I would never want to be in those people’s shoes. No privacy, everyone knows your business, much scrutiny, being told how and what to do and say, when to get up and go to sleep, what to wear and not to wear, where to be seen and not to be seen. I think you have come further in life than many celebrity I know. Stay focussed on the big picture and trust in the Lord and lean not on your own understanding Proverbs 3:5-6

    • Hi friend, thanks for this. Lots of great points. Yeah, I trust God’s got me right where I’m supposed to be, on His journey and path for my life. I’ve just got to trust:) thanks for the encouragement! Hugs and love xox

  36. As I’m listening to Gospel music. I feel a little emotional reading this because I found myself in the same boat. Great post! Let’s never forget that our journeys are different & our time shall come ❤️! Xoxo

  37. Hi, I feel the same way too. That why can’t I be as successful, as rich, as powerful, as dadada, but then, I realize, and I’m still working on it, that there is nothing better for a person to do than to be happy and do good while they live (Ecc. 3:12). That this world, and what we see, is deceptive. What God sees is not the things man looks at, but the heart. In the end, in eternality, what really counts, is how much we love and seek and follow God. The entry I wrote today is similar to yours. 🙂

    Thank you for writing this.

    • Thank you so much Steven, I really appreciate your encouragement. Yes, so true. God sees the heart and that is what is important. Looking forward to reading it. Hugs and love xox

  38. Honest as always and resonating I know with many of us who have faced challenges. I can only echo the words of St. Paul in that beautiful prayer in his letter to the Ephesians (3:16-19): ” I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”

  39. Caralyn, your life may not have turned out in the direction you first hoped and dreamed of when you were growing up but in all honesty don’t be disheartened by that.

    Currently for me I’ve opened up recently about depression, my life is currently out of control, no structure and no direction, but through all the darkness, I’m seeing life, people and things more clearer than ever before. Because of this I feel like I’m on a life detox, negative and people who are over reliant on me are gone, some life long friends who I’ve been made to realise by them, themselves have no instant right to be in my life. Career wise, no idea and it’s scary but I’ve taken to writing even more, I’m nominated for an award, an editor for an American online publication has offered me some paid work in a writing area that I would never have considered before.

    And your blog isn’t about me, everything is about you, and we like every other person that reads it should never feel bad for.

    We all go through different personal challenges and illnesses, and life is tough and can seem really unfair, but when it comes to being thankful you have millions of little things to be thankful for.

    Your one of the most honest people I know (indirectly) by you writing your blog and being open about your daily challenges with anorexia, it gave me courage to open up and write honestly in the moment about my depression, making no apologies to anyone about the content, because it was about me, and no one else.

    From my newest blog I have had not only friends but complete strangers message me to say thank you for being so open and letting them read it as it’s exactly what they are experiencing, they can relate.

    Or some comments of; my friends or family suffer from depression and that’s given me a real insight and understanding of how they must be feeling.

    It’s very humbling to hear, but what I want to say is they would never of heard it if it wasn’t for you.

    You may not be that famous singer or award winning actor that you first dreamed of, but there is always time for that, if it’s your dream never stop reaching for it, but invertently through your battles your life has taken you on a better journey, a more personal journey.

    Caralyn you are a defining woman who has reached out and captured the hearts of thousands upon thousands of people, whether you were aware of it or not.

    People relate to what you say, you give people hope, support, encouragement just by being you.

    You might not be a world famous star that you hoped for but you are our world famous star that I among many others will always remain grateful that our paths had crossed to show me that with a little bit of courage you can redefine your own life whilst helping so many others with just your honesty.

    Be very proud of who you are, what you have achieved and the direction that your life is taking, as you do it so gracefully and with a smile because you have a big heart.

    I am very proud of you, and I haven’t even met you, and probably never will, but your emotions and true feelings that you share in your submissions allow me to relate, and it you can relate you’ve always found hope.

    Take care, have a fun day, Andrew

    • Hi Andrew, I have a tear rolling down my cheek after reading this. Wow. I am so incredibly touched and humbled and just…wow thank you. I’m sorry to hear that you’ve been going through some tough stuff, but I’m so glad you’ve found the courage to open up about it and share your journey. And congrats on the fantastic opportunities! Sharing your soul is definitely scary, but what a gift you’re giving others in doing so. Thanks again for your encouragement and for truly making me smile this morning. I’m grateful for you. Biggest hugs to you friend xox

      • Thank you for your kind words and support, and I hope you’ve had a lovely day.

