Breakthrough & Coming Face to Face with Inpatient

Fun fact: I don’t drink coffee. Yep – I am a caffeine free gal. And right now, I’m just sipping a piping hot camomile tea from my B³ mug!

And I am feeling good. Honestly, my heart is about as warm as this relaxing beverage I’m nursing.


Because I just saw one of the best movies in a while. I mean, it’s right up there with Unplanned.

I just got home from seeing the movie Breakthrough. If, like me, you haven’t heard of it — it’s the true story of a young boy who fell through a frozen lake, and his family’s journey of faith afterwards. Chrissy Metz – from This is Us — plays the mother and gives a phenomenal performance. And none other than Steph Curry — yes, the basketball player — was one of the producers of the film.

Image result for breakthrough movie
photo: Breakthrough

It was terrific. I won’t say anything that will spoil the film. But the boy is pronounced dead for 45 minutes, and in a miracle – comes back to life. And during the medical battle which follows, the mother never loses faith. She never stops believing that God can and will save her son.

Just — see the film. It was incredible. And supporting positive, Christian media and voices is so important in this secular world.

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photo: Breakthrough

But this film haunts you. And it makes you confront your own faith. What do I believe when the chips are down?

Do I really believe that God can do the impossible? Do I believe that God is in control, and that things will turn out according to God’s plan — whatever that may be?

This rabithole of thinking brought me face to face with my past. With my recovery from anorexia. With my ulcerative colitis. With my mom’s stroke.

And I found that a beautiful theme has woven its way through the entirety of my life: surrender.

God works best when we allow Him to.

When we release our death grip of control, and let God work in His perfect, and unique way, only then are we given the precious opportunity to grow, to heal, to blossom, to be free.

We just have to take the step, and God meets us, and delivers us to that which He has waiting.

During my anorexia, I spent years – years – relentlessly striving to claim some sort of convoluted control over my life. Through the foods I was or wasn’t eating. Through the compulsive exercise I would sneak. The exhaustive schedule I was enslaved to – to the minute. The racing thoughts that berated my every waking moment. Days were a marathon of self-flagellation – mentally, physically, emotionally – and the only respite was when I’d collapse to sleep, only to wake up at 5:43 the next morning to do it all again.

But it was all driven by this need for control. This all-consuming fear that I wasn’t worthy of love, that I was a burden…and the manifestation of that distorted core belief, was my compulsive need to control that which I could…

And the only way I could break free from that, was by surrendering it to Jesus.

It wasn’t pretty.

I remember being at inpatient — this blue lipped, grey skinned, 78 pound shell of a girl — absolutely terrified. Because at inpatient, much like prison, the strip you of every aspect of control in your life. Literally. They determine what you eat, when you sleep, they drive you around on golf carts so you don’t walk and expend energy, they take away your books and television. They remove the mirrors in your make up compacts. They even flush the toilets for you. Every freedom is taken away…which is exactly what I needed, and what every person in recovery initially needs.

But those first couple days, I was just completely terrified. I was across the country from my family. And I was in this sterile environment, where I was going to have to gain weight. I was going to have to relinquish control. I was going to have to eat the foods I was petrified to eat. I was going to have to comply with their program. I had never felt so helpless or hopeless in my entire life.

But there was one night, where I was writing in my journal, and I just cried out to God. I just closed my eyes and cried, “I surrender. I give it all to You, God.

I surrendered my recovery to Jesus. I vowed to comply with their program and eat everything that they placed in front of me.

I knew I couldn’t get through it alone. All I knew was that the only chance I had of surviving inpatient was with the help of God.

And just that little, tiny, baby step towards God was all it took for Him to swoop in and change everything.

I had to give control to Him. I had to let go.

I had to give God room to work. I had to give Him the chance to do what He does best.

And I’ve seen this time and time again in my life. During my Ulcerative Colitis – when I was hopeless and out of options, I handed my treatment over to God, and He brought the Specific Carb Diet into my life, and it has completely reversed my disease.

