Hi, I’m Shannon. I descend from a big, noisy, Pentecostal, ranching clan of Millers scattered across New Mexico and Oklahoma. Some of you might be my cousins and I wouldn’t even know. My titles include electrical engineer, project lead, singer, hiker, photographer, book nerd, and tea snob. But my favorite name is the one we’re all invited to bear: if He is the I AM, that makes me the I AM Loved.
I’m beyond blessed to have spent two of my three decades walking with the Lord. I’m passionate about discipleship and worship. I want to share the truths that have transformed me with whoever will listen; my favorite way to do that is one soul at a time, in the true introverted fashion. And I want to pour out my songs, as well as my days, to the One who has given them meaning.
The best advice I’ve been given is that salvation is by grace through faith, not by works. Nothing I do can move the needle on how much Abba loves me or how righteous Christ’s blood has made me—infinity plus or minus anything finite, equals infinity. I credit several authors, musicians, and experiences with getting that truth through my hard head.
“Don’t judge your feelings.
Feel your feelings, and give them to God.”
I first heard these life-giving words spoken by one of my favorite musicians, Jason Gray, at a concert in 2015. He spoke about how emotions are neither right nor wrong in and of themselves, and we have at best indirect control over which ones we feel at any given time. Most of us spend way too much effort judging our feelings, and in turn being ashamed of how we feel—when we’re not happy but we should be, when we’re angry but we should be showing love, when we feel disgust instead of compassion. Jason reminded me to follow King David’s example and bring my mess of emotions straight to God, allowing Him to sort out any wrong beliefs or motives behind them. The decision we need to make is not to always “feel the way a Christian should,” but to always look to Christ to renew our feeling hearts.
Each time I have to forgive someone for a deep wound, I am reminded that faith and obedience originate from the will, not from the emotions. It may be months or years from the moment I decide to release that person, to the day I realize that my last drop of resentment has melted away. (Aren’t you glad Jesus is better at this than I am?) But my soul is in right standing before Him from the moment that I submit my will to His command to forgive. I can choose to forgive, to seek joy, to demonstrate love, and to act with compassion, regardless of how I feel. And He will give me enabling grace to follow through on these choices, until eventually I find that my emotions are on board.