No “Fresh Meat” Sign Continued -Stepping Forward

“Put Your Dream To the Test”  Chapter One Thoughts.

Am I doing what I do because I don’t know what else to do?  Yes.  The positive for me at this moment is that my lack of knowing is not a lack of ambition.  Whatever God has for me, I want to be the very best I can be.

“It clicked.  It was something I suddenly just seemed to reach out and find, as if I’d been crossing a suspended bridge and finally stepped off onto solid ground.” ~Arnold Schwarzenegger

This is exactly what I’ve been asking God for.  I’ve been praying for Him to give me a passion and desire to do and be all He’s created me for.  Maybe He already has given me the passion?  Maybe it’s just not packaged the way everyone else says it should be?  Maybe I’ve been reaching for what I think I’m supposed to be, rather than what I know I’d like to be?  Within days of Warren’s death, people began asking what I was going to do next.  They would say things like, “You’re going to be the next Beth Moore.”  Or, “I know God is going to do something great with you.  You have too much of a story not to be out speaking on the national level.”  Books were being titled for me and press kits put together.  All this was happening in the middle of huge legal battles and during a time I struggled with finding the energy to even cry.  I am extremely flattered at their well-intentioned words, but the more time that’s passed and I’ve not become all they said I would and should, I’ve struggled with my self-worth.  All I wanted in the days before Warren’s passing was to be a great wife, and Lord-willing, the best mom I could be.  I have really tried to desire all that was spoken over me, but it’s not there at the level it needs to be for me to run toward it with everything in me.  I loved speaking on Easter Sunday, but it’s not my first passion.  I am more than happy to do these things, but if this is to be a part of my life, it will be secondary to my family.  Bigger, in the eyes of society, is not always better.

“You cannot achieve a dream you do not own.” ~John C. Maxwell

I had someone ask me the question, “Why won’t someone just love me for me?”  My answer to them was, “How can they when you don’t know who you are?”  The more I have the privilege of talking with others as they walk through a difficult time, the more I am caused to look deeper into myself.  I have to search my own heart and get honest with myself in order to know who I am.  Here’s a thought that would get little attention when it crossed my mind.  I used to long for the days I could be at my home church while I was traveling in full-time music ministry.  I imagined what it would be like to be the “normal family.”  I took a few moments to think on these thoughts and then I would internally tuck them away.

It was just two weeks before he was killed, Warren woke me up in the middle of the night to discuss all the “What ifs?” if something were ever to happen to him.  One of the things he said to me, “Don’t worry about keeping the trio going.  That’s my passion not yours.”  He went on to tell me all he wanted for me.  I will not go into all the details but I can say this, he gave me an amazing blessing to live a life free from the guilt of keeping our life alive.  Unfortunately, I picked the guilt up from every other angle.  Now, I’m laying it all down.

I believe God plants seeds in our heart and mind for future purposes.  It may just be that the seed of longing to be at home is now deepening it’s roots; for such a time as this.  I feel God slowly peeling away the cocoon He’s had me in and gently tugging on my new wings.  Wings I didn’t even know were growing.  I love my home church and my extended family there.  I love reaching out and getting to know my neighbors.  I struggled with the words, “I love you” growing up but now I feel a great need to tell others how valuable they are.  I never would have taken walks alone simply to meet those that live around me, yet today, I do my best to get out in-order to draw people in.  Even if people do not respond well to my sincere, “hello” as I pass by, I feel joy in knowing that God may be trying to strip away a fear build-wall of their own.  This fills my heart with joy.

“…if success is not on your own terms, if it looks good to the world but does not feel good in your own soul, it is not success at all.” ~Anna Quindlen

Am I less because I long to be a godly wife to a godly man?  Am I less because I want to raise children of character?  I think this is a pretty large dream in our world today.  I am also very aware that it can only be achieved if it’s wrapped in the presence of God.  I know God hears me when I pray by witnessing other answered prayers.  So, I know He also hears me when I ask Him for His continued shelter from a path that is less than His perfect for me.  I am stepping forward with caution, but I am stepping forward.


Stepping Forward Can Lead To Amazing Places!


  1. James Hollingsworth said,

    06/22/2010 at 11:50

    Yes , I’ve been reading some of your messages since my sister met you at a focus on the family metting . Your story is tragic , but God is with you! I don’t have any trite Christian expressions to through at you to comfort you during this season of your life. I do see a few things about you. I see you heart with several scars from the past . They are from hurtful words , hurtful deeds and lies from the enemy. These go back to times as a child , through your marriage and even during this present season. My prayer for you has been that the Lord would take His mighty right hand and release His anointing to heal every hurt in every memory in your life. I’ve asked that Jesus would speak the truth to every lie that the enemy spoke into your life. May the light of the Lord fill you and shatter all the darkness that has tried to establish itself in your life. I know that the Father desires that you come and spend more time with Him. As you seek His face , He is going to give you the direction you seek, a new hope and His shalom. This is the shalom where there is nothing broken , nothing missing or broken in your life. Only he can fill your life with the missing pieces you so despirately desire. I see that He has great plans for your life and that you are on the right path. May the Lord bless you and continue to fill you with His presence.

    • 06/25/2010 at 11:50

      James, Thank you for your beautiful message. I do have scares from my past and have had to deal with lies spoken over me. Thankfully, I’m one of the blessed ones to now recognize they are lies. I’m also extremely blessed to have people like you praying for my continued healing; on every level. I myself have been praying for God’s wisdom and the ability to discern between His truth and the enemy’s deception. I also believe there is power in the words we speak. Thank you for the life giving words and for taking the time to encourage me. God Bless You! And, AMEN!

  2. Gary said,

    06/25/2010 at 11:50

    I am still thinking about your post from the 16th. It occurred to me, referring to what you said in the post e.g. “I picked the guilt up from every other angle. Now, I’m laying it all down”, that you have probably accomplished one of the keys changes necessary to release you to go forward in your life and be open to receive from God what he has for you.

    I pray now: Lord God, please give to Shannan the desires of her heart. Amen.

    • 06/26/2010 at 11:50

      Gary, You and Bonnie have been and still are an amazing support. I treasure the both of you. Thank you for your prayers. Yesterday, I had a phone call come in that was a door closing, at least for the present time. Some would have thought it to be a sad moment, but I remembered the, “lot” I cast and had to smile knowing God is in control. As I told mom about it today, I really felt the feelings of letting go. It feels good.

      In 2005, when God kept asking me the question, “Are you willing to give it all up?” I had no idea what He meant, but my answer is still, “Yes.”

  3. Tracey Paris said,

    06/28/2010 at 11:50

    We continue to pray for you Shannan we pray Gods will for your life….may you be blessed today tomorrow and always…thank you for your transparency…
    Love you tonnes
    The Paris Family

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