Revival

Today was a bit surreal. I feel a bit like I’m living someone else’s life.

Being back in New York after my mom’s stroke, even though just for the weekend, it’s hard to believe that this was my life for almost six years. It feels so foreign after nearly three months of being home with my mom. And yet, how easy it is to slip back into the swing of things.

I had one of those catch-your-breath moments this morning. I flew in during this massive snow storm, and so the city looked like a replica of a traditional skyline snow globe. And when my Uber emerged from the tunnel into downtown Manhattan, I actually cried.

Yes, friends. I was that girl. Crying in the back of a black towncar. You would have thought I had just gotten kicked off of The Bachelor.


I don’t know, I was just so overtaken with emotion. I was swept up in the snow and the buildings and just…my city. I have missed New York so much.

There’s something about New York that really…it makes my spirit feel free. There’s this overwhelming air of possibility here. You can chase your wildest dreams. Be anyone you want to be. New York is where it happens. Conquer it, or it conquers you.


But for as enveloped in the literal snowy dream of Manhattan as I was, all day, I couldn’t help but keep thinking about my family back in Ohio. And I’ve honestly been so conflicted. Sitting here tonight, candles lit, glass of wine, looking out my window at the Empire State Building, and getting serenaded by sirens, my heart was wrestling with my mind.

I feel I am at a crossroads. New York pulls at my heart in ways that nowhere else can. It’s where I came into my own. Embraced who I am. And Whose I am. My best friends are here and so are my dreams. So are my possibilities.

And yet Ohio pulls at my heart in equally substantial ways. Ohio is family. Ohio is home. But Ohio is also pain. Significant remnants of a dark past that stirs up heartache and shame. And yet, also, healing salve that comes from helping foster healing in my mom’s recovery.

I’m here, and I miss Ohio. And in Ohio, I yearn for New York.

And frankly, I fear this is giving me gray hair.

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And how can I even be considering not living in Ohio? To be honest, I feel guilty even entertaining the idea

And well, I’ve now officially cried twice today.

During all of this back and forth and round and round my mind has been doing, I paused for a minute and heard a song lyric that really hit me.

Pandora had been on in the background, and for the first time all night, I had actually listened to a lyric, and this was it:

Are you hurting and broken within? Jesus is calling.

And I kind of did a double take…Um, yes Lord. I am both of those things right now. Apparently You are calling right now…Consider this your “read receipt.”

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My interest piqued, I decided to keep listening, and the very next song was called “My Revival.” It goes, “Jesus, You are my revival. Jesus on you I wait.”

You are my revival.

Revival.

I instantly thought of my mom during her stroke recovery. She is literally in a period of revival: body, mind and spirit. Chills went down my back. But for some reason, I was prompted to look up “revival” in the dictionary.

And underneath the first definition that pertained to my mom: (“The improvement of condition”) was another definition that really struck a chord with me

An instance of something becoming important again. A comeback, reestablishment, reappearance, reintroduction.

Double chills.

Could God be talking to me through Pandora!?

I’m not even being flip about that.

Jesus, on You I wait.

Coming back home would have so much fear attached to it. So many questions. Unknowns. Apprehensions.

I don’t know. I just. don’t. know.

I’m right back to where I started…on that dreadful merry-go-round of pros-and-cons, this’s-and-that’s.

Jesus on You I wait.

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I don’t have to decide what to do tonight. Or tomorrow. Or the day after that or that.

I just have to keep doing the next right thing and wait for Jesus.

Patience has never been my strong suit, but I do believe that I will know what to do. Jesus will gently guide me where I should be, and give my heart peace along the way.

Jesus, You are my revival. Jesus, on You I wait.

((Written last week in NYC))

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220 thoughts on “Revival

  1. Beautiful. Simply profound and profoundly simple: Jesus I wait on you. That’s where I am right now in my life, too. All the best to you with blessings!

    1. Thank you so much. I really appreciate it. Yeah, sometimes the simplest things can hit us in the most powerful of ways at the right time. I guess we just have to be listening for them…even if they come to us in a song! 😉 hugs to you xo

  2. Your words always challenge me…challenge me to let Jesus have all of me, challenge my views of women, beauty, love, life, and what it means to be real — Velveteen Rabbit real, in a world so obsessed with the fake. Thank you. I have never met you but your words warm my soul like an old friend. May you be as blessed as your words have been a blessing to me. N.

    1. Aw thanks Niles:) that’s so awesome that this resonates with you like that. Thanks for the encouragement and incredibly kind words. You are blessing to me 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh Henrietta, thank you so much for the kind words. I hope that your pro/con journey is healing and positive 🙂 will be keeping you in my prayers. Hang in there. Hugs and love xox

  3. This is what I needed to hear. I’m kind of at a crossroads now too. It is amazing how God works like that. Praying for ya <3

  4. “Could God be talking to me through Pandora!? I’m not even being flip about that.”
    ~ yes, I think so. Seriously, why not? I mean, you hear of people who’ve spoken in tongues, why not God? Why can’t He speak to us in whatever way He chooses, whatever will get through to us or make us understand? Once when I was going through a truly dismal patch of life, I sobbed myself to sleep while praying. I woke in the middle of the night to the radio (which I had not left on) blasting: “I never did believe in miracles, But I’ve a feeling it’s time to try.” Guess it was a wake-up call ; )

    1. I think you’re right! Holy air waves! 😂😎 thank you so much for this encouragement. Gosh, that sounds like a challenging moment, but how incredible that He was able to get through to you like that. Thanks for sharing that. Hugs and love xox

  5. Oh dear. Where to start? We have this funny fantasy that our souls can be squeezed into our bodies – it’s an illusion necessary only because we want to hide from union with God, to be “our selves.”

