Light up the Sky

New week, new city!

I’m back in Ohio this week. I had a callback for a film this morning. The casting director, writers and producers flew in from LA, so fingers crossed on the project!

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I’m not going to front: last week, I was in a very strange head space.

I found myself, almost resenting this blog.

Monday’s post last week (about the 80 year old woman at the gym), it was a vulnerable piece for me. I opened up about my past struggles with extreme exercise addiction during my anorexia, and in having concern for that elderly woman, hinted at how far I have actually come since those dark days of pummeling myself at the gym.

Let’s just say, I had no idea the type of response it would get. And I got a couple Direct Messages on Instagram that really just put me over the edge.

I felt like, all of a sudden, I became this slimy snake that no one trusted anymore. My recovery was called into question, and my autenticity doubted.

I felt judged. And falsely accused. And frankly, just hurt.

And sure, maybe I’m a little sensitive, since, yeah the topic matter hit so close to home, but at the end of the day, I was just really angry.

Fuming, in fact.

For the first few days after that, I was in a really dark mindset. Like, here I’ve poured out my life to help others, and now I felt like people were slapping scarlet letters on my chest, about something they have entirely no idea about. None.

I was pissed.

Because truly, the depth of how bleak and destructive that part of my anorexia — the addiction to exercise was — no one knew. And I haven’t even gotten into specifics about it on here because it would surely trigger anyone suffering, because as with all eating disorders, competition is definitely a factor, and so to hear specifics, leads one to only feel the need to “one up” it. Which is precisely why I don’t post “before” photos.

But whatever. I just had to step away from the blog for a few days. Because frankly, coming back and being reminded was just putting me over the edge.

Friday night, my best friend invited me out. There was a big group of us hanging out on this gorgeous rooftop in the Financial District. It was overlooking both the Hudson River and the Freedom Tower. It was absolutely breathtaking, and I’m positively kicking myself that I didn’t take any photos, other than this grainy one…

But imagine being surrounded by all these skyscrapers, all lit up with their grid-pattern windows, glowing yellow. It was 80 degrees, warm breeze. Rosè was flowing. And 2000s-era Britney Spears may have been blasting.

I stepped away for a minute, and found a quiet(er) area of the rooftop, and I just had one of those clarity moments.

The comments were still pinging in on my phone, reminding my of why I was upset in the first place, and I just felt the Holy Spirit start to work on my heart.

I looked up at all of those brightly shining windows, and I realized that that’s what Jesus is calling us to be: a light. We’re supposed to use our lives, and our time on this earth to be a beacon of hope for others, sharing His love with the world. And you know what, my deliverance from that darkn place, that is a window of light. Yeah, I went through some horrible crap, but I have been set free from those bonds, and I now have the opportunity to share that journey with others.

Who knows what could have happened had there been someone out there that I could have turned to when I was in my disease. How the trajectory of my willingness to recover would have been changed, had I seen someone out there who had gone through what I was going through, and came out the other side, not just surviving, but thriving?

I felt so alone. So dirty. So hopeless — holding all the suffering in, never letting anyone into those broken places in my mind.

What could have happened had there been a resource available?

Please, don’t read this as a “tooting my own horn” moment. I don’t have a “savior complex” or anything. But I do believe in the power hope. And that is what I long to offer here – be it for an eating disorder, an addiction, a shopping impulse, or just the happenings of life.

Our lives can be bright, shining lights.

And what an incredible blessing that I have been able to share my story with others. God is so generous. And if every now and then I receive some not-so-lovely feedback, then so be it. The mission is greater than my feelings.

I gained a lot more than just the beginnings of a hangover, that night on the rooftop. I finally saw my microscopic life in the grand scheme of things.

Because one window, shining in a building is wonderful. It can be a ray of hope. It can warn ships of the shoreline, or airplanes of the height of a skyscraper.

But together – with thousands of other illuminated windows, we can literally light up the entire night sky. We can make Lower Manhattan glow.

Never forget that. Our lives, and His love that we share — it matters. It really does.

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222 thoughts on “Light up the Sky

  1. Wow. Well, sheesh. Anybody who would be critical of your post about the gym, it seems to me, is being reactive to their OWN stuff, not really what YOU said. We’ve all, if honest, been there, right? It’s like getting mad at the table you stub your toe on. It IS scary to tell the true story and also weird how many feel competent to tell you how you should tell it. Fortunately you have an orienting system that sees you through these upsetting encounters. Shine on, kiddo!

    1. Thank you for your support, friend. Yeah, I think that’s true – sometimes, at least I find for me, that if I’m annoyed by something, it’s because it’s like I’m looking in the mirror. Thanks again for your kindness. Hugs and love xox

  2. Actually, I thought about commenting on the blog post in question and now can’t remember if I did or not. I have a very different relationship with the gym, but then, I’m a different person and don’t have the same history. So if I did say something thoughtless and hurtful, I truly apologize.

    1. Thanks James, Yeah i think we all have a personal relationship with exercise and the gym for sure. Not to worry! It was just a couple of anonymous instagram comments! All the comments on the blog are wonderful and I am so grateful for them. These were just private messages that were meant to be hurtful. Hugs and love xox

  3. Thank you for being so open. One thing that I’ve learned is that no matter what path of life we’re on, we are subject to judgement from others. That’s why I make a conscious effort not to judge anybody because it’s not my place. Judgement is between them and God. I can’t relate to the anorexia, but I can relate to the topic of addiction. It’s amazing how we find God in our darkest moments and allow Him to help us out of a dangerous situation. Never lose faith.

