Field Notes From A Prayer Warrior

What’s next?-Part Deux

*I had the honor of being asked to do the opening for our amazing Community Bible Study. Several members urged me to publish it as a blog post, so here it is, in all its perfect imperfection. I pray that it will inspire and encourage whoever needs it.

1 Corinthians 3:7–So neither the one who plants or the one who waters is anything, but only God, Who makes things grow.

“So…what’s next, Lord?” I asked on that walk in France, September, 2017. In a span of three months my world had blown up, leaving me divorced, retired, and relocated across the country. I was reeling…broken…yet (I thought) ready to submit to my next calling.

And He told me, “What’s next…is a Nutella eclair.”

But when I got back to Sioux Falls, He gently added, “Shelby, you’re not looking for a calling right now. You’re looking for something to distract you from this current trial and pain, and you’ll conveniently label it ‘My work.’ Nuh uh. There are lessons and growth you will get from all this and I’m not going to help you avoid that.”

I dug in and got to work, which sometimes, ironically, involved rest. I faced trauma from my past and the fallout of a failed marriage of 25 years. I rebuilt my relationship with my Lord and the real, authentically-flawed me.

And then the Lord called me to write a blog…

“Uh, woah, WOAH! I have EYE ISSUES…no TV, computer or WiFi, very little screen time allowed…besides the fact that I am the polar opposite of a techie. A blog?! Seriously?”

I’m arguing with Him like He needs clarity about my situation…because He’s only all-knowing and everything.

One day, after two years (yes, years) of “yeah, buts,” He gave me the name of the website, and He told me that if I didn’t do it, He’d get someone else.

He’d given me my “What’s next.”

“Field Notes from a Prayer Warrior” was born…a blog about the life-changing power of the Word and prayer and Jesus!

I’m just planting seeds…under the direction of my CEO. He’s a great Boss.

And then…


“He’s just a friend,” I thought. “I’m pretty sure my future is in a convent…like, I’ve already picked it out…The Holy Wisdom Monastery for the Benedictine Sisters of Christ!”

We plan. God laughs.

That’s why, five years later, on June 11, we rode to Arrowhead Park, having humbly asked the Lord if He could be there. We found a shady bench by a quarry pond and took out the Bible. We read verses back and forth, and offered our gratitude and praises to Him, committing ourselves to Him as individuals and as a couple.

As John pulled out the ring, two geese stepped out of the water, waddled forward, and stopped right in front of us. They stood motionless, regarding the events with solemn intensity. Witnesses.

Someone later told me that geese mate for life.

After asking for God’s blessing, John slipped the ring on my finger and one of the geese tilted its head back and honked…trumpeting…over and over…

Accompanied by this recessional fanfare, we headed back down the path…and out of nowhere came a flurry of cottonwood pods, engulfing us like a cloud of confetti.

He was there.

When we put our trust in Him and walk in His ways…

The what and the how and the why and the WHEN are going to be perfect…

blessing us and others…

overflowing with joy.

But my story is just a part of His story.

And so is yours.

My story isn’t over.

And yours isn’t either.

So, please…get out there and keep writing that beautiful story with Him.

Share Him.

And share your story.

I can’t wait to hear it.



3 thoughts on “What’s next?-Part Deux”

  1. Dang…that was powerful. Belle, belle. et puis. You really know how to capture threads and weave beauty.

    Je t’aime

  2. Nidia Marshall

    Thanks for sharing your devotion to the Lord, you have always been an inspiration. The light is evident in you and you are a blessing to us! Love you!

Comments are closed.

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