40,000 and Me!

Well, here we are. 40,000 followers. To say that my heart is overwhelmed would be an understatement.

When I began this blog, back on February 19, 2015, I had one goal: to tell my story so that one person who is suffering from an eating disorder, or one loved one who feels hopeless and scared, could find hope. Could know that they are not alone. Could find strength to fight another day.

Never in one million years would I have thought that this blog would have become a little community of 40,000 people who I count as blessings in my life, and friends.

And it’s a funny thing…the number forty.

You see, I had been wanting to celebrate this day on the blog. And I had been praying about how to go about doing that. Do I share a fun personal video? Do I plug my book, Bloom, or share blogging insights from my Blogging Tips ebook? Do I just breeze by it and not even mention it at all? And to be honest, nothing really seemed quite right.

So this morning…yes, as in like eight hours ago…I’m cuttin’ it close, here, people…I was given a little nudge by the Holy Spirit to look at what the number forty actually means.

And no, I’m not talking about the swanky 40/40 Club in NYC, or a cheap bottle of malt liquor that one buys in college.

Nope. Instead, I took a hard left, and turned to the Bible.

And it turns out that forty is not only a pretty biblically significant number, but also precisely emblematic of this very blog, and what it stands for.

Allow me to explain.

In the Bible, there are really the “Big Three” when it comes to the number 40.

First of all, you’ve got Noah’s Ark. During the Great Flood, it rained for 40 days and 40 nights as God wiped out the earth.

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Photo: Shutterstock

Secondly: The Ten Commandments. Moses waited on a mountain for the Lord for 40 days and 40 nights – fasting – until God gave him the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments.

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Photo: Barkur Online

And finally, Number Three: Jesus being tempted in the desert by Satan for 40 days and 40 nights. AKA — Lent.

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Photo: ThingLink

And after reading these three instances, I thought to myself “Eureka!” This is literally a numerical representation of what my blog is all about:

Perseverance. And God’s Faithfulness. 

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So many times, I’ll get emails from girls struggling with recovery, or from worried parents, desperate for answers or strategies, and I always feel like I’m giving unsatisfactory advice, because the only thing I can say when it comes to that harrowing trial in their lives, is to fully lean on God. To just throw yourself at His feet, because that’s honestly about all you can muster when you’re going through adversity such as that.

Perhaps you can relate.

But to just completely hand yourself over to the mercy of God. Because the truth of the matter is that God will see you through.

Yes, it’s going to be hard. And take incredible strength and patience, but if there’s one thing these “Forty Stories” has taught us, it’s about perseverance. Through the fasting in on the mountain. Through the temptation in the desert. Through the torrential rains and storms and floods.

Persevere through those catastrophic seasons. Because God is faithful. And not once will He abandon you.

I think there’s a grave misconception about my recovery: that it’s been all sunshine and rainbows. And that I just *boom* one day saw the light during a chapel service at inpatient where my knees buckled, I cried, and then fully adopted a turmoil-free recovery, where the weight came on in all the “right places” and I never had another negative thought again.

Well, sorry to burst that idealistic bubble, but that couldn’t have been further from the truth.
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I relapsed. Hard. I went away to my first year of college just a couple weeks after returning from inpatient, and I dove head first back into my eating disorder. Only this time I was across the country from anyone I had to be accountable to. Long story short, I ended up not returning for that second semester. Instead I took the rest of that year to truly recover, and get to a place that I really could successfully go to college and be accountable to myself.

My recovery has been nothing short of a perseverance test, if I’m honest.

Add to it my 11-month Ulcerative Colitis flare that left me on bedrest, and my mom’s stroke, and you’d think it was a litmus test for how much hot water a person can withstand.

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And so today, reading about the rain, the desert, and Moses’ mountaintop fast, you’d better believe that those hit home, pretty darn close.

And here’s where being a Jesus follower really gets sticky…

If God is so good, why did He make those things happen in the first place? 

And this is where the rubber meets the road when it comes to our faith.

Because you’re right. Does it suck to have gone through such challenging trials? Yes. Absolutely.

