Late Bloomer

Well, Lord, I’ve gotta hand it to You: Well played, Sir. Well played.

Sitting here in the Adoration Chapel with my mom, wracking my brain about how The F am I supposed to write a Valentine’s Day post as a hopelessly single gal, who has left all prospects of love back in NYC when I temporarily moved back to Ohio to help my mom recover from her stroke six weeks ago, and what do You do?

Enter: a tall, handsome, young man (sans wedding ring) into the chapel.

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Good grief, Lord, You could have warned me! Why was today the one day I decided to slum it and wear sweat pants and an oversized sweater to the chapel?! I haven’t seen anyone ever under the age of 65 in here! But on the one day I’m a hot mess…Sheesh.

Well played, Lord. Well played.          

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I’m going to be honest: being back home and helping my mom….dating has been the last thing on my mind. That is, until my mother, (in her temporarily unfiltered state) unabashedly probes as to why I’m still single (and why I haven’t gotten a haircut or if I’ve considered botox)…haha

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Being home here, and truly serving my parents during this difficult season, pouring everything I have – emotionally, physically, and from my inner-most heart — I realize just how much I love loving. I really do have so much love to give. Love that I cannot wait to share and shower on my future husband, whoever he may be.

But I think if I’m being really honest, that thought and that notion is guarded in so much fear. Fear that I will have to expose my heart and my brokenness, and that I will be a disappointment. That I will be rejected at my most vulnerable, innermost level.

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But there is just so much fear there.

And I wonder, what if I’m incapable of loving someone? I say I’ve got high standards, but jeez, boy’s gotta be Brad Pitt-adjacent for me to be interested. I mean I’m always finding something that is a deal breaker.

I tell myself that I just haven’t met him yet. God hasn’t brought him into my life yet, but I mean, my clock is ticking and I don’t care how Fort Knox my nighttime facial cream routine is, those smile lines are gonna start popping up any day now, and believe me, that will be the day…

But I know I have a lot of love to give. And I love loving another person. Perhaps right now just isn’t my season for romance.

Perhaps this is my season to serve. To help. To love. To foster my mother’s spirit and help her to bloom and regain her life and her memory. Because honestly, that is where I’m feeling so strongly pulled. I have never felt like my life has more purpose than it does right now. I have never felt like my life has more value and worth than it does right now.

It’s funny, I’ve spent my whole life battling the lies in my head that told me I didn’t have worth, and now there’s not a doubt in my mind – all it took was a stroke.

            “Above all, trust in the slow work of God.” 

I just looked over to a book my mom is reading and that is the sentence I read.

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Through my time with her here, one of the most incredible things is watching her bloom after this devastating event. So too, I think, with me. I was a “late bloomer,” which is really just the nice way of explaining why you’re sixteen and still flat as a 2×4. But I digress.

            Trust the slow work of God. 

I think my life has been one big, gradual, slow as molasses, blooming process. Through my anorexia, I slowly learned to love myself and love God. Now, through this caregiving season, I’m learning how to love another person. And this final stage is going to be to learn to let another person love me. Because it is in letting someone in and becoming vulnerable and sharing my past – my hurts – my fears – failures – how I’ve hurt people and what I still struggle with – that Caralyn…the real Caralyn…is the girl who needs to learn how to be loved.

But above all, I have to believe that I deserve to be loved. Because honestly, that’s the kicker.

And I know, writing that out – and yes, I’ve handwritten all 1000 words with a pen – I know how ridiculous that sounds, but I still think that vulnerable part of my heart still needs work. The part that believes I deserve to be loved.

Trust the slow work of God.

Slow work.

I don’t know how much slower it can get. But I do pray it not be too much longer, or all the “good ones” will be taken!

I think I need to give myself permission and grace to be slow. To bloom at my own pace. Let God work His timing. That’s what I’ve been encouraging my mom with – to not rush the blooming process. It sounds like I need to heed my own advice.

God is at work in my heart. Slowly. Methodically. Deliberately. I cannot see the grand plan. The end game. Only right here. Right now. Right at this handsome man God brought into the chapel tonight to remind me that He hasn’t forgotten me.

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353 thoughts on “Late Bloomer

  1. I find that smile lines, crows feet, and gray hair are the most beautiful parts of aging because they show joy, passion, knowledge, and above all, peace.

    1. Hmm, princess of our Almighty Father. Now here, thanks to your post, I think I understand something that has been nudging. God’s is the slow traditional cooker… With the clay pot, not the pressure cooker or the microwave. 12 years ago, I was so impatient, scared and already an emotional mess anyway. I dived into a marriage without inviting or even hearing from God. Am still healing and nurturing my scars. Now, am reading books like: When God makes you wait; What to be doing until the man God sends finds you; Dear Lord where is my Boaz… I also struggled with Love trio fears: The fear of loving; the fear of being loved; the fear of not truly deserving love anyways! All to thee my blessed saviour… In your time for your princess and I. I saw a mantle in a house which read: Dear Lord Grant me Patience But Please Hurry…

      1. Hi Marie! The original slow cooker! I LOVE that! it’s so true, God’s timing, though often slower than we’d prefer, is always the best. We can trust that goodness. Thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for the scars that came about because of that marriage. I pray for the total and complete healing for you 🙂 thank you for the beautiful encouragement. grateful for you xox

  2. Thanks so much for your vulnerability and realness. God’s style is slow cooker, and I too struggle with wanting the microwave approach. But every once in awhile, I remember how much better the crock pot stew is! mmmmmm.

  3. I don’t know if this will help but, when I was in my late 20’s, very late, late 20’s, I just gave up on finding anyone. Anyone that would love me, love my child, that I could love. I felt like who could love me anyway, the mess that I am. I quit searching and said Lord, if you want me to have a “one” You will have to bring him because I’m exhausted. Within a year, here he came. We have been together 18 years now. God will bring you, your other half, right when you least expect it.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Wow, what a beautiful love story you have with your husband. That’s so incredible. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

      1. I got corrected *blushing* it will be 19 years in April. No thanks necessary on the encouraging. You are beautiful, inside and out. You’re obviously giving, caring, thoughtful, and kind, just to name a few. He’s got your other half out there somewhere. It doesn’t mean you’re the hold up, it might be that your other half isn’t where God wants him to be yet 😉

      2. haha 🙂 thats so awesome 🙂 and shucks, now *I’m* blushing 🙂 Yes He does — He’s forming his heart just as He’s forming mine 🙂 this brings my heart so much peace. massive hugs xox

  4. Caralyn, you totally deserve to be loved. And not just because of everything you went through with your anorexia. But because you are an awesome, wonderful person.

    Plain truth. 🙂

  5. I’m a late bloomer too! You definitely seem like a very loving person 🙂 I feel you on being afraid to be vulnerable and getting rejected because the other person doesn’t like what you show them. It’s made me a little bitter and, frankly, I wonder the same thing as you. Am I capable of loving someone like that? Going to cut off here because this is about you 😛

    Never be afraid to go at your own pace. 🙂

    1. Thanks for this 🙂 yay for law bloomers! Haha But you’re right, it can be easy to feel down about that, but I believe we both have great things ahead of us:) hope you have an awesome weekend. Who knows we both just may bump into interesting gentlemen 🙂 hehe hugs xox

      1. I suppose it would be a little sketchy pulling out your moves in a chapel. It would be like Will Ferrell’s character in The Wedding Crashers.
        Thanks for the good wishes. I’m at the hospital waiting for my daughter to deliver her baby. Hoping it all goes well.

  6. where do you find all these snappy gifs :). I hope you find what you are looking for. You seem like a kind hearted person , who is confident and knows your mind. And you are also beautiful and young. I would say the odds are heavily in your favor. I am certain something waits around the corner for you.

  7. This is a wonderful writing, good insight of the wonder works of God…even if He works slow, He is still working. And I bet, from now on, love will just be in the corner. Have a nice day dear!

  8. Haha, that’s a funny Godincidence, just to let you know anything is still possible, love it. Keep up your good work giving out and you will reap back what you sow. 🙂

    1. amen to that. me too. I am so grateful that He is the designer and artist of my life. If i were in charge it would look like a finger painting! but he is an artist-extrodinairre! 🙂 hugs xox

  9. Very nice post. Your words align with some of the thoughts I’ve had lately. A man of God I admire once said that while we learn the prayer, “Thy will be done,” it would be of benefit to also learn, “Thy time be done.” I recognize the immense leap we need to make when we learn to surrender our will to the will of God. Part of that acceptance seems to be the acceptance of God’s will in God’s time. That is a kernel of spiritual wisdom you express so well. Thank you for your inspired insights and words.

