Faith Stories--Lynn Smith

By Hope Schreiner 


Hi everyone! Next up in my faith journey blog, I had the opportunity to talk to long-time Messiah member Lynn Smith about Messiah’s humble beginnings, daily devotional/prayer  habits, ‘God moments,’ and much more.


Lynn Smith grew up in Ralston. When she was five years old, her older brothers asked their parents if they could go to church where all their friends went. Their parents thought that would be a good idea, so the family joined Messiah. At that time, the current Sunday school wing on the main floor was the sanctuary. “We sat on folding chairs,” she said. She paused for a moment to reminisce before chuckling lightly and saying, “You know, we did sit on folding chairs, and I don’t know if there was ever a plan for anything different.” The Little Disciples room downstairs was considered the fellowship hall. In 1968, the new sanctuary was built, and a new era at Messiah began.



Lynn’s favorite thing about Messiah is how friendly everyone is. She said, “Sometimes I feel like I’m not that friendly of a person, like I should be friendlier to people when they walk in. I kind of steer towards the people I know, and sometimes I think I use it as a crutch because I’ve been there forever.” Nevertheless, she acknowledged that it has been an up-and-down ride over the years with the changes in pastors, but her loyalty to Messiah and the friendships she’s made there has never faltered.


The place that Lynn finds herself praying most often is when she is driving in her car. She said that there isn’t much else to do when driving except to focus on the road, so her thoughts often wander toward the people in her life who need prayers. She also talked about how her mother-in-law has given her a daily devotional book nearly every year since she and her husband Neil got married. She confessed, “I had never really looked at them on a regular basis until last year. Then, I actually started and finished the whole year, so I’m pretty faithful about that now.” She admitted that she doesn’t often sit down and think about doing a big prayerful thing for a long stretch of time, but every once in a while, she feels led to.


One time, when she and her family were in Tennessee for her son Alec’s baseball team, Lynn had an experience that simultaneously shook her and made her feel closer to God. She and Neil were driving back to their hotel after a game and nearly got into an accident. She said, “We went to turn left, and there were cars coming off the interstate from a different angle, and we almost got sideswiped. I said, ‘That was a God thing. That was a God thing. That was a God thing.’” She also thought back to a time when her son Alec was going through a tough time, thinking, “Where’s God in this?” This is a question many of us ask, most often when we are overcome by grief.


When thinking about faith role models in her life, Lynn cited some of the ladies in her women’s bible study group, such as Vicki Palank, Eileen Cutler, and Michele Thelen. “In our women’s group, no one thinks that one has more faith than the other. We support each other.” She also admires Pastor Greg’s commitment to his faith.


Lynn confessed that she doesn’t really have a favorite Bible verse. She said that she wants to be better about knowing the books of the Bible and memorizing verses, but it’s not her strong suit right now. She likes to read the verses at the end of her daily devotional and is pleasantly surprised when the same one shows up multiple times. These repeated verses tend to stick in her mind easier.


As we were wrapping up the interview, Lynn opened up about a time when she was asked to talk about when she first came to know God in her life. “I guess I never didn’t know him to be in my life. Everybody says they had this big ‘aha’ moment, and I didn’t really have that. He’s just been a constant in my life. I think I was always waiting for an ‘aha’ moment, but that’s just not how it is with me.”