Written by Guest Blogger Kim M. Dupree
“We smile, but, O great Christ, our cries, to thee from tortured souls arise.” ~ Poet Paul Laurence Dunbar (1896)
What lies beneath a painted smile, the mask for prying eyes?
The veil conceals our well of life that brims with a collection of hardships, shame, loss, and fear of its exposure until we see ourselves as new creatures with old things passed away.
Lynne lived a dual identity of wearing the mask and trusting God to endure adversity. She spent decades donning the dutiful “happy girl” persona, a posture of unruffled existence—her best face forward with torment tucked away.
Reared in a loving Christian home, her life began in Flint, Michigan. Born with a congenital heart defect, God started early grooming Lynne into a Master Overcomer through a sequence of tragic episodes.
She was sexually abused from ages of 5 to10, by a neighborhood predator. Her family relocated to Chicago where she was sexually assaulted by members of her high school football team. The mask was placed.
Secrets tightly in tow, she later became pregnant in college with a handsome boy, Matthew, and entered into her first marriage, where she was relentlessly battered emotionally, physically, and sexually. The mask was taut.
Under the heaviness and secrecy of her trauma, Lynne became anorexic and bulimic, dropping to 72 pounds to grasp a false sense of control. Hungry for refuge, she divorced, later remarried a friend, and relocated to Florida. Within a year of marriage, her second husband stole her possessions, emptied her entire savings, and rendered her desolate and homeless. The mask was set.
Lynne experienced a brief respite following the deluge of misfortune. She was blessed to marry once more to a wonderful man who loves her unconditionally.
She began loosening the veil.
Dust had not long settled on her past before her husband lost a leg in a motorcycle accident. By 2012, the culmination of Lynne’s tribulations climaxed into devastation with the brutal murder of her son. The mask was shattered.
It’s said that “You never know what a person’s gone through.”
It’s proven that “The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. The righteous person may have many troubles, but the LORD delivers.” Psalm 34:18-19 (NIV)
Emboldened by God’s grace, she set a fresh course and applied her “training” in faith to help grieving parents as the director for an international grief group. She took another deliberate bound and walked into Discovery Church.
Two years later, she experienced breakthrough in a “kairos moment” (a divine time to take action) during Fight 4 Freedom week. “That night I resigned my director position. I no longer want my identity to be wrapped up in my suffering and as a grieving mother, but as a strong and courageous daughter of God.” Lynne said.
Lynne is now empowered by her truth and wearing her strong faith in God as a Super Overcomer by the blood of Jesus and the word of her testimony. She continues to press on in liberty, hold steadfast in peace, and spin her story of how God works every single thing toward our greater good.
By God’s grace, she and her husband (pictured right) are basking in their greater appreciation and love for one another through all the tests and hurdles they’ve surmounted as one.
Grandkids, canines, and imparting kindness are some of her greatest delights.
And being designed by God is her beautiful true face.
For Kim M.Dupree, love is everything. This is her maxim and motivation, serving as a beacon for her deliberate choices. She was born in Florida, reared and reconciled to God in Delaware, shaped with fortitude and purpose in Texas, and rekindled in her heart for humanity in China.
Now residing in Orlando, she principally identifies as a Daughter of God and a Creative Person who is conscious of honoring God, overcoming all things through Christ, and living authentically. Kim profoundly relishes the beauty and power of diverse forms of expression. Reading, people watching, and becoming a knitting novice are among her favored pleasures.
She found Discovery Church on the Internet in 2016 and has been immensely privileged to call it home. At this present juncture of her journey, she is progressively evolving into a Builder of Women empowered by the strength of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, and God’s Word —“As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another.” Proverbs 27:17 (NIV)