Monday, October 17, 2011

31 Days: Letting Go of The Status Quo

I used to be the girl who tried to talk people out of doing crazy things because I was afraid of what it might mean for me. It made me feel nervous somehow. It made me feel like my life would become a blurry, muddy contrast to theirs; that my faith might somehow look smaller, or that (gulp) if God called them to crazy, might he also call me?

I felt safest when everyone stood with their toes to the line, never crossing it.

My sister went off to Africa and I had the nerve to tell her that she should be staying here; that she was deserting her culture; that it would be selfish for her to go (oh yes, I did.) I tried to make her feel guilty, though I never would have done so overtly. I was smart enough to be at least a little underhanded. Because if obedience to her meant doing something "wild", then how could I be obedient in the mundane?

What I know now is that the mundane often requires extra doses of obedience.

I also know that many of us are called to wild but too scared to listen.

I know that wild sometimes looks serene. I know that big sometimes gets lost in the haystack. I know church doesn't always happen on Sunday and that family means a shared heart, not blood.

I know that God is in the business of hurling dynamite at the status quo. He's not a fan. He'll do what it takes to bust it up.

So if you feel like you're hearing a call to crazy, I'm rooting for you. I'm telling you to do the dang thing. It might not mean boarding a plane or moving to a tipi out on the plains. It might sound quiet when it feels really loud and maybe that's the very thing holding you back from getting serious. Maybe you believe your excitement might register looks of confusion or, worse, apathy. They'll think it's a drop in the bucket and they won't understand. Or they'll think it's too grandiose and that you're just trying to show off.

Remember this: God's story for you is for you. It was written with you in mind to advance the Glory of His name.

Of course you have a choice. You could opt to say no. But what would be the fun in that?

*For the rest of the Letting Go series, click here.


  1. "God's story for you is for you. It was written with you in mind to advance the Glory of his name"

    riding on this, friend.
    thanks, i can't tell you enough.

    love and prayers abound. xo

  2. I say go ahead and do it- whatever it is.

    Plan to be shunned at family gatherings- or just plan to skip them altogether.

    Plan to be whispered about- and maybe even stir the pot up a little yourself.

    Go ahead and plan to just go with it and let the breeze of God blow your hair back when you do.

    The peace that comes with being obedient is far better than keeping the peace with the people around you.

    I love ya girl, and your brick house too.


  3. Thanks for reminding me that God's story for me is... FOR ME!!!! Sometimes we get caught up in looking like everyone else. I've been enjoying your series on letting go. Thanks for writing it. Your writing in general is such a gift to me. I look forward to each post. ~Sally

  4. I knew by the title this was gonna be GOOD!
    How is it you ALWAYS manage to write straight to me? ;)


  5. I'm really enjoying this series, Shannan. The idea of letting go of second best so that God can fill your hands with His first best pierces me right where I need to be pierced. And His first best for me is not always the same as His first best for my neighbor.

    Thank-you for sharing your journey with us.


    P.S. I just received an AWESOME package in the mail today! Thank-you so much! This "good" girl can't wait to go deeper into God's grace. xoxo

  6. God is moving you along on an amazing journey right now and He's inspiring you to propel so many others to their calling too. Love it.

  7. between you, Emily (chatting at the sky), and the Holy Spirit, i think it's time i get my dreams out of my brain and into action.

    sidenote: i picked up grace for the good girl (ohmyword... it's so good for me!) a few weeks ago and opened it right up to see your name smack dab in the center of the page. i was so excited for you. and i must say that i liked your snippet the best.

    and, because you are on your way to something big, i am keeping each email and/or comment i get from you. does that sound stalker-ish or what?! i just love ya, that's all.

  8. Thank you for this....

    Right now, we are in limbo, not knowing fully about my husband's next career move, but knowing God has a plan. One that is left unseen to us now, but will be revealed in His timing.

    So while most would balk at our decision to wait on the Lord, to hear what is next for the husband's job, we wait. He will provide, and this time, we won't jump ahead and choose to jump without a parachute.

    Thank you for the reminder....

  9. Oh I love that you said dang.

    And I love this post.

  10. Thank you for this whole series! Your beautifully crafted words have prodded and poked at my heart and caused me to ask myself what do I need to let go? Also, thanks for stopping by to say "hi"!

