My Unseen Recovery

First of all: to the person who used my Amazon link to order a pair of pizza socks that literally comes in their own miniature cardboard pizza box….a) Can we be friends? b) You’re winning at life. And C) Thank you for using my link! 🙂

OK, so real talk: this was a tough weekend for America.

We’re losing miserably at the Olympics. Facebook is a dumpster fire of people soapboxing about guns. Jennifer Aniston and Justin Theurox split up. Kids are staging a school walk out protest. And to top it off, the weather is having an anxiety attack, much like us – with snow storms one day, followed by 75 degrees the next day. Basically, we’re all a little on edge.

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At least Kylie’s pregnancy rumors have been put to rest.

But I wanted to just take a little breather tonight, and perhaps go in a different direction than I had planned.

This post is for a very special reader — you know who you are.

Sometimes we wake up one morning, and struggle to comprehend how we got to where we are right now.

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There are a lot of things about my recovery that I don’t share about on here. Hard to believe, I know…I mean, everything from my virginity, to my love life, to my failures, politics, and even reproductive health! – have been fair game thus far…But there are parts of my recovery that I never really talk about.

And mainly because it involves a lot of sadness for me.

One of the most challenging aspects of my recovery has been mourning the loss of time.

Grieving for the adolescence I never had. For the vibrant girl who never got to laugh and dance and love and fall and get up and bloom. I had to mourn that loss. Mourn the life I didn’t get to live during my eating disorder.

 

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Right before I developed anorexia

The fact is, I spent a good four or five years enslaved to my anorexia, and then directly followed by another year on bedrest for my ulcerative colitis. So close to six years during my formative years – was spent not living.

Instead of growing into the young woman I was supposed to be, and pursuing my dreams, setting goals, making friends, having fun – I was chained to my eating schedule and excessive exercise regime. Crippled with obsession about food, yet avoiding it at all costs, no matter the social or bodily implication. There was no life – From the panicked moment my eyes snapped opened in the morning to the anxious collapse at the end of the day. Never a moment of peace. For six years.

One of the biggest challenges for me, today – healthy and whole – is coming to terms with that time I can never get back. And accepting the loss of that pivotal time in my life.

Truthfully, if I spend a lot of time thinking about it, I can still feel my chest tighten in anger. But I rest in the hope of something that is bigger and greater than me. I have to. It is the only way to cope.

I have to trust that God is in control. I just have to. I have to believe that God will not let that strife be for naught.

And I have to believe that I still have something to offer. That He has something planned for me to do. Some way to use that darkness for light. Letting it not have been in vain.

That is why this blog came to be. That why I wrote my book. Laying it all out there with the hopes of offering encouragement to people with all types of adversity in their lives – including eating disorders.

I know that God will use my painful season for good. That is who our God is. That is how He operates. Time and time again, He demonstrates that — including with His own Son.

How easily we forget or gloss over the fact that for forty days — forty days— Jesus — God’s Son — was left alone in the desert to be tempted by satan. I mean, that is outrageous. First of all, I can’t imagine the will power it must have taken for God not to just swoop down and save His Son. But also – I can’t imagine how alone Jesus must have felt.

It is one of those situations from the Bible that is truly impossible to fully comprehend.

But if there’s one thing that shows, it’s that “desert periods” will occur in life. We will go through the desert. We will feel alone. And forgotten. Maybe inadequate. Possibly despairing. But our suffering doesn’t negate the Father’s love, as hard as that is to believe. And when we find ourselves in the middle of that desert, it’s even harder to believe that one day, we will ever be whole, or useful, or thriving again.

It turns out that Jesus’s “desert period” was simply the overture before the symphony. It was leading up to the purpose of His life.

He was never forgotten. He was being formed.

I still carry a lot of shame and feelings of inadequacy – believing that because of my past, I am broken or less than. But the truth is, God takes all things that are broken and makes them new. He turns the dust into clay, and that clay into beautiful masterpieces.

Lord, help me to believe that. 

Help me see the work you are doing in me.

And may you feel His hands forming you. too.

 

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

323 thoughts on “My Unseen Recovery

  1. Of course you still have something to offer–and you’re doing it. As long as the Lord gives one life, he or she has a purpose to live for, something to offer others. So live life to the fullest!

  2. “Go, eat your food with gladness, and drink your wine with a joyful heart, for God has already approved what you do.”
    Ecclesiastes 9:7
    May you live in the joy of God’s love, made manifest in His Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

    1. Thank you so much Tim. What a powerful scripture verse. I appreciate you sharing it with me! Hugs and love XOXO

  3. Gosh, can I relate? My best years were spent sitting on a bar stool. College career, military career, good jobs all down the toilet. But, I believe that’s the only place God could have reached me. And today, it’s OK. I have a good life, so do you. Aren’t we the lucky ones?

    1. Hi Larry! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your thoughtful and encouraging words. We are so lucky! Hugs and love XOXO

  4. There’s a reason we’re told God will provide beauty from ashes and joy from mourning. You are beautiful now and you were beautiful then. Every phase, even in the middle of your anorexia, God saw you as absolutely, stunningly, completely beautiful. Time is such an odd thing . . . I think we all have regrets about time lost or ill-spent. But God doesn’t waste any of those experiences, and he’ll find a way to make even those lost years beautiful in their own way. Love and BIG hugs. ~Lynda

    1. Hi Lynda, thank you So much for this beautiful and encouraging response. You’re so right! God will not waste that. Hugs and love XOXO

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much for this kind response. I’m so glad it resonated with you! Hugs and love XOXO

  5. Those of us who don’t always comment miss the Like button. Most of the time you probably won;t even miss us, but why did you remove the Like button and force us to comment? You know I enjoy your posts but you’ll never see another like from me because of your desire to only see comments. Sad.

    1. Hi Walt, and I’m sorry I don’t know what you mean? I did not remove any like button? If it is not showing up on your browser I am concerned and confused. I will contact word press about this and I’m sorry for your inconvenience! I recently switched to a premium account that I have to pay for, so maybe the like button got lost in The switch. I hope this finds you well. And I do appreciate your and every person’s readership very much. Hugs and love XOXO

      1. It’s ok. it’s the like button on the emails l i get about your post. It’s still on your page. datmama4 just informed me.

    2. Walt, the like button isn’t in the emails, but it’s here (above the comment section) once you click on the “comment” link to come to the site.

      1. OK great! Thanks for the clarification! Glad to hear he hasn’t been completely lost! I’m drafting my email to the powers that be at word press right now! Thank you both for the heads up!

  6. As always, you’ve managed to speak to something I personally believe many of us can identify with. I, sometimes, sit back and wonder if my struggles have meant anything and whether I have used them to encourage someone else. But I’m constantly reminded daily that although I may not see whose lives may be touched, Someone greater than myself sees everything. That brings comfort and strength to continue moving forward. You’re awesome and you’re appreciated…remember that!

