The Experience Jesus Calling

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Starting Over: Emily Ley & Shannon Rozenburg Live for What Truly Matters

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"You face nothing alone" Jesus Calling Podcast Episode 75

Emily Ley & Shannon Rozenburg have two very different stories to share about how God transformed their lives and how they “started over.” Emily Ley is a mom, business owner and author. Emily found the demands of her job and her own tendency to seek “perfection” in all that she did was taking away from time from what was really important: time with God and time with her family. Emily shares how she pared back and started simplifying in order to enjoy what really mattered in her life. Shannon Rozenburg is the daughter of Steve and Donna Rozenburg, who appeared on Episode 2 of the podcast to share how their family had been shattered by addiction. Shannon now comes to the podcast to talk about her road to recovery and how “tough love” played a part in her turnaround. Ultimately, she credits God for restoring her life, her relationship with her family, and for giving her hope for a new season.

Narrator: Welcome to the Jesus Calling podcast. Today, we visit with two women with two very different stories who share about how God transformed their lives. Our first guest is Emily Ley who is a mom, business owner, and author. Emily found the demands of her job and her own tendency to seek “perfection” in all that she did, was taking away from time from what was really important: time with God and time with her family. Emily shares how she pared back and started simplifying in order to enjoy what really mattered in her life.

Starting Over: Emily Ley & Shannon Rozenburg Live for What Truly Matters – Jesus Calling Podcast Episode 75

Emily Ley: My name is Emily Ley and I’m a mom to three kids; Brady is six and I have toddler twins: Caroline and Tyler. I’m the creator of The Simplified Planner and also an author; of Grace Not Perfection and A Simplified Life.

My mom was a teacher and she was flexible and had the availability to do and be involved and be very present with me. I wanted that as well, in a different way.

She made it look easy when I was a kid. It was just my brother and I, and my mom and dad have been married now for 40 years. I remember there was so much routine and structure: flexible, not over-the-top, but routine and structure that made us feel safe; like we were part of something special. It made home feel like a place of rest; something that was really welcoming. When I became a mom, I was a working mom and had all these things going on. I remember thinking, “My mom made it look so easy to have dinner on the table every night at 6 o’clock, and all of us to sit down and share about our days. Why does it feel so enormous to me?” It is just such a hard thing to accomplish. I had many conversations with her where she said, “A lot of planning takes place before you sit down at the table.” That may sound like a mundane thing. You’re just eating dinner, but it’s so special. Especially with children. She’s just taught me so many ways to implement strategy, and routine, and rhythm in our daily lives.

The stuff that makes life happen seems so mundane, and one really talks about it. But my mom had a way of preparing ahead of time so that those things happened seamlessly; so that the rest of life, the good stuff, had space to grow and to be meaningful. Since becoming a mom myself, I’ve learned so much from her about easy ways to make life happen so that we can really enjoy it so we’re not constantly running around with our hair on fire; which is something I battle all the time, trying to do so many things.

Giving Yourself Breathing Room

After Grace Not Perfection came out, it was a really, really busy season. My kids are a little bit older. They are involved in a lot of things. Our business was growing. Everything was good, there were just so many things going on, and I felt very inspired to write about what it would mean to pare back and to really get back to the good stuff. What matters. For me, that was a simplified life.

It’s so hard when you’re a type-A person who wants to do everything, and you have many interests, and you love your family dearly, and you love your work dearly, and you want to do everything. We think that we can do all the things and we can do them all well. What I’ve really learned, and what I learned in the last couple of years, is that you can do all things, you just can’t do them all well. So I got to a place where I had to say; there are multiple commitments in my life and things I care deeply about, but which ones matter the most right now; and how can I create margin in my life, breathing room, and space for myself to feel creative and to rest?

I think it’s really easy as a woman to fall into the trap: We have to get everything done right away, all the way, at the same time, and constantly feel like we’re racing.