  10. On another note, secondary to your epiphany, I have a little call you out thought. Looks are nice but subjective. Age is just a number. You want a partner that finds you beautiful even when you’re a hot mess. What does he “see”? What does the bible say about a beautiful and desirable woman? Remember, what is essential is invisible to the eye.

      1. Yes you do. It helps if you remember I’m always right.
        Also, that’s from The Little Prince. Can’t take credit for it.

      2. hahahahaha oh my gosh, Brad, you’re cracking me up!! 🙂 haha and i’ve never seen that movie…add it to the crazy long list of classics that i have yet to watch 🙂

  11. God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    Living one day at a time;
    enjoying one moment at a time;
    accepting hardships as the pathway to peace;
    taking, as He did, this sinful world
    as it is, not as I would have it;
    trusting that He will make all things right
    if I surrender to His Will;
    that I may be reasonably happy in this life
    and supremely happy with Him
    forever in the next.
    Amen.

    1. Thanks so much Tom. I so love this. You know what’s funny? The night I wrote this in the chapel, I actually looked up the extended version of the serenity and wrote this out in my mom’s journal for her and I to pray when we went in. So i read these exact words right before I wrote this post. that is so crazy. There is so much comfort to be found in these words. Thanks for sharing. Big hugs to you xox

      1. The tender heart of Papa God is watching after you and your mom. He makes His ways especially sweet to us when we are hurting. He is right beside you and won’t leave your side, Mega peace, and grace to you Caralyn.

  12. Caralyn, I remember when you first posted about your mom’s stroke, not the details, but…enough that my prayers and thoughts were speedily and sincerely sent, and I thought: “huh, she was recently writing about being in NYC where the action is but also kind of wanting to be home, and look: the Lord made the decision easy for her (you being the loving daughter you are), at least for the time being.” Not only that, but the situation as I imagined it reminded me so much of that of a friend of mine. He had a great job a few states away from his family. He had friends and most good things, but also a recent heartbreak. His dad got very sick so he went home. He ended up getting a job there so that he could help his mom care for his dad. Right at the beginning of his new job, he (in a big dose of serendipity, but not to write chapters here!) met the love of his life. They’re married now, live near both their families, and are so happy. He was just a good dutiful son, loving and deserving of love. The Lord directed his steps. He’ll direct yours, wherever you go. Patience is a virtue (as my mom always said!), keep the faith! ~ Peri

    1. Hi Peri, oh thank you so much 🙂 You’re right- it’s funny how the Lord leads us to where we need to be. You’re right, I kind of got my answer 🙂 Oh gosh, what a powerful story. Wouldn’t that be wild if I met “Mr. Right?” That gives me so much hope! Thanks for sharing that! And you know, it’s funny, because my mom’s mom had a stroke when she was in college and she moved home to help her, and she ended up meeting my dad that summer, and well, the rest is history 🙂 so it can happen! I will trust God and His mysterious ways! Thanks for stopping by! hugs xo

  13. You and your testimony are amazing are beautiful. Ps if I were 90 years younger I would have sat next to you in chapel! You were trying out a new sexy look for church! Thank you for sharing your walk of faith. You are an inspiration to me!

  14. Ahhh. Here’s what I know. It’s far more important to be able to receive love than to give it. That is so counter intuitive, but I think it’s really an important key to relationships. Think grace, unmerited favor. In a more earthly way, can you receive a man’s grace, his unmerited favor? That’s actually not an easy mindset to have, it requires a great deal of humility, vulnerability, courage. To give love is the easy part, (well, “easy” may be the wrong word, and much of the world doesn’t even try,) but easy in the sense that it puts you in control. So, receiving grace, unmerited favor, puts you in a state of gratitude and vulnerability, and gratitude reflected back to a guy is love. That’s not scary, it’s beautiful. But the idea of “giving love” tends to stir up fears of potential rejection, because now you’re trying earn his favor, be worthy of his love,and we all feel inadequate there. It’s the same concept in faith, receiving Christ’s unmerited favor, rather than trying to earn it with our love, because it just can’t be earned.

    1. Thank you so much for this powerful perspective. You’re right, that’s not an easy mindset to have. And yes – it’s beautiful. Thanks for this wonderful encouragement. hugs xox

  15. We cannot forget that He created us perfectly. We often believe the things that are not true. It is why He needs our hearts…so He can show us more of His! Keep praying, keep seeking His face, He is with you!

  16. I so appreciate your rawness and simplicity. It’s a beautiful thing…a beauty that originates deep in the soul. As one who struggles with anxiety and depression, I find your words strengthening and life giving. Courage on. Blessings to you…

  17. Thank you for your honest and beautiful writing. A girl like me can definitely relate! I just read the book “Get Lost” by Dannah Gresh that my friend recommended to me and it really changed my perspective on dating and romance.

  18. I love your honesty. Yes, God seems slow and grace moves slowly, mainly, I think, because as humans it takes time for us to learn. Just like in school. You can’t imagine how many times I have thought that I should have learned that lesson from God a long time ago. I became a Christian at 19, and now I am 66 and I am still learning. I’ve have learned some huge things just this last 2 years!

    My mom has been living with us the last year. I have noticed God teaching her better attitudes and important truths. She is 89! And she is still learning! Honestly, it is amazing to me and it makes me smile how God never stops wanting us to grow more like him.

    1. Hi Belle, oh thank you so much 🙂 What a beautiful grace you are giving your mother 🙂 It’s true, we always have room to grow and God is always there to help us along. Thanks for this encouragement. big hugs xox

  19. Wow, I needed this. If you were in California I’d say we get some coffee because it’s the days when you least expect it that change your life. Happy God was revealed to you, even if it was through a handsome man while you sat at church in your sweatpants. Vulnerability has been the hardest thing for me.I used to be worried that no one would ever love me again. Also, you love God, so incapable? No. But I encourage further reflection on all you’ve put down here. And I will meditate on, “Trust the slow work of God.” Emxoxo

    1. Hi Em 🙂 Oh thanks so much! Aw, how fun would that be if we got coffee! 🙂 haha, yeah, I was definitely a sight for sore eyes 🙂 hehe Thanks so much for your beautiful encouragement! I appreciate it! big hugs xox

  20. Maybe, God put you in adoration looking the way you did as he sent in ‘the man’ to show you, “you are worthy of love, you deserved to be loved and you will be loved just for you, the REAL you, the ‘stripped bare’ you .. 🙂 XO

  21. This is spot on about the slow process and all the good ones eventually being taken…I’m in the same single season and what keeps me going is that God sees and He knows exactly where we are in our lives…that’s reassuring…He hasn’t forgotten us. Great post 👍🏾

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 That’s so kind of you to say. Yeah it can be a tough season of singleness — especially around Valentines day. But you’re right, He knows the plan and we can rest assured that it is a good one! hugs xox

    1. That’s so true! It *is* perfect. And bright 🙂 Thanks, Soph. I can always count on you for a bright burst of encouragement 🙂 hope you have a beautiful weekend! hugs xox

  22. The love comes through in the writing, Caralyn. Like a red ocean wave. Absolutely beautiful, as always.

    We all deserve to be loved, but especially you Caralyn. Because you’re truly a wonderful person; an adorably (super-)cute girl with a great heart. The total package.

