Don’t Worry

I want to thank everyone for their prayers and support this last week. The outpouring of care and love from last Thursday’s post was so moving. We both are deeply grateful.

I wanted to share with you about an experience we had last weekend.

Steven, his family and I took a bit of a pilgrimage to the Shrine of Padre Pio in Pennsylvania over the weekend. Padre Pio was a huge source of courage and hope for Steven’s father during his battle with cancer.

A pilgrimage to the shrine of Padre Pio shined light on a truth to carry us through life. #catholic #faith #hope #jesus #god #bible #christianity #healing #prayer #edrecovery #padrepio #saint

For those who may be unfamiliar with Padre Pio, he was a contemporary Italian priest, who lived until 1968. He was made a Saint, and is most “famous” because he received the gift of the Stigmata — meaning that he had active wounds where Jesus was pierced in his hands, feet and side, for the fifty years – nearly the entirety of his life. He was even studied by medical professionals to verify this miracle. He is the patron saint of pain, suffering and healing — meaning that we pray WITH (not “to”) Padre Pio, and much like asking a friend to pray for us.

A pilgrimage to the shrine of Padre Pio shined light on a truth to carry us through life. #catholic #faith #hope #jesus #god #bible #christianity #healing #prayer #edrecovery #padrepio #saint

Anyway.

We all developed a special devotion to Padre Pio during this time.

And on Saturday, we took a road trip to visit a beautiful church where they keep one of the gloves that he wore to cover his stigmata wounds on his hand.

It was a really beautiful and powerful place to be. We learned all about his history, growing up in Italy, and his life as a priest with this incredible gift.

But there was one plaque that was really powerful, and I decided to take a photo so I could share it with you.

It reads:

Advice on Daily Living
Padre Pio well understood the journey of the soul on its quest for God. But he also had great compassion for the human person as he or she struggled to turn from worldliness and wrongdoing and strive toward holiness and righteousness. He gave them ten principles to follow to guide them through daily living.
1. Put your trust in Christ as your personal savior.
2. Know that you have no righteousness of your own.
3. Remember that good works come only through Christ.
4. Recognize that the devil is a real individual, bent on destroying you, but do not fear him.
5. Always pray to God and say, in every circumstance, “Thy will be done.”
6. Love the Cross.
7. Offer every action up to God.
8. Never worry.
9. Aspire to the heavenly prize.
10. Rejoice in the Lord.

A pilgrimage to the shrine of Padre Pio shined light on a truth to carry us through life. #catholic #faith #hope #jesus #god #bible #christianity #healing #prayer #edrecovery #padrepio #saint

I thought these were really powerful, simple, concise tidbits of advice that really struck home with me. Particularly number eight: never worry.

That’s because in everything, we can trust God. In everything we can put our complete trust on the fact that the Lord, because He is our Savior, and loves us, will work everything out for good for His children. What a powerful truth we can be assured of.

But in that, we must follow number 5: “Thy will be done” — even when saying that is difficult. Or painful. Or scary. Or upsetting.

This is something that I actually had to learn the hard way, at a very young age: when I developed and recovered from anorexia in my teens.

After I was well on the recovery road, I found myself really angry. I felt angry that I had to go through such a life-altering season.

I felt robbed of, what I thought at the time, were the “best years of my life” — as a teen in high school.

I felt cheated of a future where I could follow my dreams and not have been derailed with an eating disorder that made me throw away my ambition, my extracurriculars, my college plans, my passions.

I felt angry with regret about the relationships that I ruined by isolating with my anorexia, and not returning a phone call for 2 years.

And I felt deep regret about the destruction I inflicted on my body, resulting — at the time — with infertility and a broken metabolism.

I carried a lot of anger. A lot of it directed towards God. How could He allow that terrible season to happen?

And while I don’t know the answer to that specific question, what I do know, is that I wouldn’t have the strong faith I have today unless I walked that difficult road.

God was all I had left, standing there at 78 pounds — my hair had fallen out, I had completely destroyed all my relationships, my future plans, and standing there alone, across the country at an inpatient hospital with all my freedoms stripped from me, I realized that I had nothing left but God.

And praise be, He is all we need.

A pilgrimage to the shrine of Padre Pio shined light on a truth to carry us through life. #catholic #faith #hope #jesus #god #bible #christianity #healing #prayer #edrecovery #padrepio #saint

I also learned, through that season, how to truly take care of my body.

