Asking to See

I don’t know how it got to be today.

How, after being home here for five months after my mother’s stroke, that I am packing up my things to return to NYC.

I’m going to be honest, I haven’t even made it through the socks and underwear yet, and I’ve already cried twice.

I was not expecting this. Returning to New York is supposed to be joyous. Full of celebratory anticipation. And yet, why do I feel my heart is shattering?

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I was driving home from getting groceries today when an Audrey Assad song came on: Lead, Kindly Light. And one of the lyrics really stopped me in my tracks:

Here in the dark, I do not ask to see.”

I rolled that over and over in my mind. And I realized, that’s just what I’ve been doing during my time here at home. Things were dark – I was more scared than I have ever been in my life – unsure as to the permanent toll the stroke was going to have on my mom. I was in the dark. And I realized, that I have not yet asked to see. I haven’t begged or pleaded with God to reveal what it is I’m supposed to learn – What the take away is from all of this. How things are going to turn out. I haven’t. I haven’t asked to see.

I’ve just been blindly trusting that God is going to lead me to where He wants me to go.

Going back to New York, my heart is not at rest. I don’t want to leave my mother. I don’t want to walk away from my family and leave behind this world where things are good, albeit, frightfully different. I know that they will be fine without me here, but what if I’m not.

My heart has changed. My mom’s stroke has changed who I am – what’s important to me. How I want to spend my time.

Maybe I’m just anticipating missing her. Thinking about leaving the comfort and security of my life in Ohio.

Perhaps I’m going to miss taking care of another person.

All I know is that I’m really having a hard time letting go.

And as I’ve walked around with this feeling in the pit of my stomach all day, I’ve begun to  finally realize where it’s really coming from:

I’m afraid of hurting her. 

My mom has been through so much. And is trying her very best to get used to this new state of normal after her stroke, and I know how much she cherishes having me around, and would love me to live here.

And I know that my leaving is going to add another layer of pain to her already burdened heart.

How can I do that to her?

It just breaks me down to think about.

And sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to my mother weep in the other room, while my own silent tears sear down my cheeks, I can’t help but feel I’m making a terrible mistake.

I feel I am betraying my mom, my family. Being uncaring and selfish for going back.

And probably that’s true.

And I guess, God, this is the first time I’m going to have to ask You to see.

Because I am at a loss for words, for thoughts, for direction. I need to know what to do. I’ve gone through this recovery with her with the motto that I’ll know I’m doing the right thing because God will give me peace.

And well, this unrest in my spirit is a big ol’ red flag.

And I know that her saying, “I’m gonna be fine,” is just brave talk from a loving mother.

Lord, help me to know what to do here. You know the love I have for this courageous woman, my lifeblood, my best friend. Show me where I’m supposed to be. What I’m supposed to do. 

Here in the dark, I am finally asking to see.

I guess…to be continued…

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

381 thoughts on “Asking to See

    1. Hmmm yeah. I know. I’m afraid of what the pro/con list might say, if I’m being brutally honest. Thank you for this advice. Perhaps I’ll just grab some scratch paper and get to it. Hugs and love xox

      1. thanks so much 🙂 Yeah, this is really something powerful to think about. Perhaps He’s trying to gently nudge me in a different direction. thanks for this 🙂

  1. I hope you’ll be fine. Things will be fine at home, toy mum knows you have your life to live. Live it and cherish everyday.
    Oh… Keep smiling and be brave!
    Love and hugs xo ❤

  2. Tust God. You may be one of the few people in our time who understands that true happiness comes from following His Will. Prayers.

  3. The very good news is wherever God leads you, He will accompany you. (Said by a woman who left a tenured faculty appointment in Oregon and moved to Connecticut to stay at home! Greatest scariest move ever.)

    1. Thanks for this Elizabeth. You’re so right, He never leaves us. We always have a companion. 🙂 thanks for sharing that. Wow- a walk of faith indeed!! Hugs and love xox

  4. I know God will guide your heart to make the right decision. And your peace is very important, for me too that’s always an important sign. The fact that she was crying really touched me. Why not wait a little bit more, and pray a bit more? What’s the worst that can happen if you stay? Will you lose your job? I pray God will show you the way and give you strength to walk therein through Jesus our Lord, Amen. God bless you BBB🌺🌺

    1. Thank you so much for this kind response. I really appreciate your prayers and encouraging words. Yeah, I feel myself being pulled in that direction. I actually quit my job when I moved home five months ago, so there’s no harm in staying longer. I do have a shoot i have to get back for the first week of June. I just don’t know. thanks for being so wonderful. big hugs xo

  5. He WILL answer your prayer request. Also, it’s fine to share your prayer about this with you Mom, demonstrating your will to possibly let go of your own vision for your life so that His will is done. Such demonstrates your spiritual maturity and the level of relationship you have with the Father. Just let Him lead, as you’ve indicated; He ensures that you will arrive at all destinations on time via the manner He deems best for everyone.

    God BLESS you!!!😄. All is well!.

    1. Thank you Fredrick. I really appreciate your thoughtful response You’re so right – I’ve just got to let Him lead. Thanks for stopping by and for this powerful food for thought. big hugs xx

  6. What a beautiful post. God will guide you. I was thinking of something as I was reading this. Do you remember when you were in NY and talked about what you really wanted in life and wanted to get married? If I remember right you mentioned how NY wasn’t the right kind of place to meet the kind of guy you were looking for. I wonder if there is any acting work in Cleveland or someplace closer? These are just some thoughts I had. Pray more than anything. What does your Dad think? Peace be with you, and your decision.

    1. Thank you so much. You are so kind to wrap your brain around this with me. Yeah, I actually have an agent here and have gotten some work since I’ve been home. There’s definitely a lot to think about. Yeah, I’ve talked with my dad and he and I are kind of at the same place. looks like we’ve got some more praying to do 🙂 thanks again for your kindness. you are a blessing to me. big hugs xox

  7. Your heart’s in the right place, Caralyn. I know you’ll get some “light” on this. 🙂 It’s when we don’t ask the questions that we veer off the path we’re to walk on. Also, keep in mind, your heart may not like what you’re supposed to do at all. Especially, when it involves people you love and care about. But you are young, and your life is WAY ahead of you! When not sure, take a step of faith. Btw, faith is spelled R-I-S-K. Like your picture said, if the door’s not open, it’s not open to you. You can always turn around if you find yourself in the wrong direction. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Mel, I really appreciate that. That’s really true – nothing is ever final. I can always turn around, just like you said. And I like that – faith is spelled R I S K. amen 🙂 thanks again. big hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement. that really means a lot. I can’t wait to look up those verses. thanks for passing them along to me! big hugs xo

  8. I used to get the toughest cases of terminally ill patients. There is no great advice. No great plan, I mean, God put us here and we find our way back. Life, then death that’s the deal. I know that darkness though, I would just hold their hand until their time was up. Sometimes they’d cry or cuss and I would just tell them it’s okay. It was enough, sometimes it was all they had left.

    1. Thanks Kenzie, yeah, there’s never a cut and dry right answer. Except for God. He’s always the right answer 🙂 Sounds like you were a blessing to those people in their time of need. hugs xo

      1. Yeah thanks, most of them hated me. Haha. I had a good balance of super rich and dirt poor patients. Terminal is not permanent it just meant it would cost too much to fix them. I related to that instantly. I think you should believe your mom. She got a second chance and you have a lot of life to live.

