I am a 37 year old single professional woman and this is my story. Growing up I was always encouraged to be the best I could be. This resulted in a performance-driven lifestyle. I was always pushed to not fail in school, career, and relationships. I remember thinking, “Why is life so difficult and not fun? Why is it that God doesn’t make it a little easier on me or am I just not trying hard enough to be in His good grace?” So, I continued trying and would beat myself up when I would not excel at something. I put all of my concentration on school and career because I had a better shot at not failing at this! I completed 19 years of school and landed an amazing job helping people but my life still felt incomplete and I was still trying to figure out how to please God through all of this. I figured being a female in my field I needed to prove myself so that is what I did. I worked long hours and every other weekend. I took on difficult patients and put my life on hold because I knew by helping others God would be impressed with me.
I finally started a relationship with a man that I allowed to become my god. He convinced me that I was fat and ugly. So once again, the performance-driven Shannon kicked in and I was determined to prove him wrong. I started working out and dieting until I was at a level that I finally felt beautiful. I knew this was the man who I would spend my life with if I could just make him believe I was perfect. When I accomplished my goals I found out he was engaged to someone else and had been for 3 months. That New Years eve, I broke down and cried out to God. I begged him to prevent me from waking up the next morning. I explained to God that I should not be alive because I could no longer meet His expectations and that I am tired of trying. I told God “I was done!” That night I felt God’s arms around me as I slept with a peace that is indescribable. I did wake up the next morning with the realization that it was no longer my job to please God, he has great plans for my life, if I would just allow Him to flow through me.
It was this past January that God placed a vision in my path of helping other broken singles. The Lord led me to become a life group leader in our church for singles. This was an amazing journey. I then took a class on our identity in Christ with Bill Loveless and everything started to come together, I finally realized I am “perfect” in Christ because of my new identity and my union with God. I began to believe I no longer have to strive to please Him because as long as I allow Him to live through me He is pleased.
This was such an amazing discovery that God is using to transform my life. I now wake each day asking God what is it He wants to do through my life. Since that time, I continue to run a singles ministry, co-lead a women’s ministry for singles, and minister in a children’s shelter. My life is filled with God’s love flowing through me and touching many others as I allow Him to do my work. I am still a work in progress on allowing God to control my health and my relationships but I guess that will be part two of my story. God is not finished with me yet.
Living Life From A New Source is part of a 4-part series called Living a Transformed Life in Christ. The truth of what it means for christ to live his life in and through you to transform your life.
Living Life From A New Source
Is Life a battle? Become a warrior in Christ.
Shannon Barnes is a speech pathologist who attends Community Bible Church in San Antonio. I met Shannon last fall when she attended a class I taught on our true identity in Christ at Community Bible. During the six week course I saw God give Shannon great revelation about who she is in Christ and living from Christ as the Source. Since that study, God has given her a great passion to share these truths with many people in the various ministries she is involved with. I hope you will be as encouraged by her testimony as I was.
Copyright 2012 Christ Is Life Ministries. This site was designed by Elyon Media - www.elyonmedia.com