On Guard

So I’m leaving for Chicago tomorrow.

Just staying over for one night, and then back to NYC tomorrow.

But I’m going because my dad is receiving an award…the Man of the Year Award, from an international organization, so I’m going there to sit in the audience and cheer him on.

So dad, if you’re reading this (and I know you are!) congratulations! You have always been the man of the year in my eyes. And I thank you for all the selfless ways you’ve given to your family throughout your life, each and everyday.

I’ve spent a good deal of time here, in Ohio during the holidays, thinking about my future. About whether I should continue to live in NYC, where I’ve been building my life for the last seven years, or if I should move back to Ohio and “settle down.”

Shop this look!

And no surprise here, that I’ve talked myself around in a circle to the point of dizziness. But I’m just always struck by how easily I can be reminded here, of that dark part of my life, when I was battling anorexia in high school and early college.

That memory creates a huge shadow that follows me around here. It’s why I moved in NYC in the first place: to start fresh and create a new life as the healed young woman I am.

But this past Sunday at church, I had a really, just awful experience. Since I have been back in Ohio, we’ve been going to a new parish downtown where my brother and sister-in-law attend. It’s beautiful, there’s an amazing choir, and it’s where my miracle took place.

But last Sunday, we went back to our local parish. The one I went to during my illness in high school.

And let me tell you, I was just attacked, spiritually, the whole time I was there.

I remember back during my disease that I would just loathe going to Mass, simply because it meant that I had to sit still for an hour. Which was a death-sentence for me, because stillness meant I wasn’t burning calories.


I can remember as clear as day, the racing thoughts that harangued my brain, as I would violently bounce my legs in an effort to appease my exercise addiction.

And the people at church all knew what I was going through. It was no secret – I was wearing my illness on my skeletal body. But there would be whispers and judgmental looks from some. Feigned concern that masked their ugly gossip, slaughtering me and my family’s reputation.

And still to this day, there are wonderful people who still TEN YEARS LATER go: Oh, I’m so glad you’re doing so well. Or my favorite, You look so healthy now.

Yeah, thanks.

The social ineptness is just astounding.

But sitting there in the pews on Sunday, all of that just hit me right in the face. It was like I walked into a brick wall and there was Satan, standing over me, and jeering at me while I was down.

And it completely rocked me. Truly. I couldn’t shake the feeling of anger and disgust and remorse and judgment and inadequacy for the rest of the day. I was a different person. I was mean. I was short. I was picking fights with my parents for no good reason.

And my dad just pulled me aside as hot tears were streaming down my face in a fit of anxious rage, and he looked me straight in the eyes and said, “Don’t let the devil get to you.”

I know this is a bit of a heavy topic, but he really is on the prowl, and will use any foothold we give him to worm his way back into our lives and wreak havoc.


I ended up taking a walk alone that afternoon to walk it off. Listened to some music and let the endorphins work their magic. I tried to pray, but truthfully I couldn’t come up with the words other than, O God. 

That afternoon served as a reminder that I am not invincible. Sure, I was coming off of an incredible stretch of time here at home with my friends and family and even someone kind-of interesting, but the devil can even find us on the mountaintop and kick us down to the dust.

Doesn’t matter how strong your recovery is or how impenetrable your fortress.

My dad knew what was going on. He called it out. And instilled in me the belief that I could resist and turn things around.

But there’s something to be said about protecting your heart and your mind from situations or places that will make you susceptible to attacks.

Case in point: when I stay at my parents’ house in Ohio, I don’t sleep in my old bedroom. I just can’t. I feel incredibly attacked, seeing my high school memorabilia and things and pictures that remind me of that dark time in my life.

Old books

It looks like my home parish is one of those places too. Which is a real pity.

And honestly gives me grave pause as I have been prayerfully considering the possibility of moving home for good this summer.

But then maybe that’s the doubt he was trying to stir up by attacking me in that way.

I don’t know. A lot to consider. A lot to pray about.

But the most important thing to remember is that Jesus conquers all. There is no match for our King.




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249 responses to “On Guard”

  1. ‘…truthfully I couldn’t come up with the words other than, O God…’

    Hahaaa! Ok, enjoyed this immensely! Not in a horrible way – i hear you. I get it.

    It was good reading this. Am I authentic? Where do I go when all I got is; Oh God?

    Sometimes my prayer seems contrived and fill of fear, rather than free and joyful.

    I love that, still, I will attempt, still, I will fall back on the HABIT of prayer, still I will present myself to God.

    Enjoyed this a lot. Sending a prayer and a smile your way. Onward.

    • thanks Kreemer 🙂 i’m glad it hit home with you 🙂 yes – i’ve got to fall back into that habit too. thanks for stopping by and for your prayers! Hugs and love xox

  2. This morning I was reading in 1 Corinthians 6, “you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the Name of the Lord Jesus Christ and the Spirit of God.” We don’t do it ourselves – thanks be to God that the One who transforms us is stronger than the one who jeers when we fall back into old stuff. We don’t complete ourselves; we are completed by the one who is faithful. And you are so right to see that even this negative experience can be used to make you shine with his splendor.

  3. Just a quick note and prayer for safety… if you’re going to NYC tomorrow, there may be a delay due to crazy weather that has cancelled flights and closed airports… praying for a wonderful experience as you go to celebrate your father!

    • thank you so much Angie, yeah it’s a wild winter wonderland out there! thank you for your prayers! big hugs xox

  4. Oh My Goodness Caralyn. . . I sooo needed to see this right now!! I felt attacked by the enemy this afternoon after coming home from a dr. visit.

    But I came home and put on praise music and it surely helped. The enemy is on the prowl, but it’s up to us to seek God and keep our eyes on Him. Keep praying and have faith that you will hear God’s voice when you get to your fork in the road re: your move.

    “Greater is He who is in me, than he who is in the world”

    Stay strong! xoxoxoxo

  5. Take comfort in the knowledge that God knows your heart and your need. He can interpret your pain and your lack of words. Jesus intercedes for us. Romans 8:26 says “In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.” When you were praying “O God”, Jesus was interceding and translating your pain for the Father. I agree that we must be cautious of certain places and people if they prompt us to reverse course. Thanks for your vulnerability.

    • thank you so much Denny, you’re so right about that – the Spirit intercedes! big hugs xo

  6. It has been said that if you cannot face your fear then you haven’t fully recovered. I hope that at some point in the future you will be able, but perhaps this isn’t that time. Prayers are with you.

    • thank you so much for this encouragement and for your prayers. very true. big hugs xox

  7. I relate to this post so much. I’m still working through my anxiety and depression, and I had so many times like this one where prayer was everything but words. Romans 8:26-27 gets it right:

    “In the same way, the Spirit too comes to the aid of our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but the Spirit itself intercedes with inexpressible groanings. And the one who searches hearts knows what is the intention of the Spirit, because it intercedes for the holy ones according to God’s will.”

    It took so much for me to admit I needed help, and I’m so glad I now have access to counselors and psychologists who respect my faith and incorporate that into our sessions. Satan tries to convince us we can do it alone, can’t do anything, or worse, that God and the people He gives to us can’t help us. Sometimes you just have to pull yourself out of a situation; the hardest lesson I ever had to learn–and I’m still learning–is that self-care is not selfishness. I’m praying for you; I hope you’ll pray for me, too!