But do I shake my fist at God and curse Him for supposedly pointing a finger and sending me lightning bolts?

Heavens, no.

Because that’s not how God operates.

He’s not some vindictive wizard behind a curtain that delights in pain and misfortune.

God knew that there were lessons that I needed to learn — that I couldn’t have learned any other way. 

And that main lesson — aside from having to let go of pride, or perfection, or self – idolatry — was learning to depend on Him. 

I learned — without a shadow of a doubt — that God. Is. Faithful.

And that’s what I try to communicate on the pages of this silly little blog.

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God shows up in the storm. In the desert. In the wilderness. He shows up. And gives you the strength and perseverance and ability to go on. But the thing is, we can’t recognize Him doing it, until afterwards, when we realize that it wasn’t actually us surviving at all, but Him carrying us.

That’s my story. That’s what I hope to share with all 40,000 of you.

We’re not alone. We are never, ever alone.

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

278 thoughts on “40,000 and Me!

    1. Thank you so much!! Aw I really appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Have an awesome night! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much friend. I do too! All such powerful examples of perseverance and trusting in God! Woo! Hugs and love xox

  1. That was truly worthy of your fortieth. Very well done. Perseverance and complete trust in God. I needed to hear that today, myself. I thank the Lord for what He’s done through you! Thanks for your courage and boldness to do what God opens for you! Congratulations!!! 🙌🙌🙌 ✨💛🤗✨

    1. oh gosh, thank you Michele, I really appreciate that. have a beautiful night! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Katie! I really appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! Gosh that’s a kind thing to say. Definitely humbling! Hugs and love xox

    1. Awww oh my goodness thank you!!!! I am so touched that you found it encouraging. Sending massive hugs and love xox

    1. God really is so good! Thank you Ryan! I always appreciate your kind words – they bring a smile to my face! Hugs and love xox

  2. You’ve come a long way from hiding behind a hat and partial selfies! Congrats on the 40,000 followers and may God continue to bless you as you honor Him! <3

    1. Hi Heather!! Oh my gosh isn’t that wild?! I was going to reference that in my post tonight, but I didn’t know if people would remember! So true – God has been so good, and He has beautiful plans for both you and me! 🤗🤗🤗 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Dr. Tanya!!! I really appreciate such generous words! Hugs and love xox

  3. Caralyn, congratulations! 40 in the Bible is always a testing. The Israelites wandered in the desert for 40 years and there are many others as you pointed out. It is now time for you to enter your Promised Land. The things you have so been looking forward to. Love and hugs!

    1. Hey friend! Oh gosh thank you friend. Yes! That’s another 40! I hope that means there’s a quality, handsome gentleman waiting for me in my future! Haha just kidding just kidding. But you’re so right, I think God has been preparing my heart and spirit for the things to come! Thanks for your encouragement and for sharing in the joy with me! Hugs and love xox

  4. I have to go back to calling you “Beauty” again, if just for tonight!! That’s how I first knew you back in the day of maybe 2000 readers. That’s what I called you for so long I wasn’t sure I’d get used to “Caralyn,” but I did.

    And you are still Beauty. You are the Beauty with the beautiful heart, the beautiful soul, the beautiful light of Jesus shining from within like…what was the other name I hung on you briefly?

    TIFFANY!! Just like those beautiful lamps, you shine with Jesus’ light within, finally showing your own beautiful colors that He created you with.

    I felt that beautiful spirit when we met. Literally felt it. It was a shock, because I was feeling good when we met, and I left feeling comforted not having realized I needed comforting in the first place. Which is how I gave you another label later: Prophet! You might recall I told you I looked up the biblical description which included comforting and ministering.

    Beauty + Tiffany + Prophet = CaralynBeyondBones! Thank you for letting Jesus make you beautiful! Thank you for sharing the beauty of JesusBeyondBones so openly and unashamedly!

    What else is there to say? Maybe, “I want to be like you when I grow up!”