    You miss the place that you’re not because your soul is stretched between both places, yes? Well, ignore the convention of your body. You ARE in both places simultaneously, or at least the part of you that God really cares about, and through which He brings healing into the world.

    When you miss a place, let your mind drift to it, because you are torn only because someone wants to claim you, to hold your hand, to focus the attentions of your soul onto them exclusively. But that can be done anywhere and any time. When they call to you, let your heart receive them and affirm: “You are loved.”

    Only through such practices can Christ unite the world. The people in Ohio see New York through you, and those in New York see Ohio through you. They become one family in you.

    Remember the parable of the minahs: To those that have, more will be given. To those that have not, even what they have will be taken from them.” The third servant waited. Whatever you do, DON’T WAIT!

    1. Thank you so much Brian 🙂 that’s such an interesting way to think about it – our souls squeezed into our bodies. That’s a powerful visual. Thanks for this great advice. It is coming at a really poignant time. You are a blessing:) Hugs and love xox

  6. Hey friend – two parts of your blog I so connect with – firstly, patience, what is that? And how does it feel to be patient I often wonder…….
    Secondly, the tension of wanting to be in two places for two different reasons – I get that friend – how hard it is to be in the good place you are in but also wanting to be somewhere else –
    I read this today. ‘faith is acting and thinking like God is telling the truth’ – I’m so glad we don’t walk this life alone – we need faith that the place we are in is God’s very best for right now –
    I so appreciate you friend and thanks for liking my post again this week –
    You have such a gift for writing it’s almost like your voice comes through – Bless you (btw sorry if this is the longest comment ever……is there rules for the comments not exceeding the original post😳)

    1. Thank you so much:) not too long at all! I love reading your wisdom! Thank you so much for the powerful perspective. So comforting to remember that we’re not walking alone. And you’re right-the waiting is hard, but I believe it is in the waiting that we are transformed. God is good. Thanks again for being such a great friend! Hugs and love xox

      1. That’s good – if I have any wisdom it comes from God – bring on the transformation ! Enjoy your weekend in the Big Apple – ✈️🌞👏

  7. I feel you, you write the way I try to.
    I feel you on many fronts,
    My Mom also had a stroke years ago,
    and it changed everything for her, and us.
    In one of your prior post you said your Mother
    asked ‘I will never be the same, will I?’
    Well that rings true for me as well,
    I had a transplant 3 years ago,
    after struggling with severe illness for over 5 years.
    I have recently come to the conclusion after 3 years,
    that I too will never be the same.
    Last, but in no way the Least, I Believe.
    Best of luck to you and yours. – OmaEagle

    1. Thank you so much OmaEagle, for sharing this. I’m so sorry that you can so personally relate and I will definitely keep your mom and you in my prayers. Gosh, what a journey. Yes. Believe. Because perhaps the new will have a great depth and compassion and understanding and will be even more suited to receive an abundant life in every way. Sending all my love. Xox

      1. Thank you BeautyBeyondBones.
        My Mother Is no longer with us, her first stroke was in 2010 it affected her cerebellum, thus her equilibrium, and basically could not ambulate well. She had a second stroke in 2015 and after being in a coma for 6 weeks, she passed, She is where she always wanted to be, in Heaven, with her family.
        My whole life has been a test, but I believed through my whole life, that I indeed was truly blessed with the warm inner love and strength to endure and share Love with all. I will pray for you and your family as you all live out this chapter of Life. Love – OmaEagle.

      2. Oh gosh, I am so sorry to hear that. may she rest in perfect peace in Heaven with her loved ones. My heart is with you. It always brings me some comfort to know that we will all be reunited in Heaven one day, with no pain or sorrow. Thank you again my friend. sending all my love xox

  8. I love “O Come to the Altar”!

    Jesus can speak to one through something as benign as a leaf blown about by the wind, or an ant crawling on the ground. Whether or not one hears him is usually dependant on one’s heart being postured to receive.

  9. Hi Caralyn, it sounds like you’re quite conflicted between living in Ohio and NYC. Taking it one day at a time and seeing what life (or in your case, Jesus) has to offer would seem like the wise thing to do.

    Anyways, hope you don’t get offended, but the part about Pandora made me laugh. Like err, I don’t know if God is actually talking to you through Pandora… maybe it’s just a song with a special meaning (for you)?

    Overall, great message of hope and conviction in faith. Always love reading your blog Caralyn, it’s like watching one of my favorite tv shows, absolutely amazing 😉 ciao xo

    1. Thank you so much Psy. I absolutely love that – seeing what Jesus has to offer – That *is* the wise thing to day. hah oh good! i’m glad it made you laugh! thanks so much for the kind words. your encouragement means the world. big big hugs xox

  10. “Why You Need To Do The Things That Scare You” – Ella Ceron

    “GO WITH THE CHOICE THAT SCARES YOU THE MOST” -November 3, 2014 by Mastin Kipp

    “Whatever scares you, go do it” – Derek Sivers

  11. I’m going through a weird transition right now. I needed to read this. I’m bad at waiting on The Lord. I’m too self-reliant I need to get better at that, and I know God is at work. I just need to let him work. Amen, Caralyn!