I was traveling a ton and I just felt very spread thin, and so my husband and I together made the decision to cut back on that and to get back to what we love most, which is inside the walls of this house, to be honest. So we really put our family first and said; “what falls in line after that?” That looked like making planners for women, equipping them, and empowering them with tools to help them organize their lives and make the good stuff happen. Also, writing these books that I feel like God has called me to write.

I feel like the benefits that came out of that were exponential and almost immediate. There was a lightness for me in my heart that I felt like, “OK here we are. This is what we’re committed to. This is the direction we’re going in.” It felt very focused for me. I felt like my husband and I were both very committed to the same goal again. You know, it’s funny. I feel like I had to disappoint a lot of people at that point in time, and that’s difficult for me as a pleaser, but I realized that there were four people inside my home that were just delighted to see that they weren’t just going to see “tired mom” all the time. They were going to see “happy mom.” So in paring back, I feel like I’ve given the best parts of myself to the people that matter most.

Falling Into The Trap: Drowning In Anxiety

I think it’s really easy as a woman to fall into the trap that we have to get everything done right away, all the way, at the same time and constantly feel like we’re racing. We’re a hamster in a wheel, and we have to check off the to-do list, and do all the things to make everyone happy, or life isn’t good. This concept of good: like what is a good life? I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, and I really believe that if we are giving that part of ourselves the stressed out overwhelmed part of ourselves to our kids, to our spouses, to our communities: there’s something contagious about that.

Emily Ley's son throwing clothes while standing on their couch.Our entire society starts to feel like we’re just drowning in anxiety. I started to look at our home, “How can I calm myself down, calm things down, be flexible, be cool with the Legos on the floor all the time, the mess; How can I be ok with that, but also implement other things in my life too? Make myself be able to take a deep breath when things really get crazy?”

That happens daily, by the way, especially with littles, and it happens a lot. So I’ve just found that I have to pause and take a deep breath. I mean it sounds so elementary, but just pausing from the chaos and being still for a minute. I love that verse; Psalm 46:10. “Be still and know that I am God.” Calm your mind, calm your heart for a second, literally your heartbeat, calm it down, and remember that this is just a moment. If it’s chaotic, it’s going to pass. What can we do to kind of calm the situation and move on?

A Simplified Life With Simplified Faith

Being busy and having a lot going on, even in cutting back and having a more simplified life. There was always a piece for me that was missing. I always felt maybe there is a box I can check to work faith into my life, because I know in my heart that that daily interaction with God is missing. Being the tactical thinker that I am, I always thought “what was that box?” What I’ve learned over the years is there’s absolutely no box to check. I didn’t grow up in church. My family is a very faithful family and faith is very important to us. What I remember from my grandmother, who really taught me about God, she would sing hymns. Even though she wasn’t necessarily checking those attendance boxes, you know being at church every Sunday, she was working her relationship with God into her life by singing in the car and by singing to me.

She actually gave me my first devotional and told me; this is the way to start your day.” So just sitting down even for a couple of minutes, which a couple of minutes when you have three kids and a business might as well be three hours, right? But sitting down for just a couple of minutes in the quiet; being still, quieting your heart and your mind, and spending time with God, puts my day in a different framework. It helps me approach my day in a way that is more connected to what matters and less box checking, you know?

So in a Simplified Life we talk about “simplified faith” and what that looks like. So how can you have a deeper relationship with God in ways that are easy to work into your daily life that eventually stop becoming the things I do every day, and start just becoming the way you live your life? For me it started with sitting down in the morning and having that quiet time. It really became that conversation I’m having in my head all day long. Those prayers that are happening as I drop my kids off at school, as I pick them up from the bus stop, as I’m making dinner and trying to cultivate this good evening time with my family. It’s really just become the way you live life.

Finding Truth In Your Busy Life

So I’ve loved reading Jesus Calling in the morning because I love that direct, specific and short reading that really just speaks to things that really matter. Life is busy, and there’s a lot going on, and a lot of times it’s just so special to sit down and really find joy and find truth before you start the day.

