A Pearl of Great Price

I was watching Mass online this past Sunday, and I had one of those beautiful moments where I felt like the message was spoken directly to me.

One of those, stop-you-in-your-tracks, make-you-do-a-double-take type of experiences.

It was just a random YouTube Mass livestream I chose, and the opening line of the sermon was, “If you find a treasure, do everything you can to get it and spare no cost.

It was the priest’s interpretation of the gospel, which read:

The kingdom of heaven is like a merchant
searching for fine pearls.
When he finds a pearl of great price,
he goes and sells all that he has and buys it.
– MT 13:46

His little phrase captivated me for several minutes. I literally had to pause the video and jot down my thoughts on such a simple, and yet profound message. One that resonates in so many different areas of life.

But what first came into my mind was my recovery from anorexia.

If you find a treasure, do everything you can do get it, and spare no cost.

Living in recovery is so difficult to put into words — not because it is hard, or challenging or full of triggers — sure, that may have been true for the first couple years. But now — 13 years strong — the way my daily recovery impacts my life, is that it has awarded me a perspective of gratitude.

Gratitude, humility, and appreciation.

I now fully realize that a life of freedom from the bondage of anorexia — which is an addiction of sorts — is an invaluable treasure.

Every single day that I wake up and I’m healthy, I can enjoy food and relationships, and joy, and I’m no longer enslaved to an eating disorder that was slowly killing my body, mind, and spirit — that is a treasure.

And only because I have been to the absolute depths, can I appreciate what a treasure life really is.

Only because God has allowed me to experience life at the brink of demise, can I fully appreciate not only what He saved me from, but also, what He has blessed me with here and now.

And it is that gratitude and perspective that made the second half of this priest’s little phrase ring so true for me.

If you find a treasure, do everything you can do get it, and spare no cost.

Do everything you can to get it, and spare no cost.


This treasure I’ve been blessed with — this pearl of great price — it is worth everything.

My recovery is worth protecting. So whatever could threaten this freedom: be it images or celebrities that glorify extreme thinness, be it diet culture thinking, be it relationships that feed toxic thinking….ROOT THEM OUT. They are not welcome on my radar.

My recovery is worth cultivating. Just like a garden, recovery takes care and gentleness. What I put into my mind matters. The time I spend with Jesus in thanksgiving and adoration matters. The people I let into my sphere, matter.

My recovery is worth celebrating. I fully believe that remembering how far you’ve come is important. And granted, I don’t mean dwelling on the past, or obsessing over it…but I do think a healthy appreciation of the blessings that one has is such an important mindset to maintain. It allows for humility. And it allows for a heart of gratitude. Because I am alive. I am restored. And I am made new.

Treasures come in all different shapes and sizes.

The more I thought about it, the more I realized that I have so many treasures in my life. From family, to relationships, to friends, to health. All bestowed upon me by a loving, and unfathomably generous Father.

My treasure chest is overflowing. Absolutely spilling over. And so is yours.

What a beautifully encouraging and comforting exercise…to take inventory of the treasures we’re all sitting on right this very moment. The pearls of great price — whose magnificence we’ve grown accustomed to.

What is a treasure in your life?

“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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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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118 responses to “A Pearl of Great Price”

  1. That’s a really great post. Interesting, I was watching church online yesterday, and pastor Joe started a series on Romans chapters 12-15. The first message was of course on Rom. 12:1-2, and he put it in the framework of surrendering. And he brought up that very same parable. What would we be willing to do to gain a treasure?

