Lindsay C. Cutshall
[09/09/81 - 08/15/04]

Lindsay & Jason
Jason S. Allen
[05/16/78 - 08/15/04]

♥ "The sun is going down on the horizon, and all I see is the beams shining on the cliff face, and I know that God is awesome. I look around and see His Creation all around me." --Lindsay ♥                                                                                 ♥ "As I stir this Mac & Cheese, I think to myself, what a wonderful life. I've just spent two awesome days with my fiance, Lindsay. Can life ever be so perfect? Only with a person who is so great. God gives me this privilege in life and He has given me a wonderful woman to enjoy it with." --Jason ♥                                                                                 ♥ "Live for things in heaven, not on earth." --Lindsay ♥                                                                                 ♥ "Heaven will be a wonderful place of no suffering, hurt, loneliness; it's a great thing to look forward to." --Lindsay ♥

Monday, May 16, 2016

Jason's 38th Birthday!

Today is what would have been Jason's 38th birthday! Twelve birthdays now since he passed away. It just occurred to me that, within that many years, my entire childhood with him took place. Time is so fleeting! There are so many amazing memories from my childhood that I would give anything to re-live. Life was so simple and carefree! That is why it took me such a long time to remember those times without bursting into tears. I thought those memories would forever be tainted with horror... because there was no part of me that ever could have anticipated such an end to Jason's life. Sometimes it still seems very surreal. I sure wish it wasn't real. But God has been so gracious. He has brought beauty from the pain. He allowed it to happen but did NOT cause it. God is not the author of evil and death. He is the author of TRUTH and LIFE! I have seen the beautiful things God has done through Jason & Lindsay's story! This verse always comes to mind:

"You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives." (Genesis 50:20)

There is so much suffering in this world and I know, because of it, many people doubt God's existence. And even if they believe He could be real, they don't believe He is GOOD. However, in my experience, just because evil exists does not mean that God is not real and not good! In fact, He is the light in the darkness! He is hope for the hopeless. Strength for the weary. God is far more loving than we could ever imagine! He is far more compassionate, far more generous, far more gracious, far more merciful, far more patient and far more holy than we will ever comprehend! He loves YOU. He knows YOU by name and He wants desperately for YOU to know Him! God sent His only son to DIE for you... in your place. Jesus willingly took your sin (and mine) upon Himself and took the punishment for it (death and hell). But in His power, He conquered the grave... conquered DEATH... and rose again! And because of that unimaginable grace and love, we can actually have a relationship with Him and we can literally spend eternity with Him! That would have been absolutely impossible if not for Jesus! He is the reason why we have not lost hope in the wake of Jason's cruel death. He is the reason why we can see beauty coming from the ashes. He is the reason why Jason's parents and sisters can actually forgive the person who stole their son's (and brother's) life. He is the reason why we can be assured that God is working in every corner of the world, even when we can't see it. He is working in people's lives in the most oppressed areas of the world and, whether you know it or not, He is working in your life and in the lives of people around you! God is VERY present and very concerned about what is going on in this world. He equips us to handle the things He calls us to do. Yes, there are people (even real Christians) who make mistakes and give Christianity a bad name, but please do not let people ruin Jesus for you! People are not ever the 100% true image of Christ because we are all still sinners! We all still struggle and we all still make mistakes. But God never makes mistakes! If you are breathing, it is because you have a purpose. If you want to know the amazing God who gave you life and loves you more than you could ever begin to imagine, all you have to do is seek Him with a sincere heart and you WILL find Him. And the result of that relationship will give you inner peace like you've never known possible! It's the peace that always reminds us that there is more to our existence than our time here. That our suffering is only temporary. That we can have hope and assurance for an eternity with Jesus after we die... and that heaven is only a breath away! Jason did not cease to exist when his life was cruelly taken. In that moment, his eternal life began. So what his killer meant for evil, God intended for good. Death does not win! Jesus conquered it for us... so eternal life wins!

In my meager attempt to explain Jesus (because He is SO much more than I could ever describe), I am reminded of this recording of Dr. S.M. Lockridge. Please listen to it... it is so powerful and well worth it! This Jesus he is describing is the same Jesus whom Jason, Lindsay and Caleb (Jason's baby nephew) are with at this very moment!

I don't know if Jason knows that today is his birthday. Because God is not limited by time or space, I imagine heaven is the same way. "With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day." (2 Peter 3:8) So whether or not Jason knows it, we are still celebrating his remarkable life today!

A note from Jason's parents:

Happy Birthday Jason!

This picture was taken in 1987, when you were 9 years old. Your birthday always occurred during the Tulip Festival here in Holland, Michigan. What a fun week that was! Tulip Time meant half day sessions in school, marching in the children's parade, carnival food, pictures in front of tulips and then..........a birthday party! Such good memories!

