Divine Mercy: Divine Intervention

I think when we moved our clocks forward for Daylight’s Saving Time, we accidentally activated some sort of “warp speed” setting. Because, I don’t know about you, but it’s hard to believe that Easter is behind us already! Time is flying by!

And this Sunday, is Divine Mercy Sunday — the first Sunday after Easter when the Catholic church specifically honors our devotion to Jesus’ mericiful heart through His Passion and death, as depicted in the image of the Divine Mercy.

I have a very special attachment to the Divine Mercy. In a lot of ways, it helped save me from my anorexia in a very poignant and powerful way: one that could only be described as divine. I was telling this story to a friend at the 1:38 Women’s Conference the other weekend, and I was taken aback by how moved this woman was by the story, and so I thought I’d share it here, too.

*And just as a quick little note, I will be on Alyssa Bormes’ radio show, Catholic Kaleidoscope this Sunday at 2pm ET (on Divine Mercy Sunday), to talk about this exact topic. You can tune in online, here! She also spoke at the 1:38 Women’s Conference, and WOW she has a powerful story. I was moved to tears listening to her speak. What an incredible woman with a heart for God. (You can watch her talk here.) *

But okay – to really appreciate this story, we have to go back to 2007, when I was deeply enslaved to my anorexia. In the “danger zone,” for lack of a better term. And step into the shoes of my beautiful mother, as she held all of her worry and fear and anxiety in her heart.

Gosh. The pain I put this woman through. Even though I know she has forgiven me and loves me and we have moved on and healed together, my heart still sinks every time I remember this time: Seeing her daughter waste away to 78 pounds, with her hair having fallen out, and entrenched in disordered behavior that would often manifest in fits of rage…

I remember talking with her years later, and she said something to me that I think will haunt me for the rest of my life. She said, “I had to prepare myself that you may die.”

You see, I had led everyone to believe that I didn’t have an eating disorder, and that the weight loss was due to my Ulcerative Colitis. But my mother, trusting her mother’s intuition, she could see right through my deception. She knew it was anorexia. And she was the one who, without anyone’s knowledge, put me on the waiting list for the top eating disorder treatment facility in the country, that would eventually save my life.

But I was an 18 year old senior, and legally an adult, therefore my parents couldn’t force me to get help or go to inpatient. (Which is why they eventually staged an intervention).

But during this time, when she felt her hands were tied, and she couldn’t reach this shell of a person she barely recognized as her daughter…she never once gossiped about me. She didn’t talk about me to her friends, or put me on any public prayer request lists. No. She kept it to herself, because she knew it wasn’t her story to tell.

She instinctively knew that if, *God willing* I made it through that terrible eating disorder, if our relationship was ever to heal, I had to be able to trust her. Even though I was obliterating her trust in me, with my lies, deception, secret exercise, throwing away of food, etc…she knew that I had to trust her, if we were to ever be able to move forward and heal.

And so she took all the emotions and fears and worries to Jesus, and she would spend every night at church in the Adoration Chapel, praying for me. Pleading to God to save me and rescue me from the grips of the enemy.

But the one person she did confide in, was our parish priest. She sought his guidance on how to pray, as well as just having someone outside of our family to talk to and get perspective.

And during one of her confessions, he suggested to her that she adopt a devotion to the Divine Mercy. And he gave her a little prayer card and booklet about it.

He explained it to my mom as God’s mercy meeting our suffering and pain.

This image of Jesus was given to Saint Maria Faustina, depicting Christ’s mercy pouring from His heart in a red and white ray. And underneath the image is the phrase, “Jesus, I trust in You.”

So my mom, desperate to do anything she can to save me, decided to read more about it, and so she went to our local Christian bookstore to pick up a few books. And wouldn’t you know, that *right* as she arrived, they were unloading from this big truck, a beautiful, nearly life-size, framed painting of the image of the Divine Mercy.

It was the only one they had ordered, and my mom, recognizing this as a reassuring hug from God, bought the painting on the spot, and it has had a prominent place in our home ever since.

Jesus’ Divine Mercy is what got my mom through that horrific season. His mercy sustained her.

You see, the devotion to it, is all about the mercy of Jesus. And how we can completely trust in Him.