    • Thank you so much! Oh wow – that sounds like a powerful video series!! Great question! Hugs and love xox

  2. What’s a treasure you ask? Real friendship. Not just superficial ones on social media, but deep connections. There are only a handful of people whom I trust implicitly and even fewer whom I can could have a deep conversation about life, stop six weeks, and resume as if it was only six minutes ago. It is hard for men; they said that 20 years ago, men had only an average of 3, yes, just 3 deep close friends. Today, that average number is 2. For me, I treasure all true friends – men and women – because friendships are so fragile. Not to be clingy, but that’s another story. 🙂

    • You’re so right about that! Real friendship is SUCH a blessing!! And you’re right – they take work. If you can count your friends on one hand you are very blessed indeed. Glad you stopped by! Thanks for always offering such great insight! Hugs and love xox

  3. I can’t help thinking that the current social conditions – especially COVID-related things – has sucked the life out of a lot of goals. That’s something that I keep experiencing. “Aw, what’s the use?” The obstacles seem insurmountable. It’s tempting to just chuck it…whatever your “it” happens to be.

    Julie used to tell our girls something when they despaired over how long something would take; a degree, an internship, etc. She reminded them that the clock keeps moving. You might as well spend those “ticks” moving yourself forward as opposed to just sitting and lamenting.

    I have goals, and I don’t have a lot of time left to achieve them. I need to spare no effort. Envision the dream and keep heading toward it.

    Thanks for this inspiration tonight!

    • Thanks Jeff for sharing your heart. You’re so right – this is a season where we have to remember to just keep moving forward! I love that thinking. You’ve got this my dear friend. If there’s one thing I have learned about you through our friendship is that when you put your mind to something, IT GETS DONE. So i have absolutely no doubt in my mind that you’re going to crush those goals. I believe in you and am cheering you on!! 🙂 hope your week is off to a great start! Sending love and hugs to you and your girls! Xox

      • Thank you for your kindness! You know, I have you to thank in large part for showing me the start of the road. I just keep trying to do the next right thing. 🙂

      • Aw shucks 🙂 hey hey hey — true that! The next right thing!! 🙂 ~h.u.g.s~

  4. Thanks for sharing, I am always blown away when I think of what a great God we have and how good He is. Many years ago, we used to sing a hymn the fist verse was “I’ve found the pearl of greatest price, My heart doth sing for joy, and sing I must for Christ I have, O what a Christ have I.” It gladdens my heart as I sit here in Melbourne during our second lock-down to know what a pearl we have..

    • Hi Veronica! Thank you so much for sharing your heart on this! Amen to that – we are so incredibly blessed! We are loved beyond comprehension!! And wow what beautiful lyrics! Praying for you and your community!! Hugs and love xox

    • Aw thank you Kenneth – what a kind thing to say 🙂 I appreciate you!! Hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Milly! I appreciate that so much 🙂 hope you’re having a great night! Hugs and love xox

  5. “The good news in all of this is that, like Fr. Richard and Bishop Curry, we are all called by Jesus to follow the Way of Love. With God’s help, we can turn from the powers of sin, hatred, fear, injustice, and oppression and toward the way of truth, love, hope, justice, and freedom. It is this reorienting of our whole selves – body, mind, and soul – on the love and life of Jesus that leads us away from cynicism and into freedom.”

    • Thank you so much for sharing this quote! Yes! Toward the way of truth love hope justice and freedom! I love that! Hugs and love xox

  6. Recovery is a treasure 💚 you’re beautiful heart and soul are treasures. Truly. My foundation is layered with the faith I received through every circumstance I had ~from broken pieces to treasures.💕

  7. Oh wow…I went with my son to his mass at his church this Sunday and ”the parable of the pearl” was also read and discussed in the sermon. Do all masses follow the same verses or portions of the Bible? If yes, that’s great accountability for all churches to follow a structure from on high. Let me go back to finish reading your post to get inspired to write on mine. 😉

    • Thank you ! Oh that’s awesome! Yes! No matter which church you go to: in the states, in Europe, anywhere in the world, mass is exactly the same: same readings, same order of the mass, same prayers. It is such a beautiful thing! And you’re right – it’s a great accountability – as well as unifying factor!! So glad you stopped by! Have an awesome night! Hugs and love xox

    • Oh that is such a beautiful thing. Thank you for sharing that Paula. I love that. Hugs and love xox

  8. Thank you dear lady
    That is ABsolutely right.
    It’s been ….thinking….let’s see I was 39 and I’m Almost 50 now
    I’ve been free from addiction for a decade!
    I forgot to be thankful with all this covid stuff and racial tension lately.


