A Perspective of Dependence

Wow, I want to just start out today with a huge THANK YOU for all of the beautiful messages of joy and excitement at the news of Steven and my engagement last Thursday!

Just how do we endure seasons of suffering? As we approach #easter, we are reminded of the comforting truth to cling to when times are tough. #lent #faith #catholic #christianity #edrecovery #recovery #jesus #god #bible

We read every single comment — all 360+ of them!! And we couldn’t have been more touched and moved by the love and kindness shown by this beautiful community on here. So thank you from the bottom of our hearts. We are so grateful!

It’s been a real juxtaposition walking through such joy, while simultaneous walking through a season of such sorrow. I’ve alluded to this recently, and I’m not going to go into it to respect privacy, but these last several months have really been an exercise in faith. And I shared what’s been on my heart in an article I recently published for another website.

As many of you know I am a writer for WINE ministries. And I was published this past Wednesday, and I wanted to share the full article here, as it was edited down on their platform. The article has to do with the Bible passage about Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego — so I have included that brief Scripture passage below, before the article, as a bit of a refresher as to what the heck I’m referencing.

But basically, it is a glimpse into how I’ve been navigating this road I am currently walking. And hopefully, it will give you the same encouragement, as it has been giving me.

Daniel 3:16-28

King Nebuchadnezzar said:
“Is it true, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
that you will not serve my god,
or worship the golden statue that I set up?
Be ready now to fall down and worship the statue I had made,
whenever you hear the sound of the trumpet,
flute, lyre, harp, psaltery, bagpipe,
and all the other musical instruments;
otherwise, you shall be instantly cast into the white-hot furnace;
and who is the God who can deliver you out of my hands?”
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered King Nebuchadnezzar,
“There is no need for us to defend ourselves before you
in this matter.
If our God, whom we serve,
can save us from the white-hot furnace
and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
But even if he will not, know, O king,
that we will not serve your god
or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

King Nebuchadnezzar’s face became livid with utter rage
against Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego.
He ordered the furnace to be heated seven times more than usual
and had some of the strongest men in his army
bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego
and cast them into the white-hot furnace.

Nebuchadnezzar rose in haste and asked his nobles,
“Did we not cast three men bound into the fire?”
“Assuredly, O king,” they answered.
“But,” he replied, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt,
walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”
Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed,
“Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego,
who sent his angel to deliver the servants who trusted in him;
they disobeyed the royal command and yielded their bodies
rather than serve or worship any god
except their own God.”

Ah, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego. The familiar Bible story about the “three guys with weird names” that was a staple in any elementary Sunday school curriculum. 

It’s always an exercise of introspection, rereading this story as an adult, as my childhood preoccupation with the obscurity of their names, has now shifted to the actual content of what these three brave men were actually enduring, and the implications thereof

The fiery furnace that “Shad, Meesh and Benny” as we shall henceforth refer to these men, were thrown into, gives us not only an inspiring story of courage and fortitude and commitment to faith, but it also calls to mind the powerful imagery of the refining fire. 

Having survived a serve case of anorexia in my teens, I actually spent many hours researching the process of refining gold by fire. 

After returning from a three month stay at an inpatient hospital, where I entered at 78 pounds – flirting with death, and having pushed away God, my family and friends; I left having completely committed my life to Christ, embraced recovery, and with a zeal in my heart to discover God’s plan for my life. 

And part of that discovery process, included recognizing the shaping role that season of darkness had played in God’s formation of my faith, my heart and my soul. 

And I stumbled upon the refining process for gold.

In ancient times, the goldsmith would put the gold ore into a crucible, and then subject it to intense heat, liquifying the metal. Its impurities would then rise to the surface, which would be skimmed off. This process would be repeated and repeated until the goldsmith could see his reflection in the surface of the liquid. It is then that he would know it is pure gold. 

What a powerful metaphor to Christian life, isn’t it? 

And such a comforting truth to little 18 year old-me, after just enduring an intense period of suffering. I knew that God was using it to refine me: to break me of the sin and impurities in my life, namely the pride that had such a death grip on my life that it led me to destructive behaviors that nearly cost me everything. 

There is a true dependence on God that can only come about through suffering. There is a moment-to-moment need for God that develops when God is all you have left. 

