Changing the Narrative

If you’ve scrolled through social media at all in the past two weeks, then you know it’s pretty clear: the general consensus is that 2016….went to pot.

People are lamenting how horrible 2016 was with funny memes, parody videos, cheeky songs…I’ve even seen some hyperbolic short films buzzing around the interwebs. All with the same message: 2016 sucked royally. Let’s put it behind us, forget about it, and move the “F” on to 2017 already!

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And, ok I get it. Sure, there were a lot of things about 2016 that were tragic. There were difficult moments for our country and for the world at large. I mean, just lying in bed here, I can rattle off more tragedies that occurred in 2016 than I can state capitals.

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But I’m going to be honest about something: I just can’t jump on board with the common feeling about throwing it all down the crapper and moving on.

Because no matter how you feel about 2016 — good or bad — we can learn from it. 

I spent a long time – the first 3/4 of my recovery – we’re talking years, — trying to do just that. The time during my anorexia was a dark period of my life filled with pain and broken relationships and betrayal and … yeah, you get it. I’ll spare you the details. But once I was “better” and in recovery, I spent so long trying to just burn that period from my memory and erase it from my history.

I wanted a clean slate. A fresh start. Shoot, I even moved to NYC to escape any and all reminders and remnants of that dark past.

 

I was proclaiming with my life exactly what everyone on my Facebook feed is proclaiming about 2016: Get it the hell out of my life. 

But here’s the thing: by trying so hard to erase it from my life, I was actually just giving it more power over me. I was striving and expending all this energy to pretend it never happened that I was hindering my growth and ability to move on.

It wasn’t until I looked my past head on, acknowledged it, and learned from it, that I was able to truly move on as a healed and whole person. It was only then that I was truly given freedom from it. And consequently, that timeline coincides with starting this blog.

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The year 2016 – sure it had its ups and downs. But I can guarantee that no matter how you feel about it, there’s something to be learned from it.

Even in the darkest and most dire of circumstances, there is always something constructive to be taken from it. I’m currently living through this as we speak with my situation at home.

You can bet your bottom dollar that from this day forward I will never take another second for granted with loved ones. I will always say how I feel about someone. And never go to bed angry. That is something constructive that I can do.

But if we just flip 2016 “the bird” and screech off, then honestly, it will all have been for nothing.

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After nearly a decade of trying to shove my history of anorexia into a tiny little box and shove it under the stairs, it wasn’t until only recently that I’ve been able to revisit it and learn. And here’s what I’ve come to find:

Nothing has power over you, unless you let it.

Not what another person says. Not your grades or your job titles. Not awards or degrees. Not what you own or wear. Not your weight or looks.

And definitely not the year 2016.

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If you feel like 2016 sucked, well then, what are you going to do to change that?

What can you take away from it?

That’s called learning. That’s called changing the narrative. That’s reclaiming the past. And that’s just what I’m going to do.

Who’s with me!?

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265 thoughts on “Changing the Narrative

  1. Here’s what this reminded me of: A lot of us gave in to fear and anger in 2016, in many ways. But if I take an honest look at Scripture – “going radical” as Francis Chan might say, giving my heart to its teachings fully without any comfort zones or bet-hedging – Jesus says fear and anger aren’t options for Christians. We don’t get to do them. They’re faithlessness. We don’t like the everyday implications of that, but that doesn’t change anything; Jesus wants us to trust him and act rightly.

    I very much like your approach instead – a lot closer to “more than conquerors through him who loved us” (Romans 8:37).

  2. Wonderful post. It is all too often we focus on the negatives only to realize we each have a world full of positives to be thankful for. Just earlier today a good friend of mine said that a wise man looks at his blessings and is thankful, while a foolish man looks at his problems and laments. Lets look at the good!

  3. You have written a powerful reminder! With my depression, one way to stay as healthy as possible is to live in the moment. Easier said than done but very healing. You are in my prayers. Thank you for sharing you!

      1. I keep thinking of Maya Angelou, and yes, our troubles may be long, but they are truly nothing.
        Keep up the good work!

  4. I broke the bars if your yoke and enabled you to walk with HEADS HELD HIGH.*Leviticus 25 : 13b

    I believe this year would be a year of free-worry and you are going to keep your head held high as you trust in Him. Trusting Him; what He said about YOU. No Matter what life shows you BUT you have an anchor that you can lean on Him. The best is yet to come!

  5. You hit the nail on the head! I think all experiences (whether they be positive or negative) you learn something from. Your positive experience may be something little like a kid giving you a drawing or giving you a compliment BUT it made an impact on you. Superb post.

