Hello Bravehearted Beauties! Before I write whatever bubbles up to the top of my heart today, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your response to my last post. Your comments and emails buoyed my heart. Not only did it encourage me to know that my story helped bring hope to yours, but your kind interaction kept me from experiencing what Brené Brown calls a “vulnerability hangover.” It’s hard to expose hidden things, but if sharing my heart brings glory to God, hope to others and healing to me, then I want to be BRAVE and share it. Thanks for encouraging me in my brave!

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When you write from your heart, it doesn’t always go as planned. I didn’t expect to write that paragraph about the effects of trauma on our marriage. In fact, trauma wasn’t a word I ever imagined I’d use to describe my story…until the effects of it became too much to manage, hide or forget. I can only imagine how hard it is for some people to read my words…especially my parents. I used to keep quiet so they wouldn’t worry. How does a smiling, high achieving, emotionally even keel girl “end up” like this? Well, her story hasn’t ended yet. {Neither has yours!} And even in the roughest patches, there is so much BEAUTY! I’m convinced beauty will have the last word in all of our stories.

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The day after I wrote that raw post, my dad flew in for a visit. What timing! He brought his camera so we could do some beauty hunting together…something we haven’t done here since my first fall in Franklin. February is my least favorite month and last pick for beauty hunting, but if that’s when your dad says he’s able to come, that’s when you do it! And because beauty hunting is always life-giving to me, maybe it’s especially needed during the dreary month of February.

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We spent our only morning of sunshine at Radnor Lake…one of the spots we photographed in the fall of 2012. We missed the small window of perfect morning light, so the landscape photography wasn’t awesome, but I love hunting for beauty in unexpected places and imperfect situations. And you can do that in any kind of light or weather. So as we walked a bright and sunny trail through the winter woods, I kept my eyes open for the beauty that’s often overlooked…moss, tree bark, hearts. Details are my favorite!

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And this makes me laugh…

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…my dad breaking the rules right by the sign.

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And just before we left, a shadow portrait.

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Next time your head is hanging low, try hunting for something beautiful on the ground. And then lift your eyes just a little higher…and a little higher…until your spirit is lifted by the life-giving beauty that’s waiting to be found right where you are.

Happy Beauty Hunting,

P.S. Did you know a walk in the woods can be a kind of natural prescription for depression? For those who are fascinated by quantifiable evidence and research, here’s a Stanford study.

 

 

 

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  • Kathryn - Beautiful photos…and lovely story. Many have trauma unspokenReplyCancel

Hello Beauties! How are your brave hearts today? Honest: my heart was feeling less than brave this morning. Old fears were trying to steal my brave. I seem to be more susceptible to that on gray days, but I made a quick call to a friend and had a long sit-down with Jesus to be reminded of the truth. There’s no shame in forgetting what’s truest about you, Bravehearted Beauties. Just make sure you fight for ways to be reminded of who you really are. Maybe that’s what you’re doing when you come here. If so, I’m honored to be a truth speaker for you!

Okay, so here’s why I’m here today. I’ve been wanting to share the backstory of what otherwise appears to be just another pretty picture. Because in the backstory, there is HOPE for you in your hard.

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I think we do our stories, our God, and each other a disservice when we post a bunch of pretty pictures without revealing any of the backstory. There’s always a backstory. Does that mean you need to expose all things to all people all the time? Absolutely not. Some people aren’t safe for your heart and your whole truth. And sometimes it’s not the right time. But I think you’d be surprised by how much your truth is needed. If we knew more of the backstories behind the beauty, I think we’d all feel more hopeful in the midst of our own hard.

So here’s the backstory behind the photo that became our Christmas card….

The truth is, I didn’t want to send a Christmas card because JD and I were hanging by a thread. I didn’t want to fake a happy family when it felt like we were fragile. But there’s another truth, too. And that truth is, not one thing about this photo is fake. This is the beauty of my family right in the midst of our most broken place.

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It was a Monday afternoon in December when the girls asked about our Christmas card. They’ve grown up knowing this is what I do. But I told them I wasn’t feeling it this year. That I didn’t have a photo or a word. That it was too late to pull anything off in time for Christmas. I tried to sound hopeful about a “He’s making all things new” card in January, or a “how He loves us” Valentine in February.