    It feels so good to hear hubby go off to work or family leave the house…
    And i don’t have to do….. anything! No secrets. No skeletons in my cupboard. Just…peace. 🌻

    “here we are
    In YOUR presence
    Lifting holy hands to You

    “Here we are
    Praising Jesus
    For the things He’s brought us through.”
    –Dallas Holme

    • Thank you so much! Oh wow that is so awesome! Congratulations on your life of freedom! I’m cheering for you!! 🙂 you’re right – we have so much to be thankful for and peace is definitely one of them 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  9. “Only because God has allowed me to experience life at the brink of demise, can I fully appreciate not only what He saved me from, but also, what He has blessed me with here and now.” Your words here are so true and so articulate. I think, unfortunately, that only we who have come near to losing our lives have this oh-so-valuable gift to such a full extent. That reading was in our lectionary this past Sunday also in the Lutheran church. Such unexpected depths to all these texts now, aren’t there? Blessings!!

    • Thank you so much for your kindness! You’re so right – such powerful depth in His Word!! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  10. Thank you for this. Years of trauma have taught me so much and deepened my faith. You remind me that coming out of this trauma mostly intact is truly a treasure I cannot afford to squander. I too have a chest full of blessings that I more fully appreciate now. When I look back at where I was six years ago, I am so grateful for where God has brought me. I am humbled by his grace and his love — humbled by so many who journeyed with me even when so many others abandoned me. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.

    • Thank you for sharing your story. You’re so right – the blessings born from pain are the sweetest and most cherished treasures of gratitude, appreciation, trust, and faith and humility. Love you friend. Sending so much love. Xox

  11. A great post!
    My pastor preached from the same passage, and I think his observations would be great to share with you and your readers.
    He told us that “YOU are God’s pearl of great price. You are so valuable to Him that He gave the best that He had (Jesus) so that He could have you.”
    (For me, my pearls of great price are my family and my emotional health.)

    • Thank you so much Michael! Oh wow that’s awesome, I love that interpretation! You’re right! WE are that pearl!! What a comforting truth. We are so blessed! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  12. My dear friend Caralyn,

    You have nailed it with your words. When we only live in sunshine, how can we appreciate it? Only when we learn that there are rainy days too. God sends us sometimes into very deep living situation, where we need to learn and understand, appreciate not just what we do not have but what we have got. These experiences make us humble, give us a deep insight of ourselves, of understanding others in similar situations. When peace is broken then we learn how valuable peace really is and we yearn back to a time in which everything was ok for us. These are indeed the pearls in our lives and we have to seize them, the golden opportunity as precious milestones in our life, given as showers of Grace by God. Sometimes it is necessary to take stock, see where we stand now and what we have reached in past years – also this will help us to be grateful in our present time. He who knows the pain has understood its message: to live our life in balance and harmony, we the tightrope walkers between extremes on a rope, the path of the middle being aware that when not taking care we can fall again.

    Keep those pearls you learn from deep in your heart and share them as you do with others, then they will even multiply, my dear friend.

    I am at your side.
    Love and hugs

    • Thank you for this beautiful response Didi!! You’re right! We need to feel the clouds and the rain to appreciate the sunshine. I am so moved by your perspective. You’re right – showers of Grace by God. Yes. Let’s multiply our pearls!! Hope your week is off to a beautiful start my friend. Hugs and love xox

      • Thank you too, my dear friend Caralyn 🙂
        The week has started here with lots of rain, but our inner garden gets exactly this what is according to God’s plan, as all is in His hands 🙂
        Hugs and much love from heart to heart

  13. While our Lord’s parables can have many applications it is important to uncover His most basic meaning to be sure our applications fit (which yours do 😉 )
    In all three of the “Treasure Parables” of Matthew 13, the Kingdom of Heaven is where God is in charge. Look at each of these parables and discover that HE is represented by “a man” (v 44), “a merchant” (v. 45) and a fisherman (v 47). In each case Father is looking for something valuable, YOU!
    So “He gave His uniquely born Son” (John 3:16) because He loves YOU [and me] that much!!
    love and prayers,