So I thought I would read today’s passage from my copy of Jesus Calling:

“Every time something thwarts your plans or desires, use that as a reminder to communicate with Me. This practice has several benefits. The first is obvious. Talking with Me blesses you and strengthens our relationship. Another benefit is that disappointments, instead of dragging you down, are transformed into opportunities for good. This transformation removes the sting from difficult circumstances; making it possible to be joyful in the midst of adversity. Begin by practicing this discipline in all the little disappointments of daily life. It is often these minor setbacks that draw you away from My presence. When you reframe setbacks as opportunities, you find that you gain much more than you have lost. It is only after much training that you can accept major losses in a positive way. But it is possible to attain the perspective of the apostle Paul who wrote; ‘compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus, I consider everything I once treasured to be as insignificant as rubbish’”

I love that because as much as I would love to be in control of every little part of life and have it perfectly organized and structured, life happens and we have to be able to roll with it; to be flexible in our plans and to know that these tiny things that are happening, even though some of them may be huge: they’re insignificant compared to the way that God loves us, compared to what he has planned for us.

I love the idea of starting my day with an intentional practice of looking for the good. So looking for…my mom always says, “Look for the heroes, look for the helpers.” The heroes, the helpers, the good, the truth. I mean what more joy is there to know that there is truth amongst all the things we can’t explain? There’s so much joy in truth to be found.

Tactical Tools For Intentional Living

Narrator: Emily’s new book, a Simplified Life: Tactical Tools for Intentional Living, lays out the ways we can pare back, much as Emily did, to enjoy the things that really matter. She talks about some of the tactics she employed that helped her take time for the important things in her life.

Emily Ley with her crafting supplies.Emily: The idea of organizing and simplifying, in general, can be completely overwhelming, especially if you are really starting for the first time. I firmly believe that a lack of simplicity is founded in clutter. Something that I’ve always said is “physical clutter is mental clutter.” So if your home is full of distractions; extra junk mail, and clothes that don’t fit anymore, and things that take your attention away from the focus of what you should be focusing on. It’s not just a physical game, it’s a mental game. So what I say to anyone who feels like, “This is not attainable. I don’t even know where to begin because there’s so much going on in my life and in my home,” it’s to take one tiny step.

You know, Rome wasn’t built in a day, but you can start by tackling the closet. I always say to go to the most overwhelming place first, and get that confidence under your belt to say “I cleaned out the top shelf of my bedroom closet, and look how that makes me feel.” Not only are you going to have, just visually something cleaner and less cluttered, but you are going to get ready in the morning in a different way.

Keeping It Simple When Everything’s A Mess

When you go in there to pick out your clothes for the day, you’re not going to see all the clothes from five years ago that might not fit quite right anymore. You’re not going to have that self talk happening in the closet, you’re going to see your three favorite pairs of pants and feel good about those choices.

It’s so tactical and it almost feels mundane a little bit, like that doesn’t really matter. But it does. It has everything to do with our self-confidence. It has to do with our morning routine. For instance, if my kitchen is full of dirty dishes or there’s tons and tons of clutter on the counter, my morning doesn’t go well especially with two toddlers. So I try to make sure the night before, those kinds of things are cleaned up and packed away. We’re prepared for breakfast as best as possible; the fruit’s cut up and the plates are laid out and ready to go. It doesn’t always happen perfectly, but when I do those things and think a few steps ahead, it makes such a difference. Not just in the appearance of my home, but in the way my kids feel when they go to school. That’s why it matters.

Things don’t always go right. I mean we have mornings where there are dishes everywhere and everything is a mess. You work through that. But when you try to consistently just to keep your home, and your life, and your mental state in a place of calm; where it is a little bit simpler, it really, really makes a huge difference.