Saint Faustina heard these words from Jesus during the vision: “Paint an image according to the pattern you see, with the signature: Jesus, I trust in You. I promise that the soul that will venerate this image will not perish…I am offering people a vessel with which they are to keep coming for graces to the fountain of mercy.”

I recently asked my mom about it, and here’s what she had to say…

I have one incredible mom.

And we have one incredible Savior.

The thing about this image that is so powerful, is that Jesus is literally stepping into our darkness. He’s our beacon of light. He’s entering into our suffering, and pain and fears, He’s saying: Place your trust in Me. Don’t give into fear or anxiety. Just look at Me. Focus on Me, because I love you, and I’m with you, and I will get you through this.

If that isn’t my story in a nutshell, I don’t know what is.

But then that’s the thing about the Divine Mercy: it is the hope of the Gospel, boiled down into one five-word phrase: Jesus I trust in You.

So tomorrow, as we celebrate Divine Mercy Sunday, here – in 2021, in the midst of a global pandemic where suffering has abounded — may we all feel Jesus stepping into our darkness and personally inviting us to place our trust in Him.

“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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80 thoughts on “Divine Mercy: Divine Intervention

  1. So thankful for you and you being here to share your story. Praise God for his goodness and mercy and PTL for your mother’s devotion to her LORD and Savior. Every life is so precious may your story save another. God speed my sweet friend.

    1. Thank you so much Shonda, oh gosh you’re kind to say that. God is so good! Amen – PTL for her love for our Savior!! Thank you again. Hugs and love xox

  2. Thank you so very much for sharing your story! As I read about your mom’s experience, I marveled at how she took cue from the Blessed Mother and, “held all things in her heart.”

    I love Divine Mercy Sunday (it’s my favorite of the liturgical year). Happy Easter, and thank you so much for all you write! You and your family are truly inspirational! 🤗

    1. Thank you so much Anni! Yes – she is definitely a beautiful example of someone trying to follow that “fiat” – not to mention — her name is Mary!!! 🙂 thanks for your kind words! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much 🙂 oh wow I’ll have to look up St Monica!! Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

      1. St. Augustine’s mom, who prayed for years on end for her boy to amend his life. And he did, in spades! The Church owes a lot to Monica 🙂 . Hugs and love from Kentucky– Mike

      2. Ooooh wow – the power of prayer!!! You’re right about that! Have a great night, Mike!

    1. Aw thank you Paula. Yes – a mother’s heart is unlike anything else in the world. 💛 so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  3. This is such a touching tribute. What a journey you and your mom have been through! I remember, once, having a conversation with my sister wherein we discussed whether there was proof about God’s existence. At the time, we disagreed…mostly. I wanted her to explain her “blind” faith to me in a way that made some logical sense and she kept calling me a seeker to which I completely balked, of course. I wasn’t ready. I had been raised in a very religious home with my dad as the preacher and my mom as the devoted wife. Stuff happened. I had a lot of questions and I wasn’t just going to believe because someone told me so anymore. But I digress. The point is, she had asked her kids to pray for me (my sister, I mean) and I was livid. They were young then – junior high-ish and I just couldn’t stand the thought of them feeling sorry for me and trying to save my soul by praying for my salvation every night. Wouldn’t that make holidays awkward? Oh…here comes our favorite aunt who we have to pray doesn’t burn in the fiery pits of hell! Later, my sister did put me on a public prayer list – as in literally, on a white board at their local church. Of course, the population of the town was tiny so maybe 17 people knew of my plight. I am glad I didn’t know until later. I am also very glad that I had an army of prayer warriors fighting for me in spite of myself. I still would prefer not to have a room full of strangers know about my sins unless I have expressly shared them and good on your mom for knowing where to draw the line. But, again, how grateful am I to be on the other side and, in no small part, because of all the support I never knew existed before now. That was long. I can’t help myself. As always, thank you for sharing your story!