        Things for me are ok but not great as you will appreciate more than most but you as living proof you get there as long as your willing to help yourself, and I am, and however long it takes for me to understand what the root of my problems are I’ll get to a point of being able to deal with it easier on a day to day basis.

        You may not have achieved in areas of your life that you first dreamt of but you’ve achieved something far more greater than a music award or a BAFTA by just being you.

        Life takes us all in various different directions but you should be extremely proud of where you’ve been to where you are for nobody but yourself.

        By being a true figurehead for many people who relate to your suffering who have taken hope and guidance in your chosen words describing your emotion which have helped them to take their next step in their own personal recovery.

        You have far outstretched any dreams you may have had by creating new ones alongside it too.

        Awards don’t mean anything, remember why you started, why you love it, and the answer will always be, it started with you.

        You can be anything you want to be, because you are you, and with your determination the sky is the limit in everything that you do.

        You’re audience are watching and we are all routing for you.

        You are already very much the star ⭐️ in each of our eyes.

        Be bold and be brilliant


      • Oh my gosh, I am just so incredibly touched by this. Thank you again. My heart is so warm after reading this. I know how cheesy that sounds, but it is 100% the truth. Thanks for being such a great friend. Big big hugs xo

  40. why don’t you do a song on your blog for Xmas ? put a santa hat on and sing your favourite song – or try write your own or do something unusual here is one of my favourite Xmas songs – it is a Medieval Christian Xmas song to inspire you

  41. Great post. That’s the funny thing about life. God’s plan isn’t always our plan, bit the great thing is that His plan is always the right one. He knows what He’s doing and it’s up to us yo accept His will. ☺ I know I’ve struggled with the “what ifs” and the “should have beens” in my life too, but I find that I’m loving where i am in my life now. All in good time, my friend. All in good time.

    God bless you! ! ! !

  42. Beautiful reflection. We all experience pity for ourselves from time to time, but to be able to come out of it and see God’s goodness even when things have not “gone according to plan” is a testament to faith. I am reminded of something I heard once, that we cannot regret our past if we are content with our present for it made us who we are. God bless you and thank you for the reminder to be grateful for God’s plan.

  43. Striving rather than being content… At age 33 I joked that I had not yet saved the world. Ah, that I should try to emulate Jesus, rather than out-do him. Enjoy the award’s programs. Enjoy you life. Enjoy a good cry. (P.S. Be sure to tell those whom you love, that you do… as you will see in my latest post).

    • Hi again friend! Thanks for this. You’re right-striving to live like Jesus is the best way to live. I fall short all the dang time but I’m so grateful for His mercy. And so true-gotta tell those people how I feel. Hugs to you xox

  44. Hi Carelyn…just want to add my voice of encouragement. Because of a very troubling childhood (very long story), my life’s trajectory took a very dark turn at age 15…a life controlled by life controlling substances and relationships. At the age of 23 I discovered the love of a Heavenly Father. I have often greived of those eight lost years. For six years following the Lord did spiritual surgery on me to heal me of some very painful wounds. Dreams and hopes were reborn during that time but I had to yield to His timing and plans….and that was hard! My life has been spent testifying of the incredible grace He has bestowed on me and to try and help others find that grace as well. I pray that the Lord fulfills the dreams that He has placed in your heart. He has clearly placed many gifts inside of you. Please know that you are fulfilling the dreams that He has in His heart as you extend your life and testimony to hundreds of people looking for a ray of hope! There are many who will never approach a church building but they will encounter the living Christ through your testimony and words of hope. That is a dream worth living! Prayers and mega-blessings!

    • Hi Tom, wow what a kind response. Thank you so much. I’m incredibly touched and humbled by your words. I’m so glad you found the love of God. It truly is life changing and I’m so happy for you that you know that first hand. Big hugs! Happy thanksgiving xox

  45. Hi friend, if you haven’t heard it before…check out the a song by Francesca Battistelli entitled “He Knows My Name”…one of the lyrics states…”I don’t need my name in lights, I’m famous in my Father’s eyes”…not only are you precious in the eyes of God the Father but you have your father right here on earth and it sounds like you are famous in his eyes too! 🙂 Peace be you and your family. Happy Thanksgiving!

