Here For the Opportunities

Whew! I am finally catching my breath after this weekend! From the half marathon, to birthday parties, to surprise concert tickets — this weekend was one for the books. And honestly, I am so glad to be back to the normal grind!

One highlight of the weekend was an awesome concert I went to on Monday night! I love live music. And I was so pumped when I got the opportunity to partner with SeatGeek. So I’m thrilled to share that when you use my code: BEAUTYBEYONDBONES at checkout, you get $20 OFF of any concert tickets, sporting event, Broadway tickets, comedy shows – you name it! YAY!

But this weekend was kind of an accurate snapshot of my recent mindset shift. And that is: to say yes to everything.

Invitations, opportunities, new experiences…I am HERE FOR IT!  

Granted, it resulted in me running a half marathon on 60 minutes of sleep, but you know what? Life is short. So soak it all up.

During my anorexia, I spent two years completely pushing the world away. I isolated myself, didn’t respond to a text or phone call, shut loved ones and friends out of my life. And so one of the biggest, and most important aspects of my recovery is to say yes! To welcome adventure and spontaneity and togetherness and FUN into my life with open arms!

And sometimes, that results in extra crazy weekends! But I wouldn’t change it for a minute — except for maybe the bags under my eyes that I’m still trying to sleep off! hah

But all that to say, my most recent manifestation of my life-embracing ways, comes in the form of dating. And you know what? I’m having an absolute blast with it.

I’ve taken the pressure off! It’s no longer this high stakes situation where I’m on the quest for my one true love and I have to be able to tell from night one whether or not this is The Man God wants me to marry.

Because, honestly — that was an exhausting mindset. And frankly, the magnitude of that thinking made me have a bit of an approach avoidance with dating entirely.

But now, while I am absolutely still dating with the intention of finding my husband, I’m just going into each date from the approach of potentially meeting a really great person, and having an interesting conversation!

I’ve taken the pressure off, and am treating it as an experiment of sorts, which is honestly – so much more enjoyable! Because here’s the thing: sure, I will always get the butterflies of “will he like me?” but what I’ve come to realize is that it’s a two way street. And the question I really should be asking is…”Will I like him.”

I don’t know, I just figure…now is the time. God has brought me on this (admittedly) tragically beautiful path, only to show me how fulfilling life is when you say yes to opportunities and relationships and people and love. And so now is the time to surrender my dating to Him as well, and allow Him to work. But I’ve got to do my part too, and be open to the opportunities presented to me. I’ve got to get out there, and throw a bunch of darts at the wall, so to speak.

Because one thing is certain: God will absolutely surprise me. He always does. But He will. Because He’s got everything under control. He’s got a plan, and I can rest assured that, no matter what…there’s no way I’m going to miss my future husband. God is orchestrating it all together. And I can take that truth all the way to the bank.

Now is the time. To do something we’ve never done. To jump into the deep end, head first – without water wings – and sink or swim. Because that’s living. That’s the life God has created us for: one of abundance. One of love and joy and freedom that comes from Him. Take it from this former anorexia sufferer — that is what life is all about.

This week, let’s cast our nets into the deep water, and see the abundance that God has for us when we surrender it all to Him.

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104 responses to “Here For the Opportunities”

  1. I was so please to stumble across your post today. Yours was the first blog I visited on WordPress and one of my earliest followers. I find you endearing, motivational, and honest. Still, it’s important to maintain the power of no in the name of self care as well. I hope you find some rest, and your prince charming soon! ♡

  2. As always, my friend, your words are truth. I enjoy traveling through the every day places with you. I love your approach to dating. It’s about great conversation, not pressure. Deep sigh. It’s been a hard week of job opportunity. rejection notices here. But I asked for God’s plan, not mine. Same with a husband. His plan, not mine.
    Hugs and so much love!

    • Hi Melissa! Thank you again, dear friend. Oh gosh I’m sorry to hear that. Hang in there. The right job is going to come along!! God’s plan!! 🙂 praying for you!! Hugs and love xox

  3. I’ve been meaning to get back into dating at some point, too. I’m considered “hot property” at this phase in my life because I’m 41, but I’m single (never married) and have no kids. Go figure!!

    Go you! I’m impressed with your can-date attitude!! Here’s to us finding men!

  4. Caralyn, like to hear your new approach to dating. Good conversation and enjoying it. So much better to take the self imposed boundaries off. Enjoy the journey! Hugs and love. xoxo

  5. Time is the coin that is constantly being spent for us. That’s right – spent FOR us. It will leave our pockets and purses at the same rate through our whole lives.

    But we decide what we get in return for the spend. A marathon on 1 hour’s sleep or sleeping away a beautiful morning? Fretting in an apartment or running into the world to see what’s there?

    I’m so glad to see your choices are getting better!!! Yay you!

  6. Never underestimate the power of prayer, faith and love! But especially the power of LOVE! A true soulmate is like a mirror, reflecting back to you the aspects within yourself that are holding you back from being your true self. Look for a soulmate first.

