Shannan Martin has the kind of personality that makes you feel like a friend instead of a reader.
Just look at this photo she posted on Instagram this morning, the day her book Falling Free: Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted released. She doesn’t have a pretentious bone in her body. She’s going to set you down with a cup of tea and an fun, interesting conversation.
By reading Shannan’s blog and following her on social media, especially her dreamy Instagram feed, I keep finding these random things about her that make me say, “ME TOO!”
Number one is her infatuation with making salsa and late-night salsa binging. Me too! Number two is her love of vintage: dresses from decades past, the sweetly aged items that decorate her home. Me too! Number three is her addiction to gingham. Gingham makes my heart feel warm. Number four is her heart for adoption and her Jesus-fueled love for people. Me too! I could go on, but I don’t want to encourage a restraining order.
There is one important thing that I should mention that I feel I have in common with Shannan. That is our life not lead.
Shannon begins her book with this phrase,
It makes sense that the sub-tile of her book is “Rescued From the Life I Always Wanted.”
That sub-tile has weight in my soul. I feel it. In high school I only dreamed of a big career. I wanted a job that had a big paycheck. I even dreamed of stressful deadlines, and knew that they would fill me with a sense of importance that nothing else could. I watched shows set in offices and big cities and thought of all the professional clothing I would wear, lady suits and flowing blouses. I picked the college major of accounting and set my sights on a big six firm.
As I was beginning school, God was writing another story. My sophomore year of college, boyfriend’s dad, who would become my father-in-law, had a life-saving liver transplant. He had been a pastor for 25 years, and after coming so close to losing his life, he didn’t want to go back to usual ministry or normal church. He moved into an old building in downtown Amarillo and started Citychurch, an inner-city ministry to children.
By the time I earned my accounting degree, God had changed my heart and called me to that ministry. I never got to see what that life I thought I wanted looked like.
Since I had already be rescued from the life I thought I wanted, I supposed that I had already learned all the lesson Shannan would share in her book. As I read through the table of contents, I saw “Get Risky,” “Have Less,” “Unplan,” “Live Small,” ”Open the Door,” and other topics definitely related to.
I was wrong. I may have lived through risky and small, learning heart-changing lessons as I transitioned from an ambitious college kid to a home school mom in urban children’s ministry, but Shannon had new insights. She made me rethink things I had already wrestled through.
Shannan's stories draw me even closer to that every pressing goal of thinking, talking, acting, and living more Christlike. She shows the grey, the not easy, in the pressing on and pressing in. All of this idea-wrestling is done with lovely, kind, poetic, beautiful words. Her book is a friend that isn't afraid of the hard days.
Shannan's writing is relatable, kind, interesting, inspiring, and down-right challenging. I know you will love it.
I have a sneaking suspicion that we all have lives that we thought we wanted that don’t line up with the better life that God has graciously planned for us. God has a deeper, richer, more fulfilling life planned for you, and all you have to do is fall free.
I’m recommending this book to you today, and I can’t imagine a day when this book will not be on my top 5 list of recommended books. So either click this link to order it it or get in your car and head to the bookstore. If you don’t, you’ll never hear the end of it.