Hey friends, I’m so excited to share with you a sweet friend of mine’s story. Shannon is a joy and encouragement to know, and I hope you find her story as inspiring as I did!
Hey, my name is Shannon and I’m a twenty-something-year-old born and raised Washingtonian whose love for green grass, white linens, garden veggies, puppy kisses, and God’s grace is 100% unapologetic. It was an honor to be asked to share some thoughts with you, on this cozy corner of the Internet. I encourage you to grab your favorite beverage, a fluffy blanket, and stay awhile. Thanks for reading!
My journey towards living an authentic, grace-filled life is nowhere near completion, but my goodness it sure has a come a long way from where it first began…
I was 4 years old. My papa and I were driving home from church on a warm summer evening when I asked him the most intelligent question a 4-year-old could possibly ask: “Dad, how do I get Jesus to actually live inside my heart?” Without hesitation he maneuvered the car over to the side of the road, put it in park, and turned to face me with the biggest smile. From that night forward, Jesus became more than just a story, He became the leader of my story.
Faith has always been a key component of my identity – it literally defines how I see the world, attempt to react in situations, and most importantly offers me the promise that my future is just the beginning of a divine legacy. I picture faith as a golden thread, intricately woven throughout the years, remaining vibrant in color despite human tendencies to dull it. The concept of faith has not always been easy for me to comprehend, especially as a “scientist”. You see, my background is heavy in the sciences. With only 1 year remaining between a medical doctorate degree and my future in healthcare, the majority of my life has been spent learning, pondering, and researching in the fields of biology, chemistry, physiology, mathematics, etc. Thankfully, a faith-based upbringing, partnered with the decision to pursue my pre-medical undergraduate degree at a small, private Christian university, provided me with a solid foundation on which my faith continues to grow.
As a physician-in-training I put my faith to the test every.single.day. My position on a healing team grants me total access to the most vulnerable, ugly, and joyous moments that human life has to offer. I find this level of stranger-intimacy truly humbling. Medicine is a beautiful and messy journey, one that requires faith. Faith to hold a patient’s hand as they take their last breath, faith to bring a tiny life into this world, and faith to understand that the human body is not something to be “mastered” but something to be respected. My admiration for God’s divine creation spans beyond the awe-inspired complexity of the body, but also runs deep into the dark soil where my “baby greens” grow. As a wanna-be-green-thumb enthusiast, I can’t help but become giddy with excitement when I see a leafy green stalk emerge from the soil below. The concept that delicious life can grow from a tiny, seemingly life-less seed, never ceases to amaze me.
Similarly, I compare life without Jesus to be like the inanimate seed – buried, cold, and struggling to simply survive the harsh environments before realizing that it has a purpose for living that gives life to others. That being said, I encourage you to pause, look around at what fills your daily life and gives you purpose. Is it your job? How many followers you have on your social media accounts? The car you drive? What your significant other does for work? The list could go on and on, and on. Instead, I now challenge you to pause again, take a moment to jot down what really matters to you, and make a second list of what you know matters to your Creator. Do your lists align? If not, prayerfully ask Jesus to help you break out of the darkness and into His light, so you can become a life-giving fruit to those around you. More frequently than not, I, too, have to press pause and re-evaluate the situation at-hand. Clarity doesn’t always come with a quick prayer, and often requires a painful struggle before I emerge with a renewed perspective that 99% of the time also comes with a sense of peace, His peace.
I pray for that same sense of peace to find you, right here, right now. You are loved. You are cherished. And most importantly, you have a purpose for living that is unparalleled. Your Heavenly Father created you perfectly and desires nothing more than to be in daily conversation with you. Silence the cell phone, close the laptop, and take the time you need to reconnect with your Creator. You imperfections are perfectly welcomed in His presence.
Praying abundant blessings over you as you continue to navigate this imperfect journey we call life, and seek to accept the grace that eagerly awaits you.
Follow Shannon on Instagram: Dynamic_DO
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