Three Seconds

It was the summer before my seventh grade year. Which, if it’s possible to peak at age 12, then I think that may have been the case for me.

But I digress.

I’ll never forget the summer my mother and I rode Drop Zone at Kings Island. Imagine the Seattle Space Needle with a ring of outward facing seats around the outside, where you’re harnessed in with your feet dangling.

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You get lifted up 27 stories in the air, and then get dropped and freefall at speeds over 68 mph.

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I did not want to go. Roller coasters? Absolutely. Love ’em. But a freefall? That high? No thanks, I’d rather stick pins in my eyes.

But I remember standing there, beneath this big, imposing needle, hearing a wave of shrieks every time it dropped, and my mom had this determined look in her eye. We had been watching for a few minutes. And she looked at me and said, “Three seconds. That’s all it is, three seconds.” And I asked her what she meant. And she explained that, sure the ride to the top took about 2 minutes, but that the actual free fall was only three seconds.

And without blinking, she said,

You can endure anything for three seconds.”

Those sound like some pretty famous last words if I ever heard any.

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Well, we ended up riding it. I nearly gave myself a hernia, but the whole time, I kept thinking, “Three seconds. Three seconds. You can endure anything for three seconds.” 

And I did. And then proceeded to brag about it to my friends until about Christmas time that year.

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I’ve had a bit of a difficult readjustment since coming back to New York. My mom’s stroke, it really changed me. Changed how I see things. Changed what I value.

And I think I’m going through some growing pains, if I’m being honest.

I did something I shouldn’t have tonight: I’ve saved the last voicemail she left me in December before her stroke, and tonight I listened to it for the first time. I wanted to hear her voice – her pre-stroke voice.

I wanted to her the inflection and cadence and intonation that I yearn to hear again.

But I think what I’ve been wrestling with in my heart here, is a bit of grieving. And quite honestly, hopelessness.

We all go through different seasons in life. And seasons of suffering are part of the human experience. But we can persevere, because much like my Drop Zone experience, we can endure anything for three seconds.

But what if it’s longer? And what if that season has no foreseeable end? What if that season has become the new normal?

I have been grieving that here recently. I miss my mom. I miss how things used to be before her stroke. I miss her voice.

God, this was supposed to be just a three second interval. I can handle three seconds. Why did You give us this cross? Lord, I’m angry at You. I feel like You’ve abandoned me. I feel like You’ve locked me outside and I’m desperately banging at the gate.

I’m ready to wake up and have this all have been a terrible dream.

Lord, where the hell are You?

I don’t have an answer to this post.

In fact, after typing that, I snapped my laptop shut, and willed myself to a fitful night’s sleep.

Waking up the next morning, bleary eyed and groggy, I did what I always do, first thing in the morning…I checked Facebook.

And what was the first thing on my News Feed, but this song. It’s a mashup of my all-time two favorite worship songs, Oceans and You Make Me Brave.

So I took a listen, and as the tears streamed down my cheeks, I knew that God had heard me. I knew that I wasn’t alone. I knew that He’s with me right now during my fear.


So I wanted to share it with you. Please, take a listen – it will move your heart. (I’ve attached the lyrics). “Where…fear surrounds me, You never fail, and You won’t start now.

God will always find us in our pain. Even if it’s in a more non-conventional medium, like a FB newsfeed, He will find a way to comfort His children.

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It’s the following night now. I’m back at my laptop with a smidge more clarity and the frame of mind that isn’t clouded with bitter tears and resentment.

I think I listened to that song about 28 times on repeat today, and I’m not even exaggerating.

Here’s the ending I couldn’t come up with last night:

I was only half right about my mom.

Because it’s true, my mom is different from who she was before her stroke.

But. Different is can be good too.

The woman she’s become is one hell of a fighter.

She is a survivor.

My mom is brave. She is strong. She is determined. Persistent. She is a hard worker and won’t settle for anything less than her best.

She is unconquerable.

And she is improving.

Who am I to rush an intricate, magnificent, precious work of artistry?

Yes, the stroke may have dealt some challenges, but I had been solely focusing on the negative.

I would have never thought that the two most challenging periods of my own life – my Ulcerative Colitis flares and my anorexia – would one day become the source of my greatest strength?

I need to let God do His work. Because I can’t see the whole picture. I can’t see the artistry at work. I don’t know His end game.

This is the struggle before the butterfly breaks forth from the cocoon.

Patience, Caralyn. Trust. Hope. Rest.

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown, where feet may fail.
And there I find You in the mystery, 
In oceans deep my faith will stand.

And I will call upon your name.
And keep my eyes above the waves.
When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours, and You are mine. 

You grace abounds in deepest waters.
Your sovereign Hand will be my guide.
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me, 
You never fail, and You won’t start now.

As your love, in wave after wave, crashes over crashes over me. 
For You are for us, You are not against us,
Champion of Heaven, You made a way for all to enter in. 

Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders.
Let me walk upon the waters, wherever You would call me. 
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger in the presence of my Savior. 

You make me brave. 
You make me brave.
You call me out beyond the shore into the waves.
You make me brave
You make me brave
No fear can hinder now the promises You made. 

My soul will rest in Your embrace for I am Yours, and You are mine. 

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354 thoughts on “Three Seconds

  1. Thanks so much for sharing this Sister in Christ Jesus-Yeshua Carolyn!! God Bless you and your Family members and Friends!!

    Love 💕 Always and Shalom ( Peace ), YSIC \o/

    Kristi Ann

  2. Just an hour ago I wept at a young life lost. It is so hard to trust God because his ways are not our ways. This is a very timely post for me. Thank you for sharing the struggle of trusting God when it’s HARD. Thank you for not becoming bitter. Thank you for choosing to see the good. I aim to do the same.

    1. Oh Amy, I am so so sorry for your loss. That is so tragic, and my heart just goes out to you. Know that you will be in my prayers and in my thoughts. big big hugs x

    2. I’m sorry for your loss, Amy. I completely agree about how hard it is to trust God when we can’t see how He can be in the midst of a tragedy or on-going pain. One thing I do when I’m in a place like that is to think on God’s characteristics. I write them down. Then, when any of them don’t fit what I’m going through, or what’s going on, I take that to God. (It doesn’t surprise him, since He knows everything.) I tell him I don’t see how these go together and ask him to show me. He may or he may not, but it does keep me talking to him.

  3. Sounds like a lot going in in your head. There been a lot going on in mine in recent years and I’ve struggled to work out life and what its about and I don’t have any answers. But Ill be thinking of you as you go through this time 😊

      1. Brin jumbles are good sometimes. It’s how we get it out and try and process. I hope you find your peace soon. Huge hugs xo

    1. Thank you so much Christiana, a deep favorite of mine as well. there’s something so moving about the music and the lyrics…very comforting. Thanks for sharing this with me! I look forward to watching it. big hugs x

  4. Pastor, it’s ok to be angry with God. God knows and understands and is not leaving you or your Mom. His Holy Spirit is with you both! When I did care ministry in the hospital for my church, I talked with many who were angry with God for their spouse being there and possibly terminally ill. It gets confusing but I come back to the morning after Jesus died for us on the cross. There had to be confusion and anger. People just witnessed something they never ever expected. I’m sure in addition, there was anger. Keep talking with God and know His Holy Spirit will never ever leave you or your Mom. You are in my prayers. Mom too. I can only imagine your emotions after being home with her during her recovery and then having to leave. I am so proud of you. You are inspirational as is your Mom. Say hi to your Mom for me and be mad for as long as you need to be!
    It’s ok. God already knows and is waiting to talk with you at any time!