    • thank you so much Erica, for sharing your story. you’re so right – self care is not at all selfishness. thank you for your prayers. know that you are in mine too! big hugs xox

  8. Hey BBB,

    Number one I do think you have totally recovered but would like to give to you some thoughts as I was reading this about “hitting you in the face.”

    A lot of times, we can never let go of something until we hit it head on. Overcoming something is healing, facing something head on and letting go of it is another matter.

    As all of these memories were pursuing you, did you ever say to yourself, “Yes this is true, but I am not that person anymore./I am healthy now and helping others in spite of it?” Then did you get up and pat yourself on the back? You have choices in moments such as this, and you need to make the right ones.

    Was it the devil trying to pursue you with your past, or God letting you know who you were and where He has brought you? You had two ways of looking at that.

    You can either let this haunt you for the rest of your life, let it determine your decisions for your life, or you can look in the mirror and see what the rest of us see.

    You are healed and you are recovered. You are inspiration to all those who have it. Now how long are you going to let it interrupt your life?

    How we handle our memories is as important as getting well.

    I think you need to move past it, one step at a time.

    If Jesus only remembered the Day of the Cross all the time, He would never be able to help and save us. See His past is not what matters to Him. His suffering and torment is over. But today does. He wants us to know, “Yes I suffered for you and I died./But I rose again so you can have eternal life./So come to me the Risen Christ.”

    You are not Christ, but you have risen and you are helping others. Now are you going to go back on your cross, or rise above it?

    Love you and God Bless, SR

    • this is such a powerful response. thank you SR, you’re right we have to learn how to handle our memories. and yes! one step at a time. thank you for your encouragement. big hugs to you xox

  9. Just remember he only attacks those who can damage his kingdom, your light is so bright and such a presence can be felt just reading your posts and the enemy knows that and that makes you a problem for him and your Dad is so right…my Dad always tells me to “not let him get in my head” that is ALL he has. He is AS a roaring lion but that doesn’t make him a lion. And as hard as it probably feels, consider the attack a compliment because it means that in the enemies eyes you are a worthy opponent and if you are an opponent that means you have not been defeated. This is also why I thought the shop the look was so awesome because it shows a healthy happy body image, and I know you said you had felt hesitant about it, please don’t because that is just another “beauty” for the ashes! Congratulations to your Dad! I love you and you know ALL your readers do and we are all always in your corner!

    • that is so true Nina, thank you for this amazing encouragement. you’re so right – he is not a lion — and Jesus has won the world! big hugs to you xoxo

  10. Okay, I want to say something here, and it’s two fold. First, I can TOTALLY relate. I had my panic attacks and anxiety begin shortly after my college years where I was held hostage, mugged, etc…. all in Washington, DC. I ran from that place like the plague. And though I felt so healed, when I would go back to visit my brother when he lived there, I would feel anxiety creeping back in. Like a darkness, so I fully believe the devil uses those places and weak spots to attack us. I tell you that as I say the next thing… because maybe it’s for me… there’s probably still some healing needed. Some forgiveness (perhaps of ourselves) to be given. Why do I say this? Because I think of the story in the Book of Numbers. The people are in the desert and they are being bitten and killed by the serpents. God tells Moses to put the Serpent on the Staff and he has the people stare directly at it. This is actually what heals them. Staring at the thing that bit them and knowing God has power over all of it. Sometimes I just want to go back to that room where I was held hostage and pronounce, I AM FREE!! I want to be able stare at it and not feel all those feelings again… I will never know as the building was torn down. This is not to judge or say where you should live or not live, it’s just a call to dig deeper, to stare whatever it is in the face…and to announce your freedom. This is just meant as food for thought. That is all. May God continue to bless you in everything you do.

    • I AM FREE!!! love it. this is such a powerful response. thank you friend. God bless you as well. big hugs to you xox

      • and just remember, when a soul makes great progress in the Lord, the devil gets frantic trying to knock you down. The attacks can get more fierce. I often repeat, Jesus I trust in you, or Jesus I trust that you love me… The devil can whisper lies, and even envoke dark feelings, but it is our response to that that can mold a Saint. Feelings just are, what you do with them can lift you high or drag you down. You are meant to soar.

  11. Rather similar to what others have already said, what you seem to need at this stage is what some call a “healing of memories.” The disease is beaten, the lies are beaten, the demonic hold is loosened, (and yes any of those could come back but you’ve been strengthened to recognize and resist them), and you’ve been healed by our gracious Lord beyond expectation! <3 But the memories, especially attached to locations, are still nasty footholds for the enemy.

    At risk of being overly businesslike in a public forum, here's my entirely unsolicited advice….
    * Grab a Psalm or prayer that you connect with. Then take it to your old room or church or wherever else and literally pray it again there.
    * Ask your parents to pray over their house and your old room (informally blessing it).
    * Ask a priest to bless your old room and wherever else (yay holy water)!
    * Find someone with a gift of prayer ministry to pray with you through those memories and locations. They're like open windows through which the enemy can poke you. And since you've beaten their big game, they're resorting to this!

    Again, as others have said already, you're sharing in a measure of Christ's victory even now. When in doubt, revisit the Mass readings for Ascension Day/Sunday – his victory and his throne are shared with you! No power of hell can take that away.

    • a healing of memories. that is such a powerful thought. thank you so much for this incredible advice. yes, i will scour through the psalms this weekend. that’s such a great idea. thank you for this, Fr. Brench. i hope you have a wonderful weekend. God bless! x

  12. I have the exact same feelings when I go to my childhood home! My attitude instantly becomes ‘child like’ (my temper is quicker with parents, I feel like I want to sneak certain foods I used to binge on, detach from the skills I usually use) and I slip back into old behaviors (even if I entered the situation completely prepared and mindful.) It’s all very strange, but I’ve heard more and more people with past EDs relating recently (especially with going home for the holidays)
    I wish you all the luck with making your decision! Either way, it’ll provide new experiences, learning opportunities and memories.

    • thank you for sharing your story, Sarah. Yeah going home can be difficult. will definitely be keeping you in my heart and prayers! big hugs to you xox

  13. You really hit the nail on the head here. I feel like I’m crazy sometimes feeling spiritually attacked in “safe places” but I suppose that’s where we have our guard down the most and Satan can use those damaging thoughts and memories of past sin and struggle to seek our demise. I always go back to the Spiritual Armor of Ephesians 6- the belt of truth: Christ conquered Satan; it is finished, so I can and must walk in that victory. The breastplate of righteousness: I’ve been saved by Christ Jesus and his righteousness is mine, it guards my heart. The helmet of salvation: the devil doesn’t pay rent, so he’s not allowed to take up space in my mind, that belongs to Jesus. The shield of faith: sometimes I just have to grit my teeth and hold it up with quivering arms, knowing that God can see what I cannot. Feet shod with the readiness of the Gospel: I know the attacks will come, and so did Jesus- he fought them with scripture and prayer. The sword of the Spirit: the Holy word of God that does not return to Him empty, but accomplishes everything He sends it out to do, including defeating Satan’s attempts to wreck me. And I visualize putting on each of those items and suddenly, I can breathe again! God bless you and your dad- what a blessing to have a Godly earthly father who is by your side helping you face spiritual battles.