But the girls would have none of that. With only 30 minutes of daylight left before the winter sun dropped behind the hills, they changed clothes, straightened their hair and put on some lipgloss. They’re easy for me to photograph, so surely I could pull off a photoshoot in record time if they were this quick and cooperative.

But that wasn’t enough. They wanted the whole family on the card. And not in separate photos as I had done before, but all of us in one photo. What?!?! Did they have any idea what they were asking? Of all times to insist on the whole family, this felt like the worst.

JD was in the middle of a nap, I wasn’t dressed for a photo, and the sun was going down fast. But that’s not the worst of it. The truth is, we were only a few weeks removed from the most painful week of our entire marriage. A combustible combination of reactions rooted in our childhood stories culminated in a week-long separation and crisis counseling. {I don’t want to dishonor or frighten our families. We love them deeply. But we also love the healing and freedom that truth brings. The truth is that childhood trauma isn’t something that happens to all those other people. It happens to people just like you. It happens because we live in a fallen world. And the truth is, unhealed trauma impacts your brain and wrecks longterm havoc…leaving you entirely confused about what’s happening later in life. Please don’t try to hide it or hope that it will go away on its own. It doesn’t. But here’s the hope: the effects of trauma are healable! Your brain is healable! And your relationships are healable! I shared a few resources for healing at the end of this recent post. I highly recommend The Body Keeps the Score for trauma survivors and their families.}

In the midst of all that mess, the last thing we wanted to do was smile together on a Christmas card.

But something about the hope I heard in my girls’ voices felt like God saying, “Trust me. I see things you don’t yet see.” So I brushed my hair, put on some lipgloss, pulled the tripod out of the closet and quickly relearned the frustrating self-timer feature on my camera. All before the sun disappeared.

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And the crazy thing is that we laughed. We smiled. We gathered in close and put our arms around each other. For real. Somewhere deep inside was something stronger than what our marriage felt like in that moment. Something more true than what we could see in the midst of our mess.

As I sat down to design our card the next day, I did what I’ve done for the last 12 years with every card I’ve ever designed: I stared at the photo and asked God for a word. And I heard it as clear as day in my spirit: HOPE. So I typed those four letters right onto the photo and agreed with God. I agreed to hope in what I could not see…to hope in what God sees.

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Hope doesn’t give you all that you desire in one fell swoop. It doesn’t drive out all the darkness and airlift you out of your hard places in an instant. But at the rock bottom of your hard, hope gives you a push toward the light. And on the way up, while things are still messy and muddled, hope is the voice that dares you to believe in the beauty that is coming.

Rock bottom isn’t fun. But there’s this beautifully broken surrender that happens in that place. You stop running and resisting. You stop trying to manage your story and figure things out. You stop hiding your mess, ignoring your pain and denying your desperate need for a Savior. It’s dark at the bottom of a pit. But just when it seems like the lights are out, hope flickers and dares you to believe beauty will rise out of this broken place. 

And it will.

Only a few weeks after Christmas, I had another chance to express the hope that God spoke over our marriage. It was our 18th anniversary. We were on our way to dinner, and I was just so crazy proud of us. I wanted to honor the beauty and the broken, so I wrote this:

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Yes, I shared a cute picture. {It’s the only one we have from the last year. Taken in a picturesque Italian village on a trip where we were both broken and beautiful.} I’m all for pretty pictures. But I also shared some truth. Not the whole truth, but enough to let people know there’s more to the story that what you see. And in sharing that backstory, people find out they aren’t alone. And that, my friends, is what we all need to know. We aren’t alone in our hard.

Today, as I look back on that Christmas card photo, I remember the brokenness. But I also see the beauty. And I’m so proud of both. In the end, your brokenness becomes your beauty. In the end, you will shine like the stars. In the end, hope will not shame or disappoint you. {Romans 5:5-8}

Here’s to HOPE in the midst of your hard.