    1. Thank you so much! you’re right — everything is a learning opportunity. Thanks for stopping by and for your thoughtful response! and (i love when my little niece gives me a drawing πŸ™‚ haha my fridge is full of them! πŸ™‚ )hugs xox

  6. You are right, we mustn’t just say goodbye to 2016 and say good riddance. We do need to take some lessons from it so it doesn’t happen again. We all had a hand there anyway.
    The year was fine for me but I didn’t fully achieve what I wanted to as I said to myself in the beginning of the year. I don’t know if I went backwards actually. I became too emotional last year and I thought at some point that depression was haunting me, a relapse threatening. Similar to what you said on the previous post, I have that self-worth problem. I feel it’s held me back in my career so I geared up and was ready to grow up, which I said means I would recognize my worth and go for what I deserve. I learned a lot though. That whole self-worth thing isn’t totally resolved but I think I am slowly understanding it. I think, maybe, we are just too used to what we knew and we don’t see that we see ourselves a bit better now. πŸ™‚
    Here’s to a fabulous 2017!

    1. Thanks so much Anne! I agree! Let’s learn and grow from it! I’m so glad that you have already taken some great lessons away from it πŸ™‚ self-worth is an ever evolving road. It’s nice to know i have a fellow traveler on it πŸ™‚ cheering you on in 2017! big hugs to you, my friend xox

      1. We learn because we are alive. 😊Unfortunately, although it could be fortunately for us, there are many of us traveling this same road. It helps for we encourage each other. I am confident that 2017 is going to be an awesome year! Much love to you my dear friend. πŸ’– Hugs πŸ€—

      2. Amen to that. It’s always great to have a little nudge of encouragement every now and then from a friend πŸ™‚ yes!! β€πŸ’œβ€πŸ’œβ€πŸ’œβ€

    1. thank you so much Elizabeth! I agree … I was explaining to one of my dear friends that a person’s political views is basically like their earlobe…there is so much more to a person than just what “party” they affiliate with! here’s to a great 2017! xox

  7. I agree 100% Caralyn, and there’s a bunch of old people in the U.S. that would tell us that the years 1941-1945, 1968 and 2001 sucked WAY more than 2016. And my suck year was 1998. I hope 2017 brings some nice surprises in the world. I have faith anyway. -Larry

  8. I’m with you, Sister! I could not agree more. And to be honest, we typically learn best from mistakes and trials. One of my very good friends failed geometry 2 times before she passed, and she remembers more of the proofs to this day than I do — and I was a straight – A math student! Of course we won’t say how many years “to this day” encompasses, but we can safely say that it is a bit more than a decade… πŸ˜‰

    1. Thanks so much HM! πŸ™‚ I’m glad this resonates with you πŸ™‚ It’s true, trials are huge learning opportunities. Haha oh wow that’s a great example. I don’t think I could spout off what a proof was if my life depended on it! haha You’re funny!!! so glad you stopped by πŸ™‚ big hugs to you, my friend ! xox

    1. Oh good!!!! I’m so glad! In all honesty, I didn’t think this one would be very good, but I think I’m just too close to the content haha. Thanks for the encouragement πŸ™‚ I can always count on you:) big hugs to you and Julie! Xox

      1. Take a look at what I just posted. I’d been thinking about how things have gone for you these past weeks and had an idea for tonight. Then I listened to yours and…

  9. Your timing is great. And I myself am learning not to give the negatives power over me. And I completely agree with you-if you don’t face your past, you will never heal from it!! Thank you for being real!

  10. I’m with you! Yeah!

    “Nothing has power over you, unless you let it.” That is so true.

    By the way, this cracks me up so much more than it probably should: In the Reader view of your post, the clip of Obama applauding is facing the exploding 2016 clip. So, it looks like he’s approving of 2016’s demolition. πŸ˜† Don’t mind me. I just have a weird sense of humor. πŸ˜‰

  11. I’m with you! Actually, 2016 wasn’t so bad. I’m not sure why the narrative is so negative. I’m not feeling it,which is quite unusual for pessimist. πŸ™‚

    We had a pastor last week who made a list of all the bad things that happened in 2016. Then he began to cross off all the things that were man made, due to people being unkind to one another. When he was finished we only had two events left over, a wild fire and earthquake. If we manage to be kind to one another in 2016, we could actually end the year with a list just like that. So changing the narrative has genuine power, it can create results in the world, it can rewrite the whole story.