    I hope this makes you feel better and best wishes to your family, hugs. <3

    1. Oh gosh, thank you so much. That’s so kind of you to say. You’re right – we all deserve to be loved. I am incredibly touched by your words. Hope you have a beautiful weekend, my friend! hugs and much much love xox

  23. You have so much power in what you write. The things you write, are absolutely RIGHT! God does take his time. The problem many times is that we here on earth do not. Or at least, many times, we don’t want to. Look how much rushing is a part of life today. We rush from dawn to dusk, through day’s ways and means. Consumerism rushes us from season to season with no time having its own special time anymore. People more and more are encouraged to rush rush rush to get weight off by taking pills, formulas, or other diets that may no be what their body really needs. Dating sites want people to rush rush rush into meeting the perfect mate right now and you’ll sail off in the sunset. One thing that doesn’t rush is your beauty in this world. It lingers and exists at a perfect pace. The beauty of how you look, yes, but also the beauty of who you are and what you do. How many “rushed” loves really make it? God will find that part of love for you. I know He will. The beauty you project day by day will shine out each day and God will bring you the right love along the way, xoxoxoxo

    1. oh my gosh, I am so incredibly touched by your words, MiguelTio. Thank you 🙂 There is power in what YOU write!! 🙂 That’s so true – we are a rushing culture for sure. And wow, what a kind thing to say. My goodness. I think you’re right – God is going to bring that right love along some day. I just need to be patient. Easier said than done. thanks again for this wonderful encouragement. I’m so grateful to have you as a friend 🙂 hugs xox

  24. Looks like the fingers in the hand of God at work, eh? Mr. Hello may be just the someone you need to help prepare your mind and heart for whatever comes next. We’ll never know what threads the Lord is weaving when our paths cross with another. We may not understand the patterns our lives make when we intersect with all of God’s “other fingers”. But we can rest assured that when we’re in His hands…the most unique miracles happen. 🙂

    Isn’t it interesting how it took a Christmas Vacation, a mother’s special need for your love, time away from the noise, and an increased hunger for Him…to get you to this point? It’s as if He was just positioning you for where He needed you…for where you needed to be…and to be where you are needed, too.

    I just know that behind every Cloud of Uncertainty, past every Storm of Struggle, and after the Rains of Strains and Tears, the Son-light is ever-ready to peek through, waiting…just waiting to warm you and light your way once again. You just need to stand ready, anchored, patiently waiting…for the Son-light to appear.

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement. it is so beautiful and touching. You’re so right — when we’re in His hands, we’re in a good place. And yes – that’s when the most unique miracles happen! That’s so true though – it is amazing the timing of all this. He definitely put me where I need to be. At least in this season. Thanks again for your kindness. Hugs to you xox

  25. You are worth loving. Jesus proved that already. Do you let Him love you, or are you hiding your dark places from Him as well?

    (I don’t know you, but I felt like I should ask this. If the words don’t connect with you, please let them roll off your back like water droplets on duck feathers. I mean you no harm.)

    1. Hi there! Oh, thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. Yes, He did prove that on the Cross. You know, I do think I’ve given all my dark places over to Jesus. it’s just in letting a potential love interest into those places that scares me! haha water droplets on duck feathers…I’ve never heard that saying before, but i just might have to adopt it! hehe hugs xo

      1. That makes sense. I struggled with similar issues, but one day, things just started to click. ‘If I think I’m worthless, I directly insult my Creator. Either He is good, loving, and skilled, or I am just as bad as I think I am.’ That kind of thing. It’s been a journey.

        Also, remember that trust is earned, so you don’t have to show all of your dark places at once. It could help if you pick a few that are less charged than the rest and use them as testers, to see what kind of person you’re talking to. Exploring them all together and looking into his dark places might take a lifetime. It’s ok.

  26. Dude – go back to Adoration! Meeting a guy in Adoration?? That’s like the coolest thing ever. This book called “Mary’s Way” – the woman in that book met her husband in Adoration. Can’t think of a better place than Church to meet a nice guy. My Dad told me that before I left for college lol. But seriously before you leave town, just stop by – at least once – just to give God a chance. Just in case. 😉 Oh, and I’ll be saying a rosary for your family.

    1. Hahah I know that would have been amazing to really meet him! He left before I could “accidentally” bump into him:) hehe Sounds like a neat book! I’ll def have to check it out. Thanks for the recco. So true – my mom always said to meet a guy In church 🙂 that’s a great plan. Will do 🙂 and thank you so much for your prayers. It means the world. And they are working! My mom is getting better every day. It’s a slow process, but we’re very encouraged and hopeful. So thanks again. Hope you have a beautiful weekend! Enormous hugs to you xox 🙂

  27. Dear Friend and future wife. Wait did I just type that? Sike!. You are a wonderful person. However I don’t know how many times I have to remind you of this. I will also let you know that I too am on the search for the one that God chooses. It sometimes is never easy, If it doesn’t work for me in my search or yours I’ll be the first one to send you roses via internet greeting cards. In a world of Facebook statuses, Instagram wedding proposals I feel the general world is too connected and yet so disconnected from the simple and small things of God. Be patient in well doing… You’re not a late bloomer please stop talking like you’re past beauty. Any girl that walks with God in righteousness and virtuosity is always beautiful in the eyes of the Lord. PS: I am kind of jealous of you right now because there you are in my church state and yet I’m eight hours away yet I yearn to in the church state every weekend.

    1. Haha oh my gosh you’re funny. Thanks so much:) yeah you’re a great encourager, that’s for sure! What a kind thing to say. I am seriously so touched. Thank you 🙂 hugs xox

  28. This made me laugh so much, because I relate, hard-core. And the verse that God seems to always bring to my mind when I am just a little too discouraged is the beginning of Ecclesiastes 3:11; “God makes everything beautiful in His time.” I may not agree with His timing, but when I look back at what He has already done, and what He has already brought me through, there can be no doubt in my mind that His plan is best. And I’m sure that you can testify the same.

    1. Hi Sarah Jo! oh good I’m so glad this made you chuckle! Oh my gosh I’ve never heard that verse before but i LOVE IT! thanks so much for sharing! You’re right, His plan is always best. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xox

  29. Dear Beauty,
    I am way older. Probably older than your father. I have been married for over 40 years to the one I love. So I speak from the vantage of age (which does not always mean wisdom).

    I have seen your pictures and I know from them that you are a physical beauty (you are a “looker” as some would say). I have read your words which express your soul and I know that you are a spiritual beauty. Your struggles with your eating disorder have made you wiser, more compassionate and have lead you to develop a spiritual beauty that you might not have otherwise had. I “see” you grow more spiritually as you care for your mother. You are becoming more beautiful every day. I pray that that is so for the rest of your life. True beauty does not wither with age, it grows more beautiful each year.

    Physical and spiritual beauty does not guarantee that “the right man” will ever come into your life. It certainly “hedges the bet” but does not guarantee the win.

    I hope that you find the right man, whether he be a handsome knight or a lowly troll. Either way, both of you will eventually develop “lines”, sagging areas, and in general lose some or a lot of the luster of youth as time goes by but love will make up for that, lust will not. My wife is more beautiful to me now than she was 40 years ago (you must remember this, a kiss is still a kiss, a sigh is still a sigh, as time goes by).

    Paul gives us this well known description of love in 1 Corinthians (13:4-8): Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away…

    There is no mention of youth or beauty because they have nothing to do with love.

    I encourage you to make your first love Jesus Christ. If an earthly lover comes along, well and good; but; if not, Christ will be with you always, until the end of the age.

    Keep writing.

    1. Oh my gosh, Oogata, thank you so much for this incredibly beautiful response. I am so touched. Thank you. You’re so right – fall in love with Jesus first. And then keep in the center of the relationship. What a beautiful love story you have with your wife. That gives me such great hope. Thank you again for blessing me with your wonderfully kind words. It means the world. hugs to you x

  30. So much sincerity, so much openness, so much commitment to caregiving, so much love to share, so much humility on display.

    God bless your heart. Your trust in Him will see you through. In due time the right man will find you. Indeed God has not forgotten and will never forget you. Thanks so much for sharing.

    1. Thanks so much, Victor. I really appreciate that. I believe you’re right – God will never forget His children. He is a good Father that loves to give good gifts. I hope you have a beautiful weekend. Thanks again for the encouragement. hugs xox

  31. Tell me why that first half (ONCE AGAIN) hit me hard! Love has been a complicated area for me too and it seems that the biggest obstacle is me. I love to love, but not getting love back the same way is always this constant fear. Sometimes I do not feel worthy or sometimes I just do not know how much to give. It’s complicated.

    My clock is ticking too. I am confident that whomever I give love to and whomever gives it back, I won’t have to guess around.

    I do have to keep in mind that if I trust God with all this. Even if the first person that I feel a connection with doesn’t work out, it won’t destroy me. We are human and nothing will ever be perfect. However, just like any other journey in our personal lives things do not always turn out like we want them to too. That’s okay. We live. We grow. We don’t give up.

    It’s going to happen for us Caralyn. It’s going to be marvelous.