    1. thank you so much for your kindness. You’re so right – God is there when we are at rock bottom, and He is the way out. Thanks for your support. Cheering for you in your recovery 🙂 Big hugs to you xo

  4. 1st thought- the only opinion that really matters is that of our Lord Jesus and the fact that you are willing to share about ED and ED issues and how he helped you means he is giving you a thumbs up. 2- thought- I am sorry people are so petty at times. Ignore them. Praying for you.

    1. Amen to that! An audience of One, that’s what I need to remember. thanks for this powerful reminder and for your kindness and prayers 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  5. It can be so hard to open up about the things we struggle with, and the pain from our past. But you are right, we are called to be a light in this world, and God uses our experiences and struggles to reach out to other people. People called me stupid for choices I made in my past, because my mistake was so obvious to everyone but myself…but God is using what I went through to be an open door to connect with other people that I otherwise wouldn’t reach out to. We all have purpose in this world, but not everyone will understand what we’re doing or where we’re coming from.

    1. Thank you so much for this kind response, Ellen. You’re so right – God uses our struggles and everything for good. Hugs and love xox

  6. Hey! So I should start out by saying I’m not usually one to jump on the bandwagon of “haters gonna hate” and the like, but I felt led to comment. As a young Christian working my way through my own struggles, I know how awful it is to have people totally railing and passing their own judgements on what I’m going through. My church taught on the power of words a while back and one of the things they mentioned was a study that said that for every positive comment, six negative ones follow. I want to encourage you to keep making posts like you did last week. Don’t ever stop being the light, because the moment you do, the darkness has won. I really enjoyed your post last week as well as just reading your blog because, even though I have never struggled with an eating disorder, your posts have given me encouragement that someone else out there struggles, feels that desperate pain, and made it through thriving. Thank you so much…you really are a blessing.

    1. Thank you so much Kerr, for your thoughtful response. i really appreciate the encouragement. you’re so right – there will be both good and bad, and I just have to remember God’s promise and love. Thanks again for your kind words. you are a blessing to me! Hugs and love xox

  7. Just remember when you get negative comments like that, even Our Lord received some scathing comments in His time here on Earth. He was even accused of casting out devils with the Devil’s power.

    Keep strong, girl! What you’re doing here on this blog is good and necessary, especially for those seeking the light.

    Keep your head up and rock on! 😎 (That emoji would be you rocking on.)

    1. Amen to that. God has gone through everything first. Thank you so much for your encouragement. It truly means a lot. Gotta keep my eyes on Jesus! haha love the emoji! Hugs and love xox

  8. I love your response to this. This life is about understanding GRACE from Jesus. Grace for our past, present and future decisions. We are all doing the best we can at walking this life and you show that so well in your writing. Whenever I feel like you have the right to blow up in response, you handle these scenarios with compassion. Your writing has been a light because it points straight back to Jesus. No delays or detours, just Jesus. Thank you for being faithful to Him. He is doing a work and growth in your life and we see it every time you post. We are all flawed humans. Give yourself grace because that is the gift of having a relationship with Jesus. We receive endless amounts of it. For that I am truly truly grateful. Have a wonderful week Caralyn!!!

    1. Oh Sarah, thank you so much for this beautiful comment. I am seriously so touched. You’re so right – He gives us grace in abundance, and how grateful am I for that. Amen – just Jesus. Thanks for the wonderful encouragement. big hugs to you xox

    1. Thank you friend, I really appreciate that feedback. Yeah, I think sometimes hurting people hurt people. Gotta just brush it off. Hugs and love xox

  9. “Our lives can be bright, shining lights.”
    “Never forget that. Our lives, and His love that we share — it matters. It really does.”

    Wonderful insight.

  10. Fair to say those “people” don’t know you or your blog that well making comments like that and if they were in recovery they wouldn’t even dare say those things to another in recovery as they know how it feels, honestly felt it was a powerful blog post that we all needed to read, I’m so proud of your recovery and in awe of your strength ❤️ the enemy is very subtle and cunning about how he creeps in. I must admit I’m struggling with a few things at the minute,. Also congrats on your call back ❤️ I hope to see the day when I get to see you in a film ❤️❤️

    1. Thanks Benny, that’s such a great point. Gosh I am so touched by your kind words. Thanks for always having my back. Im sorry to hear that you’re going through a rough patch. Hang in there. Praying for you Hugs and love xox

      1. Will never stop having your back we are connected through this blog, through Christ, will never stop being here for you now matter what you choose to do, I do however hope if you become that famous movie star I know you can be I’d hope we’d get to hang out at the premieres 😂😂

      2. amen to that!!!!! 🙂 hahaha you’re funny. wouldn’t that be a riot xoxox

  11. Caralyn, you truly are a light for so many people. I’m glad to hear that you didn’t let the negativity get you down…at least for too long! 😉 Keep doing what you’re doing and fighting that fight. You are an amazing inspiration and God is using you to do so many things. Blessings <3

    1. Oh my gosh, Kelli, you are just so kind. thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. i am truly so touched. Hugs and love xox

    1. aw, thank you so much for saying that. it really means a lot. that’s a great point! Hugs and love xox

  12. That’s awful!! I can’t believe people would make you feel bad about your post. I don’t know who those people are, but they don’t matter. You strike me as being very authentic indeed!! I read the post just now and I thought it was nice how concerned you were for the old woman.

    1. Thank you Meg, for your kindness. Yeah, they were just several anonymous IG DMs that I think were just meant to hurt. Gotta just brush it off. Thank you for your support! means a lot! Hugs and love xox

  13. I am unsure why people were upset with your blog post. I found it to be a wonderful example of God using all of us, cracked and otherwise to help each other and or see/realize what we might not otherwise see. This blog site is so needed. Don’t let people dissuade you from The message God wants you to share. Keep on sharing. You are a light in an otherwise dark topic.