With my mom’s stroke – I was absolutely terrified in that hospital room, watching my father carry my mom’s lifeless body into the ER. And in that moment I handed her over to His control, and here we are two years later, and she’s made a truly miraculous recovery.

God works best when we allow Him to.

And that is one of the powerful takeaways from this movie, Breakthrough.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to remind myself of just that — that I need to let go of things, and trust. I need to have faith that God is bigger than my situation. That He’s stronger than any obstacle that I may face. And that I can trust in His good and perfect plan for me. Not just His broad, general, big picture plan for, say…humanity. But for me. Caralyn. And for you, personally.

Jobs, dating, coming chapters, relationships…surrender. I need to give them all over to Him.

Lord, help me to find the beauty in the surrender.

“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5

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138 responses to “Breakthrough & Coming Face to Face with Inpatient”

  1. When you write “Surrender. God works best when you allow Him to” that says it all right there. Truer words have not been spoken.

    • Thank you so much J-Dub 🙂 I really appreciate that. God is our best advocate!! Hugs and love xox

  2. God always comes through. When my nephew was only three months old the doctors told us to come say our good byes to him,because he would not make it through the night.They had done all they could do. We all went to church and prayed for my newphew. Five days ago he turned eighteen. God is real

    • Yes He does!! Oh my gosh what an incredible story. Thank you for sharing that with me. God is real!!!! Hugs and love xox

  3. I did a double post both Breakthrough and Unplanned I haven’t seen Break through yet but from what all I did watch and read about I have to agree that it will be one of those HAVE to see movies of the year. and Unplanned was simply breath taking! and gives me an entire new look on a lot of things. I did mention that No I’m NOT a woman and wasn’t speaking as one or that I could have even the slightest idea what they can go through. In short I can’t and wouldn’t speak for them but the movie should be seen for its insight.

    • It really is a TERRIFIC movie. I highly encourage you to see it!! And you’re right – Unplanned was phenomenally done. I have a feeling it’s going to have a huge impact in the prolife movement. Thanks for stopping by. Hugs and love xox

  4. This spoke volumes to me tonight. I went through some counseling for a few months last year with depression issues. Fortunately, I had found a Christian therapist, and she was amazing. She had me confronting things, and I cried a lot. You know I grew up in a dysfunctional family. Well, it’s been coming home to roost, so to speak.

    Control. I’m a control freak because of the stuff from childhood. She got me looking into different ways of seeing things to help me with that. Faith too. She challenged my faith, which I at first found insulting. MOI? Vous speaks to moi? But she was right. Faith doesn’t seek control. It seeks release of and from control. Decades of thinking I was “normal” and “right” about, oh, everything is hard to get past.

    I like your blog because I’m recovering from something too. I didn’t really look at it like that so much before, but it’s true. It’s like when we met and I later told you how you comforted me when I didn’t even know I needed it. So thanks for all you do. From a fellow recoveree.

    • Hi Jeff, thank you so much for this heartfelt comment. You’re absolutely right – faith is the release of control. and that is such a scary thing to do. You know i think at the end of the day, i think we’re all recovering from something. we’re all on a journey, and what a beautiful thing to be able to journey on together. i’m so grateful that God allowed our paths to cross. you’re a great friend. 🙂 hope you and julie are having a great week 🙂 sending hugs and love to you both!!! xox

  5. The yoke is easy and the burden is light, but it is still a yoke. We discussed this at my young-adult group yesterday. We think we have freedom when we are in the anarchic chaos of the wilderness. But accepting Christs yoke means aldo accepting his care: He will take care of everything else, in exchange we accept his yoke and pull when he says pull.

    Surrendering control is terrifying. But we arent truly free until we give ourselves to God. I struggle with my prayer life, i keep trying to regiment it. Scheduling time with God. Maybe thats the wrong way to look at it. I need to schedule my life inbetween my prayer life.

    Thank you for this timely and important reminder.

