Trusting When Times are Hard

Yesterday we laid Steven’s father to rest.

It has been a tragic time, yet filled with so much love and prayers from loved ones as we pray for his soul entering Heaven. The familial support has been beautifully overwhelming – with how his entire extended family has physically been here, day and night during the mourning process. It has been profoundly moving to experience.

And I thank you for all your messages of prayer and support during this intensely difficult time.

Three things that I wanted to share with you tonight:

First – that Steven’s father was able to be a part of the engagement proposal.

When we're going through trials, we often ask: Where is #God? Where is He when I need him most? The answer is as simple as it is comforting. #grief #loss #catholic #christianity #faith #jesus #easter #bible #prayer

This is why it was so incredibly meaningful and special. (And also why I cried so hard, as you could see on the video). I thank God so much that he was able to witness it, and see his son’s future play out before his eyes.


Best proposal ever 😭 @illest_picage The music was so in sync with the moment! @Moira Dela Torre #proposal #isaidyes #weddingtiktok #engaged #engagement #proposalvideo @Tiffany&Co.

♬ original sound – beauty.beyond.bones

Second – I wanted to share something from the priest’s homily at his funeral mass yesterday. The priest — a young guy — shared how, since he was a boy, he would get seizures every day — for about 10 years. Only in the last several years has he found a medication that keeps it under control. But there was a long time, where he felt really angry at God about it. Asking himself, where is God when I’m on the floor?! And his spiritual advisor told him, God is on the floor with you.

It was really beautiful to be reminded yesterday, that God is with us in our suffering. When we are at our lowest, when we think God has abandoned us, or can’t see us — or worse: doesn’t care…the fact of the matter is that, He’s on the floor with us in our suffering.

That’s something that we’ve really been clinging to during this time of sorrow. In particular, Fr. Mike’s homilies. Over the last 7 weeks of Lent, leading up to Easter, he has spent one week on each of the last seven phrases of Jesus on the Cross. And I’ve gotta tell you – it’s like during this time, each of the homilies has been written just for us, sharing a nugget of God’s wisdom that we really needed to hear.

But Holy Thursday’s homily was just — wow it was so powerfully moving.

Which leads my to my third thing tonight — sharing that homily with you. It’s brief — only about 17 minutes. And I’ve shared it below… It starts at 13:12. And I hope that it brings you as much comfort as it has brought us.

Thank you again for all the support and prayers and concern. We feel your love and consolation through the screen, as we remember and celebrate such an incredible man.

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96 responses to “Trusting When Times are Hard”

  1. Death is so different for a Christian. Sadness yes but despair none. Loss yes but victory so sweet. Caralyn I can grieve with you but know your Shepherd is leading you and protecting you. Prayer continues. Thanks for sharing such personal emotions. John

    • Thank you John, for this comforting note. Amen – despair none. Thank you again for your continued prayers. Hugs and love xox

  2. So sorry, Caralyn. Continuing to pray for you and Steven’s family. I’ve left you more messages on IG dm. Praying God gives you peace for the weekend. 🤗🙏

    • thank you so much Kenneth, I appreciate your continued prayers and kindness. It really means the world, truly. passing along to Steven. Hugs and love xox

  3. Prayers of comfort and peace to you and your loved ones. Never an easy time, and beautiful reminders to cling to our hope in Christ.

    • Thank you Eden for your prayers and kindness. You’re right – we can cling to Jesus in these times. Hugs and love xox

  4. Hi, BBB, I have been absent from your readership for quite a while now, but I returned not too long ago to wish you well. I am sorry for this loss you have encountered.

    In any case, I noticed that in a tweet not so long ago, your blog had described potential subject matter for–getting married? I think that is so, and I wanted to present kind wishes from my abode north of the border in the Canadian province of Ontario. It was nice to read your blog from time to time when so many other things seemed overwhelming.

    Good luck, and let The Lord continue to reign in your life!

    • Thank you so much Odell, I really appreciate your kind words and support, it truly means a lot. And yes! we are newly engaged. thank you for sharing in that joy with us. it has been a bright spot during a very difficult time. thank you for your friendship and readership over the years. you are a blessing to me. Hugs and love xox

      • Sorry to comment so late. I have just now read what you replied to me four days ago. I am sure it is a difficult time with what’s happened in the family of your significant other.

  5. Caralyn, may the God of all comfort, give comfort to Steven, yourself and your extended family. So good he could participate by participate by watching the marriage proposal. Since he knew Jesus, there is no doubt where he is, enjoying his welcome home party. Prayers, hugs and love!

