Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

I couldn’t sleep. I could feel the adrenaline pumping through my veins. I shook like I drank a week’s worth of coffee in one sitting. My mind hopped around from my problem to possible solutions, back to the problem, to other possible solutions, to how this was all going to end in the worst possible scenario. Or scenarios. I mean, more than one really bad thing can happen at the same time.

I was so anxious. So worried. So fearful. It was hard to breathe. My stomach churned. I was, quite literally, worried sick.

In the midst of it, I tried to pray.

I tried to recall Bible verses to still my heart and my mind. But I just felt so stuck. Verses that have been committed to memory for years weren’t getting through. It was almost as if the wires were cut. I knew He promised to always be with me. So why did we feel disconnected? 

And then a thought popped into my brain that was completely unnerving for someone who was already past her last nerve. You are a fraud. You talk like you believe in Jesus and trust in God. You have all of this “Biblical knowledge.” You write it all over your blog and proclaim it to the world on the Internet. You discuss it over coffee with friends. You lead a Bible study. You preach it to kids on Wednesday nights. You stand up in front of crowds and sing about it. But when you need His peace the most, you don’t have it. You are a mess. What are you getting out of this so-called “faith”? What is the point if it’s not helpful when you need it the most? You are a fraud and your faith isn’t real. 

A very quiet whisper said, “Shannon, you know that’s a lie.” But I didn’t know how to fight back. In the midst of my panic attack, I didn’t know how to overcome it.

I must have eventually fallen asleep, though it didn’t feel like it. But when I woke up, I knew. I knew it was my anxiety wreaking havoc again. I knew Satan took advantage of my weakened state to heap harmful lies on top of already overwhelming fear. I knew I needed to ask for help. Again. And I knew I needed to go back on my anxiety meds. Again. 

While I was discouraged to have to admit I needed help, I somehow knew it was OK to ask for it. I knew God was going to get me through it. And I knew my faith is real and true no matter how I feel. 

How do I know? Because my feelings do not always tell the truth. They are fickle and frail. But God is unchanging. Only His Word is truth.

No matter how my faith ebbs and flows, He is constant.

I am a human being living in a broken world. I am weak. I stumble. I fall. I struggle. My body is susceptible to illness, and my brain is a part of my body. God did not intend for us to struggle with any kind of illness. He created a perfect world that was ruined by the fall. 

Now, some of us have to fight infections, viruses, and autoimmune diseases, betrayed by our own immune systems. Some of us get cancer, betrayed by our own cells. And some of us struggle mentally, betrayed by our own brains. Until Jesus makes us whole someday, of course.

But I do not lose heart because even in the midst of my weakness, I know God is working in me and through me for His glory. 2 Corinthians 12: 9-10 says, “And He has said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.’ Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.”

My MacArthur Study Bible has an explanation that says, “By using frail and expendable people, God makes it clear that salvation is the result of His power and not any power His messengers could generate . . . The messenger’s weakness is not fatal to what he does; it is essential.”

And so, through His strength and not my own, I get up after I fall down.

I start over after I fail. I try again. I ask for help when I need it. I use all the tools God has given me to help me heal and grow. Prayer, His Word, a counselor, medication, the support of friends and family. 

I keep on reading the Word. I continue to write about it. I refuse to quit teaching it. And I will sing about Him as long as I have breath and the ability to do so. 

It is my humble prayer that God will take this scared little mess of a person and use me to point people straight to Jesus. Because He’s the only explanation for how I can accomplish anything.

That doesn’t make me a fraud. That makes Him faithful.

You may also like: 

Mommy Has Anxiety

Being a Mom With Anxiety is the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done

Dear Husband, Thank You For Loving Me Through the Storm of Anxiety


So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Shannon Lenz

I am a wife to my best friend, a mama to a sweet boy and baby girl, and a dog mom. My mission is to write words that encourage, comfort, inspire, and draw my readers closer to the Lord. When I'm not writing or chasing after my kids, I'm singing, reading, or cheering on the Huskers. You can read more from me at http://shannonlenz.com/.

I Thank God Every Day for These Babies

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother and two children, color photo

You know that saying, “All of God’s grace in one tiny face”? Growing up, I never understood the meaning behind it. I thought it was overused, cliche even. I mean, of course, babies are adorable, but I never fully grasped the concept of the saying. That is until I became a mother myself. Everyone has a different journey to entering motherhood. Mine, in particular, was unique, to say the least. All my life, I couldn’t wait to have kids of my own. Yes, even when I was a kid myself, I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s...

Keep Reading

Daddy, Am I Beautiful?

In: Faith, Kids, Motherhood
Daddy holding preschool-aged daughter, color photo

“Daddy, do I look beautiful?” I heard my daughter ask my husband from the other room. I barely heard what she said as I was in the kitchen washing the dishes, but her words struck a chord in my heart. My sweet girl, all dressed to go out, asked for her Daddy’s assurance that she was beautiful, that she was admired and special. It hit me in that moment: this pure and built-in desire we all have to be loved, admired, and wanted. Just as my sweet girl wanted her Daddy’s approval and assurance of love, I so often cry...