When Life Isn’t Simplified Enough

God gives us what we miss when life isn’t simplified enough. When I’m running around with my hair on fire, there are things that I miss. There are moments, especially with my kids, that I can’t appreciate when my brain is somewhere else when I’m constantly worried about what has to get done, or this other commitment, or what e-mails are showing up in my inbox. So much of life isn’t controllable and let’s not negate responsibility. But when we pare back the extra, so much stuff starts to grow, and to show its face, and that has really been the biggest fruit of paring back and simplifying for me.

Emily Ley praying with her family at the kitchen table.Every night now, I try to lay down with each one of my kids to put them to bed and I will sit down, especially with Caroline, and lay down with her at night, and she’s a busybody. She is a chatterbox, 90 miles an hour all day long, and when she lays down at night, she’s a lot like her mom. She will look at me and she plays my eyebrows every night. I’m not sure why she plays with my eyebrows, and she just starts to tell me about her day. The way that she smiles, and the way that her little 2-year old cheeks look. I don’t ever want to forget that. It’s a season, and I know all too well because I have a 6-year old. I know how fast it goes, and I know that if I am distracted I will miss something, and I don’t want to miss anything.

Narrator: To find out more about Emily’s new book, A Simplified Life, please visit EmilyLey.com.

We’ll be right back with the second half of our show after this message from Audible.


As a special offering to you, the listeners of the Jesus Calling Podcast, Audible is offering a free audiobook download with a free 30-day trial to give you the opportunity to check out their service. Find your favorite Sarah Young titles, including Jesus Calling and Jesus Always in an audiobook version, and get it for free by trying Audible.com. Check out a small sample of the Jesus Calling audiobook featured at the end of this podcast. To download an entire free audiobook today, go to audibletrial.com/jesuscalling. Again, that’s audibiletrial.com/jesuscalling for your full, free audiobook. Now, on to the second half of our show.


Narrator: Next up on the podcast, we have a special guest. Shannon Rozenburg is the daughter of Steve & Donna Rozenburg who were one of our first guests on the show. They talked about Shannon’s long and difficult journey with substance abuse. Her road has not been easy, but Shannon comes on the show today to share about where she is now, and how God has been faithful to restore her life, her relationship with her family, and her hope for a new season.

Shannon Rozenburg Shares Her Story

Shannon Rozenburg: My name is Shannon Rozenberg and I got to experience my parents’ podcast a few months after it aired, and it was immediately something that really touched me.

I wanted to come on the Jesus Calling podcast to be able to tell my story after hearing my parents share our family’s story through the podcast. It was a very sentimental experience for me. So many times through treatment experiences, I’ve had the opportunity to tell my personal story, but hearing it through my parents’ eyes was just an experience like I’ve never had before.

I was actually in treatment when my parents sent me the typed version of their interview. As soon as I opened the package…I hadn’t been able to speak to them in months in the program that I was in, we could only communicate through mail. So as soon as I opened it and saw one of our few family pictures, of all five of us together, it immediately brought tears to my eyes. Reading the title; “A Family’s Journey Through Addiction.” As I began reading it was almost like reading about somebody else. It was unrecognizable and it really was like a light that went on that I was just able to really see.

To see my parents become empowered in telling our story and gaining support and love from other people, as well as helping other people, was just an amazing feeling to me.

I just kind of felt lost, I think, growing up, a lot of the time. I did have two very loving, supportive parents that were always there for me, and two older brothers who I did look up to greatly. They’re drastically older than me, so being the only girl, and the youngest, and so far away in age, I just kind of felt a little by myself a lot of the time.

A Strained Relationship With God

I’m really not quite sure what drove them into addiction. As I said we did have a very good family. We had everything we wanted and needed. But unfortunately, they were both struck with that affliction and I think growing up my parents really didn’t know quite what to do for them.

Back then, I think it was more viewed as like a behavioural problem and it had such a negative stigma attached. That’s why we kept it very secretive, and didn’t talk outside of the house about it, and would just try and correct the behavior, and move on. But as we saw, throughout the years it just continued to get worse and worse for them.

