Shonah Marie had a fairly sheltered upbringing, and would now admit that she was quite removed from what she would call real-world issues. However, it wasn't too long before some very real issues invaded her life. It was the tough times that helped her to become the person that she is today but the lessons she learned during those times haven't been easy. 

 

 

 

https://steadyinthestorm.com/

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https://www.instagram.com/shonahmarie

 

 

 

(This transcript is intended as a guide only. It may not be 100% correct.)

 

Emily Olsen 

Wherever there are shadows, there are people ready to kick out the darkness until it bleeds daylight. This is Bleeding Daylight with your host Rodney Olsen.

 

Rodney Olsen

Welcome to another episode of Bleeding Daylight. Remember to subscribe to ensure that you don’t miss an episode and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Please tell your friends about Bleeding Daylight too.

 

In just a moment I’ll introduce you to a brave guest with an inspiring story.

 

Shonah Marie had a fairly sheltered upbringing, and would now admit that she was quite removed from what she would call real-world issues. However, it wasn't too long before some very real issues invaded her life. It was the tough times that helped her to become the person that she is today but the lessons she learned during those times haven't been easy.  Today, we'll be opening a window into her life Shona. Thank you for joining us on Bleeding Daylight.

 

Shonah Marie 

Thank you for having me, Rodney, I'm really excited to chat with you today.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You've said that you grew up in a bubble of sorts that disconnected you from the world. Can you describe your early home life?

 

Shonah Marie 

Yeah, and I grew up in you know, a relatively great home, I was homeschooled, and we were very active members of our local churches wherever we lived. But being homeschooled and having most of my social experiences come from the church gave me a real narrow perspective of the world, I guess you could say, there were amazing aspects to that. And that I feel like I did have a really good childhood, a really innocent childhood, I guess you could say, I feel like I remained in that childlikeness for quite a long time, which I feel benefited me in some areas in the long run, but also left me somewhat naive and innocent towards how to handle navigating real world circumstances. I kind of call it the bubble. Now, you know, now that the bubble has been popped, I can see that it definitely was a bubble. But like anything, there were positive sides to having that upbringing. But also now looking back, I see how being so sheltered, didn't set me up for success in some areas.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And there's always that balance isn't there between wanting to protect children from the excesses of our world, but also not wanting to go too far. And obviously, your parents were just doing the best they could with what they had to give you a great upbringing. So it wasn't them trying to keep you away from the world as such, but wanting to bring you up in the right way?

 

Shonah Marie 

Absolutely. I would 100% agree with that, you know, like parents always do the very best they know how. I don't resent my childhood in the idea of having a child like experience, I think, just when those larger complications of life hit, I felt like I had no tools in my tool belt as to how to understand them or navigate them.

 

Rodney Olsen 

I know that as a young child, you were very fearful. But you certainly turned to a very real faith to counteract that fear. Maybe you can walk us through some of that experience.

 

Shonah Marie 

Yeah, absolutely. You know, they the same goes, you're most afraid of what you do not know and I felt like I didn't know about all kinds of things, therefore everything was terrifying. I remember reading, you know, Psalms 23 as a kid, and how it talks about how God is with you in the valley, and you have nothing to fear. And it's such an iconic verse for a reason. And I remember it was really, really something I leaned on as a kid, you know, like, you don't have anything to fear because God is with you. And so I explored a lot about what that meant, even as a child, what does it mean for God to be with you in those darker moments? You know, does it look like praying does it look like reading your Bible does it look like just being still and allowing his peace to come into you. And that was a real lifesaver for me in my life was leaning on Jesus and leaning on his peace in times, I was afraid. And I remember being afraid a lot and pretty well about everything that even carried through to my adult years, I was afraid of, you know, what it looked like to explore different jobs even or career paths, or what it looked like to go back to school. And it all just terrified me, and left me really without options within myself, because everything just felt like too big of an option to overcome. I really relied on my faith in Jesus to kind of allow his peace to guide me into the areas I felt I was supposed to go. His peace was kind of the indicator of this is a safe path, I guess you could say, because if it was fear inducing, I didn't want anything to do with it. So learning how to identify that relationship with Jesus as a peace guiding relationship was a real Cornerstone in my life.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And I believe you had windows into the spiritual side of life in ways that at the time seemed normal for you, but you soon realized we're not quite the same experience that everyone else was having.