    1. Hi Brandon, thanks so much for this. I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers during this transition. Yes, I believe He is always at work. we just need to let Him drive! thanks for the encouramgent 🙂 big hugs xox

  12. Sweetheart, God has your attention and He’s going to put you where you’re supposed to be.. As you know, watch and wait and you will know what your next step is to be. Him leading you where you are supposed to be.. No stress, no anxiety..He has you and this…. All these things, you know… XO

  13. Yes! Wait on Him. He is always faithful to answer and His timing is impeccable. Sometimes, we don’t see that in the midst of the waiting, but, rather, in the looking back. So many times have I found myself at a crossroads and discovered He was right there all the time to show me the way. ( and He has used everything from songs to divine encounters to strategically placed signs on the road to speak. 🙂 )Hugs and prayers. He’s got this.

    1. Thanks so much Marisa 🙂 That’s so true – He’s got this, and perhaps it will be in the looking back that I’ll be able to see Him orchestrating things right in front of me. He’s good like that. Thanks for the beautiful encouragement. It really means a lot 🙂 big hugs to you xox

    1. Oh gosh, Carson, I love that. you’re right – He’ll give me His peace, and that’s how I’ll know. What a comforting thought that is. I can always count on you for a breath of fresh air! 🙂 hope you’re having a great night! hugs xox

      1. I’m sure I alluded to it before but moving back to my hometown should have been super stressful and anything but peaceful but you know I’ve realized even more lately that as anxious a person as I’ve always been (probably borderline anxiety disorder) I’ve been finding more and more and more peace in Jesus’ love for me and just….I don’t worry anymore. Somewhere I wrote about how one night at my puppet team’s weekly practice my uncle (the team leader) asked us all to rate how much we worry and I surprised myself (and a few people there) because I just kind of realized that like…yeah….I’m not really worried. There’s nothing I can think of realistically that I would worry about, and there’s nothing unrealistic I’ve given the time of day to because well I mean what can I say, perfect love drives out all fear. Yall should be like ‘Boom’-ing on that up in here.

        And if it’s not already too late for it, haha–[Rant alert!]

        Before I knew what I was talking about (several years ago after my first and last encounter with a counsellor ((who just happened to end of up my pastoral team, haha ironic?)) ) I said to a friend, the only counsellor I need is named Wonderful… and I mean jee, if your kid needed advice would you leave them hanging? No way man, you’d probably be all up in their face like teeth n gums because you friggen love them and there’s no way you’re gonna hang them out to dry–or wait for someone ELSE to give them advice that may or may not be good.. and Father is so much more full of love for his kids, He is so much more determined to make sure that if you want to hear from him you’re GONNA hear from him cause he’s your dad and he loves you and that’s the kind of love you can rest in and find peace in, those big strong arms that are so mighty to save but so tender to embrace and caress…..mmmmmmmmm…….

      2. THat’s so great, Carson! I’m so glad that you’re at peace and not worrying. And isn’t that the truth — perfect love *does* drive out all fear. And what a great way to think about that – and I’ve gotta say your teeth and gums description made me smile 🙂 thanks for the uplifting words. so much peace here 🙂 hugs xox

      3. 😀 it’s just so good.
        Bahaha, I quite enjoyed it myself ;D and of course you’re always welcome – happy to let Father work 🙂 Happy Friday my friend!

  14. I’ve never lived in New York, but I’ve been there often enough and fantasized about living there since I was 13. I know how you must feel.

  15. I find myself looking forward to reading your posts. It leaves me challenging myself to look within and I’m excited honestly for the journey you’re on with Christ and though he may have you waiting I can’t wait to read about the many things yet to come. Thank you for sharing yourself with us 😊

    1. Aw, Hellena! What a kind thing to say. thank you so much. I’m glad they hit home with you. And I am seriously so touched by your friendship and support. it means the world. God is good, and I will trust that He has good things to come. For me and you, too!! 🙂 hugs xox

  16. By the time this pops up in the comments it will probably already be said, and I know I said this to you before ( I believe it was about the cab driver) God puts all His children where He wants them to be. He will guide you there too 🙂 I know you have faith in that. When those fearful thoughts come, and they will, when you catch them, do what you’re doing, showing Him you have faith. They will flee from you. And yes, if God can create all that there is, including us, part the red sea, etc, He can certainly talk to you through Pandora LOL 🙂 Praying for your clarity in His message for you. Thanking Him for your mom’s recovery and your familys healing as well. God Bless you 🙂

    1. Thanks so much for your continued prayers and support, my friend. I think you’re right – He will put me right where He wants me. I do believe that too. It’s just hard to have patience and really trust that sometimes. hahah, your blurb about Pandora made me laugh – yes! even Pandora! big hugs to you – and yes! so much to be thankful for 🙂 including the fact that our paths crossed 🙂 xox

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 That does seem like it would be powerful. It’s so awe-some to feel so small in a big house of God 🙂 Thanks for that idea! You’ll know where to find me 🙂 hugs xox

  17. So much goodness here! Of course, I save my comments for Pandora. By the way, I don’t know if its the recording or something on my end, but the beginning has a lot of distortion. Essentially, I hope you realize just how spot on you are tonight!

