Beauty Out of Our Brokenness


Although Shannon's children have several disabilities or early childhood trauma, she encourages you to put your trust in God and allow Him to make beauty from brokenness.

The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?

Psalm 27:1 (ESV)


When I am afraid,
    I put my trust in you.
In God, whose word I praise,
    in God I trust; I shall not be afraid.
    What can flesh do to me?

Psalm 56:3-4 (ESV)


Brave. Fearless. Confident.

Those words are often used to describe me, which I find perplexing. Each time, I feel like I’ve fooled someone into buying into a façade. I’m not brave, far from it. I’m full of fear more days than not. Confident? More like self-conscious.

As I parent six young children, several with disabilities or early childhood trauma, one thing scares me more than any boogeyman did in my childhood: the future. I like answers, and the future is full of question marks. I like certainty; the future is anything but. I like control, but tomorrow isn’t in my hands.

We just wrapped up an IEP meeting for our youngest child, and the entire team discussed how many unknowns are in front of us. Will she ever walk? Will she learn to speak more intelligibly? Will we see more results from her last surgery? How about the next procedure? How much will her visual impairments affect her education? What level of independence will she reach?

I hate the answers to each one...




I don’t know the answers to any of those questions about the baby of our family, nor do I know when the next seizure will come for my son with epilepsy, what medical advances will be made by the time my child with HIV is an adult, or where our children’s trauma from the past will trickle out (or explode forth) in the future.

But I do know a few solid truths: The Lord is my light and my salvation. The Lord is the stronghold of my life. When I am afraid I can put my trust in the one who does know the answers to every question and who promises that beauty will come from them, even in the midst of brokenness.

Maybe when people call me brave and fearless and confident, they aren’t being fooled by a façade. Maybe they’re seeing the Spirit who lives in me, the one in whom I place my confidence, confide my fears, and rest my soul when all the unknowns are simply too scary. Maybe my fears are transformed into a testimony of the God who we can trust completely, even in the face of life’s I don’t knows. Maybe he’s already making beauty out of my brokenness.  

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