    • thank you so much for sharing your heart, Eden, I really appreciate your honesty and encouragement. you’re so right – we’ve got to put on that armor! big hugs to you friend xox

  14. I am proud you recognize the source is the devil. Your father is a really good father. You are young and beautiful and growing mentally and spiritually. There will continue to be negative people in our lives, especially in our hometowns. Even Jesus was spurned in His hometown. You do seem to have a real challenge. It seems you want to be back in Ohio and yet are more comfortable in NY where you are accepted as you are without having the pain of history follow you to church or the grocery store. In the end it is a matter of your heart. At some point you will learn to accept some people are just plain nasty. They are bitter, insecure, and jealous. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t avoid them. You should. That’s hard to do in church but not impossible. Avoiding any eye contact with those people can work but at some point God will give you the words which will quiet forever their criticisms. You do not have to be nice to people who are not nice to you. Jesus says love your enemy because it’s easy to love our family and friends and what is the honor in that? He doesn’t mean, however, we should suffer their attacks. He means we should pray for them and truly want good things for them. It is one of the hardest things he commands us to do. It takes a long time but eventually we grow and let go. I’ll be praying for you to follow God’s will in your life. It is hard to know if He wants you in NY or Ohio. Since your plan is to pray about it, I know His answer will come and you will know where you should be. God Bless.

    • thank you so much Phyllis, I really appreciate your kind words and wonderful advice. you’re so right – we’ve got to pray for them and pray for the situation. big hugs to you friend xox

  15. I believe you can get past the place itself I believe. But do you really have to go to that particular parhish? You could be right about the attack being meant to keep you from moving home. Anyway, I will pray for your guidance and wisdom. Hang in there.

    • thank you Tony 🙂 I think you’re right – i have to just get past it. thank you for your prayers and kindness. big hugs to you and yours xox

    • yeah, that’s very true Walt. I’ve got to keep my eyes focused on the future. thank you for stopping by! big hugs xox

  16. I just wanted to say how blessed I am when I read your blog! How you incorporate your relationship with Jesus into your recovery and into your every day situations!
    He is so faithful and you remind me of this as you open up about your struggles, blessing and miracles! Thank you again for sharing and being so open and obedient to His call on your life! <3

    • oh my gosh Kat, thank you so much! what a kind thing to say! Yes! Jesus IS my recovery — honestly. thank you for stopping by! big hugs x

  17. Great insight as always Caralyn. My response is If Satan doesn’t like you there, there is a reason for it. The opportunity to reach more souls is the question in my mind. Jesus was tempted before he began his ministry. I totally understand steering clear of risky environments. It is essential in early recovery, however it is sometimes necessary and that is where having an escape plan intact and giving yourself permission to bail. I no longer consider anyplace risky those urges and ideas have been eradicated from me (miracle) Where is God calling you to bear fruit? God Bless- Jeff

  18. Thank you for this! I had struggles throughout high school, but I never felt safe or valued enough to share what I was going through with people at my church. I just felt constant judgment and expectations. Maybe that’s why I have such a difficult time going back to my home church with my parents. Thank you for being so transparent with your growth and healing.

  19. Thank you for sharing this particular battle. I’m so grateful your dad was able to see and remind you of the truth. I was in need of this kind of reminder today as well. Love to you!

    • thank you so much Melissa, yeah I am so grateful for my papa too — he’s a great man. big hugs to you xox

  20. I just moved to Ohio in August. NYC is my most favorite place on earth, and I explored Chicago for the first time in Nov. Thank you for sharing you heart and words.

    • welcome to the Heart Land, Jeanie! i hope you’re loving it so far 🙂 big hugs to you! so glad you stopped by! xox

      • I LOVE Ohio. I’m in Lebanon, it’s so cute and central to 3 big cities!

      • oh my gosh I love Lebanon! going to the golden lamb was always a tradition in my family growing up! have you been to the Sauerkraut festival in Waynesville? It’s definitely a lot of fun! xox

  21. I’m saddened to hear that you experienced this satanic attack, but also glad that your father wisely saw it for what it was and could help.

    Could it be that not everyone who tells you that you look better is being snide? Or that they aren’t socially inept? A greeting to someone I haven’t seen in some time often is to comment that they look good! While someone recovering from ED hears a painful reminder, it may be well-intentioned. Perhaps more inexperienced or uninformed than socially inept.

    You know the concern I have for you and the support I try to give, but I find myself wondering if I haven’t inadvertently put my foot in at times. I know I recently commented on a picture that shows such a confident, open smile compared to your first video to introduce yourself to us. I hoped to compliment how you’ve bloomed over time. Maybe that’s what at least some of those people are trying to do as best they know how.

    Of course, I didn’t hear the tone of their delivery. I don’t have the history.

    Anyway, maybe I’ve completely misread what you were trying to convey. So my apologies if I just didn’t get it tonight. Or if I’ve offended you at any point. Just continue blooming!

    • Thanks for this Jeff, yeah that’s a great point – it could be just a well meaning salutation after a long period of time. Oh gosh – I didn’t take your comment that way *at all!!* truly. What I’m referring to in this post is muchhhhb different. In almost a patronizing, “bless her heart” kind of way. Ah well, people mean well i guess. Shoe on the other foot I’d probably be saying the same thing. Thanks Jeff 🙂 no offense taken here! 🙂 sorry no Patreon tonight – I’m staying at my bro and sister in laws and no time to sneak away to record. Will try to get to it tmrw! Have a great night and big hugs to you and Julie! Xox

      • Good then. And after 6 years in Memphis I know all about “bless her heart!” So I get that COMPLETELY! Writing to you tonight out of an abundance of caution, I guess. Just enjoy your evening!!

  22. Your experience is much like many today who can go through similiar bad memories. It will surely help us all to know in the end you OVERCAME!😀👏🏾 Thanks for posting!

    • Thank you friend. You’re right – with Jesus we are all overcomers!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  23. God is great and he will continue to fight for you! I had encountered the things the devil dig up from my past a couple of times and I would get so angry and hurt and just cried out to God and rebuked the enemy with scriptures and trust me he did flee in Jesus Name! Keep strong and continue to stand as a warrior in Christ! Wherever God decides to have you settle, may it be renewing and peaceful! Much love xxoo 🙏🙏🙏💕

  24. You’re right about protecting your heart. Moving to Ohio doesn’t force you to go to your same home church 😉 I am not, and haven’t been in your shoes at all, girl, and I’m not saying it’s the same. When I visit my home church, these are people (some) I’ve known since I was 7. Others came when I was a teenager. I know my openness, the fact I study and talk to God a lot isn’t always understood by others. November I went home and the guy giving the message was covering Matthew (end of time scriptures), and I shared a dream I had dealing with end of times, and I can connect it to scripture in Revelations, which I did. There were palm trees in the dreams, and in scripture it talks about how the saints carry palm branches. The person speaking didn’t know how to react to me sharing a dream like that, and instead made a joke about it “So if we see palm trees, we need to be worried.”

    It is frustrating to be misunderstood. And in your case, it’s hurtful to be around those who have hurt you. Listen girl, forgiving people and letting go of bitterness might be something to consider if the anger is there (and I’m speaking from a toxic church that did make me bitter, and I’ve been able to let go, but it took time 🙂 ) however, that doens’t mean you have to stay in the same place, by no means, even after the feelings of anger are gone!