    1. Hi Sean! Thank you so much for your kind words about my post. I’m so glad it resonated with you! You’re so right, we can use what we go through to help others! Hugs and love XOXO

  7. Thank you for this — I really needed it. There are so many times that I’ve been in the desert period, despairing over lost time and what I could have done. But your description as it being the “overture before the symphony” is so apt. It’s a great reminder for me that I need to set my eyes on the goal and remember that whatever trials I go through are formative, and they aren’t for nothing. Thanks again! ^-^

    1. Hi Abby! Thank you for your kind words. I’m so glad this struck a chord with you. Ha ha yeah I’ve always been a bit of a musical geek. Glad you appreciated the metaphor! Hugs and love XOXO

    1. Hi Janelle! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts! Yes you are certainly right about that! Hugs and love XOXO

    1. Gosh I am so touched by this! Thank you so much for your incredibly kind words. Hugs and love XOXO

    1. Thank you JoHanna I really appreciate your kind words And encouragement! Big hugs to you friend

  8. I love this: “It turns out that Jesus’s ‘desert period’ was simply the overture before the symphony. It was leading up to the purpose of His life.” And because of His sacrifice, the same is true for us! You are a beautiful symphony, Caralyn, for God’s glory. Your overture was filled with many minor keys only emphasizing the beautiful melodies and harmonies he now plays through you. God bless dear lady. You are an inspiration and a masterpiece!🎶

    1. Thank you so much Robin! That’s so true… It’s the same for you and me! Thank you for your beautiful and affirming words. It truly touched my heart. Hugs and love XOXO

  9. Hey little sister.
    Thank you for opening up that raw hidden sadness. I’m with ya, on that one.
    Be joyful about that 6 years. There, you will find all the big that only you will know. Secrets between you and God. Defining, hidden gems.
    I lost thirty years drunk whilst my kids grew up. Shit that hurts. But it’s okay. I know stuff that you don’t. Hehehe.
    Love alwaz
    Mike

    1. Hey Mike, thank you so much for sharing your story with me. I’m sorry that this hits so close to home for you. You’re right that time transforms us and becomes a gem. Hugs and lots XOXO

  10. I love your heart, it shows in your writing. Let me assure you that you are the treasure that has risen like an albatross from the ashes of your pain. Rest assured that you have touched lives in a way you will never know.

    You talk about lost time, and getting angry about it. I know it is a challenge, but you see that time gave you the beautiful person you are right this very moment. Time is inconsequential. Think about Yeshua (Jesus) and what he did in three years; how we live and breath (and I search for more) every word and thing we can know about him.

    Time is inconsequential if just one life has been affected positively by your voice, you can close your eyes and rest knowing you have given life to another human.

    Thank you for your heart, from the bottom of my heart.

    1. Hi Shammah, Thank you so much for the stuff whole response. So many powerful nuggets of wisdom here. I’m very touched. Hugs and love XOXO

  11. So what I needed to read today. Thank you! My life has NOT turned out the way I thought. Each time I think I know what life will bring God allows something different. But God IS faithful. Always faithful and good. Thank you for the reminder.

    1. Hi friend! I’m so glad this resonated with you. Amen to his Faithfulness! Hugs and love XOXO

    1. Hey friend, thank you so much for your honesty and kind words. So glad you found this encouraging! Hugs and love XOXO

      1. Oh, and by the way, I wouldn’t say we’re getting our butts kicked in the Olympics… we usually do better in the Summer Olympics.

        (And I have it on now… Brita Sigourney, who just won bronze in ski halfpipe, was born about 30 miles from where I was born, and we both went to the same university, although she’s a bit younger than me. I didn’t know her; I’ve just been hearing about her from the university’s Facebook page.)

      2. That’s what my dad said too…haha Oh wow! that’s awesome! — I’m going to turn it on now — I’ve been watching the Bachelor! ahahah

  12. your post today was beautifully written beauty…immediately I thought of the scripture from Jeremiah which I’m sure you have read in your devotions = Jeremiah 29:11: ‘For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ I copied that verse from the Living Bible, known as the Way, a special edition I own proudly that was printed in 1976 as 19th printing from original 1971 copyright by Tyndale (illustrated, photos by Youth for Christ International).

    The Most High himself called you and He will establish and strengthen you for every good work and word!

    1. Thank you so much friend, for your kind and encouraging words. That scripture verse is so encouraging! Thank you. Hugs and love XOXO

  13. Today, on my first day of my #40day partial fast, I asked God to grant me direction for the future. What is my mission statement? He gave me these verses for myself and they remind me of you! We are both part of this ministry of healing both ourself and others! Thank you always for your vulnerability and your unquenchable hope. Anyhow, here they are:
    “The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on Me because He has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor, bind up the brokenhearted, proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners…to comfort all who mourn and provide for all those who grieve, to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor.” (Isaiah 61:1-3)

    1. Wow what an incredible accomplishment! What a beautiful active service to God! Thank you so much for these profound thoughts and encouraging words. Hugs and love XOXO

  14. I think about my own recovery from active alcoholism. I have been sober now for almost as long as I drank. Every day I discover something I missed because I was drinking, just simple relaxing, for example, or an honest conversation with my wife. So the losses are recognized.

    1. Hi David! Thank you so much for sharing your story and for your honesty. I’m sorry to hit so close to home for you. It sounds like you have a great support system at home.Hugs and love XOXO

      1. You are very graciously welcome. Because of your experiences, you are able to help others get through theirs. Hugs and love back.

  15. I happened upon Philip Glass’s work on the Truman Show. 🤓 It was really good though.

    Six years is a long time. Slightly less than forever. It would definitely feel like forever. I can see a little bit more now. Maybe. Loss is like a good ocean storm. It pulls you out further than you want and gives, nothing. Nothing but experience. A will to appreciate.

    1. Slightly less than forever – that is a really powerful thing to remember. An ocean storm – yes. Images from The Perfect Storm come to mind. thank you for sharing your heart and thoughts Kenzie. Hugs and love xox

      1. “The day I laid eyes on you I said she’s gonna be a good one.” (Billy Tyne)

        That’s good to look for in a guy. Someone with heart. Not so, salty. 😂

      2. I have a friend that was at the Denver Symphony for a while. Musician. She would have these similar moments you wrote about. Same age I think. Age makes one able to just go, oh well. Missed the bus. Oh well. That link to being and that any effort is your best. To overcome. That one must, fail, a lot. In public. And. Often. Before any glimmer of mastery appears. Not to be confused with burning out which is, also fun. Well. Kinda.

  16. I struggle with this too. Wasted time. I spent a dozen years with an alcoholic and now I’m raising 2 teenagers basically by myself. I regret the loss of all those years and I regret and struggle to forgive myself for my children having a mother who causes them so much pain. I’m 44 and sometimes I feel so old. But I know I’m not. And while many “good” years are behind me, I have faith that there are many more to come. What is the saying? The best time to plant a tree is 100 years ago? The second best time is now? And I’m so grateful for my children and all the gifts in my life. Your posts mean a lot to me and obviously a lot to others too. And your past is where the power comes from. It is sad that you missed out on so much. I’m sorry. But you have so much ahead of you and God is right beside you. God bless.

    1. Thank you for sharing your heart and your story. I’m sorry this hits so close to home. Amen – many many more good years to come. Sounds like your kids are really blessed to have you 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  17. Hi, I am truly sorry to cut in but sweet Lady, I cannot scroll your page at all and I follow you on facebook but it links here on your blog. I am trying my best but if I do not see your posts I cannot get to understand what you are writing about. Am I making sense?
    I left you a message on facebook as well. I am not stalking you LOL i would like to be able to read your blog again but something is wrong and I am afraid I need a new computer that I cannot buy. Please share some of your blogs on the facebook page!! Thank you, God Bless you and forgive my intrusion.

