“I Broke Again”

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This past week, my fiancé, Steven, was in New Jersey with his family, and so I had the pleasure of spending my days at my parents’ home.

As you know, I am not living with Steven until we’re married in June. So even though we own this beautiful condo together — which I will be doing a video home tour of soon (as soon as our final piece of furniture arrives next week!) — I do not sleep there. I go back and forth to my parents’ house. Basically I leave their house at 7:30 am and I return at 11pm. It’s definitely a lot of commuting. BUT it’s good.


I was watching The Chosen with my mom, and one of the final episodes of Season 2 was where Mary Magdalene “falls off the wagon” and returns to the seedy bar where she was previously a prostitute. This entire episode is, of course, not in the Bible and the result of artistic freedom, however…I am okay with this little story arch being included because I believe it serves a very powerful purpose.

"He already fixed me once, and I broke again." How many times have I thought that in my recovery? This episode of The #Chosen speaks right to the heart of those in #recovery -- or for those struggling with repetitive sin. What do you think? #TheChosen #catholic #jesus #christianity #faith #god #edrecovery #healing

It’s interesting watching media through the lens of recovery. Sure, my recovery is from anorexia…which is a form of addiction in and of itself. But when it comes to recovery, the different veins — be it alcoholism, substance abuse, eating disorders, pornography, codependency, etc — all flow from the same heart. The recovery through-line is the same no matter how it manifests.

And so, watching media through that lens of recovery makes viewing the program very specifically nuanced. In Euphoria, for example, (which is a terrible show geared towards teens about drugs, alcohol and sex) when the main character is going through a drug bender…most people will think, “Wow, she’s out of control.” Whereas someone viewing through the lens of recovery would think, “Wow, I’ve been there and I know the manic overhaul this addiction is having on her, and gosh, to know the crushing pain this is causing her loved ones, and wow she’s got an incredibly long and arduous road ahead of her to be able to kick her addiction.”

It just…you see things differently — through shrouded viewpoints that only come from having walked a similar road.

Well. This episode with Mary Magdalene struck one of those shrouded viewpoints that one possesses through…falling off the wagon oneself.

Mary Magdalene, who is traveling with Jesus and the disciples, sees a Roman soldier one afternoon while she’s picking persimmons by herself, and she is immediately reminded of her shame. She used to “pick up” soldiers like that for her “profession.”

And she becomes so overtaken with that shame that she runs away, back to the bar where she used to work.

Jesus sends Matthew and Simon to go look for her. They find her: drunk, filthy, hair uncovered and vomiting in a back alley. And she says, He already fixed me once and I broke again.”

"He already fixed me once, and I broke again." How many times have I thought that in my recovery? This episode of The #Chosen speaks right to the heart of those in #recovery -- or for those struggling with repetitive sin. What do you think? #TheChosen #catholic #jesus #christianity #faith #god #edrecovery #healing

I broke again.

How many times have I thought that in my recovery…and in my life? How many times has that thought propelled me into a spiral of guilt and shame? How many times has the enemy used that to draw my attention away from Jesus, and continue to accelerate into sin?

Matthew and Simon are able to bring her back to the group where she then has to face Jesus. (Which also communicates the power and importance of having Christ-loving friends).

The Blessed Mother brings Mary by the hand to her Son, and this conversation between Jesus and Mary Magdalene spoke right to the heart of those in recovery.

And I just knew in my gut that, even though this wasn’t written in the Bible, I’m sure the writers wanted this moment to happen. It needed to.

Mary Magdalene: I’m so ashamed. You redeemed me and I just threw it all away. I owe You everything. I just don’t think I can do it. I can’t live up to it. I can’t repay You. 
Jesus: Well that’s true, but you don’t have to. I just want your heart. The Father just wants your heart. Give Us that and the rest will come in time. 
Mary Magdalene: I’m just so sorry. 
Jesus: Look up. Look at Me. I forgive you. It’s over. 

