The Words Echoed For Years

I have debated sharing this part of my life for well over a year now. It was part of me for as long as I can remember. I am guessing that others of you have had it part of you too. I was talking to Dw earlier this morning and I said, “I was thinking of sharing this part of me.” He listened, we talked and he agreed. Today is the day. But first I have to back up a speck in order to understand the significance of today. It is such a vulnerable place for me, but I know that the Lord will be honored and glorified as I share, *gulp* so here goes……

I’ve mentioned before that my growing up years were painful. Abuse was rampant. Life was tricky to say the least. I spent my days in my room. Always. Alone.

I think that part of the reason I played alone was because I was too afraid to go to someone’s home {if anyone had ever invited me}. I mean, come on, if bad things happen in your own home, what in the world would happen in someone elses? I also figured that if I hung around other kids, they might want to come to my house and then they would find out what my real life was like. But the main reason I didn’t hang around other kids was because there were two things my dad repeated to me almost daily. One of them was: You will never have any friends. No one will ever like you. Best I can remember, not many days would pass without hearing those words and even if he didn’t say them, those words always echoed in my ears.

When my dad would say that I would go to my room and say to the Lord, “It’s okay if I don’t have any friends, cause you are my best friend and you will never leave me.” As a little girl I clung to this verse:

“Never will I leave you;
never will I forsake you.”

Hebrews 13:5 niv

But no matter what, growing up, you long for friends – you know – the kind with skin on!! Especially if you really don’t have any. Add to the mix that I was painfully shy too. Insecurities abounded. Eventually I grew up and married and I did make friends, but still those words continued to echo. In a perfect world, I would have been able to say, “My dad was abusive, he was cruel and mean… what he said doesn’t matter.” But there is something at the core of who you are and the words parents have spoken…..they don’t just “go away”. Now mind you, I didn’t sit around dwelling on it, but really, it was always there, down deep and every now and then the words would echo.
For the record, I did eventually make lifelong friends. Friends that go the extra mile. The kind that fly to sit with you when your husband has heart surgery. The kind that you can meet up with, after not seeing for a year and pick right up where you left off the year before. The kind who drive to Iowa City to help when your husband lands in the hospital seriously ill. The kind who drive across the country to care for your kids and help with hubby when he comes home from Iowa City. The kind who seem to know all your quirks and still love ya’ anyway. I have wonderfully sweet friends here where we’ve been pastoring for the last six years: A precious prayer partner, a fellow pastor’s wife in town {who is also an adoptive mom}, our staff wives at church, ladies in church, etc. And then there are my friends around the world – you guys! Most I haven’t had the privilege of meeting, but you guys write me sweet letters and leave me precious comments. You all encourage me daily. So with that as a backdrop…..Monday life was tough. Truthfully I was dreadfully discouraged. The honeymoon with Mark is over. I’ve had some rough days. It has kept me on my knees. I thought about blogging about it, but I’m not ready to yet. And I’m learning more about me then I really want to know. And then Monday I noticed something. The little “Special Friends” section on the sidebar. It was quickly approaching 1,000. My eyes popped. {I really don’t pay alot of attention to it most days.} But when I saw it approaching that – wow – Good gracious!!And to many of you, you might not understand the significance, but trust me, when the words “you will never have any friends” have echoed for a lifetime in my ears….I was humbled beyond words to wake up this morning and get this precious, precious comment on yesterday’s post from Mama in Uganda: {a precious young mom with 10 kids who ministers in Uganda}
CRAZY LOVE! We just read the book and we are in. Let me know about the Crazy Love Blog Party–I would love to be invited, hehe 🙂

By the way, I saw that you have 999 followers and I have not added myself, so, I thought it would be fun to do so now-number 1000!

Love from the North,

And I started to cry the second I read it. And it was as though I could sense the Lord saying, “What was it that your dad always said? I have had these friends – from all over the world planned for you from the beginning of time. They love you Linny and so do I.” And sweet friends , I have cried and cried all day today…I can hardly see to type this.

From years of pain and torment, He rescued me. He has whispered secrets to me. He has never left me {even when I have been a wretch} and He has never forsaken me. He has always been faithful. He will always be my Miracle-working, Mountain-moving, Awe-inspiring, Gasp-giving God.