    1. Hahahah i love it! Thank you Jeff! Oh my goodness you are too generous. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. This wonderful note of affirmation has put a ginormous smile on my face. I am blessed to know you and call you friend, Jeff. Sending humongous hugs and love to you and Julie! Xox

  5. This is post was just the reminder I needed today and perfectly coincides with what my devotional said this morning. Thank you for this “silly little blog” <3 it has blessed me over the years! Cheers to 40,000! Happy to be along for the journey! xo

    1. Oh good! I’m so glad it hit home with you, Sophie! Thank you so much for the encouraging words 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  6. Congratulations, Pastor ! By any measure, you have reached so many people and as your
    ” platform ” continues to grow, you will be amazed as this is just the beginning! God has great plans for your life which you are seeing unfold! You remain in my prayers as does your family!

    Having gone through recovery myself, I realize every day for me is a recovery day. It’s a choice once our minds are clear enough to decide!

    Speaking of blog reader counts, I hope to reach my 4th reader ( free subscriber ) by the end of the year!

    1. Hey Rick! Oh my goodness thank you for your kind words 🙂 I do believe that God has a good plan in His perfect timing 🙂 you’re so right – it’s an every day decision!! Thanks for your prayers know that you’re in mine too! Hugs and love xox

  7. CONGRATULATIONS! I am so happy for you and this is a beautiful post. And I can’t help but remember all those who have “hassled” you along the way and this is why the enemy had tried to stop you and I am so glad that you didn’t let him! And I believe that this is STILL just the beginning of what God is going to do through you, your life, and your ministry!

    1. Hi Nina!! Oh my goodness thank you so much for your kind words!! Yeah it has been a long journey with a lot of craziness along the way! Thanks for being such an awesome friend along the way! Love you sister! Hugs and love xox

      1. Oh BBB you are very graciously welcome oh wonderful and friendly lady. You are a wonderful person to be kind to. Hugs and love back to you.

  8. Congrats!

    You are so right…sometimes we don’t learn any other way than through difficult times. But those difficulties can form us, shape us, help us, if we let God do so.

    1. Thank you so much Brendan! Yes! Some things we have to learn the hard way! Amen to that! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you Monteelou. You’re so kind to say that. God’s got a great plan for both you and me! Hugs and love xox

  9. 40,000 people are being blessed by Jesus through you! Congratulations! This post was just what I needed to hear today. God knows just what we need, doesn’t he? 😉 Happy for you.

  10. I love where you went with this. I think you’re such a special person.
    Thank you for shining your light into the darkness

    1. Thank you so much Gw! Oh it makes me so happy to hear you’re enjoying the videos! Thanks for watching! Hugs and love xox

  11. Wonderful post as always! There is likely one other important “40” in the Bible. Church history suggests that Jesus ascended into heaven on the 40th day of His post-resurrection life (39 days after Easter). I think that reminds us during our times of storms, wanderings, and temptations of the beautiful promise of eternal life in paradise after all of this!

  12. Congratulations on reaching 40,000 subscribers. I believe your thoughts in this post about the number are quite real in this world we live among. One thought: you briefly refer to your blog as being silly. While I know you just mean that it’s your effort, not “stone,” I would admonish you because you’re not silly about it. It’s great work. I agree all the more with everyone that there’s a lot of good you’re doing. Last, I got on your blog with Microsoft Edge, and as the people who like this kept coming, Edge kept me from selecting the “Like” button at first! I thought to go to Firefox, to try a different browser, and that’s how I was able to connect properly. Exciting to see the people who like the post active tonight!

    1. Aw thank you so much Odell. And thank you for that touching affirmation about my blog. It truly means a lot. And oh dear! That’s not good! I’m sorry you had trouble with that!! Thanks for doing some detective work. I’ll contact WordPress about that! Hugs and love xox

  13. Congratulations for reaching 40,000 followers! And thank you for being so faithful at posting every week. Your posts are something that make me look forward to Mondays.