It ended up strengthening the relationships that actually mattered in my life.

And it put me on the path I am on today. Who knows where I would be, had I chased after a serious acting career in California, or a soccer scholarship somewhere else. Seems so foreign and uncomfortable to even try and imagine.

I ended up where I was supposed to be.

And that season of suffering shaped who I am, and only because I endured it, can I show up today as the woman you see before you.

But in order to come to the peace I have today about it, I had to surrender it — offer it up — to Jesus to redeem. “Thy will be done.”

And redeem it He did.

Walking out of that church on Saturday, we all got some keepsakes from the little gift shop. “Pray. Hope. And Don’t Worry.”

That is the Padre Pio motto.

And that is the motto I hope to live out, knowing that we can place all our trust in a God who loves us unconditionally.

To hear my story, click here.

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26 thoughts on “Don’t Worry

  1. I’m very glad that you had a rewarding trip. Inspirational sites like that really help us focus on things. We visited Notre Dame years before the fire. It was…awe-inspiring! Especially some of the relics we saw. Glad you made it back safely!

  2. Thank you for this. I’ve been facing some giants lately myself. Some people think the older we get, the more things we have worked out, the “wiser” we are spiritually. Not necessarily true! We are all on a pilgrimage, and posts like this one help very much to keep us pointed in the right direction. Thank you, and God bless you and Steven and families.

  3. Other than AMEN, nothing more needs to be said. Your eloquently selected words and images speak to many on many topics. God Bless and may you and Steven’s family continue to find peace in your grief.

  4. I am not a Catholic– I am a non-denominational Christian– but I so appreciate your genuine faith in, and love for, Jesus. I needed to hear each of these “tips” or attitudes today, because I can easily get legalistic and look at my own “good works” when in reality, only Jesus’ work on the cross for my salvation matters! We can rest in the fact that “It is Finished.”
    Praying for Steven, you, and your guys’ families. Much love xoxo

  5. Hey Caralyn…what a beautiful set of principles you shared! That “don’t worry” is a tough objective–but the perfect peace and comfort of the Holy Spirit helps ward off anxiety. I’ve been praying for you and Steven through Jeremiah 31:13b–for God to “turn your mourning to joy, to comfort you, and make you rejoice rather than sorrow.” May His Holy Spirit be your Comforter today and bring you peace in the coming months as you plan for marriage.

  6. I loved your statement and question of ‘I carried a lot of anger. A lot of it directed towards God. How could He allow that terrible season to happen?’
    And then answered it exactly by the very next line ‘what I do know, is that I wouldn’t have the strong faith I have today unless I walked that difficult road.’
    And in that one beautiful statement you have found God’s love within you. This journey, as hard as it can be, gives that one thing to us all…freely.
    Great post, and my question, now thrice answered, and by you for the third time, was in ‘trying’ to do something instead of just allowing Him to flow through an already open vessel. I was getting in my own way. So, for that, thank you, and to you both, love and light for your journey ❤️ 🙏🏽 🦋

  7. I am not religious but my husband is. When we were touring Italy, we stopped at St giovanni rotonda on the Gargano peninsula. I learnt what a modest and good man he was. It was a great shame the Church has turned his resting place into a tourist attraction.

  8. Absolutely beautiful, Carolyn. “I ended up where I was supposed to be.” This is such a true and powerful statement. God provides everything for us and when we realize that and surrender to Him, we never worry again. Padre Pio was an intelligent man of God. Your post is one of the best articles I have read in a long time. All the Glory goes to God!

  9. I think the thing I love the most about Padre Pio was is ability to be able to read everyone’s minds when it came to confession. He knew what people were going to confess when they entered the confessional, and he knew what they were afraid to confess. What a blessing for those who sought him out to convey the Lord’s forgiveness! And of course, as easily as he knew their sins, he forgot them as soon as the person was absolved. A good confessor is a gift to everyone who encounters him. Have a great day, Caralyn!

  10. Thanks for sharing this! Those are excellent principles expressed simply, and I will note them to remember. I’ve been worrying a lot lately, so “Never Worry” is a good reminder and a hard challenge.

    1. thank you Shauna, I appreciate your prayers. It means a lot. Hugs and love xox

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