New Beginnings

This still feels very surreal to write. We bought a house. Actually…God provided a house and then provided the means for us to purchase it. Opening absolutely EVERY door. We weren’t in the market. In fact, if it was up to me and my timeline we wouldn’t be in the market for several years. Jonathan and I were just beginning to have an idea of what stability in our marriage could maybe, possibly look like…and the pain of the past was nowhere close to fully healed. We were still neck deep in the muck slogging it out with a counselor. Making progress but definitely not ready for home shopping. The mere thought of entering the house hunt in Seattle made me want to curl up in my cozy little rental, bury my face in my Netflix queue and forget about it. Until God showed up.

I am careful to not over spiritualize these things because undoubtedly there will be people who read this and are fervently praying for their own home and waiting on God for the right property and moment. I also do not want to discount the very practical way that God intervenes and provides in our lives. It is a tension we live in as Christians since we do not have the full understanding of God’s ways. But for us, this was clearly from God.

How do I know? We were not looking for a house. We were out to lunch sharing our story. Our journey is mired with pain and darkness but there is an undeniable redemptive arc that has played through it all. Our situation, in all practical ways, seemed beyond hope and restoration but we have lived (and are living) an absolute miracle. It has been a difficult journey but we know God will use our testimony to speak His hope into many more lives. We don’t yet know how this will fully play out but God had given Jonathan a specific vision.

The home we establish will be a sanctuary. A sanctuary for people whose lives/marriages are in the initial stages of trauma recovery and they need a safe space to stay. To breathe. To catch glimpses of hope even though it feels beyond what is possible. It was to be called “The Haven”. Wow, right? He’d had this vision several times. I like my space and if I’m totally honest the entire concept overwhelmed me. I’m fine connecting with people on my terms but to have them in our home?…our space?…yikes. WAY outside my comfort zone. Good thing we live in the red hot Seattle housing market where it is difficult to afford a normal family home let alone a space that can accommodate this…right God? Right? Forget getting into the housing market this particular vision felt like MANY years down the road. And I was OK with that. 🙂

PS - I love the images from the WORD+design Etsy shop. Check them out.

PS – I love the images from the WORD+design Etsy shop. Check them out.

Until it wasn’t. Until our friends, after hearing the vision, mentioned that they were looking to put a home on the market that matched what Jonathan described. A home we could occupy NOW that makes this vision not only possible but sustainable. And not just the vision of ministry but my own personal vision of the house I would love to make a home. Down to the smallest details. Details I thought I would need to settle on but he provided abundantly more. I have shed many tears reflecting on how well God knows me and how much He loves me. I have also reflected on how he gently molds me because the only way this home is financially sustainable is if there are people living in it with us. OK deep breath…time to let go of some control and sacrifice some personal space. 🙂

It was still an overwhelming decision. Buying a home is overwhelming in its own right because it’s a huge amount of money and responsibility but it was also overwhelming because we weren’t ready. Personally, this was doubling down on a process that was still…IN PROCESS. It forced us to decide and act based on how committed we were to seeing this through. Sounds easy? In reality…not so easy. But through personal prayer and engaging our community it was clear this was the right move. So we moved into the uncertainty…trusting that He WILL work our healing and restoration out to completion.

I could take photos and create my own Pinterest worthy montage of images but that feels too intimate for the blog. This home. This space feels like a love letter to us. A way for God to establish a new beginning. A Haven for us and for those who are clinging to hope. I am humbled and in awe He has blessed us in this way and I am preparing my heart for what the future will hold. In whatever timeline God has because goodness knows I am unable to predict. 🙂

Blessings,

Lynnea

Seven years

Well hello there…what do you know another anniversary. 🙂 This one is my 7th wedding anniversary and if my Facebook feed is any indication there are many people in my life that share a similar anniversary. I see a smiling photo or a throw back from the wedding day with a caption stating something along the lines of:

___ years ago I married the love of my life, I am so thankful for the many wonderful years. You are my best friend, my confidant, my rock. You are humble, incredible, amazing and I look forward to the rest of our life together.

They are obviously not all the same but you get the idea of the sentiment.