    • thank you so much for your prayers, kindness and support. it means the world. you’re right – it was so beautiful that he was there. i will pass along your sentiments to steven. Hugs and love xox

  6. I am so sorry for you loss and may God’s love surround you and Steven’s family. There are no coincidences really…we also have been following Fr. Mike and find great comfort in his messages as well. Sending peace and love.

    • thank you so much for your kindness and support. Yes – Fr. Mike is truly a blessing. He certainly has a gift. i will pass along your sentiments to Steven. Hugs and love xox

  7. Every father is a son; every son has a father. Those of us who were fortunate enough to have known our fathers, been taught by them, loved by them, guarded by them, prayed for by them, we have been truly blessed. I would tell Steven (and you) that after a time of grief the memories and the lessons will still remain and become more joyful and precious over the years.

    I am 71 years old. I have two older brothers, and we still talk about the things Dad taught us, his influence on our lives, and the things from him we tried to pass on to our children and now our grandchildren.

    God Bless You both in this time, and may your families be comforted knowing a life lived in Christ is for eternity.

    • Thank you so much Myron for your kindness and prayers during this difficult time. You’re right- Steven’s father was such an incredible blessing to everyone fourtunate enough to cross his path. That is a beautiful piece of advice. And wow – that is powerful. You’re right- that advice and the memories will live on in the hearts of those who love him. that is a task that Steven is honored to carry on. Thank you for your wonderful support. it means the world. Hugs and love xox

  8. So very very sorry about your loss together…I know this is so hard for Stephen and you both. May the Holy Spirit’s comfort and peace be with you and your family…am praying for you this evening. ✝️

    • Thank you so much for your support, and prayers and kindness. We have definitely felt the Holy Spirit’s comfort covering all of us during this time. Passing along your sentiments to Steven. Hugs and love xox

  9. Praying that God’s peace will fill your Fiancé’s heart and yours during this time! Such a tough experience to go through. God is good and He’s there for you despite what things may seem like!

    • Thank you so much Michal for your prayers and kind words of support and encouragement. you’re right – He is right there with us in our grieving. We can cling to that truth. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Abigail, for your prayers and support. it truly means the world. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you Greg, I appreciate that so much. I will pass along your kindness to Steven. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Krista for your kindness, I will certainly pass that along to Steven. Hugs and love xox

    • thank you again <3 I told Steven that you shared that poem with me, and he was so moved. He also told his mom. They were both moved and very grateful. Hugs and love xox

    • Thank you so much Karen for your kindness and support during this difficult time. passing it along to Steven as well. Hugs and love xox

  10. First of all Caralyn congrats to you & Steven on your engagement. When’s the wedding lol! Secondly I just lost the only uncle I had to Cancer recently and just before his 90th birthday

    • Thank you so much for your prayers and kindness. I will definitely pass them along to Steven and his family. it means so much. Hugs and love xox

  11. I’m so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to celebrate one part of life and mourn the other, especially when you’re mourning both your loss and your loved one’s loss. My husband’s father passed away 6 days before our wedding and navigating the combination of sorrow and joy was overwhelming. Please remember to take care of your own emotions and wellbeing, as you’re also helping Steven and his family as well. Sending prayers of blessing and comfort

    • Thank you so much Kelsi for your kind words and prayers. That means so much, and I will absolutely pass them along to Steven and his family. Oh gosh, that is so tough, I’m sorry to hear that. Yes — that combination of sorrow and joy is overwhelming, and I can only imagine the difficult it was to navigate that day, with everything happening simultaneously. thank you again for your support. means the world. Hugs and love xox

    • thank you so much for the prayers and support. I will definitely pass along your kindness to steven. means the world. Hugs and love xox

  12. Please convey my condolences to, Steven. Memory eternal to his father for whom I will be lighting a candle the next time I am in church. Hugs to ALL of you.

    • Thank you so much Melissa for your kindness and prayers. That really means so much that you will light a candle for him. I will certainly pass along your support to Steven and his family. Hugs and love xox

  13. Eternal rest grant unto him, O Lord, and may perpetual light shine upon him. May the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.