  9. You’ve said here that you see this move as uncaring and selfish, but is that how your mom sees it? Ask her what she thinks. Ask her to be brutally honest with you. And if she says that it’s not uncaring and selfish, that it’s not a betrayal of her, then the bad feeling you have isn’t about her but about you. In that case, it would be the thoughts in your mind that are driving this bad feeling you have to move back. And in that case, you simply have to have faith that you’re doing the right thing. Actually, I like to say that we only make decisions; whether they’re right or wrong can only be determined in hindsight. For now, just breathe and have faith in the decision you’re making. Whether the decision is right or wrong isn’t the point of making this decision right now. Good luck to you. 🙂

    1. Thanks Gabriel. This is such a kind reflection. No, she doesn’t see it as that as all. She wants me to live my life — which sounds like the answer right there. That’s very true – we see things 20/20 in hindsight. Thank you so much for this encouraging note. you are a blessing to me. big big hugs xox

      1. You’re welcome. If I can be a blessing to someone, well, then I guess that’s why I’m still here (God only knows why). Big big hugs back. 🙂

  10. Well kiddo, you have a big decision to make. When my Dad got bad with dementia, I didn’t hesitate to come home, leave my job, walk away from everything to be here for him and my Mom. My Mom and Dad are in their 70s, and I’m 53 and pretty stable financially. For me, the decision was a no-brainer.
    When I have come across situations like this over my lifetime, you ask God. You have done this. Now, the trick is to be patient and wait. Ask God to give you a confirmation when you “think” you have the answer. It doesn’t have to be anything specific, just ask for a confirmation to really know it’s coming from God and NOT “the other guy”. When I was driving home, I got two of them within a day of each other. One in Ohio; the other in Michigan (home state). You’ll know when you get it and you’ll have a confirmation that you are doing the right thing for all concerned.
    It’s the knowing that is comforting. Knowing I did the right thing for me and my folks was a relief and a blessing. I wish you well and hope you get your answer.

    1. Thank you so much Dave. Gosh, I’m so sorry to that your dad is going through that. I will definitely keep him and you and your family in my prayers. I think you’re right just have to ask God to show me the way. I really appreciate you sharing your story with me. sending you so much love and hugs xox

  11. Christ is in all of us as surely as He was with the disciples. He lives within us and often we don’t pay any attention to Him at all. He has the words to tell the truths that are most true; listen to that voice within. If your inner voice is telling you to stay for God’s sake stay home. I know from experience that strokes often come in groups. My wife had a series of minor strokes then two major ones and finally another series of minor strokes. Also keep praying I’m praying for you and your mother.
    .

    1. Listen to that voice within — wow, what simple and yet profound advice. thank you so much. Oh gosh, I’m so sorry to hear that about your wife. I will definitely keep her and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. and thank you for your prayers as well. it means the world. big big hugs xox

  12. When my mom asked me to move in and help her, I prayed and did. A year later she was put in Hospice care at home. Nine months later, she went home to be with the Lord. For the rest of my life I will cherish those last 3 years with her because she opened up to me about things she feared, life, all 8 of us kids and how she was so grateful for me being there. I could have left and others would have cared for her, but I would not have the special memories to carry me through the rest of my life. Search deep in your heart, pray and whatever you decide, you can not go back and change. Love is when you give up your wants and desires for others. That is what Jesus did. You will be just fine whatever you choose. God Bless.

    1. Wow, thank you so much for sharing this with me. Gosh, I am so sorry that your mother is with the Lord, but I’m really glad that you had that time together. What special time. That really puts a lot of things into perspective. so thank you 🙂 you’re right – that is what Jesus did. big hugs xx

  13. I’m 58 now. I am the father of 5 who range from 29 as the oldest down to 21. I love them all. I want them around me all the time. I miss them when they leave Calgary to work elsewhere. But I am always proudest when they make strong healthy decisions to build their lives. They have so much in front of them and so much to do. I would be heartbroken if they took option #2 , the lesser choice, to be close to me, so I would be happier.

    Mike

  14. I think, in your post, you answered your own question…quite loudly and clearly from where I sit: “And sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to my mother weep in the other room, while my own silent tears sear down my cheeks, I can’t help but feel I’m making a terrible mistake.”

    One thing that I learned a very long time ago is we need to listen to these feelings. Heavenly Father gives them to us for a reason. Every time I have tried to blow them off, there was more heartache. There may be a reason that you feel you’re making a terrible mistake by leaving. Maybe there’s something that lies ahead that you are going to wish you had been there for. Please don’t disregard this feeling. Stay with your mama. You need each other.

    My husband had three strokes last year. This Friday is the one year anniversary of the first one. Two days later is the year anniversary of #2 and #3. During the initial recovery period, I had a lot of time to ponder what was really important, who was really important to me. It is very scary getting used to the new normal, life post-strokes, not just for the stroke survivor, but for all of those that love them. I think part of your struggle is that you’ve had a very loud wake up call, a mortality crisis, so to speak. I know that I did and sometimes when I think about it, the panic starts to overtake me.

    I hope that you’ll stay with your mama. You’re both in my prayers.

    1. wow, Suzanne, thank you so much for this powerful perspective. i really appreciate you sharing your story. I’m so sorry to hear that this hits so close to home with your husband . i will definitely keep him and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. you’re right – i do think that God moves in our spirits to guide us. i think i should listen for sure. thanks again. big hugs to you

  15. So many wonderful comments. I do understand your hurt, having lost my mother in 2012. This will change you, make sure that change is a positive one. I’ll always carry that empty place inside me. I had to make it part of me. ❤️

  16. Lots of thoughts. First, let’s go back to opposites, which we talked about before. I’ve learned that the better the act, the harder it is to do. When Jesus made the best decision ever he sweated drops of blood. I think that, at least sometimes, the correctness of a decision may have an inverse relationship with peace. You could do whatever feels easiest now, but realize down the road that the harder thing needed doing.

    So choose how? Maybe my other thoughts at Patreon will give you something to go on.

    And thanks, by the way, for making me tear up tonight… 🙂

    1. oh Jeffrey, thank you. I’m sorry that this made you tear up. That’s a really profound way to think about it. Opposites. And sweating blood – that imagery of Jesus really moves in my soul. Looking forward to reading more form you 🙂 big hugs xo

      1. Remember when I told you that I do that easily anyway after my surgery! I just wanted to pull your chain a little, maybe get a smile out of you.

      2. I just saw your Patreon reply. I’m glad you found that helpful. Just remember you’re kinda family here too – my adopted daughter. So it’s me pleasure to give whatever support I can. Many hugs and much love!

  17. Caralyn – As an Audrey Assad groupie (!) you might also like Sarah Hart’s music – deep & beautiful & spiritual -she sings words from a heart in love with Jesus, like Audrey. Lifting you up in prayer as you stand at this crossroads, where i’ve been several times over long years of my Papa’s quadriplegia. Praying to take the big step moving overseas to work in relief & development, one of the biggest challenges was several (literal) oceans to cross if he got worse, or passed? I did miss special milestones – but I knew I was where God wanted me to be, affirmed with blazing signposts & my parents’ support (totally needed in conflict zones, especially their prayers hot-wired to Heavenly hotlines!) Yet, 15 years later when Papa asked me to come home from Africa to help them, I put it before God, Who provided another blazing signpost (a Teresa of Avila devotional hymn written out in my journal the morning before my parents, unbeknownst, sang it to me on the phone when making the request? and my father was an evangelical pastor?) 🙂 It was a hard decision giving up a leadership position to return home for a care-giving gig, but honoring my parents, i have no regrets. God does have a sense of humor – i thought Papa had 6 months, but God blessed us with EIGHT YEARS. Life is a gift! Then I had the privilege to look after Mama, too. If your spirit doesn’t feel right – pay attention! But pray for spiritual discernment to identify what’s from where (above… or below!) May God be with you, transforming your heart & mind & spirit with wisdom and the love of Jesus Christ. — blessings – Virginia 🙂 p.s. Joshua 1:9 -“Be strong & of good courage. Be not afraid, neither be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

    1. wow, Virginia, thank you so much for this thoughtful reply. my goodness, what a special time with your parents during that precious time. i really appreciate you sharing that with me. you’re right – I’ve got to discern that feeling. I love that verse. really speaks to my spirit. thanks again. big hugs xox

  18. I have recently had a huge stroke scare personally. However, the current thought is I didn’t have a stroke at all but may be having some unknown seizures. All the time I was in the hospital my husband stayed with me. I couldn’t have made it through the questions, which I couldn’t ask because he asked them. As I became more cognizant I asked questions during lucid moments and he asked them if I couldn’t. I know what depending on another person is like, and needing that person more than you can say, but also saying, “Honey, if you need to work – go work.” That was really scary for me. This is the first time my husband has been able to stay with me without his employment being in danger.