I decided early on that I really didn’t want anything to do with that kind of a lifestyle. I saw how much pain it was putting on everybody and how it tore up our family. I would see the change in my brothers and I knew that wasn’t really who they were. These things that were changing the way they were and causing all this pain, I instantly resented as a kid, and swore off at a young age. I wanted to be different and wanted to do something different.

Shannon Rozenburg with her grandparents.I wanted to have a “normal family” and be able to have friends over and not worry about what was going to happen, or be able to talk freely about what was going on. But again, that was just something that I think my parents felt reflected off of them as parents, which today I understand; it did not. They did everything they possibly could, as many families do, and it doesn’t stop addiction from happening.

That’s kind of where my relationship with God started being, just really when I would go to church on Sunday. Then it was like, “Where is God the rest of the week in my life?” I think that’s what created a sense of resentment towards God growing up because so much was going on at home that I felt like, “Why me, why my family, why is this happening?”

That’s kind of what started making me stray from God. I never had an issue with believing. I definitely believed He was there, I just didn’t understand why these things were happening when we were growing up. So it created a lot of confusion and a very big strain on my relationship with God.

Shannon Rozenburg's school portrait.I saw a change that happened in me upon entering high school. My group of friends started to change. I met a guy that I started dating for the next seven years on. It really quickly became toxic, abusive, and I felt very lost in that relationship.

Breaking Down: Relying On God

I felt stuck in that relationship to a point where I didn’t know how I was going to get out of it. No matter what would happen, it would just continue to get worse. But I couldn’t quite break the cycle and I couldn’t really get honest with my parents. There was just this fear of letting them down, or hurting them any more than I already had; giving them more on their plate than they already had. So there was just a lot of living this double life so that I would go home and see them, I’d do the same thing as when I was a kid. I would put on this smile and I was like everything was great. They knew that there was something deeper going on. They just couldn’t quite put their finger on it until my drug problem really started to develop in my early 20’s.

It was because I was experiencing all these problems, and when I finally came out with the abuse to my parents, they understood it to a degree. Why I was doing the things I was doing. But they knew that I needed help and I wasn’t going to just stop because the relationship stopped. I still had all these problems going on with me. So they researched and tried to find the best treatment centers they could send me to. That resulted in the next five years of going to treatments, and relapsing, and moving to a whole new city, and rebuilding my whole life, and then losing it all over again.

That’s kind of where my relationship with God started being, just really when I would go to church on Sunday. Then it was like, “Where is God the rest of the week in my life?”

I ended up getting into a really bad car accident and was arrested on a warrant that came from something I had done over a year prior that we thought I wasn’t getting in trouble for at this point. When I went to jail, it all kind of came out that I was not doing the right thing. I had been relapsing. Everything. So my parents did the best thing they have ever done for me; and that was to leave me in jail.

They weren’t answering my free phone calls even. They didn’t come visit me for quite a while. My mom actually never stepped foot into the jail. My dad started coming later on. I stayed in jail over five months. I really got to a point where I felt like my life was over. It was such a harsh reality because here I was, raised by good people in a nice home, in a nice town. Here I am sitting in the county jail and I wasn’t being defined any more by all these people in my life for all these things I had. I mean it was just literally me and God left at that point. That’s when I finally just broke down.

Feeling Alone: Calling Out To God

I have never felt more alone in my entire life. That has got to be probably the most traumatic experience over anything else that I’ve had because it got to a point on a phone call with my dad where he said, “We can never, we could never, save you from this. We will talk to you years down the road, but you’re going away for a really long time.” I broke down at that point, because my parents have never given up on me; especially my dad.

