You Are Not Alone!


“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” – Romans 12:2

Artist - John D. Austin

her illusion - by "HELIX"

Over the last few years I have had many people coming to me with relationship and marriage issues.  I will be the first to shout from a mountaintop that I am NO expert in this area.  I do have some experience with my own growth process in the fact that I was married for 9 1/2 years, and the only reason I’m not still married is because death did us part.  As people open their hearts to me, I hope and pray that it is God they seek because they see Him in me.

Most of the time I will freely offer my thoughts when someone asks me for my opinion.  I know in offering them, I am also open to hear some feedback that may disagree with what I’ve presented.  I’m ok with this.  It’s in these times of dialog that greater insight comes.  I use to tell Warren, “I may not agree with you right away but give me time to think about what you’ve said.  I promise you, I do think about it and search my heart to see if I’m wrong in my thinking.” This is still my commitment in any conversation.  Unless you are blatantly going against the word of God, or just wanting to argue for the sake of arguing, then I’m open to hear all you have to say.

Even while I was traveling in full-time ministry, being surrounded by thousands of people, and married, I still felt alone for so long.  As a Christian, false expectations are placed on us by others and by ourselves.  We do need to live by a higher standard because we represent the King, but we cannot forget that we all face the real human issues of life and are in battle with principalities and powers. (Ephesians 6:11-13)

For years, I internally struggled with my self-worth and felt I was letting God down, by not being smart enough or strong enough to do or be more.  Then I married Warren, and carried my insecurities right into our marriage and our ministry.  People don’t tell you that the first few years of marriage are more like throwing a bunch of ingredients, his and hers, into a blender and hitting the “chop” button.  The verse, “and the two shall become one flesh” takes on a whole new meaning!

Ministry can be so very lonely.  By natural instinct, we elevate people to a place they cannot begin to measure up to.  Once you add the competitive side to ministry on this elevated idealistic view, it’s hard to know who you can trust with your real life struggles.  I remember someone asking me, with almost complete disbelief, “You do your own laundry?” I smiled, as I told them that with all the traveling I do, there are still some things I like to do that make me feel normal…haha!  I explained, that I had to wash my own clothes so the bus could eat.  I had a good laugh with the person who asked the question, but it just confirmed once again that no matter how hard you try to be real with people, there will always be someone who will place you on a pedestal that you do not belong on.

“For I say, through the grace given to me, to everyone who is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, as God has dealt to each one a measure of faith.” – Romans 12:3

Competition can run high in life on the road and in ministry life.  It’s sad.  There are many, who because of their own insecurities, do not want to see you succeed in your area of gifting, or calling.  We have to be very careful never to fall into the trap of this mindset.  We must constantly search the motive of our heart in our deeds and actions.  This goes for every area of our lives.  In the past, I have delayed responding to people until I could search my own heart before I shared my thoughts on a particular issue.

If we are professing faith in Christ, then we are held to a higher standard and should strive for it.  We are to be set a part and the world should be able to look on us for the truth we have living in us.  The only way we can live a life of truth before others is if we are living a life of truth within ourselves. If we hold a secret place within, we are always vulnerable for deceptive sway.  If we open the door internally to the deception by nurturing it in our thought life, it WILL eventually manifest itself in a physical or spiritual action.

So many of us fall for the lie that we are the only one who deals with these battles in our mind.  This is a deceptive spirit.  You are not alone in your struggle, and the people we admire, they too have to work at taking every thought and motive captive.  No one is exempt.

Some of my struggles, fears, and insecurities, came from what others spoke over me when I was very young.  I became a silent child for many years in hopes to keep peace around me.  I learned this lesson when I was about two years old.  From this point on, the enemy dumped lie after lie into my mind, building a structure of thought patterns that were far from the freedom and real Shannan that God originally created me to be.  BUT!  God in His great and gentle mercy was also calling to me.  As I surrendered to His call, step by precious step, and failure upon success upon failure…upon success, He continues to set me free from all the falsely interpreted thoughts and identities.

A lesson I’ve learned along this journey, is to never assume the person that crosses your path can relate, or cannot relate.  Try never to project an identity onto someone.  Take time to get to know their real life-story, and be a safe place for them to be able to take off the masks that others have placed on them.  Also, be gracious.  Never forget where God has brought you from and the battles He’s won for you to have freedom.  The other person may still be buried so deep that the light of truth has not reached their secret place yet.  If it has and they refuse to release the facade, pray and move on.

~Shannan

2011, Keeping It Real!

If we work on our relationships across the board, with ourself and with others, we’re more likely to succeed in life.  God is relational – 3 in 1.  Try praying for a heart of compassion.  You may just be surprised at how much more full your heart can be.  We’re brothers and sisters in this race together.

