A Purpose, on Purpose

Before we start tonight, I have something exciting to share with you guys 🙂

If you remember earlier this summer, I shared about my experience with Annie and how I was going home to film a 100th-Year Anniversary Video for the theater company!

Well – the video finally was released over the weekend, and – if I do say so myself – it turned out beautifully!

So you can watch it here, if you so please!

AND — while we’re on the video kick — if you missed my Costa Rica video, you can check it out here. BUT!!!! After I uploaded it, I got the footage from our snorkeling adventure where we saw a HUGE HUMPBACK WHALE with her baby!! So I’m adding that short clip here — it was SO incredible. Our guide got within arm’s length and took outrageously amazing footage on his GoPro!

OK – onto tonight’s post!

I had a conversation with a friend over the weekend that really struck a chord with me. So much so that I came home, wrote it down, and have been thinking about it ever since!

We were out to dinner at this cute little bistro in the West Village, and we were just going back and forth, talking about boys, skyrocketing rent prices, career hopes, faith, life, our “eggs” getting old — you know — the typical topics of single young professionals in Manhattan.

And she looked at me, and gave one of the most profound pieces of advice I think I have ever heard. She said, “Care — when you forget where you’re from, you forget where you’re going.”

And in that short little quip, my world was rocked, I tell you.

I’m not sure how deep she was meaning when she said it, but it struck something way down in my soul, that resonated to my core.

Because, I don’t know about you — but I can get so caught up in the weeds. It’s easy to do. Everything from social media, to bills, to weekend plans, to crushes with questionable interest, to that laundry hanging over my head — there are so many things that steal my attention.

And not just for a day or an afternoon. I mean, sometimes, I feel as though I’m in a season of kerfuffle. As though I’ve lost sight of the direction I’m swimming, because I’m too preoccupied treading water just trying to keep my head above water.

Do you know the feeling?

So when my beautiful friend reminded me of this huge truth, it hit like a sack of bricks.

When you forget where you’re from, you forget where you’re going.

Naturally, I spent the rest of the night contemplating just that.

And I’m no expert, but here’s what I got — take it or leave it. Hopefully something will resonate with you 🙂

Where I’m from – my upbringing, my faith, the important values my family instilled in me — those laid my foundation, upon which I began building my life.

But those were merely a watercolor background in my painting of life — until who I am, was put through the gauntlet.

No longer was my identity merely something that someone else created for me. I had to claim it for myself.

My anorexia. My ulcerative colitis. Those seasons of life when hope was gone forced me to define in black and white — nay — in blood — who I am, what I believe, and just how far I will bend before I break. Just how strong my faith and my trust in God really is.

That is where I come from. Not my cushy definition of girl scout pleasantries and a polite existence. No. I come from the nitty gritty, down and dirty rock bottom that broke me, and gave my life a complete redirection and purpose.

That is the direction I am going.

That is what I mustn’t forget. That purpose of sharing what God did for me. His rescuing power. His saving hand that literally spared me from my own demise. Literally.

At 78 pounds, enslaved to my eating disorder, lying to and manipulating everyone in my life, and obstinate against getting help or even admitting to having a problem — God found a way to break through that and save me from myself. Because I was barreling down a one way track to complete destruction.

We’re heading into a new season. September 2 – the beginning of a new month, new academic year, new season. Now is the time to remember that direction — that purpose — that where I’m from has dictated for my life, my future.

We go through things that shape us, not only to transform our hearts and strengthen our faith and solidify who we are — but also to shift our paths going forward, and sometimes even completely redirect where we’re headed.

It is never by accident. Our purpose is always on purpose. That, we can never, ever forget.

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

A big thank you to my foundational sponsor, BetterHelp Online Therapy. I cannot begin to express how beneficial therapy was for my recovery from anorexia.  Speak with an online therapist. Or check out content about eating disorders from BetterHelp.


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151 responses to “A Purpose, on Purpose”

  1. “When you forget where you’re from, you forget where you’re going.”

    You gave me something to contemplate about tonight! Thank you. I definitely needed to hear this.

    • Thank you Brendan. So glad it resonated with you 🙂 hope you have a great – and contemplative – night! Hugs and love xox

  2. “No longer was my identity merely something that someone else created for me. I had to claim it for myself.”
    So true! Parent’s cannot carry their children through life, nor can they piggy-back their children into heaven. Of course they set a foundation, that’s their job. But when we reach maturity they have to back off, be there to help us up when we make our mistakes and give us emotional support when needed. Survival in life or acceptance for a higher spiritual inheritance depends on our own decisions.