I understand now; that wasn’t them giving up on me. That was them saving my life, because the more that they continued trying to help, it was tearing me apart. I had to be left with the consequences of my actions in order for me to truly decide, “Which route do you want to go? Do you really want help or are you just doing this to appease everybody else, appease the courts, appease your parents, to keep the car?” All of these reasons I had gone to treatment for before. It was left to nothing. They were not offering me treatment anymore. My parents, because I had that opportunity where the judge asked, “Will someone send you to treatment? And I said “no.” It’s gotten to a point where they have sent me to so many, they are done. So I actually was able to work with the judge in hopes of finding somewhere I could go through the state, and was sent to a correctional facility-type treatment center for a minimum of nine months. I went straight from jail to there, and that ended up being the last time that I had to go to treatment.

 

I think the most influential experience I had in the beginning was in jail. We would have a chaplain come and visit. and I didn’t go the first five or six times that she came by; I would just stay in my cell. But then one day…and I look at this as God nudging me, because I don’t know what else I could say was making me get up to go down there. I did. When I went down to the table, the chaplain was passing out these little pieces of square paper. When I looked at it, I instantly began to cry, because it was a copy out of the book of Jesus Calling.

Shannon Rozenburg's favorite passage from Jesus Calling.

It was on February the 3rd, and I still have this piece of paper today in my Bible, because that was the turning point. I really saw in my life that God was with me, and it says on that day:

“I am with you and for you. You face nothing alone. Nothing. When you feel anxious, know that you are focusing on the visible world and leaving Me out of the picture. The remedy is simple. Fix your eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. Verbalize your trust in Me. The Living One who sees you always. I will get you safely through this day and all your days. But you can find Me only in the present. Each day is a precious gift from My Father. How ridiculous to grasp for future gifts when today’s is set before you. Receive today’s gift gratefully; unwrapping it tenderly and delving into the depths. As you savor this gift, you find Me.”

That was what I needed to hear in that moment. I was really about to just completely give up on myself, and on God, and my family, and everything else. When I read that, I felt such serenity come over me, because here was finally some sort of a sign that God hadn’t given up on me.

Feeling God’s Presence With Jesus Calling

In that moment, I felt God’s presence with me and I didn’t feel as alone as I was feeling. Within a week of that time, my mom actually sent me a Jesus Calling into the jail.

I would get up and read it in the morning before breakfast at 4 a.m., but then I would read it again around 7 because I knew my parents were up reading those same words, on the same pages and that helped me feel closer to them and to understand that all of this wasn’t just happening to me, it was happening to them too. So I still have that copy, and it is just such a significant piece because it reminds me of where I was not too long ago.

Shannon Rozenburg's copy of Jesus Calling.The biggest thing I had to do in the beginning was forgive, in order to put everything aside and have a new experience, and that’s really what Jesus Calling does for me every morning. It’s part of a morning meditation that I do and I read my reading and I kind of just sit and reflect on it. That helps me and my relationship with God grow every day. I usually come home at the end of my day and reread it so that I can sit there and really feel the connection that God is speaking through those words on the page to me. Because it’s always so on point and pertinent. It’s always on point in my life. That’s just more of it saying, “I think that you know you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be.”

Finding Opportunity Regardless Of Your Past

Recovery has given me so much back, but the biggest thing that I’m able to do is help others.

My life has just continued to go upward since then. I’m going to school to continue helping others, but be able to make it into a profession as well; with counseling for addiction and traumas and all sorts of things. I finally feel like I have a purpose and that I know what I want to do. Because as far back as I can remember, I did not know what my passions were, or what I was good at, or what I like to do. I finally feel like I’m beginning to learn who I am, for the first time in my life at 27 years old.

I’m learning, every day, more and more about myself and what I am capable of doing.

I was given such a great opportunity to go work in a treatment center with other people that are struggling with the same thing I was. I get paid to do something that I absolutely love. That’s when I knew that this is what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. I know that I would never regret going toward this dream. It’s been the most rewarding experience.