    • Oh yes — i love that saying. What a powerful conversation to have with young people. It really is terrifying to let go of control, but that’s God’s wheelhouse. Thanks for sharing your heart. big hugs xo

    • oh my gosh Georgia you need to see these movies!! they are seriously SO POWERFUL — life changing in fact!!!! 🙂 i am too! it’s so encouraging! big hugs xox

    • Thank you friend. I’m so glad this resonated with you tonight. Sending you so much love and hugs xox

  6. Your story is always remarkable. Nine years ago I went to one session with a naturopath, and the doctor told me that if I couldn’t go through with the troubles of leaving behind caffeine, coffee, that sort of thing, the life I was living wouldn’t improve. That was too big a change for me to make.

    I look at your dedication to caring for yourself with respect. Best of luck in everything you do and keep up every stride you make.

    • Gosh thank you Odell. Thank you for saying that. Naturopaths are incredible. I saw one during my ulcerative colitis. He was also a man of faith. He really did incredible things for me 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  7. John Smith came to my church along with his pastor Jason Noble. It was such a powerful powerful testimony!!!!

    John said, that you would think my life would have changed due to that incredible miracle. But no, it was months later when God met me in my room and I eventually surrendered.

    • That’s so amazing!! Wow how awesome. Thanks for sharing that. Hugs and love xox

  8. I have been back and forth on whether to see the film. You just clinched it for me. Blessings sister in Christ. I am encouraged deeply by your words as I surrender to God’s will.

    • Thanks Karisa! Oh yes – it is an outstanding film!! Amen to that – surrendering is scary but so worth it! Hugs and love xox

  9. Not only should we have the confidence God can perform a miracle, any miracle in our lives, but we should also have such confidence in Him so that in the event He sees it best not to answer our prayers we have confidence He is doing it in our long term best interests and accept that without complaining or losing faith.

    • That’s such a great point, Ian. He’s always working in our best interest. Hugs and love xox

  10. This is truly Inspiring, I guess I’m going to check out the movie. As per your stories, I love the way you reenact ‘surrender’ as the key to receiving God’s best. God bless you

  11. Beautiful post! I have heard of “Breakthrough” though I have not yet viewed the film. Control is an issue that I believe almost every person struggles with at one time or another, though I think men suffer from this more than women from my own observations. For my part I have had my own issues and, though less dramatic, it can be like Jacob ‘wrestling’ with God. I have also received small miracles in answer to prayer, but more often God moves me to accept His will even if it goes against what I’m praying for. The fact is that surrender to God’s will is never easy, though it is a simple process. I often recall the saints Paul mentions in Hebrews chapter 11 who were NOT delivered from suffering because the LORD ordained them as witnesses to the faith even unto death. He writes that ‘they were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword…[and they were those] of whom the world was not worthy…” The truth is that there will come a time when the LORD will bring us all to Him through death. The greatest message I have yet heard about this came from the late Rev. E.V. Hill when he preached the eulogy for his wife of more than 50 years. Upon learning her cancer was terminal, Rev. Hill went to pray in the hospital chapel and said he received a short answer from God, “Trust me with baby [his pet name for his wife]. Trust Me with her care now because I’ve come for her.” His response was amazing to me as he surrendered and said “God, if you have to take her from me to give her the best with You, I accept it.” His faith in the fact that God had much better for his beloved after this life was over despite losing her in this life is an astounding faith. Faith is most tested when God says NO and still asks for your trust. Blessings to you and yours always.

    • Thank you DT! it really is a phenomenal film. Thank you for sharing your story. You’re right – surrendering is tough but from it comes so much freedom! And wow what a story. So powerful. Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you so much!! I really appreciate you taking the time to read it!! Big hugs to you xox

  12. Listening of the short gist of the story behind Breakthrough, I can’t help feel that I share a kindred spirit with the boy; having being declared dead myself for 30 minutes.
    It isn’t as dramatic as the story mentioned, but true nonetheless. The account I have of the ordeal is what was told to me by my father and brother who were with me every moment, while my mother was elsewhere praying.