    1. oh gosh, I’m sorry about that Patricia! I’m not sure why that is happening! I will reach out to WordPress and see if they have any answers. Sorry for the inconvenience! Hugs and love xox

  18. The life you led has made you into the person you are today and from what I’m reading, you have much strength, compassion, faith and purpose. We celebrate so many holidays, including mother’s day, father’s day, grandparents’ day., etc. But the one person we forget to celebrate is ourselves. To recognize how far we have come in this world. We fail to recognize the strength we have, how much we have grown and how many people’s lives we have affected. Take a moment and honor yourself for how much you have experienced and the fact that you survived. No, you didn’t do it alone. None of us do, b/c I think we all have that help from God, or our loved ones, or from unseen guides who are with us always. But in truth, you are the one who did the work and didn’t give up. That time wasn’t wasted and now you have the capacity to help others going through the same struggles. So kudos to you, girl.

    1. gosh this is such a kind comment. thank you so much. You’re right – we need to remember our journey and how far we’ve come. thank you for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  19. Yours is most definitely a story of victory. Your positive outlook despite the dark times in your life is very encouraging. Right after I posted about droughts in our lives, I read your post about desert experiences. May God continue to multiply your influence and help them find the same victory you walk in today.

    1. gosh, I am so touched by this Matthew. Thank you for your kind words and prayers. Hugs and love xox

  20. “For some Christians, it’s imperative that the world was created in six literal days, otherwise their entire belief system falls apart. Christianity came to rely heavily on technique, formula, and certitude instead of the more alluring power of story, myth, and narrative. The whole point of Scripture is the transformation of the soul. But when we stopped understanding myth, we stopped understanding how to read and learn from sacred story or Scripture. Children delight in hearing the same fantastical stories over and over again because they are open to awe, mystery, and discovery. Oh that we could all read the creation story with similar childlike wonder and open-heartedness!”

    1. thank you for sharing this great food for thought! transformation of the soul – love it big hugs xox

  21. I wish there was a ❤button on here. Where do I start? First of all, I lament the years I spent drunk and unmotivated. Time lost. Nothing like what you have dealt with. You’re right, you’ll never get them back. But let’s use an Olympic analogy. You’re a Bob sledder that overplayed a corner and lost a critical second. The announcer quickly points out that the second can be made up.
    After your recovery you have done so much good for yourself and those around you that you have (potentially)made up the lost time. If you can look at it like that. Your life has so much quality now it compensates for when it didn’t

    1. aw thank you so much Billy for sharing your heart and your thoughts. I’m sorry this hits so close to home. But i’m so glad we’ve found the freedom of recovery. big big hugs xox

  22. As always, your raw honesty helps all of us who struggle with one issue or another to not feel alone … thus from the pain comes hope. I always know I’m going to find a treasure in your posts. Once again, I wasn’t disappointed.

    1. aw, thank you so much friend. I’m so glad that this struck a chord with you. hope you’re having a beautiful night. Hugs and love xox

  23. Oh my sweet Miss Caralyn there is no obligation, now or ever to reveal everything to us. Just like our Creator God lives in the mystery of the Trinity; we have the gift of a hidden life, an interior life that is for God alone. It is this place wherein we get to grow in our relationship with Him. Much of Jesus’ early life is hidden from us and our Blessed Mother’s life is hidden.
    A friend commented that it’s obvious that I withhold something when I blog – it’s true I do, either details that aren’t pertinent to the blog post, things that might reveal information about a person that prompted the post, or thing that are intensely personal to me. I don’t ever want to embarrass or shame anyone. My Sweetie chooses not to have a public life so I must protect that.
    I’m honored to enter in where you allow, and you’re comfortable.

    God bless!!!

    Teri

    1. Oh Teri, thank you so much for this beautiful and affirming response. thank you . Yeah, it definitely is a bit scary putting such intimate stuff out there, but for whatever reason, i feel it is what I am called to do. Amen to that – God is amazing, isn’t He!? Big hugs to you xo

  24. Thank you for sharing so honestly. I can appreciate your struggle… I don’t want to come across cliche … Because I struggle with being stuck in circumstances that take time to process and get through… But I can see your brokenness being used as a platform. I’ve heard for every one person that comments 50 or more read. You have a huge platform and when you get to Heaven I have not doubt you will have so many people you will meet who you’ve impacted. Keep up the good work. I know you’ve impacted me. Thank you.

    1. thank you so much Christi. I’m glad this resonated with you. And gosh – what a kind thing to say. thank you for touching my heart tonight. sending massive hugs xoxo

  25. Hey Caralyn: I will tell you again, and again, until Jesus returns if necessary, you are A FABULOUS YOUNG LADY, a work of art, sculpted by our Creator, and His work in you is not complete yet, so it is impossible to even imagine the end result you will be, when Jesus Christ, King of kings, Lord of Lords, our Creator, Designer, Healer, Sanctifier, returns in all His Glory to snatch you, me, and millions of others up to our Eternal Home. WOW…If little old me thinks that of you, imagine what Jesus thinks as He sees you, and knows already what you have ahead of you, and how you will give Him Glory.
    You know, Caralyn, as tough, and terrible as your six years were of ED and sickness, in ways that only God can do, He has molded you into a precious vessel of great value, to carry His Great News to many people.

    Romans 8:28
    And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

    God certainly did not cause you to have those years in your life, but He will, and is able, to work in and through whoever is willing to serve.

    Romans 8:37
    No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

    You certainly are a conqueror, Caralyn, with the Power of the Holy Spirit, the same Spirit who raised Jesus from death, has raised you from the death of real life you were in, and has given you a new life, an Abundant Life in Jesus Christ Himself.

    Not glorifying what you suffered and went through, but if you had not suffered that way, you would not be able to help thousands today in the same strong way you do.
    Only Jesus knows His plans in the future for you, and as you seek Him, His Spirit will guide you, fill you, open doors you haven’t even seen the location of yet. As long as you continue to seek and desire more of Jesus Christ, the better you will know Him.
    Those years in the wasteland, will be repaid by the Lord, although He did not take them, He will replenish abundantly.

    Joel 2:25
    “I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten —
    the great locust and the young locust,
    the other locusts and the locust swarm—
    my great army that I sent among you.

    God has placed gifts within you Caralyn, by His Spirit, that are still there waiting to be utilized, for His Glory, and the favour of many people. He does not remove His gifts.

    Romans 11:29
    for God’s gifts and his call are irrevocable.

    I am so looking forward to hearing in the future years of the great things our God has done in lives through your willingness in allowing Him to pour His oil through you, Caralyn, touching many.

    Just for your information, I relate a little, not so severely, but probably in a worse way. When I was young, pre teen, I knew Jesus, and accepted Him as my Saviour. I knew, and still know, I had His call on my life at that time for full time service.
    In my late teens, I walked away from God, to join “friends” in the world. Holy Spirit kept calling, I kept running, not knowing where, just in circles. I no longer hung out with those same friends, but didn’t turn back to Jesus either.
    To shorten a long story about 12 years later, as I thought I was still running, Holy Spirit grabbed hold of me in a place I least expected.
    He held me tight, gave me a desire for the Word of God, as well as the Living Word of God, which has never left since that day, and I am 72 now.
    The gifts and hunger God put in me when I was young, sprouted out again, and Jesus has worked in and through me in many ways, as He is and will through you.
    I had thoughts for many years also, of those 12-14 wasted years and what could have been.
    Holy Spirit showed me how the enemy keeps bringing those thoughts back, they are thoughts of condemnation, and there is no condemnation in Christ Jesus.