We delighted in those celebrations, but they are so small in comparison to what you are enjoying now in heaven. You are living the ultimate celebration, and someday we will be celebrating with you. Until then..........Happy Birthday!!!!!! We love you and miss you.

Dad and Mom

Tuesday, January 05, 2016

Book written by Jason's mom, now available in paperback!

A while back, I posted that Jason's mom wrote a book, but at the time, it was only available in digital format.

I am excited to announce that it is now available in paperback on Amazon! :) Here is the description written by Jason's mom:

"This is the story of the tragic murders of our son, Jason Allen, and his fiancee, Lindsay Cutshall, on a secluded beach in California in 2004. It is also the story of God's faithfulness in providing for us during the most difficult journey of our lives and how His grace helped us through the grieving process."

Click here to view the Amazon listing if you're interested in purchasing this beautiful book! (There is currently no photo shown of the cover on the Amazon listing, but it looks like the photo above.)

If you prefer a digital format:

  • Individuals with iBooks on their home computer or iPad can download the digital e-book here.
  • Android (Kindle/Nook) version available here.
  • You can purchase & download a PDF copy here.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

Lindsay's 34th Birthday!

Lindsay on the whitewater, Summer 2004

Today, Lindsay would have celebrated her 34th birthday! It's almost hard to imagine because she was only 22 when she died. So young! :( So much life happens between 22 and 34... and I will always wonder how her (and Jason's) life would have turned out. I have said this before, but I also wonder how much they are privy to of life here on earth. Does she know that today is her birthday? Or does that even matter? In heaven, time and space do not exist like they do here so maybe the entire concept is lost because it is just moot.

Today I want to remember Lindsay for her legacy... her life well lived. God has lifted her up in her death. Her life story glorifies Him and I can only hope mine does the same. She wasn't perfect... no one but Jesus has ever lived a perfect human life... but she genuinely loved Jesus and her life's goal was to serve Him in her own unique way. That's why she and Jason were such a great match... because they were so similar in their uniqueness. I love their love story! And I love that their love story continues on into their eternal life. Lindsay was and is a beautiful soul and we can all learn from her example. She was a humble servant of the Lord, willing to step out of her comfort zone to serve Him. She completely set aside all earthly/material possessions to serve Him. How many of us would be willing to do that? Could we give up our smartphones? Our computers? Our tablets/iPads? Our TVs? Our presence on social media? Our money? etc... in order to serve the Lord? (At the time of her death, smartphones, tablets and social media weren't an issue, but there was much she still gave up. She just didn't value it.) Obviously it helped tremendously that she had Jason along with her in her journey. They were both so willing to let go of that stuff and go where God led them. I don't know why God allowed them to die so young and in such a horrific way, but I do know that God didn't waste it. The evil that drove their killer to murder them did not win! God won... He ALWAYS wins... and because of that, we can remember Lindsay with a hope and a peace that she is heaven and that there is no better place to be! Praise God!

"Weep, but briefly, for your loved ones as they enter into the Kingdom of God. For they shall possess a joy and peace that is unattainable on God’s earthly realm. Rather, rejoice in their everlasting and total happiness, for their eyes have seen God."

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Eleven years...

Jason & Lindsay ice skating in Michigan in early 2004. I love this photo of them!

This is the day, 11 years ago, when Jason & Lindsay died... but also the day that their eternal lives began. It is a bittersweet dichotomy in so many ways. I know I can't even begin to imagine what heaven is like. None of us truly can! We all have some picture in our head of what it is like, but we are humanly incapable of fully grasping it. So it is surreal to realize that for believers/followers of Christ, heaven is only a breath away! We don't know how long we have here. We could be here one minute and gone the next. I never dreamed Jason (or anyone I knew) would die so young. It was a startling reminder of how fragile our human lives are... and how precious.

I still think about him and Lindsay often. I have a picture of them in my room and every time I see it, I am reminded of so many things: the shock, the absolute heartbreak, the crushing grief... but moreso now, I remember the closeness I felt to God at that time, the peace that He gave me (and still does), and the ability to see beauty in the midst of that chaos. I also think about the HOPE that I have because of Jesus and because I know that Jason & Lindsay ARE with Him! Jason & Lindsay lived their lives to serve the Lord and that has been an inspiration to so many people, myself included. Their legacy has really compelled me to seek out ways that I can serve God and others. I know I am not the only one! The best triumph that I have seen God bring out of this tragedy are the souls saved for eternity because of Jason & Lindsay's story! That is truly priceless!