    • Thank you so much ca, for sharing your heart on this. You’re so right — God is in charge, and that’s so important to keep at the forefront of our hearts and minds. love that!! Hugs and love xox

  14. Amen, Caralyn. When you were talking about your bout with anorexia, I thought about another wonderful and liberating aspect of this passage. When we realize that the kingdom of heaven is the merchant and we’re the pearl of great price that God sought out and paid everything for, we will begin to see what great value He put on us. He so loved us that He gave everything…what was most precious to Him, His Son (John 3:16). This understanding of our value before God will set us free from any form of self-loathing or bondage we may be in. That’s how much He loves us!

    • thank you so much Mel!! You’re so right about that — we are that pearl in His eyes — what a comforting and liberating truth!!! Hugs and love xox

  15. “Only because God has allowed me to experience life at the brink of demise, can I fully appreciate not only what He saved me from, but also, what He has blessed me with here and now.” I value those words because they align so well with your post title. Your words convey the truth that we are each a pearl of great price in God’s eyes. A cost that Jesus, who was the Word made flesh, i.e., God, chose to pay on Calvary’s cross with His life to purchase our redemption. Jesus exemplified your words, “If you find a treasure, do everything you can do get it, and spare no cost.” I also appreciate the treasures that you identify, i.e., “family, to relationships, to friends.” They represent the treasures we are to build for ourselves in heaven by introducing them to Jesus and helping them grow spiritually in their life’s journey as they walk and draw nearer to the Lord. As always, an excellent thought-provoking post upon which to ponder; thank you!

    Darryl Orrell
    A Faithful Sower

    • Hi Darryl! Thank you so much for this heartfelt response — you’re so right – He purchased our redemption! What an awesome, incredible and selfless act of love. Wow – brings me to my knees. Hugs and love xox

    • THank you so much Temiloluwa! I appreciate you stopping by! It always brings a smile to my face when I see your name pop up in the comments! 🙂 hope oyu you have a wonderful afternoon! Hugs and love xox

  16. Hi Caralyn, what a beautiful, faith-full post. I celebrate your treasures with you. I too left an addiction behind. I am more alive now at 50 than I was at 25, 30, or 40. Praise God! Enjoy what is left of this given day. Love in Christ, Julie

    • Thank you so much Julie! thank you for celebrating with me! I think it’s so important to live and appreciate and celebrate the joy and freedom that is recovery! And CONGRATULATIONS on your own recovery!! I’m cheering for you as well! that is really something to celebrate, and I’m so happy that you know that freedom first hand, too! sending so much love and hugs, my warrior! Hugs and love xox

  17. A wonderful and inspirational post. For me it was when I was diagnosed with cancer 13 years ago that I looked at my life. I realized all the blessings God had bestowed upon me and became truly grateful. Thank you for sharing. Stay safe.

    • Thank you so much for sharing your story. Gosh I can’t imagine what it must have been like to get that news. You’re so right – even in seasons of trial, God’s blessings abound. And I’m glad you found that comfort during that season. Sending so much love and hugs. and I’m keeping you in my prayers! xox

  18. Reminds me of our late blogging friend Robert who always posted so beautifully and powerfully about recovery and gratitude. Thank you 🙏

    • Aw, thank you for sharing that, DW. There really is a huge huge connection between gratitude and the immense blessing that is recovery. May your friend rest in peace. Hugs and love xox

    • Thanks so much Heather! Yes! one of mine too! I don’t think it’s a coincidence that God used a pearl — something used in fine jewelry — to speak to our worth. I know as a woman, that imagery is very personal to me, and hits home in a way that other parables don’t. Hugs and love xox

  19. A pearl of life through Christ which has been given freely to us. <3 What a treasure to behold indeed and I think we have been undermining this gift for sometime. Which is very sad.

