It’s JOY day here at Peacequility!
Peacequility has been a springboard to meeting and connecting with incredible people around the world and today I’m beyond excited to introduce you to a fabulously encouraging and talented artist I met way back when. Initially, Shannon’s designs caught my eye while browsing wordpress. Then I noticed there was much more than a meager caption, there was something of substance below every image she creates. I still can’t wrap my mind around how well Shannon captures the essence of what she writes with her artwork. As you can imagine, I was hooked and I have a feeling you’ll be too! Enjoy her story and please check our her work at DoodlesInvigorate and look to her bio to find ways to connect and freshen-up your social media newsfeed!
Joy is a feeling I was not familiar with most of my life. Ironically, my mothers name is Joy. She always had a peaceful nature. I often wondered why I was not blessed with that nature. A dense cloud of depression seemed to follow me wherever I went. I could not understand why I was depressed because I had a good life. There were some rough patches but nothing that seemed worthy of depression and suicidal thoughts.
I tried many methods to steal back my joy. In high school I would cut myself because physical pain seemed to ease emotional agony. For years, I was lost in a marijuana haze. I thought love from romantic relationships would make me happy. That also left me feeling empty. I went to therapist after therapist and took depression meds. When none of those things worked I resorted to religion. Religion also failed me, leaving me even more damaged.
One Christmas, a few years ago, my mom gave me a Christian book on positive thinking. I tossed the book to the side because I had grown a hatred for Christianity. Out of curiosity I decided to read it and became hooked. The techniques in the book helped me to think of life and God in a different way. Changing the way I thought and viewed challenges was the first step to true healing from depression.
My past experiences with churches had left me very doubtful about if Jesus and the bible were real. I believed in God but I didn’t know who he was. I wanted answers so I decided to read the bible. When I opened my heart to God with a hunger to know who he really was, letting go of all pretenses, He was able to reveal many truths. I had never experienced God in this way. I immediately fell in love and decided to walk with Him.
Trusting that God will guide me with wisdom always helps me to maintain joy during hard times. Remembering He loves me enough to hold and shower me with love, even in my mess, helps me to shift through sorrow and guilt. Experiencing the Lord’s grace and forgiveness provides the freedom to let go of the pain others have caused. The list goes on and on. Now, I allow God to show me how to let go of emotions that steal my joy. This is how I was blessed with complete healing from a long history of depression. I am still tempted with depression from time to time but I now have the tools to stop it. Jesus promised us peace. Steal back your joy!
Philippians 4:4-9: Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.
Shannon Childs is an artist with a passion to encourage others through her art. As a child, Shannon dreamed of becoming a children’s book illustrator. In college she discovered her love for graphic design. Now, she is a graphic designer at BrainChilds Design and the creator of Doodles Invigorate. Doodles Invigorate is a creative way for Shannon to share her thoughts while inspiring others. She is working on many projects to continue using her talents to encourage people to hold on to love, hope, joy, and peace.
Freshen-up your social media news feed by connecting with Shannon with the links below!