So sweet bloggy friends, thank you from the bottom of my heart for being my friends. Thank you for stickin’ with me…..many of you I “met” about 20 months ago. Some more recently. I have shared my heart and our lives and you have still remained. I remember when I wrote this post and this post Dw said, “Wonder how many ‘followers’ you’ll lose?” And to our surprise, a bunch joined in immediately!! I was so humbled. You guys have prayed for us, interceded for us, encouraged us, fasted for us, sent gifts and ministered to our souls by your sweet comments and letters. If I had the ability I would throw a giant party and invite you all. Thank you for blessing my life with your friendship. I consider each of you a friend and I don’t take it lightly…because I used to hear the echo of those words…

With overflowing love and the deepest appreciation to each of you,xo

88 thoughts on “The Words Echoed For Years

  1. me too! me too! add me!!!


    So glad you're hearing His love and our love. When Jesus speaks, it's the truth.

    everything else is just a shadow of the truth, or an outright lie.

    Jesus is our Healer!

  2. Crying some CRAZY tears here in Texas. So happy that God planned, before the beginning of time, for me to be your friend! I am honored, Linny. I am a better ME, because of YOU!

    Love you, love you, love you!

    Tina ~ xo

  3. Linny, I am so sorry that your childhood was filled with such pain, but so happy at where the Lord has taken you. He gives us beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning!!

    Ever since I found your blog (somewhat recently) I have thought you would be such a wonderful person to sit, have a cup of coffee, and chat. Your blog is so comforting and encouraging to me… even the tough/convicting stuff!

  4. Awe sweet friend, we have a party everytime we come here and read posts like this one because it makes us want to celebrate the goodness of God (or see your kids in the time out chair!!! What a hoot that was.) I'm not at all surprised you have a 1000 followers, not in the least. You are the real thing and everyone can see it. I for one am glad I found your blog so many months ago and even more, I'm so proud to call you friend. Hugs and love

  5. Linny,

    I completely understand how you must be feeling with Uncle Mark. My FIL lived with us for the last 9 years of his life. My husband is one of four children. The bottom line was that it was me that was always there for him. At times I didn't like it and I was resentful. He wasn't an easy man to live with it. He later developed dementia. Though at times I felt that I was the only one bearing the burden, I know God was there. It was not easy at all, but I am glad that he lived with us. I know it couldn;t have been easy for him at times either. I wish I had thought less of me during those days, and more of him.

    I'm sorry for what you had to endure as a child. No child should have to go through that.

    I'm praying for you my sweet friend. You are being purifed by the fire. Only gold, silver, and precious stones will remain.

  6. Thank you for your friendship!! God has made you an amazing woman!! I'm so thankful, that I "know" you through your blog. You have been such a blessing to me, my daughter, and family.

    Thank you and blessings,

  7. Linn,
    Thank YOU for being such a good friend to me. You have encouraged me and challenged me. My faith has grown and it is because of you. And the Lord obviously, but He has used you. I have told the Lord many times that I cannot wait to meet you. I'm sure it will be in heaven and that will make it even more special. I love you Linny.

  8. You are a wonderful person, and a wonderful woman, and a wonderful mother, everyone who reads this blog is blessed to have found you and your friendship. Never doubt that! 🙂

  9. Sending you cyber hugs and praise to an awesome God who loves you so much Linny….who loves us all and works out every detail of our lives…Praise His Holy Name!

  10. My heart breaks when I think of your childhood, and the heart of Jesus must have been breaking too – because He planned that some day you would be the "Mom of Many" and a friend to 1000 bloggers (and more, I'm sure). I would love to be your friend "with skin on" and if I ever get to Durango I would love to meet you – and maybe some day that will happen, as Denver isn't really that far away. I feel like I already know your family; you are an inspiration to me and I am in awe of your close walk with the Lord.