    Several years ago I left my husband to stay with my Mom who was terminally ill and on hospice. Since I am noot physically strong, I couldn’t stay with her the entire time and it hurt me in a way I can’t ever explain. Only God understands that one. However, I wouldn’t have traded the time I spent with her for anything in the world.

    I believe the thing you might need to decide is whether or not the feelings you have is a) about leaving to go back to NYC; or is it b) about staying with your Mom. I firmly believe you already know the answer and simply haven’t let yourself stop long enough so you can hear what God is telling you. Taking care of a person can do that.

    Here is hoping everything will work out for you. Prayers and *hugs* from Kentucky.

    1. Oh Henrietta, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. i’m so sorry that this hits so close to home with you. And i really appreciate you sharing your story – what precious time with your mom. Gosh, what a gift you gave her. That’s definitely a powerful thing to ask myself. thank you friend. big hugs xo

  19. There doesn’t look like there is anything I can add to help. Your readers and your responses show that God is by your side during this time of internal conflict. The only thing I can think of is do you think you are finished with your work at home? Like going on a mission trip, the work is never over but your work may be. It sounds like you are extremely blessed to have been able to give this time to your mom for the both of you. I mention as a reminder that you have an added complexity because you have the ability to choose – which is awesome! You have grown so much so fast.
    Whatever you decide Ohio or NYC, you are a different person and you will spread light where you settle.

    1. gosh, thank you so much. you know, I’ve mulled that over and over, and I do think i have more work to do at home. That’s a really powerful perspective. Thanks for bringing that to my attention. you are a blessing to me 🙂 big hugs xo

  20. May GOD grant you the wisdom to make the best decision as to wether to leave or not and may he Grant you his peace that surpasses all understanding. I pray your mom receives perfect healing in Jesus name.

  21. My precious friend, you are in a perfect place to receive what God has for you. When we totally surrender to His will, He can take you places beyond anything you can imagine for yourself. I know your mom wants what is best for you, and above all, your happiness. How much more, then does our Heavenly Father want that for us? Trust him, surrender, and buckle up for the ride of your life! One of my favorite verses in Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.
    You and your mom will be in my prayers. I will pray that He gives you clarity so that you can make the best decision. Love in Christ,
    Erica

    1. oh gosh, Erica, thank you so much for his beautiful reflection. I so appreciate your prayers. 🙂 YOu’re so right – I need to just surrender to His perfect will. Because it is just that: perfect and good. big hugs x

      1. you are such a sweetheart! your blog really touches me because it is so raw and you are so real! I have a daughter around your age, and so I feel a little “mamafied” about you! Lol! Take care and may God continue to bless you and your family! xoxo

    1. Thank you so much Bobbi — you’re so right – I’ve got to listen to that still small voice, because that is the Holy Spirit! thanks for stopping by! big hugs x

  22. I have some pros and cons from my own personal journey through my daddy’s stroke. The cons are that strokes and heart attacks keep happening and you don’t have much time with her and want to cherish that and honor her. That is what happened with Daddy the few years before he passed and now I am getting back to life with no regrets, having been there for him through it all. The pros to moving back is maybe this was an isolated event and you can still pursue your own life and passions which is part of life though may look selfish to those who selfishly want you to do it their way. Lol The thing is write the lists and then do the most important thing. Pray. God knows what you need and sees the big picture. Let Him guide your heart. Your tender heart will be served best by following His leading. I prayed for you to have clarity. Hugs and love to you sweet friend! XO

    1. Hi Tonya, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry for your loss. My heart just goes out to you and your family. you’re so right, that time is precious. That’s a really powerful thing to remember. and yes! God does know the big picture. I’ve got to pray and ask for His guidance. Thank you for your prayers. it means the world. big big hugs xo

  23. Having been through this with my own mother having a stroke about 7 years ago I wanted to just say it’s going to get harder still for both of you in some ways. But as a parent, I would say that a loving parent will want their child to be happy, because that’s what brings joy. So don’t let moving back be a negative thing, but remember that living a wonderful life and sharing that with your mother is the best course of action. And sharing is not just about being there every day. It’s easy to equate proximity with positive relationships, but being present is more than that, and not dependant upon it. Keep her close in your heart, prepare yourself for times of struggle and be with her (phone, in real life, gestures) as often as you can. And you will be fine.

    1. this is such a beautiful response. thank you so much. First of all, I’m so sorry to hear that this hits so close to you. And you’re absolutely right – a positive relationship – especially with the help of technology – can thrive even if I’m not living under their roof. That really spoke to me. thank you again. big hugs x

  24. I guess that can be hard. I know my grandmother is in a nursing home and I see her every week or a day when I have free that I can see her. She also don’t like being in a nursing home and her medicare wasn’t paying for everything so the nursing home move her in a different room.

    1. Thank you so much, Michael. i’m so sorry that this hits so close to home. I will definitely keep her and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. what a gift you are giving her by visiting 🙂 big hugs x

  25. I hate that you’re going through this. Your mom would understand if you went back. On the other hand, the heart is almost never wrong. Do what gives you peace. There is no right or wrong answer.

    1. Oh Tony, thank you so much for your kindness. Yeah, I know she wants me to go live my life. it’s just so hard to get comfortable with leaving. that’s really great advice. thank you friend. big hugs x

  26. The devotion between a mother and daughter is, at its best, a devotion to God, as well. Your mother and God have given you life–your life. You may choose to devote more of it to your mother. Or, you and she may both prefer, hard as it is, that you fulfill your responsibilities and pursuits in New York. You will miss each other and still need each other–hearing her tears does not necessarily mean she wants you to stay–it depends upon what you’re giving up. It would be beautiful if you could ask her, but not everyone is ready to discuss things where the answer is both yes and no. Especially when regret and loss are inescapable, either way. You could let her know your fears. I’m sure she’s comforted you many times, and sometimes sharing fear and anxiety that come from the heart makes things clearer. But everyone’s different. I tend to speak too directly to my mother and she doesn’t like it. So I try to step back but she knows me and can read my feelings, which sometimes anger her–even when they’re not especially different from her own. She’s better at diverting herself than I. Another example would be my husband’s mother, who’s uncomfortable when love is directly and spontaneously expressed. She prefers it at the end of a note.
    My personal belief (which springs from having devoted too much of my life–and yet not enough to satisfy anyone–to my parents) is that a child’s life belong to her. I tell my children that and so far they’re busy and working hard to find their own way. They’re also far away and I miss them much more than they miss me–a consequence of what I told them many times. If I needed them, however, I would ask for their help, confident each would do what he or she could. Pray to see and listen to your heart and mind. You have my sympathy and prayers, which should be worth more than they are because of my wavering faith.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this, Kathleen. I am so grateful for your prayers and encouragement. You’re so right – these are things I should talk to her about. Because it’s true – it’s an experience that we’re going to share – both in different ways, but it will impact us both. thanks for that wonderful advice. big hugs to you x

  27. God speaks to me through songs a lot! I am presently praying through something, and I was “asking to see,” as well, and the Lord put about five songs in mind, not all at once, though. Most of them were hymns, but not all: 1. Oh, To be Like Thee, Blessed Redeemer, 2. Have Thine Own Way, Lord, 3. I’ll Go Where You Want Me to Go, 4. Jesus, I am Resting, Resting, and 5. Make Me a Blessing. Well, at least 4 of them were hymns, maybe all 5. If you don’t know them, you can find the lyrics for them on the internet, if you have the time. Encouraging messages all! Sue

    1. thanks so much for this, Sue. Yes, I feel Him through songs as well. Those are some great songs. I’m going to make a playlist of them right now. thank you for passing them along. i hope that what your going through turns out okay. i’m praying for you too. big hugs xo

  28. “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you”. John 15:7
    God will allow you to see, I am sure of it! You’re a very strong woman, and you inspire me so much.
    Hang in there, sweet!! xx <3

  29. Caralyn, I thank you for another searingly honest post; the kind of which I have come to expect of you.

    Your pain of longing – to be with your blessed mother, to honor her desire for your presence, to seek and know God’s guidance for and in your life – seeps through your every word. I hurt for…with you. For, although no one can know fully, truly the hurts of another, I also do not know of anyone who, as I’m wont to say, has lived 2 seconds in this world, who does not know the sorrow of love’s deepest yearning to ease the hurt of a loved one (and to mollify one’s own hurt in being able to be and to do for a loved one).