    I would like to watch the movie. Hopefully it is released here in Dubai and I will get the chance. I’m also waiting for the movie “UnPlanned”..

    • Oh my gosh!! What a testimony to the saving power of God. Thank you for sharing that. Wow – so powerful. Hugs and love xox

    • Hi Amy! Oh wow – I can’t wait to read your take on it! What if’s – they really do put things into perspective. Hugs and love xox

  13. This post was divinely timed. I recently lost my job and am now in a “what if” state of mind. Reading these words is soothing to my soul. Thank you!

    • Oh gosh I’m so sorry that you’re going through this trying season. Praying for your job situation!! God’s got you!! Hugs and love xox

      • Great story. Thank you for sharing. When I became a director of a residential substance abuse program, I quickly realized that we were asking the client to change everything about his/her life. That can only begin with surrender. It’s the first step of AA/NA.

      • You’re right about that – surrender is a must. hugs xo

  14. I really enjoyed this post. Thank you so much for sharing your testimony! I can’t wait to see the movie.

    I’ve found in my life that when I surrender and let go to let God, everything is so much smoother!

  15. I hadn’t heard of this film. Wonderful to know it is out there! Oh surrender, surrender, surrender. 🙂 This has been a recurring theme lately for me as well. It’s when we actually let go that God works His best. It is hard to let go of control, it’s in our human nature I guess to want to control things that are actually beyond our control. But when we do let go, it’s so much sweeter! Praying for you! God Bless!

    • Thanks friend – you’re so right – hard to do, but of the blessings that result! Thanks for your prayers. Big big hugs xox

  16. Amen and Amen!! Thank you for the reminder of the Lord’s unwavering goodness in my life! And I totally want to see this movie! I heard about the true story a few years back and was in awe then! When I saw the trailer for it I cried, so it’s definitely on my list to see!

    • Thank you so much 🙂 ohthe movie was so incredibly powerful!! Definitely see it if you can!! Hugs and love xox

  17. Hi Caralyn. Can’t add to what you have said so magnificently and powerfully.
    The most difficult thing to do at times is surrender to Jesus, giving Him control.
    The best thing we can do always is surrender to Jesus, giving Him control.
    He knows all, He has our best life in His plans.

    Thank you Caralyn for never backing away from the TRUTH you know and believe.

    Luv, 😀🌹❤️😘

  18. This was incredible. You ministered to me. Your words reached deep down inside. I saw them, I felt them. They touched me and spoke life changing messages. I related and am glad I did. Your influence grows as you gain affection in your hearers and thereby win their hearts and minds. More power to you. Keep up the good work.

  19. You are the answer to the Why. Even with not trying, the most of non-moral movie stories have a thread of “what is Right”. If we look for it it will be there quicker that you trying to finding the thread in stories based on a moral tenant. I love your Blog Posts.

  20. Thank you for your thoughts on surrender. I’ve been dealing with pkd for 30 years. Nothing I can do, just wait for dialysis. Bu now that my kidney function is dropping into the amber zone I feel myself grasping at straws. This diet, that diet, test results. But there’s still no much I can do.

    Your blog is a reminder to relinquish control and let God work.

    Thank you.

    • Gosh, thank you for sharing your story. i will definitely be praying for you and your situation. amen – it’s the scariest but most freeing thing. hang in there friend. hugs ox

  21. I don’t drink coffee either (or tea), but I drink soda so I feel like I can somewhat relate to what you said.

    I’ve definitely heard of this movie and it looks really good from what I remember of the trailer for it. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed it.

      • You bet! I’m glad you stopped by a while back. All the best to you with your new book and your other ventures. Looks like things are taking off for you. That’s terrific!!

  22. God Bless you, I just wanted to say hello, and to thank you for your faithfulness and to tell you that you are so inspiring, i feel like we are best friends! Stay Blessed in Jesus Name!