    1. Thanks so much πŸ™‚ I’m glad this resonated with you. Oh wow, what a powerful demonstration by your pastor. You’re right – we need to be kind to one another — that will solve A LOT of issues! thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  12. I am with you… πŸ˜‰
    I am working currently on forgetting things that hurt very much, family things for example, but hurt the year before that already, and honestly, they are so painful that it will take time for me to get over it, but your post just helped me a lot. Thank you! πŸ™‚ Sometimes, one needs an impulse from far away to get a grip on things. And yes, one has to keep it where it came from, where it was and walk on, to another time and a good feeling. And try not to let it to grow too strong, because this is what was happening the last days, the more I tried to forget it, the more it stayed with me…
    But I might finally make it, after reading your post. πŸ˜‰
    I hope you will have a good time this year.
    x.. me

    1. Thank you so much. I’m so glad this struck a chord with you πŸ™‚ you’re right- let’s walk on, having learned great lessons. So glad we’re on that journey together πŸ™‚ so glad you stopped by. Big big hugs xox

    1. Thanks Kenzie πŸ™‚ yeah, the escape to NYC was an adventure for sure. but one that i am so incredibly grateful for. it has forever shaped who I am. And yeah…the general consensus across social and mainstream media is how terrible 2016 was, and you’re right…most stems from fear or from power struggles. who knows. i pray for 2017, that people’s minds may be open πŸ™‚

      1. That is a good prayer. Maybe with the increase in general despair many feel is a response to the decrease in faith and church attendance. I knew a lady that was beautiful when she was young and would pray that her cancer would not take her hair. After chemo, she prayed for a cure for cancer. I’ve noticed that transference from praying for yourself to a general prayer for humankind. Prayer may be the answer.

  13. Love this post!! I feel the same as you, I don’t want to throw any year away. I hope to grow and learn through each year I am blessed to be here!

    2016 was actually a pretty good year for me personally, but I have had those tragic years where I wanted to hide under the covers.

    1998 through my divorce from my first husband, we had a 3 year old and 8 year old to consider. 2008 when my mom was diagnosed with terminal cancer (and died the next year), I was also leaving another long term romantic relationship this year.

    They sucked. The whole thing sucked at the time. In hindsight, I can find the blessings. My mom’s courage and faith through her illness made us closer to each other and God. I am now married to a really good man, who I wouldn’t be with if I hadn’t let go of the ones that weren’t working.

    I don’t know what my future holds, but I hope to always find the blessings.

    Please keep writing and sharing! Your post are so inspiring!

    Teresa

    1. Hi Theresa, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. I’m so sorry you had to go through that. It sounds like those were some incredibly difficult years. But you’re right…even in times of trials we can find the blessings. I’m so glad you’re living an abundant life. God is truly good. Hugs and love xox

  14. WOW YAS!

    Great minds think alike! I had those similar thoughts expressed on my blog as well. It can be so monumental when we learn and grow from what seems like muck in our personal lives as well as our surrounding environments. We either can grow or wither.

    We have to remind ourselves that we do not have to depend on ourselves for our own healing and perseverance. There are so many people, such as us bloggers, who are going through similar things, who are seeking community for comfort and strength, as well as build communities of stronger people as well.

    That is one of the many reasons on why God can be so amazing and redemptive too. The ultimate healing lessons come from him.

    It is all a choice but totally worth the freedom.

    Thanks for this.
    2017 is going to be redemption. I can feel it. (:

    -JV

    1. Amen to that! He is the teacher of those healing lessons. And you’re right – this community is so supportive and wonderful. God is good. Thanks so much for stopping by and for your kind words! Yes! Great minds! 😎😎😎 here’s to growing instead of withering πŸ™‚ Hugs and love xox

  15. I couldn’t agree more (:
    (plus I actually don’t think 2016 was THAT bad)

    You know something that struck me about your striving to get away from your past.. when Jesus died, he died for all. And that means when Jesus died, you died. You’re dead. She’s dead. You can’t get any more dead-er. So trying to do that yourself is kind of like beating your dead horse to get up so you can kill it again. You spend all this time trying to put something in the past that’s already in the past when what’s important is that you are raised to life in Christ.
    At the same time that all happened before you were even born which MEANS (and don’t lose me here, I know I’m flyin by the seat of my pants ;D) but Caralyn you’ve always been a new creation, there’s nothing about that ‘old’ you that isn’t a new creation! So yes of course we’re all in this journey that’s kinda trial and error and we’ve all grown up believing lies that really messed us up but….that part of your life isn’t lost, it’s not a monster to hide under your bed it’s part of your journey to knowing–really KNOWING and experiencing–Father. And THAT is the beauty beyond bones (:

    1. Thanks so much Carson! Haha yeah me either! I mean, I think there were some pretty great things that happened too! My niece was born, for one! That’s a really powerful perspective. And so true – we are raised to life in Christ. Period. End of story. That’s the meaning and importance of life. Boom. Haha I’m following ya! That so comforting. I’m going to claim that truth. Thank you so much for sharing it. You always have a way of speaking directly into my soul! Have a great night, Carson. Big hugs to you xox

      1. I’d just add one thing – that’s only the very beginning of the story, a story with no end. I can’t even begin to imagine what the rest of eternity will be like. Happy Tuesday! (:

      2. A story with no end. What a beautiful thought. It is kind of fun to try and imagine, though, isn’t it πŸ™‚ πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡πŸ˜‡ Goodnight Carson! Hope you have a great evening xox

  16. Agreed! Caralyn, we can learn much from 2016. I got a lot done to lay some foundations for what I’m going to build this year, and we’re going to make this year incredible. Well written as always!