    1. Thank you so much Sami! Oh gosh that just made my night:) thanks for saying that! Hugs and love xox

  14. Wow! Congratulations! I celebrated reaching 300 followers last week and I’ve been at this blog since 2012! What would I do with 40K? I’d have to hire a secretary!! But you have an important message to convey, and a very easy, down-home, chatty and intimate way of sharing it. I don’t wonder why 40K are drawn to you. I am! Thanks for your honest sharing – and thanks for giving God the credit! Yes, the number 40 is Biblically very significant. I’m glad you drew your readers’ attention to it. 👍🏽❤️

    1. Hi Jan! Aw thank you:) and congratulations to you, friend!! Thanks for such kind words – amen! God has been so good to me 🙂 gotta praise Him! Hugs and love xox

  15. Carolyn, congratulations on 40K!! I wondered how many total readers you have as your readers share your story with others through various outlets? Your statements of faith are so encouraging to me. As I attempt to win in life each day, I have to rely on God to make the winning a reality. He alone can provide the peace the passes all understanding, joy without ceasing and hope for our future!! Thank you for sharing with all of us!!

    1. Hello there! Aw thank you so much 🙂 I’m so touched by your kind words. Amen! God already won the world so there’s comfort in that! And so true – peace beyond our understanding! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! Haha and oh my gosh that is literally the greatest compliment I’ve ever received in my entire life! I LOVE Blake Lively! Hugs and love xox

  16. My dear friend

    40000 followers that is really something and tells also that a good thing is like magnet, its attracks, it is a heart to heart felt attraction – so have my congratulation from my heart to you, my dear friend.

    You had to suffer so much and nevertheless you came out of it as a winner to show to those who have to suffer in the same way, same disease, that it is possible to overcome it – and sometimes we have to be deep down in us to bring out a lesson and to change us – in this way you were and are a living example, a good example for many many people. What I also like in you is your natural kind and that you are honest.

    So go on in this way and continue to be a good and helping example for many.

    From heart to heart
    Thank you for your presence, my dear friend
    Didi

    1. Hi Didi! Oh gosh thank you so much 🙂 you’re so kind to say that. I am truly touched 🙂 It has definitely been quite the journey. Very grateful for your friendship, Didi!! Thank YOU for your positive spirit and presence 🙂 Hugs and love xox

      1. Hugs and love my dear friend 🙂
        …and sometimes God uses us a tool, even when we have to suffer first for ourselves, but later we will learn that we suffered for the others…
        Light and love on your way
        From heart to heart
        Didi

    1. Hi Tonya! Awww thank you for sharing in the joy with me! Lots and lots of love and hugs! Xox

    1. Oh my gosh Katie thank you for such kind words. I really appreciate it 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  17. Congratulations on 40k!
    It proves there are people out there who reay need to know they are not alone! Help us out there, and recovery a possibility

    1. Thank you so much Cordell!! I appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

  18. Hi BBB, congratulation for the 40,000. And… thank you for your liked on my blog. I’m really appreciate it. And i really hope that you are healthy and happy always, ya? Praise the Lord with your recovery, Hallelujah, Alhamdulillah / Praise be to God. Oh ya, speaking of Hallelujah, this version from Pentatonix is very good, you know. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LRP8d7hhpoQ and i think you should listening to the Arabic version too, ya? Ya Ilahi / O my Lord https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7H7cUowibk Errr… nothing, it’s just my nature to share good things. Because, everything good we have is from God. Ya? Read Mark 10:18. Okay? Have a good day to you. Thank you. (Smiling at you).

    1. Hi Nour! Thank you so much! God really is so so good! Ah, I love Pentatonix! Thanks for sharing! Hugs and love xox

      1. Hi back to you BBB… aaaahh, you are so kind and supportive, you know. Thank you so much for your liked on my recent post. To be honest, i am so, so happy. Kinda waiting for your like, though (laughing). Anyway, how are you today? It’s morning there, i suppose? It’s night here in Kuala Lumpur. If falls season there, we have rains season here. It’s monsoon now for South East Asian. Come visit Malaysia if you have time to kill. We have very good selections of very good foods. Hahahaha. Trust me, the food’s good. (Smiling)

      2. Oh my goodness I would loveeeee to visit Malaysia – oh my goodness that’s totally on my bucket list!! sounds beautiful — minus the monsoons! haha Hugs and love xox