  11. Linny, You have been blessing US with each and every post and response to emails, etc.!! You have been a tremendous inspiration in my life and I am so thankful to "know" you! You are an amazing and wonderful person and perhaps on the other side when we are all together in the Kingdom of God we can have that great big party! Love you! Charissa

  12. Thank yo so much for sharing with such honesty. Your heart and stories touch my heart deeply and help me through my own process of healing from emotional abuse. I am so grateful.
    Also, thanks to your encouragement, my husband and I are taking the leap into homeschooling next year! We will have a fourth grader and a kindergartner. I will be praying for you and please pray for us!!! This is brand new territory. I am excited and anxious.
    Thank you for being an encouragement, light, and blessing in my life.
    Your friend:)

  13. Thank yo so much for sharing with such honesty. Your heart and stories touch my heart deeply and help me through my own process of healing from emotional abuse. I am so grateful.
    Also, thanks to your encouragement, my husband and I are taking the leap into homeschooling next year! We will have a fourth grader and a kindergartner. I will be praying for you and please pray for us!!! This is brand new territory. I am excited and anxious.
    Thank you for being an encouragement, light, and blessing in my life.
    Your friend:)

  14. Thank yo so much for sharing with such honesty. Your heart and stories touch my heart deeply and help me through my own process of healing from emotional abuse. I am so grateful.
    Also, thanks to your encouragement, my husband and I are taking the leap into homeschooling next year! We will have a fourth grader and a kindergartner. I will be praying for you and please pray for us!!! This is brand new territory. I am excited and anxious.
    Thank you for being an encouragement, light, and blessing in my life.
    Your friend:)

  15. I SO relate to this post. My father was cruel and abusive, and it left me with insecurities and difficulty making friends. Your faith is inspiring. Thank you for sharing your story.

  16. Linny, you have blessed us.

    You know how it feels when people tell you how "wonderful" you are for adopting all those kids, and you really feel like you're the one who was blessed, not the kids? Yeah, that's how we feel when you say how blessed you are.

    We are blessed to call you friend.

  17. Well I've been "following" you since about a month before your fire (I have read EVERY one of your posts.) I have left just a couple comments, and we have never exchanged emails, but yes, You ARE a friend! 🙂

    I hope you never EVER have to hear those horrible words spoken again. 🙁

    Thank you for sharing such intimate details about your past.

  18. Linny, it's so hard to imagine such a different "you", heartbroken over not thinking you were good enough to have friends. But then, I know our God and how He can heal the broken-hearted. He is Good!

    I'm one of those followers that consider you a wonderful friend, an amazing encourager, an incredible challenger, a Godly mentor. You sharpen me and I am thankful for a bloggy friend like you. May you revel in your 1000+ friends. I'm betting that there are a whole bunch more out there that just haven't become official followers. Come on guys! Let Linny know you're out there and how much you love and appreciate her! 🙂

  19. I don't have a blog but, I read yours everyday. I think you are an amazing person and have inspired me to walk with the Lord a little closer. I'm sorry you had bad times as a child and that right now is trying also. I'll kee3p you in my prayers and think of you everyday.

    Rachel from Texas

  20. Tis an honor to be called a friend. You continue to encourage and inspire. You have been set free to soar, and in your flight, many will know the Truth and follow in your footsteps straight to the healing arms of our Abba.

    Learning to fly,

  21. Linny,

    Speaking on behalf of all your bloggy friends…it is our great pleasure to be one of your friends…thank you for your faithfulness, courage and inspiration.


    Ann Marie

  22. Linny, You minister to me from thousands of miles away. You will never know what impact you have had on my life. I have always believed, yet not fully understood. I am at the very beginnings of understanding. (at almost 62) I may never have the opportunity to meet you personally, but I want you to know that I totally listen and respond to your wotds.

    I still cannot handle the "Good Friday". I do not rejoice in Jesus' death. I rejoice in Him being raised from the tomb. But dying for the billions of people around the world? That is very hard for me to grasp. I am so not worthy … I have never commited a crime … but just being who I am, it is hard for me to think that one Person would have to die for the rest of us. My heart aches for Jesus and all that he had to endure. I am so NOT worthy.

    I have been wanting to write this, but wanted to wait until your Easter celebration had calmed down. I do not mean to burden you … but wanted you to know that you have made a great impact on my life (as you have many others). Thank you for being there and helping me to understand.