    1. Thanks Rick, I really needed to hear this tonight. Thank you. You’re right – He has left us His Spirit and we can rest in that. So true – we just have to look to what happened after three days of death: New Life. This is such great advice. thank you for your continued prayers. you’re a great friend. big hugs xox

  5. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4
    Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.

    Caralyn, even though we never enjoy, nor do we desire to do times like your Mom and your entire family are going through, we know that as Christ Followers, He is with us.
    Think of the even stronger testimony your Mom, Dad, and you are going to have, for the Glory of Jesus.
    Even though we wonder at times, we can rest assured in the knowledge that Father, Son, and Spirit are with us, and carrying us through the rough times.
    God’s Blessings to all your family, Caralyn, you are a strong group, in Christ, and overcomers in Christ.
    Luv, 🌹❤️😘
    George

    1. Thanks so much George. That is such a comforting verse. I really appreciate you sharing that with me. You’re so right, He is with us, and I just have to remember that during the storm. He will carry us. Thanks for your kindness. hugs x

  6. The thing I like about your blog is the raw honesty it displays. You articulate what others struggle with and that helps them to understand they are normal and share the experience with others. In essence your blogs are often a mini sermon. All need to allow the grieving process to work its course. To do otherwise impacts on health negatively. Keep up the ministry you engage in through your blog.

    1. Thanks so much, Ian. that is my deepest prayer – that it will resonated with even one person and let them know they’re not alone 🙂 You’re right – it is a process. So true. Thanks for your kindness. you’re a great friend. big hugs x

  7. Wow!!! I’m speechless! What a beautiful testimony! Thank God for you, your three seconds and your mom. May God continue to strengthen you with might on your inner being.

    1. oh gosh TL, thank you so much for your kind words. I am so touched by that. And thanks for your prayers. it means the world. I thank God for my mom too 🙂 Big hugs to you x

  8. “And I will call upon your name.
    And keep my eyes above the waves.
    When oceans rise my soul will rest in Your embrace
    For I am Yours, and You are mine.”

    Just reading those words gives me goosebumps. So beautiful.

  9. Absolutely gorgeous song that speaks to my soul as well. I can relate to you and your situation more than you’ll ever know. My husband has been battling a health diagnosis and so, I also have felt all those emotions! Be forgiving of yourself when you have tough days. I know it’s something I’ve had to learn too. God bless you and remember He is always walking right beside us in our pain.

    1. Thanks so much. Yeah that song is so powerful. i love it. I’m so sorry you’re going through a similar situation. I’ll definitely keep you and your husband in my thoughts and prayers. big hugs x

  10. God bless you… I went through it with my Mom’s dementia and again when my first wife was dying from idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. I asked God why, over and over. As my wife got worse I started asking God to take her home. She came home under hospice care and passed just 2 weeks shy of our 35th anniversary. I know what you are feeling, and it’s OK. Hugs 🙂

  11. I’ve kept my sister’s last two voice mails to me. She passed a year ago from a rare ovarian cancer … peritoneal ovarian cancer. She was 58 years old. She passed 2 months after my mother passed with Myeloma, bone marrow cancer. I can relate to your frustration and yes anger at God. Why, God, did you take my Father, Mother, Grandmother, and Sister … all within five years? It is just me and my remaining sister left … and she and I are very distant … she lives five blocks away and I have only seen her maybe four times this past year. I wanna say, God, why did you leave me with her !!??? He has His reasons, I know … I just haven’t figured them out yet.

    I truly understand your position as caretaker. All of a sudden the roles reverse. But it sounds as if you get your strength directly from your Mother. Yes, I do believe what you went through with your disease has equipped you to handle the heartache and struggle you are now dealing with. Your Mother is in good hands. God has blessed you both with chances to care for each other. Bless you in your doubts … God is OK with that. He loves you and knows You are His. I’m glad He showed you through music. What a sweet way to hear God’s Word.
    Cherish each day. love, Jan

    1. Oh gosh Jan I am so sorry to hear this. Thank you for sharing it with me. Gosh my heart just goes out to you. There are always so many questions and emotions during the grieving process. Sending all my love friend. Xoxo

    2. Jan, it is high time you and your sister make peace and find it in both your hearts to love one another. Pay her a visit today and give her a heartfelt hug. Nobody can resist that.

      1. There is strength in being vulnerable. At Camp Pendleton there was a plaque that says pain is weakness leaving the body. On the surface, it looks as if you’re a toughy you can endure anything. As others erased their humanity I embraced it. Fear is an emotional pain and I felt human when it occurred. A Marine, I feel doesn’t want to die just understands that fear is human and in a hard place it has to be endured, sometimes ignored. Haha. Three seconds is about what you have in a hostile situation and it’s about the same reaction time in a car crash. It’s a really long time to be scared.

      2. I was always in trouble I wasn’t the best soldier. I would stick up for my guys because I knew they were the one’s to fish me out of the ocean or take a bullet not the senior guys. It is not my Grandpa’s military. My Native tribe, fought until there were only a few hundred left from thousands. Then, we became scouts hunting other tribes until we were also displaced. No land and no money is how most people end up there, in the military. Life, has a way of repeating your fears over and over.

      3. Maybe that’s the secret. Letting go, is letting go of all control you have of all outcomes. Sure, there’s a lot of messed up unfavorable events. Control what you can control and worry less of the unfortunate events that are out of reach. I don’t have a house, car, or huge amounts of credit. I don’t need those things to live so I don’t have them.

      4. Our generation wants change but with every bad habit and entitlement of previous generations. It really doesn’t work like that maybe, just for a few. It is a single effort in a world that that for the most part does not care. We are just like we were when Roman soldiers ransacked houses looking for Jesus.

  12. Oh, Caralyn, so many emotions coursing through me as I read this latest post. As we trust His process, he gives us patience to endure the season. And hope abounds along with peace, comfort and joy. Continue to tether yourself to HIM, he won’t let you down. ✝️💟✝️

    1. Thanks so much Terese. You’re right – He gives us patience. I need to work on working on that. Haha thanks for the kindness. You’re a great friend 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  13. I can relate – I LOVE roller coasters, but I will never set foot on a free fall ride again. I rode the Drop Zone at Kings Dominion here in Virginia twice in one day, and my stomach felt like it was in my throat. Never again!

    I cried when I listened to that mash-up. “Oceans” became one of my favorite songs a few years ago when I first sang it at church, and then at Carolina Cross Connection, and then Youth Week – It’s been a recurring song in my United Methodist church. So many of the kids love it and relate to it!

    I can’t wait to buy your book!!

    1. Thanks Laura Beth! Yeah it is a hauntingly beautiful song. So moving. So powerful. It’s my new all time favorite. Thanks for your kind words! Hope you have a beautiful weekend. Hugs and love xox

  14. It’s ironic that you post this tonight, because I had a similiar occurrence about a week ago. 🙂 It’s so amazing the way the Lord hears and answers our prayers, and tells us what we need to hear when we need to hear it. I’m praying for you!! And I also love the song Oceans; it’s comforted me more times than I can count. Sending you lots of prayers, hugs, and love!

    1. Thanks so much Robyn. I’m glad this hit home with you. You’re so right – He does hear us and comforts us. Thanks for your prayers and kindness, friend. Big big hugs xox

  15. You’re a strong fighter too Caralyn, God isn’t finished working with you and in you yet, and an extreme amount of encouragement to you should be that while your mother suffered something horrible, God used it for good to make the both of you stronger and that He also isn’t ready to call your mom home yet, that He still has something great in store for her and through her, God isn’t willing to call her out of your life either because you still need her godly presence in your life to lean on.