  3. So I totally forgot to watch the Costa Rica video last time, I just did now… looks like it was a great trip! I just had a conversation the other day with a friend of a friend whom I’ve crossed paths with a few times over the years; she had just taken a trip to a few different parts of Europe recently. I said that I’m so busy and tired all the time that I don’t have enough motivation to plan a big trip, and that I would travel more when I’m retired; she said, basically, no, do it now, you won’t regret it. I think she has a good point. I really should travel more, even though it’s exhausting.

    I’m going to Albuquerque for the balloon fiesta in October. I’ve never been there before. That’s a start, even though it’s not exactly Europe. And it’ll be my first time on an airplane in six years. My brother lives there now, and Mom and Dad will be there that week too.

    And I do travel closer to home. I’ve always thought that if I’m not going to do a lot of long-distance traveling, I should take more day trips to places near me that I’ve never seen, or places that I’ve only seen from the freeway, and just hang out and do some minor sightseeing for a while. I took a day trip to Fresno in July (about 150 miles from me). A lot of people would wonder why I picked Fresno; it isn’t exactly the kind of exciting place where people go for recreation. It doesn’t exactly have that reputation. I’ve made it a goal in life to go to as many different In-N-Out Burger locations as I can, and two of the five in Fresno County I hadn’t been to yet, which were the closest ones I hadn’t been to. Also, every year I take a picture of myself next to a sign with the number of the age I’m turning that year and use it as the Facebook event picture for my birthday party, and there’s a highway with that number of years that starts just outside Fresno. And with me being a roadgeek, just driving around a place I’m not too familiar with is inherently exciting. (I’d seen Fresno from two of its four freeways before, but that was about it.) Someone I know recommended a regional park just outside of town where I took a short hike down to the river. It was a wonderful day, even though it wasn’t exactly the kind of thing my friends mean when they say I should travel more.

    And I like what you say about remembering where you came from. As I’ve said before, I’ve been writing about a pivotal time in my life in my late teens, and it’s been enlightening looking back at that time in my life and seeing what life lessons I’ve learned.

    • Thanks! Oh my gosh it was a gorgeous trip. You’re right – got to strike while the spirit moves you. Oh that fiesta sounds amazing!! I hope you have an incredible time!!!! Can’t wait to hear all about it ! And haha that’s awesome – never been to in n out but I hear it’s exceptional. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Alice!! Yes!! She has great advice. And gosh thanks for watching! Hugs and love xox

  4. I don’t think you lost your direction, just maybe relied to much on bad Google directions. You know what I’m talking about. Sometimes google with all its great intentions will lead you to a great nowhere. And the entire time you are following those directions you know that something is off, you just don’t know what is is. But now you are back going in the direction you are supposed to go. And that’s great. Good luck staying on track

    • Bad google directions haha I do know what you mean. Thank you for your encouragement! Hugs and love xox

  5. This makes me think of the truth of 2 Corinthians 1- the God of all comfort who comforts us so we may in turn comfort others..

    Nice singing voice- Maybe Broadway in the future 🙂

    • Yes!! I love corinthians. Thanks so much for your kind words and for taking the time to watch it! Hugs and love xox

  6. If you forget where you are from, you forget where you are going – that is so profound. Will surely be dwelling on that thought.
    BTW loved the singing 😊

    • Thank you so much for listening to the video! 🙂 and i’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 hope oyu have a great night. hugs xo

  7. Oh, look at those glorious whales ❤❤ Great singing in the video. Such a great post. It’s always important to remember where we come from. It keeps us grounded. Sometimes when we venture off in the wrong direction it doesn’t mean we forgot where we came from, it means we had temporary amnesia. We never forget who we are and where we come from. Sometimes we just want to do things differently. Usually doesn’t work out and we get back on track. God has a great way of reminding us! I’m glad you’re back. Thanks for sharing your journey with us 🦋☀️🌻💕😊

    • THe whales were SO COOL!! and thank you for watching the video!!! you’re so right – it keeps us grounded and helps us remember what truly matters. You’re right about that! thanks for stopping by! hugs xox

  8. Caralyn, your friend did indeed speak profound words. You choose your friends well! Now I’m gonna keep thinking about her words. 🤔 I love your dress, you look stunning! Be well. 😎

    • Thank you so much John – yeah she has wisdom beyond her years, for sure! and thank you so much!!! have a great night! xox

  9. I think God allows us stuff to go through to grow us closer to Him, humble us and show us His love when He saves us from it. I think He does this not just to grow us but when we have forgotten and need to remember to get us stronger. Then later we can handle so much more by remembering the lesson He made easy to remember because of the bigness of it at the time. Just my spin. So glad He saved you, have been so happy to know you, beautiful friend. Love you as always. Hugs! XO 😄❤