    1. Thank you so much Loretta, yeah I am unsure too. They were upset about posting about exercise at all on a recovery blog. Thank you for your kind encouragment. it truly means so much. Hugs and love xox

  14. I read your previous article and fail to see why ppl would be upset??! The only thing I wondered was if the older woman was actually training for the Boston Marathon. That would possibly be another explanation. 🤷🏻‍♀️ But regardless, I also think your articles are so informative for shedding some light on ED’s. It’s not easy opening up online and revealing your heart. I see your strength and applaud that. 💓😌🙏🏼

    1. Thank you so much, friend. Yeah that’s what I thought too. Thanks for your encouragement. it really means a lot. you’re a blessing to me! Hugs and love xox

  15. Please, please don’t let some hurtful comments from some nasty people out there upset you. Most of us out here care about you and enjoy reading your very wise and very kind words. Cheers and God bless you Pat

    1. Thank you Pat, I appreciate your wonderfully kind words. it really means a lot. Thanks for being an encourager 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  16. It’s the position that gives us the most influence that makes us the most vulnerable. I’m sorry for the hurtful words that you received, but so glad you’re not giving up! “May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.” 2 Thess. 2:16

    1. Thank you so much Linda. Amen to that – eternal encouragement – what a beautiful thought 🙂 big hugs to you x

  17. I love the photo of you with the ears and nose. As for those who are angry and furious at you for what you said, I read your posts and see you giving your time to encourage those who have the same problem you had. People get mad at you because they have nothing better to do but to destroy others. Why? because they are destroyed themselves, and they seek to destroy people at every opportunity they get. I always see you bringing encouragement to those who need it. I hope that you continue to show hope in a not-so-hope-filled world.

    1. haha thanks JB, I have too much fun with snapchat 🙂 thank you for your kind encouragement. Yeah, that is what i pray for this blog: hope. I appreciate your support more than you know! Hugs and love xox

  18. I love your honesty in this blog. Everyone’s journey is different, and some people don’t have the capacity to understand yours. That’s OK. Move on. Love them. Everyone’s at different points, and just because they don’t understand you doesn’t make them bad. You exemplified this well in your post, though I hate that it upset you before you were able to move on from it!

    1. Thank you so much, Connie, that really means a lot. you’re right – we’re all on our own journeys, and the best thing to do is just be there for everyone along the way 🙂 thanks for the support. Hugs and love xox

  19. Recovery is a blessing. To have found your way out, amazing and freeing. But to be a light to others still in the darkness… humbling and inspiring. We blog from where we are because of where we’ve been to those who have still have hope of escape.
    As they are now, we once were. As we are now, may they become. Keep moving forward. Thx

    1. Amen to that. it sure is, KIA. Thank you friend, for your kind words and support. It means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  20. I’m so amazed of everything you accomplished despite your circumstances. I just published about my eating disorder. I hope I can recover like you did. Thank you so much for your support of my blog.. I’m still a newbie and barely scrapping the surface of where I want to be. But I keep at it.

    1. Thank you friend. Keep writing. Your recovery is inspiring and know that I’m cheering for you! Hugs and love xox

  21. Keep speaking your mind and sharing your journey, Caralyn! You are an inspiration, a wonderful resource, someone who has been through the worst, yet come through shining. People need to know that, they must know they’re not alone…. no matter what type of struggle they’re going through. I’m glad you had that moment up on that beautiful roof top! Sounds lovely. Best of luck with your callback!! xo

    1. Thank you Jenny Marie! What a kind response. I am seriously so touched by this encouragement. You’re a great friend. Yeah it was a beautiful night on that roof! Hugs and love xox

  22. Dear Sister:
    Every hurt that we suffer is an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to enter the world through us. Remember what Jesus said to the young rich man: “Why do you call me good? There is only One that is good.”

    What you write here is not the meaning of you. The photos of you that project your vivacity and vitality are not the meaning of you. The meaning of you is in the healing that gives proof to the love of the Father. You could stop writing this blog today, and the lesson of that healing would live on in the Holy Spirit, and be there for others to receive when they finally did as you did, and called upon the Savior to come to their aid.

    Blessings be upon you. Be serene in the knowledge of the love that embraces you. And lay down forever the expectation that anything that gives proof of your virtue to the world matters at all to your Father. He sees you as you already are in spirit, in a form that we here cannot.

    Yours in the Spirit of Love,

    Brian

    1. Thank you so much Brian for this kind encouragement. Such profound insight. Amen – every hurt is an opportunity. Thank you again for the prayers. Hugs and love xox

      1. But what is the opportunity?

        Jesus did not die to prove his worth to the Father. He died to prove the worthiness of the Father to us.

        It is our openness to His love that the Father cherishes. He yearns for each of us as much as we yearn for him. The door between us and Him is so thin – all we need do is surrender the idea that it is our duty to earn entry.

        We receive Him when we become the door through which He enters the world. The two things are inseparable, and nothing that we accomplish before that surrender can compare to what we accomplish for others afterward. We become the proof that their wounded hearts need to believe in the possibility of healing – something that no other evidence can suffice to accomplish.

        This is why Jesus was given the “authority to lay down [his] life and take it up again.” To prove that even Death was no barrier to the healing that takes shape in the Father’s love.

