A Follow Up

Wow, thank you for the incredibly kind response to Monday’s post.

I’ve got to be honest….I was not planning on publishing that post. I had a different one (that I actually shared on Patreon) all tee’d up and ready to go, but I made a game time decision to switch it up. Don’t know why…it just felt…right.

And to be completely transparent, that post was never meant for anyone else’s eyes other than my own. It was a sort of…processing exercise for my eyes only. Something that could perhaps prompt me down the line for a different post.

Many of you commented that it didn’t really sound “like me” or that it didn’t seem finished…and that’s because, well…it wasn’t! It was a moment of critical introspection. A kick in the pants. A third quarter evaluation.

And let’s be honest here for a minute…taking an inventory of all one’s weaknesses and shortcomings….that is not a particularly pleasant past time….especially when sharing it on the internet.

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But I think I know why I was supposed to publish that post on Monday.

I was cleaning up my apartment tonight, and I came upon a journal I kept when I first started this blog back in 2015.

It was tucked away in my bookshelf, shoved to the back after nights of fun when I’d carelessly strewn various items on the shelves, only to be forgotten as I no longer needed that little writing companion.

But I opened it tonight. It’s leather bound cover, familiar in my hands, and I began reading the words I wrote, nearly two years ago.

It was filled with poem after poem. They were actually quite beautiful, but all very…sad. Pensive. I’ve actually thought about publishing them on here, but…I won’t put you through that

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But this little book was filled with words of a girl who had so much bottled up emotion and shame inside that needed healing. They were the words of a girl whose spirit was very much wounded and broken. A girl who, thankfully, I do not know anymore.

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Rereading those poems…I mean, it was only two years ago. It doesn’t really feel like much has changed, and yet…worlds apart.

This blog has been a journey. Truly. A process of breaking down my brokenness, piece by piece. And honestly…giving it to the Lord.

And, I very well may be clinically insane for doing said processing publicly, but whatever. I regret nothing.

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Back when I first started writing this blog, I was listening to my all time favorite podcast by Fr. Mike Schmitz. And my favorite “tag line” of his is, ‘Your brokenness is really an access point for grace.’

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And to be honest, I never really understood what that meant until now. Now, after I’ve unearthed every broken and wounded part of my spirit, so long hidden behind soul cobwebs, or concealed behind a smile. I brought them to light. Named them. Put them on blast.

And that brokenness was where God came in and healed those parts. In ways that I didn’t even know were happening. To a degree that I never thought possible until tonight, when I went back and reread the words of the dry-souled girl that started out this journey.

That truly is amazing grace.

That transformation gives me a whole new level of gratitude and appreciation for His mercy.

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So that post on Monday, perhaps it was a nudge to keep bringing all my “new brokenness” to the surface. Keep surrendering my fears and weaknesses. Because they never go away. As soon as we “heal” or “mend” from one, another grows up in its place. Kinda like whack-a-mole. That’s not meant to be negative or dooms-day-ish, it’s just a fact of life. We live, we grow, we develop new “issues.”

I’ve now officially put them on blast. Now, it’s God’s move. It’s His time to shower them with grace. And I have total faith that He will.

It will be a process…much like the journey thus far – I fully appreciate that. But I trust that, just like the healing process that has occurred since I wrote those poems so many moons ago, so too will Jesus heal my heart this time around.

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

89 thoughts on “A Follow Up

  1. Couldn’t have said it better in my own life. I appreciate you being so open and real about yourself. I know that even after a few months of this blogging thing, I have really changed and that is because I have really opened myself up and given my insecurities and imperfections over to God and I know that I am made the way I am suppose to be by him. God Bless You….

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Thanks for your endearing words regarding grace. The word in and of itself can be such a balm when you ponder on it. You have a gift with your words in being able to express the contemplation of your heart. – Robert

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I definitely agree!! I love how you put yourself out there for- well you! It shows just how strong you are! I commend you on your new journey and as a fellow lover if God, I am more than sure that if you stay true to yourself and God, you will over come ALL THINGS!! Stay positive and God bless!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Oh my gosh that’s beautiful “Your brokenness is an access point for grace.” I never thought of things that way before but that’s a very reassuring notion! I’m always in awe of your bravery and this is no exception 🙂 I don’t think you’re crazy one bit.