I am glad there are marriages out there that can make this claim. I can’t in good conscious write those words because it would not be true. We haven’t lived 7 blissful years. In fact at times it’s been a down right struggle. If I’m brutally honest with myself I know part of me got married because I was afraid of being alone (I find this incredibly ironic now). I was afraid I would never be loved. Jonathan had similar fears around being fully known and rejected. We were both operating from a very wounded place and these fears orchestrated a dance between us of control and escapism. We had good moments and a many fun adventures but for a long time our marriage didn’t bring life to either one of us. In fact it brought more loneliness, frustration and pain.

I was ashamed of the reality of our marriage. I wanted it to be better and I felt like I was failing. It was a very hard place to accept because, generally, I work extremely hard to not fail. I went into our marriage knowing it was work…I was able and willing to work hard…but was it supposed to be this much work?? Was it supposed to be this hard?

3.5 years ago I found myself stuck in the Netherlands in a dead marriage with no good practical options to change my situation…but I was done. I didn’t necessarily want a divorce but I didn’t see any other options. I was apathetic, disengaged and ready to throw in the towel…it just wasn’t working and I felt like we both deserved better.

God was consistently working on my heart and renewed my HOPE that He was the other option. He was my only option. He could really could break into this “hopeless” situation and establish a NEW marriage. It wasn’t a lost cause but I couldn’t do it…He needed to. This is the HOPE I claimed to believe and it was now time to step out in faith. I tried really hard for a really long time and got nowhere.

So, I let go and trusted that God would show up. That He would move this mountain. And boy did He ever but it took cancer…and separation…and 3.5 years of extremely painful cleansing and healing. Facing demons and allowing grace to rebuild and restore. (Side note: it’s not in my theology that God GAVE me cancer…but boy did He use it as a tremendous refining season in my life)

And even though I have been married to the same man for 7 years, I have the beginnings of a new marriage. It feels strange to write that because there were many moments I didn’t think it was possible. I wasn’t sure if people and circumstances could really change. These are lies that keep us stuck. And God doesn’t want us stuck…he wants us free.

And, honestly, my heart is the most free it has ever been. And I am extremely thankful.

So here is my version of the anniversary Facebook post:

Jonathan, 7 years ago we had no idea what we were in for. We have hung on and fought through heart wrenching years where most people would have given up…clinging to fingernails of hope and faith that God can move mountains. I can honestly say I am more free and happy for it but it was (and still is at times) an extremely difficult season. While I don’t like where we started, I truly love the trajectory we are on now and hope it continues for the rest of our lives. Our marriage has the beginning of a new foundation built on faith, honesty and intimacy. I have complete respect for the man you are and are becoming. Your kindness and generosity towards others. Your humility in the healing process. And your perseverance in allowing God to bring greater levels of freedom in your heart and in our marriage. Your playfulness and silliness helps keep my heart young. I am extremely thankful we are still together and that God really does work miracles.  I am also thankful I can write these words from an honest heart place. Happy Anniversary, I love you, but sure would appreciate it if the next 7 years are a bit more peaceful. 😉

Blessings,

Lynnea

Enjoying an afternoon in the park during this beautiful Seattle summer

Enjoying an afternoon in the park during this beautiful Seattle summer

A God that provides

I will confess upfront that I don’t know how to begin or write this blog post. So many things changed so quickly that every time I thought about writing I stopped…overwhelmed at the thought of attempting to summarize even a portion of what I was experiencing. The longer I waited…the longer the list got…the more daunting it felt…and then it was easier to just avoid. I’m breaking the cycle now and going for it.

I have spent these last few months in awe of the way God has shown up in this transition 27cebb510da807eaa58fdd5462145c4bprocess and how it has been confirmed over and over that Seattle is the place for me right now. Things I needed were abundantly provided for and (at times) it has actually been difficult to believe and recieve. I found myself holding my breath afraid that the slightest disruption would cause everything to unravel.

I don’t know if you remember this post from the summer about stepping into the unknown (It’s been a long time, I understand 🙂 ) but I’ll recap. I had been drawn back to Seattle since the spring of 2013 but due to some large obstacles, uncertainties and things I didn’t want to let go of I stayed in the Netherlands. I told God that “If He wanted me back in Seattle…HE needed to move me back”.  And boy did He ever…but it took me stepping out in faith and making a bold decision to move before I knew where all the pieces were going to land.

So, I booked my ticket and took a deep breath…apprehensively ready to face the checklist involved with in an intercontinental move. The big ones:

  1. Moving: Packing, Selling, organizing and shipping my stuff – UGH
  2. Job hunting from abroad: Updating my resume, searching for positions and with any luck interviews – DOUBLE UGH

I will be honest and say that I had resigned myself to the fact that I might find some job prospects from Europe and maybe even have some phone interviews…but practically speaking it would be difficult to actually land a job before I was physically present in Seattle. I did trust that God would provide the right place in the right timing, I guess I just assumed some practical boundaries on that timing. Silly me.