Just how do we endure seasons of suffering? As we approach #easter, we are reminded of the comforting truth to cling to when times are tough. #lent #faith #catholic #christianity #edrecovery #recovery #jesus #god #bible

And that complete reliance on the Father is a life altering, perspective-shifting foundation that becomes the cornerstone upon which the rest of your life is built. It was for me. 

I knew that without God, I would be nothing. I would have nothing. The 14 years I’ve been in recovery are only possible because of Him. I would have no recovery without Him. 

Shad, Meesh and Benny — they knew that too. 

And through their story of bravery and courage, we’re reminded of one final thing. 

We are not alone in our suffering

Though we may feel, during that season of trial, season of loss, season of despair, anger, isolation, what-have-you — though we may feel abandoned by God: We can’t see Him, feel Him. He’s forgotten me, He doesn’t care, He isn’t there when I need Him most

This story reminds us that, in fact, He is in the furnace with us. 

At the end of the story, King Nebuchadnezzar says, “I see four men unfettered and unhurt, walking in the fire, and the fourth looks like a son of God.”

He is with us in our suffering. Supporting us, carrying us every step of the way. 

Just how do we endure seasons of suffering? As we approach #easter, we are reminded of the comforting truth to cling to when times are tough. #lent #faith #catholic #christianity #edrecovery #recovery #jesus #god #bible

That is the beautiful perspective of dependance that we gain in the fire. That knowledge of God’s faithfulness. His steadfastness. His deliverance through the fire. 

And anytime we need a reminder of that fact, we can just look at the Cross. 

Lent is rapidly coming to a close. Let’s finish strong, knowing that, as Jesus is always with us in our suffering, we can unite ours to His, in this week leading up to His Passion.

To hear my story, click here.

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48 thoughts on “A Perspective of Dependence

    1. Aw, thank you HJ, I appreciate that so much 🙂 hope your week is off to a great start! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much Stella! I appreciate that! We’re over the moon! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you John! 🙂 I appreciate that. yes – God’s love is absolutely life changing. It can get us through the roughest of storms. So glad you stopped by. hope your week is off to a great start. Hugs and love xox

  1. Congratulations dear young lady, wishing you the Lord’s blessings in your marriage.
    You are fulfilling God’s purpose,”and the two shall become one.”🌹🌹🌹

    1. Thank you again Stella! Yes! We are very excited to embark on this beautiful journey towards our vocation of marriage. God answered my prayers in Steven 🙂 Hugs and love xox

  2. One of my favorite accounts in the Bible, and for the same reasons (well, pretty much).

    “If our God, whom we serve, can save us from the white-hot furnace and from your hands, O king, may he save us!
    But even if he will not, know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the golden statue that you set up.”

    NO FEAR! Complete committment. Total dependence on the Sovereignty of Our Lord, who is with us ALWAYS!!

    AMEN and AMEN!!!

    1. Hi Myron! Oh my gosh, you’re right about that – it is so comforting to know that we have such an incredible Protector and Savior! Truly blessed indeed. Amen- no fear!! glad you stopped by! have a great night my friend. Hugs and love xox

  3. Boy! You said it! Here I am with Julie going through our own crucible. This wouldn’t be survivable w/out God. Many years ago when I had bypass surgery we prayed just before they took me in. We decided I’d either wake up to God or Her. There was no bad alternative. I hope this helps along with my other offerings.

    1. Hi Jeff, thank you so much – yeah, I actually thought about the journey you and Julie are walking right now too, as I was writing this. You’re absolutely right – these trials that we endure wouldn’t be survivable without Him. I don’t know where we’d be with such a firm foundation on the Rock. Wow, what an incredibly powerful thing to think about going into surgery. I can only imagine the comfort that brought during that scary time. Absolutely. Thanks Jeff, for sharing this powerful insight. Great to see your name on here 🙂 I hope today is a good day for you and that you’re feeling better! Sending big hugs and love to you and your girls xox

  4. Caralyn, I am so pleased for you and Steven. Congratulations on your engagement! May your lives blend into a beautiful testimony of mutual love, dependence on one another with God as your leader and guide, and many years of health and happiness. Just as the four safely unharmed walked in the scorching hot furnace, may you walk through the trials of life with His protection to see you through each of them – just as He has seen you through your fires so far. God bless you!