  23. Linny,

    You are the most beautiful daisy in the world!

    I really love you. I love that God redeemed you're live to be a precious wife, an awesome "mom to many" (including Uncle Mark), a totally cool pastor, and an honest blogger. So, so grateful because your story has sustained me.

    Thank you. Thank our wonderful Savior.

    hugs and prayers forever friend,

  24. Awww, Linny! I love your sweet heart! You don't know me, but I feel like you are a dear friend. Thank you for sharing so openly. Your blog is a blessing to read. You are precious!!!

  25. I can't imagine you not having friends. Your life story is one of the greatest GOD stories I have ever heard. Even minus all the cool Memorial Box stories. The fact that you are where you are today, joyfully loving and serving God with your wonderful husband and boatload of kids, ministering to 1000 of us bloggy friends along with those you minister to at church. Only GOD could take a broken little girl and do that with her life. Only God. Praise the Lord! And thank you for being willing to use your life for Him and being an inspiration to so many.

  26. Linny,
    Thank you for sharing. What a hard thing to share, but God is so, so good. You have blessed me and my husband so much with what you have shared on this blog. You are definitely a friend.
    I realized tonight that I never signed up as a follower of your blog so I added myself.
    Love you!

  27. Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability. I have been reading your blog for about a month now and you have already made such a difference! My heart toward giving has increased. My attitude before was to wait till we had more money, but I have repented and been giving generously! Plus I have been encouraged to spend more time in the Word and talking with God so that I can hear his voice again!

  28. Because you live your life to please God you have been truly blessed by Him. All of us who read your blog daily and pray for you really appreciate your honesty and kindness. God did have great plans for you and it's amazing how much more we can appreciate God when we have gone through those dark times and trials. He was always with you and you are a testimony to so many that may have a troubled past or are having issues now. I thank you for your blog and your recent prayers for my family. I will be praying for your family as well!
    Continue this wonderful ministry, keep it real and thanks for being a friend 🙂
    Love Denise
    mom of soon to be 6 🙂

  29. OH Linny!! The power of the spoken word…be it in blessings or curses…the Lord has the power over them all!
    I too know about words spoken that the enemy likes to whisper again and again but my God is the same as yours and He has called ME friend 🙂
    Praying for your family, for Mark, I can imgaine but can't put myself in your shoes. Just can't do it.
    The Lord is your peace and your victory!!
    Love from Ft. somewhere way far away from Colorado,
    Holly (Proud Army wife-hooah!)

  30. I have faithfully read your blog for a while now…I want to strive to be more like you…strong in my faith…and a good godly wife to my husband and a good godly mother to my children. Growing up I had no affection – I can 't remember anyone telling me they loved me. My Mom died when I was 4 and my Dad did the best he could. But I still find it hard at 35 to believe my husband is in love with me..or really sometimes that even God loves me. The insecurities seem so insurmountable sometimes. But your blog constantly reinforces and reminds me that God DOES love me – and that I am loveable and that the Devil wants to destroy me…and I REFUSE to let him!

    Thank you for letting me a part of your life! 🙂

    Sand Springs, OK

  31. Dearest Linny,

    i'm praising God that your earthly father was SO very wrong! You have many friends in all of us, and we love you very much. i'm blessed to be considered one of many! 🙂
    With every post we get another glimpse into your heart, and another blessing from it. Thank you!
    Praying for you, sweet friend as you deal with Mark. Praying for your peace and his as well.

    Love you,

  32. Hi! My name is Allison. I live in South Carolina and am a part of a ministry know as Child Evengelism Fellowship *CEF.* It is a summer missionary program within certain cities.
    At CEF, we daily have clubs at different daycares, houses, churches, ect. We sing with them, give a Bible lesson, a missionary story, a Bible verse and a game. Anyways, when we cousle or talk with children, we share Hebrews 13:5 with them. To let them know that God will never leave them. An easy way for children to remember this is by using their hand. For example, they insert their name. "Never will I leave, Allison." Then each word represnets a finger. The pinky, "never," ring finger, "will," middle "I," the index finger "leave" and thumb *point to yourself* "Allison." It is such a neat way to make the verse personal to the child. I like to think that one day, the child may remember that Jesus will never leave them.
    Thank you for allowing Christ to live through you. I LOVE reading your blog. I am only twenty but you allowed Christ to speak through you, to me about so many things. Adoption. Compassion. Children. Thank you. No matter how old you are, you can always look back at your hand as a present reminder that Christ is ALWAYS with you….living within you.