    You’re a new creation in Christ <3 People may not know what to say to you because they don't know you, they just are acquainted with you in church. So yep, you get a lot of surface talk, a lot of it can be meaningless. Christ was with you in all ways, and He continues to be. Be in the environment where you are surrounded by people with Christ in the center of their hearts. Reflect the light they are reflecting back.

    If you decide on moving back, remember, you aren't moving back to an old life, and you are not moving back to old places. Everything can be new, and new choices can be made as well 🙂 you should never feel chained down. Should you move, it's a new experience, but should you stay, girl, keep making new experiences 😉 leave the chains behind, don't pick them up. Let them stay at the feet of Christ. <3 Love be upon you!

    • Thanks so much TR. you’re right, there’s a lot more to Ohio than just that one Parish. Gosh I’m sorry he reacted that way to your dream. You’re right – it’s so frustrating to be misunderstood. Gosh thank you for your beautiful and encouraging words. I am seriously so touched and I’m falling asleep tonight with such a warm heart. You’re a great friend. You’re right – everything can be new. Amen to that. Leave the chains behind! 🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼🙌🏼Hope your 2018 is off to a beautiful start. Sending big big big hugs xox

  25. “When things get hard, warriors are born!” Perfectly said. We are given such a powerful choice in the face of our struggles. I fight different battles when I go “home”, but can very much relate to what you so beautifully articulated. My husband and I are likely moving back to my hometown (or near it) in order to – like you – be closer to my mom whose health is struggling. In some ways, I am so ready for this season, but there are times when the devil sneaks up, cloaked in failures of the past, and sucks the breath right out of me. It’s intimidating, but without battles, there are not victories. Thanks for sharing thoughts that strike at the heart of what so many of us go through but don’t always know how to express.

    • Thanks Rashell. I’m sorry to hear that about your mom. I will def keep her in my prayers as well as you and your husband as you begin a new chapter. Hugs and love xox

  26. Keep praying for what God wants you to do, and be willing to accept it. I’m sure you will. 🙂 Thank you for sharing your story and struggles. Satan had to attack you because your blog is helping people. Also, thank you for clicking ‘like’ on my blog posts. I’m still building it.

  27. Thank you for your post. Your openness & honesty are wonderful. Satan certainly finds that chink in our armour whenever he can. Thank God that He is greater by far. 😀

  28. You are not alone. Shoot – there are people AND places (including a church or two) I steer clear of because of the disquiet that I feel in my spirit.

    I have found that some people can stay in the same place and not be affected by it – they are thick-skinned, and our society seems to extol such tendencies as virtues. I am not that way. I am a very sensitive person, and there are definitely people and places that get to me – I find myself on the alert and feeling ill-at-ease.

    That’s all to say, though, that perhaps you may need to steer clear of a particular parish, but your experience doesn’t necessarily mean that you are meant to stay away from Ohio. Only you will know for sure – and I trust that the Lord will reveal to you according to His timing what His next steps are for you.

    This is not the same thing, but I got a clear signal from the Lord today that I was meant to postpone something that I really wanted to do this month. The more I tried to make it happen, the more friction that I experienced. In this case, this was not spiritual opposition in a negative sense – it was the Lord letting me know that now is not the time. The more I tried to lean into it, the more frustrated and frazzled I felt. Finally, I waved the white spiritual flag and told the Lord that I would postpone this event until February.

    In my case, I suspect that I was getting a little ahead of His timing, even though what I was trying to do was a good thing!

    Walking by faith can be a tricky business, but it’s always the right thing to do. Hang in there!

    • Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. That’s so wonderful that you’re so in tune with His promptings! Hugs and love xox

      • The Lord is using you mightily to touch the lives of so many people, and He has actually expanded your ministry (two blogs and two books, no?). Whether your base of operations is in NYC or the midwest, remember that He gies before you and paves the way forward. When it’s time for you to move, I hope that God gives you the peace that you seek about this important. In the interim, continue to let your light shine! You are a blessing.

      • Gosh what an incredibly kind thing to say. I am truly touched. Thank you 🙂 YOU are a blessing to ME!! 🙂 big big hugs to you friend xox

  29. Oh the devil is sly! Always working with smokes and mirrors, creating an illusion that he has an army working with him around us, through the people close to us, and in our mind, just to haunt us. But fail he has, because he didn’t realise that through the cross there would be redemption, and through his shameful act of trying to get you, he set up a ripple effect of encouragement through the post you just wrote. I do feel like laughing, in fact, I am. I laugh at the way he just lost the battle on you . . . bloom on, Overcomer.

  30. I have had many situations where the Devil used my memories like a hail of bullets. Our memory types are different, but I know where you are coming from.
    If you feel that moving home is going to be too tough, may I suggest Columbus? It would be closer to home, but you could still retreat to somewhere where no one knew you back then, when it all gets too much.

    • Thanks for sharing that. That’s a great idea about Columbus! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  31. Oh the attack of the enemy, and how he can reach through the tiniest of pinholes. I love that you shared this. What a beautiful moment with you and your Dad. It’s amazing what we can accomplish when we are mindful of the attack, and who it is attacking us.

  32. Oh that Satan…always using our weaknesses against us. If all you could think of on your walk is “Oh, God,” it’s okay. God understands that you are calling out to Him.. He knows what you are feeling and going through and will give you strength and knowledge about what to do. Thank you for posting this. I have to leave my home every Summer with my husband because of his job and Satan is always attacking me when it comes to this because I love being at home where I feel safest. I need to embrace God’s plan for us and focus on that more than what Satan places into my head.

    • Yeah, I think it was a plea of desperation. Thanks for sharing your story. Yeah he’ll try and find a foothold when we’re vulnerable. Hugs and love xox

  33. So sorry you are going through this. One way to change the cycle and and the track that keeps playing in your head is… a make over. Not for you, but for your old room. It’s been years since you’ve been in high school. Why not talk to your mom about boxing up and either storing, or getting rid of all that old stuff that is no longer YOU. It is the past. Chuck it. Then, repaint and redo everything. if your room was pink, paint it yellow, or whatever you like or your mom likes. Make it a guest room without anything to do about you. This will also help you individuate from EVERYTHING about your past and help you to be seen as the new you. Your dad gave you some amazing advice. He sounds like a great guy!
    It sounds to me as if you already wish you were living in OH. The past is keeping you from moving forward. Rewrite your life! I know what it is like to have family hang on to ‘old Melissa’. Things that I liked or was into 30 years ago that I no longer care about but they still hang on to my past more than I do. It’s as if THEY cannot move forward. That’s their issue, not mine. Those people at church are stuck in a rut, not you. Some people want to keep other people mired in the past to feel better about themselves and their messed up lives. You do not have to participate in their messed up way of living. You are making changes. You have let go of your past. They can carry the burden of your past if they wish but they can only use it as a weapon against you if you let them. You do not need to acknowledge them or have them in your life or go down that road of remembrance with them. Just breeze past them with your head held high. You have done amazing things. You are a survivor. Don’t allow anything, or anyone to undo all you have accomplished. Love ya!

    • Thanks so much Melissa, I really appreciate your encouragement. A make over! I love that idea!!! Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks friend. I’m definitely going to take that advice about the make over! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  34. Sounds like you are going through a new “birthing” process…new life is in progress. My advice would be to spend time in silent, self-emptying, meditation-prayer. Then listen, watch, be open for signs that will speak to your heart…and also journal about it. Peace and blessings to you.