    1. Hey Jeff! oh no! that’s no good! in truth, i didn’t listen back to it, so i didn’t hear the distortion! i’m sorry! i recorded it a different way tonight – without a microphone just into the computer’s built in mic — i was too lazy to go upstairs hahahah next time I’ll get it right 🙂 and thanks so much. i can always count on you for a breath of fresh air! hugs xox

  18. I will be praying for you. I understand that torn between feeling. You are so right…You don’t have to decide right now. Following Jesus is simply doing the next thing and then the next thing. Keep praying and listening to Him… However He speaks to you!! ☺

    1. thank you so much for your prayers, Tammy. that seriously means so much. You’re right – we’ve got to just keep listening, because He’s always guiding us. always in control. thanks for stopping band for the encouragement! hugs xox

  19. I understand this totally. I’ve loved the place I now live in (my parents’ property) for over 40 years. But it’s out of the way. I’ve also loved our central North Island plateau totally for about the same length of time – and for 2+ years have harbored the desire to move there. It hasn’t been happening. And one can’t be in 2 places at once. The only thing that consoles me is a frequent message coming out of many prophetic words that says “Right now, you are where you are supposed to be.” Like you, I’ve concluded the only thing to do is rest in the Lord – and ‘rest’ is the key factor. He cannot operate in our lives if we are agonizing, theorizing and trying to force decisions. Keep calm, and wherever you are at any given moment, enjoy it (that’s important, too!). If we yield up to Him, the best resolution will come – but it will be in His timing, not ours. Blessings, blessings 🙂 – and totally enjoy NY while you are there.

    1. Right now you are where you are supposed to be. Wow, what a comforting phrase. and i love that – rest in the Lord. thank you so much for sharing hat with me. amen amen amen! thanks for this beautiful encouragement. you are a blessing to me! hugs xo

      1. Bless you, too. Sometimes the best way to lay hold of something is to set it down for someone else. This has helped me also :-).

  20. God speaks to us through the Holy Spirit that is promised to those that love God. Jesus said in John 14:15-17 “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. Therefore we must seek God’s guidance in direction for our live through the Gospel of Christ Jesus. Jesus said in John 14:6 ” “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. Therefore God’s children are led by the Holy Spirit and our steps are ordered by the Lord not by us. We cannot give God our wishlists or desires and expect Him to act according to our desires. He is the Boss, the creator, the Father and we are His servants and we are humbled and grateful that He would consider using us and giving us a purpose. We must humbly, sincerely and wholeheartedly submit to God and He will lift us up and give us a hope and a future. Then we will have a peace that does not come and go with every wind and storm that this life brings. We cannot use God like a Genie in a bottle, where we call on Him when we want something or when we find ourselves in a tough situation. We should seek God’s counsel before we act and then we won’t find ourselves lost and confused. We will find ourselves right where God wants us to be; standing in faith.

    Seek first God’s Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Matthew 6:33

    Rev.

    1. Isn’t that so comforting to know that we were left with a Comforter, a Guide? Thats so amazing. That’s true though – God is the boss and not the other way around. i think that’s something that i really need to remember and listen to amen to that. thanks for this awesome reflection and for sharing those powerful verses. hugs ox

  21. Step by step …that’s how He’ll guide you. He’ll give you strength for the hour, for the day. He’ll give you strength as you need it. So yes…be patient – wait. I’ll join you in prayer for wisdom 🙏🏽

  22. Our God is a God of creative contingencies. In people, in places and in circumstances. Eternal life is to know Him. That ‘s where it begins and where it never ends. Your writings are fresh and candid. Thanks.

    1. that’s so true, Gary. Creative contingencies. I love that so much. Alliteration and truth bomb in one!! 😉 And you’re right, it never ends. thanks for the beautiful encouragement. very grateful. big hugs xox

  23. Right now, this is where I am supposed to be. I think so, I mean I miss my husband, but I cannot leave my mom. Good words today.

  24. I’ve battle with this everyday due to the fact that I’ve lived in Haiti but my life is somewhere else now I feel guilty for been happy on my own. I thank you for sharing this and been honest. We all need to be reminded that Jesus got this ❤️. You can do it, he will guide you through it all .
    love Sergine ❤️❤️

  25. Look how beautiful life is for you @BeautyBeyondBones, people are looking after you… wishing nothing but the best and for you to be given such meaningful choices be encourage, stay the course and you can be assured that you can go through any experience with God at your side.

    1. oh Paquito, thank you so much for this beautiful note of encouragement. I know, i really do feel so blessed to have such positive relationships on here. I feel truly humbled. God is good. hugs xox

  26. Dear friend, a change of scenery is sometimes important for a release. Be not discouraged or dismayed. God has you right where he needs you to be. I know that some could love the idea of the big city and brighter lights. Let your heart take courage in your assistance to your mother. She is doing well because of her faith in the Lord and the help she is receiving from you. Please understand Carolyn that the past events are forgotten. God does not think as man thinks. God does not see as man sees. In you’re writings you claim that God gave you the strength to endure. Be of good cheer.. The blood of Jesus has wiped away past events. Do not give place to the devil and let him rob you of victory over that. A restaurant menu , a mirror even magazines don’t define you. FYI I didn’t have the best upbringing as well but after coming to the Lord in faithful and reverence I realized I can shut the door on the past by the blood of Jesus. It’s like I never lived that life before. I continue to humble myself in the site of the Lord and the joy of the Lord remains my strength and happiness. As far it goes with desires. I pray that you let your desires match his for your life. I pray that the joy of the Lord follow you all the days of your life. Besides… Ohio isn’t so bad. I love it there. The doughnuts are sugary and the cheese is chocolaty. I will pray for the continued strength that both you and your mother need during this time. I don’t do this for anything in return, I do it because you have become a good friend to me even though we not always agree 100% of the time. I will still pray for you 1 John 4:7-13King James Version (KJV)

    7 Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

    8 He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

    9 In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

    10 Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

    11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

    12 No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

    13 Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

    Anthony

    1. We can shut the door to the past by the blood of Jesus. Wow, what a powerful truth. and how special to think about that during Lent, leading up to His passion. thank you for this beautiful encouragement, A. You are a blessing to me and I thank you so much for sharing His Word and sharing His promises with me. you are good! hugs xox

  27. It is so true that when we are somewhere, we miss the places we have been before! It sounds like you are doing the right thing and are in tune! You are taking it in and listening. I know you will make whatever decision is right for yourself 😊💜

  28. It’s so accurate how the crossroads in life just overwhelm, doing the next right thing and waiting for Jesus, am with that train and trusting that he always comes through. Very timely.