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  • Niki - Linsey,

    That was good, that was really GOOD.
    Thank you for being so honest, so broken, so beautiful.
    Because this helps ME, to get more honest with me and all the others, less afraid to be broken, and certainly more beautiful…

    In Truth and in Love,

    NikiReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Thank YOU for reading and responding, Niki. I couldn’t write these things if it weren’t for people like you on the other side. Thankful for you!ReplyCancel

  • Eloise - Wow! I don’t know you, but I absolutely love and admire your honesty. Not only were you brave to honor your daughter’s request and take that family photo, you even rose higher and put your very personal journey and thoughts to words and then hit Post to publish. I often look at family pictures and you are correct, I immediately focus on certain aspects of pictures that I do not have. “Look at them, they are always happy” “They must never fight” “I bet their daughters are always respectful and mindful”. I know every family have their flaws (I know mine, I keep a running list in my mind), but it is nice to be reminded that there is more to a picture than just sometimes forced happiness. Bless you!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Eloise, thank you for your WOW and your encouraging words. To read your words right after bearing my heart wide open in public felt like a sweet gift. I wish we knew people’s stories better. I think we’d all see each other with so much more compassion and love. Thank you for reading my raw heart and taking the time to reach out through a comment. Blessings to you!ReplyCancel

  • Amy - Thank you for honesty. Thank you for reality. Thank you for being brave. My love to you.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Sending love right back at you, sweet Amy! Being brave is so scary, but I’ve decided that’s the way I want to live. In constant trust and dependence on the One who makes me brave! xoReplyCancel

  • Ardith - Linsey, you are indeed a bravehearted beauty. You shared the hard in an ethical and sincere manner, beautifully worded.

    The body does indeed keep score of every trauma. It seems the emotional scars we bury do more lasting damage than many physical hurts. So becoming conscious of these memories and working to undo the long-term damage is the path to well-being and healthier relationships. Hope is the candle that brings the light.

    Thank you for sharing such a personal journey. Best wishes, ArdithReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - So well said, Ardith. And thank you for using the word “ethical” to describe what I wrote. I wouldn’t have considered that word, but I really do want to be honoring as I tell the truth. Praying I always will be. Blessings to you, and thank you for taking the time to encourage me today.ReplyCancel

  • Kathy - Oh, how I need hope for my marriage today. It’s been some really long hard years. Thanks.ReplyCancel

  • Jamie - Linsey- you are what the world needs more of! You are the truth. You are the real that we all live but don’t see in others. In your words, I see me, and it makes me feel not so alone in this era of “perfectness” that is on every Facebook page, Instagram, and magazine cover. Thank you! I only wish I could walk next door to have a cup,of tea with you!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Oh, Jamie…thank you! What a kind thing to say the world needs more of me and my real. I was feeling some fear about dropping the bomb in a blog post that we sent a week apart, but am thankful it can be used to encourage others. Believing God will get the glory in all of this…even the broken parts. And wishing I could have that cup of tea with you!ReplyCancel

  • Beverly M - Having been married for over half a century, please allow me to be the ‘voice of experience’ here. Look all around you and you’ll have no trouble seeing many fractured families. We decided long ago that whenever we hit a rough patch, we’d seek counseling and believe me when I say that although we’ve spent a lot of money on that through the years, it’s been a much better investment than paying opposing attorneys. We’ve fought hard to stay married even though we’ll readily admit that at times it would have been much easier to have walked away from our conflicts.

    Your family will be in my prayers. Keep fighting for your marriage.ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - Beverly, what an honor to have you speak into marriage after over 50 years of experience! We’ve spent a small fortune on therapy in the last several years, but I am so with you: I’d rather invest in counseling than spend a fortune on opposing attorneys! I’m so thankful my husband feels the same way and is willing to fight for our marriage. Couldn’t do it without him…or without our faith in a very good God. Thank you for chiming in and for your prayers! I consider prayers from a woman who’s been married over half a century to be a HUGE gift!ReplyCancel

  • Krista - We have such a good, good Father who loves us more than we can even fathom. What an honor it is to read your honest & transparent post. You are sharing what God can do with brokenness, in us individually & in our relationships. He is the one that can heal, redeem & restore when we allow Him to. By sharing your journey you are truly given hope to others, myself included. As a recent married couple that are local dj’s on our Christian radio station say, “there is no healing in hiding”. Bless you for rising out of the ashes to share your story. I will be praying for you & your marriage. God Bless!ReplyCancel