    "Only because God has allowed me to experience life at the brink of demise, can I fully appreciate not only what He saved me from, but also, what He has blessed me with here and now." AMEN! So very true!! YES! Thank you Lord! He's so beautiful and has given us so much to enjoy and cherish! <3

    May you continue to treasure this treasure and live in Christ Jesus in His Holy name. Love you sis <3 🕊💖

    • Thank you so much for these beautiful thoughts, Tammy! You’re right — what a treasure to behold indeed. I have so much gratitude in my heart for all the blessings God has given me in the treasure that is recovery. Yes! Life in Christ is a treasure in itself! And your friendship is a treasure to me as well 🙂 hope you have a beautiful afternoon, my friend! Hugs and love xox

      • Bless God! You’re most welcome! No problem! Amen & Amen! So very true sister! Indeed. Amen praises to Him for that. And your testimony is a blessing to all. Yes it is! Awww too sweet! I’m so grateful to hear that and for you too as well! Love you! Thanks! Right back at you! <3

      • You are too sweet. Love you friend!! Xoxoxox 🥰🥰🥰🌞🌞🌞✨✨✨

  20. Amen! Wonderful post. I love it. Treasure your pearls. May the Lord continues to strengthen you as you keep up the great work that you are doing. God bless you.

    • Hi Beverley! thank you so much! yes — treasure your pearls! i love that! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

    • thank you so much!! you’re so right – we really do. we are loved beyond our wildest dreams! Hugs and love xox

  21. I got to do the Gospel reading in church this week. What touched me most about the reading is the way Jesus could deliver his message to so many different ways, Make it relevant to them in a way that they could understand it, interpret it. It took great wisdom to be able to do so.

  22. Thank you for this beautiful post. I have always appreciated your honesty and transparency. Your page is a safe place for people to heal and learn more about God. The thing I treasure the most is my relationship with God. In world that can put me down or disqualify me because of my race and gender, God looks at me and sees my greatness. He keeps exceeding my expectations and promoting me in arenas of leadership. I now know that no matter what, I am loved, adored and treasured by God.

    • Thank you so much Ada! I really appreciate your kind words. Amen to that – He sees us with the wonderful and loving eyes of a Father. Yes! Loved treasured and adored!! Hugs and love xox

  23. Miss Caralyn, protecting your recovery is a thing of beauty. It is part of the treasure in your earthen vessel. You are a gift to me, and I’m grateful to have found you. There is a strength in your innermost being that is ordered towards God.
    I’m sitting here in our hotel room eagerly awaiting Tuesday morning when our house in NY will close, essentially selling much of what we have to purchase a home in Texas. The sunshine here has made a difference. Seeing something that I’ve spent so much time on in my hands, worked on with the passion and drive that God gave me, and watching what happens as people are getting this work in their hands is quite delightful. I’m also seeing that taking care of this pearl is going to be some work, and I’m looking forward to seeing where God leads through it all.

    God bless,

    • Thank you so much Teri – yes protecting it is so so important. A priority in life. And gosh, thank you for saying that, I am so touched – truly. You are a blessing to me. I will be praying for you and your family as your embark on this new chapter. How exciting – and I’m sure very emotional. Hang in there! God’s got an exciting and special road ahead!! Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Amanda! Yes me too! He’ll use any a sense necessary! Haha Hugs and love xox

  24. Beautiful consideration! Awakening to a greater sense of wholeness is so liberating, isn’t it!?! Each revelation gives way to the next…glory unto glory! ✌🏼

  25. What a great reminder of the inherent value we all have regardless if we know it or not. I suppose we experience fulfillment in finding and realizing that value.

    • Thank you Bryan! You’re so right – we all have that inherent value as children of God! Hugs and love xox

  26. I was just weeding out old emails when I came across this – not sure how I missed it first time around! It’s a lovely response to a familiar text, and it was just what I needed to hear this morning.
    Thank you!

    • Oooh!! That’s awesome! Thanks Penny! I remember this article well 🙂 glad it resonated with you! Have a beautiful morning! Hugs and love xox

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