Some of my most precious moments have also been my hardest, because it was then that I felt God’s love and embrace most strongly. When, curled into the corner of the couch, Bible opened on my lap, and He spoke tenderly to me, words of encouragement, of strength, of blessing–of victory. In so many ways, on countless days, God has shown me what my sweet friend Shannon expresses through her inspiring post this morning.
But first, I wanted to share some things I’ve discovered about Shannon. First and foremost, she loves Jesus with every fiber of her being. She and I have been critique partners for a few years now, and I’ve learned so much, on a spiritual level, simply by interacting with her. I’ve been blessed by her continual encouragement and selflessness, by her frequent prayers, and her perseverance to do all she can to show the love, power, and truth of the gospel.
This sweet woman continually gives of herself. It’s not surprising to me, then, that there are times she feels depleted. In the following devotion, she shares how she replenishes. Or should I say, how God replenishes her.
He is Enough
by Shannon Taylor Vannatter
So I was low in spirit. On the verge of getting our taxes done for the year, I was terrified of what we might owe. Add to that, a church issue everyone is ignoring. A deadline. A leaky roof. A dead air conditioner.
I’d taken the day off from a church yardsale–fundraiser for Samaritan’s purse–to attend a writers meeting. I was feeling guilty about it even though I’d helped organize the sale and worked it the day before.
Though I was interested in the topic being taught that day, I made a point to go because writer’s meetings always inspire me and lift my spirits. A room full of like-minded believers uplifting Jesus with their words. What could be better?
On the way to the meeting, I had my favorite Christian radio station turned on. Cue the music—the right song at the right time. From an old BarlowGirl favorite, “Never Alone”:
(Listen to it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x8QubLxJI54)
In it, they sing about crying out for God and not receiving a reply, of not being able to feel God by their side and choosing, in that moment, to hold on to what they know to be true–that God is always there.
And boom, God reminded me that I’m never alone.
I’ve always loved music and songs often touch my soul. For the rest of the drive, I played my favorite Todd Agnew CD I keep in the car. My favorite, Martyr’s Song:
You can listen to it here:
I don’t pretend to be a martyr, and none of my troubles measure up to a tiny iota martyrs have faced. But living in this world often makes me feel like one and I never listen to that song without getting teary-eyed.
By the time I got to the meeting, my spirit was soaring. And it only got better as the day progressed. My writer friends made me laugh, helped me remember why I write, and reminded me to count my blessings.
My much-needed private church service concluded on the drive home listening to Agnew’s, I Need No Other Argument:
You can listen to it here:
What do you do when your spirits need a boost? Do you have a favorite song that reminds you of what is important?
Shannon Taylor Vannatter is a stay-at-home mom/pastor’s wife/award winning author. She once climbed a mountain wearing gold wedge-heeled sandals which became known as her hiking boots. Shannon writes inspirational contemporary romance and it took her nine years to get published in the traditional market.
She hopes to entertain Christian women and plant seeds in the non-believer’s heart as her characters struggle with real-life issues. Their journeys, from ordinary lives to extraordinary romance through Christ-centered relationships, demonstrate that love doesn’t conquer all—Jesus does. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her family, flea marketing, and doing craft projects.
Visit her online at her website, on her blog, connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads, and follow her on Pinterest and Twitter.
The Rancher Stakes His Claim
When she inherits half a dude ranch after losing her best friend, Landry Malone is determined to see Eden’s legacy flourish. That is if her friend’s broad-shouldered cowboy brother will give her the chance. Chase Donovan isn’t happy that his sister left their family business to an outsider—and he’s determined to test Landry’s mettle, hoping she’ll give up her claim. Soon Chase is impressed by Landry’s ability to rise to every challenge he puts in her way—and worried that his attraction to the perky spitfire seems to know no end. Finally working together to ensure the ranch’s future, will their business partnership be the foundation for something more?
Share your thoughts, examples, and experiences with us. Can you remember a time when you were feeling down about something and you sensed God speaking to you? When do you tend to feel closest to God? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, because we can all encourage one another!
Music is one of my go-tos when I’m feeling drained or down. I love that music speaks to your heart and touches places that are unreachable otherwise. Different songs speak to different occasions, but one that immediately comes to mind is Selah’s “You Raise Me Up.” While I enjoy Josh Groban’s version, Selah’s version has the extra verses that add more depth to the song.
God often speaks to me through music also. In fact, I’m listening to praise music on my Pandora right now, as I type. 🙂 I loved Shannon’s post, and I loved learning of two songs I hadn’t heard of before! Blessings to you, and happy weekend. It’s Friday–yay!
Hey Brenda. I know you’re a music maven too. I’ve read your books. My go to is pretty much Todd Agnew. I’ve always loved raspy voices. When he sings–he sounds like means every word.
Thanks for the great post, Shannon! It’s so awesome that we have such constant access to God, and that He uses so many ways to speak to us.
I go read in my bible to be reminded of God’s goodness and love for me and listen to my favorite accapella cd.
Good answer, Shelia. I read my Bible every night – at least a chapter. I went to a revival once and the preacher asked for a show of hands of people who read the Bible daily. I couldn’t raise my hand and I decided if ever asked that question again, I’d be able to say, Yes. I have a hard time winding down at night, so I do my reading then.
No one ever asked me, until a few months ago, we were having an event at our church. There were giveaway prizes and the prize patrol asked me if I’d read my Bible that day. I said, no, but I do every night before I go to bed. I got a candy bar for giving the right answer.
That’s awesome! God preserved so many precious promises for us in His Word! What a gift!
Shannon, I love this post! It seems God knows what we need to hear when we need to hear it. When I feel depleted, I love to drive around and listen to the radio. It always seems God then orchestrates the play list lol.
I have good church in my car pretty often, Sally. That’s usually when I’m alone. It’s quiet for good prayer time. Or I can listen to what I want to on the radio.
Church in the car! I love it!
K-Love is my regular music station. Right now, one of my favorite’s is Casting Crowns “Just Be Held.”
That is such a beautiful song! May you sense and rest in God’s deep and unchanging love for you!
That is a good song, Judy. I swap between K-Love, American Family, and Air One. There’s usually something out of the three I like. If not, I have two copies of each of my favorite CD’s, so I can always keep one in the car.