"He already fixed me once, and I broke again." How many times have I thought that in my recovery? This episode of The #Chosen speaks right to the heart of those in #recovery -- or for those struggling with repetitive sin. What do you think? #TheChosen #catholic #jesus #christianity #faith #god #edrecovery #healing

I don’t know who needs to hear this tonight, I know I do.

The weight of shame is crushing. It is paralyzing. Believe me, friends. I know.

The shame I carried around after recovering from my anorexia was debilitating. I wouldn’t look in the mirror at my reflection for years, thinking I was hideous, because all I saw was my guilt and shame written all over my face.

"He already fixed me once, and I broke again." How many times have I thought that in my recovery? This episode of The #Chosen speaks right to the heart of those in #recovery -- or for those struggling with repetitive sin. What do you think? #TheChosen #catholic #jesus #christianity #faith #god #edrecovery #healing

The deception. The lies. The throwing away of food. The bursts of rage and hateful words I spewed to my parents. Ruining my brother’s wedding and taking away from such a joyful day by being a gaunt spectacle. Causing my loved ones so much despair and heartache, while all the while manipulating their love and trust for the benefit of the eating disorder. Not to mention throwing away my future prospects, dreams, passions, talents, hobbies, friendships…everything.

The price of an eating disorder — the price of any addiction — is a debt that you can never repay nor repair.

Not without Jesus.

This conversation with Mary after she reverted to her sin…it is one that I have had to have with Jesus many times.

And the compunction that comes from doing the very thing that Jesus rescued me from in the first place…that is a heaviness I wish upon no one.

And sure, their conversation isn’t Scripturally-based. It’s not a direct quote from Jesus. But the sentiment is the same:

Keep our eyes on Jesus: Look at Him. Lift our eyes out of our shame, and look into His. Repent. Give Him our heart. And receive His forgiveness and love.

And perhaps that last part is the hardest.

I’m so glad that The Chosen decided to include this little storyline in the series, because — whether you’ve battled an addiction or not — falling into the habit of repetitive sin: it is something that every single one of us struggles with. It is something that plagues all of us…because we’re human.

If we could have saved ourselves, we wouldn’t have needed a Savior.

He already fixed me once, and I broke again.

We are all deeply broken. Which is why Jesus’ grace, mercy and redemption is so amazing.

Thank goodness His saving power is not a “one-time-fix” coupon. But rather, one that grows with us, and encompasses every stumble, every slip up, every tumble we take off the wagon.

Thank you, Jesus. Your grace is truly Amazing.

What do you think? Do you feel a connection with Mary Magdalene’s character in The Chosen? Or which character do you identify with most in the series?

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To hear my story, click here.

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27 responses to ““I Broke Again””

  1. So beautiful! And one of the things I loved about this episode is that scene you mentioned with Mother Mary leading Mary by the hand to Jesus. That’s what she does. Mother Mary leads us to Jesus. She takes us by the hand and leads us to her Son. That’s her role. We just have to ask her for help when we feel too small, too ashamed, or too lacking to go to Him ourselves. Jesus always wants us to go to Him, but sometimes we need someone like Mary to take our hand and lead us there.

    • Thank you Amy! Yes! I thought that was such a beautiful depiction of Mother Mary’s role in our walk with Christ! Amen to that! You put that so beautifully, Amy – sometimes we need a little help to get there. Thank you for stopping by! Hope you have a wonderful weekend! Hugs and love xox

  2. Great thoughts! Just FYI – In the story, Mary didn’t pick up soldiers. An earlier flashback showed that she was raped by a soldier so seeing the soldier triggered her fear. She was abused and taken advantage of by men, especially when the demons were controlling her. The series shows her addictions as alcohol and gambling not prostitution. Dallas discusses this in some of his behind the scenes videos. This is such a great series!