    -JV

    1. Haha thanks JV. You’re so right- is *is* going to be marvelous. I have total faith in that. Because God is at the command. So yeah it might take a bit longer but it will be worth it. They’re out there! 🙂 thanks for the thoughtful encouragement! Grateful for you:) Hugs and love xox

  32. You know I’ve been married for 22 years and still learning how to love well as well as to accept being loved, warts and all! (I too have always hated my pitiful bra-size). At the moment I’m reading a brilliant book by Gary Thomas called ‘Sacred Marriage’ https://www.behance.net/gallery/45215331/DOWNLOAD-PDF-Gary-L-Thomas-Sacred-Marriage which is brilliant and I’d REALLY recommend you read it even as a single person.
    In your post you made two interesting comments in adjacent paragraphs, in the first you said you are worried you will be rejected because you feel you are too broken and then in the next you say you are afraid you won’t find someone good enough. It seems you are saying that you know both yourself and anyone else will never be perfect enough-aint that just the truth!!! That’s why marriage is a tough relationship, why we need God’s grace everyday but also why it is so wonderful when it works well because it reflects, in part, Christ’s love for us, His bride. You probably just need to accept that you will never BE, or FIND, the PERFECT person but that you have the blueprint for perfect love and that’s all you need in order to make a good start. Hope the handsome fella coes back today. 😉

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. Wow 22 years! That’s so awesome. And thanks for the recco. I’ll definitely check it out. Haha that’s so true! And amen – I do have the blueprint for love. And yes that’s all I need. Thanks for the kind words. Hugs and love xox

  33. The message was, I think, ‘there are handsome men in Ohio too … and don’t forget, The One may be wearing sweatpants and a baggy jumper when you first meet him…’ and it was said with a smile …a very friendly, I-know-you-are-looking-to be-a-couple, smile!

  34. I greatly commend you for your openness and vulnerability being laid out so beautifully. I’m very much a late bloomer also and the daunting thoughts of giving love and being loved forever plays on my heart and reading your words had me smiling because I realise that I share so much similarities with you.
    Nowadays, I find myself putting effort into not caring, not searching and more on God but even that can be a struggle. Imagine struggling to not care on trying to wait up on that special person and just trying to enjoy myself with myself and God.
    All that to say, thank you for being open 😊

    1. Oh thank you so much Hellena. I really appreciate your encouraging words. That’s a beautiful way to look at this season: enjoying my self with myself and God. Glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  35. “Fear that I will have to expose my heart and my brokenness, and that I will be a disappointment. That I will be rejected at my most vulnerable, innermost level.” I think that this fear is pretty universal. Everyone struggles with it … even the guy who walked into the chapel. 😉 Even after 15 years of marriage, this fear can wreak havoc if I let it. If I refuse vulnerability because I am afraid of rejection, it can produce distance. I loved reading Brene Brown’s book The Gifts of Imperfection. She addresses vulnerability and shame and the destructive nature of ‘perfectionisn’ and I found it an incredible read. For me though, it really comes down to really grounding myself in Christ, in His incredible, unconditional love, and taking my full identity from being a beloved child of God. In Him, there is only acceptance, only joy at who we are. Blessings.

  36. Another great post! Always trust in God’s timing. You may not think He’s working fast enough for you but always remember that He will know when the time is right. It’s been a tough lesson for me to learn (and I’m still in school, so to speak) but always remember that God knows the right time for everything.

    1. Hi Sharon! Yes, this is that blog. I’m sorry for the mix up. It accidentally posted as I was finalizing it with images and gifs and whatnot. So I quickly took down the unfinished draft and replaced it with this finished one. Sorry about that! Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  37. I swoon, on your behalf. Felt all the butterflies also and a flutter in my heart. Gosh, I’ve been thinking about being single another year, another Valentine. Yes, God is slow in this department right now, for me, but I’m guessing he’s seen my track record and wants to give me a home run!
    Love your words today… 🙂 more than I can say!

    1. Aw thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I love that! Yes!! He wants to give us a home run! He wants to give His children the best. It’s just waiting for His timing that’s the hard part! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  38. Love this. Even waiting for second chances to get it right is in trusting God in the slow blooming process to re-sculpt a better person underneath the junk holding us back from our future love.
    I truly enjoyed this post.

  39. The Almighty’s perspective is the ultimate perspective. It is the basis of reality. The real question we need to ask ourselves is, “What does the Almighty consider my true value to be?”

    From the Almighty’s viewpoint, the answer is, “You are My child and you are precious. You are created in My image. In essence you are a Divine Soul. I have created the world for you. Your entire being and your value is a gift from Me. When you see yourself from My perspective, you know that you have infinite value. Your intrinsic worth is greater than anything that can be measured materially.”

    Rabbi Zelig Pliskin

    1. Hi James! What a powerful perspective. That’s so true – we were created by God and for God and in His image. And hat is where we find our value. Thanks for this beautiful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  40. Caralyn,

    It’s quite a job praying for you guys (you and future hub) with you guys straining at the leash. 🙂

    I’m joking, of course!

    Wow, stay in there. Don’t rush. Keep your wind, It’s a race, and it’s not against time. All of time is yours for keeps now. Listen to Him.

    And it’s such an honour to pray for you both, when we can see how much is always at stake, and how many people are held up by the grace of God working through you. How many are encouraged to wait, and not lose what is so very precious.

    A word a friend of mine spoke to me when the waiting was beginning to chafe, was ‘Surprised by joy’, and that is exactly how it turned out. But that;s another story; and right now I pray for everyone who is waiting to meet their life partners, and who are waiting and trusting God against all odds, that this would be true for all of them too, ‘Surprised by joy!’

    Many regards,
    Indi

    1. Hi Indi! Haha boy do we appreciate those prayers!! 🙂 ❤ thank you with all my heart! Know that you and your family are in mine as well. And oh gosh, thank you so much my friend. I am always so encouraged by your thoughtful responses. Seriously, I always walk away learning so much. Amen to that: Surprised by joy. I hope that will happen soon for me as well! Hope you have a beautiful weekend! Hugs and love xox

  41. I’m so glad you shared this. I have been in the “single” boat for a long time, and I have found myself wondering where all the decent single guys who love the Lord are hiding. But God always does these things–the little things where He reminds us that He loves us first, and He’ll love us for eternity, and we can trust Him in His work in us (even if it’s slow). Thank you!

  42. This post was right on time – thank you! It really hit home with a couple of issues that I’ve been struggling with. Thanks again for sharing your journey regarding the singleness thing – I’ve struggled with some of the same burdens, I suspect that I’m older than you! 🙂 Your blog is a real blessing.

  43. I noticed you said that you “left all prospects of love back in NYC.” I think it’s natural to think that more quantity equals more potential but really I find in my experience that it’s not necessarily true. Men meet you where you are. For a few months, I moved from a large Metropolitan city to a tiny town of a few hundred people to look inside our childcare system and I found more men that I was equally yoked with there than I do here. Now I wasn’t interested in dating since I was moving back home, but it made me realize that quality is more important than quantity. You may not be the only girl taking care of a sick parent. You would have lots in common with a man from Ohio who has had to do the same. Awesome blog.

  44. Ooooh that would happen on the one day you have sweats on and a hottie comes walking in haha that has definitely happened to me before! I think it is important to be patient and have everything happen the way it’s supposed to. I always want to rush my life, get to the next step, but I need to learn to be patient, to enjoy being in the now. BUT, it’s still hard, so I’m learning how to do that.

    One more thing, you have beautiful skin and you mentioned here you have a routine at night for it. So in an uncreepy way, I want to know what you do for your skin because I am riding the struggle bus hard on how to take care of my face. 🙁

    1. Hi Roslyn! Haha yeah it had to be that day haha. That’s such great advice – enjoy being in the now. That’s so important for a lot of different things in life. And thank you! I use tarte’s maracuja oil every night. It’s amazing stuff! Hugs and love xox

  45. For everything there is a season (Byrds, by way of Ecclesiastes 3 🙂 and this is where you get to be slow, to serve….to listen. And you will find the ability to find yourself worthy of love, and then to love and be loved. I have confidence in you….and God 🙂

    I have learned that while I have lost my daughter after the divorce, I have had more time with my mom than I ever would have found. And for mom, that’s good. So the value of these times? I don’t always like it, but I now can it see it some.