  23. Caralyn you are a shining light. Please don’t let a few bad comments get to you. You are genuine and authentic and i truly appreciate you sharing your life with us. Not only are you are an amazing woman but beautiful inside and outside. Best of luck with your callback.🤩😘

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much Wilfred. You are too kind. I am so touched by your wonderful response. Hugs and love xox

  24. THEY flew in from LA to see vous?!? “I know her! She’s my friend!!! I’m…kinda cool…by association!” I will get all the details if it takes a whole bottle of rose’! Serious stuff over at Patreon.

    1. Haha you’re funny Jeff. Thanks 🙂 looking forward to reading them!! Hugs and love xox

  25. It’s so crazy, I literally just thought to myself as I typed your web address into my computer, “It must be hard to be in the public eye,” so I prayed for you as I did that. Then I thought, “I should tell her that I prayed for her.” Then the page loaded and I read this post.

    For several months, I have felt that God wants me to share some hidden parts of my high school story with a high school classmate that I wasn’t really friends with. I contacted him and he is more than willing to hear. I have delayed and not yet responded (though I know I will eventually), not wanting to uncover that part of myself to a person who is from that time of my life and whose character I don’t know. That is just one person who needs the light and hope, and I fear.

    You are so brave to let the whole world see what miracles He has done in your weakness. May you always have that courage by the Holy Spirit’s power, may you feel His grace when you haven’t got any yourself and aren’t receiving any from others, and may you know when it is ok to rest and hide too 🙂

    1. Oh my goodness your prayers mean so much. Thank you with all my heart. Your kind words and encouragement mean the world. I will pray for your situation in sharing your story as well 🙂 big hugs to you xox

  26. I really appreciated your post on Monday and your openness and honesty. Thanks for being vulnerable in a world of harsh and uncompassionate critics! Praise God that he chooses to use us though we don’t always see the results!

    1. Thank you Kimmy, it really means a lot! Amen to that! God is good! Hugs and love xox

  27. Currently, I’m listening to You’re Gonna Be Okay by Brian and Jenn Johnson, and I think this connects.

    I’ve noticed from sharing topics that stir people. Whether they are pricked because they are challenged in a post or they flat out disagree, having rejection and negative feedback will definitely be part of what it means to speak up, and share. It’s weird because we write to help others, and share our experiences, but our writing isn’t meant to be silencing to others…including the negative and nasty comments.

    You’re speaking on a topic people either understand because they’ve lived it, living it, or they don’t understand. Those of us who don’t understand what it is like can either learn or we can choose to ignore. People who choose to ignorant, that’s their own issue. If you know what you are doing isn’t wrong in sharing, and God isn’t convicting you of what someone is saying, then know you are a force to be reckoned with 🙂 because you are pushing people and you are making them uncomfortable enough they feel they have to say something to tune you out.

    Keep speaking, girl! I love the song Define Me by Jonny Diaz because he speaks of the lies the devil says to us being as empty as Jesus’ grave. Their words don’t have to have hold over you, that’s what I tell myself. <3

    1. Hey TR! I’ll have to download those songs, thank you. You’re so right about that – the only opinion that matters is Jesus’. Just got to brush everything else off. Because you’re right, at the end of the day, people are all working through their own issues , and so often their words reflect that. Thank you for this incredible encouragement. It really means so much! You’re a blessing to me. Hugs and love xox

      1. Glad I could encourage you 🙂 It’s hard when people hurt us, especially the sensitive parts of our hearts. But there is power in hope as you shared, and Christ breaks all chains <3

  28. Little sister I commented earlier from my other blog but wanted to share one more thought. As we walk in the light and try to share the light and love of Jesus, darkness will try to pull us down sometimes in subtle ways and sometimes in not so subtle ways. Do not let darkness pull you down little sister. Keep being the joyful light that you are.

    1. Oh gosh thank you so much! Your encouragement means the world. Amen – gotta keep eyes on Jesus! Hugs and love xox

  29. “Jesus came to show us that we can and must trust our human, and thus body-based, experience. . . . Only after thousands of communions does truth dawn on us: We bear the mystery of God through embodiment.” Learn more about reclaiming this healthy, whole understanding of self, including sexuality: http://ow.ly/JhmH30jueER

  30. First of all, good luck on that role. Also, not typing with my glasses on so… Vilifying someone with ED for going to the gym is no different than vilifying an over eater, who is recovered, for going to the grocery store, imho. Exercise is good for us. People just want to tell other people how to live their lives 24/7/365 so that they do not have to deal with their own messes.have fun. Be young. don;t fret. (ok, me too. I’m also telling you how to live your life but hopefully in a good way and not in an being evil way.) Be the light. Be merciful and tender hearted. there are enough bitter, angry people to fill a planet… Love, light and hugs to you!

    1. Thank you so much Melissa. Your support and encouragement means the world. You’re so right – merciful and tender hearted – that’s what we should strive for! Very grateful for your friendship! Hugs and love xox

  31. I had missed your Monday’s post, so I went back and read it now. I, for one, don’t understand why people should tear you up. You are not judgemental or derogatory. You are kind, positive, and wishing only for the best. Having gone through the painful journey…you can feel the hurt when you see it. Take heart..and let the haters talk… Keep doing what you are doing. God Bless.

    1. Thank you friend, yeah I was a bit puzzled too. Thank you for such kind encouragement. Big hugs to you xox

  32. Hi Caralyn. 😀❤️🌹🌹🌹

    When you receive negative feedback, you must be doing things right. I believe that many famous preachers and teachers of the Gospel of Jesus Christ were scorned, put down, beaten, tortured…. oh, yah, Jesus Christ Himself was, and He spoke truth only, and assisted, healed, cleansed, forgave, delivered everyone who would receive.
    And even though Jesus Christ is God, not everyone believed and accepted Him when He was on earth, and not everyone does now. So look at the good company you are in.