12 Comments

  1. 04/06/2011 at 11:50

    I absolutely love this post!
    “The only way we can live a life of truth before others is if we are living a life of truth within ourselves.” – GREAT line, such TRUTH!
    “The other person may still be buried so deep that the light of truth has not reached their secret place yet.” – I really appreciate this reminder, while I’m aware of this, I believe sometimes my mind and my tone, often forget – an area I still am working to improve.
    RE: “Higher Standard” … I do not believe we live by a higher standard nor are we held to a higher standard – we live and are judged differently. I grew up with this term, it seems natural to say, use, and reference and I have used it more than a few times in my life. However, I’m coming to realize, this past year, that such a phrase implies to the non-christian that we are better than they, and that’s just not the case. Because I’m living in truth doesn’t make me any better than the person living deceptively or in a lie – it makes me living different and therefore judged differently. God loves us all equally, there is no ranking system in his offering of love.

    • 04/06/2011 at 11:50

      I appreciate your thoughts PJ. My point in the statement, “Higher standard” was referring to the scripture in James 3:1, since I was writing around the idea of my life on the road in full-time ministry.

      “My brethren, let not many of you become teachers, knowing that we shall receive a stricter judgment.”

      God does love us all equally, but as a ministers on platform, I was held under greater judgment. I still believe I am now with the platform of this blog site. I’m NOT better or loved more, just responsible and will be held accountable. Maybe I should have clarified a little more. It’s so hard to catch when trying to keep these blogs from getting too long.

  2. 04/06/2011 at 11:50

    Yes, I totally get what you are saying and understand where you are coming from. However, stricter jugdement doesn’t imply higher standard. We, as humans, have a tendency to place everything on a ranking scale, and that phrase qualifies as a ranking scale phrase. We, as Christians, as leaders – in all areas that implies – will be judge more harshly… that difference doesn’t make me higher or better than the other, it implies that the expectations, even requirements, are different. I don’t hold my oldest child to a higher standard over my youngest child, I expect differently from her. Expectancy and hierarchy are completely different. The Intercessor changed this for us with his death and resurrection. I do NOT believe you are implying any of what I’m arguing, I’m simply stating an observation that has come to may attention in the past year.

    • 04/06/2011 at 11:50

      I really am sorry that the word used was offensive to you. Like the rest of the (American) English language, we have to read the entire context to get the meaning behind what is written. I’m also sure that the fact you are a mother gives you a much deeper insight than I can have regarding your thoughts. God does love us all with equal love, but not all will be held in the same regard to enter heaven for eternity* – I get this is whole other debate for some. The “non-Christian” is usually, not always, the one who holds us to a “higher standard” just by accusing us of being hypocrites for not being perfect. My blog was simply to show that I’m far from perfect but striving to be better.

      *It’s not by my works but by Christ blood any of us can know God and obtain an eternal home in heaven with Him.

      “Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” – John 14:6

  3. Juliette said,

    04/06/2011 at 11:50

    I can identify with you on so many levels. I know, through following your blog, that you would agree that God uses marriage and all the struggles that go with it to break us down! He wants to literally annihilate us so that He can be reflected through us to others! That is when the world will see Jesus! I admire you for taking the risk and being real. It’s great to have dialog with others because iron sharpens iron. Eric and I love and pray for you constantly and we see a lot of wisdom here…Don’t stop!

    • 04/06/2011 at 11:50

      You are so right Juliette. I must decrease that He can increase. I’m not going to say more regarding this because you said it so well! I thank you both for your prayers and friendship. I hope and pray that others can be encouraged and feel safe to “Keep It Real” also. We’re all in this together and learning as we go. If I’m stepping forward, at least I will fall forward – if I fall.

  4. carol said,

    04/06/2011 at 11:50

    Shannan, I so appreciate your open heart, I do hope that your spiritual and emotional healing continues as you continue to seek Gods heart. I think of you often, but must confess that many times do not follow up the thought with prayer, I will try to do better in this area. Love and Blessings. Carol

    • 04/06/2011 at 11:50

      Carol, I appreciate you and the many years of support you’ve given. I sure do hope gas prices don’t get any higher, so I can hopefully get a trip up to see everyone this year. Maybe I can take up a love offering from the family…haha!

  5. 04/06/2011 at 11:50

    Hi Shannan, I really appreciate your open heart, I love it what you wrote, we think of you often, we pray for you often too Shannan, God bless you.

    Sometimes I think about money too often, I got to stop this It’s a terrible habit,

    I have entered in the Publishers Clearing house contest too often thinking I’m going to win grand price, I have wasted so many postage stamps in this every month.

    I get mail from them every month, they try to get me to buy something , beside entry in the contest, I don’t buy anything any more , use too It was too much Shipping and handling.

    Pray for me that I’ll stop entry in this contest, I don’t want to waste any more postage stamps in this,God bless you, I have learned a lot from what you have wrote today, we love you,Love,

    Clinton & Loraine and our pet(cat) Pixie

  6. Michele said,

    04/10/2011 at 11:50

    Hello from your friends at First Baptist Church of Osteen in Central Florida!

    • 04/10/2011 at 11:50

      Wow, It’s been a long time! Thanks for touching base. How is everyone doing in Osteen?


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