    ~Tom

    1. Hey Tom, thanks for this. You’re right – God’s not finished and I need to not rush His divine work. I really needed to hear this. Thank you. You’re a great friend. Hugs and love xox

  16. Reading this and thinking, ‘where was this post when my dad was sick?’ Which would’ve been impossible, since that was over five years ago, but still, thank you for being raw and honest. I relate most to the wondering how long ____ is supposed to last. For me, three seconds turned into three years, and then some after my dad passed. One month from tomorrow, it’ll have been four years, and I still find myself screaming why some days. But the one thing I have consistently noticed, is that God continuously finds ways to show up and remind me of Himself. For you, it’s Oceans/You Make Me Brave; for me, it’s No Longer Slaves. 🙂

    1. Hi friend, I’m so sorry that you had to walk a similar journey with your dad. I’m so glad it resonated with you. I’ll definitely keep you in my prayers, friend. I know time doesn’t necessarily heal or make things better – just different. I love no longer slaves too. It’s another really powerful song. Sending big big hugs xox

  17. The 14c anchoress Julian of Norwich wrote:
    “What, do you wish to know your Lord’s meaning in this thing?
    Know it well, love was his meaning.
    Who reveals it to you?
    Love.
    What did he reveal to you?
    Love.
    Why does he reveal it to you?
    For love.
    Remain in this and you will know more of the same.
    Rest assured. All will be well. All manner of things shall be well.”

    This sure helped me.

  18. :):) Yep God even uses FB :):) He can and does everything. I love that you were struggling, well not that you were struggling 🙂 but that you talked to God, and miraculously He gave you the answers 🙂 I have witnessed such a growth in you, in the past 5 or 6 months, since I’ve been reading your blog. The Almighty is working with you, blessing you, and He fights for you, always. Reading some of the comments, this post has helped more people that you will probably ever know. Big hugs xoxo

    1. Thanks Margaret! Yes even Facebook! Thank you for such kind words. I am filled with so much gratitude that you would read my words. It really means a lot. Thanks for taking the journey with me. Sending such big hugs xox

  19. This moved me so much. I hope your Mother recovers soon and stays strong. You’ve done very well for someone who’s gone through this pain, to come out of the fog and see the positive in these things. All the very very best to you.

    1. Thanks so much Pradita. I’m so glad this resonated with you. Thanks for your kind words for my mom and I. I will definitely pass along your kindness to her. Sending such big hugs xox

  20. You got this because the Lord has got you…you can get through ANYTHING because Jesus has walked before you and took care of it all. He’s got you. It’s time to infuse yourself in his word, praise Him, and stand in faith. I lift you and your mother up for healing, comfort, and whatever else y’all need.

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 that’s such an important perspective to remember – He was walked the road before us. Thanks for your prayers and kindness. Means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  21. Wonderful post and how I relate. My Mom passed away two years ago this past March. I always say, “It is not her I miss so much, it is her voice. If I could only hear her call me Sis one more time.” I know what it is like to yearn for something I will never hear again, until I join her in heaven. My Mom also had Alzheimer’s. Talk about losing the Mother you always knew???? Something happened.

    See she could remember things way, way back, but could not remember anything which happened in the last minute. So I knew she could no longer live in my world, but I had to live in hers. She begin to tell me stories which I had never heard, when me and my siblings were small. Things about her and Daddy. Daddy confirmed they were true.

    So instead of longing for the only Mother I ever knew, I loved the one she became to me. See she remembered what I could not, as I was too little. She gave to me things about my family life, I would have never of known about, otherwise. At that point I always called her, “The mother I do not remember.”

    We always want to be that child. That child who was loved and protected by their Mother. That unconditional love and the care they provided for us in life. There is no greater security. Then life comes in and all of a sudden, we have to be that care giver. We have to do what is best for them. Our lives at times, fades away within it all. It is hard to watch them suffer, as they did us when we were kids.

    Now you take what she instilled in you and give it back to her. Learn to love the Mother she is now. Keep the Mother she was in your heart, go forward with the one which has been brought into your life, now. You will never regret it. You must live in her world now, just as she lived in yours from the day you were born, until present.

    Take care and all I have to say is this. She produced a wonderful daughter and human being. One who cares and loves. That is the part of her you will always want to hold dear in your heart. Love you and God Bless, SR

    1. Hi SR, thank you so much for sharing this. I am so sorry for your loss. Gosh, my heart just goes out to you. conditions of the mind are often the hardest to deal with. I am so grateful for the beautiful wisdom and perspective you’ve blessed me with here. You have an incredible heart and spits and that shines through. Love the Mother she is now. I love that so much. This brought me to tears. Thanks you. thank you thank you friend. you are a blessing to me. big hugs x

  22. Caralyn, I dearly love your blog <3 We are all discovering things/sides of ourselves, strength and other attributes we knew not of. I contend that when we set foot on the path with God we are being sculpted to be of maximum service to His will.

  23. Beautiful song! If only things could stay the same and bad things didn’t happen but sadly that is not the way life goes but without struggle there is no gain and god only gives us what we can handle . You both are such strong women you will endure . Thinking of you.

    1. thank you so much friend. you’re right – that’s unfortunately not the way life goes, but you’re right – God will help us endure 🙂 thanks for your kind ness. hugs x

  24. ‘God will find us in our pain’ – so thankful for that reminder friend – thanks once again for your honestly and opening up your life to encourage others

  25. This is courageous, and beautiful, and filled with depth. The Holy Spirit is in the house.
    I’ve been down the road of grieving, and hopelessness over the illness of somone close. My wife nearly died from cancer, and took years to recover from a bone marrow transplant. Fear does try to take control, and for me it wasn’t a matter of conquering it. I barely survived the horror of everything. It does change you, and perhaps we can be changed in a positive way. I think the key is a matter of trust and faith. I’ve only been coming back for the past couple of years. And being able to accept love is also so essential.
    This is an absolutely wonderful post.

    1. oh wow, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I am so sorry that you’ve had to walk this road. I’m glad that your wife is okay . that’s a powerful way to look at it: a matter of trust and faith. That really puts a lot of things in perspective. thanks again for sharing this and for your kind words. Know that you and your family are in my prayers. big hugs x

  26. This blog reminds me of my late grandmother. She called me 2 weeks before her passing sharing with me about my mum and and my aunt. This is during her stroke and being a tough lady she walked towards the phone and made me this call. More than 10 years after her passing, her words still rings in my head. I often blamed myself for not spending enough time with her but concentrated on my career. Till the day on her death bed, calling out for me when I was working in Australia, I was such a coward and thinking that my grandma will survive as she survived stomach cancer, lung cancer and ovarian cancer. Such as tough lady will not face the death bed so soon at the age of 74, the truth that she had been poisoned by the caretaker whom we hired to take care of her.

    The lesson here is we do not know when our loved ones will leave us but we should cherish their presence and spend time with them.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing this with me. Gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. And I am just heart sick to hear that she was poisoned. My heart just goes out to you. I cannot begin to imagine the heart ache you and your family endured. that’s really powerful advice. thank you friend. sending big hugs xox

  27. Caralyn, everything I’ve tried to write to you tonight comes out lousy. I’m simply glad that you have such a great relationship with both your parents! Remember that I keep you and her in my thoughts and prayers. Big hugs to you tonight!