    I pray your mother’s peace. I pray your peace.

    Love,
    Paul

    1. Hi Paul, thank you so much for this kind response. you’re so right, there are so many different emotions swirling around in my head. Thank you for your prayers. it really means a lot 🙂 with love and big hugs xox

  30. Dear Caralyn:
    We do not love alone. You’ve done a lot for your mother over the last five months. Didn’t your sibling just move back so that they could help care for your mother?
    If nothing else, they should have the opportunity to adapt to that role. I’d go back to New York and see how things evolve. You have certainly changed – you may find that New York doesn’t have the same attraction that it did before. But staying in Cleveland might prevent your sibling from enjoying the same graces that you have received from caring for your mother.
    With love,
    Brian

    1. Thanks Brian, you’re so right about that – we do not love alone. And you’re right – NYC might not have the same appeal given how I’ve changed. Thanks for the awesome perspective. i really appreciate your kind word of encouragement. You’re a great friend, Brian. big hugs to you xox

      1. The influences on this situation are complex. I strongly recommend that you take some time to pray for clarity – in other words, to allow God to show you the situation as he sees it. Distance can be helpful in allowing you to separate yourself from the situation, and so to see how you can best serve others.

        Maybe this will help: God has shown you how your strength was of service to your mother. You may have a demonstration of strength in store as regards your father.

      2. I’ve been trying to figure out how to say this for a long time: ED turned the power of your own mind against you, and against that force neither your father nor mother had any sway.

        You received that strength in past service, and it is building into a future of service. Stop asking “What do you want me to do?”, for that is to echo Christ’s lament on the cross: “Father, why have you forsaken me?” Consummation of sacred purpose comes in finding those that we are meant to serve. While the nearness of family makes their needs particularly poignant, I don’t think that you’ve yet found your sacred community.

      3. Thanks again Brian. That’s really terrific food for thought. i’ve never thought of that question that way, but i think you’re really onto something there. hugs x

      4. Just so you understand my experience of this situation: I don’t know how many times over the last five months I’ve had to push away the urge to offer to come out to Ohio to lay hands on your mother.

        You have everything that you need within you.

      5. Oh my gosh Brian, that is so kind of you. Yeah, I think the prayers you have been offering her have been working, because she’s doing so well. We’re all incredibly encouraged. Thank you 🙂 hugs xo

  31. Praying for wisdom, guidance and direction for you. And that you will absolutely know the right thing to do. Thanks for sharing your journey.

  32. Seconding the reader who said to pray for wisdom. James says ask for wisdom & you’ll get it. One hallmark of God’s wisdom is that’s it’s full of peace and easy to do, meaning you don’t kick the doors open. So pay attn to your red flag feeling. Also, trying to figure it all out is using our head. Pray, go silent and listen. Believing you will make wise choices.

    1. Thanks Kathryne, yeah, wisdom is definitely a *wise* thing to pray for 😉 😉 😉 jk jk — in all seriousness, it really is great advice. That’s so true – I’ll feel peace when I’m in the center of His will. Thanks for this great advice. big hugs xox

  33. We do not know how long we will have together;
    When those we love will leave us;
    We do not know when we will depart;
    When we will leave them, forever.
    And how much they have done for us, whether we acknowledge it or not.

    Life is a breath, an instant.
    And when those who have loved us and who we love leave us, the world becomes more emptier and more colder.
    When they go, a part of us is gone too, and not more come back, not here.
    Every moment is the last, just as the next will be too.

    So, live each moment the best you can, with the best LOVE of your heart, with FAITH, and with gratitude for your struggle for us as best they could.

    Will remain in our minds and hearts your brand, the memories of the moments lived and shared, with joy, or with sorrows, but lived together; and longing…

    1. Wow, Carlos, this is so beautiful. thank you so much for this. You’re so right – we’ve got to live each moment the best you can, because we really don’t know how long we have together. thank you for sharing that. big hugs xox

  34. Ask this question, honestly wanting God’s answer. Step back. Listen for His heart, and you’ll know.
    At least, that’s how He’s talked to me.

    1. thank you so much Yolanda, you’re right – I have to earnestly seek out His guidance, and be open to whatever answer He gives. That’s great advice. big hugs xox

      1. Glad if I could help. Our lives are miles apart–literally and figuratively–but I have been intrigued by how often the lessons God has been showing me, He has been showing you in His own way and time. God bless! 🙂

      2. wow, that is so awesome. Yeah, God is funny how He works, isn’t He? So glad to know I’ve got a friend on a similar journey. 🙂 Big hugs to you xox

  35. These inner conflicts and dilemmas have no easy answers. These are real crossroads of life. I think seeking answers with a calm mind may help. It is easy to be blown away in either direction by emotional turbulence.

  36. I’ve seen a maturity and spiritual depth grow in you greatly since you moved to help your Mom. God created us for these kinds of times. Give yourself permission to stay. What you have become and the richness of your writings are an inspiration that NYC will never give you. Goodness becomes you where you are.
    God bless you sister.

    1. Thank you so much David. Wow, that is incredibly kind to say. I think you’re right – there are definitely things that this season has taught me that NYC just can’t even touch a candle to. thanks for stopping by and for that powerful advice. big hugs xox

  37. Hi Caralyn. I believe you are one of the most honest and vulnerable persons I know. We can learn so much from you.
    You do have a difficult decision before you now. I don’t remember seeing a specific reason for you returning to NYC. I know Our Lord Jesus will give direction as you seek Him. He tells us to ASK / SEEK \ KNOCK, and He will give us answers.
    It is also written in Scripture, in James, that if we seek God for wisdom, He will give it to us. Holy Spirit answers and directs us in various ways, so as you pray and seek Him, listen for His response.
    I know many of your Blog friends here, and friends elsewhere will be praying also.
    God Bless you my good friend, in whichever way the Lord leads.
    If He leads you back to NYC, we can also be confident that Jesus Christ will take care of your Mom and Dad also.

    1. Gosh, you are so kind to say that. thank you so much George. Yeah, this is a pretty tough one for sure. Ask, seek knock…now there is some great advice. Thank you for your continued prayers. you are a blessing to me. big hugs xox

  38. Should I stay or should I go? One might say: Go to New York, live your life. Remember our forefathers left Europe (and other places) in wooden ships, knowing that they would never see their mothers or fathers, brothers or sister, or any relative again. So some would say, live your life and realize you may not be able to get back to care for your parents.

    Another might say: Stay and be near your parents. They will grow old and frail and need you.Make your life near them. Long distance nursing of elderly parents is darn near impossible unless you are rich enough to pay for live in help.Even then, it will be a stranger taking care of your parents. (Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” — John 21:18)

    Both ways can be “the right thing to do”. The parents of the children leaving on those wooden ships knew that they would never see their children again, that they would never see their grandchildren; but, that there children were doing what they must do to build a better life. If you leave and establish roots in New York, perhaps have a family of your own, then how difficult will it be for the grandchildren to get to know their grandparents?

    Hard decisions. Many years ago I went away from home to go to school. My wife and I lived 500 miles from our parents. We had children. When I finished school, I wanted to go live in the Rocky Mountains. My young wife said “No.” She knew we had parents who would need us and she knew how much support grandparents could be for our family. We moved back home. I’ve never really regretted yielding to her wisdom. My parents are both gone. She still has one living. Our lives would have definitely been different had we moved to the Rockies but I doubt that it would have been any better.