    • Bravehearted Beauty - “There is no healing in hiding.” I like that! And SO true. I heard God whisper this to my heart in January: “Tell your story so I can tell mine.” If He gets glory and I get healing and others get encouragement, I call that win! SUCH a good, good Father.ReplyCancel

  • Kelly George - Thank you Lindsey for sharing your beautiful scars and not being ashamed or embarrassed of the brokenness that we all share. Thank you Jesus that you put band aids, if we allow you, and in result make our scars beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Pate - LOVE THIS!! Love everything about it and needed to read it. Thank you for being BRAVE!!!ReplyCancel

  • A Walk Through The Winter Woods » Bravehearted Beauty - […] top of my heart today, I want to say THANK YOU from the bottom of my heart for your response to my last post. Your comments and emails buoyed my heart. Not only did it encourage me to know that my story […]ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - You are a very brave and your stories do help me and give hope as well. Trauma is a strange thing. As a child I experienced it, yet I was happy, smiley, even keeled and very high achieving. I thought I was a rock and was proud I could carry on so well. Not one person ever guessed my secret. Now in my 40’s it is breaking out in so many places and I realized I just buried my feelings very deep down instead of dealing with them.

    I am so glad you brought up family. I adore my family, do not want to hurt them or expose anyone in a negative light. Therefore, I have shared my experiences to only my husband, one friend and a therapist. I am healing, but still feel do not feel authentic because my outward presentation isn’t the whole truth and never has been. Such a hard line to know how to approach when it comes to trauma and those you care about.

    Thanks for being brave enough to share publicly.ReplyCancel

  • The Beauty of Blackberry Farm + Honoring Sam Beall » Bravehearted Beauty - […] A visit to Blackberry Farm is unforgettable. It’s also unaffordable to most. That fear also kept me from sharing. But if you’re a farm fresh foodie, a beauty hunter, and a detail lover, a splurge at Blackberry Farm will speak so much love to you. JD and I have considered it an investment in our marriage. An expensive one, yes. And we almost ran out of cash in 2015 thanks to massive amounts of trauma therapy and an unexpected fall visit to Blackberry Farm. But in the end, every penny we’ve spent has been worth it to get to this place of hope in our marriage. […]ReplyCancel

  • Alisha - Love this! I love your honesty, and the hope that you have:) There is such freedom in truth, and also our friends/family will know how to pray for us as well. What a privilege it is to hold each other up in prayer, and support one another during hard times:) My thoughts and prayers are with you all.ReplyCancel

  • Christi - Lindsey. I’m exactly four months late to this “party” but I’m so thankful for this post. Your words are so soothing and your honesty is refreshing. I needed every word! I just happened to be clearing out my email and saw old email threads between the two of us shortly after your move from Houston and before my move TO Texas. It’s been a hard move and I am thankful to reaquaint myself with your blog. I will subscribe right now because I don’t want to miss anything else.

    By the way, I keep talking to my husband about Blackberry Farm and making a visit to Tennessee in general. We have a niece that is about to start college out there so there may be an even better excuse for getting out there.ReplyCancel

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Hello Bravehearted Beauties! It’s almost 4:00 on a Saturday afternoon and I’m still in my PJs. What to do? (A) Take a shower and do something productive (B) Shame myself for being lazy or (C) Photograph a few of my favorite rocks? I’m going with C. Beauty hunting just inside my own front door! You mean, you don’t photograph rocks in your PJs on a Saturday afternoon? Wink!

A repost of an old favorite:

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Hunting for heart rocks in Midcoast Maine is one of my favorite ways to spend a day. I could stroll the coast of a small island for as many hours as the sun would shine, watching the tide rise and fall and rise again, in hopes of someday finding the perfect heart rock. I used to think that meant one without cracks, jagged edges and asymmetrical shape.

But that perfect heart rock no longer appeals to me. Because it’s not the real deal. The only flawless heart is artificial. It sits polished and perfect on the shelf of some shop, made by machine rather than tossed and tumbled by cold, salty ocean waves crashing against a rocky coast.