    1. Hey Jeff, aw, you’re the greatest. Thank you friend. Sometimes we don’t need words 🙂 kindred spirits are like that 🙂 grateful for your friendship. hugs x

      1. Thanks for your kind words. Also, I saw an interesting article this week. Sent you an email with link and thoughts. It might be grist for BBB!

      2. Oh nice! yeah, i have to check my email still today — the day got away from me! eek! can’t wait to check it out 🙂 hope you’re having a good day. thinking about you and Julie!! x

      3. When I get caught up in the office or I hit 5:00 I’ll send you an update on how I’m doing. Good and bad news – which beats all bad every day of the week…and twice on Sundays! 🙂

  28. I don’t share your beliefs, Caralyn; but, I do share your human feelings, loves, family ties, challenges, strengths, kindnesses and human foibles. I thoroughly enjoyed reading your post, which is filled with love; and wish you all the strength needed to conquer fear and grief…
    Many blessings to you…
    xoxoxo

    1. Hi Carolyn, thank you so much for your kind words. I’m so glad this resonated with you. You’re right – love brings us all together 🙂 it’s a really beautiful things. sending such big hugs xo

  29. Now I know you as Caralyn. Your post illustrates the topsy turvey jumbled up confusing ball of emotions that grieving produces.

  30. Beautiful !! We are all the Lord’s workmanship and He makes all beautiful in His time. But some He makes sparkle sooner than others. The Lord’s fingerprints in your life, of giving you so much understanding of Him, is something beautiful to behold. He has blessed you! May He continue to bless you, so richly!

  31. I loved that line, “You can endure anything for three seconds”. So true in life. Mom’s know just the right words to make us feel brave, protected and loved. We all go through peaks and valleys in our lives; sometimes the struggle to climb up to the top can be quite cumbersome. It tests us and sometimes along the way we feel a sense of hopelessness. Just remember that God won’t abandon us even in our darkest times. So just have faith and stay strong when things seem unbearably impossible. You never know how strong you are until strong is the only choice you have.

    1. Thanks Mark. Yeah, my mom is full of pack-a-punch one liners 🙂 you’re so right about mom’s – they’re the best. Amen to that – God won’t abandon us. thanks for your encouragement. it really means a lot. big hugs x

  32. Tell you what, change your perspective angle: your mother is alive, clear voice or not.
    Six years ago, my truly angelic mother – my biggest supporter and number one fan – died stupidly following surgery at the other end of the world. At that time, my third child was only 8 months old, I absolutely had to finish up writing my doctoral thesis (according to newly introduced rules combined with maternity leave, I could not postpone it further), and I had just been offered and had accepted a job as the executive director of an important museum. It sounds ridiculously crazy, but I assure you it’s true. I simply did not have the time to grieve for another one year and a half. At the end of this period, having given up the job and having finished my doctorate cum laude, I naturally collapsed. What literally kept me from suicide were only the love for my children and the belief that my mother has witnessed all my efforts from heaven. I would have given ANYTHING to have my mom at my graduation.
    So exalt that your mother is there with you. Just that. I am quite sure you do, but a reminder doesn’t hurt.

    1. Oh friend, my heart just breaks for you. I am so sorry for your loss. you’re right – that is a very important thing to keep in perspective. Gosh, I’m so glad that your children have been a source of strength for you. And yes, I do believe that she is looking down lovingly from Heaven. Thanks for this powerful response. sending so much love. x

  33. Just wondering if your parents had a voice mail from you before you went home through your struggles with anorexia would there feelings be the same as your’s? Just a thought. Great post. We are all on the journey God has planned; you, your mother and father and all others. Some days the best we can do is pick up our cross and follow until we can trade it in for our crown. You sure can paint your life picture with your use of words. Thanks. John

    1. That’s a really powerful thought, John. I am sure that if not a voice mail, then perhaps something else or a memory or something. Thanks for this powerful perspective. big hugs to you xox

  34. I love the authenticity of your post and I know the Lord loves it – he want’s his children to be real. Illness is such a tough one, but worse when it’s others as we often have to learn to embrace and love the person that emerges and they are not always the same but as you say different can be good. My Mum suffered from cancer a number of years back and she’s emerged and I am grateful as I see the butterfly.

    Hange tight, his grace truly is sufficient – for your Mum and you
    F xx

    1. Hi Felicia, oh gosh, thank you so much. I think you’re right – all He wants to do is love us and be in relationship with Him – the good and bad. I am so sorry you had to walk a similar road with your momma. I’m glad to hear she’s okay 🙂 sending so much love x

  35. It’s crazy how similar my story is to yours right now. My brother recently went through something really hard and it changed our life forever. When I was told about it, I thought “okay, after this weekend it’ll be behind us” but I was wrong. This event will follow us forever. That weekend was my three seconds. The three seconds turned into weeks and now it’s looking like years. I needed this post. I’m praying for you and your sweet mom. Much love xoxo

    1. Hi Caitlin, thank you so much for sharing this with me. I’m sorry that you’ve had to walk a similar road with your brother. I hope everything is okay. i will definitely keep you and him and your family in my prayers. sending so much love. thanks for the prayers x

  36. From my own personal experience, grief especially seems to enable us to better feel and appreciate God’s love, and how immediate His reaction is to our pain. In the end, there really isn’t anybody more loyal to us in our pain than God Himself. Even in the loneliest of nights, when we think that nobody is around to lift us up, God is still there supporting us no matter what.

      1. I will soon for I will be dreaming. Hope you are as well. God is always with you. I’m here to. Keep your chin up, sweet friend. ❤ I love you, sister.

    1. thanks so much friend. Yeah, i love that song too! it’s so moving — with the powerful lyrics and the hauntingly beautiful melody – it gets me every time 🙂 hugs x

  37. I do not share your beliefs, but find your words so very sweet, honest, and TRUE in that way that only those things that all of us have experienced and feel in our bones are true. Your mother’s wise and off-the-cuff words remind me so much of things I’ve heard my own mother say. I am grateful that I still have her, and happy that you still have yours, too. <3

  38. You are such a dear soul. Seeing the change in our parents and close relatives, can be so devastating. Like the rapid decline of my mom in the years before her passing. The see-saw of her getting sick, being hospitalized, getting well, signs of dementia and unchecked obstinate attitude;. My favorite aunt, diagnosed with Parkinsons; seeing her recently. Supplanted memories of vigor and humor of earlier years. It is all a part of life.
    Hold on to good memories, pray to Jesus to comfort them, Stride forward.

    1. Hi friend, thank you for sharing this with me. I’m so sorry for your loss and that you can so relate. Yes – we must keep in close prayer with Him. sending big hugs x

  39. This post of yours is another glaringly classy example of the poise, dignity and fortitude you exhibit. And knowing the things your write about, your faith is that one bit of knowledge that demonstrates change is nothing that will defeat you…

  40. This is beautiful. I remember when my mom died — she was murdered — my spiritual mentor Dr. Ron Hulnick told me to cry all my tears. I never forgot that. God is always with us. YOU are such a blessing. Thank you. Remember that compassion starts within. 🙂 Love, Debbie

    1. Oh my gosh, Debbie, my heart just goes out to you. I am so sorry that you had to endure that, and i am so sorry for your loss. My heart breaks hearing that. I really appreciate you sharing that powerful advice. you’re right – He is always with us, even in pain. Sending such big hugs to you friend xox

  41. This is beautiful, sister. There is a level of faith and trust that can only be reached by wrestling with God in the midst of suffering and grief. He doesn’t mind our honesty. He knows we’re thinking it anyway.