In preparation for the impending job search I dusted off my LinkedIn profile and began reaching out to old connections. I searched Craigslist and other job sites. I was internally connected to a few positions at Philips in Seattle but roles that didn’t seem like the perfect fit. LinkedIn, in its helpfulness, would send me opportunities I might be interested in…in China…and California…and a few in Seattle but again nothing very inspiring. One day there was a banner ad for an engineering position at Starbucks. Really? Why does Starbucks need engineers? It was something that seemed more like a click generator rather than an actual position.

My curiosity was piqued and through a little internet hunting I was able to find the original job position on the actual Starbucks website. Hmmm…this could be a legit job posting. I guess Starbucks needs engineers? Strange.

So, I tuned my resume and submitted all my info into their web based hiring portal – also known as the black hole of time and energy since the response rate from these things is abysmal.

To my surprise they contacted me. I guess someone does read these submissions. 🙂 After MANY Skype interviews over a few weeks…they made an offer for a role as a Senior Equipment Development…and I accepted…5 weeks before I was scheduled to leave the Netherlands.

It all moved so quickly but I felt complete peace about the role. I just didn’t really believe it was real.

This position is a fantastic fit for me…technical and relational. Starbucks is a very dynamic environment and, from my experience so far, they really do care for their employees. And it turns out, they need engineers…DESPERATELY. Next time you stand at the counter look beyond the barista and your foamy beverage…they touch a tremendous amount of technical equipment. And now one of the people developing that equipment is ME.

Coming home with a job was already a HUGE provision but this is where God blew me away. Do you remember me telling God that if He wanted me back in Seattle He needed to move me back? In making that statement I felt stubborn and selfish but I was also exhausted. Life had just knocked me out with a 1, 2, 3 combination and I didn’t have the energy (or desire) to make that step on my own. If this was a direction He wanted me to move I needed the door opened…I needed something.

Well…my new position at Starbucks included a relocation package that took care of EVERYTHING. Packing in the Netherlands, moving, unpacking in Seattle, flying, translating my medical documents. EVERYTHING. I was honest with them. They knew I was coming home either way but they wanted to do whatever they could to make my experience working here as positive as possible. Crazy.

God not only opened the door, He kicked it in off its hinges.

OK…I guess Seattle is where I need to be.

I never would have found this position if I hadn’t already made the decision to move back to Seattle.

I RISKED into uncertainty first and took a step. The initial 2 months after I bought my ticket were extremely difficult. But I trusted and it felt as if God was encouraging my faith and trust by completely blowing me away in this move.

I am going to end this by saying that God ALWAYS provides. Not always in the way or the time we want  but ALWAYS in the way and in the moment we need. In this phase of my story the provision was exactly what I wanted and needed. It doesn’t always happen like this. I have other parts of my story that were definitely NOT what I wanted but I recognize in hindsight were what I needed. Or years of praying the same prayer that never seems to be answered…where God seems silent.

But I wanted to share an update and testimony on my journey back to Seattle. I know that my faith is encouraged by hearing how God works in people’s lives and my prayer is that this does the same.

Blessings,

Lynnea

Stepping Out

I haven’t always known how to react when Christians say definitively that “God told me to do ______” or “God led me to do _____”…you can fill in the blank with many different things. Move to Africa. Choose this vocation. Marry this person. Attend this church. Reject this theology. I admire their conviction but wonder how they can be SO certain. Because God speaks to me in whispers at a deep heart level. In songs or words that inspire me. It is a place where I can only hear if I am still and honestly even then He is not extremely clear. There is a lot left up for interpretation and my understanding can be skewed by my broken humanity. He has never picked up the phone and told me, directly, to do anything…EVER.

Since the spring of 2013 I have been feeling like I should go back to Seattle.

Was it God leading me? Was it me not wanting to be alone and missing my family? Who knows, but it was this gnawing thought in my heart and mind. The idea of going back was tempting but there were some mountains keeping me in place here in the Netherlands.

