A Fierce Love | An interview with Shauna Shanks + Giveaway!

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You guys, I couldn’t wait to click “publish” on this post! I’m so very excited to interview Shauna Shanks. Shauna is such an inspiration to me. She’s a new author and a new friend, and she has really cool hair; so ya know, that’s a no brainer. I stumbled upon her blog several months ago as I was doing research for the book that I’m in the process of writing. When I found her blog and read her story, I immediately knew that you all would love her. I get so many emails weekly from women whose husbands have been unfaithful. And there are tons of books out there on this subject, but none like Shauna’s. Her story is so beautiful. All I can say is WOW. Lean in friends, lean in! And also, I’m going to giveaway one of her books to one lucky person. All you have to do is enter the contest below!

“A Fierce Love”

Wrecked with news from her husband of an affair and requesting divorce, Shauna finds herself urgently faced with a decision to make.

Divorcing and moving on from the marriage seemed to contradict God’s plan for how to love. Instructions such as “love never gives up”, “love is patient” and “love is kind” seem simple enough under normal circumstances. But she was soon to discover the enormity this challenge presents in a situation that was by all counts impossible.

This book is about truly discovering the love filter in 1 Corinthians 13 and a crash course in the ludicrousness of God’s love.

I was so honored to interview Shauna not too long ago:

1.) Can you look back and name one thing that caused your marriage to unravel?

It wasn’t just one thing. It was a million tiny things. From past hurts building up, resentment, disappointments, and even apathy in our marriage. Over time, these things festered and grew into misery for my husband.

2.) I love the parallel you use about Micah’s blatant indifference for you and your blatant indifference towards God. Explain that a bit more.

After Micah asked me for a divorce, it was unbearable for me to witness the way Micah was acting. He acted completely unaffected by the breakdown in our relationship, and that hurt beyond words.

Here sat this person who had stood at an altar and professed to love me. Yet his behavior proclaimed an attitude of blatant indifference toward me.

Those are the actual words I wrote down in my journal. “Blatant indifference.” It was as if he couldn’t care less one way or the other about me.

Not even one little tear that our ten years together was over. Nothing. Not one emotion. Just indifference.

Only a few days later God revealed to me that He Himself had the same complaint against me.

God’s gentle conviction touched me in the deepest places, “You made a commitment to follow me, serve me, and love me. You surrendered and dedicated your life to me. You professed to give yourself over to me, to use your life for my glory, to be passionate about me and spend time with me. And what do you do? You fill up your time up with complacency and laziness. None of the things you do matter apart from me. Yet all the while you ignore me. You confess with your mouth that you love me, but you are acting toward me just like Micah is toward you. There is no difference. You are living here, showing me no affection. No time. No attention. You are blatantly indifferent.”

Ouch. That message pierced my heart. What did it matter that Micah had hurt me if I had hurt God? I was a sinner. I had been so unfaithful, maybe not to Micah, but to God Himself. *

3.) In Chapter 20 you quoted, “We serve a God who isn’t afraid to let us suffer.” I love that! Can you expound on that a bit more? Specifically how it related to your situation?

We serve a God who isn't afraid to let us suffer. #afiercelovebook Click To Tweet

What he asked me to do was incredibly hard! I think it would have been easier for me to scab over and move on from that relationship, still, God asked me to endure through it even though he knew how difficult it would be. Paul, one of my favorite characters in the New Testament, wrote much of his works in prison. He was shipwrecked, beaten, etc. God didn’t save him from that.

Romans 5:3-4 “Not only that, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, character; and character, hope.

I think God is way more concerned with our character than how much fun we’re having down here. We have a whole eternity full of happy, but here on this earth, it’s hard work.

4.)Do feelings of mistrust ever come back? If so, how do you battle that?

No. I only say that because my husband and I are both completely different people now. We have been so changed by this grace we experienced, I know that God has redeemed and restored us/our marriage. Our marriage looks like a totally different marriage than the one that crumbled in 2013.

That being said, we are not perfect. I know we are not immune to temptation or falling into something again. But if it would happen, my stability, my identity doesn’t change based on someone else’s failure. I know who I am in Christ, and although I enjoy my marriage the way it is today, if I lost it all, I know who I am, because I’ve walked through some hard stuff, and I found God faithful in it. I found His word true, it held up even in my mess.

So my marriage doesn’t complete me. It’s just the icing on the cake.

5.) Why are you here?