    If you can, get ahold of the book “None Like Him” by Jen Wilkin. I’m halfway through it and it’s blowing my mind. Such good stuff. Praying for your mom and you and your family tonight.

    1. Thanks so much Marie. you’re right – He can handle our honesty. thanks for the recco, i’ll definitely check out her book. Thanks for your prayers. means a lot. big hugs xx

  42. I had not heard this until just now. I am so in love with it!! You are strong and I am so sorry about your mom’s stroke, but she is a survior and fighter! She is getting so much stronger too. It is hard sometimes to deal with different, but sometimes different is what we need. Hugs <3

  43. I have no answer for you right now. Just know that you’re not going through this alone. You have a community that want to give you emotional support.

  44. Thanks for sharing!!
    Sometimes those three seconds can become an eternity. Recovering from grieve (anger is part of that) can take some time and you need to be patient to get to see the picture. Sounds nice I know but is so hard to live up to. From my own experience I know how difficult patience is if it is about yourself. So often said to others “Be patient! Slow down!” so hard to understand if it us about oneself.
    Thanks for the song, it is really speaking to the soul like words alone couldn’t. For me it is encouraging to read how you find comfort in your faith. A story that crossed my mind reading your blog today was the one about “footprints in the sand” – I guess you know otherwise let me know.
    Know that you (and your mom) are in my prayers!

    1. thank you so much Andy, for your prayers and support. it really means a lot. you’re right – patience is a long process to learn! hah kinda ironic, right? Glad you liked the song! and yes! i love the Footprints story…so comforting. big hugs xox

  45. Thank you for writing this. I am struggling a lot these days. I was in a very dark place last night. I’m not sure I’m out of it. But reading this gives me some slither of hope.

    1. thanks for sharing this, Maria. i’m sorry you’re going through a difficult season. hang in there friend. i will definitely keep you in my thoughts and prayers. 🙂 sending big big hugs xo

  46. Your post is like one of the Psalms. It really is. Beautiful prayer, actually. Reminds me of Psalm 69. Peace (oh…yes…I know all about Kings Island 🙂 )

    1. gosh, thank you so much, Bill. Yeah, I haven’t been to KI in probably 10 years! i need to remedy that. I’ll have to go read Ps. 69. thanks for passing it along 🙂 sending big hugs x

  47. Lovely, brave girl. Your mother is still there, just a bit different. And how fortunate she is that you see different as just as good.

    Your three seconds line struck me. My mantra (admittedly copped from Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt) is that you can stand anything for ten seconds. I have the eating disorder that is opposite of yours, the mirror image. It plays the same degrading, self-negating songs in my head, but instead of shutting up the voices by starving them, I fill myself up by literally filling myself up. I stifle and shove down the silent screams. I fight the urge to eat all day. All night. My heart has always reached out to anorexics. I want to hug you all with this overly ample body and let you know that those of us who eat, and eat, and eat, do indeed feel your pain. We are wrapping ourselves up in food and medicating in our own self-destructive way. So, I take it ten seconds at a time. Sometimes I make it through the ten seconds, and sometimes I just can’t. I wish you strength, I wish you peace.

    1. thank you so much Kathy. I love KImmy Schmidt! yeah – we can handle anything for a short spell. I’m sorry that you can relate to my blog in that way. yes – ten seconds at a time. know that i am cheering for you on your healing journey. I believe in you 🙂 thanks for your kind words. big hugs x

  48. Wow, thanks for sharing (both your journey and the song). It’s nice to know the answers to the struggles we face, but when we don’t, it’s nice to know we rest in the arms of One who cares and loves us more than we could know.

  49. I love this for so many reasons I don’t know if I can name them all. Once again, your openness and honesty help us in our journey of recovery. I love that you showed it’s okay to get mad at God and to say so. After all, God knows already, and He can take whatever we can dish out. And God responds as still the loving parent, not by striking us with lightning but with compassion. God loves us through our struggles. We might wish for God to fix the situation, but you found purpose in the struggle. I love how you draw upon your experience of recovery and see God doing the same thing with your mother. I love how you call it God creating a masterpiece. And because you were honest about your anger, I know you were honest here too. If we could see all our struggles that way, life wouldn’t seem so unfair. Cool song too. Thank you for this.

  50. Love that song… I’m in a similar place for very different reasons right now. As I read your post, I kept thinking that really, this whole life will amount to about three seconds on the scale of eternity… Just a single pixel on the screen. Even if it never gets better, Lord help me to trust You completely for all the time that is allotted me.

    1. Thanns Heather, I know it’s such a powerful song. I’m sorry to hear your in a similar season right now. Hang in there friend. Know that you’re in my prayers. Sending massive hugs xox

  51. I’m not going to read all of these comments, but I’ll add to the over 170 of them!
    Thank you for writing this. I’ve been avoiding all social media the last days. I’m angry with God and I have nothing to say to anyone. Mum is doing excellent in stats and I’m surrounded by seeing her not being the person she once was. I’ve not listened to any Christian music in almost a year, and it is odd how it can help when nothing else can. I cried when I read your words and the lyrics. My heart has been so sore. All around me people are dying because of cancer and mum keeps surviving. I’m glad and sad-glad because well, she’s still alive. Sad, because she is not living a quality life. Even if her stats are good, she’s not happy. I want to make things all better and can’t. I miss my family-I’ve been away for almost 9 months now. You are a brave wonderful woman, thank you for sharing your thoughts, thoughts which embody mine at times.

    1. Hi Kris, oh friend my heart just goes out to you. I’m so sorry that you’re going through a similar season. Know that you and your mom and family are in my thoughts and prayers. You’re right- there can be so many contradicting emotions all at once. Hang in there. Sending so so much love and hugs x

      1. I appreciate these words from you. More than you know. Alaska is a million miles from the East coast, but our hearts are not that far apart. Bless you.

  52. I needed this, the past month has been so mind numbing with my husbands “surprise” illness and so many changes and this just hit home. God does know it all even before it happens and I think our only peace is in surrendering, knowing that we can’t “swim” this but that through trust, He will walk us on those waves and somehow always speak stillness to those storms.

    1. Hi Nina, thanks for sharing that with me. I’m so sorry that your husband is ill. Know that I will be keeping him and you and your family in my thoughts and prayers. You’re right – there is peace in surrendering . Hang in there friend. Sending love xo

  53. I miss my mom SO MUCH! I chose to take care of her for 10 years and at times felt overwhelmed, depressed, and alone. Taking care of her almost destroyed me financially and it made it impossible to date or ever have a relationship. I cleaned and changed colostomy bags, changed briefs, and spent more nights in the hospital with her than I could possibly count. She has been gone five years now and I thank God everyday for the time He gave me with her. I feel so blessed to have gone through such intimate experiences with her and it has made me a stronger man. Thank you for all that you do for everyone in the ED community and for sharing such honest writing. I understand and God bless you! Excellent blog!

    1. thank you for sharing this with me. Gosh, my heart goes out to you. I am so sorry for your loss. what a beautiful gift you gave to your mother when she needed it most. sending so much love and hugs xo

  54. I would highly recommend reading Job’s book. Our ‘downfalls’ are the only way for us to grow – and expecting to ‘get back’ what we had or find a new life that’s similiar to what we had… none of that is what Jesus is offering us. Just look at Paul’s life, and Job’s – and how they reacted to their massive, mind blowing downfalls. Job worships God even when everything and everyone is ‘taken’ from him. Job 1:21 ‘The Lord gives and the Lord takes away”.