    • Thanks Bill, I really appreciate your encouragement. That is some really great advice 🙂 thank you!! Hugs and love xox

  35. Caralyn, I think sometimes God allows those reactions to spur deeper growth. Like, wow, I’m not over that yet. I still need to forgive or heal or whatever. I’ve gone through similar experiences. When you feel attacked I would (obviously alone) speak out loud and say, “You beat me down as a hurting girl but now I am a redeemed woman and a warrior and you don’t get the last say.”
    When you’re feeling strong you should take back enemy territory. Don’t let him scare you out of taking back lands he’s stolen. Put on praise music and pack up your high school stuff. You can symbolically let it go. Feel the feelings but do it to close that chapter (and get your bedroom back!).
    Perfect love casts our fear and we already have the victory in Christ.
    Much love, Sierra

    • Thanks Sierra, I think you’re absolutely right about that. This is a growing pain i think. So glad you stopped by. Hugs and love xox

  36. I’ve found whenever you gain some mayor victory, every so often you have to re-sit the “exam”. It’s not bad. The Lord allows it so you stay in shape, battle wise. This is especially important for you as you’ve long been going on the attack to help others win this battle. For sure the enemy is upset with you for that – that’s why you need to stay in shape, ready to fight and sadly the only way to do that is by fighting. Remembering the Lord promised you would not be tried above what you are able.
    You recently won yet another victory with your miracle so it’s to be expected the enemy will launch a full scale attack, especially as you are thinking of moving back home which would involve facing your fears. I think the focus is not, should or shouldn’t you move back home, but that you need to fight and win this battle in the same way a doctor takes courses to update his studies. When you are free of the fear then you can make your decision based on the right reasons.
    Fear is always a toughie. The best weapon I’ve found to defeat it is total imersion in God’s promises, (even saying them outloud when attacked) and praise. The devil can’t stand either and has to flee (getting others to pray is also good, but best to have your own sword!) Always remember he’s scared shitless of you because you have the power of Christ. So often we picture the devil as this impensely powerful being, but actually he’s less than dust where Jesus is concerned – he just has a big megaphone! lol!

    • Thank you so much for this thoughtful response Claire! You’re so right I have to remember God’s promises 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  37. Miss Caralyn,
    There is so much richness in your words, so much to unpack and listen. I’m reminded of the brokenness and pain. That sometimes people of faith, with good intentions say really stupid things. Yes, social graces go out the door when masking deep concern that can not be adequately expressed. I’ve said more stupid things in my life than I care to admit, sometimes with deep concern for someone, and sometimes because my brain and heart are simply not in sync with my mouth.
    What strikes me deeply in both the hearing of the words, and in the sharing of the experience is that there is still room for God’s healing grace in the experience of being in the parish where you were deeply in the throes of your eating disorder. I don’t know if there will ever be a moment when you are able to return to this parish. The only thing I know is there is room for God’s healing, and mercy.

    You are beautiful, and wounded, and holy, and vulnerable!

    • Thank you so much Teri! What a beautiful note of encouragement. You’re right – there is room for His healing and mercy 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  38. Hi Caralyn,

    Just my thoughts on your post….

    I believe that what is past is past and should stay there. The trials and struggles that you have suffered have shaped the wonderful person that you have become. Don’t be afraid of it for this very reason. It is because of your past experiences that you are now a new you. You are not the same person that fell into ED. Maybe you are ready to meet the past straight on now and continue to build your life. Guess what I am trying to say is ‘Look Forwards, Not Backwards!’

    I totally know where you are coming from regarding the insensitive comments that people make I get them too with my cancer. Everyone wants to tell you about someone they know who died of exactly what I’ve got, then there are those who send you the most ridiculous ‘cure’ to try that they’ve seen advertised online….. Try to ignore them. They don’t matter. God sees the person you are and ultimately He is the one that matters.

    Hope you have a wonderful time with your lovely supportive Dad and many congratulations to him.

    Lots of love

    • P.S.

      You talk about your old bedroom with your high school memorabilia. Get rid of it. It’s not helping your recovery. If you can’t bear to throw it all out, stick it in a box and put it in the loft (do you have lofts in your houses or are they attics?).

      Then give your old bedroom a makeover, kick the devil in the teeth, and move back into it!

      Gill x

    • Thank you so much Gill for this beautiful encouragement. You’re right – it should stay in the past. I am so touched by this. Thank you. And thank you for sharing your experience with cancer. I’m so glad you’re doing well 🙂 big hugs xox

  39. Thank you for being open and honest. It is awful to have those times of oppressive attack. Thank you for calling it what it is. I’ve been feeling a similar weight in different ways and my counselor (she loves Jesus) has noticed this corporately among other Christians recently – across the board. It is encouraging to know not feel alone in it but the battles, at the same time are so real.

    I’m so glad your Christmas holidays were fun! Bless you Caralyn!

    • Thank you Nathalie! You’re right – we are not alone and god has already won! Hugs and love xox

  40. I have had a slightly similar experience with a different cause. I went through a marriage breakup at 26 and felt like the only one, couldn’t face church…he was the youth pastor prior. I ended up moving overseas to get fresh start and shake identity which really was a good thing. I also ended up returning when my mum got sick and wasn’t sure if I would stay long term. In the end it really was a place I loved…I found a new church and eventually new man and would be quite happy to stay there rest of my life. Its almost like full circle of healing.

    • Thanks so much Louie! Oh gosh I am so sorry to hear that you had to go through that. I’m glad things worked out well 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  41. Hi Caralyn: I am sorry to hear of the demonic attacks coming against you, but I am really not surprised. You have come so far in your relationship with Jesus, the Christ, it is natural for the enemy of your soul, the biggest enemy of Christ, to regard you as a challenge to his domain wherever you go.

    On becoming a Christ follower, Christ lives in you, and your life is by faith in Him, not on your own value, or things you do at all.

    kGalatians 2:20
    I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

    The “old Caralyn” is gone, the “new, improved, transformed, Christ centred Caralyn” is alive and well, and the enemy does not like the “new, improved” Caralyn that honours God, and shares Jesus Christ as Saviour.

    2 Corinthians 5:17
    Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

    You are a completely new person in Christ now, Caralyn. The old you no longer exists.

    In our human nature, we do not like hardships, trials, and troubles, but as Apostle Paul wrote many years ago, he had many, so why should we assume to be different. Struggles do make us stronger in Christ, as we follow Him, and His Spirit fills us.

    2 Corinthians 12:10
    That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    As for your prayers of “Oh God”, He understands perfectly. At times that us all we can say, which is admitting we don’t have the answers, but God does, and we trust Him completely.

    It sounds strange, but I do believe that the enemy will very often plan his attacks on Christ followers in a place of worship, because it is least expected there, and we can be caught off guard. Not everyone who attends any church is a Christ follower, some even carry evil spirits in with them, and if the Followers, or Leadership do not pray protection over the flock, and ban the evil, in Jesus Name, trouble can arise.

    If you are led by the Spirit to move back to Ohio, or continue to live in NYC, there is one suggestion I offer. In your parent’s home, because of your past in that home that bothers you, I suggest you do a prayer walk through the home. This means entering every room, especially your bedroom from younger days, asking the Lord Jesus to remove any and every foul, evil spirit who is still hanging around there bringing back memories, and cleanse and purify the room with His Shed Blood.
    When you do this through the home, it is a Spiritual house cleaning, and as doing it, also invite the Holy Spirit to reside and be in control of each room. Do every room individually, as well as the basement, being ready for Holy Spirit to lead you in prayer for some things you would never have thought of.