    I am so sorry though, Caralyn, that you receive hurting, thoughtless comments from people. I actually feel sorry for them, that they do not see, or cannot accept that you are helping many people, and being very open, honest and vulnerable yourself, in order to help others. And those you are helping are not only people with ED, but with many different disorders, addictions, and challenges.
    Keep on keeping on, as Holy Spirit inspires and leads you.

    Since you have been hurt by some people who disagree with you, and you know the Power of God to get through those days, you now have more experience to help and counsel even more people.

    Everything we go through in life can be used for beneficial purposes, for God’s Glory, as Apostle Paul wrote in a letter;

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

    God’s Continuing Blessings and Strength, Caralyn,
    Luv and Hugs, 😀❤️🌹

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, George. Your kind words truly mean so much. You’re so right – God really will use everything for good, and that is something to celebrate. Nothing we go through, God hasn’t already been through. Thanks for sharing those great verses. You’re a blessing to me ! Big big hugs xox

  33. MIRACLE YELLOOOOOO….! Oh my goodness girl…where have you been though? What’s going on and what’s new? And yes, fingers crossed on that film – we knew big brother J.C wasn’t gonna let a sister down. Times and seasons are in the Father’s authority. He doesn’t fail. Like I said, its just gonna keep coming and he’s gonna keep on giving. Woot woot.

    Anywho! what did I miss while I was away for a week? C’mon…gist….and send links to catch me up on podcast, soundcloud or someplace else. Too excited! Which one should I start with first….? Ahhhhh…

    Sorry about those nasty comments. Though – I’m not worried about those nasty comments. You are a tough cookie. One brightly colored lily in the valley blooming in response to the rays from the Son. Plus, we of the BBB club got you back girl. Sending prayers up.

    One love, one spirit.

    1. One love one spirit. Amen to that. Aww Ish, you’re too good to me thank you. Times and seasons are in the Father’s authority. I love that so much. Thanks for the support. You’re a great friend. Hugs and love xox

  34. Caralyn, I look forward to reading every one of your blog posts… your honesty and love for God is refreshing in a world that is tough to live in. Being attacked by others stinks … my prayer is that this becomes “gold” in your heart and perspective. As the saying goes, “we become bitter or better” from such things. We’re all rooting for you, because you’ve shown us “better” again and again. Hang in there!

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement Rashell. It really means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  35. Oh my LORD people can be SO mean!!! I wanted to drop a line and tell you how much I enjoy your writing and getting to know you through your eyes in your pieces. Don’t let anyone take away the pride and sense of accomplishment you have EARNED for yourself. Sounds like you have some pretty great friends and readers above that love your work! Keep shining and welcome back!

    1. Thank you so much friend. This seriously means the world. My heart is very warm right now! Hugs and love xox

  36. When I read your blog where you shared about the older lady in the gym, what I got from it was a heart-felt concern for a woman and a reminder of where you had been. Of course there will be people with negative responses to what you say, no matter how truthful and sincere it is. Remember that Jesus, Himself, not only was hated and criticized, but warned His disciples that they would have the same thing done to them. If we are truly following Christ and answering His call in the things we do and say, the feelings we have and the motives in our heart, we will be hated and despised by the world. The moment you don’t rub anyone the wrong way, get worried. (For the record, I absolutely adore everything about you and think you are an inspiration). Love and blessings, Jim

    1. Thank you Jim, I really appreciate your support. Amen – what an important perspective to keep in mind! Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thank you so much!! Meanies hehe that word made me chuckle 🙂 thanks for the smile, friend! Have a great Tuesday! Hugs and love xox

  37. My dear friend,

    It really matters if we can spread hope and light to others. One Saint once said: “The deepest knowledge lies in service to man…” you had to go through an awful time and really noone can really know what kind of suffering you had to overcome. Maybe God has chosen you to be of help in this matter for thousand others who have to suffer the same way. For them you are beacon, light and hope that they also can find a better morning, leaving their pain behind. Such things also remind us how fragile we are, how our mind controls us and how difficulut it is to overcome certain habits when they have become as strong as steal. The light from the windows of skyscrapers together form a huge lamp in the darkness and it shows the unification of man, it shows that we are all one and in this way we can help each other with our experience made. The mind is like the moon: it shows us light but not the real light – as it is the reflection of the sun… We all may seek for the real source of this light, which is hidden in us all…

    Thanks my friend 🙂
    All good wishes
    Didi

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement Didi. It really means a lot. Yes! Let’s spread hope and light. I love that quote to. Thanks for the support and kindness. You are a good friend! Hugs and love xox

  38. I find it’s often the mean, less-thinking types who bother to get on and be mean. Most people read and are touched and simply don’t say it. So, for every one bully there are probably ten happy, touched, smiling people nodding along with your comments and feeling uplifted.

  39. Caralyn, you are not defined by other people but by God. You are doing a wonderful job with the blog and have the right to express your feelings. The nay sayers with hurtful things to say are not the truth. You have made the difference in many people’s lives. Keep being yourself! xoxoxo

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement! It really means a lot!! Hugs and love xox

  40. Who am I to tell you what to feel? I have never been where you were. How can anyone judge when they have not felt what you have felt? Of course you knew what was happening to the elderly lady and could see where she was headed. Yes, by all means, pity her and help her if you can.