    Happy Valentines Day sister : )
    <3

    1. Thank you so much Jeff. I’m so sorry that you don’t have much time with your daughter. That breaks my heart. But that is definitely the silver lining with your mom. 🙂 Happy Valentine’s Day to you too. Hugs and love xox

  46. As a single in my thirties, I’m not sure what to say to you that hasn’t been said already by both the church and the world.

    But for some reason, this occurs to me:

    “Find someone who likes you with the sweatpants and without the eye shadow.”

    You wouldn’t want anything else.

    1. Thanks Brandon. Haha with the sweatpants and sand eye shadow. I like it:) that should be my new life motto:) but seriously though, thanks for the kindness. You rock my friend. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much for this encouragement. It’s nice to hear that from someone who’s been there. So glad you stopped by, and I look forward to checking out that link! hugs xox

  47. Hi Caralyn,
    I just want to encourage you to never give up on God, never give up on yourself and never give up on possibilities. God is an easy one – he’s perfect, all-knowing, all-seeing, wise, etc. etc. Giving up on Him is next to impossible. Giving up on yourself is easy. Or so we think it is. If we listen closely we can hear the gears moving and working all the time – even when we feel defeated. It is in our nature to keep trying, to survive. But let’s talk about the possibilities. They are endless. Truly. If God be for you who can be against you? With God ALL things are possible. So you have an open ticket to LOVE. All you have to do is try. Try to fit Love into your schedule. Try to bring love into your every day life. You already have a form of it in your relationship with your mom. But that is just one aspect of Love. Another aspect of Love – and equally beautiful – is letting some stranger into your life and letting them learn to love you. And don’t turn away from awkward possibilities. I met my wife through friends. It was not love at first sight. In fact, I was kinda turned off by her. But through time I came to desire a close relationship with her. There was a lot to learn and I grew to enjoy her company more and more each day. We have now been together for twenty years and have never been happier. We accept the fact that both of us – each of us – has issues. We are not perfect and we do butt heads at times, but we never came into this looking for a fairytale romance. What I’m trying to get at is that you can allow yourself to dream, but don’t be unrealistic. Nobody can take the place of God in your life and nobody every will. There are no good people in the world. We are all sinners. We are all prone to fail and to be a disappointment in some way to someone. Just find the man who understands this concept as you hopefully do and who wants to share this glorious experiment with you. Gosh, I”m long-winded. Love you kid. Go out and find that man!! BTW – we do believe now that ours IS a fairytale romance and yours can be too!

    1. Oh Eric, this is so beautiful. thank you so much. I am so touched and so encouraged after reading this. Seriously, my heart is full of so much warmth. You’re right – there are so many possibilities with God. He is the master creator after all. I just need to trust in His goodness and His timing. How grateful am I that I don’t have to be perfect. I need to remember that in my love life as well. and Yes! It is a fairytale love story with the Father. Have you read Captivating or Wild at Heart by John and Stacy Eldridge? It is such a great book about that very thing. I’m rereading it with my mom right now. powerful read. Thanks again for being such a great friend and encourager. You are a blessing to me 🙂 hugs xox

      1. I am so thankful that my words can be an encouragement for you. That is all we can hope for in this life. To be a blessing to others.

        I have not read the book by John and Stacy, but will look for it next time I am at the church library.

        God bless and keep you. Love.

  48. Your opening paragraph is the stuff that great novels are built on (or at least an excellent short story). 🙂 I have found chocolate to be a cure-all. My significant other and I are now focused on unconditional niceness as a pathway to love. In this world where folks are split along so many lines, we have dedicated ourselves to being the other’s unconditional port in any storm. Happy Valentine’s Day. Friendship is greater than love. —CC

    1. haha oh gosh, thanks so much CC! 🙂 Unconditional niceness…thats pretty awesome. It sounds like you and your SO have a solid foundation 🙂 Thanks for the encouragement! hugs xox

  49. Well, after a very long drive home last night because I-40W was closed due to a monstrous wreck, I’m finally getting to reading my favorite blog! I have, of course, reserved my comments for Patreon. So take a very deep breath and head over there where I will – very lovingly mind you – slap you upside your sweet head!

    1. Oh no!! I’m glad that you’re home safe. Driving at night is not my cuppa tea. Well, actually, driving in general makes me nervous to be honest, at least when I’m behind the wheel! Haha looking forward to getting some sense knocked into me 🙂 hehe hugs xox

  50. Ah, yes. How well I remember those fears, the feeling of slowness, but every moment of preparation is so worth it. He is making your heart ready. Sometimes, we think, “Enough already, Lord!” But, only the Maker of Time knows when the time is right. When it all comes together and God ushers in the right one, you will know and it will be so beautiful. ❤

    1. Thanks so much Marisa 🙂 I really appreciate your kind words. You’re so right – the Maker of Time – I like that 🙂 He will make things happen when they’re supposed to happen. Really grateful for your encouragement! hugs xox

  51. One of the things I’ve learned through my journey in relationships is the importance of being yourself. Reading the bit at the start about being in sweat pants and an oversized sweater when the guy walked into the chapel I couldn’t help but think how perfect that was. As a society we have this thing about presenting an image to those we want to impress, but I think when it comes to relationships it is not the image that is important but the heart. The man who falls in love with you is going to fall in love with the real you, the you who puts aside image to sit in a chapel to love and support your Mum. He is going to see your heart of compassion and your love for your family and that is going to be more important to him than any image. He is going to find that those are the moments he loves you the most, when your guard is down and you are living out what God has called you to. The outfit, messy hair and smile lines are going to be signs of the joy and love in your heart. So don’t stress about appearances, just keep being you and the guy who is right for you will fall in love with that.
    (Hope this makes sense, it’s not well written but I hope you get what I’m trying to say)

    1. Oh gosh, Tim, thank you so much for this 🙂 what a kind and thoughtful response. I think you’re right- I’ve got to be myself. Because real love is going to accept that real me. My goodness, I am so touched by your comments. Thank you, my friend. It definitely makes sense:) Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi! Oh gosh thank you so much for asking! I’m absolutely honored that you would want me to guest blog! So at the moment, I’m going to have to take a pass, just because I’ve got my hands full with everything with my mom. But when things settle down, perhaps I could revisit the idea! Thanks for stopping by! Big hugs to you xox

  52. Thank you for sharing. Sometimes it is challenging to trust the “slow” hand of God to work. However, we must be cognizant that it takes a process for flowers to bloom.

  53. I’ve seen times in my life when God took people and things away from me that I counted on. Other times He added people and things to me and I was totally blown away by His kindness. I needed both. As a young Christian, I told God I was tired of hoping for a boyfriend and I didn’t care if I ever had a boyfriend. Within a couple of weeks, a guy was looking for a prom date and my friend made a list of girls he might want to meet to ask out. She started with my name and wouldn’t let him go out of order. We ended up going to the prom and dating for a while.
    I try to hold onto people and possessions loosely, and I hold onto God with all of my might and trust Him to keep me following after Him. Thanks for your blog and for using your gift of encouragement. I’m glad to hear that your mom is doing better. Along with many others, I’m praying for your family and for you.

    1. Hi Constance, thank you so much for this beautiful response and for your prayers. What a fun story about prom! It sounds like you have a pretty awesome friend 🙂 haha thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  54. The Latin root for Valentine is strong or worthy. His story is sad but there are not many saints that aren’t also Martyrs. I don’t know. Love is not my favorite subject. It seems to be complicated as an existential first world problem.

      1. The contradiction, I can love. I can love everyone but to love someone a wall is put up and only one person has some kind of, key. In reality though, it could be anyone.

      2. I wasn’t criticizing the acting. When you watch late night tv and the actress is out there… they never talk about you know, that guy. Husband. Boyfriend. Like a flash in the pan and then it’s about pet tricks.

      3. that’s so true. You’ve got to open your heart to relationship and interaction in order for love or friendship to grow! hope you’re having a nice weekend my friend 🙂 hugs xox

      4. Ah, art is my substitute for love. I agree with you but, I’m always moving. So, the slowness love needs, remains lost. I congregate rarely, converse personally, and disappear. I’m more of a man’s shadow than those things that women love in men, collectively.

      5. I used to like the saying “two halves make a whole,” but it’s really when you’re whole yourself that you may allow yourself to love, someone. Hopefully, they are whole too. haha So maybe your deal breakers are self projections? The mind chatter that everyone has when emotions are there.