And so it is with human hearts. There’s no such thing as perfect. All of our hearts are a little misshapen, cracked and broken by the reality of life. And that’s what makes them beautiful. And embracing your brokenness is what makes you brave. How on earth can we embrace our brokenness? Because it’s the very thing that gives our hearts the capacity to feel more deeply, live more fully and love more vulnerably.

As the great C.S. Lewis wrote:

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And from Thornton Wilder:

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{You can listen to Wilder’s brilliant short story in this post.}

And from my own experience:

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So this Valentine’s Day, if your heart feels more broken than bursting, I honor you. Because that brokenness is the very thing that will make life more beautiful. I know beauty and brokenness sound like two opposite ends of the spectrum, but I’m convinced that a rich, wholehearted life is all about embracing opposing emotions. This is where the magic happens!

And one final word to anyone in the middle of a breakdown: your breakthrough is on its way. The brokenness will give way to unimaginable beauty. How do I know this is coming for you? Because I’m standing on the other side of the most broken down year of my life, and the beauty is astounding!

Happy Valentine’s Day, Bravehearted Beauties!

P.S. One thing I’ll always remember on Valentine’s Day: the way my husband asked me to marry him. Ours hasn’t always been a storybook romance. In fact, there’s been a whole lot of hard, but we keep holding onto hope and fighting the good fight. And all that hard? I wouldn’t trade it for the beauty it’s forged in us.

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A different song for your marriage:

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Hello Bravehearted Beauties! Today is a step-outside-your-comfort-zone and do-something-brave kind of day. It doesn’t have to be a drastic, jumping off a cliff kind of brave. Any little push through your fear counts!

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Today, I have an idea. It’s not a new idea, but it’s the first day I’ve had the courage and follow through to share it. {Follow through isn’t my strength. But when God keeps nudging you, it’s hard to ignore.}

An invitation for the “new girl” in Franklin/Nashville:

And takeaways for the rest of you {shared at the end of the video}:

  1. Bravery isn’t the absence of fear. It’s actually stepping into something when the fear is right there. So, BE BRAVE and do your thing!
  2. We can still show up for life even when we don’t think we have much to offer. The truth is, when you show up as you, you have AMAZING things to offer. Just by being you!

When I wrote about chasing our dream and moving to Franklin in 2012, I never imagined my raw heart would land at the top of a Google search. Since that post, I feel like the unofficial welcoming committee for women who are dreaming about or planning a move to Franklin. Talk about an unexpected role! A savvy business woman might have capitalized on that position, but that’s not my heart.

My heart goes out to the new girl. I can’t possibly meet all of the new girls on my own, but I can do this one thing God keeps putting on my heart: gather the new girls and allow them to connect with each together over coffee in charming Downtown Franklin.

So…if you’re new and want to meet some other new girls, send me an email. If you’re an introvert, and this idea terrifies you, send me an email. If you aren’t new, but still feel new or have a heart for the new girl, send me an email. And if you don’t live here at all, but have something to say, feel free to send me an email! {You can do that via my “connect” page.}

To all things brave and beautiful,

 

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  • Stacey - Linsey, I think your idea is wonderful! We recently left the area after moving to Franklin from Florida. Being the new girl was so difficult and I would have loved this opportunity. I will pray for your meeting today and encourage you to continue in stepping in faith where God is leading you!ReplyCancel

  • Kelly George - This “new girl” all the way from Texas to Tn is all in! I love how you follow the promtings of the Holy Spirit! You are brave! 😉ReplyCancel

  • cynthia - I’ve been in MI for 5 years and still feel like the new girl. My quest for other “new girls” led me to ESL ministry at my church. I’m thankful for that, but still yearn for the “coffee time’ that you are trying to create. Thankful that you are following the Spirit’s guidance. He will show up! Women have a way of connecting once they have been brought together. I love that about us!!!!ReplyCancel

Hello Bravehearted Beauties! You are closer to my heart than you know today. As the snow melts on this Monday after my 41st birthday, I’m sitting in a cozy chair with a cup of tea re-reading my box of 40th birthday letters. Talk about a gift that keeps on giving! It may take me a lifetime to absorb all the kindness and love in this one box.