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  5. Journalling is so critical to personal growth, I believe. Though I have not been the most faithful at it, I still read back on many of the lessons I have learned and didn’t want to forget. I think my blog is taking over, in that regard. I always appreciate your open heart, when writing. Keep it coming. 🙂

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  6. I know I’ve said it before, but I really very deeply appreciate your blog. I deeply appreciate your courage in sharing your brokenness, healing, and ongoing journey in the grace of God. You have been a comfort and real inspiration to and for me, and I know the same is true for many others! (I read many of the comments made, so I know…) So once again I simply say, God bless you abundantly and shower you with His love, mercy and grace as He continues to heal, mould and shape you more and more into the beautiful, awesome person He intends you to be … and already sees!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much. I can’t even begin to express how much your encouragement means to me. Truly. It is so uplifting and affirming. Because it really is scary to ‘put it all out there,’ and to have a friend have my back and be so kind and accepting…it is such a powerful gift, and I just wanted to express my gratitude for that. I’m so glad my blog has resonated with you. God is good and He is shaping both of us, each and every day 🙂 big hugs to you friend xox

      Liked by 1 person

  7. You remind me of a song I’ve listened to since I was a young man when I struggled with my own broken-ness. You’re a tender heart, young lady. Strong…and tender. Enjoy the song…

    BROKEN
    (Words by Kenneth Cope; Music by Kenneth & Eliza Cope)
    —inspired by Jeffrey R. Holland

    Broken clouds give rain
    Broken soil grows grain
    Broken bread feeds man for one more day

    Broken storms yield light
    The break of day heals night
    Broken pride turns blindness into sight

    Broken souls that need His mending
    Broken hearts for offering
    Could it be that God loves broken things

    Broken chains set free
    Broken swords bring peace
    Broken walls make friends of you and me

    To break the ranks of sin
    To break the news of Him
    To put on Christ till His name feels broken in

    Broken souls that need His mending
    Broken hearts for offering
    I believe that God loves broken things

    And yet, our broken faith, our broken promises
    Sent Love to the cross
    And still, that broken flesh, that broken heart of His
    Offers us such grace and mercy
    Covers us with love undeserving

    This broken soul that cries for mending
    This broken heart for offering
    I’m convinced that God loves broken Me

    Praise His name—my God loves broken things

    So, broken cloud—Give rain
    And broken soil—Grow grain
    And broken bread—Feed man for one more day

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Fantastic! The openness helps you heal and every single chink on our self-donned armor is indeed a point of grace. I was so sure I had all the answers until the world fell apart in front of me. Now I can only give great thanks and gratitude for the gift of addiction which allowed me to find God more quickly, easily, and fully than if I had been left to my own devices. God bless!

    Rich

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Cheryl! haha oh gosh, i hope you go for it, if that is something you want to do!! know that I’m cheering for you, whatever you decide to do 🙂 thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read. grateful for you friend xox

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  9. HALLELUJAH!!! Praise Jesus for all He has done in your life Caralyn (I hope I spelled your name correctly, I apologize if it is not.) Anyway, Pray Jesus again for your willingness to share openly, and touch so many lives, helping countless numbers to take even one step towards healing, and helping others even start to think of Jesus Christ, or look to and call out to Him. Thank You Sister, and keep on keepin’ on for Jesus. God’s Blessings,
    George

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I love this! God is so amazing. I know we are all in God’s timeline but it is amazing how He is teaching all of us the same things in very different ways. I just wrote a post on brokenness and I am learning some of the very same things. I also am learning through this adventure in blogging He has called me to. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Amen to that! We are ALL in His timeline. Practicing patience is definitely the hardest thing for me. Isn’t blogging awesome in that it allows us to work through things we might otherwise not be willing to “unpack?” thanks for stopping by! happy writing!

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  11. It is rather like Whack-A-Mole, isn’t it? I often think that as soon as I learn one lesson, God says, “Well, now that we’ve got the elementary part out of the way, let’s get into the real issue…” I am just glad He is a patient teacher! ❤

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  12. You know something that’s been on my mind lately is a little recounting from Paul and the question, “If my heart is new, why do I still struggle with ____________ that makes it feel so…not new?”

