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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beautybeyondbones

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

354 thoughts on “Three Seconds

  1. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. “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.

    Liked by 1 person

    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

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 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 ❤ 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! ❤

    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 ❤

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

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

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

    Liked by 2 people

    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

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  4. 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.

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    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

      Like

  5. “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!

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  6. 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!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. 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.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. 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.

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  9. 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

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    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

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      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

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  10. 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” >

    Like

  11. “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.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. 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 😂

    Like

  13. 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!!!!!

    Like

  14. 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 ❤

    Like

      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.

        Like

      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 😉 😉 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  15. 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.

    Like

  16. 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

    Like

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