  11. I would have said the same thing to my sister. I'm not one for listening quietly to what God wants, I demand answers and kick and scream if I don't like the sound of them. I'm definitely the black sheep in his big family. Thank goodness he still loves the trouble makers.

  12. you've got me thinking...

  13. let me paint a picture for you: road trip vacation. no internet connections. beautiful letting go series that my heart leans in deep to drink. mcdonalds free internet. every time we stop i make nate drive up close enough to load up your post so i can read while we drive on my laptop but then obviously have no connection to comment. if i had been able to comment on them.. it would have been simply a heartfelt amen. :)

  14. i, too, am loving this series, and this post is speaking straight to my heart. i have been feeling God calling my family to something 'crazy' and i am a bit nervous about taking the leap. thank you for the encouragement in that direction.

  15. I like this - God's story for me is indeed just for me.

  16. love this whole series....He leads us where he wants us to go....and he gives us the grace to step forward.

  17. the last part of worrying about the confusion or apathy of others, rings so true, makes me think of how often i've willfully ignored a calling to go where God is leading because of my "fear of man" thank you for skillfully puttting words to the feelings of so many

  18. Hi Shannan - I used to work with Cory in DC and stumbled upon your blog through The Lettered Cottage - how surprised I was to see his face! Small world. :-) My "wild" lately has been being called to give up some "selfless" activities (post-grad classes, volunteering) that were definitely serving others but taking away most of my time for those two who should take top priority...God and my husband. That felt backwards but in the long run will get me back in the right direction. This post seemed to resonate with that so I thought it was time to say hi and that I love your writing. :-) Hi to Cory too!

  19. For me and Dad letting go, was about my children, and trusting in where He would send them. Ten years ago,I don't know how I would have accepted Africa, or "the hood". But now I can say I do not worry a bit. And look forward to all God will do in all of our lives. Its the most exasperating to hear others tell me all their,"what ifs". But I know the great cloud of witnesses is cheering on everyone who is stepping out of the boat to really live for Jesus.
    Also you have some really amazing friends who leave comments. I find myself getting to know them and am praying for them. God is doing a marvelous thing in so many lives.

  20. Shannan, I was really encouraged by this post. I'm the product of missionary parents who moved to that distant land. When I think of my childhood I feel like my life now is so boring and I should do something, anything..!! It was good to be reminded that God has a story in mind for each of us, mundane or not.. He knows whats best and continues to do wonderfully amazing things in our lives.

  21. Shan ♥ God is using you in ways you do not even realize. All of this [this blog] is part of your story. Thanks for your obedience.

  22. I have never left you a comment...just lurking around these parts from time to I may have to stop reading your are making me nervous ;) With people like you running around I may have to actually act on the crazy idea instead of just think about it.

  23. Wow. This series has been speaking to my heart so much! About the time you started it, God called our family to the crazy: adopt a 5 sibling group. Thanks for your encouragement to keep following when others don't understand. Praying for you, Shannon!

  24. Wow, your life has took a turn. Not too sure where God has led you and your husband, maybe I need to find that part on another post. But whatever it is, it seems like a huge change from where you were. God is not letting any of his followers off the hook of greater and deeper challenges. Glad your one of them, and you can speak of it here for many.

  25. I used to dream big and want big, but no matter what I achieved it was never satisfying. I wanted God to call me to something crazy, I wanted to do more. But that was not what God wanted of me. He had a different plan, one that was quieter, one that was mundane and I have to tell you that while I struggled with it at first, it is the best decision I ever made: to listen to God's calling instead of what I wanted him to call me to do.
    He knows best and he knew what I really needed. I am so glad for the mundane life I have, I feel blessed to be a helper of those who do crazy things instead of being the one doing them.
    Thanks for reminding me of how far I have grown in Christ and for reminding me that he isn't finished with me yet. Only he knows the plans for me and I am finally able to say with peace I am ready to go where he directs.

  26. Crying. So beautiful. God's story for you is for you. It was written with you in mind to advance the Glory of His name.
    Thank you.

  27. I should have read this before my Questions post. He's got things planned for me that may not be wild in the eyes of the world, but are wild in my comfort zone. Thanks for this post.