    • You’re so right about that – those trials draw us to Him. that is such a great point. 🙂 and oh my gosh I feel the same!! I am so grateful for our friendship! you are a light in my life!!!! 🙂 love you dear friend! hope you had a beautiful Labor Day Weekend!! big big hugs xox

  10. This really resonated with me. Love the footage of the whale. I love humpbacks in particular, having seen them a few times myself. I always feel like I am in the presence of something greater and wiser than myself. It is a beautiful testament that these wonderful creatures still approach us, despite our history of hunting them almost to the brink of extinction. I was once told that older whales would still remember being hunted here. Every year, here in Australia boats still set sale for Antarctica in a bid to protect them. They may actually be wiser and more knowledgeable than us, yet choose a completely different path. I was at the back of a boat when a hump back popped up to say “Hi”. I shall never forget it.

    • Oh I’m so glad this hit home with you! Wasn’t that whale incredible?! Me too – so majestic. Oh gosh you’re right we need to protect them! Hugs and love xox

  11. Beautiful, Caralyn. In today’s world, it’s so easy to forget where you came from and what your purpose is. We must always reassess where we are and where we’re going. We can only do that by remembering where we’ve been. Have a blessed day!

    • Thank you Amy! I think you’re so right about that – we have to remember our roots. Hugs and love xox

  12. “to crushes with questionable interest…” Oh, do tell… Pardon my feline curiosity.

    Probably the words of your friend struck a chord because that was what you needed to hear. All to often, our current situations can cause us to forget the journey.

    If you read the Bible, you notice that is quite a few instances, God told the Israelite people to set up monuments, for instance, after crossing the Red Sea, God told them to take 12 stones from the dry bed and set it up near the shore. This was supposed to be a reminder to the Israelite people about the miracle performed and how they crossed the sea.

    Why?.. To remind them from where they came. It is said that the monument is there till this day.

    So if God does such things, we should take it upon ourselves to remember where we were. Because then we never lose track of the reason that we on this journey in the first place.

    • Yeah I definitely needed to hear that. Haha – I will spare you the frustrating details about the crushes! Haha amen – I needed to read this today! Thank you! Hugs and love xox

  13. Enjoyed the music and the video! But the clincher was the friend’s comment about forgetting who you are. It reminds me of wht I used to tell my daughters when they went anywhere: “Remember who you are!” (i.e., protect your family name and your Christian profession).

    • Thank you so much 🙂 I love that – remember who you are. Truer words…! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  14. Excellent post. The Annie video was excellent. I loved Annie as a kid. Thank you for the whale upload. Wow the creation of God leaves me speechless. This post is timely for me. God has been on my street about some things he asked me to do a long time ago. I love his patience and mercy with us. So I am now walking into what he has called me to without fear. I am thankful for you sharing your story for being so transparent. The lifestyle of being a Christian has valley moments but I am so glad God redeems everything in our lives including the valley moments. Thank you for all you do. Your voice is essential.

    • Thank you Ada! I’m so glad this was timely for you. Keeping you close in prayer my friend! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Ted!! Yeah she’s a smart cookie 🙂 and amen – that’s life! Hugs and love xox

  15. Great post. I always appreciate your courage and honesty. Also, great “Annie” video, but now that song is stuck in my head — again! Thanks! LOL

  16. “I’m not sure how deep she was meaning when she said it, but it struck something way down in my soul, that resonated to my core.”
    Rhema word. 🙂 I’ll be talking about those on Wednesday and Thursday.

  17. Nice post dear, I’ve told that to a lot of people over the years and they gust don’t get it.
    I’ll check out your vids when my data resets for the month, I’m looking forward to seeing the wale video I love wales of all kinds.


  18. The video – how great to hear you sing some more! That’s very nicely produced and looked like a lot of fun.

    Where I’m going… After the disaster that left me and my family in pretty bad shape, I was moved to TN thanks to a job offer – FINALLY!! I was completely uprooted from who I was and with no idea of what the rest of my life would look like apart from sheer drudgery. The last seven and a half years have been something like your journey; rebuilding into the better me God had in mind.

    I was a church leader, a liturgist, and a supporter of a Christian non-profit. But that wasn’t enough! The move is what created the conditions for me to start blogging and discovering depths of Scripture I never knew! Without blogging, there is no friendship with you and no speaking gig for the members of my church. And who knows what more?

    My suffering pales compares to yours; I’m not trying to equate the experience but the pattern. I’ve thought about how things have gone over the last 7+ years, and tonight really brought it into a very good focus. Those who go through this are going through…a me make-over, yes?

    I think your direction is gradually coming into better focus each day, week, and month. And this is only the beginning!!