    • Thanks friend – you’re so right! The power of love. I love that advice. Thank you. Hugs and love xox

  7. Permit me to say, I think you have made a crucial change in your thinking. It shows a lot of growth. You realize you are healed when you say not, “I wonder if I am worth it?” but “Is he worth it?” Dates then become not the desperate plea for acceptance, but the desire to be with someone of our choosing, one who compliments us, because we are strong, and we don’t want to risk anyone who would diminish us. Unsatisfactory candidates are quickly dispatched, such as the man you spoke of a few weeks ago, because they are not healthy for us. It took me most of my life to realize the woman whom I date should be measuring up to me at least or taking me beyond where I am, not kicking me into the gutter. I commend you. At this point, I go to dinner with a woman whom I know. We are polar opposites politically, but we do enjoy each other’s company, and we accept each other as we have found each other. We will never be lovers, but we will also never hurt each other. I look forward to your next blog.

    • Hi Sandman, thank you so much for this encouragement. You’re so right about that – to find someone who raises us up!! Hugs and love xox

  8. Super cool! If you’re looking for a perfect person to spend your life with you won’t find one so don’t look for perfection but rather one who your gut feeling shows by body language and conversation is on a journey with God too, and willing to have his sought for partner lovingly point out his weaknesses without taking it as an attack. You too should be willing to let him point out your weaknesses without feeling devastated as long as you know that is done not in anger but led by God to help you in your walk with God. Very few marriages are able to handle that but its important. When the relationship looks good after a reasonable time of courtship be alert for any danger signs as if you don’t then married life could be miserable.

    • That’s such great advice, Ian. Thank you. Yes. The gut always knows!! Hugs and love xox

  9. My dear friend

    I wish you a good partner at your side, you cannot force it and maybe not even by arranged dates meeting men – God surely has a plan for you, dear friend – you need to have patience and of course, it is good to be open-minded. Your trip to Europe has also shown that you have an interest in nature too – perhaps you can make some nice walks through the nature, staying in a group, sitting together at the fireplace and talk about God and the world in a beautiful atmosphere. Maybe, if it is God’s will, you will find the right partner there or join languages course (as preparations for your next trips abroad) – there are many possibilities to offer you good opportunities – this you can do on your part, the rest leave to God…

    Have a great time my friend
    Warm regards and hugs

  10. I think your approach to dating is very brave! It takes a lot to be vulnerable when it comes to meeting new people. I admire your courage and hope you meet someone as incredible as you are 🙂

    – Katie

  11. Awesome post… Great advice. Needed that.
    Just heard from a friend who went on holiday to Italy and claims to have found her “Aladdin”; totally infatuated. I guess its being open to new experiences. :))
    I will admit that dating isn’t my strong suit. Actually it’s non-existent. LOL.
    Never been on a date ever. I’ve tried the apps. They don’t work for me.
    Good news is on the horizon though I need to be open to all the opportunities open to me. :))

    • Thank you friend 💛 oh gosh – -Aladdin — he is definitely the gold standard of men! Haha thanks for sharing that – yes! Just be open and have fun! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  12. Jesus said that He can so that we may have life, and life to the fullest! Live it, woman of God!

    You are kind of the counterpart to my oldest son. Single, 23, graduating from college next month, finishing up his college baseball playing career, beginning his baseball coaching career in North Carolina in May. He’s living life to the fullest and jumping into life with both feet, trusting in Christ!

    If you find yourself in Greensboro May-July, look him up. He’ll take you out to dinner and a baseball game (not necessarily in that order).

    • Amen Ed – to the fullest! Hahah that’s awesome. Congrats to your son on that terrific job!! Sounds like he’s got a bright bright future! ☺️ and shuck ha will do! Hugs and love xox

  13. I can wholeheartedly agree that once the pressure of finding “The One” when going on a date, dating can actually be a lot of fun. You get to meet a lot of new people, hear some interesting stories, and experience different activities. And while the whole point is to find my future wife, I’m not about to let the pressure of a first date ruin my ability to live in the moment and have a good time 😊 Hopefully you keep the faith, have some fun, and find joy in each moment! And if you’re ever in need of a date in the Midwest, I might know a guy 😉

    • Thank you Luke! 🙂 that’s such a great mindset. Joy in the moment! Hugs and love xox

  14. Good for you Caralyn! I will continue praying for you and your new mindset. It’s the absolute right one to have. God Is In Control! (Funnily enough I’m mulling over a blog post with that title, lol!) Go for it! He will NOT let you miss out on THE one! God Bless!

    • Aw thank you so much for your prayers and encouragement! Amen! He is in control!! Hugs and love xox

  15. I like the casting your nets into deep water mentality. It makes me think of the scripture that tells us by now we should be eating meat but we still need milk. Let’s get to the meat of the situation and see what God has. Good word.