  1. I have a great community in Groningen. Friends that have become family…and deep relationships I have forged in my time here. Thinking about good byes (or even see you later’s) was heart breaking.
  2. I hate moving…with a white hot burning passion. I hate moving across the city…but across continents is on a completely different level. This is more than just packing a few suitcases and going. When we moved here Philips relocated our things and since then I have collected more. What do I do with it all? Ugh. Even asking the question sent shivers up my spine. Plus it is EXPENSIVE. Do I have the resources? Can I do this alone?
  3. Health care. Can I just move back to Seattle as a cancer survivor without a job and get on an exchange plan? I know they can’t deny me but what about coverage? What specialists do I need? All my medical documents are in Dutch and they need to be translated. I am on a couple maintenance prescriptions…how to I reestablish them? I don’t even know the cancer care system in the US…I only know the Dutch one…where do I even start? To say this is daunting is an understatement.
  4. I did not want to face some heavy emotions. I am looking forward to being with family/friends again but there are some extremely difficult things waiting for me in Seattle. It was much easier to avoid and not think about them in the Netherlands.

So…in the Spring of 2013…looking at this long list of things and recognizing that the inertia of my life was more towards staying…I crossed my arms and told God (seriously, who am I?) that if He wanted me in Seattle…HE needed to move me back.

Sometimes I wonder how He reacts to these demands of mine. With rolling eyes or exasperation. Wondering when I will ever learn…

Honestly, I don’t think so. I think it was more of a gentle “OK, if you’re willing…I will show you. Have faith that I know what you need. Trust me”…but again an e-mail confirmation would have been nice. 🙂

I was hoping for an easy, safe internal transfer with Philips back to Seattle. Something Faith MLK Jrwhere I could see a defined, secure path. I should know by now that God’s path is often not defined and you can only see the security in hind sight. It requires faith which can be incredibly uncomfortable.

I took a leap of faith this spring…a year after I made that demand of God. In April I wasn’t certain whether my cancer had returned and the overwhelming anxiety of those few weeks confirmed that my place was around my family… it was the push I needed to finally take a step…to face the mountains… and make the difficult decision to move. So, on May 23, 2014 I booked my one way ticket back to Seattle. I was afraid. I was insecure. I was uncertain. But I was also HOPEFUL. Because when I step out in faith…I am giving God the opportunity to show up in my life and that is exciting…or should be exciting.

But what if He doesn’t? These doubts are real in our broken world.

He provided for my tattoo but this is so much bigger. The fears start to erode the trust I have in God’s provision…and the mental attacks on whether this was the right decision grow stronger. Lies about how I am not good enough batter my heart. Trauma from past hurts haunt my thoughts. Is this really what God is asking me to do or am I pushing too hard? At this point I would settle for ANY concrete confirmation that this is the correct path.

For 2 months I prayed for protection and trust. I held on to the promise that God knows what I need better than I do and is absolutely FAITHFUL. I closed my eyes and accepted that I have no clue how this will all work out. But I do trust that something will work out.

Blessings,

Lynnea

Choosing the adventure

It was not easy for me to make the decision to move back to Seattle.

I like my life in the Netherlands. I have great friends and colleagues. I like my work and developing coffee appliances. I feel fully supported by the health system and have gotten used to not worrying about costs or coverage. I enjoy the freedom of visiting interesting cities for a weekend. I have grown quite fond of the relaxed lifestyle and spending hours sitting at a café drinking coffee/beer. I love my apartment and am settled in Groningen.

There are definitely some difficult things but my life here is very comfortable and honestly…really good. I could have chosen to stay.

But there was something deeper in my spirit moving. It was as if God was presenting a choice between staying in the Netherlands and returning to the US. I know that I had complete freedom to choose either one.

I could stay with what I know and what is comfortable. I could continue to travel and explore. I could continue walking along the secure path in front of me.

OR…I could risk.

In that same deep place in my spirit I have a feeling that there is somethingGod Adventure bigger and more beautiful waiting in Seattle. Not necessarily from a travel/life perspective but from a hopeful, heart transformation, redemption perspective. Something more meaningful. The potential for pain is high but also the potential for beauty. It will require a tremendous amount of courage to face all the unknowns and there is no guarantee it will be worth it. But that’s risk right?

And it is my choice.

I have NO IDEA what my life will look like in Seattle. There are many things I am looking forward to and many things I am not. But I bought my ticket and I’m choosing the adventure a midst all the uncertainties. I feel God inspiring me to a life bigger than the comfortable one I have in Groningen. So, this decision is a step of faith.

