The Lynn Ginn Story

Dr. Marion Spellman

Her battle with an eating disorder had left her so thin that she appeared to be swallowed up in the large beige wing-back chair in my office. With a hollow, dejected stare, her empty and lifeless eyes focused on an imaginary spot on her baggy jeans, yet I knew she was not really looking at that at all. "Lynn," I asked, "why are you so sad?" She acted as though I had said nothing to her. "Lynn, look at me." But uncommonly stubborn, she refused to respond or even speak. This continued for over an hour. Then I finally said, "Ms. Bernard, please take Lynn back to the dorm." With that, Lynn looked up, perked up, and stood up! Hmmmmm, I said to myself. What do we have here?

Out of desperation, Lynn’s mother was forced to place her in foster care. Nevertheless, deep feelings of rejection, worthlessness and self-hatred drove Lynn into a world of fantasy where she would deliberately inflict pain upon herself. Her eating escalated to a dangerous point. Her tales of occult involvement and satanic worship provided the attention that she so desperately craved; and for those who were not impressed with these stories, Lynn had adopted a catatonic-like posture to alarm them

Having no record of mental illness or antisocial behavioral problems, the intake department had deemed Lynn appropriate admission. Furthermore, she was experiencing absolutely no difficulty communicating and interacting with her peers in the dorm and with most of the faculty. However, staff noticed these episodes of silence would occur when Lynn was in the presence of certain levels of authority or when she was facing unpleasant circumstances. This was Lynn’s way of defying structure and silently setting treatment limitations.

But Peniel was established for hurting and broken people like Lynn. Some have addictions, some lack direction, and all need Christ. Today Lynn is a vibrant, healthy and happy young lady with an extremely promising future. Pursuing her dream of working with children, Lynn is currently enrolled at the University of Pittsburgh, majoring in elementary education, Lynn recently said, "I thank God every day of my life for His ability to break the painful silence and allowing me the opportunity to receive the help that I desperately needed at Peniel."


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