God is in the business of bringing beauty from the ashes. He is deeply grieved when we are grieved. He wants to walk with us through our grief but also our joy. If we invite Him into our lives, He brings divine perspective and a sense of peace that we would never otherwise have. In every circumstance, God has a plan for good for those who love Him. There are many things in this world that have happened that I don't understand (and may never understand), but I do know that God is eternally and infinitely sovereign, good, loving, gracious, merciful, holy and just. If we never see justice for Jason & Lindsay in this lifetime, their killer will still stand before God one day, no matter what, and justice will be served. However, I hope that he seeks God's forgiveness and mercy while he is still alive, if he is still alive, because the redeeming power of Christ and an eternity in heaven is possible for him as well. I'd rather see his life be redeemed than his soul lost forever (and I know that Jason & Lindsay's families feel the same way). God's mercy extends to EVERYONE but it is up to us to repent, turn away from our sin, and to accept Christ's gift of salvation. The gift of salvation from Christ is life-changing and life-giving and the most incredible thing (for lack of a better word) that will ever happen to us! There are many people who think it is impossible to know that God exists, but that isn't true. Besides the fact that there is evidence of God everywhere in creation, if you want to KNOW that God is real, seek Him sincerely. If you want to know God and you seek Him, you WILL find Him.

"For since the creation of the world, God's invisible qualities — His eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." ~Romans 1:20

"You will seek Me and find Me when you seek Me with all your heart." ~Jeremiah 29:13

"But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul." ~Deuteronomy 4:29

These last 11 years have flown by (as time almost always does) and so much has happened since Jason & Lindsay died. There have been many challenges but many blessings as well. Last year, the Allen family dealt with another unimaginable tragedy when Jason's sister and brother-in-law lost their infant son Caleb to a genetic disorder. As difficult as that has been for them, God has been faithful to carry them through it. It sure is awesome to know that Caleb is having a blast in heaven with his Uncle Jason & Aunt Lindsay! They died before their niece and nephews were born, so they never got to experience the joys of being an uncle and aunt... but they do have that now. That is so completely amazing!

To conclude, Jason's mom wrote something to share here that I think is pretty awesome!


For eleven years I have kept your T shirts, hoping to make a keepsake quilt from them. I never seemed to have the motivation to start. This past spring, I gave a local ministry called Living Threads, your shirts and requested a T Shirt Quilt be made. Today I picked up the beautiful piece of workmanship. I love it! We look at the names of places you have traveled, worked in ministry, attended school and just enjoyed life all across the country, and they bring back so many memories of the stories you shared with us. I look forward to wrapping myself in it on a cold wintry Michigan day. :)

We are so thankful we had you for 26 years. Looking forward to giving you a big hug someday and having you for eternity!

Love, Mom

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Jason's 37th Birthday!

Jason posing in front of the Golden Gate Bridge. This photo was taken on the day he & Lindsay died.

Today Jason would have turned 37. Every year, on this day, I find myself wondering what might have been. What would he & Lindsay be up to? Would their dreams for their future have come to fruition? Or would God have led them in a different direction? Sometimes we have dreams & plans for what we want our lives to look like but that can change dramatically as time goes on. Maybe you go to college to be a doctor but then end up being a teacher. Or maybe you were sure you'd never want children but end up with 7! :) Things change because people change when their circumstances change. So, because of that... I often wonder what Jason & Lindsay’s lives would look like now if their lives had not been cut short. Jason was so young... only 26 when he died. He had so much he was looking forward to! He was with the love of his life, enjoying that beautiful sunset. In less than a month, he was to marry her. He was blissful... completely unaware of what was about to happen. I don’t like to think about what happened. I try to push it out of my mind. What matters now is that he & Lindsay are in heaven. They are taken care of and they are SAFE. No one can hurt them where they are.

Today, I wish to honor Jason’s life by honoring the faith by which he lived. He had a special calling. Not many people have little to no interest in material possessions. He readily cast aside material things for his love of ministry work in God’s “great outdoors,” which was a passion he shared with Lindsay. They both found joy in serving God by working with youth... to instill a love of nature in them as well. I love to think about the adventures they are both having with Caleb! (Caleb is Jason’s precious nephew who passed away back in October.) As much as it shattered my heart to watch Jason’s family endure another unimaginable tragedy, it brings joy to my heart to know that Caleb is with his Uncle Jason & Aunt Lindsay and having a blast! :) I praise God for that!

I know I’ve posted about this before, but Jason’s mom has written a book (currently available in digital format on iTunes & Etsy). It is so beautifully written and it offers insight into almost every aspect of Jason & Lindsay’s story. Please check it out if you’re interested in this case! It is well worth the read!

For Jason’s birthday today, his mom has written this beautiful tribute:

Happy 37th Birthday Jason!!!!!

Today we fondly remember the blessed joy of welcoming you into our lives. Along with that joy, came the overwhelming realization of the responsibility of nurturing a soul, who would one day be accountable to God.