    “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.”
    Exodus 20:12.

    “Honor your father and your mother, as the LORD your God has commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you on the land which the LORD your God gives you.” Deuteronomy 5:16

    “Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2“Honor your father and mother” (which is the first commandment with a promise), 3“that it may go well with you and that you may be long-lived on the earth.”…Ephesians 6:2

    What land is the Lord giving you? How will you honor your parents? I can think of many ways that you could honor your parents in New York. Simply living as a Christian there, not afraid to proclaim your faith!! That would honor your parents and God. Staying home would honor them too. But remember, parents want their children to leave the nest, to go out into the world and thrive. It is a balance: establishing your own life (the mark that your parents were successful– their bird left the nest flying!) vs. caring for your parents. At this point, I would say your parents want you to leave and they want you to stay. I am a parent of two children about your age and that is how I would feel. In my love for you, I would want you to fly from the nest. In my love for you, I would want you to stay; but, I would know deep in my heart that it would be best for you if you go.

    I don’t think that I have made this decision any easier or any clearer.

    God Bless.

    1. Wow, this is so beautiful and heartfelt. thank you friend. You’re so right – i need to honor my parents, and truthfully, I can do that from either here or there. That’s a thing that makes it so difficult. and you’re right, my parents want both for me too. To fly and yet to remain close. so many contradictions. I think in all of this i need to remember to be grateful that a) i have parents and b) that I have a family that wants me in their lives. I know that sadly, that is not the case for every one. Thanks again for this powerful and beautiful food for thought. you are a blessing to me 🙂 hugs xo

  39. Instantly prayed for you when I finished reading. God ALWAYS grants us wisdom when He asks for it. He is not a God of confusion. But yes! Trusting Him in the dark gives away our control however it’s nice to know what’s coming next 🙂 but He will answer you, even if it’s after a period of time. Wherever He may lead you, know that being in His will is the best place to be, even when life tries to tell us otherwise. Hugs to you and more prayers!❤️

    1. Oh Sarah, thank you so much for your prayers. You are so kind. Thank you. You’re so right – He is not a God of confusion. That’s such great advice. Thanks for this powerful perspective. Hugs and love xox

  40. My prayers will be with you during this time of uncertainty…May the good Lord grant you the light you seek to see through the dark. Sending happiness your way.

  41. My heart goes out to you. After my older sister’s stroke in the final years I had to honour my heart and stay. There is no right or wrong answer, something is lost and something is gained in living life every day to quote Joni Mitchell. <3 You love your Mum so much its no wonder you are struggling. God bless you and keep you held in love, I know you will be <3

    1. Oh thank you so much, friend, for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that hits so close to home. My heart breaks to hear that you had to walk this road with your sister. You’re right – there’s something gained in living life every day. That’s beautiful. Thanks again. Hugs and love xox

  42. That’s a heart-wrenching dilemma, and in waiting on the Lord you’re doing exactly the right thing. As I pray about this, one question comes into my mind. “Why do you want to go back to NYC?” I feel you might find your answer in the motivation that’s urging you to go back there.
    With love
    Penny
    xx

    1. Thank you so much Penny, for this kind note. Yeah, that’s a really powerful question to ask. One that I will definitely take to prayer this morning. thank you for your prayers and kindness.. you are a blessing to me 🙂 big hugs xo

  43. Guilt and fear are a powerful cocktail that is mixed with family ties. The lesson we all learn as parents is that our children stay with us wherever they are.
    I have two sons both live a long way from us but I know that in my heart we want them to have full and fulfilled lives. Because their lives mean more than mine it would hurt me more to think they had made an unnecessary sacrifice due to my failing health (sadly I have a heart and lung condition which continues to deteriorates).
    Being honest it broke my heart to see both of them go but they make me proud when I hear about the great things they achieve through their faith.
    Advice from an old man – talk to your parents, if they agree pray together about your concerns and then work to an agreed strategy. My faith is strengthened by my sons. No matter where we are in the world and what time of day it is we are closer now than we have ever been.

    1. Hi Trotter, thank you so much for sharing this powerful perspective. You’re so right – distance does not negate love. I really needed to read that. And I’m so sorry to hear that about your heart and lungs. I will definitely keep you and your family in my prayers. sending massive hugs and love xox

      1. Praying as a family even over the phone or using social media strengthens family bonds and reinforces the value. Death comes to us all so we face it with courage.

  44. So many prayers for you during this time! I lost my dad in 2012, and I know how hard it is seeing your parent sick. I know the decision of what to do is not easy, but do know that you have many people praying for you!

    1. Oh gosh, Carly, I’m so sorry for your loss. Gosh, my heart just goes out to you. you’re right, it’s not an easy decision. thank you for your prayers and for sharing your story with me. Big hugs to you xo

  45. Praying for you Caralyn for all wisdom and Light from above to help you. Wrestle well in this time of change. God’s and your parents Love is not changing, as it is still given to you. Keep looking as you walk this shadow of death and fear no evil God is with you as He promised.
    d

    1. just had to add this: God is with you Mighty Warrior Caralyn. See The Old Testament story of Gideon. Gideon was hiding from enemies when an angel called him a mighty warrior!

  46. “And sitting on the edge of my bed, listening to my mother weep in the other room, while my own silent tears sear down my cheeks, I can’t help but feel…” … Poetic & beautiful lines.
    May you see and find peace.

  47. Caralyn,

    I remember when I first realized I hadn’t asked because I thought all I needed was to trust in God and He would lead me. That’s when I first realized how very little about myself I knew, and there is so much He wants to tell me! You, what you have shared, have been an integral part of my asking and God teaching me about myself. Thank you.

    As you stand at this fork in the road, remember (and I suspect you know this far better than I, but I’ll say it anyways) that our emotions tell us very real and important things. It is not just something to think through, but to feel through as well…. For what it’s worth.

    God bless you and your mother. You are in my prayers.
    Quanah

  48. You honor your mother by living a full and happy life. Go! She gave you roots and wings so that you can serve God’s purpose in the world. Go in peace, and may the God of Love and Light go with you.

  49. Wow…that’s an incredibly tough spot to be in. I can’t relate exactly, but I’m experiencing a similar degree of uncertainty in my life right now, too…and it isn’t easy or pleasant.

    I’m definitely praying for God to guide you. Praying for your Mom and your family as well!

      1. No need to apologize, sis…its exactly what I needed to read.

        Sometimes, I think we make the mistake of believing that we can only encourage others after we’ve overcome a trial. But some of the greatest encouragement can come when we’re still in the thick of things, not having all of the answers. Much love, and thanks for the prayers!

  50. I lost my mom to cancer is just 6 short months from her diagnosis. Trust me when I tell you that I regret everyday not being there for her more. It sounds like to me God has already answered your prayer and I think you should follow your instincts and stay with your momma. You will never be able to get that time back. Follow your heart and don’t let the fear of the unknown cloud your judgement. God will provide. Much love.

    1. Oh friend, I’m so sorry to hear that. Gosh my heart just goes out to you. That really powerful advice – I will never regret this precious time. Thank you for sharing this with me. Hugs and love xox

      1. Don’t feel sad for me. I had a wonderful mother and am very blessed to have had the time I did have with her. 29 years of pure love and joy. Plus losing her has brought me so much closer in my journey and relationship with God. I am praying for healing for your beautiful mom. XO

      2. I suppose that is the silver lining. I’m so glad that you can look back on that time with a warm heart. thanks again for your prayers. big hugs xox

      3. “Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.”
        ‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭33:3‬ ‭KJV‬‬

  51. So sorry for your tormented heart. But I have to chime in with this – maybe you should really consider staying in Ohio. It sounds to me that even though you love NYC – your heart is really in Ohio. You have connection to this place – Good, Bad and Indifferent and it IS a part of you and rightly so. Born, raised and grown there. Even after NYC – you have grown. I really felt that this needed to be said as I have read along with you for quite some time now. I can “see” what type of person that you really are – you deserve true happiness. Yes – NYC is a great place and holds so much for you but so does your “home”. It’s true – “There’s no place like home” ! I hope you find the answers that you are looking for and I hope you find peace in your heart as well! Good luck and as always – God Bless!