  19. Your blog was the first one I followed when I came on here, and I’ve never regretted it. Continue to shine the light of God’s love wherever you go…with everything you write. 💞

    1. Oh my gosh Alethea — you have such a kind spirit. Thank you, dear friend. I am so grateful for your friendship!! Biggest hugs to you 💛 xox

  20. Hi there, many many congratulations! well you are lucky indeed. I have just started blogging around hope that one day I could also have the same feeling that you are havng. <3

    1. Oh gosh thank you so so much! And yay for begging for your blogging journey! Excited for you, friend! Hugs and love xox

  21. Congrats! The number 40 is very significant in the Bible and it was often associated with trial, punishment, testing or even affliction so I’m glad you brought that up. May God continue to bless you.

    1. Hi Diana!! Thank you so much!! You’re right – it’s associated with trial and punishment. It’ll be interesting to see what this next season will bring! I hope not punishment!! Hahaha jk jk thanks for sharing in the excitement with me!! Hugs and love xox

      1. You’re utmost welcome, and nah, I bet it’s going to be more blessings next season! 😄Take care. 💙

  22. PTL! Congrats on your 40,000! My son once told me that Moses was called to lead when he was 40, that it was 40 years from then before he actually! He was trying to encourage me as his mom turning 40. 😉

    1. Hello again friend!! Aww sounds like you’ve got a great son 🙂 thanks for sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

  23. Inspiring – I call my challenges my “fire hose stories” because I am drinking from God’s grace as the water sprays into my mouth at fire hose strength. It knocks me on my knees (a good place to be) and I look for something to hold on to through the water, desert or mountain. To learn these lessons so young will hold you in good stead throughout your life. Thank you.

    1. Hi Deb!! Thank you so much for sharing in the excitement with me! Fire hose stories — I love that!! So true!! God is there for us 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  24. Happy 40, sweet girl! You are an inspiration!! Thank you for your faithfulness to follow God’s call as you journey through the process of life. Big hugs!!

    1. Aw thank you so much 🙂 I really appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

    1. Aw thank you friend 🙂 I appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hey Ash!! Thank you so much!! I appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Sheila! I really appreciate your kind words! Amen to that!! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Martha! Oh my gosh, thank you so much for your prayers and kind words. means so much! Hugs and love xox

  25. Congratulations. All that you have been through has not only taught you your own lessons but in the end you also showed and helped 40,000 people in the process…God knows exactly what he is doing and your life plan is playing out beautifully. I always tell my kids to look for these signs and to always be grateful for everyday, because there is a lesson to be learned, just open your hearts to it.

    1. Hey hey! oh gosh thank you for your kind words 🙂 I do trust that God has a plan and knows what He’s doing! Hugs and love xox

  26. Hey Caralyn: Another superb piece of writing. I am never surprised or amazed the way each of your entries are such a blessing, and are focused on Christ, telling others, even 40,000 plus others, that Jesus Christ is Who they need, but as He is our Strength and Guide, we are also led by Holy Spirit to do our share in changing. We need the desire, and the want to, then the willingness to walk through the desert, knowing Christ is with us,

    The number “40” in Scripture has always intrigued me, there are so many forties mentioned. Along with the great examples you gave, and the tie ins with life today, I think of the 40 years Moses led the Israelites in the wilderness, going in a circle really. Yet, during all that time in the wilderness because of their own actions, God supplied food and water for them, and they still complained. How much different is society today?

    The next “40” I like, is after the resurrection of Jesus. He stayed on this earth another forty days, walking around the towns, proving to all who were interested, or all who were in these towns that He was alive. I think I would have wanted to get off this planet, and get up to Father in Glories of Heaven immediately, thinking that is enough of being here. Just one more aspect or glimpse of how special, unique, worthy of all Honour, Glory, Praise, Exaltation our Saviour and Lord, Jesus Christ is.

    One last thing Caralyn. This is not a “silly little blog” you write. I believe it is sent by the Spirit of Jesus, through you, His willing, obedient, Christ Honouring servant, to over 40,000 souls. Every article you write is a benefit and blessing to many. And each is Glorifying to our Lord, directing readers to Him as the Source of Life and Victory during times of difficulties.

