Have you ever had one of those moments where it feels like you’re transported back in time? When your memory is sparked by either a photo or a song or a smell, and all of a sudden, it’s like you’re right back there, fully embodying that memory, as though it was happening for the first time?
Well, that happened to me over the weekend.
It rained literally all weekend in NYC. 100% precipitation, 62 hours straight. So much for Memorial Day Weekend. But actually, it was really nice, because Steven and I spent most of the weekend hanging out, watching movies, and making food. (4pm pancakes anyone?)
Well, that afternoon, while eating said from-scratch pancakes, Steven wanted to see if any of my old acting stuff was on YouTube. Unfortunately, being a nineties kid, all of my child acting footage just missed the digital age. And so it’s all on VCR video tapes, collecting dust, and therefore, “don’t exist” on the web.
I’ve never been able to find anything online. However, apparently, someone got bored during quarantine and uploaded the grainy VCR footage of one of the movies I was in to YouTube during lockdown in 2020!
And wouldn’t you know…Steven, being the tech pro that he is, he found it…first try.
I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I hadn’t seen this film since, gosh — 1998?? So not only did I not remember it very well, but I also — spoiler alert — get shot and killed in the film, so yeah — definitely set myself up for a great first impression for Steven to my acting work. Haha
But I’ll tell you what – it was a really incredible experience, watching it back – especially with him. Yes, it had all the cheesy 90’s-afterschool special-dramatic electric guitar fade music – a la Saved By The Bell – that made us chuckle. But more than that, it was really powerful for me to see my little 9 year old self – pre-anorexia, pre-Ulcerative Colitis, pre-messed up thinking about worth or body image — just little Caralyn, projected on his 65 inch tv, doing what I loved most in the world: acting.
But here’s the incredible thing: had you asked me…even just in 2019…to watch little me on screen, and I would have been filled with so much sadness. I would have mourned for the life she missed out on, due to the development of anorexia. I would have grieved for the enormous potential that little girl had, that was robbed by an eating disorder that nearly took her life. Seeing that would have made me really sad for the life that could have been.
And though that thought did cross my mind for a nanosecond, I had a beautiful perspective shift, sitting there on the couch next to my special gentleman.
Yes, my anorexia completely derailed my life in every aspect of the word: from my health, to my relationships, to my emotional and mental and spiritual wellbeing. It was the most horrific season of hell that nearly cost me my life — a nightmare I wouldn’t wish on anyone. And yeah, that little girl on screen was like a field of fresh fallen snow: pure and completely untouched from any of that.
But sitting there, in 2021, I no longer mourned for her and what she was about to be blindsided with. And I no longer longed for the life that could have been. Because as it turns out, the life I have now is the life God created me for.
Every single thing — every tragic moment and hellish season, every heartbreaking twist and turn that my story took — God used every single second of it.
I am who I am today because of it. I am the young woman, here today, because of those lessons I had to learn the hard way.
And sitting next to Steven, who has helped me unlock the last and arguably most important chapter of recovery: opening my heart to receiving love, I was filled with ironic gratitude for the difficult journey God has brought me through. Because I am here today, in this moment, in this situation, in this life — because of that journey God walked with me through.
And instead of thinking about the horrific trial that little girl was about to endure, I found myself thinking, Oh what a beautiful life you have in store, waiting for you.
I no longer thought of the sadness of the past, but rather, the overwhelming joy in the present. In the here and now. In the overflowing abundance of love and peace and happiness and gratitude God has blessed me with – a by-product of the full circle adventure God has seen me through.
Friends, that is possible, no matter how dark the present may seem. Because believe me, I know how dark things can get.
God can redeem even the most broken of broken. He transforms even that which we are most scared to surrender.
“Lord, you lifted me out of the depths…You turned my wailing into dancing…and clothed me with joy.” Psalm 30
That is what I pray for you, friends.
“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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56 responses to “A Full Circle Transformation”
At my advanced age LOTS of things trigger memories of younger days for me. But, like you, all the mistakes I made and sins I committed somehow led me to where I am today – healthy, happy, creative, inquisitive and most of all a loved, adopted child of God. It was His plan for me all along and I’m forever grateful to Him for His grace, mercy and forgiveness that far exceeds what I truly deserve.
