Shannon Brasher and her sister Carrie Jo, fall 2016.
If you caught our last e-newsletter, you know that we shared the story of Shannon passing last fall, and how very heartbroken we all were to lose such a precious friend and colleague, even while we rejoiced that she is now with her Savior where there are no tears and pain.
If you did not see our article, you’re in the right place! For today, we are launching a series through which we are going to share Shannon’s story, a beautiful picture of God’s redemption and restoration.
Soon after Shannon’s passing, Don Ankenbrandt with whom she worked at Alliance, was helping to organize her personal belongings for her family. He came across Shannon’s journal, and written on one of the pages, were written a note describing the book she wanted to write about all that God had done in her life. She had one entry written to begin this story. Here is that entry, in Shannon’s own words…
Why was I born and put on this earth? You have a reason for being born. A place in God’s story. There is a life so full, so amazing out there just waiting for you to start living it.
God has a plan that is completely personalized and only yours that you were created for cell by cell to do.
Only you were built to do it. No one else can fulfill the calling God has on your life. That’s what is so awesome about it. The world tells us to be like this person. Don’t you wish you could sing like her? Don’t you wish you looked like him? I wish I had their job or I want their house. Society tells us to all be like this person or look like that person but guess what? God did not make you like that! He made you! To act like, to look like and to be You! He has made you for a purpose. He didn’t just make you to work until you are 65 and then retire and watch the grandkids on the weekend. Although there is nothing wrong with that and that’s great, you have a purpose! A personal purpose that only you were made for and that only you can do. It may seem like someone else’s or be similar, but it is completely unique and no one else’s. It is YOUR calling. God took the time to design you just the way you are so you could fulfill His purpose for you, because no one else can. Every trial you’ve been through, every day that you’ve lived has built, designed and trained you for Him. For His purpose and His glory.
There are so many questions about life and why things happen. But when you can step back and see His plan for you, you find so many answers. God is so detail oriented. I mean He knows the number of hairs on your head. He has a reason and plan for every single thing that happens. I used to have so many questions. Why did my parents die two weeks apart when I was just a child? Why did I become a drug addict? Why did I go to prison? Once I finally understood how God equipped and made me, then I understood why certain things had to happen. You are unique, set apart and you have personalized one of a kind gifts from God that he strategically put together to make you. You who are like no one else, so that you could fulfill His Purpose for you and your life that no one else can do.
No one on this earth is put together like you. No one has the exact same talents, gifts and strengths as you. We each have an assignment from God. It is yours and only yours. If you don’t fulfill it who will? No one will because no one can. Just like your high school diploma or your driver’s license, no one can get it but you. If you don’t it will just never be produced. You are the only one that can do the actions to make it happen to receive it. It is your purpose and no one can fulfill it if you don’t. Can you imagine if some of the great leaders for Christ just ignored Him and didn’t fulfill His will? Imagine how many souls would go unsaved, how many of God’s children would still be lost- our brothers and sisters. If we ignore Him or don’t fulfill our calling from Him, how many brothers and sisters are we leaving out in the cold? How many souls will never be saved? Those are our brothers and sisters. Think back to who led you to Christ. What if they didn’t follow their calling to do that? What if you were that lost soul because someone ignored their place in God’s story………
Lord please help us to follow you and to obey our calling. Thank you for making each of us the unique person we are. Please fulfill Your plan in each of our lives.
I Love You, Lord.
Come back to this page to see the story we are telling in the days ahead!