Only time will tell how it all plays out but you guys are along for the ride. 🙂 God prepared me through my journey with the tattoo. I risked a lot by fixing a day, facing my fear and trusting God to fill in the practicalities. I am so glad I did because it worked out better than I imagined. Now God is building on that faith experience. I am risking much more with this move but I trust that God’s faithfulness will continue.

In the end…life is too short to stay comfortable… I’d rather choose the risk and adventure.

Blessings,

Lynnea

Journey with a tattoo

Well guys…I did it!! And I will admit to feeling extremely excited and damn proud of myself. 🙂 I’ve decided to make the finished product public to maybe inspire other women to take this particular healing route. I needed stories of brave women before me to help my decision and am proud to do what I can in return. But I have been on quite a roller coaster.

Finished scar cover tattoo

Finished scar cover tattoo

I shared this post last Wed about my decision to cover my mastectomy scar with a tattoo rather than pursue reconstruction. I just re read it and laughed at how confident and determined my words were. They sounded a lot more put together than I felt. In reality I was fighting an active battle against fears that were slowly chipping away at my resolve. I was leaving for Antwerp Thursday morning with my tattoo appointment at 1 pm on Friday afternoon. And…

I did not have a design I was happy with. Not even close. I had gone through a few iterations with my artist…her making a design…me providing feedback and suggestions for how to improve…her making another design…me providing feedback…repeat. The latest design I received on Wednesday REALLY wasn’t it. I just didn’t love it the way I needed to in order to go through with the tattoo. And I had no clue how to fix it.

My heart caught in my throat and I had a moment of panic. What was I doing? Was I pushing too hard? Maybe it isn’t the right moment to move forward with this tattoo. I like the idea but it is a big/PERMANENT decision. Maybe I need more time? Aack…I’m not ready. There is NO WAY I can do this in 36 hours.

Time was evaporating quickly. My plan was to be on the 10 am train. Was this all a big mistake? I had been thinking about this tattoo and planning it for so long…backing out would be extremely disappointing but maybe in a small way it would be relieving…then I wouldn’t have to risk anything. Not having a design would be a good excuse and I could stay safe. I could stay in the known without venturing out into this uncharted (potentially VERY painful) territory. I would never know how tough I could be but I also wouldn’t face the possibility of stopping part way because I couldn’t take it. Maybe I really wasn’t as tough as I thought I was? My mind was spinning.

OK. Stop. Deep breath. Deep breath again. And again.

What do I know?

I know that by the grace of God I have survived an immensely painful season in my life. Doors have opened for this tattoo, with this specific artist, on this specific day in a way that felt divinely orchestrated. So, if God is in this…I need to trust that it will all come together. And just like the emotional pain, by His grace, I could handle the physical pain.

So I packed for Antwerp…and prepared to meet my friend and catch the train in the morning. I TRUSTED. Even though I couldn’t see how all the pieces would come together…I had faith they would. And I guess, for me, that’s what practical faith is. It’s getting on the train and starting the journey. Believing things will work out even when I had no idea how.

Well…you can see by the finished photo that I eventually reached a design I was happy with. I had a little craft time on the train. 🙂 I brought printouts of the last design I liked (from Tuesday), scissors, glue, my sketch book and pencils. I was prepared to make VERY good use of the 4 hours between Groningen and Antwerp. By the time I got to Amersfoort (2 hours) I had a design I LOVED and would ultimately get. Thank you Jesus!

OK…first hurdle overcome. Next hurdle…convincing myself and my tattoo artist I can actually handle the pain of the process. Gulp.

I know how I looked when I first strolled into Original Sin’s shop for my consultation. I don’t have any tattoos and I had never even been in a tattoo shop before. I don’t know

Tattoo space

Tattoo space

what I was expecting. Yoga studio? Massage parlor? Zen atmosphere. Don’t know. But I’m sure my eyes were wide as I took it all in and tried to play it cool and pretend that my mind wasn’t screaming “What am I doing here?”. It was a bit of a beautiful creative chaos. The space is a big open room with a waiting area immediately when you walk in. Two work desks split the room in the middle and separate the tattooing space from the reception. Designs and drawings were everywhere. Piles on the desk. Pinned to the walls. Taped to mirrors. True to the Original Sin name most of the decor revolved around religious icons. Multiple Jesus statues and pictures on the wall. My artist, Vicky, greets me. She has awesome dread locks with gauged ears, piercings and (obviously) A LOT of tattoos. Her partner was this tough looking guy with a shaved head, spiked collar and a dark black face tattoo that runs down the bridge of his nose and onto his cheek. Again “What am I doing here?” This is so far outside my comfort zone.