    The story I’m referring to is from 2 Corinthians 12, Paul’s talking about all the hardships he’s gone through for Jesus–boasting as Paul does–and then he changes his tone and says, ‘But even though I’ve done all this, there’s still something wrong in me,’ and he talks about his ‘thorn in the flesh’ and how he begged God to take it away… I used to think I knew what that story meant, I used to think I knew what Paul meant when he talked about being a ‘wretched man’ in a ‘body of death’…but I didn’t really understand when God said, “My grace is sufficient for you – My power is made perfect in weakness,”

    I used to think that there was going to be this point where I could say “This is it; I’ve finally arrived,” and God could finally do something with me but…I’ve wasted a lot of years chained up by my continual failures and weaknesses waiting for that day all the while missing that truth I always knew, “My grace is sufficient for you,”

    Even through the few months I’ve been following your posts you’re right, it’s been a real rollercoaster of unabashed authenticity on your part and it might seem like you’ve bared a lot of weakness to the world Caralyn but I’d put it this way rather, you’ve bared a lot of Father’s grace to the world because in weakness is where He lavishes his grace and ‘when you are weak, THEN you are strong’

    P.S.: Don’t you just love His timing? (:

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Carson, gosh, thank you. You’re right – God has definitely come through time and time again for me – and sharing these things definitely points to His mercy and love. So if airing my dirty laundry shows His goodness, then that’s a small price I’m willing to pay 🙂 hehe But seriously, thank for your kindness. That was always a tough phrase for me to wrap my mind around as well, but you’re right – the we are weak, then we are strong, because of HIm. have a great night xo

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      1. It totally changes my perspective on weakness and well…really all my problems..to realize that Paul literally rejoicedin his. I mean, I don’t think anybody takes that as literally as he meant it. Like ‘Yo dude Paul we’re throwing a party for you, what do you want the theme to be?’ and he’s like, ‘All my weakness, all my short-coming, all my problems and trials and tribulations because that’s what I am happy about.’ Like wait, what? (I’m paraphrasing grossly, of course 😉 ) But I mean really – I know I’venever taken Paul that literally but..maybe I should start because this guy was happythat he didn’t have it all going for him–that courtrooms and stoning were a regular part of his routine. Boom. And the every-day learning and growing and journeying through all our daily ‘stuff’? Man… Are you getting this? If not then don’t mind me, I’m just having my mind blown (: Just some thoughts for you to mull over on your pillow tonight 😉

        But can you imagine if your reality was as powerful as Paul’s, knowing that the best thing that can happen to you is anything that screams for the grace of God?

        But I’ll leave you with that – I’m going to have to think about this some more! Have a wonderful weekend my friend (:

        Liked by 2 people

  13. Hi Caralyn…When I began reading BBB several months ago it happened to be at the same time one of my fav bands, Switchfoot, came out with their latest LP entitled, “Where the Light Shines Through”…the hook in the song is around the lyric, “The wound is where the light shines through”. It has become an anthem of sorts for hundreds of thousands of wounded healers. You are just that…a wounded healer. Isn’t that exactly who Jesus was and is?! The deepest wounds can be where the greatest grace shines through and it becomes the proverbial fountainhead for healing to flow from us to others who are hurting and need hope. Your testimony and transparency says, “My deep wounds and pain were healed so that means yours can be too…come along the journey with me.” That is a beautiful and powerful thing…allowing others to find hope and healing through your story…a way for others to connect with grace through the hope you’ve found…that is the narrative of redemption…keep letting the light of His grace shine through you. It can make you feel painfully vulnerable to live that testimony out before others, but this world and generation needs living, authentic examples of healing lived out in transparency. You are one of my heroes! Keep keepin on!
    Mega-peace,
    Tom

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Tom, wow, this is so kind and beautiful. Thank you. A wounded healer. I like that. And boy, has God come through for me time and time again. His grace is truly amazing. I am humbled to be able to share how His healing power has been working on my heart with others. God is good. gonna go listen to that song now 🙂 hehe hugs xox

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  14. I have this image of you after tonight’s reflection; I’m not sure how to describe it, so bear with me!