  29. Waiting is HARD. There is so much chiseling to be done in the waiting. May I recommend Lauren Daigle? She is a Louisiana gal who sings the song you mentioned above. Her entire CD is on repeat constantly.

    1. oh gosh, yes. it. is. thank you so much BBB. Lauren Dangle – I’ll definitely have to listen to more of her stuff! i loved that song, but it was just on a pandora station, so i only heard that particular one, but i would love to listen to that whole cd! thanks for passing it along! hugs to you xox

  30. Sounds like a time of revival to me. Loved how you processed everything going on inside of you. Springtime is coming!

    Btw, at least hair turning gray from stress is a myth (more due to heredity), so you can cross that one off. 🙂
    Blessings to you.

    1. Thanks so much Mel. Yes! Springtime is coming! Bust out the shovels and seeds and potting soil 😉 haha oh good! phew – thanks for clearing that one up 🙂 hehe big hugs to you xox

      1. Funny thing is, there was an article about this very thing on msn.com today! They blame the myth on some experiments done on mice. Thankfully, we’re not mice, so don’t worry about the gray! Yay! God bless.

  31. Loved this blog post. God is always on time and he ALWAYS knows what we need before we do. Trust in him. Continued prayers for you and the family . Even though I live and was born in New York , it doesn’t inspire the feelings about it that you felt. The place where I lived for 13 years and will always be my home , Boston , I get those kind of feelings whenever I go back there.

    1. Thanks so much. I love that – God is always on time. what a comforting thought. thanks for the continued prayers. Oh Boston. I love that city too. Thanx for stopping by! big hugs xox

  32. Going back home to help take care of my mother would be the only thing that would take me back to Ohio. Ohio is pain, lose, abandonment, racism, and anger for me. I dread the moment I drive across the state line. I was in Texas but raised in Ohio now a resident of Michigan. I don’t want to sound so negative but Ohio is poison where my all of family lives they would be the only reason I would go back. Another great post. Look forward to the next. Keep it up! 🙂

  33. Thanks so much for this. I literally am torn between Australia and America at this time, so I was so encouraged. I’m writing about this challenging season at pastorandrew.blog if you’re interested. Thanks again for sharing- very timely. – Andrew

    1. Thanks Andrew. Oh gosh, My heart goes out to you. Not an easy decision. But I know that God will have you end up right where you’re supposed to be…that doesn’t make the discerning process any easier though. Hang in there. Praying for you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  34. Proverbs says there is wisdom in a multitude of counselors. Do you have people that are trustworthy and wise and godly that you may ask, who know you well? I also pray and if it’s God, there is such incredible peace. If it’s not God, that otherworldly peace is absent. Those are things I’ve learned over the years and often forget in the middle of a tough decision. I think it’s awesome that you are waiting on Jesus to direct your path. Praying for you tonight.
    What a blessing you are to your family.

    1. Thank you so much Constance. I really appreciate your prayers and support. Yes, I have a wonderful support system full of really great friends. I have a lot to be thankful for. And you’re right. I’ll feel that peace when it’s right. Hugs and love xox

  35. So touching! Sometimes we really just need to keep still and listen. The Lord’s got you. Prayers for your mom’s smooth and fast recovery! ❤️ You are blessed!

  36. God is everywhere, so I don’t doubt He spoke to you through Pandora. When I saw your pic with the sunglasses I thought you literally taped “revival” to them and I was like “dang that’s hardcore” and then I was like “hardcore photo editing….” 😂 New York really is the city of possibility. I entertained the idea of moving there once but people there area little too hardcore for me 😂 I’m too shy and they lose their patience with me.

    1. hahah oh my gosh that’s funny about the sunglasses. nope! just good old iPhone magic 🙂 hehe I wish I was that hardcore! can you imagine ?? lol Anywho, I think if it’s in the cards, you should give NYC a shot – even just for a season. It’ll give you a brand new perspective on things, and it truly brings out the best in people! Thanks so much for stopping by, girlie! Hope you’re having a great weekend! big big hugs xox

      1. actually YES I have! ugh, so delicious. in fact, I’m going to go make a cup right now 🙂 haha thanks for that! hope your week is off to a great start! hugs xo

  37. Jesus speaks to us in a multitude of ways: through others, music, nature, TV shows (Yes), Pandora too. We sometimes limit our limitless God. His thoughts are not our thoughts, His ways, not ours either.

    Isn’t that amazing? I enjoyed reading this. You’re young and apparently able to travel. So it would seem to me that you can enjoy both worlds at different times. I am a New Yorker so I understand the tug the city can have: the 24-hour conveniences, the international community, the opportunities, Central Park, The Pizza 🙂 – I could go on and on. Enjoy your youth. Time slips away from us.

    The Holy Spirit will guide you if He needs you in a certain situation. After forty years of being a believer, several near-death experiences and the way the Lord kept in the midst of horrific suffering (some of which I still go through), I have learned that within our Savior lies so much beauty, mercy, and grace.

    Your post inspired me!