    Romans 8:1
    Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus

    Holy Spirit will encourage, edify, and empower you Caralyn, as you desire to Glorify Jesus, serving our Heavenly Father.

    God Bless you my Friend.
    Sorry I kept on going here, but I felt the Spirit leading.

    Luv,
    ❤️

    1. Oh George, I am all choked up after this incredibly beautiful and affirming note! thank you my dear friend. What comforting and encouraging scriptures. Thank you for sharing those. And I so appreciate you sharing your story. I’m so glad that the Holy Spirit grabbed you tight and didn’t let go 🙂 amen – there is no condemnation in Christ. Friend, you are a blessing to me, and I am so grateful to have you in my life! big big big hugs xox

  26. Thanks for sharing. Many go through what you describe whether it is drug addiction recovery, a painful childhood and a host of many other “desert times” or as I think of it, being in the wilderness. But you are right, not many talk about those days and all the grief and feelings of loss from those days. It is true that many carry feelings of shame and inadequacy. It takes courage to reject those feelings and see them as lies. You are right that we must believe that the crushing served a purpose. Perhaps the purpose is so we will see others going down a similar path and be able to have compassion and be able to give them encouragement and hope. I’m not sure. i just know that God is good and He works for our good. So HIs grace is enough.

    1. thank you so much friend. Yeah, recovery is the same no matter what the origin. The wilderness – that’s an accurate description! so true. thank you so much my friend. big hugs to you xo

  27. I think its so amazing that you bare everything on this blog. You truly make a difference for those going through similar things ❤️ Be proud of who you’ve become and the fact you’re sitting there, writing and inspiring and motivating and being a healthy happy you. Xx

    1. oh gosh thank you so much Melissa! What a kind thing to say. thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  28. I’ve been following this blog lately if only to remind myself that beautiful, God-fearing women still exist beyond the small cowboy towns that I call home. Even in these towns, concepts like faith and belief in God have grown to be pretty rare phenomena. I mean, if I have to listen to one more 20-something tell me how she sees herself as “spiritual” but doesn’t really buy into any religion, I might just have a nervous breakdown!

    It’s nice to read about someone who has overcome her trials and who is becoming like diamond in her faith. Your life is a blessing.

    1. Oh gosh, what a kind thing to say. Thank you Rob. I hear you there! Yeah, it definitely makes me sad to see how faith is being pushed out of our culture. i appreciate your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  29. Triple B, I am well acquainted with loss due to years of abuse and the aftermath of it–and loss of time that we can’t get back. Our Father God knows this, so there is a sweet promise I cling to still today knowing it will come because He has promised to replace what we lost. The same goes for you, dear one! “I will repay you for the years that the swarming locust has eaten” (Joel 2:25). And for fun, read to the end of the chapter. True, it is a promise to Israel–and as a believer, don’t forget that you are a “Spiritual Israel” as it were, so in my book it is a promise to you as well. Your Father knows what you have lost….

    1. Hey friend, thank you so much for your kind words and for sharing your story. I’m sorry that this hits so close to home for you. Amen – we can trust in His sweet promise. big hugs xox

  30. Caralyn
    Didn’t far into it before I realized this was a truly special blog. You must have a deep well to draw from. Very deep.
    The ripples of this blog will roll outward into the lives of ultimately thousands and thousands of people in a million different ways. These are things that do not escape the notice of God.
    You are and will continue to be blessed. And suddenly, maybe when you least expect it…..God will send The Big Blessing to you.
    The perfect man God is currently holding in reserve.
    It’ll happen. It will happen.

    xoxo

    Roland

    1. Oh Roland, thank you so much for your kind words. I am incredibly touched by such an affirming note. God is good. And I pray that it happens sooner rather than later haha hugs to you friend – you’re a blessing to me!! x

  31. Thanks for the post, I like to think about those 40 years in the desert. It’s interesting in the implication that temptations to renounce goodness gain power when the surroundings are a wasteland. The beauty and balance within the natural world is perhaps the most crucial source of love and nourishment linking us to the spiritual center of the creation. Estranged from the presence of the living world, we more easily fall prey to despair. There is great healing power in the bounties of the created earth – all the more reason to lament the ascendancy of asphalt, concrete, wires, and walls that our starving eyes and souls are beset by. A walk through the forest is an irreplaceable gift, strengthening our resolve to prove worthy of the inheritance. A walk through the paved, steel desert of a parking lot more likely to stoke any spiritual or emotional crisis. I dearly hope more Christians become adamant environmentalists, in defense of Creation and support of life!

    1. Hi Nichole, thank you so much for this heartfelt reflection. that’s so true – i feel so close to God in His creation. we need to protect it for sure. gg

  32. I fight with Depression, Bipolar, and Anxiety, and I’m my past I’ve gone through a very bad relationship that lead me to now have PTSD. There’s some “off” dark days when the devil wants to sneak in our heads and whisper the “what if” or “this could’ve been your life” but you know what, I’ll take my past and all the deal that I went through because it made me stronger person today. There’s this one pastor that I listened to speak a long time ago and he said this saying that stuck with me till this day, “God bakes bread in the devils oven” and “My past does not dictate my future.” I try to live my life with no regrets but with laughter, tears, and love. Keep doing what your doing!
    Michelle 🙂

    1. Hi Michelle, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you’ve had to walk through that. Yes! It has built your foundation and given you strength and perspective. You’re an amazing person. thank you for this incredible response. Hugs and love xox

  33. Peach here, it is wonderful to see how much you have recovered and are shining your light for others!! What a blessing! May He continue to strengthen you and lead you forward in your journey!

  34. “God takes all things that are broken and makes them new. He turns the dust into clay, and that clay into beautiful masterpieces.”

    That’s why He is called the Redeemer. He takes worthless things and redeems them, making them worthy for His Glory.

  35. Pizza socks? That’s the best!
    God is always restoring, renewing, and reviving. How He does that is amazing; He can fit more into one moment than we can in a lifetime. Since we are His, years that we feel are lost are not lost to Him. Loved this entry.

    1. haha aren’t they!? Did you see them!? They’re really cool! i want a pair! haha thank you so much for your kind words. so glad you enjoyed this post! Hugs and love xox

  36. Thank you my friend for your willingness to share your story. You are on your path of ministry every day. No one can ever know how many people we touch every day. Your blog speaks to many people every day. You are making a big difference. Bless you my friend.

    1. thanks Roland 🙂 that seriously means so much. i am incredibly encouraged. sending big hugs xox

  37. My dear friend,

    Indeed, it must have been a very hard time for you to go through it – see yourself in comparation with other at your age at that time, dispense with a life that same-aged people used to have, lacking enjoyment and entertainment, lost in pain and despair, between hope and depression – this all was a huge test for you – and finally you have sucessfully come out of it, you have overcome it – maybe still with some bitter aftertaste. However, my dear friend, what you have won after it, is maybe much more worth than the missing 6 years in which you had to suffer awfully. Your eyes of consciousness started to get open and see the world with profound and sharper eyes – while others still may may be under the influence of the “medicine” the world is giving them, apparent amenties under closed eyes. I mean to say, see your whole process, your whole development as a Grace of God as this happening has made you the lady you are today: with deeper feelings, with a sharpened intellect with your thankfulness towards Jesus Christ. Allow these thought to ente into your heart, deep and firm, and you will experience a kind of happiness never you had before. In this understanding you will surely make good progress, dear friend.