    1. Yeahhhhh!!! πŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒπŸ™ŒGo Pi! Go Pi! πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰ haha I’m a nerd πŸ˜ŽπŸ€“ seriously though. Thanks for stopping by and for being just plain awesome xox

  17. The Olympics! We did well in the 2016 Olympics! I thought 2016 was awesome. Except for the terrorist attacks. Those were horrible but that’s not unique to 2016 and tragically they’re going to keep going on. With the exception of the Stanley cup all the sports leagues I follow had surprising championships (Bama should’ve lost) but Leicester City had never won the English Premier League, The Cavs had never won the finals, the Cubs, etc. Sports are there for you when reality isn’t. But you’re right about learning. Meryl Streep basically showed the whole world that her narcissistic community refuses to ever learn anything. Hopefully Trump will learn to be a great leader. God bless 2017.

    1. Haha yes! We did! Let’s just forget the whole ryan lochte (sp?) debacle hehe Yeah there were definitely a lot of great things about 2016. For some reason, society can always get preoccupied with the bad. But you’re right – I’m with you – I pray his time in office will prove to be great and beneficial for all. And I have great hope in that πŸ™‚ glad your sports teams did well! Can’t wait to see how the packers do! πŸ™Œ Hugs and love xox

      1. I also can’t wait to see how the packers do…
        because I’m a COWBOYS FAN!!! This Sunday is gonna explode!

        The prophet Ezekiel of Ohio State will lead the exiled cowboys back to the promised land full of milk, honey, and Lombardi trophies! As in days of yore (the early 90s) we shall be resurrected by a running back!

        “1The hand of the LORD was on me, and he brought me out by the Spirit of the LORD and placed me in the midst of the valley, and it was full of bones. 2He made me walk all around among them. I realized there were a great many bones in the valley and they were very dry. 3He said to me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said to him, “Sovereign Lord, you know.” 4Then he said to me, “Prophesy over these bones, and tell them: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD. 5This is what the sovereign LORD says to these bones: Look, I am about to infuse breath into you and you will live. 6I will put tendons on you and muscles over you and will cover you with skin; I will put breath in you and you will live. Then you will know that I am the LORD.'” -Ezekiel 37

        How can Aaron the pagan king of the north and his mistress Olivia “Jezebel” Munn stand against the very power of prophecy?

        Just kidding. But I am looking forward to beating the packers…and hopefully the Steelers in the Super Bowl.

  18. Agreed! Though I do think people deserve a bit of time to grieve 2016 before facing it head-on. Otherwise they can’t actually face it.

    1. Thanks so much Myzania! Yeah, you’re right. I wasn’t ready to really face my past either. I did have to grieve it and go through all the necessary stages – grief, denial, anger, sadness… lots of emotions for sure. And I had to give each one their due time. Then I could move on. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  19. I look at 2016 as a wake up call for me. Definitely concerning my health, but also spiritual health. I am thankful for each day of life, and God’s magnanimous grace toward me. I am not consumed. Thankful doesn’t begin to describe. My goal for this new year is to not forget how precious life is, and to enjoy each minute w/ family, grandkids. To be a blessing, an ambassador for Christ. To breathe and let stress melt away in the presence of Jesus. God bless you & your writing.

    1. Thanks so much for sharing this thoughtful reflection. That’s so beautiful. Your gratitude is contagious!! Those are powerful goals. I’ll join you in that! Each moment – especially with loved ones – is a tremendous blessing. Thanks again for your kindness. Hugs and love xox

  20. I do you have to say that 2016 was challenging to say the least it was the year that my grandmother passed away, and the story behind that situation is horrifying. That along with several health issues, and issues with a troubled loved one, financial struggles… by the end of this last semester I seriously thought I was not going to make it through… it took me everything in me, crying out to God, praying daily to make it through this past semester! The thing is I can’t place a value on the year because of those things. Life is about perspective. For me, while my circumstances weren’t that great …there are lessons to be learned like you said. each battle that I’ve gone through has given me strength that I otherwise wouldn’t have. It’s during these times that I’ve learned to truly trust and rely on God. 2017 has been declared as the year of breakthrough… so, I see this is my opportunity to look 2016 not as a sucky year but as the year that gave me strength to fly higher than I ever thought possible. It’s given me courage to face The unknown with a certain amount of certainty that the omnipotent magnificent creator of the universe is watching over me and will guide me on my way. As always I am greatly encouraged by your blog. I can only hope that my recovery has as much of an impact as yours on so many.