  33. Linny,

    I already left a comment, but was just thinking about you and I had to come back . . .

    The Lord just showed me that there is a new echo in Linny Lee's life. The old echo "you will never have any friends" is G-O-N-E. The new echo sounds like this–Linny hollers "frrriiiieeeennnnddddd" and 1,000 voices, from all around the globe, call back "frriiieeeennndddd"! It's a glorious noise, orchestrated by our Abba Father, who has healed a broken heart and made it whole– with His perfect love!

    Thank you Linny for never giving up, for always, always, believing that He would carry you through.

    Love you!


    *Followers (1009)–He is faithful.

  34. Oh Linny, many tears reading this.
    I just can't comprehend a father saying such things to his child. But in the same measure that you were given hatred, you are now giving love.

    It makes me think of you telling Elizabeth for the first time in her life that she was beautiful. Oh, the power words have to build up and to destroy. You are building cathedrals in many hearts with your words–spoken and written.

    I'm not sure what number I am in your group of bloggy buddies, but I can testify that you have MANY friends and you are dearly loved. And you are living proof that He will never leave you or forsake you!!!

    Praying for you to have strength, patience, and wisdom as you care for your family (including Uncle Mark). Thanks for the blessing of you!

    Much Love,

  35. Well – if the best way to have a friend is to be one — I'd say you have done a great job. You are such a friend to all of us – sharing your heart and your faith – both encouraging us and kicking in the pants when we need it. You are loved Linny — loved, loved, loved. I count it a blessing to call you friend. I'll be in Durango next week and I hope we can visit in person. 🙂

  36. Oh Linny, God has brought you full circle!!! He has shown you how much he loves you, a thousand and more times over. I'm so thankful for you, my friend!!! Truthfully, I can't imagine a day going by without checking your blog to see how you are doing. You have blessed me beyond belief. When I talk about you to my Warren or other friends, I tell them about my friend Linny. I giggle inside each time I say it too:O) I've never been able to wrap my arms around you and give you a great big hug, or chat over tea and coffee(and yummy chocolate), but I still consider you a friend. You are truly a woman of great value and worth. Far above rubies:O) I'm sure DW would agree! Thank you for pouring your life out as a drink offering to the Lord. I have been blessed beyond measure.

    With much love and gratitude to You,

    Jenn Heckert

    PS I pray one day that I can repay even a little bit of what you have given to me. Until that time, I will try to pass on all I have learned:O)

  37. So significant here as well. I lost my 25 yr long best friend when we adopted from China. She desperately wanted children- but her husband didn't. He felt when she would be around us now that we had children it would hurt their marriage.

    It broke my heart. She was the "one" friend I thought I could count on.. forever. To make things even more complicated, her husband was my husbands best friend and we did EVERYTHING together prior to us having children.

    I think its sometimes harder for men to find that true friend than women, but we thought we both had 'found' them. Both of us loved the Lord, both of us graduated from the same college, we got married within 6 weeks of each other..etc etc..

    I miss her.

    BUT, since our friendship was dissolved, God has given us multitudes of NEW friendships via the world of adoption. The selfless hearts of the families that we now have the honor of calling 'friends' are something we simply cannot imagine our lives without. Thank you precious Lord. .. and Linny.. you are one of them. Perhaps someday we will indeed meet face to face even if it's not on this earth.

  38. hi Linny, I hope you don't mind me sharing my reflection, I was looking at the beautiful flowers you've interwoven in your post, and just as it just makes no sense to say that they are ugly, in the same way, it makes no sense for your dad to tell you hurtful things. I am sorry you had to go through this. I am glad that YHWH has brought you to the place where you KNOW that you are loved, by Him and many friends.