      6. haha, yeah having those different ways of seeing thinks and looking at situations is so powerful. Ir really forces you to seek understanding from every angle. how awesome is that 🙂 Your daughter is lucky to have you 🙂

      7. I agree. “The human mind has a gift for bringing order to chaos.” We, understand that as we now care for someone that now sees life. Through, a kind of filter. It’s the easy hard thing to help, them.

  55. Hi Caralyn – this is going to sound strange but I believe that God has finshed his healing work in you and that all his plans for you are going play out now in his perfect timing; no more hard work from you trying to fix yourself. Just be youirself with all your honesty, vulnerability and love.
    Althoiugh I have not responded to recent posts – been having treatment – I have read them all and continue to stand in awe of your insights;(the lessons you have already learned take most of us a lifetime to get to grips with.)

    1. What a beautiful reflection. Thank you Andrew. I do believe that God is at work and I am so grateful for His healing power in my heart and life and with my mom. Thank you for your incredibly kind and consistent positivity and encouragement. I really appreciate you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  56. So happy to read your new love-interest! It is similar to the way I met my recent girlfriend — not at church but in my acting class. Trinity is always in action even though we might not feel or know it; and, He reveals His plan to you in perfect timing and synchronicity — I’m so happy for you — he’s a lucky guy! Can’t wait to read and see the adventures the two of you will experience. I was about to give up my acting career cuz I had a slow 2017 start; then, I met my manager yesterday, 10-February, and I booked one feature film that shoots in Ireland 17-April; and, I booked another feature film that shoots in California in March 2017. Both films have well-know leads; so, I was elated with these two wins! So, I, too, gotta hand it to Him — just when I’m at my weakest moments — shazam — there He is!

    1. Thank you so much Alfonso! Haha oh I wish he was a love interest!! I never actually got up the courage to talk to him – only saw him across the chapel. Haha maybe one day:) and congrats on your bookings!!!! That’s so exciting! Big things are on the horizon for you! That’s terrific 🙂 amen to that – There He is! Have a wonderful weekend! I hope you find a special way to celebrate your exciting news!

      1. Thank you. Well, if you want to say, “hi” to him you will. I appreciate the kind words of acknowledgement — actors need this; because, wins on my level as so few and far between. If you have a reel, send it to me. I can check it out and send to my manager; you might get an audition. Have a great weekend. Cheers!
        /s/ Alfonso

      2. Absolutely! This profession needs affirmation and encouragement more than people realize. Happy to share in your joy and excitement! And gosh, that’s so kind of you! If you give me your email address, (or you can email me first at beautybeyondbones@yahoo.com) and then I’ll send you my reel! Thanks again. Hope you’re having a great weekend! hugs xox

  57. Opposites attract.

    Most people think of themselves when they think of love. But the paradox in God’s design of us is that we don’t see ourselves clearly – to fully apprehend the purpose we serve in the world, we need the loving eyes of someone with a different perspective.

    Birds of a feather flock together.

    Conversely, your words express the universal concerns of all women. We get trapped in each others patterns, and so fail to see the “out” that God has provided into the future of love that is planned for his Creation.

    The wise know their mate when they encounter that compassionate heart that lingers on what is strong and good in our souls. Be dowdy, because the external appearance of beauty only distracts us from what is inside. Stop judging yourself, and await the one that does not judge, but takes joy in the possibilities that you represent. Live in hope, Caralyn!

    1. And have faith in your SELF! You may not be everything that you expect, but what’s important is what you might be. In a truly loving relationship, we are constantly surprised by ourselves!

    2. Thanks Brian. This is such great insight. You’re so right, we cannot see what other people see. Gosh, I am so encouraged by this. Thanks again Brian. Gonna grab that hope and hold on! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  58. Dear friend,

    When we expect something then often disappointment is the consequence of it –
    however, if we let loose and allow things going on without putting inner force and pressure to it – unexpected things may then occur – just when we have not expected, anticpated them – thats why the book is wise: “Be patient with yourselves” and not only with yourself but also with others…

    What is sometimes vulnerable in us that is our mind: when our pride is hurt – then our mind is hurt, when we do not get what we want – we are also hurt and then we even tend to blame others for it, even God who has not heard our “prayer” – in this connection we need to see ourselves, our thoughts, our words, our deeds as a reflection, an echo that draws a picture of how we are, to discover ourselves, to be aware why we think or do in this or that way, to understand our motives for it. When the surface of the water is in motion like our mind is many times like that then we cannot see our own face in this water – only when the water is still, when our mind is still. Patience and contentment are good helpers to still the mind. And when we let go our wishes then these wishes will come to us, silently when we do not think of them…

    thanks, dear friend, for your honest report which I fully appreciate.

    In thankfulness
    Didi(Artist)

    1. Hi Didi, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. I love that – we can only see our reflection when the water is still. Amen to that. Very grateful for your lovely response. Hugs and love xox

  59. I love posts like this that show how relevant faith is for all of the issues life throws at us. Sometimes our trust in God is all we have. Lately on my blog I’ve been trying to make sense of the way people pervert faith as a tool for hurting instead of healing, but this post gives me hope. Thanks for sharing!

  60. Prayers out to your mom hope she continues to recover well <3 I completely understand were your coming from when I first met my husband I struggled feeling like I deserved someone and had the thoughts why would someone want to be with me very hard with such low self-esteem at the time while I was still struggling with the eating disorder and I think even after it takes time to see your self worth and beauty and see why people love having you in their life but eventually after so many years I felt like it clicked for me which I couldn't be more thankful for I know it hurts to feel that way but I know its those eating disorder voices that keep trying to creep back in when those feelings come about but know that you have so much worth and so much to offer someone. 🙂 As for the husband part that will happen when you least expect it and aren't looking mine happened a couple hours after my parents left me at college and I was crying was not looking for one whatsoever lol but I know yours will come 🙂

  61. Yeah we can have hard times when we want something good for ourselves but we also have to deal with stroggles also, but at the end of things we become stronger, what ever the outcome, comes to be. We also learn live lessons that God teaches us.

  62. You definitely know how to captivate someone with your words. This was beautiful, never stop being vulnerable it is the basis for human connection. Keep being you. God bless!

      1. Of course.. I look forward to reading your future articles. And if you get a chance to do my workouts on my last post I would love some feedback from you and would really appreciate it. Thank you and keep doing what you are doing because it is great! =)

  63. Beautifully spoken.

    Give yourself permission almost to except it, is one of the hardest things I think I myself have done. You know Christians always say it takes faith to move mountains and we often forget that it takes years for a mountain to come to a peak…and sometimes equally as long to dissemble and fall into the sea…This life we’ve chosen is one of endurance for sure. Thankyou.

  64. Do not lose hope. God’s timing is perfect. Until then, you have been given the task of caring for your mom, which surely is pleasing to Him. Keep praying and have faith it will happen. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much, Chris. I really appreciate that. You’re right – I’ve just got to keep the faith and keep doing the next right thing 🙂 Thanks for your encouragement. It means the world. Hugs xox

  65. My friend, bbb, you are one heck of a storyteller. In fact, you are a rarity. I am sure God has the perfect person for you. But the time is not right.The serving season you mentioned might be training for the gift God has for you. Romans 8:28 says, “And we know all things work together for good to them that love God. And to them who are the called according to his purpose”.

    Saul did not like his youngest son, David. So he sent him to tend to the sheep. But God had bigger and better plans for David. While tending sheep, David encountered and fought Lions and Bears. Unbeknownce to Saul, God was preparing David to fight and defeat the mighty Goliath.

    1. Hi Noel! Oh my gosh, what a kind thing to say. Thank you so much. I am incredibly touched by your encouraging words. I believe you’re right – God will word everything out in His perfect time. It’s not my job to drive the ship, but to just be patient and wait on the Lord. I’ll have to reread that bible story 🙂 Thanks for sharing! hugs xo

  66. This resonates so much with me! I have so much love to give and nowhere to put it at the moment, but I’m also terrified to let someone love me. Thanks for such a great blog 🙂 x

    1. Aw, thank you so much! I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 I feel ya girl. I have total faith that everything is going to work out. Our love will not be wasted 🙂 hope you have a beautiful day! hugs xo

  67. I love that quote at the very end “Life is vulnerability.” That was the inspiration for my post “vulnerable good.” I have to remind myself that no one is perfect, and as C. S. Lewis says, to love at all is to risk being hurt, to suffer immeasurable pain. But if you don’t, you’ll become impenetrable. Interestingly, I just heard someone say this weekend that we need to be at rest before God can bring us our husband or wife.