    1. Oh I am so sorry for your loss. That is so tragic. I’m really sorry to hear that. You’re right, life is about perspective. And relying on God. Here’s for a breakthrough year! Cheering for you friend xox

  21. I’m with you! There is good and bad in every year and people’s personal circumstances will vary enormously that to say 2016 sucked is such a huge generalisation. 100 years ago there was a war going on which claimed the lives of millions, now that sucked and by comparison 2016 was a breeze!
    You are so right – it’s what we learn that counts and how we decide to move forward. Thank you for articulating this so well.

    1. Yes! Let’s do it! You’re right — we have a lot to learn from our history and we should choose to move forward! Thanks for stopping by and sharing this powerful perspective. Hugs and love xox

  22. I had the most tragic thing happen to me in 2016 but wld never say it was the worst year.. could have happend any other year lol.

    Im not even sure why people are saying its that bad, lots happened in other years too.. i read an “MIT study which showed that there Werent more deaths in 2016 compared to previous years”

    Just blown out of proportion.. anyway we live to learn! 😊

    1. Oh gosh, I’m sorry that there were difficult seasons for you in 2016. You’re right I think things get blown out of proportion by the news media. Especially negative events. Big hugs to you xox

  23. I’m with you! Expressed a similar sentiment on my first blog this year. Here’s part of what I wrote:
    “I have heard enough of how bad the previous year has been and of how 2016 will become a year we do not speak of in history class. We did have innumerable heartbreaks last year, that is true, but we also had countless opportunities to see and do good, to recognize and convey hope. We only had to look hard enough and to act.

    “I have no doubt that such opportunities will continue to abound this year. The question is, shall we be keen on seizing them?”

  24. What I love about your writing Caralyn is that you always speak from a position of deep personal experience and honesty. Following your posts is like walking with you on a journey of learning and growth and healing; you challenge us to shine a light on our own experiences and thinking, and in the process, learn and grow. Thank you for your insights and please keep sharing.

    1. Thanks so much:) gosh, what an incredibly kind note of encouragement. Yes, it is a journey, and I am so grateful for the friendships made along the way:) thanks again for being amazing xox

  25. Life throws many things our way; good, bad, indifferent, but in the end it is up to us to decide what to do with what we have and sometimes all we can do, is sit and wait. Happy New year.

  26. As another fellow reader and follower of your blog, I have not always agreed with your opinions. Despite that I admit that your blogs reflect your personal experiences, and I couldn’t help but admire the line- “…by trying so hard to erase it from my life, I was actually just giving it more power over me. I was striving and expending all this energy to pretend it never happened…”. It is rare that I get to see this line of thought. Kudos.

    Always remain positive.

    1. Oh wow, thank you so much!! That really means a lot. Yeah – it’s taken a longggg time to come full circle on that line of thought-the result of a lot of painful growth, but here we are πŸ™‚ thanks for being a reader and for your encouraging words! Hugs and love xox

  27. Well that was the most explosive start to a blog ever πŸ˜‚. Definitely something to think about, I hide it and still hide it because of being ashamed or embarrassed about how I felt and since that was the past and being born again the past being dead with the old body I thought I could move on break completely free of it but that feeling was still there. It hasn’t been about breaking free of it, its been about breaking free of fear of it. Which only when I read your blogs I realise things like this so thank you x. I hope you feel better after the situation you had. Love you lots πŸ˜πŸ’™πŸ’™πŸ’™

    1. Hahahaha boom! πŸ™‚ thanks so much for your thoughtful response. That’s such a powerful perspective. Breaking free of the fear—amen to that! Cheering you on in 2017. Thanks for the kind words! Hugs and love xox

  28. You either WIN or you LEARN in all situations! As some have iterated, it is the FEAR of facing something that is your true enemy. Fear and Anger are two of the biggest “sinful” emotions we all face; when you can find the strength to FACE your demons is truly when you are enabled to OVERCOME those demons! “Running away” from things you don’t like is essentially the same as “running away from your problems” in that you must FACE your problems head on, diagnose them, and find a solution regarding them in order to truly move on and GROW from them!

  29. As Always … LOVING YOUR POST. It was AWESOME … What a way to start the new year … Asking myself the question … What am I going to do to make sure 2017 is a much better and different year over 2016???

    THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR SHARING YOUR EXPERIENCES WITH US …
    WELL, Until your next awe inspiring post … I PRAY HIS BLESSINGS UPON YOU AND YOUR LOVED ONES … Your Sister in Christ

  30. I agree with you, a good constructive After Actions Review is always a necessity. Objectively looking at what happened, seeing what was good, and what was not so good… lol. Analyzing how to improve both the good and the bad will make you wiser and stronger. God Bless, be strong in the Lord Jesus and the power of His might.

  31. Solid!
    I feel that too many people complain about things they are perfectly capable of changing themselves! If you see a need and you have the capacity to fill that need, DO IT! It will make the world a better place when we stop complaining and start doing.