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As I grow in my ability to receive love and believe the truth about who I am, I’ve learned that re-reading or even asking a loved one to repeat life-giving words is so helpful. And you know who is especially fond of repeating and declaring his love to you? You guessed it: God. He never tires of making His delight and affection known. What a relief for those of us who need an abundant overflow in hopes that some of it will soak down deep and stay.

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So what is it I’m here to say on my day after birthday? At first, I thought I would ask you how you feel about your own birthday and remind you how worthy you are of celebrating. But as I sit here for a quiet moment, I sense I’m here for another reason. And I think it has something to do with feeling like my 40th year wasn’t what I thought it would be. It was much, much harder.

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I entered into 2015 saying YES to more. I felt brave about a new year. I was looking forward to turning 40. And finally, I don’t know that I shared this on the blog, but the words I heard God speak over me last year were joy and playfulness.

All of that sounds like a recipe for a really great year. I was hopeful and expectant. I put my Bravehearted Beauty boots on, raised my sword, and embraced a new year of life with my heart wide open. Ouch. It can really hurt to live with your heart wide open, but even now, I can honestly say, I don’t want to approach life any other way. Because you can only know as much beauty as you know brokenness. I’m more convinced of that now than ever.

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So 40 wasn’t the wilderness-to-promised-land year that I thought it would be. Not even close. It was the year that a broken ankle cracked open a vault of old trauma and left me totally incapable of ignoring what was buried inside. The unearthing of all that trauma was far more painful than a broken bone. And then there was my husband’s run-in with PTSD…also rooted in old trauma. His childhood stories were mostly known to me, but the intense, unexpected reactions that he was having decades later were unlike anything either of us had ever known.

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Now try to imagine how all this run-in with old trauma played out in our marriage. We were like fully exposed hot wires that sparked at even the slightest touch. Actually, that’s putting it mildly. Some days, it was more like a war zone with hidden landmines that exploded with every misstep. And there were lots of missteps. We couldn’t keep the peace if we tried. All we could do was react and self-protect. There were days when marriage went from being a whole lot of hard with hope…to a whole lot of hard without hope. On those dark days, I asked others to hope for me. {There’s nothing wrong with asking others to hold onto hope when you feel like you can’t. Even Moses had to have his arms held up in times of intense, ongoing battle.}

Here’s the good news: we survived. And though it’s come at a cost, we’re on a journey to healing and living more fully in our present than in our past. Someday when things aren’t so fresh and raw, I hope to share more about our healing journey. I never imagined I’d become so passionate about healing, but often our passions choose us. I’m even beginning to believe that it’s out of our greatest woundings that our greatest callings rise.

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So why on earth did I want to tell you how hard my 40th year was? Why not just toss that one aside and move quietly into 41? Because life doesn’t work that way. Our lives are a continuous story, and there’s no such thing as a missing segment, no matter how much wish you could block it out. And there’s no such thing as unhealable, irredeemable segments. Oh, there are painful, unwanted, undeserved and even evil segments. Ones we wish we could remove or rewrite. But even the darkest segments of our stories can give way to unimaginable beauty.{Remember Joseph’s story: what was meant for evil, God will use for good.}

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And there’s another reason I wanted to let you know how hard 40 was: because it was the very opposite of what I hoped or expected. And when the life’s hard appears to be in stark contrast to God’s promises, we can feel betrayed. And when we feel betrayed, we can shut down our hearts and refuse to open them back up to the goodness and hope that is still very much for us. I don’t want that. And I don’t think you do either.

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So when things are hard, are we foolish to hope again? When life hurts, are we crazy to believe that joy is still for us? Should we hope less, expect less, believe less? No, I don’t think so. I think this is exactly where Bravehearted Beauties dare to hope, expect and believe even more. WE ARE BRAVE! We open our hearts wide and dare to hope in things not yet seen!

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And even if your heart doesn’t feel very brave or wide open today, there’s something you need to know about God’s heart. He is the God of MORE. And not just more in the ways that we expect or understand, but immeasurably, exceedingly, abundantly more than ALL we can ask or imagine! {Ephesians 3:20 is one of my favorite declarations.} He’s not the God of hold back, dial it down, ask for less and expect less. He’s the God of MORE, and His more is FOR YOU.