    • Hi Susan, oh my gosh I didn’t catch that! Oh that is so terrible. Yes – that would definitely trigger that fear. My goodness. And great insight! I will definitely have to check out those behind the scenes videos! Thanks! Hugs and love xox

    • The videos with Dallas are really worth it for insight. I was initially really put off by that episode and thinking I would not watch anymore, but his video changed my mind and I actually had to think about why I had such a visceral reaction.

  3. Your comment are well said and pointed. Keep up the good writing and YouTubing. May our Lord richly bless you and your soon-to-be husband.

    • thank you jb! i appreciate your encouraging words! 🙂 yes! the countdown to the wedding is on! Hugs and love xox

  4. I haven’t seen the movie but I can feel how powerful it is through you, Caralyn. Wow. God bless you! 🙏🏻❤️

  5. Also in recovery, this impacted me greatly. After several times binge watching The Chosen, I learn other lessons about prevention from falling off the wagon: 1. She was alone and would have been stronger if she has allowed a following friend to be with her, hearing another voice of reason; 2. She was listening to the fear instead of Jesus’ words; 3. She went back to the familiar awful (having forgotten that never worked for long before) rather than the new love. And I saw these as great lessons for someone in recovery. Just a different set of eyes studying the same film. Much love and hugs!😃❤️

  6. I just subscribed to your YouTube Channel. I love The Chosen. I understand some of it is artistic license such as Mary Magdalene falling by the wayside after meeting Jesus. It made for compelling drama and had a powerful message. BUT the whole narrative of her being a prostitute is not in the bible only a legend not substantiated anywhere. We only know Jesus healed her of seven demons.

  7. Everyone who is in recovery from an addiction of any kind would be comforted by Mary Magdalene’s storyline in The Chosen. I identified with her guilt and shame completely. But my Savior can forgive me more times than I can relapse. And that makes me want to emulate Him more every day. What a compassionate God we serve!

  8. I mentioned The Chosen to you a long while back. So glad you’ve “caught the bug.” Can’t wait for you to see season three.

  9. Yes I hear you Carolyn and understand that Dallas included this in the Chosen story because it also mirrored his own life struggles. All that being said, I wish he had picked a different character to illustrate the point as the Bible does not give even a hint of any such thing. So glad this has helped you and we are still watching The Chosen(we just finished watching season 3). I wish you and Steven all the best and many blessings as you wait for June!

    • Thanks so much for sharing your journey to recovery and the comparison with Mary Marthaline.
      I started watching the Chosen, and what I realized is you have to know the Bible stories to understand the storyline. Some of the parts that are added are not in the Bible. I believe the producer did it for entertainment.

      This will be far-reaching when you share this blog storyline on YouTube.
      Your real-life experience stated in this blog post will touch many who need to know that being broken is part of the journey to recovery as long as they recognize Jesus is waiting for them to come back.

      I have not gone through such an experience but I have a strong compassion for those who go through such and desire to see than recover.
      I pray that people will find through your social media platforms the encouragement and the path they need to healing and recovery from all they have lost.
      Have you done any ads on your recovery journey? I believe it will reach a larger audience.

  10. I’m very glad you wrote this article in this specific way! I just spoke with some dear friends in Florida who wanted to know what I thought of The Chosen including non-Biblical narratives like this one in the series. I haven’t seen The Chosen yet (will later) so I wasn’t sure how to answer them. They were not sure they liked this poetic license. Your article here is the perfect answer to their question. It’s a plausible scenario to illustrate a real doctrine. THAT makes it a good “artistic” choice in my opinion.

    It also gave you another way to continue writing your blog and remain fresh, which you continue to do. And you really hit the ball out of the park with this one! I’m so very glad your YouTube channel will not be replacing this blog site. It’s a valuable and needed ministry to ED sufferers and non- ED sufferers. ❤️

  11. I was looking again at your post, and Mary’s story captured in the Chosen series is so good. It’s hard to grasp how great God’s love is, and how he is so willing to forgive us even at our lowest points – when we feel broken and like there is no hope.

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