But I summon my courage and start to talk to Vicky about my design. She was open to working with me but was managing my expectations from the very beginning. “You’ve never had a tattoo before. You are asking for a big one in a very painful area. I anticipate it taking around 5 hours and we will probably need to take this in stages.” I had absolutely no idea what it would be like. I just said “we’ll see” and booked my appointment.

When I arrived last Friday she was again trying to split up the design. I’m sure she gets naive first timers all the time who come in and ask for something they think they can handle and then fall apart. I was scared but I was also determined. Her suggestion “Maybe we just do the top now and save the trunk for later”. My response “I would like to get it all done today, if possible. I have no idea what I can handle. I’ve been through pain and like to think I’m pretty tough and I’m definitely very determined…I think I can do it.” She’s still not completely convinced but I think she could see my focus…so she gave in.

She printed out the transfer and placed it on my body. Alright…moment of truth. I laid down on the table and she started with the lower part of the trunk on my ribs. It was like an intense, burning, vibration. It hurt A LOT…but not unbearable. I took a deep breath, said a prayer – Jesus you need to do this – and settled in for the next 4 hours. After 5 minutes Vicky looked at me and said “You didn’t flinch or jump when the machine touched your skin. OK I believe you…you’re tough…you can handle pain…you’ll be fine…we will finish this today” And, by God’s grace, we did 🙂

I walked out of there a little sore…but EXTREMELY proud of myself. I’m so glad I didn’t let the fears keep me from this awesome experience. I love this piece and it means so much more knowing everything I overcame to get it. I’m not going to lie…I feel pretty BAD ASS now.

Well good for you if you made it this far. Sorry it’s so long…there was just a lot to the story. 🙂

Blessings,

Lynnea

How are you smiling?

Today is Easter Sunday. A day when Christians around the world celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and how he defeated the power of evil by rising from the dead. Through his resurrection we have hope for a new life. A new, full abundant life. A life of love and freedom. A life of peace and joy. And it’s not just for the future in heaven but available to us right now…in THIS moment. It’s an awesome day!

A good friend of mine who I haven’t seen in a few weeks came up to me at church and told me I looked fantastic…like I am enjoying life. Laughing. Smiling. I said thank you and

A beautiful image by Jennifer Studio JRU

A beautiful image by Jennifer Studio JRU

we proceeded to catch up for a bit. We talked about life and I told her what has been going on for me the last few weeks. Her next amazed question

“How are you smiling?”

You see what I filled her in on is…my cancer might be back. A few weeks ago my Dr. confirmed there is something in my hip bone and I am currently waiting on the results of an MRI I had last week. I don’t know what it is. I know it is in a place where I feel something like a bruise but it has been more annoying than painful. The last few weeks have been a process of getting scans and waiting…waiting…waiting for results. It could be benign. It could be malignant. I don’t have any answers.

I wasn’t going to go public with this process until I knew more information and could tell a definitive story. Posting information like this makes people concerned and I don’t want to worry anyone unnecessarily.

But I was convicted this morning that I need to share this. Right now. In THIS moment. The moment where everything feels uncertain again. The moment where my tentative future plans are once again abruptly stopped. The moment in the midst of the fear and anxiety BEFORE I know what the path forward is. Because THIS is the moment where I experience the power of Jesus most profoundly.

When my friend told me that I looked fantastic and seemed happy…it’s because I am genuinely good. When she asks “How are you smiling?” I think of Philippians 4:7 which says “and the peace of God which transcends understanding will guard you heart and mind in Christ Jesus”. I can’t explain it. I just know I’m not faking it. There is a peace deep in my soul that can only come from God. I am always a bit hesitant to proclaim this because I know everyone has a different experience of God’s peace and I don’t want to say it always feels like this. I have been through seasons of grief and sorrow where peace was much harder to experience through the pain.

But, right now…for me in this incredibly difficult moment…God’s got me…and I can’t help but smile.

My future in this life is completely uncertain…thanks to Jesus my future after this life is solid.

So…How am I smiling? It’s Easter Sunday…He is RISEN…a better question is How can I keep from smiling?

Blessings,

Lynnea