    1. Hi Nancy! Oh good! I’m so glad this hit home with you! Yes! He will use any medium necessary to connect and get through to His children! That’s really great advice. thank you 🙂 I think you’re right – there is so much beauty mercy and grate with Jesus! love that! hugs to you xox

  38. I tend to be a watcher of people, and I’m always amazed at how much faith you put in God and put in Jesus. Having been raised as a Catholic, I understand doctrine very well..but faith? I fear faith will always evade me. Sometimes I feel like I push my will over things in life, sometimes I feel like I take on other people’s will for me; but discerning the will of God or any higher power, I never seem to understand. I pray. I pray and I pray…
    …but I seem to hear nothing.
    So, I watch others and try to find my way.

    You are inspirational and I belI’ve you will find some peace and serinity.

    1. Me too, I love people watching. Thank you so much. I am seriously so touched. Yeah I always struggle with trying to figure out what the heck God wants me to do with my life. But I’ve just got to trust that He won’t let me go astray. That’s what let’s me sleep anyways. Haha hugs to you xox

  39. New York City made me nostalgic, as did Cuzco, Peru. I returned to Cuzco, but I never returned to New York City. The longings were there, for sure. I think what I was really longing for was THE PAIN. The pain that certain people of these places had overcome–a level of pain and suffering unknown to the community I grew up in. Once I reached it, too, the nostalgia left. I never knew my core until I had to SEARCH for it. I never knew my strength until I had to BOLSTER it under continual buffetings. Probably something in New York is trying to tell you who you really are. I’m probably wrong, though, so don’t take my word for it. You might want to corroborate that with several other sources before you ever trust anything. Even a Pandora song. Question everyting.

    1. Even a pandora song – hah. How interesting. I’ve ever been to Peru, but it sounds like it really reached a specific part of your soul. You’re right, you don’t know your strength until you need to be strong:) Hugs and love xox

      1. Yes, Peru, I have mixed feelings about Peru, kinda like a neighbor’s dog that bites and shows no remorse, but keeps coming back to be cuddled.

  40. Wow. Praying that your decision becomes more clear for you. Perhaps there is a parallel between your mother’s recovery and yours? I don’t know you directly, but can certainly understand the difficulty in “going home”–which, we can do, but it is never the same, and that is probably a good thing. We wouldn’t grow otherwise. Your faith has gotten you this far, and He will not fail you. Of THAT I am sure…
    And no, you were not being flippant. He definitely uses whatever is around us to get our attention!

    1. Thanks for your prayers, Shauna. That really means a lot. You know, you just might be onto something about the parallels. This time has been equally as healing for me 🙂 thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  41. Hi Caralyn, Waiting on the Lord is always a good strategy. I spent the better part of my life going with the flow, opening the doors God put in front of me. And I can tell you He always took care of me. He will never allow you to be taken from His hand. I know your decision will lead to peace and hope.

    1. thanks Eric, yeah the hard part of waiting is…well, waiting! thats such powerful encouragement. you’ve given me a lot of hope. yes, He will never let me fall from His hand. hugs xox

  42. You’re dominant redemptive gift (RG) is deposited in to this city. New York has a redemptive gift of Exhorter. Read Romans 12:4-7.
    It is the 4th gift. take all of the 7’s across the bible and you will see your RG helix and you’re full and complete spiritual DNA code.
    This gift is rooted in time. It is your battle ground as well as you’re strongest characteristic. Much to learn and discover.
    Can e- mail files about this gift and how to break out of many limiting spiritual aspects of this RG as well as others if led?

    Can link to the founder given this revelation he is at Sapphire Leadership Group.

    gu

    1. thank you so much 🙂 how very interesting. i’ve never heard of RG, but I do believe that God gives us all spiritual gifts to use for His glory. thanks for sharing this. hugs xox

      1. It is a part of an overall message we were graced in from Jesus called the church Awakening message. This message was given to an apostle by Jesus who Jesus than sent to us from Uganda. Have an outline of one of the 128 outlines which illustrate just the elements of building the glorious church- one he is coming back for. One of the the foundational elements are on these gifts. coolspiritnlioinsden@hotmail if you are led to receive this basic outline which will deepen and widen the scope of who you are and how he has destined( gifted) you to live out your life
        \

  43. Enjoyed reading your story. I can relate. I’ve returned from California to New York (home) on several occasions and been overwhelmed with the same joy you described. I also believe that Jesus was speaking to your heart through the song. Trust he is with you. Personally, if you don’t mind, I would give your dreams, and hope for New York, new beginnings, new friends, a chance to see what becomes of it because it would be sad for you to have regrets and/or to always wonder what could have been. Home will always be home, and always be there for you, as will your family. By all means be there for your mom in every way possible. Visit often! Give the love she needs to help in the healing process. Still, don’t lose yourself, especially to guilt, but thrive where you are, wherever you are. New York may be that place. Best of luck. 🙂

    1. Thanks so much Dellymari. I’m so glad you could relate. That’s great advice. Home will always be home. so very true. Thanks for stopping by, and I hope you’re finding peace in your changing locations too 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  44. Love this.. “I’m here, and I miss Ohio. And in Ohio, I yearn for New York.” I kind of feel the same way about Portland and Rwanda.

    It also reminds me of Paul where he writes in Philippians 1:23-24, “But I am hard-pressed between the two. I have the desire to leave [this world] and be with Christ, for that is far, far better; yet to remain in my body is more necessary and essential for your sake.”