    The suffering we experience is GOOD for us because in our weakness we reveal our true selves – mostly to ourselves and others. God already knows.

    A lot of us still expect life to be ‘fixable’ in ways that are merely mundane. But our bodies mean very little, almost nothing, compared to our souls. God’s not working on our bodies or the lives we have here. Being afraid of death turns us into evil doers. Being afraid of losing the life we have also turns us into evil doers trying to keep it at all cost.

    Nothing brings us closer to God than losing this life in order to be born into eternal life. For a lot of people this means material loss, health struggles and a neverending emotional struggle in interpersonal relationships.

    I have seen people lose not this life, but their soul, in the process of wanting to fix a ‘broken’ loved one. Fear of loss and death comes from an attachment to this life. We REALLY can’t serve two Gods. If we can only serve a God that gives us the life we want here, then that’s not God at all – that’s just ourselves we’re serving. And God’s Grace is a complete mystery, so we only have one choice: surrender to it and trust God.

    We’re all struggling (I didn’t even realize YOU had that struggle and I deeply empathize with your pain). What changes everything for us struggling is how we react to it. That’s why Job and Paul are perfect examples, because the struggles of our current worlds are tiny compared to what they endured. I am by no means disregarding the pain we’re all experiencing – just focusing on the only answer to it: loving God. Not getting angry at him, who’s saving us from ourselves and for a much better life than the best one we could imagine here in this world.

    1. thanks so much for this powerful perspective, Milly. You’re so right – it’s a really difficult verse to comprehend, but those who lose their lives will gain it. I’ll have to read Job. And you’re totally right about that: loving God is the answer. hugs x

      1. It’s a topic that’s not palatable. But if we can transcend our struggles with love for God, we’re ready for heaven. 😀 You’ve already done it before! We just get better at it with time.

  55. I love that mashup! You should listen to Do It Again by Elevation Worship – same sort of theme, but one of my favorite songs right now!

    And I just listened to a sermon the other day by Katherine and Jay Wolf. She suffered a massive brain stem stroke. I don’t know if it might bring you some peace or relief to read her story (Hope Heals) or listen to the sermon (Fresh Life Church – Summer Reading Series), but I wanted to share in case her story might bless you in some way.

  56. I had to fight back tears reading this, sis.

    No, I’ve not experienced my mother having a stroke, and I can’t even imagine how hard that must be. But I remember during the hardest time of my life (thus far, at least) that God used a song to minister to me. I can still recall the moment riding in my car, on my way to work, when an old Casting Crowns song came on the radio:

    “And I’ll praise you in this storm
    And I will lift my hands
    That you are who you are
    No matter where I am
    And every tear I’ve cried
    You hold in your hand
    You never left my side
    And though my heart is torn
    I will praise you in this storm”

    My situation didn’t get better right away, but that moment was a turning point…where God personally reassured me of His presence and His love. I believe He’s doing the same for you. Hang in there, and I’m praying for you 🙏🙏!

    1. Aw, thank you so much Wayne. i’m so glad it hit home with you. songs really have power, don’t they? thanks for your kind words and prayers. it means a lot, friend. big big hugs xox

  57. that ride looks terrifying! And hillsong is amazing. It seems like you’re flung a good job navigating through this. I’d just add that it is ok to grieve the loss of who your mom was. It’s hard when dynamics change to that extant and I think we never get past needing our moms. ((Hugs)l

  58. I was very moved by this post. I pray God continues to give you daily comfort. Those are two of my favorite songs too – ‘He Makes Me Brave” has become ‘my own.’ I’ve been reading a book recently that has comforted me in regards to my suffering, and the title really is marvelous: ‘The Scars that have Shaped Me’ (it’s available at http://www.wtsbooks.com/scars-have-shaped-me-vaneetha-r-endall-risner-9781539506584 if you are ever looking for that sort of thing 🙂 ). May God bless you and your mom!

    1. Thanks Leanne. I’m so glad it hit home with you. Thank you for your prayers and kind words. I’ll have to check that book out. Thanks for the recco. Hugs and love xox

  59. You are a strong woman. Sometimes we need to remind ourselves that God has got this…tough seeing a loved one going through something that is beyond anyone’s control…sending you strength…

  60. As someone who has struggled with suicide, I can empathize with those who follow through and hold on for a while longer. Not just with their own thoughts about life… but with the entire concept of it.

    We can gain a lot or stand to lose a lot, if not everything, in three seconds. Three seconds can do a lot of things to people. It either define, break, or irrevocably change them. Some for the better. Some for the worse.

    I’m glad that you’ve been able to take those moments of doubt and indecision and transmute them to moments of action and growth.

    But, if I’m gonna be open and honest, there are times I wish I had ended myself.

    1. Hi Kevin, thank you so much for sharing this with me. You’re right- three second can be a long time. I’m just so glad you’re in a better place and with us. I am grateful to have you in my life, even if it’s only through the interwebs:) you are a blessing. Hugs and love xox

  61. thanks for sharing your story. I still keep the words that mum told me 48 hours before god called her home. At times I go silent, I look out of my window, and I only think. 11 years now, I still have never told anyone what she told me. I find it too painful, I think it is like I don’t want to talk about it. Life did not give me the chance to reach for her, to be by her bedside before the end of her last breath!

  62. I truly appreciate your honesty. It is never easy to see loved ones change with age or sickness. A few years ago I lost my mother to the long good bye. During those last couple years, I longed for my mother of old, but I realized something very profound. Though she could not talk and required my feeding her, yet I could she loved me the same now as when I was a child. Your mother loves you the same now as when she was whole. God never gives us more than we can endure and has always promised to be with us always, Keep the faith, do not give up, your experiences make your ministry better and for help people that are struggling the same as you. Look to God for your strength and remember he is always a prayer away.
    Blessings to you and your mom and your entire family
    Pastor Lester
    PS You are in my prayers

    1. Oh Pastor Lester, I am so sorry for your loss. My heart just goes out to you. you’re right – the aging process is never easy, and what a gift you were able to give to her in her final chapter. You’re right – God will give us our strength. thanks for your prayers. hugs x

  63. My eyes filled with tears when I read the “banging on the gate” part. I’m still tearing up because I know what it is to say that prayer, “Lord why are you so elusive.” To feel like a fan girl behind the velvet rope. In those moments I pray for faith because those are the moments He looks to see what we’re really about. I recently participated in a Bible study on the book “Becoming a woman whose God is enough.” It was an excellent book that I highly recommend. It has helped me enormously in my walk. I took the main themes within the book and compressed it into a blog to share with the ladies at my church and to perhaps encourage people here on WordPress as well. (By no means do I wish to promote myself but to encourage you) if you get some idle time check it out 😊

    https://kriztle34.wordpress.com/2017/05/28/testament-31-he-is-enough/

  64. We lived in what I called our 10-minute world for a long time. You beat the 10 minutes in front of you and then you go after the next 10. It is a hard way to live but sometimes that’s the only way. Keep fighting your 3 seconds – 3 seconds at a time.

    Love Kings Island! That made me laugh. The Beast, The Racer, and I remember The Bat.

  65. So touching. I battle with those thoughts often. I wish things would be just 3 seconds. My life has changed so much and a new norm is taking it’s toll on me. Thank you for sharing.