    1. Thank you so much Lindsey! You’re so right – it has been a JOURNEY! I am just so blessed to have her in my life. Thank you for sharing your story – gosh what a season to live through – I’m sorry you had to walk that road. But you’re right – you had an army behind you. And amen – on the other side!!! Thanks again. Sending you so much love and hugs xox

  4. Ok, your mom is my hero now. Her maturity in the faith and her prayers and relationship with Jesus kept her going and saved you. Heroic!!! Love you as always, my beautiful friend. Hugs!! XO😃❤

    1. Hi Tonya! Oh my gosh she is my hero too!! Thank you so much for your kind words. I will definitely pass along the kind sentiments! Love you friend! Have a great weekend! Hugs and love xox

      1. You wrote a book to help other people with anorexia and related spiritual battles. Perhaps your mom would find blessings by writing a book also on her perspective to bring hope to other parents of children going through it. I am sure that would benefit the kingdom.😃❤

      2. Oh wow!! That is SUCH a great idea!!! I love that! I’m literally going to write her a text message right now to pass this awesome thought along! thank you! 🙂 love you!

  5. Just pointing to Jesus every time, all the time is the answer. I find it hard to do consistently. What your mom did was heroic but only thanks to the very power she prayed to – Jesus! I still pray for my daughter and her return to faith. Hopefully, those prayers will be as effective as your mother’s. The thing to remember for us all is that time passes too slowly for us. God will affect His will in His time. Perhaps He kept you and your mom waiting so long, because He was going to make a point; yeah, I can save someone even in that low a condition. And now your story- and His – are being spread through you.

    Has your recovery been like the Jews Exodus from Egypt?? God did mighty works to bring them out of bondage, and He has done the same for you. Maybe your recovery is really your Exodus from the slavery of ED. He brought you through your personal Red Sea and everything. You finally saw Him on your own Mt. Sinai where the “I Lied!” demon had to flee.

    Yup, your story here shines a light to everyone who needs just such an Exodus. Wish I could hug you right now! Be well. My best to your mom.

    1. Hey Jeff! You’re so right – no matter what, Jesus is the solution! You’re right – she is a hero of epic proportions! I am so glad you got to meet her. Oh Jeff, there is power in prayer – especially from parents. You’re right – God’s timing is always right. He’s always weaving it together to work out just right. I’ve never thought of that parallel with Exodus but WOW – so true! His deliverance saved my life!!! Through my personal Red Sea – oh my goodness what a visual! Thank you again Jeff for this awesome comment. I’ll pass along the sentiments to my mom!! Aww, here’s a big virtual hug!! 🙂 hope you and your girls have a wonderful weekend! Hugs xox

  6. I heard once that amen means “I agree”. So AMEN to your story. What a way to honor God and be a witness for Jesus! He is worth trusting. Thank you for sharing.

    1. Hi Lorie! oh yes – I’ve heard that too! And oh my gosh you’re absolutely right – He is WORTH TRUSTING! Thank you for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  7. I’m not crying… you’re crying! Beautiful story. thank you for sharing it with us.

    1. hahah aw, thank you Melissa! Gosh, I’m so glad this resonated with you 🙂 We have a good good father. Hugs and love xox

  8. I didn’t expect to begin my day with tears! What a beautiful testament to your mother’s love, faith, and trust. What a beautiful reminder that God’s Divine Mercy is there for us all. Have a blessed weekend, Caralyn!

    1. Awwww, thank you so much Amy! Sorry to be the cause of the waterworks! Yes! His divine mercy is there for us all!! 🙂 glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you so much Cindy! God really is faithful! so glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  9. What a beautiful testimony about your Mom. I am a mom so my heart resonated with your momma’s grace and love for your during a dark time. You are precious and your story blessed my day. Thank you for sharing.

    1. thank you Angela! i’m so glad it resonated with you 🙂 oh yes – my mom’s grace and love is truly beautiful. so glad you stopped by! God is so good! Hugs and love xox

  10. Your Mom is an incredible faith-filled woman. You are alive and healed and that’s what fills her heart with joy. She forgave you long ago and only wishes for your happiness. Every day is a gift. 😘

    1. Thank you Mary. Amen to that – every day is a gift! so glad you stopped by! thanks for your kind words, i’ll be sure to pass them along! Hugs and love xox

  11. Just in the last few days my wife and I have seen God’s hand moving in the life of our recently-turned-16 grandson who now lives with us. There’s a praise song called “Do It Again” that has a line in it that goes “You made a way when there was no way” and we’ve witnessed that very thing. The prayers of our church members and family did not go unanswered. God is great!