    Sometimes I think it's amazing we have such a beautiful, loving, kind, generous Creator. 🙂

  39. having only known you thru your blog it is amazing to me that that is why your life started, as soon as I read your blog I fell in love with your heart and have been reading ever since. God is so good to show you how incredibly untrue those words were!

  40. I really appreciate your honesty and openness. It always seems to be through our own pain and weaknesses that we connect most with other people. I have shared this post with a friend and I have shared many of your posts with others. Your blog is such a wonderful ministry. I have been meaning to email and you have probably heard this before but I truly believe that God allowed your fire to happen so that your message of love, especially for the orphan, could be spread to thousands if not millions around the world. I started following your blog right after the fire occurred and yours is the only blog that I read every day besides the blog of a family who adopted my daughter's best friend from China. I probably wouldn't have kept reading your blog last year but I just had to find out how you made out after the fire and all the other crazy stuff that happened to you last year.

    Thank you for inspiring and teaching me. Posts from your blog have been a part of my husband opening up to the idea of adopting another child with special needs. You have no idea how many lives you are touching and reaching with this blog. Happy 1000 Followers and may God increase those numbers by 1000!


  41. Oh Linny, I look forward to "visiting" you every day. You are such an encouragement to me. I love the thought that God had this planned since the beginning of time. How cool is that! He is beyond good to us.

  42. Linn, praise God that He has given you so many friends now!! How much He loves each of us and wants to make up for the hurt your earthly father caused. BTW – I am one who hasn't agreed with everything you post and I have sometimes posted my differences of opinion!! I am not a shy person! 😉 But, dear sister in Christ, we can still be friends even if we disagree on some things!! Hugs to you!

    Carrie T. – mom to 4 from Korea

  43. Thank you for being my friend! I am honored by that. And thank you for witnessing to me and all your bloggie friends with each post. It is a wonderful thing you do.
    Love from Jane in Houston.

  44. Beyond words, really!!

    All I know is that the Holy Spirit prompted me to respond with that comment–part of me wondered if it may have been silly. But, as we both know, nothing the Holy Spirit prompts us to do is silly (maybe, crazy, but not silly).

    I have never met you, but I love you as a sister in the Lord. May we continue to keep our eyes on the Prize as we minister the Love of Christ to these precious souls the Father has placed in our homes.

    Love and hugs from the North,

  45. Thank you for your honesty and for being so vulnerable with us. You are an ongoing source of inspiration & encouragement to me. I am always blessed daily by your posts. God has a magnificent purpose for you and your blog!

    ♥ you!!!

  46. me too!! i finally realized why i couldn't ever leave comments…i never joined as a follower!! sorry i'm just a bit slow!! i love reading your blog! this posting really touched me. for a father to say those things….you proved him wrong!! i don't know you but from this blog but i long to know you!!! it is my highlight each day to log in and read this blog!!! it's one of the first things i do in the morning!!! and i think that i made 1019!!!! :0 )

    clinton, ohio

  47. I'm streaming with tears to write and tell you how much I have been inspried, ministered to and blessed through your blog since i started following. I was very isolated at the time and despereately needed to hear mature Godly womens input!

  48. We love you Linny! You have not only become our (my hubby and I's) friend but also a mentor. Justin and I were just talking about that last night as we were working on details of the UG trip. We love you – thank you for your honesty!

  49. Dear sweet Linny
    Thank you for such vulnerability. On Monday, my son Sean (who also reads your blog…9 yrs old) said "Do you think she knows we visit her blog." He was so concerned and wanted YOU to know about us…lurking. I am going to take that as the Lord prodding his heart. Just want you to know we are glad to be a part of the thousand that make that tape in your head of your father's voice disappear and replay your FATHER's heavenly voice…You are loved and and well watered my sweet Linny". So glad to be a part of that. I was sharing one of your stories with a friend of mine yesterday and I said "my friend…well I only know her through her blog so she is not really a friend…but in heaven i am sure I will recognize her." Thank you for ministering to me and letting me know you count me as a friend as well. I will now not have to justify and I will just say, "My friend Linny"! Your words inspire me. Your stories touch me. Your life I choose to emmulate. Just today is my daughter's birthday and she got breakfast in bed…learned it from you!!! It is an honor to share life with someone as "friend-able" as you!
    Loads of Love to you

