Kindly Remove Your Boot From My Chest!

I have a mound of things that needs tending to at home, but I had to get out of the house today.  I’m sitting in the local coffee shop, with a Grande’, non-fat, extra hot, no foam latte’, with caramel drizzle in hand.  I have a book in front of me that I really should be reading, but my mind will not allow me to focus.  So, I am people watching.  I have to giggle.  We try so hard to create an image of what we think God looks like.  But, from the many different varieties that are coming in and out of this establishment, I’m again reminded that we cannot contain God in the box of our limited minds.

“Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness….So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them.” -Gen. 1:26a, 27

No Human Pictures For The Sake Of Argument ;o)

Today is January 1 ‘2011.  Last year on this day I was full of hope.  I knew, that I knew, that I knew, what I was to do for the year.  I clearly heard God set a list of goals for me.  2010 was packed full of things I had to complete.  I had a few task that had been left undone far too long.  I also got to experience many things for the first time.  Things like, going to a friends 40th birthday party and getting up to dance, because it no longer mattered to me if I could or not; I just wanted to live.  So why is my heart heavy?  The year also claimed the reality of further disappointments.  I was able to dance that night, because the one I stood next to cared for me, just for who I am – or so I thought.

I never knew it was possible to be so full of joy and so completely weighted down by sorrow all at the same time.  In one moment I can be overtaken with excitement for friends as they welcome a new addition into their family, and the next moment my heart can sincerely cry as I hold the hand of another friend while they say their final goodbyes and death robs us of them.

The last three months have carried the majority of breathless moments.  I have faced more loss.  Some of these losses have been sudden with no explanation and some are still in process.

Let me make this statement before I continue on.  Shaken faith is not a lack of faith. If we run to God with the “I don’t understand” question, it is not an act of unbelief.  The very fact that we run to Him with anything shows a level of confidence in Him.  Matthew 17:20 says, if we have faith as a mustard seed we can move mountains.  I believe God can and I believe He will keep His promises.  I’m just wrestling with His timing.  I know that God is near and I know that He has great plans for my life.

I have been extremely patient, but after many conversations with my dance partner, each ending with a new verbal dance, I came to the close of this day emotionally drained.  Truthfully, I am physically and emotionally exhausted.

With tears streaming down my face, I walked in the house and sat down with Coady in his dog bed.  I cannot tell you how long it was, but I sat there for quite a while praying with my tears.  Every fiber of my being searched God and asked, “What now?”  “I don’t know what I am supposed to do.”  I verbally called to Him with a heart questioning, “God?”   I waited and called again, “God?”  I decided that I was going to cry until I physically could not cry any longer.   I feel like God has sliced open my heart and is digging all around.  But, He is God.  He knows best, and He owes me nothing.  I just keeping crying and praying my way through.  The season will have to change eventually….

I feel like I have been pinned to the floor, as someone with heavy work-boots on is standing on my chest – just allowing enough air to pass to get a shallow breath.  It’s just enough to keep me alive.  Am I battling depression?  No.  I’m sad.  Sadness is the antidote to depression.  I am giving myself the gift of being very real with my present emotions.  I also decided to trust in my knowing rather than my feelings.  God is with me and working out the things that I cannot see.  I must remember the things I’ve asked of Him and let God do what He wants to do.  I asked Him to protect me from all harm, from anything that would cause me to miss His perfect path for my life; including guarding me from my own emotions.  He knows best.

Have you ever thought back to something you begged God for, only to thank Him later for saying no?  Often times, my thanks for His guidance only comes after the emotions of the circumstance has long passed.  Recalling His past interventions to mind does help me and reminds me that God sees and hears my hearts’ cry.  To be completely honest about how I feel in this current moment, I am facing fear because I cannot see any hope ahead.  I am sad, frustrated, and tired from a long season of battle.  I must think on and remember what God has done, so I can grab hold of what He will do.

God said He would never leave me alone, and He never has.  God never changes who He is, so I know He never will.  God promises that He will make a way in the wilderness; a way where there seems to be no way.  So, despite feeling hopeless, I do have hope.  I am choosing to thank Him now for victory over this valley, even before I can see the base of the mountain ahead.

It still puzzles me, that the only song I wanted to sing while traveling my last year on tour with the Parker Trio was, “I’ll Just Stand.”  I have a strange comfort by this.  I know God was preparing me then for this present season, which lets me know that He is here and is leading me now.