    And may God wrap you and your whole family in His comforting arms. <3

    • Thank you so much Athena, I appreciate your prayers and support – it truly means the world. Yes – In His loving arms is where we know he is right now, and we are clinging to Jesus in this difficult time. Hugs and love xox

  14. Caralyn, I’ve been praying for you, Steven, and both families as have so many people. I told you the miracle of how God healed my lungs right after Julie prayed with the chaplain. Please allow me to “bend” the phrase you used in your post to see the miracle of his dad’s passing.

    “Laid him to rest.” I know it’s the common expression, but it ever so subtly places responsibility on us instead of God. He was at rest days before the burial. God ROSE him to rest! He is now experiencing the same thing as the man I sent you the link about, who died and saw heaven and Jesus, angels, and more. The angels – huge and each one projecting incredible power even as they sang to God. Jesus Himself, radiating love that was so pure and all-consuming that nothing phased him.

    This is what comforted me when my younger sister died last year. I hope that It comforts you and Steven. I hope you get some time to listen to the podcast I sent so you can hear everything in detail yourself. It is extremely moving and comforting!

    Love and hugs to you and Stephen! When the dust settles, I hope I can meet him with you on a call.

    • God rose him to rest – oh wow. What a powerful shift in perspective. Wow. that has just given me so much comfort and hope and — joy. Thank you Jeff, for your support and your prayers and for being there for us. It truly means the world. You are a prayer warrior and I find so much comfort knowing that you’re remembering Steven’s father in your prayers as well. That perspective truly is so comforting — thank you for sharing that. Know that I am keeping you and your healing and your family in my prayers as well. We’re taking a car trip to his favorite church tomorrow, and I will play the podcast in the car for steven. Thank you again, for being a wonderful friend, Jeff. You’re a blessing to me and us. hugs to you and your girls. xox

  15. I’m just so sorry, Steven and Caralyn. I have prayed for you both and your families since I first read this. Remember that “…underneath are the everlasting arms.” We are never lower than God’s arms under us to hold us up.

    • Aw, Patty, thank you so much for your prayers and kindness and support during this difficult time. it truly means the world, and I have passed along your sentiments and that quote to Steven. how very comforting. Hugs and love xox

  16. Caralyn, as I read the words of the priest, I was reminded of Isaiah 43:2 which says: “When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.” He is truly with us wherever we find ourselves. On the mountaintops and in the valleys. In our highs and in our lows. I pray these words are encouraging to you and Steven. Blessings!!

    • Thank you so much Roy for this powerful note of encouragement. You’re right – He is with us. We will not drown. I sang the hymn, You are near, at his funeral, and the lyrics were that. How comforting indeed. Thank you for your prayers — it means the world. i will pass them along to Steven.Hugs and love xox

  17. Condolences to yourself and Steven on the loss of his father. Congratulations on your engagement.

    I feel like you & I are kindred spirits in our faith journey! I was reading your article about the young priest. While I was reading, I thought “How wonderful to have found a priest you feel connected with. I got chills when I read your post and saw whom you were speaking about…I found Fr. Mike Schmitz through “Living Faith”-it’s a Daily Devotional.

    I found his “Bible in a Year” podcast. I started to listen to him. I asked my husband if he wanted to listen with me, which he agreed. Every morning, it’s a part of our routine to listen to Fr. Mike Schmitz! I love his reading, his style of explaining the bible and the reading.

    • Thank you friend – I really appreciate that. Yes – a wide range of emotion here recently, but gosh, we were so glad that he was able to be a part of it. Oh nice! Fr. Mike is really a blessing to the Catholic and Christian communities. I have been wanting to listen to his Bible in a Year podcast! We’ll give it a shot. Thank you for sharing in the joy and for your support. means a lot, I will pass along to Steven. Hugs and love xox

  18. “God did not keep bad things from happening to God himself and there is no darkness into which he has not descended. He knows the texture and taste of everything I most fear.” Tish Harrison Warren, Prayer in the Night
    ❤️&🙏, c.a.

    • Wow, what an incredibly powerful quote. So true. Thanks CA, for sharing that. it offers a lot of comfort. passing it along to steven. Hugs and love xox

  19. Praying strength, and the comfort of His presence with each of you in this time. Thank you so much for sharing this message! It’s very special and I will be sharing it with someone! 🙏🏻♥️

    • thank you so much for your kindness and prayers. It really means so much – I will absolutely pass it along to Steven. Sending so much love and hugs xox

  20. I cannot believe how long I have been following your blog. Since 2013 I believe. A friend of my daughter had just died as a result of an eating disorder. It was almost an accidental decision to write about it. You became one of my very early followers. I was new to the whole field of eating disorders. I did not feel I would relate to your blog, yet somehow I did. I found so many connections between my experience of abuse and yours of an eating disorder. It has also been great to feel so welcome in a place where you and many of your followers hold views very different from my own. You have all taught me a great deal, even if I still oftenn disagree.
    I found myself wishing I had held out for a guy prepared to leave a trail of rose petals.
    More important than that however is the fact that you and Stephen are longstanding friends. Friendship is in my view a fantastic foundation for a marriage. So beautiful to see you there for each other through the good times and the challenges. Congratulations again to you both.