  66. Beautiful, honest post. I think we all battle those questions at times, why God doesn’t seem to answer…..I always think of the verse that says “His ways are above our ways, His thoughts above our thoughts…” That said, it is hard to watch our parents age, I am going through that as well, but God is faithful as you know. Love the song also:) Blessings and prayers for your mom to increase in healing daily.

  67. As i was reading through this, I felt emotional and that is because i completely understood. No, my mum doesn’t have stroke but in some aspects of my life, i could relate to what you are going through. At a point in my life, i was truly angry with God, i just thought he was being unfair but i repented of that and i kept holding on. I learnt a lot from all that and I’m still learning that God is indeed good and has got me. There’s this trust i have in God. i’ve had trust in God but I have to say it’s stronger. Today I might worry about circumstances around me because of course i’m human but i have to admit, I don’t over-think it because God has been and is still faithful to me. i like this scripture, 2 Tim 2:13. it says if we are faithless, he remains faithful for he cannot disown himself. This comment is really getting long, i just had a lot to say.
    Stay strong dear, God has got you.

    1. thank you so much for sharing this. i’m glad it hit home with. I’m so glad that you’ve found strength in Him. that is so awesome. 🙂 He cannot disown himself – that is truly powerful. thanks again x

  68. If only it’d dawned on man that the LORD God is never an unfeeling One and is never late in attending to our needs, we’ll never have to be angry with Him or at whatever we think He’d done; neither will we ask, “Where the hell is He?”

    Thank God that He did it in this post. He’ll always do the right thing all the time; that’s His specialty. May millions be blessed by this post,BBB. Thanks for sharing this hope energizing thoughts of “THREE SECONDS.” Three happens to be the perfect manifestation of Jehovah. Hallelujah!!!

  69. Thanks for sharing this beautiful post. It’s often hard to see how God is working in and through us in the moment. In some instances it’s taken me years trace back through events in my life and see the purpose. I enjoyed following this through a couple of days of progression. God bless.

  70. That was one of the most touching blogs I’ve ever read, thanks for sharing. I can’t say I have been through anything like that, it must be damn hard.

  71. Great thought. It’s easier to fall than ascend. Our real concern should be how to remain up after ascending, given that lesser time is used in descending. Great life lesson. Thanks for sharing.

  72. God does meet us exactly where we are without judgment….only compassion and love. We snuggle into His arms as long as we need to grieve, to regroup and refocus. You have begun that work……to refocus. One of the most powerful tools we have in our toolkit is gratitude – sometimes it is hard to come up with what we are grateful for in the light of crushing circumstances that emotionally drain us, but if we can wake each morning and thank God for 7 things, no matter how big or small, before we get out of bed, our focus will be different, our perspective God centered. Your mom is so blessed to have you caring, supporting, loving, and cheering for her – the improvement you are seeing is a direct result of the healing power of God flowing thru you into your mom, you are the conduit of His healing energy! Love you and all that you do and share.

  73. “The woman she’s become is one hell of a fighter. She is a survivor.”
    I just wanted to say that this post has really helped me, especially this particular quote. Yesterday I lost my grandfather who’d been battling cancer for most of his life. Unfortunately I couldn’t get to him before he passed, and when I finally saw him lying asleep in his bed, it was terrible. Still, I’m trying to keep in mind the fact that he was indeed a fighter—quite literally, and figuratively, as a commander of an air fleet and warrior in opposition to his disease.

    I’m so sorry to hear about your mother! She sounds like a beautiful, wise human being. I hope that everything will turn out well for your family : ). And thank you for your words.

    1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry for your loss. Oh friend my heart just goes out to you and I’m praying for you and your family and your grandfather. May he Rest In Peace. Oh friend hang in there. Know that my thoughts and prayers are with you during this challenging time. Sending so much love and hugs xox

  74. Here’s what I’ve learned about pain and problems (disclaimer: this could get long 😉 ) and what, ironically, I’ve been discussing with my youth group the last couple of weeks as part of the Grace Walk Experience by Steve Mcvey – first, that improving my behaviour will never give me victory in the christian life, and so when I was in my pre-teens and full of relqigious zeal, right in the middle of all my doing all the right things and being the “perfect (I thought) Christian kid”, was when I hit rock bottom depression and addiction. Why, God? I’m living so good for You.
    But second… look up Jim Carrey’s thought for the day on youtube; he says this: suffering leads to salvation–in fact, it’s the only way, because second, problems might be the best thing that could happen to us. Because here’s the truth Caralyn, God allows problems. He allows problems that are bigger than you and I can handle. Paul once said his troubles were so great and so above his ability that he wanted to die. But Father touches us through problems. And he uses them because our performance will never give us victory in our problems; he uses them to bring us to the end of ourselves… and I’ll tell you, when I hit rock bottom, that’s when I found Father, that’s when I found out Jesus is the Rock at rock bottom and this whole process was so that I could learn to let go of my self-sufficient flesh and trust and rely on Father completely. It goes back all the way to the garden where there were two trees; the ‘trying tree’, the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, and then ‘trusting tree’, the tree of life, Jesus, and the trusting tree has roots than run so deep <3 The lie of the trying tree has always been that there is something you have to do to be like God but the reality is we’ve never not been made in the image of our Father! <3

    But I'll just say it again Caralyn, these things could be the best thing that ever happened to you–because Father is using them to bring you into that place of total surrender, of total oneness and reliance on him instead of yourself, the way he always wanted and created us to live.

    And I know it's painful, and you're allowed to be angry at God, because it's not always easy to understand and accept in the midst of the pain, especially when you realize that this is actually something Father is letting happen instead of preventing, but Father make me weaker, so that I can fall into your strength…

    And in your brokenness? Peter talked about rejoicing in that place. Rejoicing! like, how, Peter?? But because that’s where glory is revealed, Christ in you, the hope of glory; that’s where you find yourself hidden in Father with Jesus, that’s where you find your identity and your victory are secure in Him because he will never let you go <3

    So my prayer for you this week is "Make Caralyn weaker, Father," because when you are weak he is so, so, so strong <3

    And in the words of Aslan, "Courage, dear heart," He's not finished with you yet <3

    P.S.: I LOVE that mashup. You should check out Switchfoot's The Day that I Found God – (anduhyourewelcome) ;D

    https://youtu.be/WfNQNC1aKiw

    1. Thanks so much for this beautiful response Carson. Thanks for that prayer. Yes – less of me and more of Him 🙂 we are secure in Him! And thanks for sharing that with me. I’m so glad that you also know that He is the way out. Hallelujah. Hugs and love xox

      1. You’re welcome, as always! (: It’s always so cool to ‘see’ you’re on the same page as me – we must know the same Father 😉

  75. Hi Beauty,
    After reading this, I wish to give you a big physical hug. I hear you; my dad had a triple bypass after a minor heart attack almost 4 years ago. The thing is, he never drinks, smokes, did drugs, exercises regularly, and is not overweight. He is a former police officer and knew the value of staying active. Yet, despite everything, he went through everything; in fact, he didn’t know he had one until the EKG confirmed it and the doctors found blockage.
    The whole family is blessed to know Jesus and everyone rallied in prayer and support. The hospital out in LA is one of the best at doing bypass surgeries and he came through all right. I don’t know what God was speaking or doing to him but we continue in faith.
    Earlier this year, one of my friends passed away from cancer. I learned later that she had this song played over and over again.

    It is called “It is well” by Bethel. It has become one of my favorite songs to quell my fears.