    Wishing you all the best and a good further development on your path
    Didi

    1. Hi Didi, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. i think you’re right – although it was a rough season, I definitely learned a lot and grew from the experience. thank you for your friendship and kindness. big big hugs to you xox

  38. I don’t technically know you but you share your heart so openly and beautifully, I feel like I do and I just plain love you! I too had years of my life lost to darkness and bondage and have struggled to reconcile that. But I’m coming to see more every year how he restores all the loss beyond anything I could have imagined. And what he has imparted along the way is so much sweeter and richer than having walked the “right” path in the first place. So let’s just keep shaking off the regret and walking forward in hope. It’s gonna be good!

    1. Oh Kara thank you so much for sharing your heart and your story. Amen – He restores and gives us new life. I really appreciate your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  39. I must say, I was taken back by this post. I want to encourage you and say you are doing the work of God as you use your blog platform. I will testify that you just stopped a very dangerous disorder in the making. God led me to this post, for sure. There was a monster living inside of me. My very own deep insecurities. I never truly loved myself. As a sidenote, I feel like anyone who reads this comment will find freedom, men to be specific. Men are not typical of expressing insecurities regarding self image, but I will not be that statistic. A deep disorder was brewing on the inside of me and I didn’t even notice it. I was bound by the feeling of wanting to be like the other muscular and buff men on t.v and in the magazines. I spent time, narcissistic time, searching for the right body imagine, lusting after the perfect abs and biceps. Any man that had a chisseld body made me feel low and nothing. This didn’t work out for me. I was never really pleased with my results. I didn’t receive a great trophy, only the profound revelation that I would never, ever be pleased. I reverted to veganism. Maybe, I needed to get smaller. Maybe, I was lusting after the wrong thing. Every man who had a lean, slim body made me feel fat and gross. I was stuck in a deep insecurity. I ran five miles a day endlessly, at times I didn’t even eat. I achevied the weight I wanted. My body was slim, but i thought i was skin and bones. The mirror lied to me, or maybe it was speaking too me, to let me know I was going down a path of slavery and brokenness. I was. Today, I came across your post. I hadn’t been on my regiment for months, I weigh more than I ever have in my life, and today was the most unproductive workout ever. I made up in my mind that I was going to become a vegan, skip meals, and run my heart out. Your post spoke to me. God spoke to me. You stopped a disorder in its tracks.. God did. God used you. I will be comfortable with myself. I will love myself. I will be smart and healthy with my body. I will appreciate the body God gave me. Thank You. No more narcissism.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. Your honesty definitely took a lot of courage. I’m so glad this hit home with you in that way. That humbled me and is making me get choked up. Thank you. Yes! You deserve that love and comfort and peace. Sending so many hugs and lots of love xox

  40. I do tend to check the weather back in the northeast. I don’t miss that one bit. That being said, it’s a bit chilly tonight in LA. Down to 47. Back in the 60’s tomorrow. No snow though. We’re desperately in need of rain.

  41. What an incredible moment, Caralyn, to see you take your darkest hours and to shine light on them in the expectation that they would bring hope to another. I pray that they find strength in your strength, and see the light of their own future healing calling them forward.

  42. Thanks for your vulnerability… Philippians 1:6 in the Bible tells us that He who began a good work in us is faithful to complete it:)
    Believe Him. And just keep doing the next right thing.
    You encourage me:)

  43. First of all, I am catching up on reading as I can but still am loving you, dear beautiful friend. Secondly, I believe I would have rather missed adolescence, and I am sure it is more the option you missed, the realm of possibilities than the actual awkward probability, I say tongue in cheek, but it is true for me. However, I feel your loss because you feel that loss and that is how I roll now and I love you the more for voicing it. And you totally rock too, just saying. God has taken the brokenness of missing years and HAS made you extraordinarily amazing and strong as is, fully human, fully alive, beautiful. You could have gone through all that and been bitter but God perfected you through it instead. You are a living testimony to His greatness, which is pretty great. XO❤

    1. Hi Tonya! Oh thank you so much 🙂 I am seriously so touched and humbled by your kind words. God is definitely amazing and I pray to be used by Him. Hugs and love xox

  44. What a wonderful witness you are and what a powerful testimony. I know you’ve liked a couple of my posts on my journey of self discovery the opposite way, overeating, but I know having been on the cycle of diets the obsession with food when you’re abstaining that you talk about. God bless you and its wonderful to hear your faith allow Him to let His plan for you unfold.

    1. Thank you so much Andrea! That’s so kind of you to say. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  45. Caralyn, you have an amazing story. Going through a living hell and coming through it, knowing that God loves you. There are many that never come back. Your struggles have helped make you into a compassionate, beautiful woman who encourages others. If we were all honest, we would all like to go back and make different decisions. However, the hardship of missed carefree youth, has formed you into someone who feels others’ pain and encourages. The best for you is ahead of you. You are living life better and will enjoy the goodness of God in all areas of your life. Abundant blessings and dreams fulfilled to you! xoxoxox

    1. Hi friend, gosh i am so touched by this. Thank you. I do believe that He has something in store for me. Hugs and love xox

  46. I also deeply mourn the childhood (all of high school) I lost to my anorexia. It deeply affects me to this day, because I missed out on social norms and cues and fun and laughter and JOY and thoughts that weren’t preoccupied by food or weight or exercise or size or my body. thanks for sharing your experience of this too x

    1. Hi Rosie, thank you for sharing your story. I’m so sorry this hits so close to home. The beautiful thing is that we have all those things to cherish now 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  47. Because of your lost time Caralyn, you are able now to pay forward and speak to so many people with an incredible self-awareness and empathy to the human condition, which uplifts us and gives us perspective on the challenges we face. God has his hand on you in a very special way and his love shines through you to light the way for others. And he has not forgotten your dreams; he will bring them to fruition in ways you could not imagine. Thank you for your humility, your honesty and your courage. Stay strong for all of us.

    1. Hi Andrew, thank you for this wonderful encouragement. I am so touched by your kindness. I do believe He will have something good in store for me 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  48. Thank you so much for sharing this. The struggle of “lost time” definitely resonates with me. I’m in my mid-twenties, but the older I get, the more I question whether I’m living purposefully. Those years we can never get back are still experience. It’s what we do moving forward that matters <3

    – Katie

    1. Hi Katie, thank you so much for sharing your heart and for your kind words. Amen – moving forward! Hugs and love xox

  49. Some will never recover. From depression, addictions, alcoholism, failed marriages….just know you were graced and healed by God. And move on. No point dwelling on ‘lost time/youth’. Move on. Whats to be sad about when you have been healed and can ‘pay it forward’ with your experience?

