My Journey

Shannon Parish

August 9, 2023 UPDATE: Nothing prepared me for what transpired in my life and the life of my little family. My youngest son, Chris (33yrs), died just a few months after the update listed below. As the COVID lockdowns moved into full force, he found himself laid off from work, isolated, and fighting a bad cold. Not wanting to be a bother, and concerned about hospitals and doctor’s offices, he suffered alone at home with what turned out to be pneumonia. He passed away on July 1, 2020, of sepsis. Something we did not learn until three months later after they performed an autopsy. 

Soon after, my roommate fell ill with a ruptured appendicitis and a month after her emergency surgery our landlord sold the house that we were renting and we had to move. Yikes!

Needless to say – it’s been quite the journey. There isn’t a day that doesn’t go by that I don’t miss my son. Yet, life continues… as you well know.

The best place to share my journey with you is to walk with you, inviting conversations of what we learned, what we discovered, and how we healed — and continue to heal. 

“A Journey Shared is More than Surviving, it’s Thriving” 

Shannon Parish

UPDATE: At the time of my writing this note, the date is March 16, 2020.  The Covid-19 virus is the subject of our lives worldwide and is a constant on the news. I’ll be turning 66 years old this year, and have a very different viewpoint on things than I did when I first entered any type of ministry work.  Just like this pandemic, nothing I experienced before has prepared me for this new world we are moving into. There will be good that comes from it, and there will be sorrow – but there are always lessons. 

The Journey diary written below is something I began writing a few years ago, and as happens with us, life interrupted … but my journey continued.  More lessons, greater growth, wisdom gained, peace established. I’m honored to be able to share these lessons with you honestly, and without fear of judgment. 

Why do I say that? Because in MY journey, fearing judgment, feeling shame, and struggling with low-self esteem was a constant censoring obstacle that kept me silent for too long.

I will continue writing about MY journey in my continuing blog posts along with lessons I’ve learned that were not taught nor caught within the confines of my particular path.  If any name is used, they will be names that were changed to protect the individuals mentioned and to maintain their privacy. Some stories just can’t be told without some sort of identification of the characters within that story.

If you know me and recognize a story I tell as one that you yourself participated in (good or bad) know that my telling the story is not to bring harm to anyone, but to teach the LESSONS THAT I LEARNED. (I invite you to connect with me to have coffee or lunch and tell me what YOU learned.)  After all … it IS a journey, isn’t it?

This is MY JOURNEY … one that was completely different than the one I had wanted – or ever dreamed of. If only I had known …

There are many lessons, a few laughs, and most definitely, more than a few tears.

Without a doubt, I’m sure you will be tempted from time to time to throw a rock or spit in the dirt, but that’s okay – that’s YOUR Journey.

Shannon at 5 yrs old

My goal in sharing my journey without the fear of being “Politically Incorrect” or offending someone is to say this … Life Happens. Get over it. LEARN FROM IT.

Then please share … without accusations or judgment. All of us are sinners and are broken vessels. Comparing my broken vessel to yours is silly. But declaring Christ’s redemption and love and never-ending patience – is amazing. There’s always more than meets the eye.

People ask me all the time if I will teach them to draw. Every time I tell them, “First, I have to teach you to see ….”

Click links to read:

Self diagnosis
It began with my self-diagnosis ...
Samples of Shannon's artwork
A few samples of my artwork.

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My Journey

Shannon at age 5When I was a little girl, I was standing with an adult, looking at the neighbor’s beautiful flower garden that ran alongside their red brick wall. Suddenly, one of the flowers lifted into the air and fluttered over to another flower. 

Startled, I asked the adult I was with if that was a flower. “No,” he said, “That’s a butterfly.”  Up to that point, I had not noticed them. Fascinated, I asked him why they call it a BUTTERfly – imagining in my mind that it must have evolved out of a stick of butter.

He gave me some lame answer that made no sense and didn’t explain where the stick of butter came into the picture. (Not understanding that the word butter, in this case, was not the same thing as I was picturing.) 

As I stared up at his face, completely puzzled by why he had given me such an off-the-wall answer, I remember thinking, “When I grow up, I’ll have the answer and know what a child is asking.”

Not that I’m a true ‘smarty-pants’ mind you, (even though sometimes I think I’m quite brilliant), I just like to have answers to things that people take for granted.

This is my journey … Let me clarify. This is MY journey. It wasn’t yours, isn’t yours. I can’t walk your journey. I can only walk mine and what I’ve learned from my journey. I’m sharing here because it might help you in walking out yours, or at least create curiosity in you to ask some questions that will give you answers that you can in turn share with me.

We are all on our individual journeys. Each of us thinks, feels, and acts differently according to who we are and who God created us to be. Our languages are different and our cultures are different. I’ve learned some nasty things about myself – and about others around me.

More than anything, I’ve learned to forgive … forgive me AND forgive others. Okay, clarification again. I’m LEARNING to forgive myself … and others. I have good days, and I have bad days.

As I share my thoughts, stories, and journey with you, I want to assure you of something you will have to contend with.

I can guarantee you that I will offend you. It’s inevitable. I get offended too and yes, I have buttons that get pushed when I least expect it.

Let’s just agree to disagree and leave our sticks, knives, guns, and bazookas at the door, okay? None of us is perfect and no one has all the answers except He who created us. I’m only sharing MY journey with you … and without a doubt … I am Gratefully Redeemed.

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