You’re so right about that Rollie – our past has made us into the people we’ve become! god is good!!! Hugs and love xox
Caralyn, I am so happy for you! That this special friend came into your life! Your acting as a little girl was very good, I am impressed. The egg and pancake breakfast looks so delicious by the way. 😂 Be well and safe. ❤️
Hi John – thank you so much for sharing in the joy with me! 🙂 yes! i am so grateful for him – God is good. and haha gosh thank you 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Yes you have been blessed with natural talents in so many areas. I think you played that part so naturally. Obviously God has even more possibilities in store for you that will give you greater satisfaction than what you thought was so great in your childhood years. Continue to open yourself to His leading in your life and He will grant you all the happiness one could visualize in their imagination.
Thank you so much Ian! and haha gosh, thanks for watching! You’re right – God’s plan is always the best plan. I love that – continually opening ourselves to His leading — wow, what a beautiful beautiful thought! Hugs and love xox
[…] A Full Circle Transformation […]
thank you Tonya for the link up! Hugs and love xox
I love your perspective here, and I am so happy for you. This is such a beautifully written reflection.
That line from Psalm 30 is one of my favorites too.
aw thank you so much!! that really means a lot 🙂 yes! that is such a beautiful psalm, i love it too! Hugs and love xox
Great message today. You are who you are by the paths you’ve taken. God takes your choices and turns them for good if you only follow Him. Continue your walk through life and keep sharing. I enjoy hearing your stories.
Thank you Davi! You’re right about that – every path has been directed by Him and shapes us into who we are! Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
I’ve long had an awareness of time and how different events are connected. For example, when my grandmother died, the house literally sighed. I remember standing there thinking I had to fix this in my memory so my future self wouldn’t doubt it ever happened.
It also makes me see the poignancy of past vs. present and how things turn out. Or don’t. I can completely identify with BOTH of your reactions to little you! I’m just so glad that Stephen has helped you gain the better perception.
I’m very proud of and pleased for you, my dear friend!!
Hi Jeff! Thank you for sharing that – that so true – i think there’s so much we can’t fathom on earth about how truly connected everything is! after all, God is orchestrating ALL of it! Thank you for your kind words – yes, Steven is such a blessing and i feel so grateful to have him in my life! Hope you have a terrific week! Hugs and love to you and your girls! xox
I enjoyed this post, and I wanted to say that egg and that pancake look delicious! And love a rainy weekend. Sweet couple, too. Have a great weekend!
Thank you so much Wren! I’m so glad this resonated with you! haha yay! Yes – we’re big on breakfast for dinner or lunch! I’ll be sharing the recipe this week! Hugs and love xox
Oh, Caralyn, I enjoyed seeing you as a little 9 year old so much! Thank you for sharing that video link with us! Life certainly does take twists and turns, doesn’t it? And God uses them all to help us become the persons He created us to be. I have prayed with you for several years now that the love God had in mind for you all along would be revealed to you. Steven seems to be the ONE!! I share your joy. Thank you for your transparency. You’re such a sweetheart! <3
Thank you so much Jan for you kind encouragement! You’re so right – life does send us on quite the journey! Grateful for God’s guidance every step of the way, and His ability to use every single second of it! aw! you’re so wonderful to share in the joy! I am definitely blessed to have such an awesome man in my life! 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Hugs to you both! <3
Aww, what a cute little kid! And a good actress, too. I’m so happy that you found love. 🙂
oh gosh, thank you PK!! you’re kind to say that! and yes!! me too! it is truly such a blessing and i’ve never been happier! Hugs and love xox
Wonderful! So great to read your thoughts today! Yes, God always knows what is around the corner and how to use it for His Will and our good! You are so inspiring!
Thank you so much Delores! you’re right about that! God will ALWAYS use the things we go through for good. nothing is ever wasted! Hugs and love xox
How precious to read. As always, I love the way you express yourself! Enjoy your blessings! Thank you for the reminder that better things will come!
Hi Laurie! Oh gosh, thank you so much! You’re right about that – God is always working and will use absolutely everything for good! Hugs and love xox
3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.” –Revelation 21
18 I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.
26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.