    Thanks for sharing this!

  32. I don’t pay much attention to opinions of the masses, they are not relevant to me. With that being said 2016 could have ended tragically for me: suicide ideations, alcoholism, jail. STOP! halfway through I put a new tape in: early release, mental health and alcoholism recovery. The mind is a powerful wish fulfilling machine, and I used it to get back to my pure essence. 2016 will always be the year I found myself drowning and gave myself life saving measures. Love is what you make it, doesn’t matter what year it is. Great post!

    1. Hey Rob, thank you so much for sharing this. i’m so glad that you put that new tape in!!!! seriously. You’re an amazing friend and I am grateful for you πŸ™‚ It sounds like 2016 hold a special place in your heart, as it was the year of reclaiming life!! I’m giving you a standing ovation πŸ™‚ big hugs xox

      1. You’re the best. The fact that you have well over 20,000 followers, and you pen comments like this, means more to me than you will ever know. Thank you so very much!

      2. I want to be like you when I grow up! I only have 20,652 more followers to go hahaha gasp!! That’s just mind blowing, way to go girl.

  33. For a lot of people, they can trace their loss of hope in 2016 to a single event: the Presidential election. And yet, if that’s true, they should be anticipating a worse set of circumstances in 2017 than they had in 2016.

    The thing is, every year has its high points and low points. They’re not always equally distributed and perhaps we pay more attention to what hurts us than what makes us feel good, but let’s face it, it’s not the year, it’s the life.

    That said, perhaps the following will add some perspective:

    “There are many life situations and circumstances in which it is easy to be pessimistic. It might be easy to give up hope particularly when others make discouraging comments.

    “Let us always believe in the benevolence of our loving Father and powerful King. Let this belief be so strong that nothing anyone says can cause us to lose hope.”

    -Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

    1. Hi James, thank you so much for this reflection. You’re right…many people’s attitudes were directly linked to the election results. But you’re right…let us ALWAYS remember the benevolence of the Father. amen to that! thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  34. I’m with you! 2016 was the mist devastating year of my life- loosing both parents at their young age of 74 & 75! Yet, you are correct in that I NEED to learn from this loss and move toward my better future- it’s not an easy task, but I’m working my way through it!

    1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. that is absolutely tragic. my heart and prayers are with you and your family during this difficult time. i hope that you find peace and healing in 2017. sending ginormous hugs and love xox

  35. We’re with you, Caralyn.

    May the truths that you take stands on make you such a wonderful gem, that the Light of our loving King may shine through you, split and radiate out in many wondrous ways, and be powerful in dispelling darkness in many lives that are connected to yours through this blog.

    We’re praying for you.

    Many regards,
    Indi

    1. Thanks Indi πŸ™‚ Your words are always a healing balm to my soul. Truly. I know that sounds super cheesy, but you are always so kind and generous in kindness. So thank you. from the bottom of my heart. big hugs to you and yours xox

  36. Great post, I feel the same way, if you’re unhappy find the lesson in what’s happened to you and then find something to be thankful for. I read a T shirt one time, “Sometimes you win and sometimes you learn….” As T shirt wisdom goes this one was up there. Thanks for sharing
    and God bless πŸ™‚

  37. Love you, your message, and the way you choose to live your life. It is truly refreshing. Have a blessed day and remember fear is nothing more than False Evidence Appearing Real! JD

    1. oh my gosh, JD, what a kind thing to say!! thank you so much! False Evidence Appearing Real! That’s so true! I’ve never heard that before…wow!! glad you stopped by. hugs xo

  38. Glad to know I’m not the only one. 2016 had a lot of good memories too. I guess it depends on where you put your hope. Don’t put your hope in material thing…things of this earth. My new year’s resolution was very similar. Best wishes!

  39. Hi Caralyn: I don’t know if you posted of sad, hurtful event over Christmas that I missed somehow or not, but it doesn’t matter. It is not necessary to kdetails, in order to pray for someone, because God knows all. An I will continue to pray.

    Heavenly Father, we come to You, in the Name of Jesus Christ, Your son, our Saviour. I ask Father for You to give Caralyn Peace, by Your Holy Spirit, as only He can give. I pray her spirit and her mind will be calm. In Jesus Name I speak Your empowering within her, that she will have wisdom in all reflections of the past.
    As she is seeking Your mind to learn from all things in the past year, Holy Spirit, give Caralyn clarity and discernment, I pray, so she will know Your voice over the voice of the enemy who attempts to discourage.
    Thank You Father God, for the gifts and talents that You placed within Caralyn, and for how she is using them to encourage others, and give You Glory. I pray she will experience Your Presence and Your Power, Father, and that You will Bless her abundantly.