    1. Hi Jan, thank you so much! I appreciate you sharing in the joy with us! Yes – God really heard the prayers I have been praying for my future husband when I was a little girl, and sent me an incredible man of faith. I am so grateful. Amen to that. Thank you for this beautiful note. i will definitely pass along your kind words to Steven! Hugs and love xox

  5. I’ve read the furnace story many times in my life and often in the last three months of a health trial that continues. I realized there were four in the furnace, but the beautiful power of that was diminished in my mind because they didn’t suffer at all–not even singed or smoky clothes–while God was letting me keep on suffering. But wow, God spoke it through you: God is in the furnace with us! Each of us takes different refining of our dross. But all glory to our loving Father that we can count on standing golden with Shad, Meshach and Abed in the resurrection at Christ’s soon-coming return.

    1. You’re spot on, Rollie. Even when we stray or take our eyes off Him, He never stops loving us, and is faithful to the end. Thank you for stopping by! Hugs and love xox

  6. Excellent article, C! And that passage of scripture is one of my favorites. I took my life motto from Daniel 3:18. “But if not… Stay the course.” Has proven hard to live by, but it stands on faith, which you wrote about. Trust in Him, no matter what. Have a wonderful week, Caralyn! 🤗🙏

    1. Hi Kenneth, oh gosh – thank you so much! But if not, stay the course. I love that so much. A high standard, but then no one said the Christian walk would be an easy one!!! Thank you Kenneth, for sharing that! you too, sending big hugs xox

  7. Hi Caralyn 🙂

    Congratulations (a little belated) on your new developments! 😀

    I was hesitant to read this — but I’m glad I did.

    I don’t remember much about details (and I think I have never really completed the *entire* Old Testament “cover to cover” — BTW: did you know “Bible” actually means “books”; i.e. at some point [all] books = “Bible”?), but AFAIK all of the New Testament happened later than everything written down in the Old Testament, right?

    And this story mentions *a son of God” (in translation, of course) — which means someone had already been thinking about that concept at a time before any of the New Testament was written down.

    My takeaway is a thing often spoken about in psychology: people see what the *WANT* to see. Our views are apparently very much shaped by our expectations.

    I don’t mean to be a doubting Thomas, but I do nonetheless acknowledge that visions can be very visionary… — and such. Acknowledgement sounds very balanced and reasonable, doesn’t it? Much better than think or dream or imagine or stuff like that, right?

    🙂 Norbert

    1. Hi Norbert! thank you so much for sharing in the joy with us, and for sharing this powerful insight. You’re so right – we see what we want to see. That’s important to remember when life throws us curve balls. True! Thanks for stoppin by! Hugs and love xox

  8. Congratulations on your engagement, Caralyn!
    Thank you for this post about being refined through suffering. I’ve bookmarked the version in Wine because I think it will help me in future.
    Love
    Penny xx

    1. Hi Penny! Thank you so much!! 🙂 yes – big or small, it is through suffering that we are shaped into the people God created us to be. Oh good! I’m so glad! Thank you for stopping by, my friend. Hope you have a great day! Hugs and love xox

  9. So happy for you and Steven. God bless you and keep you as you unite as one. Beautifully written post on suffering and being refined as gold. I’m sure it can be difficult for you at times to live fully for Christ in the world we live in today. Kind of like the one in Daniel’s day. Praying for you to stay focused on our One true God. Blessings in Christ.

    1. Thank you so much Charmé! I appreciate you sharing in the joy with us 🙂 Yes, that is definitely true – this world can be a bit of a jungle to say the least. Thank you for your prayers and for your kindness. I’ll definitely pass along your sentiments to Steven! Hugs and love xox

    1. Thank you so much — you’re absolutely right. there’s so much comfort and courage-inducing truth in those words. Glad you stopped by! Hugs and love xox

    1. Hi Amy! Thank you so much! Nice! I look forward to reading yours tomorrow 🙂 Same to you, my friend. I hope its meaningful and blessed! sending big big hugs xoxo

    1. thank you my friend 🙂 i appreciate you sharing in the joy with us. Hugs and love xox

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