    1. Thank you Jeanne. Yes, I am definitely very grateful for the healing God has worked in my life. Move on – that’s great advice. Hugs and love xox

  50. That time was not lost. It was used to form the person you are now. Only by coming through the fire can we help others who are lost in it. Your experience was the refining fire that God uses. That time was not lost! Suzanne

  51. Seeing your words about “desert periods” spoke to me. It makes sense now. I’ve been in a drought, particularly with my job. However, I’m pretty sure I’m trekking toward an oasis – I have a job interview with a local law firm tomorrow night! My motivation and drive have reappeared. I’m still really nervous, but I know I have God, my husband, my parents, and so many others in my corner!! You are a blessing to me, Caralyn, and so many others!

    1. Thanks Laura Beth. I’m so glad this resonated with you. I’m so glad you have such a great support system! Let’s keep trekking towards that oasis! Sending big hugs xox

  52. I just love your transparency… and openness! I’m sure you know this… you are a lifeline for so many who are broken and hurting. Something you could not have been if you hadn’t experienced your years of brokenness. God has redeemed, in you, what the enemy meant for destruction. You are not only an inspiration… you are a beacon of the hope we all need to find. There are many more broken people in this world than the “well-adjusted.” It is people like you that God uses to point to His grace, mercy and love. Your whole life is a testimony of His ability “to cause all things to work together for good.” M. A.

    P.S. If you haven’t heard of Jason Gray, his ministry in music is often focused on how God uses the broken to bring people to wholeness… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l26UoD-N2hA

    1. Thank you so much friend 🙂 gosh what a kind thing to say. I am truly touched and humbled. I’ll def check out Jason! Hugs and love xox

  53. When I was younger, I stood up at church camp in front of a bunch of teenagers to talk about the challenges I had faced. I talked about my eating disorder and depression and how God had changed my life. When I sat down another girl stood up to speak. She said that because I had the strength to stand up and talk that she could do it to. I became friends with that girl and we supported each other through our journey.

    This is how I know that God has a plan for those of us who had to suffer. Some people have to go through hard times so that we can guide others.

    Thank you so much for sharing your story.

    1. Thank you so much Bianca for sharing your story. What a gift you were to those kids at camp. So powerful. Thank you for your encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  54. Great post. Have gone through a lot of the comments and I’m comforted in being reminded that we’re all human beings going through more or less the same experiences. I read a quote once that said ‘ life is not meant for winning or achieving things, but just for living’. So you went through a bad phase and now you’re in a better phase, but its all just living. I like this quote from Ecclesiastes:

    Ecclesiastes 7:14 When times are good, be happy; but when times are bad, consider this: God has made the one as well as the other.

    1. Thank you so much friend. That’s so true – we’re all in this together. Thanks for sharing this encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  55. Caralyn, you have your whole life in front of you. Try not to dwell on what has passed, but use it, as you are, to form your future. Your past may define you, and change you in many ways, but you can use it to give hope to others suffering as you did. You have a purpose in life, your blog posts are inspirational – look how many comments this one has raised (I haven’t read them all yet). My advice to you would be ‘look forward, not backwards’!

    Lots of curved balls in life mean that we all change our course throughout our lifetime. I never expected to get advanced cancer in my (late!) 50s and it has changed my life; but not in a bad way. Many aspects of my life are better now than before my diagnosis (which is a strange outlook I know). I have met wonderful, caring people and am trying to do my bit to help support others in my situation and raise awareness of bowel cancer.

    Maybe we have to experience the bad times in order to appreciate all that is good in the world?

    Gill xx

    1. Oh Gill thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. That’s so true – gotta look forward! I’m so glad you’ve found that silver lining in your own life! Praise God! Hugs and love xox

  56. The time you felt was lost wasn’t in fact lost. It was preparing you for this very moment where you would be able to impact the lives of so many with your powerful testimony of the grace of our wonderful God! He’s amazing and so are you! xo

    1. Thank it so much Sophie. That’s such an important perspective to remember. God is good! Big hugs friend xox

  57. Well said.
    One thing you wrote was, “And I have to believe that I still have something to offer. That He has something planned for me to do. Some way to use that darkness for light. Letting it not have been in vain.”
    It’s happening right now.
    I hope today you remember that you matter, you make a difference, and you are valued and appreciated just as you are.

    1. Thank you for this beautiful encouragement Brad. That really means a lot. Sending big hugs xox

  58. You know it’s funny, I don’t think we really have anything in common from most points of view. I’m not even Catholic. But somehow I really enjoy this blog. I guess the truth behind it is what makes the connection. Just a thought.

    1. Aw thank you so much! I’m so glad that you enjoy my blog! So true – connection for sure 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  59. I can so relate as my son lost that time and had similar feelings! I would add from the perspective of a mom that the rest of us were robbed of time as well; we were also robbed, by the eating disorder, of the boy we knew so well. We grieved for him and with him and our faith is what got us through. Beautiful post!

    1. thanks ou so much for sharing your story, Christina. I’m sorry this hit so close to home. that’s very true – the ED impacts everyone, not just the sufferer. Thanks for sharing this powerful perspective. Hugs and love xox

  60. It’s hard to lose a big chunk of your life to mental illness. I can relate to your post. I feel like I have lost most of my life to it. The clay metaphor is very inspiring.

    1. thank you friend, i’m so glad you enjoyed the clay metaphor. i’m sorry this hits so close to home. amen – we can be made new 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  61. “I still carry a lot of shame and feelings of inadequacy – believing that because of my past, I am broken or less than. But the truth is, God takes all things that are broken and makes them new. He turns the dust into clay, and that clay into beautiful masterpieces.” —superbly said. You’re right. We can’t get the time back we lost spent in our addictions–whatever they may be–but we don’t have to let them rob us of the present or keep us from what God has in store for us in the future. Great post.

  62. I know what you mean about mourning time you have lost. I married my husband when I was 22 and we decided to start a family at 23. I couldn’t fall pregnant. We suffer from unexplained infertility and tried for 10 years, relentlessly. I dreamed, breathed, lived for being pregnant. I never made a decision without considering how it will effect me if I fell pregnant. Even something simple as buying a top… will it be big enough if I was 4 months pregnant. I think at some stage I actually didn’t even care about having the actual baby. I just wanted to be pregnant. I even bargained with God… let me be pregnant this time, just so I know I can get pregnant, even if You take it away again. I was depressed, sad and in the darkest place I’ve ever been. It took a move to another country to make the decision to actually live. There is more to life. I’m over my obsession – that took many years too, but I’m sad for those years I lost where other people had fun and enjoy life, that I wasted. I cheated myself and sometimes still struggle with myself. Good luck with your journey. You are so brave and an inspiration!

