In-N-Out is known for arguably the best fast-food hamburgers on planet Earth. And the Bible verses printed on the bottom of its fry trays and cups point their devoted customers toward heaven.
But behind the “Christian,” billion-dollar company is a born-again president, Lynsi Snyder, who struggled through three divorces, marijuana and alcohol addiction.
She had a happy childhood and loved her dad, but when she turned 12 she realized dad’s “sickness” was drug addiction, a byproduct of painkillers prescribed after surgeries. When her parents divorced because of his infidelity, Lynsi’s world fell apart.
Then her dad, president of the burger chain, died.
She tried to fill the void with a quick marriage straight out of high school. When that ended in divorce, she hooked up with another guy. She was desperate to ward off loneliness.
“It wasn’t right. I knew that, that small still voice was telling me don’t do this and I did it and I paid the price with a divorce and jumped right into the arms of someone else.”
Cast as the outcast in her family, she decided to embrace the bad girl role and started smoking marijuana and drinking. It was a move, she was aware, that paralleled her dad’s demise, and it worried her enough to eventually change.
“I realized that I’m going to follow the footsteps of my father and I’m going to meet an early death if I do not get right with God and follow him because the enemy just wanted to wipe me out.”
When her live-in boyfriend also quit the drugs and booze, she figured they should get married. Two beautiful children resulted from that marriage, but it too did not survive after six years.
“I couldn’t feel like a bigger failure at that point,” Lynsi says. “I just couldn’t recover who I was.”
Still lonely, she married a guy who only wanted her family fortune. He cheated on her and verbally and emotionally abused her.
“The first time I found out he cheated I thought I deserved it. I’m paying for it,” she says. “Never had I been talked to the way he talked to me. Treated me like trash. It was the worst time of my life.”
You could see all she wanted was love and appreciation but it just seemed like she was getting farther away every time.
“I started to believe the lies that I deserved that, that God is punishing me,” she says. “The things that could be said can cut you very very deeply and change who you believe you think you are.”
As much as she wanted to avoid a third divorce, it became inevitable.
This time, she stopped finding guys quickly. She grew close to God.
“I was never willing to just let go and see that God had something better,” she says. “It was an alone that was okay because I wasn’t completely alone. I had the Jesus that walked in water and who had healed the sick.”
Lynsi is now (finally) happily married and serves the Los Angeles community alongside her husband through their foundation “Army of Love.”
She is the president of the popular eatery with over 300 locales, all privately owned, mostly in the southwestern United States. Its double-double, double patty double cheese, has won the respect of even some of the most famous chefs and food critics, like Julia Childs and Anthony Bourdain, around the world. The company is valued at over $1 billion.
If you want to know more about a personal relationship with God, go here
Rudee Becerra studies at the Lighthouse Christian Academy in Santa Monica.