So as I enter my 41st year, I’m daring to believe in the MORE. I’m risking living with my heart wide open and saying YES to more all over again. Not just for myself, but for you, too!

With all of my brave and beautiful heart,

P.S. Valuable healing resources: (1) The Body Keeps The Score. I affectionately call it the “Trauma Bible.” Dr. Van der Kolk’s research and expertise is mind blowing, eye opening, heart engaging and hopeful. (2) Emotional Geographic. Gretchen is an excellent writer, trauma survivor and PhD. She puts words to things that few can. (3) Ransomed Heart. Treasure upon treasure is available to you here, trauma or no trauma. I’m super passionate and excited about their upcoming conference: Restoration of the Heart. Which leads me to: (4) Dan AllenderHis work spans decades and his teaching is renowned. He engages story on a deeper level than anyone I’ve encountered and reminds me why our stories matter. He’ll be teaching with John Eldredge at the Restoration of the Heart conference. Talk about power packed! Can’t wait. (5) Good counselors. If you’re healing from trauma, you need a counselor who specializes in trauma. {They are usually trauma survivors themselves.}

 

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  • Gracia @ Gracious Offering - Linsey, I opened Facebook this morning to wish a friend a quick Happy Birthday before I dove into my devotional time, but your post caught my eye. As I read your words, I knew that God had just given me the hope and encouragement I needed for this day, this time in my life. Yes, life has been “hard in stark contrast toGod’s promises.” Holding onto hope is a daily battle and God’s word and words like yours are life giving. So thank you. I know it is not easy to be open and vulnerable in a public forum, but you are BRAVE! With love, GraciaReplyCancel

  • Ardith - This is an important post, Linsey, for you, and for others. While our minds work to compartmentalize, even bury trauma, our bodies store the memories in a very visceral manner. It’s as though the true emotional reactions we have to trauma are redistributed to either specific areas or throughout our entire bodies. These become toxins that can later endanger our well-being in any manner of ways. That is one of many reasons why it is important to confront the resulting emotions of a trauma as soon as possible—certainly as soon as we are aware of the trauma. Thank you so much for sharing your personal experience and recommendations.ReplyCancel

  • Sherry - Beautiful words. Thank you! And…..I could just eat up that sweet puppy dog! He is gorgeous and I love him!ReplyCancel

  • Dianne - I admire your bravery and strength as you go through all of this. However, I cannot help but wonder how it has affected your lovely girls. Are they aware? Has it made them stronger? Has it wounded them?ReplyCancel

  • Eleanor - Linsey,
    Your words. So many things I want to say…my heart is bursting with so much.
    We just moved to Franklin from the East Coast chasing a dream God put in our hearts quite some time ago. Things have not unfolded as smoothly as we anticipated and 2015 was a bit of a rollercoaster for us too.
    But his goodness always shines through and your words today have reminded me of just that.
    xoxoReplyCancel

  • Krista - God is so good & faithful. He brings healing & restoration to our lives in his timing & infinite wisdom . Having said that, your sharing here is purposeful. I needed this encouragement right now in my life. I love how you said that on days when you didn’t feel hope, you asked others to hope for you! Like you, I have been going through a season. I want to grow closer & be in deeper relationship with the Lord. I know he’s taking me through some painful things, but my hope is that one day I can share a great testimony. Thank you for being honest & transparent here. I know that it’s not easy sharing & being vulnerable with others. Yet, God is gracious, loving & kind. He is using you & your story to give others, like me, hope & encouragement.ReplyCancel

  • katrina - how do we know if it is trauma?ReplyCancel

  • Kelly - I would love to hear more, (that you are comfortable in sharing, of course)about your experience with ptsd. My 18 year old daughter is facing this after a concussion and bullying, following a cheer stunt fall. So much healing needed, and I am interested in all help I can find or provide. Thank you for your vulnerability and honesty. Praying this year is full of joy abundant!ReplyCancel

  • The Beauty of a Broken Heart » Bravehearted Beauty - […] beauty. How do I know this is coming for you? Because I’m standing on the other side of the most broken down year of my life, and the beauty is […]ReplyCancel