I think sometimes we can come to question our purpose. We have seasons where we’re filled with doubt, where we’re filled with uncertainty, where we’re filled with just this unsettled spirit when it comes to what we’re doing with our life, our plan for the future, our place in this world.
And yeah, I’m speaking from personal present experience right now.
I don’t know if it’s because inflation is out of control, and it now costs $49 dollars for a pound of fish, or seeing all my friends making huge advancements in their incredible, flashy, NYC careers, but I’ve recently found myself lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling in an all out fret that I’m not doing what I’m supposed to be doing with my life.
I met with the daughter of one of my parents’ friends for coffee the other day. She’s considering moving to NYC for a career in the arts, and she wanted to meet with me — “a seasoned New Yorker” LOL!!! — to get advice and insight into what it was like to move here for a career in the arts.
And I literally sat there and told her that if I could do it all again, I would go into marketing, and have a 9-5 job, where I got a stable pay check, I could leave work at work after 5pm, was able to go out for happy hour with friends after work, and just have a stable, predictable existence.
And as I said those things, I literally saw this girl’s hopes and dreams crash and burn right before my very eyes, so I softened it a bit, by saying that of course, NYC is the place where dreams come true…if you have a passion for it you’ll make it work…yada yada yada.
But I meant what I said.
And after some contemplation, I realized that due to a lot of factors, I had lost my way. Due to self-imposed discouragement, due to disillusionment, due to fear…my heart was off.
Because I had forgotten “My Why.”
I called my special gentleman at 1:30am last week, during one of these ceiling-staring moments, and he said to me, “Caralyn, remember your ‘why.’ Remember why you do what you do.”
And he’s exactly right.
Why do I have this blog, and share irresponsibly vulnerable things about anorexia, about faith, about recovery on the internet for anybody to read?
Because I have been on the other side, desperate to feel not so alone. Desperate for hope. Desperate for anyone who knew the hell I was going through during my anorexia.
Eating disorders are a devastating and isolating thing that rip families apart, destroy futures, crush relationships, and demolish a person’s health.
It alienates you from everyone you know, while infiltrating your mind with lies that you’re worthless and deserve to be alone.
It is a life ruiner – for she or he who goes through it, and the loved ones watching helplessly.
And the recovery process is just as isolating. Just because you “look normal” and have put the weight back on, doesn’t mean your recovery journey is finished. It, in fact, has only just begun, for now the real work begins: healing your mind.
And having walked through all seasons, sizes, and situations of recovery and come out the other side, I knew I needed to help those walking the same road, and their loved ones — who are suffering right alongside them.
There was nothing like this available for me or my family during that season of hell. Nothing. Anorexia was a hushed, hidden away disease, even though I was wearing it on my body as a walking billboard.
It was a disease of shame. I was an embarrassment. A disappointment. Or so I believed.
How I wish there had been a resource out there for me to turn to. Or my parents.
And that’s why I do what I do. That’s why I write this blog. For them. For those girls and boys struggling as I was. For the parents who are desperate for help, watching their son or daughter waste away. For the friends who suspect an eating disorder has taken hold of their friend who has now become distant and detatched.
I received several messages last week from readers, sharing how my blog has helped a loved one, or that they’ve passed it along to someone who is struggling, and even with that generous affirmation, (that is so meaningful and humbling), the doubt of insignificance still was creeping in.
It amazes me how the enemy can always find a way to feed us doubt and fear, no matter what the situation.
But I lost my way, because I had forgotten why I was doing it in the first place.
It was never for a flashy title, or a paycheck that’ll buy me an all-expenses paid trip to the Maldives. It was to be a source of hope to anyone suffering through the terrors of an eating disorder, and their loved ones enduring it.
But I think there’s something really to that. When we forget why we are doing something, we can lose our way. We can start focusing on everything else going on around us. We can start to compare what we’re doing with what someone else is doing. We can harbor feelings of inadequacy, or jealousy, or dissatisfaction. When the fact is, we need to put our blinders on to our purpose.
Remember the Why. I need to remember the deliverance that Jesus generously poured out to me, and the second chance He’s given me. One that I need to use for His purpose. To shed His light, His love, His forgiveness, mercy and grace to those who need to hear it, just like I did, and do.
So, I guess, all this to say, is that in those seasons where you find yourself staring at the ceiling at night, remember that the enemy love to accuse, and sew doubt and confusion and fear. But in those moments we need to remember our Why. And having reclaimed that purpose, to use that gusto to propel you forward, to chase after it with even greater intensity and fervor.
Jeremiah 29:13 “You will seek Me and find Me, when you seek Me with all your heart.”
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