Hi fellow prayer warriors! This is Linsey here. The house of peace is a bit lonely without Christina to share in “our dog voice” If you have spent any time here you know what I am talking about…if not..you may have to come see for yourself!
God has also been taking me on an amazing journey of faith. It seems to all culminate in two questions, “Linsey do you trust me? & “Linsey am I enough for you?” Let me tell you….those questions provoke a ton of thought, prayer, tears, and joy. A few nights ago I went to see the movie “August Rush” on Christina’s recommendation. So I jumped in the car got my nachos and diet coke (in honor of Christina) and watched the movie in an almost empty theatre. What a great movie. The overall theme of love and loyalty was really moving and of course led me once again to become the broken sprinkler I seem to be these days:) When I got home….I bought the soundtrack and sat down to draw…after a bit I flipped through my Bible and rested on Ephesians. I read the first three chapters and at the end of chapter three, I (once again) ended up in tears. (I know you are shocked) But these tears were different. I was so overwhelmed in that moment with the LOVE that Christ has for me. It is truly amazing. I realized that I do not live my life like I believe that He loves me that much.
“I pray that out of His glorious riches he may strengthen you with POWER through his Spirit in your inner being. (I love that the power dwells in us. God just reaches out of his riches and gives us the measure we need) so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, (Wow…Paul is praying that our foundation must simply be the LOVE of God. We must be rooted and established in that LOVE to have Power!) to grasp how wide, and long, and high, and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge. (This part especially stood out to me… love that surpasses knowledge….Our circumstances don’t always make logical sense but if we are rooted in Christ’s love…that surpasses our weak minds to be able to follow his will.)….that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. ( I can’t even imagine what being filled with all the fullness of God feels like) Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (this is something I often forget. GOD is really bigger than anything that comes our way. If we are rooted & established in his LOVE we will be able to travel in his will.
I just wanted to share that little piece of my journey with you. I pray we all find ourselves overwhelmed with God’s love rather than overwhelmed by our circumstances
Linsey……now….on to my amazing partner in faith
Can you believe December is just days away?? Amazing how time flies! I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving filled with good memories and thankful hearts. My Thanksgiving weekend really… couldn’t have been better. I was able to drive out to Pasco right after my radiation appointment on Wednesday morning and spend a very long and fun weekend with family. My mom, her two sisters and their families were able to make schedules work to be all in the same place this Thanksgiving. The VanDykes drove all the way out from Montana as did my brother Jesse. Ryan drove over from Portland on Friday. So fun!
- Uncle Russ: band director, hunter extraordinaire, known for his stalking skills due to his excellent elk bugles his willingness to douse himself in elk pee.
- Aunt Loralee: color guard instructor and choreographer for school functions: amazing cook, great question asker, best hostess ever!
- Cousin Chris: going to school for music, gifted worship leader, instigator of our traditional late night Taco Bell run every time we’re able to see each other.
- Cousin Anna: studying theater in school, gifted actress, artist, and dancer. She’s a brand new brunette and is taking a class on stage combat and taught me a few moves so watch out!
- Uncle Randy: Owns a hardwood floor business in Montana, in another lifetime was known for his blond mullet and purple spandex. I think he should bring them back!:)
- Aunt Jennifer: Homeschooling mother of four girls, prayer warrior, Spirit-filled worshipper, hilarious and unpredictable keeping us all on our toes.
- Cousin Jade: the prettiest tree I’ve ever seen (thanks to Anna’s makeup and costume classes:). She’s a fun, deep, quality girl:)
- Cousin Gabriela: the liveliest sunflower I’ve ever seen (thanks again to Anna) Infectious laugh, great fort builder:)
- Cousin Chloe: the cutest bird I’ve ever seen (thanks once again to Anna:). Sweet, smiley, one of a kind.
- Cousin Laila: FULL of Life!!! Kept us laughing the whole time!
Brother Jesse: One of my best friends, gifted musician, loves the outdoor Montana lifestyle, never sure if he’s serious or joking, hilarious!
Mom: One of my best friends, gifted violinist and violin teacher, natural leader, texting makes her nervous, has faith like a rock
Ryan: beautiful heart for the Lord, not scared of the unknown – truly resting in the Lord, loves people, energizing:)
As you can see I was surrounded by a pretty incredible group this Thanksgiving. Each one has been a blessing and encouragement to me in unique ways. Hanging out with this group, although, we were missing a few, is one of my favorite ways to spend time. I was SO thankful to be able to take a break from radiation and get lost in the laughter and good times. We had great food, a few naps, good movies (August Rush – great movie… all 16 of us went:). We played fun games (thanks Anna and Adrienne) and made forts complete with shelves, a window seat, and a t.v/laptop (thanks Ryan and girls). We stayed up late, ate Taco Bell, talked a lot, had a worship night… the list goes on and on and on:)
Sunday was an interesting experience. My cousin Chris had been asked to lead worship and he recruited my brother to play cello along with his band. So Chris and Jesse came home after rehearsal on Saturday and Chris tells me he told Chad (who was giving the sermon that Sunday) that I was in town and Chad wanted to know if I’d be willing to get up and share my story in church. I think I had a “no way! huh uh!” out before Chris even finished his sentence. I am NOT, repeat NOT someone who feels comfortable with thousands of eyes staring at me… especially if I am also expected to put coherent sentences together! I knew though, as queasy as my stomach felt, I’d have to say yes. This is a part of my journey. For whatever reason, I know the Lord is calling me to openly share my story, whether it be in person, on this website, or in front of big crowds. Every time I get that urge to shut down, and turn internal he gently reminds me that even if I don’t understand why, I need to be willing and excited to share God’s glory in the midst of my situation… otherwise it will be wasted. There’s a thousand lies that threaten to keep me from that – I’m not a good public speaker, I might faint or fart or cry or something (I only cried:), nobody wants to hear about this, this is something I need to handle on my own, I just want to be normal and not be known for being “the girl with cancer”, someone else has a more worthy story…
Through all those lies though… I heard very clearly the Lord say, of course you’re going to get up there. Of course it’s not comfortable for you but that’s why you are going to get up there out of obedience and trust me to provide you with the words. You have a story to tell that is very personal to you, but in being willing to share it you have the opportunity to impact many lives with MY truth. This is a part of why you were created. I LOVE YOU… and can do all things through you if you just walk in obedience.
Well who can say no to that? I did get up there and share.. both services. It actually went really well. It was more of an interview format which really helped keep things comfortable. I prayed a ton and so did a few others and God most definitely gave me words to share in a coherent manner – without which I most likely would have found myself staring wide eyed and open-mouthed at the congregation with little squeaks and grunts coming out. Not good. Long story short, God is good and so unbelievably faithful. I would like to thank Chad and the church for receiving me so warmly, and thank you to so many for your kind words after the service. I serve a good and gracious God. He is the STRENGTH of the timid, the VOICE of the silent, the HEALER of my soul, and the PROVIDER of all good things. He is the God of the impossible… how fun is that?? ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE WITH GOD!
I encourage you friends if you have situations in your life that just look impossible… with health, relationships, forgiveness, restored joy… you name it, God can handle it. He’s just waiting for that prayer to place it back in his hands and trust him to restore it for his glory. Again one of my favorite passages – can’t get enough of it. II Cor. 12:9-10 “But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”
Love you so much! Only 9 days of treatment to go!!! Yahooo!!!!
God bless you all!