    Ephesians 3:20-21
    20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,
    21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

    Luv,
    George

    1. Hey George, wow, I am so touched by this beautiful prayer. thank you so much for lifting me and my family up to the Father. It is so appreciated. especially right now. I have not fully shared yet, but we had a bit of a family emergency. But I’m waiting to share until I get the green light. It’s not really my story to tell. But as soon as I can, I will. I am just so grateful for your constant support and kindness. You are a blessing to me πŸ™‚ big big big hugs to you and yours xo

  40. To God be the Glory for your recovery and enjoy your blessings. We all have an exact purpose and we all need reminded of all we are blessed to get through, another year down and many more blessed one’s to go!

    1. Thank you so much for these kind words. Amen to that – we all DO have a purpose. What an empowering thought! Thanks for stopping by and for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  41. Hi Caralyn…I have heard ALOT of friends talk about 2016 as a personal experience synonymous with Israel’s wilderness wanderings…lots of trials, loneliness, a sense of abandonment by God, fear, delayed expectations, etc. It is interesting that Israel’s perspective on the “wilderness” was very different than the Lord’s. They saw it through the lens of insecurity, fear and their own sense of what God “should” be doing (i.e. giving them everything they wanted right away). God saw it as a time of teaching Israel to trust Him, to rely upon Him, to learn His character and unfailing love for them. Deuteronomy 8 gives God’s perspective on why He allowed intentionally tested Israel in order to prepare them for the blessing. Your admonition regarding how we should process pain is redemptive, healthy and the pathway to blessing. God brings beauty from the ashes. Isaiah 61:3, “To grant those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting. So they will be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified.”
    Thanks for the reminder to process all, the good and the hard, through the loving sovereignty of our Father in Heaven!!
    Love in Him,
    Tom

    1. Hey Tom! Wow, what an absolutely beautiful reflection. Thank you for sharing the incredible insight you have. I truly always look forward to reading your words because they are so powerful and thought provoking, and really reach straight to the heart. I am so appreciating of this. How comforting and empowering is that verse. Wow. God is amazing. Hugs and love xox

      1. That is very kind of you to say Caralyn…an interesting tidbit about the wilderness as mentioned in Israel’s history…God always refers to the wilderness, “My land” whereas He refers to the promised land as “your land”. It seems that the Lord has a true fondness for the metaphorical wilderness in the lives of His children. It is there that we grow in intimacy with Him…where He reveals His tender care in the midst of our neediness. I am learning to love “His land” because I have learned who He truly is in those hard places! It is NEVER comfortable and I squirm more than I trust, but I guess that is why this is a lifelong journey and not a sprint!

      2. I’ve never thought of that before, but you’re absolutely right. We really do have wilderness in our own lives, in the many forms and trials that comes in for each individual, but that right – it is in those times that we grown in intimacy and learn to truly depend on Him for our life source πŸ™‚ hugs xo

  42. 2016 was definitely rocky. Not just in the news, but in my own life. Looking back, though, I can see how the challenges made me stronger–not that I’m in any hurry to repeat them! The funny thing is, I keep an online journal where I’ve often done yearly reviews–and most of them say, “Well, THAT year was difficult! Thank goodness it’s over!” Maybe I need to focus more on the positive–or maybe 2016 wasn’t really that unusual, haha.

    1. Hi Rose Marie! Oh gosh, I’m sorry that it proved to be a rocky year. I pray that 2017 will be better for you! So glad you stopped by. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  43. Great, learn from the past and grow from the lessons it taught you. I’m for that πŸ™‚ We’re only limited by own own mediocrity. Think big and ask BIG from God, because it’s from aiming big that greatness comes. Greatness that you can share with others:-your talents, gifts, wealth and then bring glory to God through them. AMEN <3

  44. Me, I am with you princess all the way… toxic thoughts attract toxic actions and reactions… Nah, not me narrating the misery, mistakes and all over and over to intoxicate my poor mind… since starting a gratitude journal last month, I barely remember what went ‘wrong’ in any given ocassion because am on the look out for at least 5 good things that went great each day. An example is, being grateful for the way I managed a crisis…

    1. Thank you so much Marie!!! πŸ™‚ ooh a gratitude journal. that’s so awesome. yeah, when we focus and pay attention to the incredible blessings in our lives, it makes everything else just kind of fizzle into the right perspective in our minds. because we have really been given such a gift in this life. 5 good things — i’ll join you in that!! πŸ™‚ so awesome. big hugs to you my friend xox

  45. You are right. The old American Indian saying goes, “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” 2016 had ups and downs, but we are still here and can be hopeful for 2017.

      1. We live in a world full of falsehood, for lack of a better term. Especially on the net a lot of people present a digital image that is more fantasy than actual physical reality. Here, I actually believe that your content is really you.
        I enjoy your blog, because even though I am not very Christian, I was never anorexic, and given the life I have led I feel virginity is pretty small in the rear view, I really admire the honesty with which you approach the topics.
        And I like your blogging style, so as a extremely novice blogger, I may actually learn something.
        Keep posting, I will keep reading.