    1. Hi Rollie! Thank you for sharing that – oh wow – what an incredible thing, and amazing gift you’re giving your grandson! I’ll be praying for you all! God is GREAT! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much!! I’m so glad you thought so 🙂 God is so amazing 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much! The depth of Christ’s faithfulness is truly incredible. Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much friend 🙂 Yes, for the sake of His sorrowful Passion… His mercy and love endures forever! Hugs and love xox

  12. You are a beautiful person who has a gift Caralyn. Very well written. I’m glad you have such a strong relationship with your Mom and Jesus. Your faith is so important in why you are still here today doing God’s work.

    1. Hi Derek! oh my goodness, I am humbled by your generous words. thank you so much. Yes, I really have been wonderfully blessed with a great family. It’s true – I woulnd’t be here were it not for Jesus! So glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

  13. You have a wonderful Mom…

    And, thanks (to God) for you…!

    ‘God’s mercy, meeting our suffering and pain’
    Yes… in trust
    A contemplative and peaceful post. Thank you

  14. Amazing story of Gods saving grace and the faithful prayers of a mama! As a mom of four, trusting Jesus with their lives and praying for them is a daily “walking in faith” act! I imagine your mom will never stop be so thankful to God for His loving mercy that saved you! Thank you for your bravery in sharing your story! ❤️❤️❤️

    1. Hi Teresa! Oh my goodness, thank you so much! There is power in a mother’s prayer — from a mom’s lips to God’s ear! Yes! My mom is awesome, and God’s mercy is AMAZING!! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  15. Jesus stepping into our darkness. What a beautiful reminder that Jesus comes into the darkness as the true Light. He is with us even in the darkest of places to bring us out into His glorious light. Bless you x

    1. Yes – stepping into our darkness. Thank you so much for this thoughts reply. you’re so right – He’s always bringing us to His light. Hugs and love xox

  16. What a journey you have been on. God Bless you and your mom. And for sure your mom seeing that painting of Divine Mercy was not a coincident.

    1. Hi Rhonda, thank you so much! I so agree – she was at the right place at the right time for that painting for a reason! God put her there! 🙂 And the coolest thing that I didn’t get to mention in the piece is that she has been known to lend that painting to her friends during seasons of suffering. She’s had friends who’s husbands are battling cancer, or are going through other trials, and she will given them that painting to keep in their home for a while. She is just an amazing woman. And God’s Mercy is truly life giving! Thanks again for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  17. What a journey you have been on, and still on. God Bless you and your mom. Seeing the Divine Mercy painting was defiantly not a coincident, it was a sign form the Lord above. God Bless🙏

    1. Thank you Ian! I will pass along the kind words! yes – she is incredibly beautiful, inside and out! And yes! My pops is one heck of a guy as well! 🙂 Hugs and love xox

    1. thank you Amanda! Same to you! I hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

  18. Ack!!! Your writing is growing!! Your testimony and explanation of His Grace towards us! 🤗👏🏻👏🏻This was such a blessing and I KNOW it will help many!! Plus, how beautiful that the Lord got your Mom there at the same time the painting arrived! So many Miracles He does for us!! God bless you!!

    1. Oh my goodness, thank you so much!!! Oh my gosh, what a kind thing to say! I pray that is the case! I know – that was divine timing, if I’ve ever seen it! God coordinated that FOR SURE! God is so good to us! Hugs and love xox

  19. Sweet Caralyn, this made me cry. What a Savior we serve! The Divine Mercy never ends. And your Momma. Please hug her neck from me. There’s nothing more powerful than a praying Mom. She is a blessing; just as you. Love and hugs to you as you inspire us all. And so humbly give the credit always to our Heavenly Papa. You’re an angel indeed. Love, hugs, and blessings. Karla 💛❤️💚

    1. Hi Karla! Oh my gosh, I’m so glad this hit home with you. I love that: Divine Mercy never ends…amen to that!!! I will absolutely pass along the hug – she gives the best hugs 🙂 hehe that’s so true – from a mother’s lips to God’s hearts! thank you again, my friend! have a wonderful night! Hugs and love xox

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