My Redemption Story

Meet Lynn Johnson.  I’m guest posting over at her site today with this, my messy and unglamorous (though no less victorious) redemption story.  And you, friend, you’ve just got to get to know Lynn.  She and her husband and seven kids lived in a red brick house a block over and our families grew and intertwined and did life together for three years. She sings with a rich, powerful gospel voice and has a testimony to match.  Lynn, Mama Lynn as my family calls her, came in the middle of a blizzard a few years ago from the Detroit area to give a talk at a town-wide women’s Christmas gathering.  She had us weeping into kleenexes as she shared about her years of struggle and then she led us out into praise, giving us glimpses of Jesus.


And here, dear friend, is my story:

I lived a double life:  One with a morning prayer closet and a love tank full and a pink and white striped bedroom, and the other in the sterile halls of junior high where daily I worked to be accepted and daily I was taught the lie, you are not enough.  My Jesus, held tight each morning as I stepped out of the minivan vanished slowly as I walked down the wide grey hall floor.  Daily I lost trust, daily lost faith.  Daily I stood, feeling abandoned by secure Love.


Jr. highers throw judgments around until they hit people and little people who feel small try to stand on other people’s toes, crush what is vulnerable.  I feared new until I trembled at judgment in every unknown room.  Four years of lies.  Four years of walking into the carnival hall of mirrors and untruth built a ditch in my mind every other thought would slingshot towards.  Every day I tried to run at peer relationships new: laughter at myself and at the jokes one day, silence the next.  Some days I tried to force bonds with compassion.  I lived anxious, pretending happy.   Each day I contorted myself so as to avoid the teasing.


Four years and I unlearned every authentic voice God had poured in.


At the same time, I was another Summer at church apart from peers.  Real Summer singing from deep passion for God, courageously unguarded.  Love-tank-full Summer exploring cultures and peoples and teaching about missions at youth gatherings.


I began walking beside myself.


Please click here and read the rest over at Lynn’s.  It gets better, I promise!

Summer Gross


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  1. Summer thanks so much for the endorsement. Having you write on the blog is such an honor. What a brilliant yet humble writer you are! Love your story and it’s already touching lives. Thanks again for your transparency.

    1. You are more than welcome. You are a gift, my dear. Thank you so much for your love for people and your passion for the way God breaks into our story. And…I would love to make it to one of your tea party events and enjoy your story telling and your big, rich voice again!

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