    It is a Spiritual battle you are in. Even though Jesus Christ won the war when He walked out of the tomb, we have some battles to fight through. That is why we were given the Armour of God, with instructions, as Apostle Paul was guided by Holy Spirit in Ephesians.

    Lastly, if you originally felt the Spirit leading you to move back to Ohio, don’t allow the enemy to put fear into you, to stay away. That means he wins.

    God Bless You Caralyn,
    Luv. 😀🌹❤️

    • This is so powerful. Thank you George. Amen – the old me is gone and the new in Christ has come! Thank you for your friendship and positivity. You are a blessing to me! Hugs and love xox

      • Enjoy your time in Chicago with your Dad. Is someone hanging out with your Mom when you both are away?
        Big hugs and ❤️🌹

      • Thanks! Yes! She’s there’s too! In fact I found out that they BOTH received the award last night! Woo! 🙂 big hugs to you xox

      • That is so neat. Give my congratulations to each of them. They are super people, a super couple, and super parents. We just have to look at the Daughter they have. Hugs and Luv. 😀🌹❤️

      • I definitely definitely will 🙂 shucks, you’re making me blush 🙂 hehe have a great Saturday! X

  42. Bless you! I know only too well of the stigma attached to recovering from an eating disorder and how different places and experiences can trigger those awful times. Stand firm against the enemy. That is your past, you are on overcomer through Christ!

    • Thank you Cheryl! Gosh this touched my heart. Amen Christ makes us new! Hugs and love xox

  43. Thank yo so much for putting your voice to the greatly avoided topic of the devil’s real influence on our thoughts and behaviors. This is a REAL thing, not just a fanatical “Christian” belief. He wants us to fail, it’s simple as that, and uses whatever nasty, hurtful, confusing thoughts that will discourage, derail, and topple us when we CHOOSE to entertain them, listen to them, and/or believe them. I’m so glad your wonderful Dad saw through that crafty old serpent devil and reminded you that you do not have to let him win! You are so strong and victorious! Keep going, keep kicking, keep overcoming – and when the time is right for YOU, you will know and be ready to live in some of those old meaningful spaces, and they will no longer hurt you. I have faith in you – you go girl <3

    • Thank you so much Mindy. You’re right – it is real and we have to keep our eyes on Jesus. Thanks for your encouragement . Hugs and love xox

  44. What an awesome dad you have! Aren’t you grateful he was there at that moment to encourage and instruct you? You may not have been expecting the devil’s attack at your home parish but God was prepared – He had the help you needed to withstand the attack right beside you. Yay, God! And yay, Dad! 😉

  45. Not all boats are in the same tide, right? Your old Place may not have risen in all the same spots……. But you had your NAVIGATION and in the end, that’s what counts. Give it a few days to settle before you think you have to make a decision about where to Be……I have a feeling the message will be unmistakable! So, out of your head, on with Love.

    • That’s really really a great point. Thanks for this encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  46. We are molded by our own experiences, elevating us to a new one but it doesn’t take effect if we don’t allow ourselves to embrace things happens in our past experiences, I know it’s difficult but we have to embrace it that it’s already happening, no best antidote for this but accept and learn from it, acquire what we lack and keep our faith strong… we can do nothing about it because whether we like it or not it is already part in our history… and through those histories we become what we become for it is our starting point to become someone whose personality is desirable.

    I know you are indeed a very strong person to dealt this events in your life… 🙂 Your stories nailed in my mind, and you’re such a good person.


  47. Amen! It might help, I find that his most vicious attacks come after I have had some kind of success. Whether one or a few, it draws him out and honestly I believe it is meant to distract me away from learning from the
    success. Then for some, the distraction is enough to throw us completely off course for a longer period of time. Glad to hear that your dad spotted it and that you two are close enough that you listen to him. Awesome! I pray your vision is clear for where you should be.

    • Hi Tim! Thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. It really means a lot 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  48. Great post! Doubt is the hardest to tangle with for sure. Whenever doubt comes knocking on my door, I invite it in for tea. I feel like since I invited it ( mostly unconsciously) I may as well listen to what it has to say. Then I show it back out the door and usually learn that Im not going to let doubt stop me from what I want/need. 😊

    • Thank you Alexis! That’s so true. Gotta show doubt the door! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  49. I think that you will be able to overcome this darkness with love, and shed light at those places if you “repurpose” them. Little by little. Foster new, good experiences in them. But I can completely understand the feeling of wanting to escape traumatic spaces. What’s helped me override any traumatic experience I’ve had was really digging deeper into the word of God. The exercise of reading his word daily has strengthened me and very often when I go anywhere I actually feel like I’m transcending that place by arriving there guarded by God’s love. I can then take any and every place with a renewed heart. 🙂

    Forgiving myself and others also helps rebuild my perception of those places. Sometimes we think we’ve forgiven people, and maybe we have. But there’s also the part about forgiving ourselves – because it is not uncommon for us to feel guilty for having “put up” with hurt, pain, abuse.

    I pray that God will continue to heal you and that soon you will feel like you “own” those places and can go in and out with a peaceful heart. But till then, I am sure there are lots of other spaces around – enough for you to build your life and not have to dwell on any darkness elsewhere. 🙂

    • Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. Repurpose them. I like that. Thanks for your prayers. Hugs and love xox

  50. Hooray for your dad, Caralyn!! New year, new season. Many times God asks us to shed the old so He can make room for the new. Perhaps a new place of worship is His perfect will. I am confident that as you continue to seek him first He will guide you. When we praise Him he ambushes the enemy for us and rescues us! (2Chronicles 20:21-22). ❤️

  51. You wrote in a post:

    “Well friends, wouldn’t you know, that on the evening of celebrating the miracle that took place in Mary’s womb, a miracle took place in my own, as well.

    Yes friends, you can now call me Fertile Myrtle.”

    I would assume that you are with child. If this is true. Then it is no longer all about you. You are on the path to motherhood and that means your child comes first. Your child comes before your job, before your fears, before your angst, before your disease. You are not choosing a place for you to live but rather a place where you will raise a child. There is no higher calling for a human than this. I have not heard much about this miracle. I hope that you are still growing a new life in you. (I know that there are so many things that can happen in the first trimester.) Making choices should become easier if you prioritize the life you carry.

    We live in a world where the supernatural forces of good (Jesus and His angels) battle the supernatural forces of evil (Satan and his minions). Satan has dominion over the earth. He prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. He attacks those who are not his. He concentrates his attacks on our weakest points. You may want to ponder why the devil does not want you in Ohio.

    Stand tall. Own your past. You have overcome it. You are a new creation in Christ in Ohio or New York.

    • Thanks you so much friend. So I realize that my wording back in that post was not the most clear because I’m actually not pregnant, I just got my period for the first time ever! 🙈🙈🙈I just didn’t want to put that right out there in a blunt way. So I’m sorry for the confusion. Yeah that is true – maybe that’s all the more reason to return to Ohio! Thanks for stopping by and have a great weekend! Hugs and love xox

  52. “I will not say: do not weep, for not all tears are an evil.” (J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the King) Maybe it’s time to recover from your recovery. Allow yourself your imperfection, embrace it.