You know, I have people in my life that don’t judge me on my past. It was a struggle trying to find someone that would accept me to rent an apartment from them with the background that I have. It took a lot of tries. But I didn’t give up. And finally at the end of that, there was someone that was willing to give me a chance because they saw that I wasn’t the same person that they see on paper and same with the job. They gave me a chance. I was honest with them in the beginning and they said they were aware, and that’s what they do, is give people second chances. It’s just so amazing today that I can live and be honest about my past, and not hide from it, and that people are still willing to give me an opportunity, or love me despite what I’ve done in my past.

Learning More With God Every Day

When I wake up each day. It’s still sometimes hard to believe; I kind of have to do a double take. I’m not in jail and that I get to go to school, and I get to go to work, and all of these things that I took for granted for so long, I grew such an appreciation and sense of gratitude for, after leaving jail.

I’m learning, every day, more and more about myself and what I am capable of doing. That’s also building my self-esteem that I’ve had such a problem with since I was a kid and self-worth. Understanding that I am capable, and I am worthy of doing these things, and I’m not going to ever be perfect. And I’m okay with that.

No matter what I did, God was always there for me. That was something that I needed in the beginning of turning back to God was understanding that my God, of my understanding, is forgiving, is not vengeful. Is hearing and is supportive, and is going to protect me, and is not the opposites of what I believed.

The Message Of Hope And Gratitude

So without God, there would be an entire hole in my recovery program. I would not be able to stay sober, and I see now, that’s probably why I never did in the beginning even when I would genuinely try. But it wasn’t that I didn’t believe, I just didn’t know what that looked like. It’s hard to give everything over to something that I don’t even have a true understanding for. Today, I feel like He has just become this best friend, this all protecting person that is always with me through it all.

Shannon Rozenburg with her dad.Things with my parents are better than they have ever been. I feel like we have finally been able to develop a real parent-daughter relationship. I call them every day and sometimes talk to them for over an hour on the phone each night. We’re constantly texting back and forth. The love that we share; I know it’s always been there, but we were so torn apart from all this stuff that was going on and I felt I could not be honest with them about struggles.

Today, I can tell them if I’m struggling with something, or if there’s something going on, and I know that they’re not going to freak out, or get really upset, or worry about me as we walk through it. I know that there will probably always be fear. With everything that we’ve been through and each time that they had hope in something, and then it was let down again. I understand that that will probably always be in the back of their mind. But, I think they finally see the difference in me, opposed to all the other times. I wanted it this time and I had to do some really difficult things in order to get to where I am today. It’s just the most amazing, rewarding experience that I have with them today.

I truly thank God. I’m stay in gratitude that I was given another opportunity to get things right. Because I know some people don’t get as many chances as I had. Again, that’s what drives me to want to reach out and speak to people, and not try to hide my story, or live in regret, and shame, and guilt, because that isn’t going to help me or others. I need to be able to give back what’s been so freely given to me. That’s the message of hope.

Narrator: You can hear Shannon’s parents, Donna & Steve Rozenburg share their story on episode 2 of the Jesus Calling podcast at JesusCalling.com/podcast.


Narrator: Next time on the Jesus Calling podcast, we speak with father/son writers and teachers Josh & Sean McDowell. As a young man, Josh McDowell considered himself an agnostic. He truly believed that Christianity was worthless. However, when challenged to intellectually examine the claims of Christianity, Josh discovered evidence for the reliability of the Christian faith. Dr. Sean McDowell is a gifted communicator with a passion for equipping the church, especially young people, to make the case for the Christian faith. Together they have written a new and expanded version of Josh’s groundbreaking book “Evidence That Demands A Verdict.”

Josh McDowell: It just blew my mind how many people were interested in evidence and the truthfulness of their faith. It was a tremendous joy to this day to help people understand why they need to believe or they why’s of their belief.

Narrator: Hear more great stories about the impact Jesus Calling is having all over the world. Be sure to subscribe to the Jesus Calling Podcast on iTunes. We value your reviews and comments, so we can reach even more people with the message of Jesus Calling. And if you have your own story to share, we’d love to hear from you. Visit JesusCalling.com to share your story today.

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