      2. Oh wow, thank you. Seriously I am humbled by your words. But you’re right,digital anonymity and digital “exaggerating” or “fiction-izing” one’s life is definitely a reality these days. Especially with “reality tv” …it’s jut hard to find authenticity anymore. I’m really touched that you would say that, so thank you. Looking forward to getting to know you more! πŸ™‚ xox

  46. I couldn’t agree more! Learning from the past can help us with our future πŸ™‚ I also suffered from eating disorders that I struggled with from 6th grade into my college years getting that help my second year of college was the best thing I ever did and helped give me my voice back and has made me a stronger person. I couldn’t be more thankful for the counselor I had, dietitian and doctor. I had similar feelings where I wished I could go back and do things right and not have an eating disorder almost embarrassed that was a part of me but through my major (I studied Human Development and Family Studies) it helped me work through that thought and allowed me to open up to other people in my classes about it (had to help ourselves to be able to help others) anyways now I don’t feel embarrassed instead I think of how strong of a person I am of course I wish I didn’t damage my body but I am proud to be stronger and healthier now and now I do things that right way and don’t struggle with the eating disorder voices anymore which I never thought would go away! πŸ™‚ Anyways thanks for writing this post I think it was a great reminder and very powerful πŸ™‚

    1. Hi there! Oh thank you so much. You’re right- we can learn and then bring that new perspective into the future! I’m sorry that we have that history that connects us, but I’m so glad we are both now living in freedom. πŸ™‚ your life is a victory! Celebrate that! Big hugs to you, friend xox

  47. So thoughtful and accurate! It’s tempting to try to ignore the hard parts of our stories thinking that we are getting away from them. But you are absolutely right-that gives them more power over us. And the harder the season, the deeper the wound, the more profound the wound or bitter the struggle the more time it takes to process and squeeze whatever God is trying to lead us to learn through it. You are doing a beautiful job sharing your story and the things you’re learning from it. Thank you.

    1. Thanks Melanie! So glad you enjoyed the read! You’re right – God is always teaching us powerful lessons-we’ve just got to be willing to face it and find the lesson. But He is always good. And always wants good for us, His precious children. Thanks for this beautiful encouragement Hugs and love xox

  48. now i have a spirit to love 2017 more and more. I love ur post. Anyway, would u do the honour of teaching good english to me. Cause i have lack of vocabulary in english. xxoo

    thepandaeyes.blog.com

  49. You are wise beyond your years. I always look forward to seeing your posts. Straight forward, genuine, and compassionate. By the way, I’m with you! New year! New start!
    Reblogged this on my site.
    God bless you caralyn!🌼

    1. Oh thank you so much. That’s seriously so kind of you to say. Yes! Let’s tackle 2017! πŸ˜ŽπŸŽ‰πŸ˜ŽπŸŽ‰ hope you’re having a great week so far. Big hugs xox and thanks again for sharing this on your blog! Xox

  50. Thank for liking a post on my blog coz it leads me here. I love what I read and yours is just full of inspiration. Thank you so much! now I feel that my 2017 can be more joyful and it’s true that there’s always something to learn from the previous year. Happy new year!

  51. I love the positive message of this post. Yep, 2016 sucked. But we survived — individually and collectively.

  52. “We repeat what we don’t repair” that’s a sentence I would like to remember in 2017 and continue my walk of life trying to understand things in my life that hurt and then move on in a more free mode

  53. Yes I agree 2016 was a bad year, I lost a close family member, however I always listen to Jesus’ heart in both good and bad situations, and what came to my mind was that day some 2016 years ago when there was a big melee of people crowding around, and I push my way through and see the Saviour dragging his cross. Gee that was a bad year, however with that event and my loved one passing as well, greater things to come, and although we can’t always see immediately, a blessing in disguise.
    Fab post, Jesus loves you!

  54. Wow. I think you’ve pegged what my beef has been the past few months–I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Post-election, everyone is harping on each other based on Trump supporter or not. And I’m not a supporter. But, I believe sitting around criticizing and analyzing is as productive as belly button gazing. I want to focus on the good I can do. If we call could just look to the good we envision, I wonder what we could collectively create?

  55. “Not that I speak of want, for I have learned, whatsoever the situation, to be content. ” — Philippians 4:11 … Thanks for sharing, and praises to God for another day to grow more like Him! ~ <3 πŸ™‚

  56. There’s a lot of wisdom in this. You’re right – I learned a lot in 2016, and although there were parts I’d rather forget, for the most part, it was a year that helped me to grow.

  57. Hi BBB,

    Yep, Lord help us be the gracious ones as folks handle change. No drama, just kindness and consistency. Thank you for sharing.

    In Christ,

    Gary

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