By the time our marriage was restored, I had a stack of journal entries. I had people telling me I should “write that down” because not only did God restore our marriage, but somehow in the mess of being betrayed by my husband, I found confidence, identity, and healing. Many people will never deal with infidelity but we all go through challenges. We’ll all face tough stuff at some point or another.

I was so struck by God’s nearness and comfort in that season, I just wanted to point people to him because I know there’s healing there. I kept seeing people around me crumble, completely fall apart in the face of hard time. This is me waving at them, “No! We are not hopeless! We have hope! We have a resource in Jesus to be healed and whole-despite our circumstances.”

6.) What would you say to the wife who is going through the exact same thing right now?

I hear from women everyday since my book launched. I love connecting with women and the opportunity to encourage someone who is so hurting because I remember what it was like to be in that place. But I rarely give advice. I think we are so conditioned for a “quick fix”- our instinct is to go to the pastor, or a mentor, or a friend and say, “Please tell me what to do” when we have access to a great big God who is for you.

Hebrews 4:16 says, “Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” My advice is to seek God for yourself. I believe He told me to “hope and endure” in my marriage because he knew it was salvageable. Only God knows the future, and whatever he guides, pursue obedience.

Regardless of the outcome of your marriage, I believe restoration for YOU is possible.

Regardless of the outcome of your marriage, I believe restoration for YOU is possible.… Click To Tweet

7.) How is Micah? Has he been able to accept the fullness of God’s grace and mercy? Does he battle feelings of shame, and if so, how does he combat that?

Yeah, I just called him in here and asked him these questions, haha! He does not battle shame. He does feel he has accepted the fullness of God’s grace.

You know, since all of this happened, God did not only soften my heart for Micah and empower me to love him and show him supernatural grace, he provided us with people around us who counseled us, who loved us, who helped nurture our broken marriage back to life. Now we are surrounded by this community we never had before. As soon as our marriage was restored, I began this publishing journey, which we really felt like we prayed our way through (yes, Micah supported the book from the beginning, and it was his encouragement that prompted me to look into publishing), then after the book was contracted, we jumped into this crazy journey of building our home. We bought farmland and have built our home (mostly by ourselves) out of shipping containers. We’ve had this crazy ride and sense of adventure in our marriage and family and we’ve got to not only experience this invisible sense of grace but really enjoy his blessings in a tangible way. It’s hard to deny his faithfulness and we are honored to get to point others to this Jesus.

8.) How is little Josiah doing? It’s such a miracle that he’s been able to see his parents restoration. 

I’m happy to report Josiah is well. When the book came out, we talked about it all again (on his level of course). Our kids have been along for this crazy faith journey the last couple of years and live serving Jesus is way more exciting than boring ole’ life without serving him and I’m happy they get to see that. I hope their faith is increased as they witness God’s faithfulness and also when bad things happen to them (which inevitably no matter how much we shield them, it will) they will know where to turn.

*A direct quote from A Fierce Love

Now for the giveaway! Here are the rules:

    1. The giveaway is Shauna’s book, A Fierce Love by Zondervan valued at $16.99
    2. The contest will last for exactly 1 week, so be sure and refer friends!
    3. You enter by the giveaway below. Follow the directions. It’s easy!
    4. Anyone 18 years of age and over in the United States is eligible.
    5. The winner will randomly be chosen in 1 week.
    6. The winner will be announced on twitter and also will be notified via email.
    7. I will ship the book to you within 3 business days.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Shauna Shanks is a wife, mother, and entrepreneur. She started Smallfolk, a health food café, out of her passion for health and fitness and unchecked desire to make fancy pop tarts. She graduated from Christ for the Nations Institute in Dallas, Texas, with a focus on world missions. Shauna and her husband, Micah, who is a police officer, have been married for more than a decade, and they are building a house out of shipping containers with their three boys on an Ohio farm.

You can connect with Shauna on her blog or on Facebook.

 

 

  1. Tiffany says:

    I am so excited about this! I’ve been following this book for a while but haven’t been able to pick it up! It is def on my list!

  2. Rebekah says:

    I’m so excited to read this! How encouraging to continue to find others who have weathered this journey!
    Thank you for sharing this, Shannon! So blessed by this post!!

  3. Tina Pama says:

    Loving this book so far! I feel like there is so much I have taken for myself on how to love my husband. It’s such an inspiring read. Excited to enter for the giveaway!

  4. Noelle Ammerman says:

    Thanks for giving us a chance to win I been having this on my wish list for once I get a job.

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