    Keep doing your thing my friend! The world needs your narrative. G

    1. thanks Gunnar. Oh wow, I’ve never thought about that parallel with Paul, but gosh it’s ringing true! thanks so much for the encouragement. hope you’re having a great night. hugs xox

  45. Possible way to dissect it all – Which one is more your comfort zone? Ohio or New York? Where are you in life right now – do you need to be in that comfort zone or challenge yourself? No right or wrong answers here of course – nor will it be easy to answer (especially the 1st question). But hopefully, it might help shed some light as to what you want to do/where you want to be. Maybe there’s even a 3rd option – go elsewhere?

    1. That is really a great exercise to do. and to be honest, i don’t know if I can boil it down to that just yet. lots of complexities, given my mom’s stroke recovery. one day at a time for now, but i will definitely be reflecting on that. thank you so much. big hugs xox

  46. I love, love, love Come to The Altar! It’s one of my favorite songs…that entire CD is LIFE!

    But back to your post – Jesus speaks to us in ways we can understand and in the moments we need Him to speak. And yes, revival also has a component of death. For revival to occur, death had to precede it. Before a seed can spout, it must be buried in something (dying) and break forth (brokenness) and push through to be seen and bloom (revived).

    It is part of the process, the growth process: for you, your mom, and your family. The Lord directs all of our paths, even when our feet feel unsure…he will broaden the path beneath us (Psalm 18:36). Trust in the Lord and do not lean to your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and HE will direct your paths. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him and He will bring it to pass. (Psalm 37:5). All we have to do is trust and obey.

    1. Hey, that’s funny Adrienne! I just got back to reading posts after a break of many weeks, and who should happen to be here just before me?

      I agree with you. My family is reading a series on the nature of God, and how important it is to really KNOW Him to trust Him. Without that unmistakable encounter with His amazing love, it’s hard to trust Him and His thinking and ways.

      This gives so much value to all our experiences and circumstances because a deeply loving God is determining our steps, and I believe connecting with our feelings in God’s presence about our circumstances and being honest with Him is necessary and appreciated by God, as the Psalms will show! Hope you and your family are well.

    2. isn’t it such a great song?! thanks so much for this heartfelt response. i absolutely love that seed imagery. its so true, it’s in the breaking that we actually grow. Amen to that! it’s all about Trust! big hugs xox

  47. Caralyn,

    I’ve caught up on all your posts after a lag of many weeks (was lying fallow with the blog, and pressed in on all sides at work; a strange feeling of freeze-frying).

    You have a knack of pulling the thoughts out of my head and putting your own words to them! I loved everything you wrote especially ‘Revival’ and ‘5 Things…’ Revival sounded so much like the things my daughter says in multiple ways when we talk about our future plans, but as you say so well, ‘Jesus, on you I wait.’
    Interestingly, how you look at New York was quite an eye-opener. I’ve never been there, so am no one to comment, however, I think my encounter with the city in books, songs and movies have been largely associated with pain (as is my life in New Delhi city), but in the last couple of weeks, what has been starting to come back in different ways, has been the danger of single stories (as embodied in a couple of excellent TED talks), and with this the danger of disconnecting with my daughter’s dreams and desires. Your post reminded me so much of her. It helped me to realise that I need to really HEAR her view of Delhi and see things a bit more from her viewpoint.

    Many more things you’ve written over the last few weeks have resonated strongly with my own life and experiences and it’s good to have time to read and reflect again. I took a day off from work today to ‘breathe’, and I’m going to start posting again, with God’s help.

    You and your family continue to be very much in our prayers (along with future Hub).

    Much love and regards to you and your family,
    Indi

    1. Thanks so much Indi! I’m sorry things have been hectic for you lately! i’ll definitely keep you in my prayers for a respite from the chaos! oh gosh, I hope you and your family can get to NYC. it is really an incredible place. 100% worth the visit. aw, i’m glad this reminded you of your daughter and resonated with you personally. Thanks for your continued prayers. sending lots your way too. big hugs xox

  48. I am the vine, you are the branches, you can do nothing without me….You are on the right track. Waiting is HARD but proves the promises.

  49. This was my story for almost a year — the back and forth between Alabama and South Carolina to be with my Mom. Home became a “fluid” term. I don’t regret a minute of the back and forth — even though I’m in that “revival” stage you talked about right now since that season is now over. I know God is remaking me …re-establishing me. I continue to pray for my own personal emotional healing but …whew! — the Holy Spirit is speaking a LOT ! Thanks again for your honest, vulnerable posts. Enjoy every minute with your mama …and soak up some time for yourself to refresh when you can. God will continue establishing where you’re supposed to be on a daily basis :-), May there always be joy in the journey!

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Joy. I am so moved by how peacefully you reflect on that season. that gives me great hope. and i will definitely keep you in prayers 🙂 I’m sending so much love and hugs xox

      1. Honestly, the 7 months of traveling back and forth and then going through the final days with my mom have left me very broken and struggling with agonizing anxiety. However, God is speaking to me in very powerful, intimate ways and that has been a precious time with my heavenly Father. God is remaking me and breaking chains that have been there for longer than I knew. I’m resting in His work. I’m learning to pray to trust Him more…then I know the peace will come. Thanks for your encouraging words. It’s how we all become a part of the beautiful story …the story God is writing for us. ❤

      2. Oh Joy, my heart is with you now friend. Paise God that He is breaking those chains. Resting in that work is such an inspiring thing to day. You’re in my prayers friend xox

  50. Hi BBB,

    I will be praying for you. Either way God has His plan for you whatever you decide. I pray you get peace and not stress.

