What’s in a name?

EDITOR’S NOTE: I follow an interesting blog called BeautyBeyondBones. A victorious anorexia surviver writes BBB. She’s a Millennial and a devoted child of God. She’s in love with Jesus, who, she testifies, gave new life to her dead, dried up bones.
Her posts are often quirky. But, hey, she’s a Millennial. They’re all quirky, right?10-25-2016-10-17-53-am :>) ). She has a delightful, friendly, candid writing style that is at once fun and inspiring to read. Caralyn is an actress and writer in a big city where temptations of the world beckon her daily. In the midst of those constant temptations, Caralyn has vowed to remain a virgin until she marries. What a wonderful wedding gift for the man God will surely bless and prepare for her. Caralyn hopes her candid posts will minister to others suffering from eating disorders. I pray that her courageous decision to remain chaste until she marries will encourage other young people to make the same commitment. I’m sharing a recent post by her called What’s in a name? I know you’ll be blessed as you read it.You can read more of Carolyn’s life on her BeautyBeyondBones blog.

What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet…”

I know. I know. Now a days good ol’ Bill’s iambic pentameter is about as relevant as a MySpace profile in 2016.

OK OK, maybe an overstatement. After all, one of my favorite roles I ever portrayed was Lady Macbeth…

But I’ve gotta be honest…my boy, Leo DiCaprio in Romeo + Juliet was the best thing that ever happened to Shakespeare…

I know I’ve recently come out with my name, but what about BeautyBeyondBones?

I think a common misconception is that it is referring to my recovery from anorexia. From literally transforming from a skeletal frame to a healthy and vibrant young lady.

Which is true.

During the depths of my sickness, my skeletal frame was the physical manifestation of my interior brokenness. When I would look in the mirror, all I would see was the projection of my guilt, shame and inability to love myself. And I carried that into much of my early stages of recovery.

And I’m going to be honest with you. This aspect of my recovery – the mirror – has been one of the most difficult to shake. It has been an area where I can still get tripped up with – being so deeply disappointed in the reflection staring back at me – seeing only the pain I’ve caused my loved ones and deep shame I carry with me.

It wasn’t until I realized that my beauty comes from Christ living in my heart, that I truly began to heal. My physical body – my flesh, muscles, and bones – they’re beautiful, because they were “knit together in my mother’s womb” by the Lord. His handiwork.

But it goes beyond that.

I want to just pause here for a second, because when I was in my disease, my mother used to tell me that. And even though she was 100% right on the money, I didn’t want to hear it. I didn’t want to think about being a child of God. I wanted nothing to do with it. I just wanted to be alone with ED, self-destructing. Maybe you can relate.

Here’s something that I could have related to a bit more.

There’s a story in Ezekiel 37 that literally sums up my recovery. And it sums up Beauty Beyond Bones. I seriously almost fell out of my chair when I read it. Allow me to paraphrase:

God leads Ezekiel out into the desert where he is surrounded by tons of dead, dry, bones. Ezekiel asks God, “Can these dry bones live?” And the Lord breathed into the bones and they came to life. They came together, bone to bone, flesh appeared, and skin covered them. His “breath entered them, they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army.”  … God said, (13-14) “I will breathe my Spirit into you and you will live.”

I was that pile of dead, dry bones – both literally and figuratively. My hope was dried up, my body was dried up. I was lifeless: a shell of a human, without passion, without purpose, without hair, and without the belief that I could go on. I was a bunch of dead bones.

But Jesus breathed life into me. Into my dead bones, and brought them to life. He restored me. Restored my body, my spirit, my mind. He took the old, dead me, and gave me new life. He made me a new creation. 

Believing that my beauty is beyond bones has been a long and arduous journey. And if I’m really honest, I’m still on it. But every day, I’m getting closer. Every day, Jesus works a little more and more on my heart.

And I celebrate the fact that I am no longer that pile of dead, dry, bones. God has breathed life into me, and that, friends, is the beauty beyond bones.

You can read more of Caralyn’s writing on her blog at beautybeyondbones.com
Read the story that sums up her story in Ezekiel 37


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About Steven Sawyer

God blessed me with the gift of writing. Mom told me I wrote paragraphs in second grade when others were learning to write sentences. I spent more than three decades in professional writing gigs. For the past eight years I've combined my passion for writing with my love for the Lord. He and I write a Christ-centered, family-friendly blog to glorify God Monday-thru Friday at https://stevensawyer.wordpress.com/. My wife and I have four grown children and two precious granddaughters we co-parent with their mom. I'm a Galatians 2:20 disciple of Christ seeking to allow Christ to live His life in me, through me, and as me.

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