    1. Thank you so much friend. That’s a powerful perspective and I really appreciate you sharing that with me. You’re right, Ohio is home and right now home needs me. NYC will always be there. Thanks for this beautiful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  52. Sometimes we can only do what we can and then it becomes unhealthy for us as well to push in the same direction when it is time to go forward into your life.. In the end it is about love and Im sure your mother appreciates understands the love you have for her . This should be your solace and guilt will not serve you in a healthy way so go forward to where you truly belong trust your intuition ..god.. I will follow you on insta soon!!

  53. Really appreciate your heart in seeking after what God wants. Sometime we ask for God’s guidance, and we really don’t know what to expect. Do we think He will come and sit by us in the coffee shop and explain what He wants, or may be we are looking for the directions to be delivered by FedEx. I am reminded of the story of Elijah, who after killing all the prophets of Baal; ran and hid from Jezebel in a cave in the wilderness. That story (I Kings 19:9-14) says that God did not speak to Elijah from the strong wind, the earthquake, or the fire; but spoke to him with a low whisper. It may be that God is speaking to you in a small, still voice from inside your head. I won’t say that I am positively right, but you really may need to listen.
    Bill Hooten

    1. Hi Bill, thank you so much for this kind response. you’re right, we don’t know what to expect. but we can be 100% certain that it will be good. 🙂 thanks for stopping by. big hugs xo

  54. Life can be challenging with so many decisions to make. Life sometimes sends us into a tail spin and it takes a while to get our bearings back aligned. Thank you for being transparent. I have been wrestling with which direction to take. But wherever you end up and I end up, God is a good Father. He leads gentle and graciously and meets us wherever we are :)! I’ve tried to just enjoy each day even in the unknown and see every season as an adventure. Thanks for sharing your heart… And cry as much as you need — It helps :)!

    1. thanks so much for this encouragement. you’re right – God really is a good father and I can trust where He leads – and it will def be an adventure! hugs xo

  55. Same thing happens to an LDS missionary returning “home” after two years. And some people there won’t let him go. It hurts, and time only makes it worse. Is it better to love and lose than to never have loved at all? Suicidal for me wasn’t until after my heartstrings had been yanked so hard in every direction that there were no directions, anymore. People think, Life Goes On. It doesn’t. Some things forever change people. Others sometimes don’t understand that, don’t want to understand. And therein lies the mental break-down, trying to break down walls of communication breach that can’t be broken, families fractures enemies of one’s own house, where son against father daughter against mother and daughter-in-law against mother in law. For we were told, if we had two coats to sell one and buy a sword. Male or female, either one. Life is war, and there is no semblance of faith without some war, albeit cold, calculating, bloody (although not bloodthirsty) war.

      1. You speak of the “unrest in [your] spirit.” Maybe you just need to let off some steam. Hydro reflective internal empowerment self-to-self meditation or the study of all things fractal. It saddens me to see this TO BE CONTINUED… I thought on the blog scheme a post was already finished before one was ever halfway done. I didn’t know that there was even a second half to most blog posts. You seem to be on an emotion roller coaster ride in your life. I am SO glad I am not you right now, if that helps any. I hope it’s just a girl thing, because I really never want to get so anxious like you’re sounding right here. Good luck with that. I better leave you alone, just in case internet-sponsored anxiety might possibly be contagious.

  56. Sometimes all I can utter in prayer is, “Lord…” In the words of a favorite author of mine (Glennon Doyle Melton) ‘First the pain and then the rising. But there is no rising without the pain. Use it. Use all of it.’ It’s ok to not be ok.

    1. oh gosh, that resonated with me so much – you’re right, sometimes there are no words – that’s where the Holy Spirit comes in and helps. use all of it. i like that. thanks again. big hugs xo

  57. It hurts because we love and care – the only way to avoid these feelings is not to love and care and that is not an option as a follower of Christ – it is a heavy load to carry but we don’t have to carry it alone. If someone said what I just said I think I would smile and thank them, then think but they don’t get it. It is only after the fact that there is time to look at everything and see as heavy as it was I didn’t carry it all.

    1. That’s so true, J. Thank you so much for this encouragement. you’re right – Jesus is the one that is carrying the load for us. what comfort that is. thanks for stopping by. big hugs xox

  58. With my husband in the military, I’ve been living away from my hometown, also in Ohio. Four years ago I said goodbye to family and friends. I learned a lot, traveled and lived in two different states. Two years ago, for my birthday, my aunt sent me a t shirt that said, “My <3 belongs in Ohio." And I'd have to say it's true. Perhaps God has answered you. Perhaps there is more He wants you to know. Guilt should never be a reason we make a decision from because with it comes potential for bitterness. However, what God wants for us will be clear. With your eyes on Him, I pray as well you seek out His answer. His will never just affects us, but those around us. Peace be with you sister 🙂 Christ is with you. No matter the choice or decision. There will be a way.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this. first of all, thank you to your husband for keeping our country safe. His service is so noble. and thank you for the sacrifices you’ve made to allow him to do that. This is really great advice – I’ve got to trust Him. Thank you for your prayers. 🙂 hugs xo

  59. I don’t know what you should do … but I do know this: I am so grateful for the few months I had with my little Marmeee a little over a year ago, but it hurts my heart to know that I left just a few months before she was gone for good. Sometimes I even wonder if she’d have lived longer (or at least more comfortably) if I’d stayed … She drew strength from me. On the other hand, the Hubbit needed me too, and staying away from him indefinitely wasn’t an option. So I have sadness without regrets.

    My story is different from yours. My mom was terminal – we knew it was only a matter of time. Also, I had a strong reason for returning home. I’m sharing this really to offer a perspective … As you decide what to do, listen to your heart. Try, if you can, to set aside guilt, fear, even duty. Which way does love lead?

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that this hit so close to home. Yeah, there are never cut and dry right answers, so we do what we believe is right in the moment. Those months were such a gift to your Marmeee. Thank you again for this powerful perspective. where does love lead — that’s quite a profound question to answer. big hugs xo

  60. I must have missed something, darling: why are you going back to NYC? Why now? Has something happened that you didn’t relate in the essay? Had you set a deadline? What are the details surrounding your decision? your packing today?

    1. Thanks friend, yeah it was just kind of time. We had always set this date as a going back. I have a shoot that I’m going back for the first week of june, and so this was just kind of a natural return point. I think I’m going to go back for the shoot and then come back and check in and play leap-frog for a while. thanks for your support 🙂 it means a lot. hugs xox

      1. I am glad it is not a permanent ‘going back;’ I would have been on the watch for a whale. (Those whale bellies can be dark, trust me.) You do good work in both locations, both situations. Your leap-frogging may fuel interesting insights, as well. Blessings, darling.

  61. You’ve been blessed with a loving relationship and quality time with your mom. No wonder this is so confusing! No one knows the answer but you, and maybe you won’t even know if leaving is the right thing until you are back in NYC. Praying that you will be open to His wisdom. Just keep seeking it, and no doubt it will be revealed to you.

  62. Your story today reminded me of my family and how we moved from Jersey back home to Ohio to be with our family with all of the illness they were suffering from. It’s been five years now and none of us regret the move. Prayers for your family.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that your family is going through illness but I’m so glad that you all have each other. That’s such a beautiful testimony of your love. Thanks for the prayers. Hugs and love xox

  63. I think on some level we are always where we are meant to be. Besides, everything is fluid/temporary/shifting anyway so it helps to accept that…..try not to worry whether you are “doing something wrong”…..given the circumstances that’s not a big possibility!. You’ll figure out how to be with your Mom every day somehow, and I’m pretty sure she would not want you to disregard the things you really do need to do. It will all work out!!!

