This California girl living in Tennessee has a heart of gold! She is a breath of fresh air, cheerful, generous and loves those around her! Karyn Johnson grew up in a small town in California called Julian but has been in Franklin since the Fall of 2006. She loves all that the seasons have to offer in the South, the multiple opportunities for family activities like festivals, and overall the friendliness of the people.
In November of 2015, Karyn got involved with an organization that is close to her heart, Three Strands, by responding to a neighborhood community message about fundraising. She says “I replied to the post giving them a little background and that I lived in Franklin close to Williamson Medical”. Three Strands is an amazing organization that started in Georgia in 2013, that serves birth moms. What is a birth mom? It is well stated on Three Strands’ website, “A Birth Mom is a brave, unsung hero who has made the courageous, selfless choice of choosing life for her child and making an adoption plan to give that child the best possible life at that point on her journey”. When Karyn reached out about the opportunity, the founder was relocating with her family to Nashville from Georgia. That is when she got involved and was brought alongside to help in Memphis to launch that chapter. Karyn also coordinates events for birth moms that gather together quarterly to allow them to listen and share their journey and recently became the Director for the Nashville Chapter at Three Strands.
Three Strands gives birth moms a tote bag that has items picked to fill the bags by other birth mothers. Some items in the bag are a candle, oversized sweatshirt, socks, resources for support and a camera before they leave the hospital but more than that knowing someone loves them and is there for them in their time of grief. Karyn herself at a young age found herself in these shoes and made a choice to be a birth mom. She loves her child with all her heart you can tell and loves the family he was placed with. In her words she said “my life has come full circle”. When I asked her what verses she lives by she said something so beautiful “the Bible is my life verse. Whatever I need in the moment is there.” This joyous soul has done something with her story for the good to serve others and loves to see others do the same. She said “Keep your head held high looking up to your God. You are not going to drown if you are looking up. You will find hope and joy”. What honest and true words from a woman that has experienced grief, loss, pain, love, hope and joy in life.
Karyn is thankful in every moment and phase of life. Today outside of Three Strands she is a wonderful mom to her three girls who she loves experiencing and discovering their interest in life alongside them like roller-skating, baking, and American Girl. During this time of the year her family has great traditions like decorating homemade gingerbread houses that her mom makes, looking at Christmas lights and drinking warm hot chocolate or apple cider. She loves laughing with friends, her husband, daughters and family. She is very real and honest and doesn’t live in her past but learns and grows from it allowing her to help others. She is a true beauty that always has such a welcoming presence and helping others find grace, hope, love and life.