In our hearts, we knew we could not accomplish the task alone. That is why we surrendered you to our loving heavenly Father, to be used by Him, for His glory. We did not know the path that our act of surrender would take. In the end, it was a painful path for us, but only temporarily. There is no greater joy than knowing you are safe and secure with our heavenly Father, and you are living the life that you were always meant to live: a life of love, joy, peace, wonder, adventure, laughter, learning, and worshipping our Savior. We look forward to sharing that with you someday. In the meantime, we celebrate your time here on earth.

We love you.

Mom and Dad

Happy Birthday Jason! You will never be forgotten! I continue to pray and never give up hope that there will be justice for you & Lindsay someday soon!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Sweet baby Caleb...

"Wrapped in the color of royalty,
Caleb is safe in the arms of The King."

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

On Friday night, October 10, I attended a memorial service for a precious baby boy. He is the son of Jason's sister Elizabeth... which means he is Jason & Lindsay's nephew. Caleb Robert was born on October 2 and lived for 10 miraculous hours. He died in his mother's arms in the early morning hours of October 3.

Let me tell you, Caleb has an amazing life story! God has shone brightly throughout his relatively brief time on earth. Earlier on in Liz's pregnancy, an ultrasound revealed some abnormalities in Caleb's little body that were a cause for concern. Follow-up bloodwork revealed that her unborn son had Trisomy 18... a chromosomal anomaly that, sadly, causes internal birth defects that are incompatible with life outside the womb. The news, for obvious reasons, was extremely devastating. We all wondered why God would allow this precious family to suffer yet another unimaginable loss.

Yet God, in His Amazing Grace, carried Liz and her husband and two children through this difficult journey in a powerful and merciful way. His presence brought peace in the midst of this heartbreaking situation. Here is a quote from Liz from July 19:

"For those who have not heard, two weeks ago, our baby, who is due Oct. 12, was diagnosed with Trisomy 18. This means he has an extra #18 chromosome. This is the worst news possible and means that he will not survive after birth. Please pray for our family, as this is very difficult for us. God has shown Himself to us already. One night I had prayed to God to reveal Himself to me and give me strength. The next day, after a very difficult conversation with my OB-GYN doctor and my pastor, I was sitting on my front porch, when a bald eagle circled over me four times and landed in a tree near me. I was reminded of the verse Isaiah 40:31. I have no doubt God answered my prayer."

"... but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint." ~Isaiah 40:31

Bald eagles became a way that God revealed his presence. Liz saw them more than once when she was outside (in various locations in Michigan), while praying for strength from God. They are not a common sight here. This was definitely a sign from God which I am in awe of!

(The cover of the program at Caleb's Memorial Service.)

This is also a sign of God tenderly carrying them through this difficult journey...

On September 5, Liz wrote:

"It definitely is getting harder the closer it gets to my due date. I know God is with me. I am thankful for all He has shown me. For those that don't know, our son's name is going to be Caleb Robert. I felt like God was wanting me to call him Caleb. I loved the name. After we found out that our son had a hole in his heart, I looked up the biblical meaning of "Caleb." The meaning was "wholehearted." I knew then that his name should be Caleb. His heart will be whole again and his whole heart will be for the Lord. And Robert is after my dad and Howie's dad. This is the time that Caleb is alive here on earth. We wanted to pray for him specifically by name and talk to our children about him by his name."

On October 2, Caleb was born via scheduled C-section. Because doctor's didn't expect him to survive for more than only a few minutes, they didn't clean him up but instead handed him straight to Liz so she could hold him. He was blue, but miraculously, he started to breathe and his color returned to normal! Caleb's heart had multiple defects... not just one hole. Therefore, his survival for 10 hours is a true miracle! Countless people had been praying for Liz throughout her pregnancy, and Liz herself was praying that Caleb would survive long enough to meet his brother and sister. God graciously answered that prayer.

After Liz & Howie's family and children got to meet Caleb, they left and Liz & Howie were alone with their precious newborn son. A short while later, Caleb passed away in his beautiful mother's arms.

Caleb's short life is such a great reminder of the sanctity of human life! He was and is a child deeply loved by his parents, siblings, and extended family... and most of all, God Himself! And while it is a devastating reality that he is not here... God gives us all a hope-filled and peace-filled joy knowing that he is whole and in the presence of Jesus. Not only that, but Jason & Lindsay are experiencing the joy of being an uncle and aunt to Caleb. They have not had that privilege yet, but now they do!

So this is my tribute to Caleb's life. His life meant something! He taught us about what is truly important in life versus what is trivial. He was and is a precious gift from God. We will never forget him and he will always hold a special place in our hearts... and one day, we will see him in heaven! I think his reunion with his mom & dad will be especially sweet. He will run into their arms and thank them for the life they gave him.

Some of Liz's friends set up a fundraiser site to help them pay for medical and additional expenses. If you feel so led, you can contribute at the link below. Thank you so much & God bless!

YouCaring Fundraiser Site

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