    1. Thanks for this encouragement. You’re right – nothing is set in store. Things will work out for good. I definitely believe that. Thanks so much. Hugs and love xox

  64. Thank you for your blog. I understand where you are coming from. It’s hard when your Mom isn’t well. It changes you and her. My advice is to not make any big life changing decisions and to follow your heart with this. You realise how important people are and not what used to be. Have a read of Psalm 18 keep strong and God will direct you

  65. I just prayed for you for wisdom, clarity and peace; for your mom, strength, healing and peace. You both will remain in my prayers.

    1. Hi again, friend. thank you so much for your prayers for my mom and I. Wow, that just really spoke to my soul – those are exactly the things that we both need in this moment. Thanks again Jenom. You are a blessing to me. big hugs xox

  66. Asking to see..I love that. It reminds me again of his grace and power perfected in our weakness.

    I don’t think leaving family will ever not be a little sad and painful, and it’s then that I realize just how much my family really means to me, and where home really is.

    So I totally get it, and I feel for you Caralyn. I won’t say I hope you feel better because really, what you’re feeling is your compass, and it will get less with time maybe but only more with distance, so I pray Father gives you peace, and sight, and comfort–and not only for you but for your family. He is holding you all in his hand and you will always be home in his heart [=

    I hope you have a restful week my friend (:

    1. Thank you so much Carson, you’re so kind to say that. Yeah, it’s always sad to leave family. thank you for your prayers. Peace and sight are definitely two biggies I need right now. This was incredibly comforting. thank you, friend. sending big hugs xox

      1. You’re welcome [= and you’ll continue to be in my prayers. No matter how this transition goes, know you’re in Father’s plans. He’s got you [=

  67. This is beautiful. One way to help possibly is to forgive yourself for any judgments you’re aware of … to accept and love yourself as you are …. and to let go, and let God. <3

    I am holding a space of LOVE and LIGHT for you each step of the way.
    God bless you. Take good care of yourself,
    Debbie

  68. Oh, my heart bleeds for you. I immediately stated praying and could feel your bleeding heart. Though God is not the author of confusion, I know from being a grandmother, a mother and a person in need, sometimes we try and make our will God’s will instead of listening to the gentle whispers of His leading. I have prayed that God would speak to your heart loud so you may live with whatever choice you and the Lord decides on. Just know that your mother is one blessed woman to have a daughter that loves like you do. Hugs!!!

    P.S. I cried a Noah’s Flood on your behalf so be well, my friend. Those tears are healing and they are ushering you into the way you should go. God’s holding your hand and paving the way and asking you not to fear…

    1. Oh my gosh, thank you so much Tammy. I’m so sorry this made you cry! I can’t tell you how much I appreciate your prayers. Yes – a loud direction wild be so amazing. Thanks for your kindness and support. You are a blessing to me 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  69. I have no answers, but I live with a similar tension. I do understand. If I didn’t I wouldn’t write that. I’m not going to elaborate on my situation, but it involves other human beings too. Life is indeed like an onion. There are many levels to our brokenness, and there are many levels to the solutions we find. There is not a solution to every problem, but thanks be to my Father Who is present in both.

    1. Hi Daniel, thank you so much for this thoughtful response. you’re right – life is like an onion – I like that. Know that you’re in my prayers during your situation. Hang in there. sending massive hugs xox

  70. Oh, Hun. I can tell your heart is aching and my heart aches for you! Your situation is similar to what has been on my mind lately. My father in law is very sick and we we live an ocean apart–literally. He is in Texas and we are in Hawaii. I feel guilty for living so far away. I feel guilty we can’t be near them during this season. However, I have had to trust that God is using me here and this is where I need to be. I find some comfort in that. You’re on the right track in seeking for God’s leadership. Sending hugs and prayers….

    1. oh thank you so much for your kindness and prayers. it seriously means so much. I’m so sorry that this is hitting so close to you. i will definitely keep your father in law and you and your family in my prayers. Yes, let’s trust the Father. big hugs xo

  71. Jesus said, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me (John 10:10).” God still speaks to His children. So to me, the question becomes “have I heard from God?” If so, you obey. If not certain, the Lord has the power to make Himself known. Perhaps, it is time of being still and knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10). A time of being alone with God and His Word until you know you have heard one way or the other. “This is what the Lord says, he who made the earth, the Lord who formed it and established it—the Lord is his name: ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know (Jeremiah 33:2‭-‬3). The life principle for what do you until you know that you have heard from God it’s to keep doing the last thing you heard…that is obedience. The most important thing for life decisions is knowing

  72. I can empathize with your feelings on this, especially given the complexity of the emotions you are going through. There is light at the end of the tunnel and though it’s difficult to reconcile “all of this”, try to rest in the knowledge that God truly will not give us more than we can handle (even when we feel like this is the case). While the road to recovery is a challenge, you still have her here with you on this earth and that in of itself is a blessing. We don’t all get this chance; I speak from experience right now as I struggle to come to terms with the shock and anguish of losing someone so dear to me, so suddenly. At the end of the day, there is no rhyme or reason, just the journey. Blessings and may God grant you the peace that comes with resting in Him.

  73. you have heard from God. It is His plan and purpose that you want to walk in. Sometimes it is a matter of humbling bowing, surrendering to His will and expressing that to Him. Father, I die to my will and only want yours, reveal your good, pleasing, and perfect will and I will walk in it to Your glory! The last option is you know you have heard…to go or to stay, walk by faith and not sight, praying every step of the way. Ask the Lord to fix every heart and go before you preparing your heart and way…whether it is stay with mom or leave for NY. Never forget, God already knows and thru His Word and Spirit, He will correct your path. XOXOX

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful response. you’re so right – surrendering to Him is a beautiful thing. And He will correct me if I choose wrong. Thank you for this encouragement. big hugs xox

  74. Your post draws me back to a similar time in my life. I can feel the struggle in your well written words. I guess that because we often cannot reverse what has taken place, all we can hope for is to find peace in it. I found no other peace to suffice situations like these but God’s peace. I pray that you discover your place in all this.

  75. First I want to let you know that I’m sending you love and light during this extremely difficult time. I’m praying for you and your mother. I won’t presume to know what you should do but I think that what you’re doing, “Giving it to God” is an important first step. Sit in quiet and just Be and the right answer will come to you. The only advice I would give is to try to leave your own perceptions of what your responsibilities and duties are out of the thought process. Too often we allow these perceptions to drown out God’s message. I wish you peace and healing in whatever decision God guides you to. <3

  76. I know that feeling of uncertainty and lack of direction, and there’s nothing easy about trusting God to light the way. Because this can also mean He might want us to sit in the dark for some time in order to test out faith. Time and time again God uses this method to test the heroes of faith in the Bible (see Hebrews 11) and, in the end, each was rewarded for their faithfulness. As I am waiting for God to lead me to the right teaching job at the right school, I’m torn apart by the feelings of uncertainty and frustration the waiting brings. And yet, deep within my soul, I know God has the best, even the perfect, plan for my life. I hope you find encouragement in His Word, His People, and His Plan. Cheers and God bless!

  77. Your mother wants what’s best for you. Honor her by honoring that, too.

    Is she able to tell you what she wants?

    I hope you can find the truth of what you need, and what she needs, beneath the noise of expectations.

    I once enjoyed a lively discussion with my rabbi about “listening” vs. “hearing.” One is active (I listen on purpose!) while one is passive (I hear what occurs nearby.) “To look” and “to see” bear a similar relationship…

    Are you looking, or is God providing something for you to see?

    My thoughts and prayers are with you as you grapple with these troubles.

    1. That’s such great advice. thank you so much for sharing that, Willo. Listening vs hearing — now there’s some food for thought. And thank you for your prayers — that is so appreciated. big hugs xox

  78. I definitely know how you feel. My grandmother is a double stroke survivor. I blamed myself for a long time because I was her caregiver when it happened. The thing is, I prayed to God to relieve me from it because I wanted to move on with my life. I just wanted Him to send someone else to takeover. He did, but under the worst circumstances. God has healed me from many things since then and guilt is one of them.