    Let me just say I hope you will ignore the insults and consider the source (ignorance). If you let others’ opinions guide your life, you will be right back where you started. Worrying about others opinions got you off the rail in the first place. Right?

    1. Thank you Beth. I really appreciate your kindness. You’re right – can’t worry about the noise! Hugs and love xox

  41. Courage will always encounter envy and resentment. You are courageous. Keep going. Most of us hope that in some way we have alleviated someone’s hurt or enabled them to continue thier life’s path in a more positive way. That hope is paramount for our society to grow and for us as individuals to live positively.

  42. First off, I like your torn jeans. In my time, we had two methods of achieving this result.
    – One, we would take a cheap blade (the kind that Gillette knocked off the market) and cut our jeans
    – Two, since we had no money, we would wear our jeans till they frayed. I still do this!

    Now, on a more serious note – its yours to give off yourself, and this is what you have been doing. It takes courage. It is not your responsibility for how people understand your message.

    I don’t know if you are familiar with Carlos Castaneda, but we read his books when we were in college. Don Juan, his Indian mentor and ‘sorcerer’/’medicine man’ would share his secrets with Carlos, who would write about them. When Carlos worried that Don Juan’s secrets were being shared with the world, Don Juan said (and this is my version of what he said), ‘Chill, man. It’s mine to share. Very few will understand, and that is okay. For those who do, I wish them well on their journey. For those who wish to troll me in their ignorance, I wish them well as well’

    So, keep smiling

    1. Thank you so much Rajiv, i really appreciate your kindness. Interesting – I’m not familiar with him but I’ll add him to my list! Hugs and love xox

  43. Hearing you tell of people making horrible remarks reminds me of the part of the Bible where it says those who follow Him will be persecuted. It sucks that there are so many lost out there, and it sucks that their remarks can have so much power. I take everything personally, so I see where your anger came in. But good for you for standing your ground. Good for you for knowing and realizing that the only one we are to please is Christ. I remind myself all the time that their opinion doesn’t count when said and done. (I still struggle) But your passion to write about your experience is going to be someone else’s ray of hope. God Bless!

    1. Thank you for this encouragement. Amen – only His opinion counts! Hugs and love xox

  44. We are all on our own road to Emmaus. We are all invited to pick up our cross and follow Christ. He walks with us regardless we are aware or not. Our minds and hearts will be illuminated by His Advocate- the Holy Spirit if we allow it. Some of us who have journeyed long and far will have experienced more than those who have yet to begin their journey. So whatever was thrown at you, accept these as they happen along your own journey with Christ. Judge not, rejoice that others ‘speak calumny against you’….etc etc 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement Jeanne. Isn’t that the truth! Hugs and love xox

  45. People are mean, hateful, judge mental and ignorant. There is just no avoiding this fact. My grandpa always said consider the source. For all these lost souls there may indeed be one person you touch and that makes it worth it. After all Jesus pursues the one and if I were the only one he would have taken the cross for me! May the mean people disappear from your social media life! Peace!

    1. Thank you Rachel for your kind words. Amen – your Grandfather is wise! Hugs and love xox

  46. You’re not responsible for how people feel. You’re not responsible for how they react.

    Most people are going through life looking to be offended and outraged and hurt and “triggered” and victimised because they LIKE to feel that way. They won’t ever admit to themselves or any one else, but they’re addicted to the feelings they get when they’re on the receiving edge of the spear.

    There’s a reason it’s called “taking offense” — those people have to actively put themselves into an offended state, though for most of them it’s muscle memory by now. Those voices offer nothing of value.

    Keep doing what you’re doing — you’ll likely never hear from all the people in which whose lives you’re making a difference.

    1. Thanks Matt, that’s a really great point. I appreciate your kindness. Hugs and love xox

  47. Delightful post. Reminded me of a similar situation I just went through this past weekend at my friends wedding. A few reminders of some old, hurtful situations, but the company of a good time and seeing my best friend get married outweighed the negativity. It was a great reminder of what to focus on and I’ll share with you what the Priest at the church said during the ceremony.

    “I was visiting the coast of Maine recently and I thought of something. At first, I listened to the sound of the ocean waves crashing against the rocky coast line, but then I turned my focus towards the rocks themselves. I picked up one of the rocks. It was smooth. Usually rocks are rough around the edges but the waves had rubbed them together so much they became smooth… And life is like the ocean waves sometimes. We may be rough around the edges, as we all have flaws in our character, but the ups and downs, struggles, and hardships of life will rub away those rough edges and smooth us out with time.”

    This reminded me that we all can grow and evolve into the people we want to be, and that out value does not decrease with out mistake, set-backs, and struggles.

    Good luck with the casting call.

    Clinton
    IamClintFit

    1. Thank you so much for your thoughtful response. you’re right – we are all capable of evolving. Amen to that. thanks for sharing this great insight. Hugs and love xox

  48. I meant to comment on your other post, but….life:) I am sorry to hear you received some hurtful comments. But that’s what evil likes to do, isn’t it? Make us question the good we are trying to do. Keep on speaking your experience. For every one person who hates on it, I would be willing to bet there are a bunch more who are touched and profit from it. I really like your image of the single light shining in the darkness. All it takes is that one light to start another, and then another, and then another! Keep up the good work and God Bless!

    1. Thanks so much friend, I really appreciate your support. you’re right – One light! Hugs and love xox

  49. You embody grace, and agape love, Caralyn. I’m sorry that you received negative comments, but you handled this whole situation with grace, peace, and forgiveness. That is the best response to negativity, hands down. Keep shining. You are such a bright light to me, and to so many others. You’ve touched my life in more ways than I can say. Thank you!