    1. Oh thank you so much! I’m glad you like that quote – vulnerability is such a funny thing. It is so scary to be vulnerable, and yet, once you do it and become vulnerable and share your heart, the return you get is incredible – you feel so free and loved and safe! Love that from CS Lewis – to love at all is to risk. So true. Thanks for the encouragement. hugs ox

      1. Well, I didn’t quote him exactly, I paraphrased, but I recommend reading the original in the “Four Loves.” because it’s a really good read.

  68. awh honey, what a brilliant post!
    don’t you worry girl (and no… i am not kidding… don’t worry, or fret, just chill)
    you are right on track, you got it all figured, just keep learning to love yourself,
    love you with god as god does, with time… it will all fall into place.

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 that’s so kind of you to say. Yes-just chill! I definitely need to do that! Haha thanks for your encouraging words. Hope you’re having a great weekend. Hugs and love xox

      1. 😉 love ya 🌹yep 🌞i’ve been chillin 🌟write a list of all the qualities that your man is & don’t accept anything less… he will come, he’s 👀 looking for you too xN

  69. Peace be with you Love. God is working through you. It is so encouraging to read your posts and know I am not the only one blindly stepping through life. You encourage this lady to continue my quest and to follow my Lord. Keep seeking and you will find the path meant for you! Peace and Prayers Milly

  70. Have you heard of Kintsugi? It’s the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery using gold-dusted lacquer. The process usually makes the pottery more visually appealing, and I think it presents a neat symbol of how our brokenness can be redeemed into something beautiful. Waiting on God can be tough, but it’s cool to see your honesty and outlook through everything.

    1. Hi Tyler! I have! It is such a beautiful art form. One day I want to write a post about it. You’re right – it is such a powerful symbol of how we can be redeemed. thanks for your encouragement. big hugs xox

  71. I’ve seen it time and again…love comes when you’re least expecting it. I used to secretly pray that my kids wouldn’t have admirers or fall for just anyone, unless it was THE one..hoping to spare them hardship. Hey, it’s a mom thing 😊 btw…you’re not far from me as I live in Indiana😁.

  72. Hey you! You, my friend, are loved. For the long term, forever. You’re learning the rhythm of faith. I was never quite sure if God’s work is slow or our expectations were too fast though. I’m pretty sure we never deserved anything from God but He is just so full of grace and mercy that He gives it. Which builds faith. Which lets us relax and see the wonder of life.

    Trouble happens when we let fear creep in. We write a future story of a dreary existence or even catastrophic tragedy. Thing is – it almost NEVER happens as we’ve so dreaded. Even when the bad stuff goes down (and it does sometimes) there’s comfort and yet more grace.

    So cool, You get to see there are guys who call you beautiful and desirable and eminently lovable in every way. Because you are. But there is no perfect man besides Christ, so discovering flaws, learning to forgive as you are forgiven and walking through this imperfect life is as good as it gets.

    Praying all the good stuff for you!!

    1. Hey friend. Oh gosh thank you so much for this beautiful response. I so appreciate your prayers and encouragement. I think you’re spot on – in our instant this and that age, I definitely am guilty of placing unrealistically fast expectations on God. And amen to that, we are showered with grace. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  73. Caralyn,
    A girl is informed her mom has taken ill. While she’s still living in the Big Apple, at 26, forging a career, passion or job. She would have done any of these:
    1. Hired a professional nurse to run shifts round the clock, looking after her mom.
    2. Paid to have her mom moved to the best Nursing home and given the best professional care in the world.
    3. She could do nothing and say, ‘Oh my! This is painful, but I have a job going on here, a blossoming career. I can’t just leave all and come at the drop of a hat to look after you!
    4. She could say, ‘well, it’s a pity. She has lived her life well in her youth, now is my time to live mine! I’ll try and pop in from time to time.

    This girl did none of the above!!! She dropped all she was doing, ignored the vast dating pool in New York, with the opportunities for a career, romance and good life, to come to the ‘back side of the desert’, to Ohio. To do what? Physically, personally take care of her own mom, who wiped her nose and bum when she was little; to give her a cup of water, be with her through these confusing trying times!!

    This is the Ruth factor. This same attitude had RUTH in the Bible. If you guys can’t discern this, permit me to inform you: a girl like this who loves you will STICK to you better than a postage stamp, superglue or resin; she will go with you through hell or high water! She would give her life to be with you and comfort you.
    That my friends, is what we call “wife material”! So what are you guys in Ohio and reading the blog doing mopping around? Caralyn, you should be getting calls by the minute.lol
    It is quite surprising that some ‘Brad Pitt’ has not come already to whisper your name, “Caralyn, Cara mia, can you go on a date with me- at your house? I’ll bring over the candle sticks or whatever you fancy, even a small box of chocolates, we’ll spend the time at your house, so you will not have to leave your mom. Chit chat over a cup of hot cocoa, watch a film, listen to good music and I’ll try and cook you dinner!
    So what if the guy does cook dinner, and helps with the dishes, leaves early, ‘carelessly leaving behind a decorated box of chocolates or your fave desert? And still calls you first thing after valentines ended: “how’s your mom, did you sleep well?”

    May God deliver men from the gal whose heart is traps and snares, in modern parlance it would be dungeons and dragons.lol .Seems guys over there have been bamboozled with so much cheap variety they miss out on the important stuff. Its okay you know, surfeited hearts loathe the honeycomb, but the hungry soul, every bitter thing is sweet: you gotta be hungry!

    This response comes to mind: he who found treasure in a field: buried it back, sold all he had and bought the entire field! Guys take the hint.

    Caralyn, and if no one says it, I will: Happy Valentine’s day in advance, keep your posts coming.!

    1. Wow wow wow Lexezra. I am literally choked up reading this. Thank you so much. I definitely don’t deserve such glowing words! You know, I have actually never read about Ruth. I’ll definitely look that up this afternoon. But gosh, I am seriously so touched at your incredibly kind words. Haha I would definitely not be opposed to a home cooked meal and a box of chocolates:) haha that sounds so lovely! Haha “patience caralyn. Patience :)” thanks for giving me such a wonderful start to my weekend. Sending massive enormous hugs and love xox

  74. Listened to Leonard Cohen’s song Anthem this morning on the treadmill

    The birds they sang
    At the break of day
    Start again
    I heard them say
    Don’t dwell on what
    Has passed away
    Or what is yet to be
    Yeah the wars they will
    Be fought again
    The holy dove
    She will be caught again
    Bought and sold
    And bought again
    The dove is never free
    Ring the bells (ring the bells) that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
    That’s how the light gets in
    We asked for signs
    The signs were sent
    The birth betrayed
    The marriage spent
    Yeah the widowhood
    Of every government
    Signs for all to see
    I can’t run no more
    With that lawless crowd
    While the killers in high places
    Say their prayers out loud
    But they’ve summoned, they’ve summoned up
    A thundercloud
    And they’re going to hear from me
    (Ring, ring, ring, ring)
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
    That’s how the light gets in
    You can add up the parts
    You won’t have the sum
    You can strike up the march
    There is no drum
    Every heart, every heart to love will come
    But like a refugee
    (Ring, ring, ring, ring)
    Ring the bells that still can ring
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
    That’s how the light gets in
    Ring the bells that still can ring (ring the bells that still can ring)
    Forget your perfect offering
    There is a crack, a crack in everything (there is a crack in everything)
    That’s how the light gets in
    That’s how the light gets in
    That’s how the light gets in

    That’s all we need to know.

    1. Oh my gosh, what beautiful lyrics! I looked it up on YouTube and listened to it as I read through them. Wow, so powerful. Thank you so much for sharing that. I really appreciate it. I hope your weekend is off to a great start! big hugs xox

      1. No worries, so happy you replied because I wanted to follow your blog but I lost track of it and thought I wouldn’t be able to. Now thankfully, I can so it’s all good! Keep writing!!