    Our parents want to say they need us, but sometimes don’t know how because we’ve needed them for so long. I had a near death experience thirty years ago. It forces your perspective into a tiny box. Life is never the same. You can’t help but wonder how much time you have left on earth. Your mother is afraid right now, having to confront her “new normal.” More than anything she needs your moral support to remind her she’s not going through this alone. I’ll be praying for you and your family.

    1. Thanks Mari, I really appreciate you sharing your story. I’m sorry this hits so close to home. But I’m so glad that you’ve experienced His healing. Thank you for your prayers. Big hugs to you xox

  79. Do what’s best for you! Your mom knows that your journey is yours and you have to make your own choices. Now, that could mean leaving or staying, I don’t know because I’m not you. 🙂 Sometimes we come into situations where our head says one thing and our heart says another. We need to find the space in between where they meet, find the compromise. You can do it – humans are natural problem solvers! No matter what happens, remember that you WILL be okay, and you CAN change your mind!! You’re not going to be trapped by your own choice.

  80. I’ve been in a similar situation and let me tell you briefly how my decision affected me… I’ve decided to move out to a different city and now in a different country. Remembering the cause and effect feels very heavy and knowing that I’m even farther away makes it worse because we will never know the day of tomorrow, perhaps we can do better? We will never know until we drive over the holes on the road.

  81. I can relate to your feelings. When my Mother died my Dad who was beginning the cruel twilight zone old age sometimes brings seemed to move further into that darkness. I was working overseas and went through the same emotions as you. However though it made him sad to see us go he refused requests for him to join one of his children for a long time afterward. In practical terms each of us children had families to support and could not pull out of our jobs to come back to a town where there were no jobs. That would not have been right or fair for our own families. Good sense dictates otherwise. About a year later when neighbours became alarmed and notified us, Dad did consent to “pay a visit” to his daughter who kept him there under one pretext after another until he passed on. While you may not have quite those obligations you have to get on with your life and contribute toward appropriate care in the home your Mom is familiar with. Staying in your old home town is not the best option for you. However the fact you care will be so much appreciated by your Mom who would want the best life has to offer for you. That’s what Mom’s do!

    1. Thann you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry you had to walk that difficult journey with your father. I’m so sorry for your loss. You’re right, that’s what parents do. Thank you for your thoughtful words. Hugs and love xox

  82. I have been thinking about you and your decisions about Ohio and NYC – hoping and Praying that you have found resolve. Wishing the best as always and just know that God is in control!

  83. Stay strong and follow your heart. If you feel that torn about leaving your mom then maybe now’s not the time to go. Maybe, just maybe, the reason you’re hesitant to leave is God’s way of saying that you’re not done helping your mom. Either way, God will give you a sign. Until then, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your mom. Sending nothing but positivity your way!!!

  84. God will give you the answer. My heart is with you. I lost my mother almost 6 years ago, and I’d give anything just to hold her fragile hand again.

  85. Hi Caralyn. I have not read through the (hundreds!) of comments, but I’ll guess you have many prayers, maybe opinions, maybe even a consensus. I’m here to mostly say that I hope you are feeling better. A lot of decisions and actions involve wrenching and heartache, and if only we had that 20/20 hindsight in the present, right? I’ll guess that you have good reasons to return to NYC, that you can fly back often to be with your family, and – since nothing’s written in stone here – you can go back and live at home whenever, if you want or need to do so in the future. It’s Great that your brother and sister-in-law moved so close to your parents; now they will get the gift of giving, as you did by being there ; ) Best wishes, more prayers.

    1. Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. You’re so right – nothing is written in stone. That’s such a comfort. And yeah, I have some really great siblings. 🙂 thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  86. God is helping all along the way. It sounds too like your Mom does enjoy your time there but also knows you have to live and breathe too. She doesn’t sound like the kind who makes it “all about her” and her every everything. She knows you are a beautiful person and doesn’t take you for granted for having your own life as well. You are amazing which makes you beautiful inside and out!! xoxoxoxo

  87. Oh sweet girl. I am praying for you today! When we are at our weakest, God shows His mighty strength to us. Sometimes, being at a point of depletion is where God works best! May He give you comfort, strength, and His peace today! God bless you, and know that many are thinking of you and lifting you up in prayer! You GOT THIS – because HE’S GOT THIS in control!! ~ Allison

  88. My heart broke reading this. I’m so sorry you’re going through this… please know I’m praying for you. I don’t know what His plan is, but always remember that He is right by your side and will carry you through this. He loves you so much. ❤

    Much love and huge hugs,
    Robyn 💜

    1. Hi Robyn, thank you so much for your prayers. it really means a lot 🙂 Yeah, He really is right next to me…what a comforting thought. thanks for this beautiful encouragement. big hugs xo

  89. My second thought (because my first is never empathy) is to say that this must be so difficult for you, but I know you will follow the lead of the One who calls you to Him. So try to let go.

    But for my first thought, allow me to engage in some theological engineering (can I trademark that term? 😀 ) . What took you to NYC? What we He sharing with you then, or what told you that was the right decision? Has anything changed there, or in the calling? Do you think you’ve done what He wants there? Is there still a need to remain there? I”m totally sure that you’ve asked yourself all of these and more….but sometimes it’s useful to have someone else ask you, so you have to see your own answer.

    Sorry for the theological engineering…..not a great first response (where problem solving is generally my first response) but at least I led off with empathy 🙂

    Have a good weekend sister. xo

    1. Theological engineering — i like that 🙂 Thanks so much, for these profound perspectives Jeff. Those are some great questions to think and pray about. I really appreciate it 🙂 hugs xox

  90. I’m actually going through something similar. I’ll be moving to Orange County from my small town in the mountains.

    It’s a little scary. It isn’t the first time I’ve left. I’ve managed to find my way back here three times now. But any time we move forward it takes faith.

    I’m a little afraid because I know that there will be new battles, and new temptations waiting there for me. And it’s going to take faith that God will provide.

    Anyways, just thought I would share that I kinda know how you feel. Guess we both will just have to have faith that God will show us the way. Also, I’ve been following you for a while but never commented. So hi by the way! 😀

    1. Thanks for sharing your story. I will definitely keep you in my prayers and you transition to this new chapter. I fully believe that God will provide:) and give you a new adventure along the way. Yes! Thanks so much for reading and leaving a comment! It’s truly great to hear from you!! Sending massive hugs and love xox

  91. Short Answer = Stay this time won’t come back again ever. So regret your whole life later, better to have a meaning in your life is more important. Unless you have too due to official commitment, I didn’t know how you are living for earning.

    But if you don’t have issue, because I am observing, you are getting the meaning of life day in and day out. Life us telling you it’s colors, which you should hold and see.

    So stay you will recover yourself. Perhaps that’s why God has bring you back.

    1. thanks friend. i think you’re right. i’m back in nyc now, but i think i’m going to go back this coming week. i just need to be there with her. my heart is not at rest, and you’re right – i’m only going to live to regret it. thanks friend. hugs x

      1. It’s about enjoying your life and living your life rather than spending your life. We all are spending our life’s and making our mind say we are enjoying.

        The true happiness is where you get the tranquillity in your heart. And from your post it sound it’s at your home. Where you can teach me tennis and banging your head as to who has become your student 😂😂😂😂😂😂

  92. Sometimes it’s difficult to set guilt apart from genuine anguish. I rarely feel guilt and I owe that to God (although that makes me sound like a psychopath too lol). Now genuine anguish does come as a sign that we haven’t yet made a decision that is good for us. As a problem solver, I’d highly recommend testing your peace ‘compass’ by pointing it at different directions. Truth be told, often times we need to choose between two evils – just keeping in mind that there’s always some level of gradation: ‘bad’ is still better than ‘horrible’. 🙂

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