Recently, in just the past 2 weeks, I have had two separate friends each embark on their own pilgrimage on the Camino de Santiago.
If that sounds familiar, it’s because my mom and I did it back in 2018 after her stroke.
But “El Camino” is a walking pilgrimage that follows “The Way” of St. James through the countryside of Portugal and Spain, culminating at the cathedral in the Spanish city of Santiago de Compostela, at the shrine of St. James.
You can do it for as long as you want — my mom and I did 10 days, walking about 14 miles a day. But if you do the entire thing, you can “camino” for over a month! (Which is what one of my friends is doing!)
There’s a great movie about it called “The Way,” which I highly recommend, but fair warning…it WILL make you want to do it yourself, and in fact, it was after watching that movie that my mother and I booked our tickets!
But it’s just wild that, here we are, summer 2021, and I know two different people who are doing the Camino.
Then it dawned on me: we’re all seeking life changing experiences.
Post-pandemic, people are looking for a shake up. A wake up. A life changing experience.
Because that’s the thing about the Camino…the grueling physical demands on your body, the solitude in nature, the conversations in passing with other pilgrims on “The Way,” the exploration and deepening of faith you experience traveling with priests and people of faith from church to church, often staying in monasteries. It is a journey of faith – where, as I realized, it is about the journey, not the destination.
But that’s the thing: the Camino changes your life.
And that’s what so many people are hungry for — craving — after this year we’ve had in “The Q:” a life changing experience.
I’ve had one life changing experience in my life: at inpatient for my anorexia when I was 18 years old.
I flew across the country to a christian treatment facility, and stayed for three months. And I can truly say, it was a life changing experience.
And I kept a journal while I was there. My best friend gave me a beautiful, decorative journal with handwritten quotes about friendship on top of every page.
(It was the inspiration of my book, Bloom).
But today, inspired by those two who embarked on their own life changing journeys, I decided to dust off my journal from inpatient, and read the words that I wrote during that instrumental time. Because, like the Camino, the “grueling physical demands on my body, the solitude [at inpatient], the conversations in passing with other pilgrims on the Way to recovery…” it turns out recovery is also a journey of faith.
And I did a “roulette” style opening of my journal, asking God to open to the page I was supposed to see. And, boy, He didn’t disappoint:
Written by little 18-year old me, on Day 32 of inpatient, scared-yet-fighting my hardest to embrace recovery…
“Isaiah 48:17 The Lord, your Redeemer…leads you along the paths you should follow.
Hope is the sunrise of the heart. When you come to the edge of all the light you know and can see, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing that one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on, or I will be taught how to fly.”
I think at the end of the day, that’s where the “life changing-ness” of it all boils down to: are we brave enough to step out into that darkness, or not.
Because, we’ve all got that something in our lives that not only requires faith, but demands it.
And we feel “stuck” when we remain in our safety bubble. All the while, yearning for something life changing.
Faith will change your life. Because it will allow you to take that step of faith into the darkness of the unknown, and trust that “there will be something solid to stand on, or I’ll be taught how to fly.”
I am so thankful, every single day, that God gave me the grace and taught me how to fly during that momentous season of renewal at inpatient and beyond.
Recovery is a lifelong road, where, also…like the Camino, I’m realizing that, indeed, it is about the journey and not the destination.
So, there you go. Hopefully the words of a hopeful girl back in 2007 can spark in you the hope that you have the power to change your life right now: all it takes is a “yes” to God, and the courage to step out where He leads.
“This is what the Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you, and you will come to life.” Ez 37:5
***THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ORDERED MY BOOKS, BLOOM: A JOURNAL BY BEAUTYBEYONDBONES AND “MY BLOGGING TIPS“***Click to order your copy!
MAGIC TOOTHPASTE? Yes! I am in love with this superior whitening toothpaste. It keeps my smile sparkling, without sensitivity or bleach! I made a website where you can directly order this miracle product! So if you want to give it a try, you can go ahead and grab a tube for yourself. I promise, your smile will thank you!Get a tube!
Be sure to check out my affiliate, Audible. Listening to audiobooks while I cook is literally my new favorite thing. And just for you, they’re offering a Free 30-Day Trial Membership. And with this free membership, you’re going to get 2 free audiobooks! Literally. Free. It is the best deal ever. And if for some reason, you decide it’s not for you, you can cancel within those 30 days and it’s zero money out of your pocket, plus, you get to keep the 2 audiobooks. Soooo…it’s pretty much a no brainer. Plus, it’s a free and easy way to support this blog! So thank you!!
@beauty.beyond.bones – Instagram
For Podcast versions of my posts, please check out Patreon! It’s only $2 a month!! You make this blog possible 🙂
And really quickly, I’ve had several questions concerning my Amazon link (amazon.com/shop/beautybeyondbones) — You do not need to buy one of my specific highlighted products on my page, in order for it to “credit” my account. Any purchases that you search or make from anywhere on Amazon, after first visiting my Amazon page, will credit this blog and help support this blog ministry. I am truly so grateful and appreciative to those of you wanting to do so! So thank you! Again, it is an absolutely free, and easy way for you to help keep this blog going!
57 responses to “The Edge of the Light”
I remember you and your mum taking this pilgrimage. I could never do that because of my back! God bless your friends, Caralyn. ☺️
Hi John! Yes it was such a special experience to do together. Oh dang! Thank you John! Hugs and love xox
So true, sweetie. Also, remember; life is our ultimate journey to get into “Communion” in heaven with the Holy Family. All of our side trips/journeys are to build faith and share our faith with others; therefore, they can join us. You are doing such a wonderful job sharing your journey and inviting others to the faith. God bless you! Hugs and Love 🤗 & ❤️.
thank you so much HJ – amen to that – that is the ultimate end goal, and what a beautiful celebration that will be one day 🙂 with the Holy Family, our loved ones who went before us, what a day indeed. thank you for your wonderful words of encouragement. it really means a lot. have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and love xox
I agree that a lot of us are looking for a life changing experience!
Yes!! after this past year, it’s no wonder! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Oh girl, I want to do the Camino so bad ! Thanks for reminding me. 😊
oh my gosh you should definitely do it! Top 3 experiences of my life!! Hugs and love xox
I remember when I first heard about the Camino. Through the book “I’ll Push You” covering friends Justin and Patrick and their amazing journey. It sounds like a wonderful experience.
oh I’ve not heard of that, but I would love to read it, especially after doing it myself! it was such a beautiful and powerful experience. loved every single step! thanks for stopping by and for the recco! Hugs and love xox
Yes, it’s a very inspirational story that has even been made into a documentary film by this time, I believe. Being that Justin is wheelchair bound (which was viewed as impossible at that time for a venture such as the Camino) and how his friends and others gathered around him in the spirit of community (including those they met on the Camino) made it all for a very good read. Blessings to you~
interesting! I can’t wait to check it out!
Having received the Promise of the Destination, it does indeed become about the journey.
“Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. ” –Matthew 7:13-14
God bless you for sharing your journey with us.
yes! about the journey. thank you Myron for sharing that beautiful and powerful verse with me. it leads to life!!! Hugs and love xox
thanks so much Greg. Hugs and love xox
A beautiful post with your mom thank you so much you so beautiful
thank you so much Hugs and love xox
That was 2018?!? It doesn’t seem like that long ago!
Yes, we are all seeking a life-changing experience. Honestly, I envy those who have had a profound experience. I just heard a podcast about someone who had been assaulted by demons for years. When he sought out Jesus, he was able to rebuke them all. Not that I want those problems in the first place, but…
I remember Harrison Ford talking to Anne Heche in Six Days, Seven Nights. He’s commenting on how people come to the islands to find love and how it’ll never happen. “It’s an island, babe! If you didn’t bring it with you, it ain’t here.” Sometimes I wonder if we should be still where we are instead of searching elsewhere. I heard a sermon about people wanting to be blessed when they already are and simply haven’t received the blessing! Like Esau didn’t accept his blessing, but traded it away.
Then again, The Way is a sort of ceremony, yes? God instituted ceremonies at Mt. Sinai. He uses ceremony like a lens to focus us on Him. He made us; He knows what we need. The Way is an opening for God to mix people together as you said and edify all.
Well, I guess that’s enough bouncing around in my head for this morning. Have yourself a great weekend!
I know, wild, right? I was doing the math and thinking to myself, of that can’t be right! but sure enough!! Oh my gosh, I can’t imagine, that must have been absolutely terrible for him and his loved ones. Amazing the power of Christ, right? Praise God he was able to break free from that bondage. Oh my gosh- I was having a conversation with Steven about that exact thing last night: that gratitude and recognizing and appreciating the blessings we already have is the key to joy and happiness and content. So many young people (and all people) spend their time searching for the “next best thing” living a “grass is always greener” existence, which leads to dissatistfaction and unhappiness. We’ve got to open our eyes to the enormous blessings we have under our own nose, own roof, own circle of friends. And you’re so right, He knows what we need, and I think community with fellow believers here on earth is definitely one of the big ones on the list. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts and wisdom this morning! talk about a blessing to start the day!!! have an awesome weekend! hugs to you and your girls! xox
Thank you for your kind response, Caralyn! As always, we seem to be a blessing to each other! My best to Steven and have a great weekend!
I can see that you are shining with hope. Life changes can be daunting, very daunting. I think many people see hope in your writing. It’s great to have a more powerful being behind every decision.
oh my gosh Zao, what a kind thing to say. thank you so much. Hugs and love xox
Ever enocourgaed by you, Caralyn! What a friend!
oh good! I’m so glad, Thompson! Hugs and love xox
‘Nuff said. 😉
thank you friend 🙂 Hugs and love xox
Years ago I took that step into the darkness of the unknown and it deepened my relationship with God. You’re right, the healing is lifelong; it is a difficult journey, but it continues to bear fruit. Thank you for continuing to share your journey.
that is so aweomse, CG – thank you for sharing that. yes! lifelong. it’s a beautiful ride indeed. Hugs and love xox
My girlfriends and I are determined to do this. And soon!!
oh I hope you do, Amy! it was truly the trip of a lifetime, and so special to do with a friend or loved one!! it really brings you together!! thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Love this piece so much. The talk about Faith. Faith is so powerful and blissful. God bless you🤍
oh good! i’m so glad you enjoyed it! thank you so much for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
This brought tears to my eyes! What a blessing and inspiration! 💚❤️💛🙏🏻🤗
aw, thank you so much KL! I’m so glad it resonated with you! God is good! Hugs and love xox.
HE is so good! You’re so welcome my friend! Love and hugs back!
Yes He is!!!
I really enjoyed reading this 🙂. It made me want to consider the month long pilgrimage, I can only imagine the peace and lessons that come along with taking that journey. The verse in Isaiah really came to life to me after reading your story. Thank you for sharing 🙏🏽
Thank you so much Janeen! i’m so glad this resonated with you. yes! the journey was truly life changing. i would definitely encourage you to look into it! i want to do it again! haha Hugs and love xox
Inspiring post. Have wanted to do the Camino myself, will have to watch, “The Way.” 🙂
thank you so much!!! oh yes! i hope you do it! it was such a life changing trip. i want to do it again! hahah Hugs and love xox
It’s a dream of mine to walk some of that pilgrimage! It sounds like an amaing experience, and also amazing is that so many people are seeking what it offers.
oh Sarah, I hope you do it! it was the trip of a lifetime. Truly amazing. Thanks for stopping by! Hugs and love xox
Awesome article. A message I needed to hear today. Thanks!
thank you so much Marcy! I’m so glad this resonated with you! big hugs to you xox
He blesses us through the good words of others. I have found your words to be good and delightful. Have a good day!Marcy
oh my gosh, I am truly so touched. Thank you again Marcy. have a wonderful day! Hugs and love xox
Yours is the first blog I have actually read. I am very new to this and not very good at it either. I just wanted to say i think you are an inspiration to all. Your faith has seen you through and you are not afraid to share it. God bless.
thank you so much Tessa! I’m so glad you’re enjoying my blog! that makes me so happy! and gosh, what kind words, I appreciate it! good luck on your blogging journey! i can’t wait to read along! Hugs and love xox
Enjoyed this piece as it brought back memories of our few days (three) on the Camino in 2016. Was part of a 10-day trip that also took us to Fatima and several other points of (faith!) interest. Keep up your good work, I look forward to your posts week to week. God bless!
oh wow, that’s awesome! i’m so glad it brought up those memories! what an incredible experience, right? and Fatima….wow. talk about inspiring. You could feel in the air that it was a sacred place!!! Hugs and love xox
Thank you for sharing your amazing pilgrimage and life changing journal. Your faith and insights are a blessing as we all go forward into our life changing experiences. God bless you and your beautiful words!
Still on my bucket-list…but when God does finally does provide the opportunity for me to go – I can’t wait to share the good news with you.
I love reading your story and seeing it unfold. You give me courage to keep going in my recovery. Thank you.