    1. Hi Lelanie, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m so sorry that you’re dealing with infertility. I will definitely keep you and your husband in my prayers. I’m glad you’ve embraced this new life. You past has formed the beautiful woman you are today. thanks again for this incredible encouragement. big hugs to you xox

  63. First of all our promised threescore years and ten are just a blip in universal time. There is an eternity promised to us if we care to believe that and choose that. So our blip in time permitted is for a purpose. We have the opportunity to defend God’s principles of fairness, justice and love before a world choosing to go in the other direction. In the process we can be vessels used for God’s purpose, not ours. He allows us to go through trials of our choosing because coming out of it we can be helpful to others who are trying to do that but need a confidence boost and a helping hand. You have a God given talent coming from real experience people can relate to. Don’t waste your time looking back because that’s what the devil wants you to do so you become discouraged and give up trying. Your usefulness to others will be destroyed if you give up. Look at the bright future in eternity promised to you if you hang in and do what God has assigned you to do through your blog and books. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much Ian. Amen – I pray to be His vessel. So much powerful food for thought here. Thanks friend. You’re a blessing to me. Hugs and love xox

  64. A while back, I was going to ask you about what you just wrote. I had read many of your posts, but not all and was not sure if you addressed your pain of your anorexia. Just so you know, your BLOG inspired me to reveal more of myself in my blog. It was to me coming to terms with me, where I am at, revamping my life and where I was going, or more truthfully, give myself time to listen to God and his plans for me. I still am not clear no his plan, but I trust in him. What is interesting is your blog here coincides with my post, what our Pastor spoke about last Sunday and then I heard the one minute Pastor on the radio saying something of the same too. I think that connects us 🙂 As in the short story “Full Disclosure”, I have decided not to hide the things of my past which in truth got me to where i am. I don’t want to have to convince people of why, how or other. The pain of the past is sometimes not the past but acknowledging it and not allowing it to belittle us into something we are not. Which in a way determines who you want to be friends with, you want someone not to buy into the exterior you, but the inner you, the one that struggles, the one that needs support, love, hugs, kind words and let’s you be you.

    1. Wow this is such a touching response. Thank you so much friend. I’m so glad that my blog has resonated with you. I think that connects us too 🙂 amen to that – the inner you! Sending big big hugs xox

      1. When you trust someone with your pain, your inner you and they treat you as whole, that’s like falling backwards blindfolded knowing they will be there – always. They are the cast to your broken arm, the hug to your wounded heart.

        Sending you big bear hugs, the good ones, you know, the type when you can feel the others heart beat.

      2. You know, to tell you the truth, I love giving them to those who appreciate them. God Bless!

  65. “I know that God will use my painful season for good. That is who our God is. That is how He operates. Time and time again, He demonstrates that — including with His own Son.” These are your words, not mine, or those of some other famous and wise philosopher. You had a season of pain and sorrow and, whether it was your own doing or that of someone else’s is not relevant.
    Look to the Bible. Noah was 500 before he was given instructions to build the ark. It took him another 100 years to build it. Granted, he lived another 350 after the flood, but by comparison, he had spent most of his life before the one event that would save mankind.
    Abraham was 100 before he would become the father of Isaac, the son he had been promised would be the first of the children of Israel.
    Let’s not forget Jesus, Himself. While much younger, at 30, He would only live another three years ministering, yet would impact the world in ways that no one else could.
    The time you spent in this darkness cannot be gotten back. If there were, in fact, things that you did intentionally that robbed you of this time, I am asking you to do something that is harder to do than probably anything else we are ever asked to do, even as Christians; forgive yourself. The Bible is full of lessons about forgiveness ranging from the forgiveness God offers us to how we are to forgive others. Take a moment now and think about that. If a holy and righteous God has forgiven you, (and He has), yet you have not forgiven yourself, aren’t you in essence telling God that you have such special sins that you don’t deserve forgiveness or that even the blood of Jesus cannot wash them clean? I don’t think you would mean to say or believe that.
    If you are afraid of the time lost because of the opportunities lost, don’t do what I did when I came out of my addiction and figured, “Now that I’ve missed all those years, I have to work double time to make it up”, because in doing this, I made other people sacrifice by neglecting those I loved. Learn from this and move on. Sometimes the consequences of our mistakes cannot be undone but they can always be learned from.
    You are a very lovely young lady and I cherish everything you say. You have a heart for God and people that shows in all you do.

    Love,
    Jim

    1. Wow Jim, thank you so much for this powerful and heartfelt response. I love all these examples you cited. How incredibly encouraging. You’re so right – I have been forgiven (praise God!) and so in turn I need to do the same. Just like in the Our Father. Thank you friend. Hugs and love xox

  66. I know how you feel. I’ve been going thinking about this recently too. I was bullied a lot as a kid and my mental health was horrible for years after that. I lost the majority of my teen years to a crippling emptiness and sadness. I never really grieved but I think I want to now. Because I did lose something and I want to gain closure over that.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story Jasminder. I’m so sorry to hear that you went through that. Yes, I hope you can take the time to feel those emotions and then put them to rest, moving forward as the powerful and beautiful person you are. You are a blessing to me. Big hugs to you friend xox

  67. You must be so busy with so many comments, and busy reflecting on the past…But I have to say that your reflections are bringing out some inspired writing and that right there is enough that you can find at least some satisfaction. By the way, were you just born photogenic or is it a learned skill? I mean even your portraits that have you caught off-gaurd, like the featured image on this post, are great photos. Please remember to take some time for yourself to find that renewal.

    1. Thank you so much friend. Hahah you’re funny. Gosh, I don’t know! Lucky shots I guess 🙂 but seriously thank you for your kind and encouraging words. I appreciate you stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  68. I love how your posts are always filled with positivity and gratitude to the Almighty. I pray that the pain that the pain you feel when you think about those years faded soon. ❤

  69. Currently me, depression really had its claws into me recently, I’ve been struggling so much for past 3 weeks and I’m completely exhausted, I know He will bring me out of it, but for first time in a while I don’t know how.

    1. Hey Benny, thank you for sharing your heart. I’m so sorry to hear that you’ve been going through that. Hang in there. You deserve joy and freedom from that. Sending so much love and massive bear hugs xoxox

  70. It’s interesting – loss can manifest itself in so many more ways than just death of a loved one. Loss of a dream, of the life I had hoped for….I struggle with those as well. I think we have a lot in common. ❤️

    1. The most painful losses for me are the loss of a nurturing, caring family. God allows me to experience joy as I create that family for my own children. As I see them living with joy the moments that I never had, I share their joy.

      1. Yeah, I’m so glad you’re able to bring that about with your own children. What a beautiful gift this is, not only for them, but for you too. And you deserve it. Hugs and love xox

    2. That’s so true, Nicole. Thanks for sharing your heart. I’m glad this resonated with you. Thanks for your encouragement. Sending hugs and lots of love xox

  71. Thank you for this passionate, inspiring post. In my formative years, I struggled not with a full-blown eating disorder, but some degree of restrictive eating and distorted body image. As He did for you, God has helped and continues to help me heal from that. A favorite verse of mine during recovery was the cliche but true Psalm 139:14, where the psalmist proclaims the fearfulness and wonder of God’s handiwork. Thank you for the reminder that God can use any circumstance, even our most difficult epochs of life, for His good plan.