  23. I am so glad you wrote this.
    With the theme of surrender to God, and of letting go to Jesus. As you say, “God works best when we allow him to.”

    You mentioned in your previous post, your non-medical doctor, non-therapist, non-dietician opinion. I think each of these professions or careers are important. Yet, sometimes professions or careers can eschew the “basics”.
    I think community and Christian faith are important (and profound?); as is the work to support community and to articulate faith.

    I understand there is a correlation between abuse and eating disorders. Independent of the particular causes…; a person’s intimate personal relationship with God, can be restored or deepened.
    (I also think community and communication is important here.)

    Thanks for your note about God’s personal plan, in balance to say, his plan for humanity…

    It is good 🙂

    • thanks so much David. You’re right – our relationship with the Father is always evolving.

    • hahah thanks Von – I was *thisclose* to doing nother great movie review tonight, but I thought – come on, reel it in caralyn!! haha hugs xo

      • You are always welcome. BTW: Stay your course on finding the right Christian man for you. I waited 26 years for my only love to come back and marry me. I am happy that I did.

      • I’m sorry, I don’t know why that would be happening! And thanks for the article!

      • Thanks for your concern, Caralyn. Hope you enjoyed the bits of truth in the article. Sort of sad but true. I get that you are faced with quite a challenge. NYC would seem to be more “modern” in that way than your home town. Maybe the blogoshpere can show you some Christian, (maybe even Catholic) bloggers you like. Seems you have at least a better chance of finding a like soul;)

        BTW: I am using Firefox with anti animation and autoplay extensions. So it may be my own protection gets in the way;)

  24. What a fantastic reminder!! I needed the encouragement of a fellow Christian, as my daughter is having health concerns and we’re pushing through that! I have to surrender and trust God and rid myself of my control-freak ways..I have no other choice!!

  25. Absolutely Caralyn, you nailed it. Thank you for being so vulnerable by sharing snippets of your journal; I was reminded of how I prayed during my college days and really connected to that. Anyway, great job as always!

  26. That’s what warms my heart! We have a plan and God’s plan is always better so surrender and leave it to him the all knowing the allmighty! Thank you for sharing your story and your lovely words that work as a reminder for me everytime 💕💕🙏☇

    • You’re so right about that, Elber – God’s plan is always the best! thanks so much for such kind words! hugs xox

  27. Surrender is so hard. It’s so easy to say God, “you can have all of me, just not this one thing.” Obedience to giving the most difficult gives you the strength and vision to deal with something much more difficult.

    • Hi Brian, oh my gosh you’re so right about that – holding onto that one little thing. thanks for stopping by! big hugs xo

  28. Powerful, and poignant! – Today’s sermon at my church was all about the pursuit of holiness, and surrendering to God. We even ended with “I Surrender All.” Maybe God has something to say to me…? 😀

    • I absolutely love that song. Oh yes – God is always speaking to us!!! In mysterious ways! hugs xox

  29. Such a beautiful post! I’ll try to find the movie in Spain.
    I need to remind myself again and again of the wonderful miracle God has worked in my life with my anorexia recovery. Because I still have a hard time trusting Him for things such as finding a husband. I have to remember that He has shown me how much He loves me and that through Him and with Him the impossible becomes possible.
    Thank you Caralyn <3

    • Thank you so much Paola! Yes!! i really hope it comes to Spain, or at least Netflix, because it is AWESOME! And amen – the impossible becomes possible – so important to rememebr 🙂 xox

  30. I really liked your post and your story. Thank you for sharing. It is always good to read about people’s struggles and how they survived. It helps us become better people.

    • Thank you so much Linda, for taking the time to read – it really means a lot. big hugs xox

  31. I’ve just watched an Instagram video of yours. You have such an especially nice speaking voice. Being so articulate always helps with trying to get a message across to people.

  32. I want to see this movie waiting for it to come out on video or on demand . You have fought a hard battle and I’m so amazed by you and your faith . ❤️

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