    1. Oh Laura Beth, thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. It seriously means the world. You are a blessing to me! big big hugs xo

  50. A-to-the-MEN!!!! Thank you for keeping your light shining. Your heart is open, and you are sharing your truth in a way many others cannot. I’m learning that people are threatened by that ability, which is too bad. I’m sure that you, like me, wish that we could all find and share our truths…what a wonderful world it would be. God bless you on your continued journey. 🏖

    1. Thank you so much for this beautiful encouragement. it really means a lot. Hugs and love xox

  51. My blog is also about recovery, but in a different way. I want to shout to you that you are so brave. Don’t listen to the naysayers. Your story is powerful. I exercised obsessively and had a similar experience, but I was on the other side. I wanted to be that woman and she talked about how blessed she was and I wanted to be like her. Now, I am appalled by those thoughts. I have begun to spiral down again and your words and spirit of redemption give me hope. Keep blogging. You are amazing.

    1. Thank you so much Darlene. I’m so touched by your kindness. Hope is a powerful thing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  52. Honest, open, vulnerable, and accountable. If we all could be more like that, how much more could we learn and how much quicker could we heal? Thank you for being such an open book (with a better than average cover – ha!).

    1. Thank you so much Anthony, this really means a lot. hahaha you’re funny! Hugs and love xox

  53. Keep on bloggin’ and telling your story. Christians are attacked because they are a threat to the devil, the world, and the sinful human nature. Attacks mean you are being effective!

  54. Keep sharing and keep being a light to the world! I have been crushed under the “Little Fat Girl/Big Fat Girl” image all my life and I still struggle every day to maintain my sense of self as a precious child of God. You make a difference; continue giving courage to others with eating disorders.

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 we are all precious in His eyes!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh gosh, thank you so much for your kindness. It seriously means the world. Big big hugs to you, friend! xoxo

  55. Oh my !!! I didn’t read the article I didn’t see it in my blog feed….but I would never judge you and what I know of you I know you where helping and just explaining about your recovery .. I’m so sorry people are just horrible well some and no one has a right to judge someone so sorry they hurt you. Hugs girl rise above and do not let anyone break your spirit. ❤️

  56. I just read Monday’s post. You won’t find me at a gym or doing anything that would qualify as exercise, but as usual what you wrote spoke to me. Thanks for it and for today’s. God bless you, Caralyn.

    1. thank you so much, friend. I’m so glad it resonated with you. Hugs and love xox

  57. I’m sorry about negative feedback. I thought the post about exercise was wonderful! Don’t let the meanies get you down. There are so many people that the post will help. You are a ray of light in the world!

    1. thank you so much for your kind words. Gosh , I am so touched . Hugs and love xox

  58. Hey I actually messaged you this on Instagram but I think people need to know your sincerity and compassion.
    I recently bought your e-book, I really did this because how you really helped me the last two years. I wanted to write so often, but battling depression really suffocated me. I would read your post and your writings really comforted me, they made me laugh and sometimes cry. Your words encouraged me to not give in. You never wrote a post questioning the faith of someone struggling through the emotional roller coaster of life. You shined Jesus. I love you for this. God in His mercy has moved me closer to healing, I am back writing. I have seen how God has transformed you in the last two years. You are sincere and genuine. Don’t pay attention to divisive comments. God loves you, so walk in His light. Live for Him and not for the praise of others.
    By the way my newest post might interest you and add perspective to this. https://proofofyourfaith.blog/2018/04/16/destroying-the-message-of-guilt-and-shame/
    God bless,
    Stephan

    1. Oh my gosh Stephan, thank you so much for this incredible response. I am seriously so touched by your kind words. God is so good, and I’m so glad you’re back to writing! And thank you for getting my ebook! So glad you enjoyed it 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  59. Yes! We need to shine that light which God has given us! Don’t let a bunch of hateful comments get you off the path of righteousness that God has called you to walk on! Continue to pray for them, that one day they receive salvation! 🙂 God bless and let your light continue to shine in Jesus Name! Xxoo

    1. amen amen amen, Tammy! You’re so right – I need to pray for them – I had forgotten about that, but that’s what Jesus instructed us!!!!! thanks for reminding me that awesome and healing perspective 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  60. Just remember when you are leading out front you tend to get kicked in the behind. It’s the price for leading. If you only rescue one person from self-destruction it will be worth it. Keep up the good work!

  61. 1 Peter 2:9
    9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

  62. You are an amazing inspiration to many out there needing the hope you give them. Something I’ve learned in what I do is when we receive “hate mail” or comments… we have hit a nerve…and I pray for that persons healing! Keep being that amazing light….the amazing intentional disciple God has called you to be….because you are making amazing ripples of change out there by boldly sharing your story! You are always on my prayers….and I love reading what you have to share!!!

    1. Thank you so much Kelly, gosh what a kind thing to say. I appreciate your prayers and support so much. God is good! Hugs and love xox

  63. I didn’t read all of the comments, just skimmed them. What I noticed was that the ones I read were positive. So I just want to remind you (with compassion) of something else you might suffer from – focusing on the negative and being hard on yourself. I know negativity can feel like a punch in the gut, but I want to be another voice telling you that you speak to a lot of people, and you are great at what you do. Thank you.

    1. Thank you so much for this great reflection. Thats definitely something to think about and keep in mind in the future. Thanks for that!! Hugs and love xox

  64. Caralyn-I don’t know how much my saying this will be of comfort to you, but it’s worth remembering that you have someone, in Jesus, who can relate to your current situation. We have a savior who was falsely accused himself and was put on a cross because of those false accusations. You are not alone in this walk, because you have a Lord who is happy to walk with you and a Lord who has walked through the pain of false accusations for our own sakes.