    God Bless you Caralyn,
    Luv,😀 ❤️🌹😘

    p.s. Congratulations on the 40,000 followers. Earned and deserved by superb writing, and being in God’s Favour by Honouring Him.

    1. Hey George! Oh gosh thank you so much. Your words are so kind and generous. You’re right – the 40s in the Bible are so telling. Thanks for sharing those!! Thanks for the encouragement. So grateful for your friendship!! Hugs and love xox

  27. Amazing, truly God is Forever Faithful! Congratulations, Well done on 40,000, that is truly amazing and encouraging. I enjoy and Love the study Biblical Numerology. It tells a story within it self and you acquire spiritual revelation.
    Your post is very well written, and Tranparent

  28. I LOVE this!! I still feel like I’m just cutting my teeth on this whole blogging thing since I just started in June of this year. Praying that God will use both of our pages to encourage others!! ❤️❤️🎈

    1. Thank you so much! Yay for your blogging journey! I will join you in that prayer! Hugs and love xox

  29. What a momentous milestone! This post brought tears to my eyes because it is so filled with TRUTH. Thank you for so vulnerably sharing your journey ❤️

    1. Hey Erin! Oh gosh thank you so much friend 🙂 so glad it resonated with you!! Hugs and love xox

  30. I remember when I first started following, and I saw the number at around 29,000 followers. God continues to expand your audience. I can see all of us celebrating when you reach 50,000. You have such a powerful story of victory, and your genuine concern for people shines through in how you connect with your audience. Thanks for allowing us all to be a part of your journey!

    1. Hey Matthew! Oh gosh thank you so much 🙂 you’re so kind to say that. You have been a great friend along the way, and I am very grateful for that!! Hugs and love xox

  31. Oh, Yes! He is imminently FAITHFUL! And you are such a bright and faithful shining light to share your story and how He helps you through it! Such a blessing! Congratulations on your 40!!!

    Love,
    Peach

  32. Congratulations! What a triumphant moment because you didn’t cast away your confidence which had great reward. You endured to the end to see the promise of victory over an eating disorder, toxic mindsets & attitudes. As an overcomer, you are a tremendous blessing to 40,000 and more! Keep being faithful, mighty woman of God!

    1. Thank you so much!! I am so touched by your kind words. Thanks for sharing in the excitement with me. God is good! Hugs and love xox

      1. I was happy to get 300. You must be ecstatic! Who’d a thought, right? I am so happy for you. I love to see people succeed, and do it so well.

  33. This was a fantastic post lovely. People who are not Christians need to know that just because you ask Jesus into your heart, there will not be trials. There is no perfect world. We all have to stay faithful & lean on him & in God’s grace we can be overcomers. 💟 So proud of all you have accomplished with this blog. Many blessings dear!!

    Debra
    stylewisebydebra.net

    1. Hi Debra! Oh gosh thank you so much for such kind words 🙂 you’re so right – we can lean on Him! Hugs and love xox

    1. Oh my gosh thank you so much! I appreciate you sharing in the excitement with me! Hugs and love xox

  34. 40K followers— amazing!!!!!! you are doing amazing job at doing God’s work. that deserves the hugest reward in itself— that while discovering you, and recovering, and strengthening your faith, you also have shared God’s talents that he has in you. XO

    1. Thank you! Gosh what a kind thing to say. God is good and i am so grateful for His healing! Hugs and love xox

      1. Haha hey that’s 17 more than 1!! 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼 Hugs and love xox

  35. Beautifully written, as usual, BBB! I can indeed relate and I am learning that sometimes God’s Plan B for us can be even greater than the Plan A he intended us to have; because you are correct He never abandons us and is ALWAYS yearning to simply draw us closer to Him. Hugs to you for your continued transparency and willingness to share as a means of care & support to others!

    1. Aw thank you so much Dawn 🙂 yes, I completely agree. Always drawing us to Him! Hugs and love xox

  36. I loved reading this. You have gone through some tremendous storms, and you speak about them in such a down-to-earth way, and with such class. Congratulations on getting so many followers.

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