  75. You’ll never be incapable of loving someone. God is love, and He created us in His image. So, you are love. As the book of Ecclesiastes rightly puts it, there is a season for everything in this world. As one season doesn’t last forever, so does our current situation or circumstance won’t last forever. I’ve recently learned that God’s perspective on life can be described in three metaphors: life is a test, life is a trust, and life is a temporary assignment.

    I’m so touched with your article, and I would like to share some words of encouragement from the Bible, for God’s Word is useful for not only correcting but also building our hopes up. In Luke 18:29, Jesus replied to Peter’s question (we have left all we had to follow you) saying “truly I tell you, Jesus said to them, no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.” It’s true that you’ve left everything for the sake of your mum, though you are doing it for the Lord (cfr. Colossians 3:22). The Lord Almighty who searches the heart and examines the mind, will not deny you your reward according to what you’re doing for your mum (cfr. Jeremiah 17:10). Also, it is written “God keeps his promise, and he will not allow you to be tested beyond your power to remain firm; at the time you are put to the test, he will give you the strength to endure it, and so provide you with a way out” – 1 Corinthians 10:13 (TEV).

    It’s my prayer that the Lord, our healer (Jehovah Rapha) heals and restores your mum. May His mighty hand continues to rest you for the strength to endure this current situation. As the Lord promises to never leave you, may He bless and keep you safe while He also guide your path to your future lovely and kindhearted husband. Amen!

    1. Owusu, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. You’re so right – God is love, and that is our hope. Thank your so much for such a kind prayer and for your encouraging and kind words. I am so blessed to have you as a friend! big hugs xox

  76. Caralyn, Happy early Valentine’s Day. For tomorrow, I pray that you wake up with a smile on your face and a heart full of joy. May you have a wonderful and blessed day tomorrow.
    Caralyn, Joyeuse Saint-Valentin.

  77. Lovely post, I am glad you’re now able to live with an inner peace about your exterior. Finding the one is not the be all many make out, but loving yourself first and foremost opens the door to allowing others to love you 💗

  78. If I were a woman I’d want a guy who would love me without any warpaint on, in sloppy even cheap clothes and with a figure “less than Greek”, as Frank Sinatra once put it. Me, at 54 going on 15, I don’t really care about all the externals so much. It’s the heart… the maturity… the kindness and the smarts, I guess. That’s what I’m looking for now.

    But you’re young. You deserve to get whatever you dream. 🙂

    1. Thanks for this thoughtful response. I love that Sinatra song so much 🙂 Very appropriate for this ‘funny’ valentine’s day 🙂 hehe great wisdom here though. The heart is what matters. hugs xo

      1. Lol but to be honest I’m always happy if I see a woman I like and I’m looking sharp… having a good hair day, etc. I guess I’m a bit of both. 😊

  79. Caralyn, this post itself had a slow effect on me that has gained power over time. I keep a blackboard in our kitchen for scripture quotes and right now what’s written on it is: Trust the Slow Work of the Lord. My father, a retired physician, always told me that bad things happen quickly and then get better slowly. How true it is…with your mom and with the hardships and struggles we all face. This is just an incredible Spirit-inspired and so very timely message. Thank you as always!

    1. Oh wow, Nanette. What a kind thing to say. Thank you so much. Yeah, that quote about His slow has stuck with me too. What a powerful lesson from your father! So true! Thanks for the encouragement. Sending you big big hugs xox

  80. Soooooo, what happened to tall, handsome dude in the Adoration Chapel? Did you check to verify that he has an Ohio driver’s license? Did he disappear while you were contemplating the range of variants and conjugations of the concept of “love”?
    Oscar

  81. What an amazing, revealing, blind-trusting reflection. Perhaps your best yet. I have driven through Ohio several times – clearly you would be the best thing there. Ahh, if only I wasn’t so close to that 65… and married… lol.
    Seriously, the love you are portioning to yourself is a direct result of all the pain and doubt you have gone through, all the insights the you are being rewarded with as a direct result of unexpectedly taking care of your mother, are leading you to the next great thing. It just happens at a time much slower than we pine for. And all you have to say is, “Your Will be done, Lord, not mine.”
    As a man, who feels no remorse commenting on beautiful things – be they the promise of sunsets, or the lover’s glow of sunrises, the pastoral view of a meadow, or the turbulent scene of crashing surf… or a beautiful woman – I can easily say, any man worth your time (let alone your heart) would see straight through the sweats and tossed hair. And he will. Like a thunderbolt.
    Be peace, young lady!

    1. Hi Michael, oh my gosh, wow. Thank you so much for this incredibly kind reflection. hahah you’re funny. But what you wrote really resonated with me – I think everything in my past really has been leading up to this moment — learning how to trust, how to love, how to be patient. It was all a dress rehearsal for this big time. Thanks again for your encouragement. You have truly brightened my day:) Keeping that little tidbit with me : Your Will be done, Lord, not mine. Hugs to you 🙂

  82. God has a sense of humour…….be prepared to be surprised. Trust his “Yes”, his “No” and his “Wait”…. trust the process. I suspect if we knew everything precisely, we make ourselves into little ‘Gods’………..2 Peter 3 v 8 tells us ” Beloved, do not let this one thing escape your notice. With the Lord, a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years like one day’…….we are all on this journey, in one way or another. Lets just share the love!!!!!!

  83. Honestly, I know I’m a complete stranger, but I really enjoy reading the blog posts you share. This post resonates tremendously with my current life. I am a firm believer and also a person who practices external love, yet I have struggled my entire live with self love and accepting love. I pray to God almost every night-I do my best to stay consistent- but for some reason I find myself growing impatient with him and myself. You are right, his timing may be slow, but there is a deliberate reason and purpose behind this slow process we’re enduring. I wish there was a magical portal that would allow me to see the end goal, but then I probably wouldn’t appreciate it as much and do things to hinder it. Thank you so much for this.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed the read and that you can relate. Hang in there – His timing is slower than our timing but it is deliberate and He has good things in store for the both of us. 🙂 much love to you! Xoxox

  84. “But I know I have a lot of love to give. And I love loving another person. Perhaps right now just isn’t my season for romance.

    Perhaps this is my season to serve. To help. To love. To foster my mother’s spirit and help her to bloom and regain her life and her memory. Because honestly, that is where I’m feeling so strongly pulled. I have never felt like my life has more purpose than it does right now. I have never felt like my life has more value and worth than it does right now.

    It’s funny, I’ve spent my whole life battling the lies in my head that told me I didn’t have worth, and now there’s not a doubt in my mind – all it took was a stroke.”

    Yes, life is all about the seasons and recognizing the season you are in. It seems that you do. The threat of loss, especially permanent loss on this earth, has a way of shifting our perspectives and prioritizing what is most important to us. This is also a training ground for you. This is a time of sowing and reaping. You are sowing love, dedication, faithfulness and triumph; therefore you will receive it in return. In the meantime, allow yourself to fall completely and totally in love with God. Yes, it’s possible – know this from experience. Still experiencing it and I’m married.

    What you are doing is prepping you for marriage, after all, marriage is ministry. It’s dedicated service and the purest form of the love modeled by Christ for us.

    It’s not that your life has more value and worth than it did before. It’s that YOU recognize it now. Everyone else already did. Keep growing and learning. Enjoy this season as you have it right now. Even the lonely times. Marriage has a way of shifting your service, and having to divide your time, prioritize your time between your husband and children (when you have them). Age nor time matters to the Lord. As it says in Isaiah, My maker is my husband and his name is the Lord, and in Zephaniah (or is it Zachariah, can’t remember which), Therefore wait for Me, says the Lord of Hosts. Really, how much more romantic can you get?

    1. Wow, this is such a beautiful response. thank you so much. I love that – marriage is ministry. THere’s a lot of truth in that, and what a beautiful way to look at it. you’re right, you’re both helping the other deepen their relationship with christ, and both, together, growing in christ as a team. SO romantic. Thanks again for sharing this. big hugs to you xox

  85. I think everyone has the opinions and secrets to finding someone or when knowing you have found someone. And I don’t mean to be the dark cloud or anything but love will never come to someone waiting. Being married for 3 years now I have learned love is work. It is a “bank” there are fights, small ones and big ones. The idealistic relationship and marriage like the fairytale movies is just that a fairytale. I am a podcast guy you should listen to “The Stronger Marriage” podcast it is a great podcast.

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