For today's Becoming Who You Are series, I am so excited to introduce you to my friend Shannon K. Evans. Shannon gave birth to her first baby girl, Thea Moon, and is also mama to four (rambunctious) boys. Her words are anointed and move my spirit. I admire who she is as a mother, wife, woman, writer, and friend. I asked her a few questions below:
At what point in your life did you begin the journey to really know yourself, step into who you are, and embrace the call that God uniquely gave you? What was the impetus?
Honestly, in my life there have been several of those points. I think maybe that's the way it should be: just when we think we've arrived something happens to shake the old slough loose a little bit more. I think, in God, we are continually waking up. Waking up to God being bigger than we once understood, and that having implications on how we know ourselves as well.
How has facing your own weakness, that which you discuss in your book, Embracing Weakness, been a catalyst to discovering who you are?
When the false identity I had for myself fell apart years ago (thanks to frustrating missions work and adopting a child) I realized I didn't actually want to live under a facade of power or "having it all together". I wasn't happy: I realized I'd been craving authenticity and vulnerability. Even though circumstances really painted me into a corner, it was incredibly freeing to be released from trying to have all the answers and live up to something I knew I wasn't. Accepting myself even in my smallness and failures—and then having unlikely people, homeless people, there to catch me as I was falling—it was the greatest gift. It opened the door for me to start digging a deeper well of freedom for myself and a new lens through which to see others.
What do you think the story is that God wants to tell with your life? What does the Holy Spirit want to reveal of Christ’s nature with your own personal mission?
One thing I'm beginning to value about myself is that I'm uniquely created to see the connection between all things, be it humans, nature, animals, space, the supernatural, or whatnot. Another way to say I see the Divine in and through everything. That idea captivates me and has expanded my idea of God in such a beautifully rich way. So if I had to name one thing, that might be the story God is telling with my life: that we belong to each other, and we belong to Earth, and that God really is all in all. I think there is so much potentiality for healing within that truth.
Which Saint has been your closest ally lately? What do you learn from them?
At different times in my life I have been drawn to different saints. Dorothy Day is certainly one, as is Oscar Romero and Saint Terese of Lisieux. But this year Our Lady of Guadalupe has really been my constant ally, making herself known to me in the most blatant of ways. From her I am learning that power and femininity are not mutually exclusive. She is a tender mother, but also a total badass defender of the oppressed. I feel both nurtured and empowered by her and I want to offer that to others from myself as well.
What does your daily prayer routine look like?
Well I have a new baby so we don't have much of any kind of routine yet. But I've learned that I pray best when I am physically engaged, so I come alive listening to God while doing yoga, writing, or taking walks out in nature. As I age I find my prayer consists of more listening than talking. I'm amazed at what I can come to understand about myself and how God is growing me by simply listening, paying attention, and asking questions.
What books or resources would you recommend to others who want to enter the journey of discovering who God has made them to be?
And if you want to read more from Shannon, I would suggest following her on instagram, signing up to support her on Patreon, and read her book.
Want more? Read Becoming Myself: Paul Campbell