This is my Life | Personal

• February 12th, 2019 •

Copyright © 2017 Devon Shanor Photography | All rights reserved

Devon Ethiopia-3

About 10 years ago I was very unhappy in my life.  My marriage was a mess and had been for years.  We both wanted to make it work but PTSD is a very vicious enemy.  I was scared,  afraid, lonely and felt hopeless. I had plans for my life but they hadn’t played out as I expected, instead my life was full of tears and crying out to God and there seemed no light at the end of my current tunnel. 

Fast forward to today.  Right now,  I’m sitting in a van driving in Ethiopia with some amazing friends. We just left a group of beautiful vulnerable street children, kids whom we love who we have been trying to help for years. As we leave them we now have a legal,  solid plan in place to help them. God showed up and moved MOUNTAINS for us.

My good friend and talented musician is playing beautiful music on his guitar. We are humming along and laughing at the slow cows and goats crossing our highway. All around me is beautiful farmland showing incredible harvest and the incredible Ethiopian gorge. I’m about to cross the incredible Nile River. We are laughing at the “Lazy Monkeys” begging for food as the cars pass them on the side of the road. I’m going home to a healthy husband who misses me, supports my dreams and encourages me to continue to follow them and see bigger than I think possible.  I’m going home to my kids who are learning to pursue their own dreams and make me so proud.  I going home to a business I ADORE and can’t wait to get back too. 

I’m literally sitting here thinking “THIS is my life”  in awe at the journey God has brought me through to get to THIS moment.  I’m taking a deep breathe and LIVING THIS MOMENT.  I’m thanking God as I see how he had brought me through such dark times and given me such joy.  This feeling isn’t so much a feeling as a true PRESENCE of God.  I’m not just feeling his JOY I’m literally living it and I see it in everything around me.

I don’t share this to brag about how amazing my life is but instead to encourage you!  Be encouraged if your life isn’t what you want it to be, God is faithful if you are diligent.   Don’t give up on yourself,  your dreams, your happiness. Sometimes you have to make very hard decisions and go through some really hard times that seem to have no end in sight.  But you can’t STAY stuck.  Leave the job, go back to school,  ask for help,  sell your house,  take big risks.  Times likely will get worse before they get better,   but God is in the midst of your struggles and there is REASON for it!   Maybe I went through mine so I could truly appreciate the JOY He would someday bring me.  Maybe I went through so I could share my story with you and it would bring you courage or strength.  Maybe I needed some growing pains to become the woman who could help run this organization helping children in Ethiopia.   All I know is there was a reason and TODAY I get to breathe in and appreciate the journey.  

Keep pushing though.  Keep dreaming.  Take risks.  Maybe someday you’ll also be sitting in a van, jamming to live music, about to cross the Nile, just having witnessed a mountain move,  following a dream you had once thought had died.  You’ll look around and say “Wow, THIS is MY life.”  

Devon Ethiopia-1

This is a song that played in the car moments after I wrote this.  Such a perfect song to complement this blog post. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ehm4HLnr-FQ

These Pictures were taken on top of the Gorge as we headed back from Debre Markos, Ethiopia.  It was me taking a moment to just BE in the moment and thank God.  It will forever remind me of the time when time stood still and God showed me so much favor and blessing. 

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Devon Shanor Photography | Virginia Beach, Virginia | 757-337-9024