    • Thank you Jeff!! It really was a fun project! Working with people I knew almost 20 years ago! It was so special 🙂 thanks for sharing that – you’re so right – God always has us on a journey that only He knows the twists and turns it will take. But He’s leading us right where He wants us 🙂 you’ve lived a lot of life so far! And more is yet to come!! And I’m excited to see where it takes you, my friend 🙂 thanks for the encouragement. Big hugs to you and your girls! Xox

  19. the world is spinning (quite literally) and it is easy to go right off spinning with it, your post reminds me of my motto (as of late, took me long enough mind you) “find beauty wherever you may go”…. for me just pausing to look at the sky in the morning before my plunge into the awful traffic here in the tri state area (especially today back to school and seemingly work!)… slow the world down, step off for a moment (or more), like anything else practice makes… habit… yeah, practice makes habit, did someone else pen that before me just now… probably… but that’s cool, thanks as always for nudging my noggin, hat tip – you

    • Find beauty wherever you may go – oh wow I love that so much. Thank you for sharing your heart and your journey. You have a lot of wisdom. Sounds like you’ve got a great perspective and outlook!! Hugs and love xox

  20. Thanks, Caralyn, for sharing the lovely video. Lovely voices that you, Ms. Selnick, and Ms. Edwards possess with touching 3-part harmony at the end. Again, lovely.

    And regarding one’s claiming one’s identity, which, invariably, includes/encompasses claiming what shapes one – amen.

    • Thanks so much Paul for watching the video and for your kind words!! I think you’re so right – claiming it!! Hugs and love xox

  21. Thank you for this post. Right now I feel lost on my own journey. I feel like I have lost God’s voice. I feel like the people who are trying to help me get my career started have given up on me. I know I am worth it. I just need to find my direction again.

  22. That’s really good stuff Caralyn. When we remember where we were when God found us and how He is healing us, we can’t help but change. We can’t help but move toward Him in love and cling to Him with everything we’ve go

    • Thank you so much Michael!! You’re so right – He is always healing us!! Hugs and love xox

  23. Beautiful post as always. If I buy tickets to the show is to possible to meet you? I’ve been a follower of you for years and I just love you. 💛

    • Thank you so much 🙂 oh my gosh you’re so sweet! I’m actually not in the current show they’re selling tix for! I was Annie back in 2000! But you’re amazing! I’m actually going to be speaking in Memphis later in September! I’ll be sharing that info tomorrow!!! I would love to meet you!!! Sending so so SO much love! Xox

  24. […] (1) Don’t stop putting your workers as the number one to be paid before you even pay yourself. When you started, you pay your worker well in order to retain them. Now that you are growing, you have to think of making your workers to also grow financially. You have to pay them better! We know it’s not the job of an employer to make the employees rich, but you can make them grow financially. Before you pay yourself, before you spend money on all other assets, pay your workers first. When you forget where you’re from, you forget where you’re going! […]

  25. Oh, I needed to read this today. I just received the first set of feedback, from a dear friend and my former college roommate, who kindly offered to read the first draft of my first novel, and I’m slowly digesting her notes and comments. Reading her words, and then your post, reminds me how far I’ve come with this novel! I started it in November 2012, for my first-ever National Novel Writing Month. In seven years, I finished something I’ve dreamed about doing since I was 10 years old. I know I have a lot of work ahead of me, but I’m excited to be at this point. Two other friends are reading it now, and I’m eagerly awaiting their feedback. But it’s so amazing to read the first pages, written in 2012, and the “end,” which I finished on March 30, 2019. It’s nowhere near perfect, but I’m excited to finesse it and make it the best work that I can make it. And that’s how God shapes us, as his children. It’s such a beautiful allegory. And we can’t forget it.

  26. So many of us are struggling to find our purpose. This blog is a good reminder to me, personally, to remember where I am from, so as to know where I am going. Thanks to you and to your friend who gave that advice. Cheers!

  27. There’s where we came from in this world, and most importantly: we all came from God. This world tries to make us forget it, but it simply doesn’t have that power. 😀

  28. That’s so good❤️ I love how we can look back at what He has done and how faithful He has been to allow us to remember He has a purpose for the race we run. The fire we often walk through becomes the foundation of strength and identity for our futures. Your story is a phenomenal one! He is good and glorious… He always will be:)

    • Thank you so much Mitchell! You’re so right about htat – He has a purpose for the race we run! And AMEN! It become the foundation of strength!! hugs xx

  29. “When you forget where you’re from, you forget where you’re going.” true words, I also believe that everything that happens to us in our life happens for a reason, it’s what shapes us, really great post. thank you

  30. Thanks for reading my DayBreaks and “liking” them from time to time! I enjoy following you on Instagram!!!! Looks like your recent trip was awesome!

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