  46. What a great Thanksgiving psalm! Like David’s psalms, cathartic and ending with praise! Perfect reminder for the holiday.
    Loved the text from your dad, too. What a wonderful father. You ARE blessed!
    Thanks for sharing your heart with us so openly. It’s cathartic for us, too. 🙂

  47. Have you considered being part of an established program that helps others, men and women, find solutions and hope, during the same experience you had with anorexia? An established program that is reputable benefits from having people who are support mentors to others in crisis. As an extension of your blog, you might find it even more fulfilling to write a piece which offers methods of guidance for current patients. As a joint custody father who now has a blended family of 4 young adult kids, I did this after a process of two years counseling and assisting my kids through counseling. When the dust settled, I made the choice to write a suggestive steps process piece for men and women in divorce. I worked with a group of clinical families in transition counselors to edit and approve the content then started offering it for free to centers in my area and region as support materials as well as offering a support group which met weekly to go through the process which the print piece offers. It takes careful planning; however, you might find great personal reward from this and most importantly, you are helping others identify.

  48. Amen sista! So much to be thankful for and guess what? You have a purpose! Find delight in what God wants from you and when you find it-you will rock it! Just in your blogging I think you are reaching people and using your testimony to help others. Have a blessed and Happy Thanksgiving and keep on writing sista!

    • Thank you so much Kelsey, that’s so kind of you to say 🙂 Yes! I trust that God’s got me right on the right path. I just have to have patience:) Thanks again! You too! happy thanksgiving! xox

  49. Hey, Caralyn:

    As I watched my life implode ten years ago, I did some reflection and had the intuition that the reason that I had such terrible acne was to avoid having my personal energy co-opted by the Hollywood machine. More recently, having finally come to accept that my purpose will be defined by love, I’ve had visions of reaching back to the most sublime moments of peace in my childhood – moments during which I felt somebody assuring me that everything was going to be all right, that the world was full of resilient beauty – and realized that it was my older self tendering that gift.

    There were moments of terrible loneliness and rejection on that journey. I had to surrender all of my intellectual ambitions in the fields of physics, software and philosophy. But looking back, I can’t imagine a thing that I would change. When love consumes us, we are allowed a glimpse into the Tree of Life, which is the sacred path of life through time that leads to reunification with Love, and the future calls back to us in consolation.

    If this doesn’t make sense now, I have faith that one day it will.


    • Thank you so much, Brian, for this response. What powerful words. That really resonates with me. You’re right – love gives us a glimpse of Heaven and it’s so true – a life defined by love is a beautiful life indeed. So glad you stopped by. I always love reading your words of wisdom. hugs xo

  50. God has not only rescued you
    He is calling and choosing you
    Adonai has bestowed you with unique qualities and talents
    Adonai is blessing you with special gifts
    So that through you he can reveal his goodness and love
    He is enriching and strengthening your soul
    In deeper ways than worldly success would have
    He is healing you with His Holy Spirit
    And embracing you in His Love
    So that you may love him with all your heart, soul, and strength
    So that you may love others as you have been loved by Him
    Seek first the Kingdom of God
    And all else will be added unto you

    • Thank you so much for this, Alex. Amen to that! He has blessed me so much, and I am so grateful for his saving hand in my life. Yes, God is good! thanks for stopping by and for this wonderful encouragement. big hugs xox

  51. It’s truly amazing how much good we can find when we choose to see it. One of my college roommate’s mantras was “See the Good,”and that has stuck with me ever since. Thanks for sharing your heart with us!

  52. Keep your chin up. Sometimes bad things happen in our life but God uses themfor our greatest good and the good of others. Your faith in God is extremely strong and it’s due to what you’ve endured. One big examples from scripture comes to mind: Joseph. Look at what he had to endure. Bad things happen, but one thing i know for sure– because of your experiences, we get to share in your life, praise God with you, encourage one another, and pray together.