    • Wow, I am truly so moved by your note of love and encouragement. Thank you for being on the journey with me all these years. You are truly a great friend and a blessing in my life, and I mean that from the bottom of my heart. It’s remarkable how trials – though different – similarly unite hearts in the journey of healing. There is beauty in such support. And yes – I feel very blessed and lucky to have found Steven. I can truly say that God has shaped our hearts for one another — I know marriage is not a cake walk, and it will be hard and have lots of ups and downs, but you’re right – that foundation of friendship has allowed me to really know this man, whom I am going to unite with in marriage. And that is something I’m very grateful for. Thank you for such kind words, I will absolutely pass them along to Steven. Sending so much love and hugs to you xox

  21. Praying peace over you and Steven and his family. I haven’t commented on your posts in a while but I read and like each one of them nonetheless.

    Cling to your memories of his dad and laugh and cry over them often and unashamedly. I lost my father when I was 17 so that grief is all too familiar, it’s been 21 years since and I still choke up over him not being apart of the past few decades but find comfort in the couple I did have with him…I also got to witness him turn to Christ the last few years of his life…nothing better than that.
    Yes, reflect and soak in those blessed memories you have of Steven’s dad.❤️🙏Celebrating with you that he could see your engagement, congrats to such a beautiful couple.

    • Thank you so much Ali, for your prayers and support. They truly mean so much, and I will absolutely pass them along to Steven and his family. You’re right – we’re clinging to those memories – watching home movies, looking at old photos, etc. And gosh — I am so sorry, my friend, that you had to walk this difficult road at such a young age. Gosh – my heart goes out to you now, and you as a seventeen year old girl, having her life turned upside down. And that is so amazing that he embraced Christ. We can rejoice in his return to his eternal home with our Lord, knowing that you will one day reunite with him in Paradise. Yes – that fact that he was there for it has definitely been such a joy and light in the midst of such sorrow. Thank you for this comforting and beautiful response. sending so much love. xoxo

  22. Trusting when times are hard can be very difficult. The older I have become I fine Romans 8:28 has been a focal verse and one that I dwell upon routinely when tough times are happening. This will not help me to understand but that “all things work together for the good for those who love the Lord! Amen! Many blessings to you!

    • Hi James, thank you for your kind words and for sharing this powerful verse with me. I will absolutely pass it along to Steven. sending big hugs to you xox

  23. Jesus Christ tells us in the Bible that he is the Way, the Truth, and the Life and there is no way to the father except through Him. This is really a boiler plate moment where total truth is revealed. Tell me about your beliefs about the way to heaven and how Jesus Christ is the Way. Have you accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and personal Savior and how does he play a role in your life? Many blessings to you!

  24. Please share this with Steven. My mother sent it to me years ago and I love it.

    Henry Scott Holland 1847-1918
    I am standing upon the seashore.
    A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the morning breeze
    and starts for the blue ocean.
    She is an object of beauty and strength.
    I stand and watch her until at length she hangs
    like a speck of white cloud
    just where the sea and sky
    come to mingle with each other.
    Then someone at my side says: “There, she is gone!” “‘Gone where?”
    Gone from my sight. That is all.
    She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
    as she was when she left my side and she is just as able to bear her load of
    living freight to her destined port.
    Her diminished size is in me, not in her.
    And just at the moment when someone at my side says
    “There, she is gone!”
    there are other eyes watching her coming,
    and other voices ready to take up the glad shout,
    “Here she comes!” And that is dying.

    • Steven’s father is in a better place, literally. Heaven is much more than the absence of pain. It is all that, but God is there, the Father, Son (Jesus) & Holy Spirit. There are places to see, things to do: Heaven is a world that is bigger than our galaxy. When he gets there, there’s a place called ‘The Welcome Center.’ It’s there, because the shock of Heaven being so real, people need an introduction to it. Celebrate his promotion to eternal life.

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