  50. Miss Linn,
    I am so blessed to know you. To learn from you and to pray for you. I am so happy that you write this blog. One… because I know it blesses you tremendously. But also because you take the tough things in your life and use them as an opportunity to show others God's amazing goodeness. Your pain, your obedience, your turning points, your next steps all build my faith. Thank you for blogging. You have these amazing 1,000 friends because you are amazing. Thanks for being you. love, jen

  51. Thank you for creating a "safe place" where we can join together in celebration what God has done in your life and all of our lives. The beauty that you share can only come from the Heavenly Father who creates "beauty out of pain". Thank you for not leaving us, your friends for eternity, alone to walk this path called life. Thank you for pouring yourself into us and trusting us to know what to so with the knowledge.
    Again, thank you for your honestly in the Lord.

  52. In some ways, I understand how you feel/felt. I too had an abusive relationship and thought I deserved to be treated poorly. As such I thought I had to tackle life on my own and that I did not deserve friends who wanted to walk through the battles with me. However, I have friends who defy those lies everyday, telling me it was never my fault, reminding me that our God is a god of love and not of circumstances, and that they fully desire to be friends with me and my messy life. Thanks for sharing your heart!


  53. Oh, Linny, how my heart hurts for your childhood. I'm so grateful that somehow you knew the Lord (How did that happen anyway????) You are an amazing friend, and I noticed yesterday that you DID have 1,000 Special Friends (just in this place alone.) Think of all those lives you've touched who aren't even reflected here.
    Love you, FRIEND!!!

  54. Linn,
    You are such an amazing woman Thank you for sharing your heart. The faithfullness, love and stregnth in Christ that you have shared both online and at church have been such an inspiration to me. Your inspiring words have helped my walk with Christ more than words could ever describe. Thank you for praying for us when we were having fertility issues, thank you for sharing your heart about the Lord, thank you for sharing why God has called you to adoption and why we should all take care of the precious gems that Lord has created. The Lord has totally been working on my heart for more children, both my own and adopted. I hope to talk to you more about that some time. You and Dwight have changed our lives with your pastoring at tRC. I will always be thankful to the Lord for you and your friendship to so many, including me. You are loved by so many, more than you will ever know!

  55. Wow Linny…what a beautiful post. You are such a wonderful lady and your blog has impacted my life and the lives of so many others. You are loved!! I am honoured to think of you as my friend.

  56. Ms Linny, i have checked in with you for a while now, getting support, encouragement, getting brave; many times during a day i will think of something you wrote, something your family did, something you went through, and it will…bouy me. i am so blessed by your strength and bravery; i wish i could have known you as a child…i would have played with you!

  57. Tears flowing here again. Thanks!!
    I can't even begin to tell you how much we have in common. I was (still am) more of an extrovert though. My family does not value the things the Lord does and I have have struggled with standing firm in what God calls us to do and looking for acceptance from my parents. No matter what I do that is right they credit those things to my sister and put her errors of judgement on me (nice way to put it!) When I told them I was going to marry my husband (of 23 years now) they asked if I was pregnant. We were not about to do what was needed for that to happen until we were married…My sister was pregnant at 20 and didnt tell anyone until my niece was on her way. She has been married and divorced and her current husband ripped a door off its hinges in anger and my mother actually made a vague reference to my most Godly, loving, wouldn't hurt a flea husband doing something like this. I really struggle with wanting them to acknowledge that what I do as a preschool teacher and a mom is of value even though it doesn't pay $$ (recently they have found a way to devalue the typing job that is truly a gift from God that allows me to be home and bring in an income) and knowing that God is the only one I should want to hear say "Well done!" Thank you for sharing your heart. Your hearing God speak lessons are just terrific! We have taught on this in our home group and it is central to the vibrant life we have experienced as a part of our vineyard church. Sheri

  58. Wow, now you're at 1027!!! That's pretty incredible! (I only have 1 follower!!lol…) Just think of all the people you're reaching out to. Thank you for sharing with us. The Lord is using you in my life, and I can't imagine in how many others. THANK YOU.

