Let’s get to know each other a bit more, as sisters in Christ.
Feel free to share your answers to these questions in on our Instagram post and/or your own Instagram post, tagging #BISsisterhood.
Shannon Evans is a Protestant missionary turned Catholic convert who lived to tell the tale. An adoptive and biological mom of two boys, she enjoys hosing mud off children, scrubbing sticky furniture, and rushing to the ER to have nails extracted from small intestines. She escapes the chaos by blogging instead of sleeping atWe, A Great Parade.
Are you a convert to Catholicism? How did that happen?
I am! And oh man that’s a doozy of a question. My husband and I were Protestant missionaries in Indonesia for two years and I specifically remember him asking me while we were there if I thought we’d ever be Catholic. I couldn’t possibly have answered “no” more quickly! He had always been drawn to the authority of the church, the history, liturgy, etc. and that was something we didn’t share at all. Thankfully, we adopted a little boy with a traumatic past and parenting him wildly changed our lives. In the midst of this great upheaval the Lord was doing in our hearts, He simultaneously began leading us together to the Catholic Church. When we did convert in 2014, we were fully unified in the decision.
What is your favorite religious text or book?
The Long Loneliness by Dorothy Day
Do you have a special Saint that you feel a strong connection to? How so?
I chose St. Therese of Lisieux as my patron saint when we converted, not because I felt a strong connection to her but because I didn’t! The past ten years of my life have really been about Jesus gently teaching me that it is the little, constant acts – not that grandiose endeavors I tend to dream about – that touch His heart the most. So I knew I needed the Little Flower. 🙂
Dorothy Day is not (yet) a saint, but rather a “Servant of God”, but hers is the soul I feel the strongest natural connection to.
Which virtue do you find yourself working on the most throughout your day?
Hope. I can easily get bogged down in the monotony of my life, in the way my dreams and desires never seems to quite flesh out. It’s easy for me to lose a true sense of hope in my daily life. Time and time again, I have to come back to asking Christ to be my hope and to remind me that the state of my heart is really the greatest gift I can give Him.
What part of your walk with Christ is the biggest struggle?
Prayer. I am so easily distracted when I sit down to pray. Offering little prayers throughout the day comes much more naturally to me, but I see such value in an extended time of focused prayer. Unfortunately it doesn’t come easily for me. I lack the discipline.
What keeps you Catholic?
As someone who converted really from the deep interior of the evangelical world, Catholicism often still feels like a foreign culture to me. That’s not always easy. What keeps me Catholic is the depth of teaching on every imaginable theological and social issue, and the simple fact that these teachings have caused me to love the world more than I ever experienced before. This is a hard concept to put into words, but the Catholic emphasis on the Incarnation and on Christ’s suffering has broadened my understanding of humanity and the deep affection of God towards us.
Do you have a motto / quote / saying you live by?
Well I don’t know if I’ve ever thought about it in that way, but I have a tattoo on my arm from a Rumi poem that sums up how I want to live. It says “around the lip of the cup we share, these words: my life is not mine”. The cup, to me, representing the blood of Christ and also the cup of suffering He mentions in the Garden of Gethsemane. It’s basically a glorified way of saying that because of Christ we all belong to each other. I want to alleviate the suffering of my fellow man, and also live in vulnerability so that my fellow man can alleviate mine.
What do you find yourself continually praying for?
Ways to fully commit my life to the rather intense adherence to justice and mercy that I believe in. I love Catholic social teaching, but I generally feel that there is a huge discrepancy between it and the way I live my daily life. Christ have mercy.
How do you “walk the walk”?
The things I “do” change from season to season. I know I can’t derive identity or security from those. My greatest desire is to walk the walk by loving Jesus with my whole being and loving my neighbor as myself. And I think as Christians, the latter often feels much harder than the former.
How does Christ call you to serve – is it prayer/contemplation/acts of service, etc.?
He has marked my life (ever since I was a little girl) with the desire for works of mercy. And the happiest times of my life have been the times I was living entrenched in that calling. Due to family life and mothering, I’m not always able to engage in it as much as I would like – and that’s a hard tension I live in – but it is always on my mind and heart.
Your turn! Answer this on Instagram or in the comments: