Love Sets You Free

One of the most special things in my life, is the fact that my best friend since literally birth, is my neighbor in NYC.

Truly. Neighbors. Our buildings are 157 steps apart, and I couldn’t be luckier to have my true blue — someone who has been with me through thick and thin, the most supportive, loving friend right there — it is one of my life’s greatest blessings.

Anywho – I was over at her apartment last weekend for a movie night. We ordered Chinese food, drank wine, it was truly like we were a scene out of Friends.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

We watched The Last Five Years. A very obscure movie musical that, truly, only the “buffiest” of musical theater buffs know about.

But anyway — there was a line in the movie that literally made me stop and say…WOW.

Has that ever happened to you? Like something is just such a truth bomb that it literally stops you in your tracks?

Before I get to the big one liner, a little background about the movie: it’s about a couple’s marriage that falls apart. How uplifting, right?

But it’s scenes from when they first met, all the way through when the man leaves her, told in an alternating fashion from their different perspectives, him: starting from beginning to the end, her: from the end to the beginning….if that makes any sense at all.

But there was a line in his note to her, telling her that he was leaving…and he said, “I could never rescue you.”

And, I mean – wow, not only did that hit like a sack of bricks to the heart, but when I heard, I immediately thought – truer words have never been spoken.

Thisthis is exactly why I was single for so dang long. This is exactly why only now, have I embraced and welcomed love into my life: because I was not in a whole state, where I could bring someone into my life.

I was not yet at a place where I could welcome someone into my life as a woman who loved herself, had forgiven herself from the anorexia in her past, and freed herself from that shame.

And now — sitting here in an amazing relationship with an incredible man, I can easily say that the most beautiful thing in life, is to love and be loved in return. For so long, I feared doing just that, keeping people at arms length, not opening my heart, because I believed that my past made me unworthy of love. But friends, that is the biggest lie and bunch of malarkey that was keeping me from living fully alive. And though that makes me so sad to think about the abundant life I missed out on, I know that God was in control all along, and allowing things to unfold and bloom in the perfect timing.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

Recovery is a long and winding road, and long after you put the weight on, you still wrestle with that inner voice shouting that you’re you’re not enough, you’re too broken, you’re unlovable and full of shame. I thank God everyday for drowning out those lies with His truth. Because that is the only way I fully healed: Him.
The fact is: no one can rescue you. No one can love you enough to get better. No one can do it for you, or want it for you: You have have rescue yourself. Or rather — you and Jesus – together – have to rescue yourself. But you can’t expect your partner to save you: that’s not fair to them, not fair to you. And that’s why it took me so long to get to the beautiful place I’m in today: because I had to do the work. I had to go through that long, arduous, and difficult process of believing that I was worth loving.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

And the crazy thing is: it turns out that LOVE reaffirms all the healing truths God was whispering to me all along: truths that I was precious in His sight, that I was forgiven, that my life has value, but more than that: I was loved beyond my wildest dreams.

Love is truly the last step to a full recovery. It is the key that unlocks the freedom to live fully alive — the life of abundance that God created us for.

And it makes sense too, because God is love. And His love sets us free.

And, now – living in that freedom, I can safely say it is the most beautiful thing in the world. And dare I say, what we were created for.

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

So — The Last Five Years — just goes to show that God can speak to you even in the most obscure ways: reminding us of His love, and the beautiful journey He’s brought us through, and helped us overcome.

Maybe this is super cheesy, and yeah, it probably is. 😉 But reflecting on all this, just makes me feel super grateful for this man who makes my heart feel safe, seen and loved. I might not need rescuing, but it is a beautiful thing to have a partner who loves and supports you just the way you are.

What’s a movie quote or song lyric that has stuck with you?

"Love cannot rescue you." Doesn't THAT hit like a sack of bricks? A hard truth that speaks volumes. If we go into a relationship expecting our partner to save us, we'll be doomed. It turns out WE have to do the work, so we can go into it as a whole person. And there's only one way to do that. #edrecovery #recovery #health #mentalhealth #love #relationships #life #faith #catholic #christianity

“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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33 responses to “Love Sets You Free”

  1. Love this post!

    And to answer your question…”What’s a movie quote or song lyric that has stuck with you?” For some reason, LOL, it’s from Legally Blonde….when she says, “Exercise gives you endorphins, endorphins make you happy…..and happy people don’t just kill their husbands….they just don’t.” It cracks me up every time!

  2. From Gordon Lightfoot’s The House You Live In – “And the house you live in will never fall down / If you pity the stranger who stands at your gate.” Reminds of James’ letter and the importance of good works.

  3. I’m so happy for you both! And you’re right, when we’re in His will, He sends us love when He knows it’s time, and then we can look back and see His hand all along. (My husband and I have a similar story). Hoping for nothing but the best for you!

  4. It also helps immensely that you didn’t lower your standards just to have a man in your life. You waited until God brought the right one along. I did the same thing during the 90s after my divorce in that I wouldn’t give my heart away to just any woman. I knew I’d know her when I met her and because of that I was available when she showed up. 21 years later we’re still “one flesh.” Happy for you, kiddo.

  5. Hmm a movie quote or song lyric that’s stuck with me throughout the years… I’m going way back here with a line from the Barbie musical “The Princess and the Pauper”: “I could take flight but would it be right?
    My conscience tells me stay
    … / … Duty means doing the things your heart may well regret / but I’ll never stop believing…” it sounds a little depressing, I know, but I think a lot of life’s experiences is knowing that while sometimes taking a leap of faith into the unknown is a good thing, there are also some instances where duties to a person, be they family or friends, are not ideal, but they’re better off in the long run… *sorry, I didn’t mean to go into a TED Talk 😅

  6. This is your most important post to date. It is the crux of the matter. The epitome of God’s healing. So happy for God’s precious love to drae you out with love and sustain you with love and then offer you love connection is truly epic. Your life is a love story. My beautiful,precious friend, love you as always! Big Hugs! XO😃❤

  7. There was a movie from 2009ish that most of my friends haven’t seen called The Rocker. I think I wrote about it on my old blog, now that I think about it… let me go find that, because I also don’t have the quote memorized and I think it’s in there… ok, I did write about this movie in my old blog (in early 2019, and you liked the post, but the quote in question doesn’t appear in that post, so let me look it up… all the movie quote sites only have the same few funny quotes, I guess I’m the only one who appreciated a serious quote from this silly movie, I’m going to have to go pop in the DVD…

    Anyway, the movie is about a guy who was the drummer for a hair band in the 80s right before they got really famous. He got kicked out of the band because his band members were being selfish, and he never got his life back together. Twenty years later, his teenage nephew is in a band with his friends, they need a drummer on short notice, and he gets another chance to live his rock star dreams. He takes a liking to one of his nephew’s friends in particular, an emo kid who is the lead vocalist and songwriter for the band. The kid is talking about his father having left when he was young and hoping that someday his father will hear his music, and the drummer says, “You got a good thing going. Don’t go chasing something you’re never gonna get back.”

    Later in the movie, their band is offered a gig opening for the band that kicked the guy out years ago, and he refuses to do it, because of all his old anger and what happened in the past, saying that they don’t deserve that, they should be opening for his band. The singer uses the same quote on the drummer, encouraging him to let go of that and just play the show, because it’s a huge opportunity for the new band.

    It stuck with me because I think I have that tendency to chase things that will never get back… I’m too stuck in wanting things to be the way they were in the past instead of working with what I have now and finding peace and enjoyment in the present moment. And this has become all the more relevant with all the ways life has changed in the last couple years.

  8. Love indeed sets you free. I think that one of the biggest steps into letting someone in, is to first start loving yourself. Otherwise, it would be hard to accept their love and care.
    Another issue is finding someone who is willing to love you unconditionally; especially in this modern age.

    • Oh my gosh. Yeah the loving you does have merit. I do believe the scariest next thing is to exercise that and find somebody who loves you for you. That’s the one thing I feel hesitant about …. Someone who really loves and accepts me causes think I’m an odd bird at times.

  9. There is such freedom in being able to acknowledge simultaneously that “Things are getting better, and progress still needs to be made.” The beauty of the progress made isn’t a reason to ignore what remains to be done, nor is the progress needing to still be made an excuse to not celebrate the reality that things are better. I’m not trying to sell anyone here, but I’m in the middle of listening tothe book “Factfulness” on Audible and this post aligned so beautifully with what this book is about, that I had to mention it. Thank you for such a lovely post, Caralyn!

  10. We have one rescuer who is our Savior – and sometimes we try so hard to make ourselves or other people live up to what only He can do. Nobody can be Jesus except Jesus. We need to let Him be God to us and other people be people to us. Without those expectations set correctly, we will always be disappointed. Thank you for laying that out so beautifully… what a great line from a musical to bring it all into focus!

  11. Memorable quote:
    A relationship, I think, is like a shark. You know? It has to constantly move forward or it dies. And I think what we got on our hands is a dead shark. — — from Annie Hall.

  12. Love, love, love this! As you know, there is someone very special to me who has been in a place similar to yours (though not an ED) for several years. It looks like she might have found love, but even if it’s not forever love, it’s a special healing love that she just recently felt ready for. Thank you for always inspiring me with the knowledge that good things come to those who wait and trust in God.

  13. You may be “cheesy,” but it is the right kind of “cheese.”

    There’s nothing better than someone who’s come to realize the things you’ve realized and ‘worked-out’ in your life.

    When you said you and Jesus that said it all. You recognize where true help comes from. True help comes from above, but it is also within.

    May the glory of God
    rain down upon you
    May the brightness of your countenance
    be evident to all

  14. Hi, Caralyn. As others have noted, you really cannot save yourself. Jesus does the saving; we just do the cooperating to let Him. 😊
    As for the wonderful relationship you and Steven are in, please read “The Love Dare” by the Kendricks brothers and “Hind’s Feet on High Places” by Hannah Hurnard. Both are easy reading; Hind’s Feet on a weekend. The Love Dare is a little more complicated because it does very little good to read it at a single sitting, though this is doable. But the book is a 40 day challenge to find ways to share love with a loved one on a daily basis.
    When you are in the throes of infatuation, this will be a cake-walk, but it may open up areas of communication that will surprise you both, and lay good groundwork for future difficulties.
    And not to be a wet blanket, but those difficulties WILL come because you and Steven are both sinners… saved by God’s amazing grace… but still sinners. Just as your past has left “residuals” of doubt and struggles that you will always face, your and Steven’s sinfulness will sometime raise its ugly head and you will need the equipment in place to continue in your love.
    “To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken. If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal. Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements. Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness. But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
    ― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
    ❤️&🙏 for both of you, your friend forever, c.a.

  15. The topic I already had selected to embrace today (and I couldn’t believe in these 8 months I had not alreay used it) was LOVE. I wasn’t sure just what I would write about it – because it’s hard to know where to start, it is so all encompassing. Then, before tackling my blog I decided to read some of my favorite bloggers for today – and up popped YOURS!! Perfect! Nothing I could write today would be more poignant than what you have already shared her. So, I am going to reblog this on ,y JanBeek. OK??

  16. That is very wonderful to know AND feel the security of love. I do really believe experiences, age and all that greatly influence our ability to be open. I don’t have a quote off the top but it’s so cool and I’ll search for one

  17. You asked for a movie quote that spoke to me (I’ll go with that one–the list of song lyrics is too long).
    In Chariots of Fire, Eric Liddell responds to his sister’s concerns that his athletic career might be distracting him from his call to ministry by saying:

    “I believe God made me for a purpose, but he also made me fast. And when I run I feel His pleasure.”

    At that time in my life, my great passions were long-distance running and music (I was in a band, and Chariots had a great soundtrack). That quote spoke to me where I was. It wanted to know how that could be possible in my own life.
    Knee injuries derailed my running career, and other things forced music into being a side hobby, but the desire to feel God’s pleasure in whatever I’m doing has stayed with me.

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