Keep Reading

You Make Our Marriage Work and I Love You More than Ever

In: Faith, Marriage
Husband and wife, smiling, selfie, color photo

I used to write love letters to you. I’d sit in my dorm room for hours, penning pages of poems that you’ve apparently kept in a drawer in our bedroom closet ever since. Recently, you mentioned you miss that girl. We laughed because neither of us knew you would turn out to be the sentimental one. And I was thinking, but never said, that the older, more cynical version of me has no idea how to write a love poem anymore. I look at love differently now. I’m different now. We’ve waded through years of never-before-known territory—sometimes treacherous, often mundane,...

Keep Reading

Going to Church with Kids is Hard but We’ll Keep Showing Up

In: Faith, Motherhood
Mother holding young daughter in church

Going to church is hard with young kids. It used to be something I looked forward to. It’s something I’ve always valued deeply and needed desperately. It’s the one place that will always be home regardless of what location or building it’s in or what people attend. Church is my sanctuary. But it’s become a battle with the kids’ resistance, my tired mind and body, and my lack of ability to actually listen to the sermon. Going to church is hard with young kids. It’s become normal for me to lie down in bed on Saturday night thinking, with dread,...

Keep Reading

I’m Praying for My Teenager in These Challenging Years

In: Faith, Motherhood, Teen
Teen boy holding a smartphone and wearing headphones

In my mid-40s, I began to long for a baby. We didn’t get much encouragement from friends and family. My husband is a high-functioning quadriplegic, and I was considered way too old to start a family. But our marriage was stable, we were used to obstacles, we were financially prepared, emotionally experienced, and our careers were established. I began to paint my own sublime mental portrait of parenting tranquility. What could go wrong? At 48, I delivered a healthy baby boy, and he was perfect. We adored him. The baby we had longed for and prayed for, we had. And...

Keep Reading

When Motherhood Feels Like a Limitation

In: Faith, Motherhood
Ruth Chou Simons holding book

Twenty-one years ago, my husband Troy and I welcomed our first son into the world. Two years later, I gave birth to another boy. And again two years later, and again two years after that. A fifth boy joined our family another two years later, and a final son was born 11 years after we began our parenting journey. If you were counting, you’re not mistaken—that’s six sons in just over a decade. We were overjoyed and more than a little exhausted. I remember feeling frustrated with the limitations of the little years with young children when I was a...

Keep Reading

Jesus Meets Me in the Pew

In: Faith
Woman sitting in church pew

I entered the church sanctuary a woman with a hurting and heavy heart. Too many worries on my mind, some unkind words spoken at home, and not enough love wrapped around my shoulders were getting the best of me. What I longed to find was Jesus in a rocking chair, extending His arms to me, welcoming me into his lap, and inviting me to exhaust myself into Him. I sought out an empty pew where I could hide in anonymity, where I could read my bulletin if I didn’t feel like listening to the announcements, sing if I felt up...

Keep Reading

The Day My Mother Died I Thought My Faith Did Too

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Holding older woman's hand

She left this world with an endless faith while mine became broken and shattered. She taught me to believe in God’s love and his faithfulness. But in losing her, I couldn’t feel it so I believed it to be nonexistent. I felt alone in ways like I’d never known before. I felt helpless and hopeless. I felt like He had abandoned my mother and betrayed me by taking her too soon. He didn’t feel near the brokenhearted. He felt invisible and unreal. The day my mother died I felt alone and faithless while still clinging to her belief of heaven....

Keep Reading

Can I Still Trust Jesus after Losing My Child?

In: Faith, Grief, Loss
Sad woman with hands on face

Everyone knows there is a time to be born and a time to die. We expect both of those unavoidable events in our lives, but we don’t expect them to come just 1342 days apart. For my baby daughter, cancer decided that the number of her days would be so many fewer than the hopeful expectation my heart held as her mama. I had dreams that began the moment the two pink lines faintly appeared on the early morning pregnancy test. I had hopes that grew with every sneak peek provided during my many routine ultrasounds. I had formed a...

Keep Reading

5 Kids in the Bible Who Will Inspire Yours

In: Faith, Kids
Little girl reading from Bible

Gathering my kids for morning Bible study has become our family’s cornerstone, a time not just for spiritual growth but for real, hearty conversations about life, courage, and making a difference. It’s not perfect, but it’s ours. My oldest, who’s 11, is at that age where he’s just beginning to understand the weight of his actions and decisions. He’s eager, yet unsure, about his ability to influence his world. It’s a big deal for him, and frankly, for me too. I want him to know, deeply know, that his choices matter, that he can be a force for good, just...

Keep Reading