    1. Thank you so much Brendan. I really appreciate this awesome reminder. Amen – Jesus already went through it! Hugs and love xox

  65. I think this is the era where many people want to pounce on every word that is said or written which they perceive as something offensive to themselves or someone else, not taking into account the communicator’s honest intentions. I think we are seeing it happen everyday in the media. Goodness gracious! I rarely share my opinions on social media because of that. Caralyn, I’m glad God was able to help you put this to rest in Him and embrace this blog once again. I enjoy reading it. You are doing great! <3

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. I am so touched 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  66. Wow!!! Amazing! And you’re right, God is amazing. Thank you for your openness and honesty. Sometimes it’s good to show ya scars, it allows other people to have hope in healing theirs! 😘😘

  67. A wonderful post – a reminder that ill-spoken/ill-written words, negative or indifferent ones, should be taken with a grain of salt. I love how you summed it up so eloquently: “And what an incredible blessing that I have been able to share my story with others. God is so generous. And if every now and then I receive some not-so-lovely feedback, then so be it. The mission is greater than my feelings.” Hear, hear. And amen. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. Amen! God really is so so generous! Hugs and love xox

  68. TALL. That is what I remember about Manhattan buildings. No telling if it is cloudy or sunny til I look straight up. You’re a scary person, you know that, right? Not intimidating, but, definitely, scary. Your God, sometimes, I wonder if he/she/it/whatever is or may be as scary as you. I don’t see the sense in believing in a God, anymore, but I definitely do understand scary. That’s when I shy away.

  69. Oh that made me feel so sad! Your message was clear. Where was that resource when you so desperately needed it, Where was I when someone in my circle of influence needed a leg up in life. Someone to shelter them from the dark cloud hanging over them. How do I know who that person is that needs help? There is so much pain in this world and we need that Holy Spirit you talked about as only He knows who that needy soul is. More than that though we need to develop a compassionate spirit that is the hallmark of heaven and will enable our entry into that promised heaven someday soon. There is no pain there, everyone is equal, everyone is loved and supported there. It will be nice to get to know you up there.:)

    1. Thank you so much Ian got your kind words and support. You’re so right – we need the Holy Spirit so so much! Hugs and love xox

  70. Actually, I see nothing wrong with that post and hey always look at the bright side. Lol. So, I’m joining the throng to tell you “Go Care go!”. Your articles have always been helpful. Remember the most successful garners the most critical views..

  71. OK now I am pissed. You know you and I have radically different beliefs in life and religion. But with that, we like each other, respect each other and are nice to each other. I found you post on the 80 year old informative, and full of love and caring for her from you.

    There are jerks and assholes (forgive me) out there who want to make kind people sad. You have a huge heart, which is good, but its easy to hurt ant they do. Head up woman, you love all and are amazing, try to ignore the jerks of the world!

    HEY good luck in the film!!!!!!

    1. Thank you so much Tony for your support. Thank really means a lot. You’re right- just gotta ignore it. Thanks for the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  72. I empathise with you Caralyn, let go of the naysayers, they are the enemy’s work. Because you are opening your spirit to others- a spirit of truth and goodness, the enemy will try to derail, confuse and devour anyone who iis weak. Stand tall Caralyn and tell the enemy that you are a child of the most high God and in the name of Jesus Christ, the enemy has no power over you. (Psalm 68:1 “LET GOD ARISE AND THE ENEMY SCATTER”).

    1. Thank you so much for your encouragement. What a kind response. Amen to that! Hugs and love xox

  73. Hey there! Please don’t let the odd naysayer get to you. I mean, lower Manhattan maybe, but you also shine a light for people reading (like me) in different parts of the world. You are inspiring and brave and I’m happy for your ‘light’. Keep shining. I count on it 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for this wonderful encouragement. it really means so so much. Hugs and love xox

  74. Hey, Sis! 🙂 First, congrats on your callback for any filming projects. Praying that it all works out because I know that God has it already covered and preparing it for you, unless you are already filming by now due to my late response.

    Secondly, do not think of anything (or anyone) that tends to break you down for whatever reason. The ‘truth’ of the matter is that everyone has a difference of opinions when comes to approaching any topic; me dealing with my MS for example. Yes, my mother and I have MS, but we do have our own different experiences as well as the other people we meet that may dealing with the same auto-immune disease as well. To simply put it, we all have different approaches, views, and thoughts when it comes to one subject. So, don’t ever feel bad or believe that you were wrong to say, do, or share your thoughts with us in the world. You’ve done nothing wrong, especially when it comes to sharing ‘your own’ life testimonies and the ways of Light God has shown and blessed you to see and receive in your life. I love it!

    Speaking of light, yes, you have taken beautiful images and you had a chance to hang out with your friends. So, in a way, you are sharing your life with them by having fun and being yourself. If anything, remember that God is always loving you, supporting you, and is continuously there to help uplift you.

    Stay strong! 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words and prayers. I really appreciate you sharing your story. Know that you and your mom are in my prayers. Your strength is inspiring. Thanks for being such a beautiful breath of fresh air! Hugs and love xox

      1. Thank you so much, Sis’, for your prayers… and thank you for your kind words as well! Together, we’re more powerful than the enemy could ever attempt his attacks on us. Stay Strong! 🙂 Sending back many hugs and much love to you as well. xoxo

  75. You are really strong for being so open, s don’t let anyone bring you down! “Our lives can be bright, shining lights” beautiful insight.

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