    1. Thank you so much Abigail, for sharing your story. I’m so glad you also found healing in Christ! Hugs and love xox

  72. As someone having a daughter about your age, you are very brave for being so honest and open in a public forum. However, don’t ever regret the past because your past has shaped the person who you are today. Just keep going forward every day, enjoying the journey! Ted

    1. Thank you so much Ted, that is definitely an important perspective to remember! Hugs and love xox

  73. Thank you for liking some of my posts since my return to blogging. And thank you for being so candid and vulnerable in your writing about your experiences – I can only imagine the small army of souls you have helped by sharing your truth so openly.
    This post saddened me…to think that you look upon the past version of yourself with anger and shame. Look at what came of those awful years that are, thankfully, behind you now. Think of how much you have been able to help others because of what you suffered and survived.
    Just wondering if you have read any of Brene Brown’s books? She writes at length about vulnerability, shame, and true belonging, and she does it in such a relate-able, down-to-earth way that you can’t help but want to invite her over for dinner. Just a thought, because you don’t have to live with feelings of shame, and her way of telling the story might help.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and encouragement. I am truly touched. I haven’t read any of her books but I’ll have to check her out! Thanks for the recco! Hugs and love xox

      1. Oh nice! I know what I’ll be listening to on the plane today!! Thanks again! Hugs and love xox

  74. Thanks for sharing this! It really got me thinking about my own life. I take medication for bipolar disorder and I completely relate to this feeling of losing time in life. I had to drop out of college in the US and come back home to India and that wasn’t the end. I lost months of my life in my early twenties dealing with depression, mania and their social consequences and those are dire. I haven’t really delved openly into the subject on my blog but you might be giving me the courage to.

    But, going back to lost time. There is one consolation. That we who have lost time are more desirous of living life fully. Honestly, it’s like, losing something makes you see it for it is and what it means and could have meant to you. You are, as you say, vibrant, and you’re bringing meaning to the lives of many across the world with your words. You have a perspective that’s beautiful and insightful. That comes with having really ‘lived’. Keep writing 🙂

    1. hi friend, thank you so much for sharing your story. I’m sorry that this hits so close to home. and thank you for such kind words. we are not our pasts 🙂 i hope you do write about it. i would love to read your words 🙂 big hugs xo

  75. BBB,
    You came into my virtual life several years ago. I am loving that I can see your sweet face and that you’ve come out of the shadows, into the Sonlight. KEEP IT UP. Love you much, from the ether!

    XOXOX EPP

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much EPP. what an incredibly kind thing to say. So glad our paths crossed those years ago 🙂 big big hugs xox

  76. Such a powerful strong post! Thank you for sharing it. I might not be the one you spoke to but I feel what you feel being consumed by one topic while other teenager can just be that silly teenager with everything that goes with it.

  77. God is continuing to mold you into who he wants you to be for his purpose on this earth! Don’t give up and feel less of yourself by the lies of the devil! He Got you and he will NEVER leave you nor forsake you! Much love and blessings to you ! Thanks for sharing your life always with us! 😊💕✨

    1. Thank you Tammy, that is so true and so comforting – He will never ever forsake us! thanks for that beautiful reminder and encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  78. When you offer those difficult times to God, He will use them to transform you. I know a lot of people who have gone through desert periods in their lives and were catapulted to new challenges and rose to new heights. If one accepts those challenges with faith, God will use your pain and bestow you with sanctifying grace. I believe that’s exactly what’s happened to you Caralyn. Would you have been able to help others if you hadn’t gone through the pain yourself? God bless everything you do for Him.

    1. that is so so true – He uses them to shape us and transform us. what a comforting thought. thank you for this beautiful encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  79. Beautiful post! Your recovery posts played an instrumental role in my own recovery. Though you’ve been through loss, God is surely redeeming it. Just like Isaiah 61, He is giving you beauty for ashes!

    1. Oh wow, thank you friend. I am truly touched by that and I’m so glad my blog has hit home with you. Hugs and love xox

  80. Although I’m not a Christian, I found the bit you wrote about the 40 nights in the desert very inspiring. It spoke to me.

    Also inspiring to hear about your own journey and the strength with which you carry on.

    1. Thank you so much! I’m so glad it hit home with you 🙂 I appreciate your kind words. Hugs and love xox

  81. Thank You for your insights, disclosures and witness. As an alcoholic 18years into recovery I recognize some of those difficult steps along the way. You know, like Oh God why did I waste so many years? Truth is, we are the wonderful people we are today because of the whole of our experiences. Whatever our addictions, whatever our recovery journey, we are the hope and the beacon for others. Thank you again for your witness X

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story. I really appreciate the encouragement. You’re right – what we’ve gone through make us who we are today. Hugs and love xox

    1. Gosh what an incredibly kind thing to say. Thank you Jennifer. Big hugs to you xox

  82. Thanks for sharing this. When you talk about Jesus’ time in the desert and how it was forming him and preparing him for his ultimate sacrifice, and how you related that to how someday we will come out of our own trials realizing we are whole people, it made me think about how Jesus knew, both in the desert and on the cross, that he was going to get through this, and that he was going to come out the victor. That always acts as some kind of comfort for me when I worry about the unknown – how if Jesus knew that he would come out the victor from his suffering, so can we.
    Your post also made me think too about how sometimes I get angry over days I feel like I’ve lost because I spent that day wallowing in worry. But I just like how you come out and say “I just HAVE to believe that God is in control.” Thanks for sharing that. I agree. That’s a great way to say something I’ve been realizing too. Thanks again for sharing all this.

    1. That’s such a great point-He knee the whole time. Thank you for your powerful response! Hugs and love xox

  83. Wonderful post. Encouraging and inspiring. Thank you for reading and liking my blog as well 🙂

  84. Boy did this punch me right in the gut, I spent 17 years in active drug and alcohol addiction and thinking on that time I’ll never get back, not just for me but for my family too, it makes me insane with a toxic cocktail of anger and fear. I gotta trust God spared me for a reason, trust that He knows what He’s about, because I sure as shit don’t know what I’m doing. Amazing post.

    1. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Tash. I’m glad this resonated with you. Yes – God knows what He’s doing and will work all things together for good. big hugs to you xox

  85. Okay…pizza socks that come in a pizza box??? I am sending those to my husband to get for my birthday!!! I swear looking at the mix of silliness and down right honesty/realness you show makes me wonder if we’re related. lol

    Anyways, it’s not the same, but a few years ago I pushed myself so hard with stress, work, family, etc that I ended up running my immune system down and getting pericarditis. Then I injured my rib muscles/ligaments somehow and simultaneously had costochondritis. It took me two or three years to get healthy from it all and took away so much of my life. Now that I’m better I am going after my dreams and writing books and running my website. God does has a purpose for you. Use your stories to share your strength and give encouragement!!! He’ll show you what you need to do.

    1. hahah aren’t those the coolest?!?! the box is everything!!! hahah – I am all for silliness and pranks. It is my middle name. Thank you so much for sharing your story – gosh that is so hard. I’m so glad that you’re healthy and thriving now, but i totally feel for you and those years that you spent fighting for your health. Yes!! You go after those dreams, girl! know that I am cheering you on, and God is too!!!! big big hugs xox

    1. Amen to that! I am so grateful for the healing He’s facilitated in me 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  86. Romans 8:28 (ESV)
    28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

    God loves us so much that He calls us from that darkness when He is ready. He forgives and casts those things as far as the east is from the west. But we have those memories so that we may help others not punish or doubt ourselves. The adversary will surely use them to try and shake us, But there is this one verse that I remember. 1 John 4:4 (ESV) 4 Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.

    2 Corinthians 12:10 (ESV)
    10 For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

    I was impressed by your Post. To God be the glory for your continued recovery. James 4:7 (ESV) “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

    God Bless and keep you
    Dan

    1. Thanks Dan for this thoughtful response. I appreciate you sharing those verses. Hugs and love xox

  87. God takes all things that are broken and makes them new. He turns the dust into clay, and that clay into beautiful masterpieces. So true!!! The Father is faithful. Thank you for sharing your testimony.

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