  53. Wow, just wow. Thank for being so brave to share something so personal but know that by writing this you are helping. I struggle with a lot in my life too and I do believe there is an evil force that wants to pull us back into our old habits and away from God. But God is a great healer and i believe he works overtime to bring us back into the light. I really like you blog btw. Keep up the good and continue to do good.


    • Thanks so much Dave. I really appreciate your thoughtful response and affirmation. It means a lot! God is so good! Hugs and love xox

  54. Satan really does prowl like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Good for your dad and you that you recognized it. Maybe a little later than you would have preferred, but you still got it right. I think you’re wise to avoid the trigger areas. Perhaps you can even ask your folks if they’d please redo your old room so it’s not frozen in time with memories that make you feel inadequate and anxious. Even if you don’t sleep in there, you’ll know the old you is not living there anymore. Because remember: the old has gone, the new has come! That is a promise and just plain fact. You’re doing great. Keep fighting. XO, Lynda

    • Thanks for this Lynda, for this encouragement. You’re right – the old has gone. The New has come. Amen! Hugs and love xox

  55. I’ve offered this to others, and you might try it in your old bedroom: when the attack begins, focus on that younger you, and offer: “I love you. We are strong enough. Come to me.”

    Satanic spirits steal grace from their victims. If they are ever to be defeated, it must be recovered. That is the goal of the mantra.

    You might also consider that others are afflicted by the spirit in your old parish. The intensity of your experience suggests that it wants to keep your recovery from being evidence to others. But you also have a link into that afflicted community that can be used to restore the victims. Once you’ve established that you know how to protect yourself and that in fact you find your assailant to be pretty miserable, it’s to search around in the ugliness of that spirit to find and liberate the grace it has stolen from others.

    Yes, I am offering this advice from personal experience.

    • Wow Brian that is such a beautiful thought to offer the younger me that affirmation. I really appreciate this powerful advice. Sending big hugs x

      • Now that this is no longer the focus of commentary, it’s opportune to raise this: I had a dream nine months ago about the restoration of your fertility. So I’m curious: did you sense the healing occurrence last month, or was it simply time to reveal it after it had come fully to fruition?

      • oh wow, that is amazing Brian. I did! that’s what my post: It’s A Miracle was about! getting my period for the first time ever! *shrinks in embarrassment* But wow, how incredible!

      • I pursue this to illustrate how inutile it is to assert anything about the processes set in motion by the Most High. They are asynchronous and acausal. The constraints of material time are cast down. There is no proof. Faith is all that is left to us, and is the only tool that will prop open the door to love.

  56. It’s amazing how Satan and the evil angels attack us. It’s more real then many realize. But God is never out-done as you say. The post is so beantiful, poignant and raw that it conjures the healing path I am on. Thank you a thousand times for the personal hope I receive from God through you Caralyn!

    • Thanks Daniel, that’s very true. Amen! God is already victorious! Hugs and love xox

  57. Church had a lot of influence on me through high school — years I prefer to not spend much time remembering… Forgiveness took many years… It did not occur because those who offended me, or whom I offended, ever were able to talk it out to come to an understanding… but because I decided that this church meant something to my parents regardless of what it meant to me. The times I returned, while visiting my parents, most people had completely forgotten what occured 35 years ago. The few who did remember were impressed that I was the one who initiated the return.

    Regarding the devil, here’s a bluegrass song for you, by the Grascals, Satan Knew My Grandma Well, enjoy, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wv-xh8_o1A


    • Thanks for sharing that Oscar. Yes forgiveness definitely takes time. Thanks for sharing that song! Hugs and love xox

  58. ah how satan attacks us in our most vulnerable states. I’ll be praying for you for peace in your decision making! Oh and congrats to your dad!!

    • Yes he does. Thank you for your prayers Sophie. Praise God that He already won! Hugs and love xox

  59. This was a beautiful encouraging post. I am living far away from my childhood home and I often wonder if I did a mistake moving so far away in a different country. I am not saying don’t move back but I know the struggle you feel in. Stay strong and listen to God’s answer He is there and He will answer you.
    On that note thank you for this post, it made me turn around and realise the doubt I am feeling right now in my live is Satan trying to put me down, but I will not let him.

    • Thank you Ariel! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post and that it struck a chord with you. Yes! Let’s resist him! Hugs and love xox

  60. Great note Caralyn!

    I am grateful to God for yet again encouraging you, spurring you on, in a desire to know and understand His Word and subsequently Him.

    I often wonder whether ‘discouragement,’ as part of our broken nature is used by God for the purpose of sanctification. To go from discouragement to having ‘fanned the flame of the gift of God’ (2 Tim. 1:6) and then to an appropriate action based on new understanding… well there is nothing like it! That said let no one tell you that for a Christian, discouragement is wrong (unless it becomes a way of being!). It may seem logical: if the gospel saves us, it must save us from ever being discouraged, right? Such an idea seems spiritual… are we not ‘more than conquerors through him who loved us’ (Rom. 8:37)? BUT, remember the gospel saves us from death, not by removing death, but by helping us to face it in the power of Christ’s victory and thus to overcome it. So it is also with sin and with discouragement. Faith in Christ does not remove all sin or discouragement (and their causes); it enables us to overcome them. We may experience discouragement; but we will not be defeated by it. Psalms 42 and 43 teach us the biblical approach to discouragement: we feel it, we recognize it for what it is, and we analyze the reasons for its presence, which brings us back to 2 Timothy 1! (see also Romans 12:1-2, 2 Corinthians 10:5)

    I think perhaps the way we view our past is far too informed by secular psychology rather than by the doctrine of redemption (by Christ, in Christ & for Christ). As a new believer, grieving our past and coming to terms with the wrongs we have done (opportunities for biblical repentance!) and the shame associated with both our actions and the actions of others, is appropriate. However as time moves on, if our past pain is what informs our present identity, shame (Gen. 3:9-11) wins the day. Christ did not die for you & I to live in shame. It is our shame that manifests itself in pain, frustration, disappointment and despair. The story of Peter’s restoration (a better description than Peter’s failure!) is a lesson in the redemptive power of Christ from shame. Perhaps it was doubly hard for Peter because Jesus had told him to his face of his impending betrayal. Peter, knowing that Jesus was “…the Christ, the Son of the living God” emphatically declared that he would stand faithfully by his side until the end! Peter’s heart was hard to the rooster’s crow… he remained oblivious of his sin past the third denial. Potentially a rooster’s crow would serve to remind Peter of his denial, forcing him to face his crushing triple failure, at the beginning of every day for the rest of his life! However, a look from Christ broke Peter’s sinful slumber. Peter left the place of his denial, where clearly he was in both physical and spiritual danger and wept. We do not see him again until the resurrected Christ appears to him with his threefold charge to feed the sheep and lambs. For Peter the ‘bone’ of courage needed to be broken, for when it was reset it became the strongest ‘bone’ in his body! For the rest of his life, Peter lived ashamed to be ashamed! It was Peter who preached the first gospel message at Pentecost and he never relented. Grace was revived in him and he cast off shame having been transformed from tragedy into triumph through repentance and God’s forgiveness. This is your (and my) journey as well. We need to look upon the gaze of Christ, leave ‘the places’ of our denial (sometimes physically/sometimes metaphorically), weep, and be restored unto gospel usefulness (2 Peter 1:5-10).