    • Thanks Bonnie! Yes – it’s one of my favorite scripture stories! Hugs and love xox

  16. You’re absolutely right. Like you, I just go in with the mindset of “God, you are in control of this date. You let me know if He is the one.” Then it’s like I relax and enjoy the moment. Every encounter with someone is suppose to teach, reveal, or enlighten either me or the date. That’s for God to decide. 🙏🏼

  17. I’m struggling with school and am on the verge of not passing clinical. I almost gave up entirely today. Yet a part of me still feels like there’s some fight left in me, as I’m on a learning plan now. There’s only 3 weeks left and hopefully I can improve during this time. I’m willing to put in the work – I’m just so scared of failing the semester. If God wasn’t watching over me, I probably wouldn’t have received any help at all. So I need to stay strong and take things day by day. It’s hard, but if things work out it will be worth it.

    • Hi Hilary, saw your post right above my reply..hope its ok i say a few words? The fact that you are aware of and decided to not give up is prove of how strong you are and how God is with you. You CAN do ALL things through Christ who strengthens u (Phil 4:13). Also, God says in His Word that if any lack wisdom, they should ask and He will grant it freely. 3 weeks can seem like such a short time, but believe me, from my experience, nothing is too difficult for God to help u accomplish. Stay strong dear sis in Christ, continue to depend on God and watch Him prove Himself awesome in your life 🙂

      • Thank you for your encouraging reply. I hope you don’t mind that I screenshot your reply and saved it to my phone as a personal reminder to keep going.

      • Of course, I’m so glad it encouraged u. All of us need others to help give us a hand to get up and pull us along to keep going

      • Sometimes God let’s you hit rock bottom so you can realize that he is the rock at the bottom. Thank you very much for your insightful reply @thedewdiary. I feel so weak and I cry a lot these days. Often I feel like giving up but a part of me has enough hope to keep persevering. I screenshot your reply and saved it to my phone. 🙂

    • Hi Hilary, thank you for sharing your heart. Hang in there dear friend. You’re so right- God is absolutely watching over you, and is helping you through this. Keep doing the next right thing – baby step by baby step. You’ve got this. I’m cheering for you and praying for you!!! Hugs and love xox

  18. Aw so so proud of all the growth you made and the freedom and joy you have found in life by fully embracing opportunities that come your way!!

    Life is indeed a journey. And in every decision, we should seek God’s will not just one or two decisions like a marriage partner.

    My approach to it all before I married, was instead of dating, build friendships with guys especially those after God’s heart. I find dating still makes both parties put their best self forward and you may be blinded to other aspects of who they really are. In friendships, u get to see and interact on more casual laid back environments and circumstances. But I understand its not always easy to have leisure and choices in friendship when only mixing with guys in our circle

    • Thank you so much!! That’s so kind of your to say. You’re right about that – seek His will! And that’s beautiful advice. Thank you!! Hugs and love xox

  19. How incredibly touching to see your love for HIm, even sweeter your trust in Him with your and your life! Man is how going to wow you, girl! He loves you like no one else, Caralyn! <3

  20. It’s funny that you share about a new mindset to dating because in December God laid it on my heart to spend time this year praying for my husband. Then, at the very beginning of January an acquaintance contacted me asking me if I would be interested in meeting a nice Christian man who went to her daughter’s church. I didn’t realize until then that I hadnt even been on a date in like 7 years. I said “yes”, and even though it did not work out for us, I am so glad I said “yes” to dating. I’m glad you are too!
    And, God does have our husbands picked out. He has them hand selected for us, and His timing is perfect. I’m excited for you and for me!

    • Hi Daisy! oh my gosh what a beautiful thing! yes!! God really is preparing the hearts of our future husbands right now, just as He is also preparing ours! Praying for you, friend! thanks for this wonderful encouragment! hugs xo

  21. I’ve always found personally with dating that God truly laughs at our plans to “find the one” when He already has the one waiting ( or preparing ) themselves for us! Enjoy the dates and dinners and great convo because when God really sends “The one” your way, you wont question it ​! You’ll simply say, ” ah what took you soo long ) 🙂 Cheers on your dating journey! May your search not ​b​​e in vain <3

    • Aw thank you so much! Haha yes! God always has the best plans. I appreciate the encouragement. Hugs and love xox

  22. Love the spirit you show here. I want to thank you for continuing to read my blog. If you find yourself out in Orange county CA let me know, I’d love to have coffee with you.

  23. I missed this post and I absolutely love it!!!! I don’t remember reading this one and I’m finally catching up from this blog – since I follow you from my website blog and this
    Blog blog. Love your view on just enjoying life and how you said yes!! Also love how right you are about God surprising us!!!

  24. Loved your post. You’re sounding like my friend Leo Buscaglia, the famous author. That is a VERY BIG compliment I am giving to you. As I return to a post homeless life, I am getting wild and crazy too. Yesterday with my mom we went to a talk on cremation with a free lunch at Red Lobster. After the sales pitch was finished It was so fun as we conversed over lunch with people we had never met before. Some very interesting conversations happened and I had a great time. We ended up by hugging each other. I think that post anorexia and post homeless have a lot in common. LET’S LIVE LIFE AND HAVE A BLAST DOING IT!!!!

    • Oh wow I am incredibly honored and flattered!! Thank you!!! How interesting – amen to that!! Hugs and love xox

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