I don’t know about you, but sometimes, it feels like life just comes at ya with a 2×4 straight to head, doesn’t it?
OK — wow, Caralyn. Thaaaat’s graphic. Let’s bring it down a couple knotches.
But seriously though.
Allow me to just share with you something rather…outrageous…that happened to me this morning.
It was 9:00am, and I was out on my morning jog. And to be clear, I don’t run the streets of NYC…that’s not only dangerous, but so much stopping and starting with all the stoplights and crosswalks. Instead, I run on one of the numerous jogging trails throughout the city. Very scenic. Very safe. Kapeesh?
Well, part of this jogging trail goes through an open paved lot, of sorts. It’s a wide, open space, shared by pedestrians and cars that are pulling into the covered portion of the parking lot, or picking up/dropping off passengers on the scenic trail. It’s always bustling with joggers — as it was this morning — and very seldom are there any cars in the lot.
So. I’m jogging along, on the edge of the edge of the pedestrian path — as one does when attempting to follow social distancing measures — and this maroon, oversized Dodge truck pulls into the open paved lot. We’re going in opposite directions — read: towards eachother — but there’s probably three car-widths between our non-intersecting, parallel paths. If that makes sense. Basically, there is no way he’d hit me, unless he decided to drastically turn his car, and swerve into the pedestrian pathway. That, and the speed limit is literally 5 mph.
Well. The driver of this truck: he was probably probably about 42 — but looked mid fifties — had this aggressive handlebar mustache, and a look of rage in his eyes like I’ve never seen before. He proceeds to lay on his horn for – I kid you not – probably a full five seconds (which is a lot, if you’re blaring your horn), and then flips me not one, BUT TWO middle fingers!! He took both hands off the wheel to flip me two birds! All before 10am on a Monday morning.
Like, I don’t know who pee’d in his Cheerios, that morning, but — WOW.
I was so startled, and frankly – shaken up – by his complete overreaction to…literally nothing. I looked around, and my fellow joggers were also dumbfounded by the obnoxious scene they had just witnessed. And they all sympathetically shrugged at me, like “Wow, lady. Can you believe that guy?“
And I mean…I wasn’t even wearing my “I am Prolife” shirt, so why the rage, buddy?!
But I did the only thing I could: I kept my head down and just kept running.
And on my way home, it dawned on me: 2020 has been just like that Dodge pickup man…came in out of nowhere, blared on its horn, and flipped us the double bird.
I’m going to be honest, that episode felt like the appropriate tone my interior life has taken recently. I don’t know if it’s just the election or the uncertainty of the holidays, but I have been feeling rather discouraged. Like, does this even matter? I mean, I had a reader email me recently saying that I was a phony who had “the Devil living inside of [my] twisted and serpentine soul.” Yeah — that was a real joy to read.
But I’ve just had this pang of, “Does this even matter?” Should I just go get my real estate license, or become an esthetician and let this go? I mean, it would sure make finances a whole heck of a lot easier.
I’m not fishing for praise here, I am just sharing something that has been on my heart.
I’m telling you, though. We have a good, good Father. One that not only listens, but also responds.
Fast forward to this afternoon — about two hours after my flipped bird episode. And I’m down in the basement of my apartment building doing my laundry.
I was…actually…wearing my “I am Prolife” shirt, coincidentally, now that I’m realizing it. haha
But I’m folding my sheets, when in walks the newest tenant in my building: a young woman who is suffering from severe anorexia.
Now, I know — it is not polite or kind to “assume” that someone has anorexia. But as someone who nearly died from it, herself…allow me to put it this way: I know it when I see it. I’m not being cruel, I’m not being judgmental or catty…this young woman was suffering from severe anorexia. The type that makes even me catch my breath. I would say she was all of about 84 pounds.
All of the tell-tale signs were there….she was dangerously gaunt, grey skin, wearing two sweaters and yoga pants that were too loose – despite the fact that the laundry room is about 90 degrees with the 25 industrial dryers going.
And I smiled at her, and saw my former self in her hollow, sunken-in eyes, just above her paper mask.
And my heart absolutely broke for this young woman. I had seen her once before — when she was moving in. And, sweet friend — if for some reason, you’re reading this…(crazier things have happened — it’s 2020) — know that I love you, and am here to talk because, I’ve been there.
But seeing this hurting young woman, I knew that God was reminding me that this blog matters.
He was showing me, that there are hurting young women out there — with concerned families and loved ones and friends — who need resources on how to help, and sources of hope and encouragement that complete healing is possible. That things do get better, and that a life of full recovery is not only possible, but that one can thrive after near self-demise.
I mean, I was 78 pounds. I was that girl that walked into a room and made people audibly gasp, thinking they’d seen a ghost. You could feel my frantic and anxious energy – it was palpable. And God saved me from myself, and blessed me with, truly, a second chance.
So yes — I have been given a mission to share my story which points to His saving power — His forgiveness — His mercy. I may not always be able to see it, but God gave me a glimpse this afternoon, that He has children out there who desperately need help. There are ED sufferers out there who are suffering, and if, by the grace of God, one of my posts can offer the small push they need to seek professional help, or work up the courage to open up to a loved one about what they’re going through, or to find the hope that they can stick to their recovery model, or even just that they’re not as hopelessly alone as they think they are, then this blog has done what I set out for it to do, some five years ago.
And that young woman in the laundry room? I have been praying ever since I first saw her, to know precisely how to approach her, or reach her, and ultimately help her. I know that God has put her in my path for a reason. And I long to help her so so much. I just need His guidance on how best to tenderly and appropriately handle such a delicate situation.
But anyways. It’s not even 5:00pm, and I’ve already had quite the rollercoaster of emotions today.
So in closing: both the Dodge pick up man, and that young woman in the laundry room — they are both children of God, and worthy of love and respect, and have a dignity that comes from being made in God’s image. And both of them — just like me, and you, and everyone in this world — have a wound that was on display today: one manifested in rage, one in anorexia. But both wounds ultimately come from the same source: a place in their hearts that needs the life-changing love that only comes from God.
Which reminds me of an instrumental verse that led to the start of this blog: Matthew 5:15 “Let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”
May we each let our lights shine today — because we never know who we encounter in our daily lives that could really benefit from the warmth and radiance of God’s light and love.
“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 huge shoutout to Reason Nutrition Beverage! Their all-natural, high calorie drink is not only delicious, but it has no “garbage” in it! Utilizing the wholesome goodness of coconut oil, it’s a phenomenal option for those needing to gain weight in recovery, or for those simply looking to supplement their diet with convenient and fast nutrition. Check them out!
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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