    You are extremely blessed! And I’m sure God has the right
    acting/singing career in store for you- He just hasn’t brought it to you yet!

    Always praying for you!


    • Thanks Tom. I so appreciate this encouragement. Oh that’s such a great example. You’re right, Joseph had to trust in God with everything. Thanks for the prayers and kindness. Grateful for you! happy thanksgiving xox

  53. A beautifully written, very honest view of things, Caralyn. I’m glad you are here, glad you have seen the things to be thankful for. I stand beside you in that feeling of what could have been….. on so many levels. But you have a great attitude, and a great father, and greater Father, to encourage you.
    And as a reminder, those periods of doubt, depression, sadness, grief…they’re all acceptable to God. His prophets went through them, and they get recorded so we can see that. No beating yourself up for having had the pity-party 🙂
    Happy Thanksgiving my friend

    • Hey Jeff! Thank you so much, my friend. I’m glad this struck a chord with you. You’re right, we don’t have to put on a front for God. We can just be ourselves, and be loved and accepted. Thanks for the encouragement. hugs xox

  54. If you really want it, it will be. You have to believe, have unwavering faith! Attract your success! I believe in you <3

    By the Grace of God you'll achieve much more than you can imagine. You've overcome so much! <3

  55. Dearest,

    (Again…struggling to be noticed amongst the masses.)

    Do you know my post for today has had 7 views and 1 like. And you are grieving a less than stellar singing career? What are we not seeing?

    I have a tough question for you: why have you lived?

    I get that you are grateful for surviving serious illness (I have had ulcerative colitis; I know.) But why have you lived? Why have you survived? Why you…unique you. Is it because you are one more singer in NYC?

    I’m not discrediting your singing or acting talent. What I am trying to get at is perhaps your singing and acting are not why you are here. I’ve told you this before…your gift, the one I have witnessed anyway, is the way you are able to take today’s culture, and cultural and social events, and present them to your hundreds if not thousands of followers in a way that reaches out and joins the hands of your peers to the hand of Christ.

    That is talent.

    • Hi friend. Gosh, what a kind thing to say. Thank you so much. You’ve made me smile 🙂 yeah, I think God is slowly revealing His plan for me. And I don’t think it looks anything like what I had planned for my life, but I need to trust and have faith that He will lead me where I need to go. I just pray to do His will, and I so appreciate your affirming words and encouragement. Thanks for stopping by, my friend. You never cease to offer a new and powerful perspective. Grateful for you:) Hugs and love xox

  56. I get it. And that was a beautiful note from Dad. For what it’s worth, those who’ve “made it” have their own bag of challenges. And it would be sad to discover how many are in fact truly happy. Guard your joy.

  57. Girl I feel you!! Although I never struggled with any critical health issues like yourself. I always wanted to be a Disney Channel and Nickelodeon star. Like most kids I was clueless on what a hard life that can actually be. Behind-the-scenes that is quite a harsh world. I sit back grateful that I was able to live a different sort of life. I was able to grow up and learn how to become a stronger person in my weak spots. Things that probably would not have happened if I was in the spotlight constantly.

    These days I still dream of being a mentor to kids who are blessed with opportunities such as “kid stardom” because they are such a powerful force and it hurts to see them struggle in such a public light as they grow up just like everyone else.

    I am so glad that your life was different because your story has created freedom and hope for MANY people!! I know some days it is hard to believe but there is proof everywhere around you. Stay strong!! I believe that you will have your day! Susan Boyle did. 😉


    • Thank you JV, such kind words. I really appreciate your encouragement. You’re right, I fully believe that god has me on the right path. I just need to trust and have patience. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  58. Oh you are so beautiful in your writing and expressing yourself. The text from your dad almost had me in tears! What a lucky woman you are. A lucky “young” woman who has her whole life ahead of her to pursue her dreams and ambitions. It’s nice to see all the things you are grateful for but just remember, I think the best is yet to come 🙂