    In Christ,

    Gary On Thu, Mar 23, 2017 at 4:09 PM BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “Today was a bit surreal. I feel a bit like I’m > living someone else’s life. Being back in New York after my mom’s stroke, > even though just for the weekend, it’s hard to believe that this was my > life for almost six years. It feels so foreign after nearly t” >

  51. I get that. I grew up in Ohio, too, in Akron. I lived there 30 years before we moved south the second time. We were gone 34 years this last time we left. Then, last February my husband told me he wanted to retire and move back to Akron to take care of his parents. But, God prepared my heart for that. He said “go” so we went. We have been here nearly a year. His mom died 2 weeks before we got here, though. Still, his dad and step-mom are still here. So, we have been spending time with them and helping where we are needed.

    Yet, circumstances I won’t go into are leading us to question how long God would have us here. My heart has been pulled toward another city since 2012. I felt when we were on our way up here that this was more like a detour, but not our final destination. Lately, the draw toward this other city has been strong again. Yet, God keeps saying “wait.” He has a plan. And, he has his timing for everything he does. So, I am waiting on him for his direction and for his perfect timing. We are waiting together – my husband and I. But, I understood your plight of feeling drawn to one place while feeling maybe you belonged somewhere else. Sue

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. What a journey. You’re right – hearing “wait” is always a tough message to hear. But yes, He does have a plan. I believe that too. Hugs and love xox

  52. I literally needed this. I’m struggling with something similar. Recently got accepted into grad school at Houston . I’m from Ohio too ! haha. My mother and little sister are back home. I’m from Columbus they live in Cincy. and I’ve been away at cincy for 4 years. ( they’ve missed me so much) My little sister is in elementary school now and I feel so guilty bc I haven’t been able to do the things with her that most big sisters do with their litle sisters ( take her to ballet, ice cream dates, weekend trips, etc.) And now, with my acceptance into Houston I’m contemplating whether or not to go. I also got accepted into school in Ohio too. which would be cool bc I could be close to home. But I feel like I may be losing out on the opportunity to “come into my own” as well. O come to the alter and Revival are two of my FAVEEE songs. As soon as you wrote the lyrics to the first song my heart felt a chill. Currently learning to trust God and wait on him. I’m praying for you and your decision! His grace is sufficient . Even if we make a wrong choice/decision rest assured he’s faithful enough to get us back on track. All things for the good of those who love the lord, and are called according to his purpose. Be blessed love! -Iyesha

    1. Hi Iyesha, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that you’re feeling that pull and can relate so personally. And thank you for your prayers. Know that I am praying for you too! My brother went away to college (wayyyyy out of state) when I was in third grade, so I just wanted to tell you, coming from the “little sister’s” perspective, that I did and still do look up to my brother so so much. And even though he went away to college, he was always in my life, and this was before Skype and FaceTime and everything. And in fact, I felt so proud to be his sister and was so happy that he was achieving his dreams and I cheered him on every step of the way. He was the quarterback for a big school out east, and so I gave a report to my class every week during football season about how his team did. And when he was home on breaks, he sometimes would come in and read out loud to the class during read-a-loud. And that special relationship continues to this day. So, I think it’s awesome that you want to be home with your sister. But I just want to encourage you that being a “good” older sister looks differently for different people. And your sister knows you love her. And if she’s anything like me, she’ll want you to reach for your dreams too 🙂 any who — I’m praying for you too! and if i overstepped at all, please excuse me! 🙂 sending big big hugs xox

      1. This was perfect. Literally Almost cried haha .Just what I needed. thanks so much for the “little sister’s perspective” . You didnt overstep not one bit. Thanks so much love <3

  53. Thank for always liking my blog. As I read what you wrote here, I was thinking of Abraham who lives in tents in the promised land, never putting down a foundation because, even in the land God promised him and his descendants, he knew he was looking for a city the fountain and maker of which is God. I think that is another way of saying Jesus is our revival.

  54. Henri Nouwen once wrote that “life is about the interruptions”. As a writer, and introvert, that was a hard thing to hear, but I realized how astute and true it is. The things we think are taking us away from “life” are the very life we seek.

    Most people think of what they would regret if they died, but I like to think of what I wouldn’t regret. What wouldn’t I regret? Loving other people, especially those most precious to me. Don’t get me wrong. I think I would be sad to never write my magnum opus, to find the words to change this world, even if for only one person. But I have never regretted giving my self, my time, my life to those I love — though I would also argue that writing, for me, is an act of loving others as I try to reach out to them, but I digress. A former youth pastor I interned for shared a cheesy yet brilliant acronym that has stuck with me over the years: J.O.Y. Simply put, if you put Jesus first, Others second, and Yourself last, you will find J.O.Y.

    In the end though, we are who we choose to be. God most certainly has a plan for our lives, but He has also given us free will to choose to follow His plan or our own. Which is phenomenally beautiful and terrifying. There is, of course, always the hope of… well, revival. Literally, “to live again”. God always offers us a new life if we should so choose.

    I guess the question you have to ask yourself is what matters to you? What would you NOT regret doing? Only you can answer that. But I would venture a guess that you already know the answer in your heart. Be still and I’m sure that you will hear it.

    P.S. Happy Easter.

    1. Wow this is such a powerful reflection. Thank you so much. J.O.Y…I absolutely love that. Thanks for sharing it with me. That’s going up on my fridge:) hehe Hugs and love xox

  55. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness.” Galatians 5:22

    “Being strengthened with all power according to the might of his glory, that they may have all patience and patience with joy,” Colossians 1:11

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