35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?
37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39 neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. –Romans 8
God bless you, Lil’ Sister, and God bless Steven.
Thank you so much for your kind words Myron, and for sharing these POWERFUL verses! Hugs and love xox
Love pancakes, hope you kept some lol!
thank you Kenneth! hahah yes! i love pancakes too! i make them with almond flour 😉 hope you had a great weekend! Hugs and love xox
That’s so cool! It’s always awesome and nostalgic to see our younger self Caralyn, right? Great read. Thanks for sharing, as always. Hugs!
thank you so much Thompson! you’re right – looking back always floods the memories! Hugs and love xox
Amen. When we are broken, and come to the father, he restores us and makes us whole. God Bless
thank you so much friend. you’re right – He makes us whole! how blessed we are! Hugs and love xox
Geez, so few comments. It’s like the majority of your readers don’t really give a fork about ED or something. Those Reicht-wing Chistofascist posts though…
“Sometimes my days just turn like empty pages.
Sometimes they feel so full they ought to burst.
I know too well how far I missed the best that life could be.
I also sigh relief I missed the worst.
But now I know that Someone very special’s standing by.
Knowing, yet it doesn’t stop His care.
Laughing with my laughter, feeling every tear I cry;
There’s nothing in my life that we can’t share.
Now all those empty memories of tears I cried alone
Are just shadows of a nightmare past before His love light shone;
And all those times and questions that I still don’t understand
Don’t really matter any more since He now holds my hand.”
copyright, © c.a.post 1983
from the song I wrote as I went into “recovery,” Someone Watching Over Me
Wow, CA – this is such a beautiful and powerful poem. Thank you so much for sharing it. I resonated with it! Hugs and love xox
I remember that film. Wow!
oh my gosh, really!! wow!! thank you so much! Hugs and love xox
Couldn’t help but hum Singing in the Rain what with you hanging out by the lamp-post & the back story of rain in your weekend. 😊 So happy for you though that you are really experiencing the “sunny-side” of life now! Hugs dear friend!💕
Hi Dawn! How are you my friend!? awww thank you so much!!! AAAAAAbsolutely the sunny side of life. Truly, every day I wake up with a huge smile on my face and have never been happier or full of more joy. I feel fully alive, and it’s because God has brought my heart on a full circle, and given me the ability to open my heart to love 🙂 it’s a beautiful thing! Hope you had a wonderful weekend! sending big hugs xoxox
This is so beautiful. The way you speak of your journey it’s clear that non only have you accepted God’s forgiveness but that you’ve also forgiven yourself. I know that’s not an easy thing to do. I am so happy for you! Thank you for continuing to share the journey of your life.
Hi Dacia! aw, thank you so much for your kind words 🙂 yes! oh my gosh yes! it has taken me such a long time to do so, but it has been the most beautiful thing, and my life has never been the same. I wake up with a smile on my face every day, and have truly never been happier or more full of joy! God is so good! Hugs and love xox
I am so thankful for your blog, Cara. I am crying happy tears of joy for you. Thank you for sharing your healing. God has redeemed a lot in my life in the last almost two years. I have been guarded about celebrating but in the last few months God has reminded me the importance of sharing our blessings with our communities. We encourage one another when we share (as we feel led). I am so glad God has extended your platform. As daughters is the King, we deserve the very best. I am excited for you. 😊
Oh my gosh, THANK YOU!! You are so absolutely right on! That’s the purpose of community! To share in the joy and walk alongside your journey!! So true – sharing encourages others! I am so touched by your kind words about my blog. Thank you with all my heart. Hugs and love xox
So glad for you. Prayers for continual growth.
thank you so much Shari!!!! yes!!! i am so grateful for every single day! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for sharing victories won through God’s power!
thank you so much Beth! yes! oh my gosh God is so good and generous to us! Hugs and love xox
[…] A Full Circle Transformation […]
thank you for the link up! Hugs and love xox
Caralynn, I’m so glad to have found you!! This story is especially encouraging to me, because of my past as well. God is so gracious!! Thank you for the timely reminder.
Oh thank you so much! gosh this makes my heart so happy. i’m so glad our paths crossed as well! you’re a gem! Hugs and love xox