    • Hi friend:) oh my gosh this made me smile. Thank you. Yeah my dad is truly such an incredible man — both my parents are — and I thank God every day to have them in my life. I don’t take them for granted for a second. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  59. Caroline,
    Driving thru the country this week, I went to a church service in Macon, MO. The pastor spoke about this thanksgiving, what are the most important things in life?Guess what he said?? Did I make it to heaven, and how many people did I take with me? People and the love we show them and give them are what’s most important in this life. Your blog is an amazing platform to show love and to show God to everyone who stumbles across it. It helps me, and I’ve been out of treatment since 2008. I still need to hear the words you say and feel the struggles you feel, to be reminded of what life truly is all about. I came across your blog because you liked one of my posts (thank you for reading my blogs btw!) and I’m so happy I did. I know that it’s hard to not be discouraged, but the love you are able to illustrate in your life, is inspiring to all and that’s what’s most important. Happy Thanksgiving BBB!!
    Aubrey (beautifullyorganic)

    • Hi Aubrey! Oh my gosh what a kind note of encouragement. Thank you so much. I so glad our paths crossed too! That’s so true-loving people is what is truly important in life. Hugs to you friend xox

  60. Reading your post has put a lot of things in perspective. I don’t feel like that I am where I ought to be at this point in life but I am very thankful that I’m not where I used to be. I know that it can be very difficult trying to figure out what you are supposed to do when everything seems to be falling apart. Thank you for sharing and remember when you put everything in God’s hands, you will begin to see his hand in everything. Hope you have awesome holidays with friends and family.

  61. Your life is a bloom that God will blossom in its season. You may NEVER attain fame or recognition from the public, BUT you ARE the apple of your Father’s eye in heaven. You have a powerful voice in your writing. Some of your perspectives are truly profound. God will use the most unlikely ones to slay the giant or carry his message. I am thankful for your voice and wisdom that is from God. Keep keeping on.

  62. Oh gosh, your dad’s text! That made me cry, too, and he’s not even my dad! But I think we all struggle with where we think our life should have/could have gone. For some people, it’s a job. For other people, it’s a relationship, or a baby, or a living situation. After reading your blog for over a year now, it’s obvious that your faith is strong enough to get you through and that you’ll see the beauty of God’s plan for your life, whether it matches up exactly with what you imagine or not. Hang in there 🙂

  63. I’m definitely happy that you are here, and I am a huge fan. If I by chance happen to see you in NYC, I will ask for your autograph and scream like crazy. It will be genuine!

  64. Hey, just wanted to say thank you for liking my post yesterday. Btw, this post is lovely and even though I’m agnostic, I found your faith really touching. Best of luck x

  65. My heart breaks for you.. for several reasons. I so get everything you explained, and empathize with that feeling of “what ifs” and “could have beens”. I think the 20s is a weird stage where for the first time we almost feel like we maybe can’t “choose what to be when we grow up” because we are all grown, and it has a dejecting bite to that realization. However– my heart also breaks for you because I don’t think you see that, Caralyn (I feel like I always spell your name wrong, so hopefully I got it this time?), you HAVE arrived. you inspire people, you shine, you are light to this dark world. You are famous in the Kingdom of God, girlfriend- and there is nothing that can bring more fulfillment than that. God’s plans aren’t our own. But He is using you more than you can imagine. I don’t want to minimize your feelings, that’s not at all what I’m saying. But I hope you know you should never compare yourself with those actors/actresses, because there are endless numbers of trendy pretty faces on a TV screen. But, my dear, there is only one YOU. With your beautiful story, your mission, and your heart of absolute gold. I hope this doesn’t all come across super cliche, I mean it from the bottom of my heart, love.

    • Wow Mack, I am so touched and extremely humbled by your incredibly kind and affirming words. Thank you. Gosh, I am truly blown away at your generosity. I’m going to bed with a smile on my face and a warm heart. Blessing to you my friend. Big big hugs xox

  66. I just got to see this some minutes ago sitting in my mail box and after reading this divine post, I suddenly understood why I had to read it now and not the day it came in. I can totally relate with this message and this post brought tears to my eyes. I understand the feeling because that is where I have been these past few weeks. Thank you for putting things in a better light. I see the big picture now. Totally love your blog btw!! Amazhing content!!

  67. 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.

      • “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!

      • 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

  68. 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

  69. 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!

  70. 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!

  71. 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.

  72. 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!!

  73. 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 🙂

    • 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

  74. 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!