    1. Thanks friend, gosh, my heart just goes out to you. It’s been a tough couple years for you. I’m so sorry for you loss. I will definitely keep you and your father in my prayers. Thanns for passing this along. Big big hugs to you xox

  76. “you can endure anything for three seconds” thats powerful. Recovery is such a good way of life no matter what you are recovering from, the mentality and determination must all be the same. i enjoyed reading this. i appreciate it. You will always succeed when your heart is filled with Faith. keep pushing on girl!

  77. Omigosh! I felt it. There was a lifting in my spirit as I read through the post. Thank you so much for sharing this. I’m super glad that God showed up like he always did. God bless you! God bless you!!

  78. You are an amazing 20-something young lady. I was 36 years old before I realized that God could take me being angry at him. And at the time, before I actually knew, I had lost it with Him. I literally cursed Him out. His response was a real and palpable, overwhelming love. I didn’t expect that. And I like your analogy of being locked outside the gate desperately banging. When my life was turned upside down I felt as if I went to sleep one night and woke up in another world or universe. Sadly it was indeed my new normal. That was 18 years ago. Sometimes I still grieve about it, but, in this new norm, I have found more treasures of the kingdom of God than I ever thought possible. I wish I was where you are spiritually when I was in my 20’s. I was just religious, which did me no good. Better late than never I guess. A great post. I really enjoy your writing.

    1. thanks so much Tony. You know, we’re all on our own individual journeys, and all that matters is that you know Him now 🙂 thanks for your kind words. sending so much love x

  79. A very moving poem. Glad Mom’s doing better. You did something you didn’t want to do. You deserve to brag to family and friends for as long as you want. Proud of you.

  80. Very inspiring post. Glad you know God. He never lets his people down and is always there beside them willing to help. If only they remember to seek his face.

    1. Hey Migueltio! Thanks, although I feel like the lucky one, with them having been there for me my whole life. 🙂 thanks for always being so encouraging. Hugs and love xox

  81. It’s taken me a while to get round to responding to your ‘3 seconds’ post, mainly because it resonates so much with me. You can endure anything for three seconds, but what do you do when you must face something for longer, for the rest of your life. Last August, I was diagnosed with Stage 4 ‘incurable’ cancer. I must now have fortnightly ‘palliative’ chemotherapy until it stops working – and nobody can tell me when that will be. How do I cope with this? I’ve turned my life upside down. I am not the same person that I was pre-diagnosis. I find pleasure in all the little things around me. I’ve had to give up working, but now have time to help friends out and enjoy life. I like walks in the countryside, tending my garden and meeting up with friends for lunch. I have found a new ‘normal’ and I have to say that right now I’m loving life and smiling more and I’m happy with my lot in life! God sure does work in mysterious ways!

    Love to you and your lovely Mum Caralyn xx

    Gill

    1. Oh Gill, my heart just goes out to you. I am so sorry to hear that. Gosh, my heart just breaks. Know that I am praying for you and your family. But I am so glad that you’re loving life and living in abundance. that is so so wonderful. God really is good, and just another way He shows that He’s got you in the palm of His hand. sending so much love xo

      1. Ah Caralyn, thank you so much that means a lot to me. I firmly believe, that where life is concerned, it’s Quality, not Quantity that matters. It’s what you ‘do’ with your time on this earth that is important. After all, none of us knows when it is going to end (I don’t want that to sound morbid – but you could argue that we are all ‘terminal’!) some of us get to confront it by staring down the shotgun of our own mortality sooner than others, that’s all. xx

  82. Hi BBB,

    Always great to hear your story. You remind me of the line from Castaway with Tom Hanks. “Sometimes its just talking the next breath, and you never know what the tide will bring in.” It can be the difference between making it or not when out faith rests in who God is in each moment, moment-by-moment.

    Have a great NY week,

    Gary

    On Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 4:00 PM, BeautyBeyondBones wrote:

    > beautybeyondbones posted: “It was the summer before my seventh grade year. > Which, if it’s possible to peak at age 12, then I think that may have been > the case for me. But I digress. I’ll never forget the summer my mother and > I rode Drop Zone at Kings Island. Imagine the Seattle S” >

    1. you never know what the tide will bring in…powerful thought. i loved that movie. thanks for passing tht along! hope your week is off to a great start, Gary! Hugs and love xox

  83. “You can endure anything for three seconds.”

    Are you a fan of the show Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt? She has a similar quote/ motto about surviving anything for 10 seconds, then after the 10 seconds are up just start counting again.

  84. You make me brave is one of my absolute favourites really gets my going! Also, seriously with that ride! You made me imagine it 😂😭 I can’t cope with heights 😂 I’m talking about faith in my next post (live at 3pm your time) and I’m so nervous about what people think 😂

  85. I was sitting here going over different posts and when I came to yours, I was actually listening to Rev.. F.C. Barnes – Rough side of the Mountain, and as I started to read, my first thought was “Oh no, Caralyn is having a hard one this time” then the song quietly knocks and reminds me that we are all climbing that mountain and we all have periods of time when we are unsure and somewhat resentful. Then you follow up with the ending to your post which totally covers it all. You done good kid! (Patience, Caralyn. Trust. Hope. Rest)… are your famous words to live by!!!!!

    1. Hello again friend. Thanks for sharing this. Yes! We’ll all have those season, but God is constant 🙂 I’ll have to check out that song. Thanks for reading! Hugs and love xox

  86. We take life for granted sometimes, or we find our rest in what is known and comfortable. Then, when it slips from our hands, yes, how else are we suppose to feel? Negativity stands before us, and for a while that’s all we see. I have some situations right now where the clouds are not parting, and I’m not sure how the storm is going to end. But one thing is true. Jesus Christ died for me, and He lives for me. In the past, when I’ve struggled, He has answered. Who I am to say He won’t answer me again. Thank you for your honesty, and sharing your heart. I know I relate to this. : ) Peace be still upon you, and may you continue to find hope and assurance from God <3

    1. hey girl heeeeey. Thanks for sharing this. You’re right – negativity is a powerful force to recon with – but Jesus can!! thanks for reading 🙂 love hearing your thoughts. big hugs xo

      1. I love your posts, and our discussions. If we ever find ourselves in the same place in Ohio, it would be awesome to grab a coffee/tea/hot chocolate and chat. : ) I was telling my mom about you a couple weeks ago, actually. She is really happy with the goal of your blog, and the purpose behind it.

      2. oh my gosh yes!! that would be UH-mazing!! 🙂 hehe aww, that is so sweet. thank you for doing that. that just made my night — with the backstreet boys throwback as a close second 😉 😉 😉

  87. I love Oceans. I have been there too, feeling hopeless and alone. Thinking that God has forgotten me. And then, always faithfully he reminds me that he’s always with me, especially when I feel most alone. It is a comforting feeling to know his love wraps me up and takes care of me. Thank you for sharing this.

  88. I just stumbled on your blog today and read several posts trying to get a hang of your story and that of your mum’s. I am glad you have been using this platform to process what u went through and what you are going through.

    I just started the process myself with a more than gentle nudge from my husband

    Having my own written diary for over 10 years of my own health issues, I needed a place where I could pour out my feelings unhindered, my questions thrown at God, moments where doubts and fears threaten to destabilise my faith. It took some study of Psalms to stop feeling guilty. David was called a man after God’s heart and he was always honest with God. I know your struggles are far from over but Jesus promises us he will be there with us through fire and storms and he will never allow us to be burned or drown. In this world we will have many trials but we should take heart because Jesus has overcome the world. He will never give us more than what we can handle (I only see this in hindsight lol). Hold on to our Living Hope….Lots of love in Christ my dear sis, Tomini

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