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Her Story: Elizabeth Shannon

Her Story: Elizabeth Shannon

{Forward&UP}

Written by: Bradley Jean

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All of us have a story.

Most of it good and joy and happiness. But very often too, pain, obstacles, walls and tears. It is our story, the joy and tears together, that make us who we are in God's eyes. It typically is messy, but it is also Beautiful and Unique to the path He has laid out for us.

The truth is, we all have something Beautiful to offer this world. To share with others in order to shed light and hope upon someone else. If there is one thing I am certain this world needs, it is to help each other. To show grace and compassion and to lift up the weak and the strong. We are certainly not meant to bear this life alone.

Through Forward&UP, I hope to shower our community with Hope and Light by sharing stories of Strong and Courageous women from all over. Women of great Faith who carry the light of Jesus in hopes to show someone else who He is. Women who are humble and choose to live each day with grateful hearts. These ladies are constantly moving Forward with Grace and Joy, and living out their story one day at a time. Their hearts are set on Him and Him alone. 

This is Elizabeth's story... 

One that involves deep sadness and pain. But also great love! I have never lost a child, but I do believe it to be one of the saddest moments in time. One that lingers on and leaves a space that can quite never be filled. A year ago, September 5, Elizabeth lost a full-term baby just days away from her due date.

"I remember it taking a very long time for me to even consider that Andie had died. The nurse searched for the heart beat for a long time, but when the doctor came in and took over the ultra sound, I remember the warmth of my tears running down my cheeks. Not until that moment had I experienced a broken heart. It was shattered into a million tiny pieces in a single instance. But then a miracle happened, (my husband) grabbed my hands and began to pray. He was a rock that night for me, even in his own unimaginable pain. We were in this together...the only two parents who knew what it was to lose Andie Virginia Shannon."  

Today, Elizabeth is smiles and good-vibes. She has two sweet boys who keep her on task and on the move. Elizabeth also owns a Yoga Studio in Auburn, AL called "The Yoga Room". She says, "The studio opened and one week later I found out I was pregnant with Andie. She's a very special part of the studio and I know it's all part of the Master plan." 

She also told me, "It's been quite a year. There has been a lot of pain, but also a lot of Joy that I know I was only able to experience because of my Faith. I had faith that God was with me even when I was angry at him and that brings immeasurable comfort and safety. He made it pretty clear from the beginning that this child, this angel was sent to do great work. And she HAS, without ever taking one single breath in this world. In my darkest moments, when I'm the most angry, I still know in my heart that I have a job to do now...I question all the time if I'm up for the task. And the answer is No. But He is."

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Elizabeth knows what true Faith is. Believing and not seeing. Her eyes choose to see his hands and his plan. Her body chooses to rejoice and laugh and live among the pain. Her heart chooses a path unknown yet a purpose that is eternal. Are we not called to do the same? Where are our eyes of faith? Are they set upon this world? Or set upon our Creator? Elizabeth's are with out a doubt set upon God. 

"I've recently become in absolute awe of God's timing. I'm beginning to learn his purpose for me but don't know the details yet. I know that as long as I keep my heart open to his plan, he will reveal it to me piece by piece and in his own perfect time." I find that too often we want life to unfold on 'Our' timing. But that's right where we are wrong...what about God's timing? Shouldn't we trust that his timing and plan are more secure than ours? Shouldn't we know and believe that His big plan starts in the small details of our hearts. Where are our hearts? Are they open to receive new life and his direction? He is in the details there. He is most intimate with us there. He puts us together piece by piece. And he carves our hearts so that in return we can carve others. We are not up to all his big tasks, but he is.

I do believe that God is closest to us in our hurt and pain. Elizabeth said it herself. She is a true survivor and a warrior. She knows her life and future rest in God's mighty hands. She's also very brave to share this story with others. She's quick to say that even though she has experienced great Joy, this year has also been hard as hell. She says, "God is still right here. And as hard as it is, He does have a plan." 

I'v learned something from Elizabeth...Pain is inevitable, but what we do with it us up to us. She has chosen to endure it and rest in his loving arms. She has chosen to create life and joy while the pain is still present. Is this not too what we are called to do? We all have our own pain and heart aches, but what if we took that and turned into something good for others to see. What if we used it to love back? To love bigger and become stronger for the next person we meet? 

What is your story? We all have one... My prayer is that you will find yours. That you will take the details of your life and use them to inspire others to move Forward in their walk with Christ and to set their hearts upward to heaven. {Forward&UP}

 

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Thank you Elizabeth for sharing. Your story will be a gift to someone else for healing and grace. God says that we are made new Everyday. What a gift and what a prefect blessing! 

Her Story: Katie Compton

Her Story: Katie Compton

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