    Why are you doing your healing so publicly? God made you for that. And you aren’t really the one doing the healing, as you so readily admit. I see you in tonight’s words as being covered in a literal salve of God’s forgiveness, an ethereal sheen of whatever it is that God puts onto you.

    Your healing is happening publicly for two purposes. The first is that you are this…fountain? No, more like a weeping Madonna. People can come by you and wipe off some of the excess to anoint their own brokenness. They maybe haven’t found their own direct way to God, but He still heals them indirectly by giving you more than enough, the excess going to His other targets of His mercy and grace.

    The second is indeed for your own healing. I’m probably going to muff this badly, so please put the best spin on this; some of us come by, and we see the “ointment” of God’s grace on your skinned knee, bruised shoulder, or bloody cheek. We stop and take a moment to rub it in a bit for you by affirming you, complimenting you, or shedding a tear with you. Of course, after massaging it in, we come away with at least a smudge of it left on our own hands – for ourselves or someone else.

    So, you see, even when you expose something that we aren’t used to seeing, as you did Monday, the healers come by to massage God’s healing in a bit more. Even the wounded will reach out for a caress, a pat for you.

    I’m getting old; I seem to feel it more every day. I’m weary of healing from one thing only to find myself beset by another. You’re right; there’s always another thing to overcome or recover from. What you do for me is remind me that there is always hope and healing on those days when it’s hard to remember.

    Speaking for everyone, I’m sure, thank you for putting yourself out here to encourage, teach, and heal.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, Jeff. I am just…gosh, I am so touched by this. Thank you. What powerful imagery. I am truly humbled by your incredibly kind description. You know it’s funny, my mom is in town visiting me right now (which is why no podcast yet, I’m so sorry!) but we were discussing BBB and why people comment on it and read it, so it’s really interesting to read your thoughts on the matter. (And I think you know by now how much I value your opinion 🙂 ) But you’re right, sometimes I feel like God has worked overtime in my life in the healing department! haha Thank you for being such a great friend and for your consistent affirmation and validation. You’re a blessing in my life 🙂 hugs xox

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I tend to think in analogies and pictures. Hopefully not overly dramatic. That’s just the picture I “saw” to describe what you do and what’s done through you. Have a great visit with your Mom! And hugs back to you.

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  15. There are lyrics to a song I love that goes ” I am who I Am today because God used my mistakes , he worked them for my good like no one else ever could!” Gods grace is truly amazing ! and I am truly blessed by walking with you through this journey ! Your story and how you have trusted god through dark times is truly his grace personified ! Keep on doing what your doing! You are a blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful. It does my spirit and soul good when I read or hear a heart-felt testimony of grace. I’m encouraged by your sharing. May the Lord watch you and keep you and grant you more encounters with his heart. He loves you dearly.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. We are never done getting better, except if we get comfortable then we get worse :/. And we are never done getting closer to God, that could seem depressing unless you turn it around. We can Always draw nearer to God 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  18. It’s so good to hear how you work it out, with Jesus.

    It sounds turbulent.

    Yes, simply begin. And for those of us who look to the future…, we only have to take the next (small) step.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Yay Caralyn! I’m glad you found the book. I would say its’ not that you don’t know that girl anymore, because you do know her. You aren’t her anymore, and God willing won’t be her again. But you do know her. I’m betting you were transported to that place by your words….a place you no longer ‘live in’ but a place you can still see through when you look backwards down the road.
    Keep moving forward. Keep being God’s manifestation of love and grace on this place.

    hugs
    Jeff

    Liked by 1 person

  20. God giveth and God taketh. He builds and he destroys, but when He does, He always builds better and stronger. You now have all the words and strategies to help you deal with new issues that arise.God bless you ❤

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  21. We are all just broken jars of clay. It is through the cracks in our broken clay that the light of Jesus comes in and, then, it is through these cracks that His light shines out as a blessing to others. Taking Jesus in, being filled with the Holy Spirit, is not meant to seal up the cracks. We are useless with out them. It is our duty to let His light shine through our cracks to brighten the darkness of others. You see, we are all cracked pots (Pun intended.) and that is OK.

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