I’ll Just Stand, by The Parker Trio, Tearin’ Down The Walls, 2005

“When I don’t know which way to go, I’ll Stand,

‘Cause I don’t want to make the same mistakes again,

When I come to the water and it’s too wide,

When I come to the mountain too high to climb,

I’ll wait till You give the command,

Having done all I can do, I’ll just stand.”

I’m sure God wont mind if I just sit for a moment – even if it’s with Coady in his dog bed.


2011, Keeping It Real!

I will dance with joy again!


  1. Bob Teeple said,

    02/09/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannon, I am sorry to hear of you losses, and of the weight of sadness that you feel. If you share the weight with someone else, it becomes easier to manage. If you feel like talking, or sharing some coffee, let me know.

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      Thanks, The story does not end here – to be continued! I have a great circle of friends and I’m only alone when I want to be. Have a great day.

  2. Lori Loesch said,

    02/09/2011 at 11:50

    Shannon, know that you are loved and are being lifted up in pray. After I read your blog, I thought of the devotional Joe and I did yesterday morning.

    I am above all things: your problems, your pain, and the swirling events in this ever-changing world. When you behold My Face, you rise above circumstances and rest with Me in heavenly realms. This is the way of Peace, living in the Light of My Presence. I guarantee that you will always have problems in this life, but they must not become your focus. When you feel yourself sinking in the sea of circumstances, say “Help me, Jesus!”
    and I will draw you back to me. If you have to say that thousands of times daily, don’t be discouraged. I know your weakness, and I meet you in that very place. Ephesians 2:6; Matthew 14: 28-32

    I told Joe yesterday, that I had sometimes worried that maybe I was calling
    Jesus to help me too much. Maybe things I needed help with were too trivial, but He reassured me that no matter what the cirumstances, or if you ask Him a thousand times a day, He will meet you right were you are at that very moment. May God give you peace and encouragement today. You are loved!

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      Oh, how I have felt the prayers! You two are also appreciated and loved dearly. I am grateful for this devotion. People would think I was crazy if they knew all the things I talked to God about. I talk to Him throughout my entire day, consulting Him on every decision. Though, I’m sure I forget often also.

      Thank you for this note and the beautiful email this morning. It was a sweet way to wake up 🙂

  3. Myles Holmes said,

    02/09/2011 at 11:50

    Bless you, my friend. You come to mind so often, and when you do, I pray for you! Hugs from the Holmes family!

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      I will always receive hugs from the Holmes family. You two are treasures I hold close to my heart!

  4. Johnny Thompson said,

    02/09/2011 at 11:50

    “All who call on God in true faith, earnestly from the heart, will certainly be heard, and will receive what they have asked and desired.” ~ Martin Luther

    I believe this for you.

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      Johnny, I love this!!!! Thank you for standing in belief with me. Therefore, it is already done! Amen.

  5. 02/09/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannan, I want you to now that I’m praying for you and my wife Loraine is too
    God bless you, hugs from Clinton & Loraine, we love you Shannan-Clinton & Loraine

  6. 02/09/2011 at 11:50

    Thank you for sharing your heart, Shannan. The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens, and this refers to times when the load is too much for a person to carry alone. I wish I could kick that boot that’s sitting on your chest and with it take away all the disappointment and confusion and hurt. I can’t fix it, but I will pray for you and believe that it’s the best thing I can do for you. Even though it might temporarily feel better to kick something for you… 🙂

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      Hahaha! Well, I’m not responsible for what it is you choose to kick! But, I will certainly accept all that the prayers produce!

  7. mnickles7 said,

    02/09/2011 at 11:50

    That was awesome! Real emotions, real period! I do hate that you have had to go through all that you have. One day, it’ll be very clear why. God will surely make beauty from these ashes. You will shine again with your bright & loving smile. 🙂

    • 02/09/2011 at 11:50

      I have found another beauty in the ashes of this recent season; you and your family! I’m still giggling at how I was escorted in the restaurant on Sun. 😉 Talk about some unconditional love…lol!

  8. 10/09/2015 at 11:50

    […] if God has forgotten me.  I do know better, but I still talk it out when the feelings are like a heavy boot on my chest.  Most of all, I thank Him for catching me as I slid to the floor in a puddle of tears, and for […]

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