  59. Linny,
    You are such a sweet, sweet spirit! Praying for you with your Uncle. I have never cared for elderly family, I'm still a baby on most accounts!

    I wanted to let you know, I chuckled at the end of your post because I KNEW one of them was going to be one of the first posts of yours that I had read…which was when I "joined". It was the We didn't get the Memo post and even more than that…I had been thinking all of what you said the week before I read it. 🙂 Big web hugs!!!!

    A "new" bloggie friend,

  60. Keep doing what you are doing friend, my one and only VT!!!! God is using you to reach friends who were once as lonely as you. He is using you to teach others to be more authentic. He is using you to give Gracie's homes and voices!!! He is using you to teach others how to have a real relationship and friendship with the most important one of all….our Father!

    Love you and Crazy about cha!!!

  61. The honor is all mine to consider you my friend. . .I tremedously respect and highly esteem your close relationship with Jesus which radiates as the bright sunshine.
    Thank you for sharing,

  62. just thought i'd finally add myself as a "follower" so i could see that number go up even more! after all, i've been reading your blog (googlereader) for probably a year now. this is my favorite blog and i've considered you a friend for awhile. i know i can always come here and read truth and feel love. thanks for being you and letting God use you for His Glory!


  63. Hi Linny,
    I'm Susan from Dodge City, Ks. Long time, no post. We're getting to know our little girl from China. We returned on her 1st birthday on 12/5. She's such a sweetie from our Lord.
    When I read that you wish you could throw us a party and meet all of us, the Lord reminded me that He's gonna do just that at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb!!! Yippee Jesus!!!!! He just takes care of everything. Love to you, Susan
    P.S. Thank you for sharing from your heart. You have blessed me and encouraged me so many times.

  64. You my dear-bless me!

    Wonder what kind of mama you would have been if you did not have such a tramatic childhood. I don't wish it anyone but you, my dear, sure have put Satan in his place! As my friend Sam says, "Satan aint' got no hold on me!"

  65. Linny, I don't comment often, but I do read all your posts. I've followed along for over a year now. You are such an inspiration to me everyday. I'm just a mom of 1 right now but I know that God has plans to grow our family one day. I hope that I will be as strong of a Mother as you are and that I will be able to encourage our children to follow after Christ as you have. Thank you for sharing your story with us!

  66. You are amazing. I love reading your blog. You are inspiring, your faith is humbling. Your kind heart, you are an amazing Momma! Oh, and please, I need the next part please, since you are just sitting there, eating bon bons, could you blog to me! Ha! Thanks Linny for being you! Tabitha

  67. Linny,

    You are so sweet and sincere who wouldn't want to be your FRIEND!! I often wish you were close enough that I could just ring your door bell for a chat, a prayer, a smile!
    I LOVE YOU! Mandesa's song He is with You is stuck in my brain today!

    Your Friend,
    Lisa K. – Whidbey Island

  68. 🙂 Just read this one. Mustve been a no computer day….. Looking for a simple bread recipe and so glad this post caught my eye! Its so sweet that God can restore. He can replace Truth with the un-truths. YOU are a beautiful woman inside and out and YOU MAKE A difference! see my post for today. I wrote it before I found this post of yours….

  69. Wow.. I am so glad I went back and read this post- I am so sorry for your pain, for the past and for words that can echo in your head.

    Linny, you are the best, you are a treasure! You have been a guiding light in my faith journey and a wonderful example to all of us mid lifers that are Jesus loving, adoption loving bloggers!

    I am so so thankful to be able to call you "friend"!
    Blessings to you sweet, sweet dear friend!

    Thank you for being so honest and for sharing the good and the not so good…

  70. Thank you for being a "bloggy" friend and for the love and encouragement you may not even know you give at times. You are such a shining light of God's love and I pray we can meet in the flesh someday. If not, I know I will meet you in eternity where we will share endless stories with our amazing friends! Your are such a blessing!

  71. I only recently found your blog! I am blessed by reading it! God speaks through you!
    I can relate to your story! Thanks for sharing!
    I am also an adoptive mom of 3!!
    God bless!

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