    While we may always remember what happened, we need to believe that we are not what happened. We are who God says we are — new creations (2 Cor. 5:17). When we reject what our shame, in all its manifestations, says about us, we can finally hear what God says about us. He is working in all things to bring about good in our lives because we love God and are called according to his purposes (Romans 8:28). King David didn’t try to pretend he was innocent — he was honest. But neither did he allow shame/guilt to rob him — or God — of the joy of a life redeemed and restored. He knew he couldn’t change the past, but he hoped he could change the future.

    When we hope in what God has promised — commanded — our hope is the same as certainty. We need to live in certainty… not shame.

    Grace & Peace

  61. There are so many things I love about this post – thank you for sharing. One of those things I love is your tag line – because we’re all recovering from something – so true. You are a warrior!

  62. Hey firstly thx for checking out my blog. Hopefully you liked it!! It’s a small but tight community and I am happy you dropped by. I have been trying to make it more honest open and personal or others to relate to and connect to without shame or fear of being judged. If you have any feedback for me please don’t hesitate to tell me. And wow I love your honesty in this post. I mean I could literally see how hard it must be to talk about these things and yet you did so openly and I really admire that. I hope you are better now but I understand that going to places of your past can evoke some good and bad memories. xxx

  63. I experienced spiritual assault every time I go to my church. I’ll just be sitting there and I get hammered by despair and self-hatred.

    That’s how I know I’m supposed to be there. I don’t undergo this anywhere else. The fact that I get so brutalized there is a dead giveaway that Satan doesn’t want me there, and that therefore, God does.

    You probably know this, but spiritual warfare can actually be a great diagnostic in this way. You can often nail down Satan’s objectives by looking at where or how he’s fighting you. It makes for great intel.

    Perhaps that’s a line to pray along when seeking his will for you?

    Whatever happens, I grieve that you have to deal with this, and I pray for God’s victory in your life. I pray that you will be rooted and established in God’s love, and I declare that greater is He who is in you than he who’s in the world. I pray that the cross and blood of Christ and his death and resurrection be brought against the assaults in your life and then all Satan’s operations be cut off and disarmed in Jesus’ name and by his authority.

    Hang in there, sister. Keep your eyes on God and on all the ground he’s already retaken. He’s not done yet.

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Brandon. Yes. That means you definitely are supposed to be there! I’ll def keep you in my prayers 🙂 thanks friend xox

  64. When I am at a loss for what to say to God I simply say “thank you.” Because I know there’s a message in there somewhere and I’m just waiting for it to to revealed to me.

  65. Sometimes a prayer that is just “o God” is exactly what we need. Sometimes we don’t need to put our feelings, fears, thoughts into words. He knows. He understands. And that cry of “o God” from the heart He truly hears. I’ll be praying that you are able to find the direction He wants you to take – to move back home or stay in NYC.

  66. “I tried to pray, but truthfully I couldn’t come up with the words other than, O G_d. ” Happily no other words are necessary, and even these two are optional.

  67. You’ve conquered a lot and this is another challenge that I am sure you’ll conquer for you have God by your side. As you said, our Savior is matchless! May He continue to guide you. God bless.

  68. This was very special. You come across as so together, beautiful, upbeat active, working towards an amazing future, bouncebouncebounce etc and to hear you show us you’re still very human, and that things still haunt you even now, I just want to say thank you for sharing that. Recovery from anything can be a long hard road and we all have those little things which can get us down. I was just going through an online storage file and found an old voicemail which had me in tears in public. (Yay. Good end to the day!).
    So anyway. Keep at it and dont let those demons win.

    • Thank you so much friend 🙂 I really appreciate your kind and generous words. Aww, thank you for sharing that. You’re right – even a voicemail. Thanks for stopping by. Big big hugs to you xox

  69. I love the fact that you get to travel and how you seem so humble. I also love that you are in connections with God. Without him our life would be in shambles.

  70. There are places that remind us of a former self and a relentless nemesis we thought was gone. We just cannot forget. The slightest sound, smell, touch, words put us THERE. But, we are still HERE. We made it through. To me, that is what being “saved” is all about.

  71. Hello dear. Wow, I am 64 years old this past December, and when I read this post I said to myself, “I’m not the only one who has this feeling rush back after such a long time.” I was married so early in life once for 5 years. I married at 20 years old and lived to regret it. I got out and life continued with life’s ups and downs. I married the most wonderful man in the world when I was 32 years old and we will celebrate 32 years of marriage in July, God willing. But you know what, there are times when that sad and disappointing 5 years of marriage comes back to me and I wish I had did or said something other that what I did when I was so young. What’s more the first husband has died and I got angry again because of what I thought I should have done.

    But I recognized the enemy and began to pray my way through. “Oh God” was most of my prayer, too. I learned to ask the Lord to take the sting out of that situation so that it won’t bog me down. Whenever it comes up, I ask the Savior for grace and to give me a scripture, a prayer and even a song of praise. It works every time. Whenever anger for something long ago rises in me, grace abounds to disspel it. God bless you in 2018. I look forward to your posts.

    • thank you so much for sharing your story, friend. i really appreciate your kind words and encorgement. you’re right – Oh God is a powerful prayer indeed. keeping you in my prayers. big hugs xo

  72. Don’t go back. People can change, but communities take much longer. Oh yeah, I’m with you. The attacks are real. Keep that honesty about you. People need to know. And they also need to know God gets people through. I’m sure you’re proud of your dad. Don’t forget he’s proud of you.

  73. Biggest hugs! You NEVER want to be in a bad place. Even if a time is better than a former time (that was bad), bad vibes can get to you. When you are in Ohio, definitely go to the other church, and not the one when you were going through things. When I was in Music School there were 2 concert halls and one time I had to play a piece as part of a short recital in this one hall. It was almost the end of the semester, I was having a rough one, and to top it, my last Great Uncle (my mom was an only so we only had “great” aunts and uncles, and only a couple a piece at that) had recently died. I botched the piece. Luckily this was an “unofficial recital”, so it wasn’t anything in my curriculum or what. After that, when I had recitals of any kind “unofficial and official” I played them in the other concert hall. Those bad vibes stayed away. Love and warm hugs!!!! xoxoxo

    • Hey friend, thank you so much for this encouragement. you’re right – gotta stay away from places with the bad vibes for sure. stick to the positive!! Hugs and love xox

  74. Thank God that the reality is Lucifer can’t touch your heart <3 sure, he can convince your mind–he can convince it real good if you're not grounded. But that's all he can do, Jesus made sure of that, and that's why sometimes all it takes is a call-out from someone insightful enough to see what's going on and gently loving enough to tell you what they see happening (: don't ever forget that, Caralyn, he can't have your heart <3

    • That’s so true. Praise God for that. Thanks for your encouragement Carson. Hugs and love xox

  75. So many good thoughts shared by your readers! I can only imagine the depth of your struggle, but I do know that when the Lord brings victory, it is never a partial one. In Him we are overcomers. Whether or not you choose to move back home, God wants to give you victory there, even in your home church and in your old bedroom. You already know that it does not come easily or all at once. But the battle is His. I post this with a prayer for God’s continued wisdom, grace, and power in your life.

    • Hey again friend! thanks for sharing your thoughts on this. amen – the Lord really does bring victory! Hugs and love xox

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