 

Shonah Marie 

Yeah, absolutely. I mean, it's natural for every kid to have nightmares. You know, it's natural for, for kids to go to Sunday school and learn about Jesus and, and that sort of thing. But for me, it was a very dynamic battleground, I guess you could say, when I had nightmares as a kid, they were very real very impactful. And I would pray afterwards that Jesus would come and fill the room and be in the room. And I had experiences as a kid where I saw outlines of the shadows of angels outside my bedroom window, I felt very much like I could feel the presence of evil in my room, or even in locations around the city. Like I remember once there was a store, kind of a novelty store downtown that we liked to go with you. And they had really interesting things in it and such, but it gave me a dark, scary feeling as a kid, and I didn't like going in there because it just felt terrifying. So I always was very sensitive to the spiritual realm. And that felt normal for me, because that's all I knew. But then when you start talking about it, or asking other people, if they have these types of experiences, they kind of look at you like, I'm sorry, what, which made me feel a little alienated, but also made me feel like somewhat special as well.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And your parents were bringing you up in a somewhat traditional Christian family. So what was their take on these sort of senses that you had the spiritual connection that you had to go,

 

Shonah Marie 

they knew pretty early on that I was a pretty emotional sensitive kid. And I think the first interpretation of that is just, she's an over emotional child. But my parents and my family went to a fairly charismatic church for a while, and that kind of opened all of our eyes to the spiritual realm of the world, they became a lot more sensitive and in tune when, when I would have nightmares or when something was going on, they kind of took this as a sign of like, okay, like, we need to really pray over showing in her room and help her feel safe and secure in Jesus and within our home. So they were actually fairly supportive within that realm. I would say, especially my dad, I think like they understood what was going on. But as a child, I feel like you don't fully know how to explain what you see or what you feel so because I didn't really fully even know what I was sensing, how could they understand to that extent.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So back at this time, you were still inside this bubble, as you call it. But as you grow, and you start to experience life around you, I guess, that bubble had burst and you started to walk into life as an adult? What started to change for you, then

 

Shonah Marie 

it's hard to pinpoint exactly when, when that bubble burst, I guess you could say, so I'm kind of floundering as to I want to find that one event. But I moved out of my city that I was brought up in when in my early 20s. And that independence of a new city and a new life new job, kind of forced me into learning and understanding the world around me. It was a great experience, obviously, you know, any young 20 year old can identify with that grasping of independence when you kind of break out of your family circle. But I still, you know, I still was very much involved in the church and youth groups and what have you. I went my whole 20s, essentially, without any real dating relationship experience. And I would attribute a lot of that to my fear of exploring that relational realm. It was just so unknown to me, I'm certain I was constantly thinking, what should it look like? What do I want it to look like? And then that constant evaluating in my mind kind of kept me from exploring what it would be like to be relationship or pursue a relationship. I met my husband in my late 20s, we had some mutual friends and we kind of like knew of each other, but we weren't necessarily friends ourselves. We got to know each other through being on the prayer ministry team together at our church. And over time, we developed some more common friends and social gatherings. I actually asked him to help me install my dishwasher in my condo because I was I didn't have any family in town. And of course, I needed a guy who knew what he was doing and, and I really felt like I was supposed to ask him, you know, I would even go so far as to say as I felt like God was telling me like, Hey, you should ask Rhett to help you with this. And so I kind of went out on a limb and asked him and he came over, you know, super nice helped me out and something clicked in his mind, and he went, I need to pursue this girl. He's a very confident, bold personality. And when he decided that he was going to pursue me, he did it with confidence and boldness that terrified me. essentially said, like, like, hey, like, you know, I had so much fun with you like installing your dishwasher. We should hang out. Do you want to like, go see a movie with some friends? Sure. movie with friends turned into just me and him. And then from there, he was like, hey, like, Can I take on a date, and then roses showed up at my work, and I fell into a panic attack. Like, what is going on here like, this is moving so fast. And I even had a conversation with him right off the bat being like, hey, look, I need to understand what this looks like, you know, and where are we going and what is pursue will even mean and so I would say that was that was a pretty, pretty good shake up experience just being pursued in my early 30s, which sounds so silly to say even right now, you know, it's a reminder of how innocent I was and how naive I was to just like common world experiences. So we started dating and hanging out a lot. And I knew that he had had a history with addiction and but even in that moment, you know, I figured like, Oh, well, that's in the past, and Jesus will heal him of that. And we will that won't ever be part of our lives because Jesus loves me so much that he would never like put me through something like that. So, you know, Jesus will take care of this. And that was kind of as much thought as I gave into that which is so naive, I knew nothing about what being an addict meant, or being an alcoholic meant and how addicts and alcoholics live with that trait their entire life, regardless of whether they're in sobriety or in relapse, like I just had no clue until I was even in Al anon years later about what being an addict meant. It was fairly common in our social circles in the church to drink on the weekends and even drink a little too much. And I felt like those lines of what was okay and not okay, socially, really started to get blurred even in the church, right? You know, you go back 10, 15 years and to socially drink with your friends at church was kind of unheard of. And now it was commonplace. So for me to understand that Oh, Rhett has an issue with drinking in the past. I go, Don't we all? You know, I didn't understand there's a difference between social drinking and what being an addict means.

 

Rodney Olsen 

So how quickly did things move from there from this initial getting to know him? You had this bit of an understanding that there was a problem with alcohol in the past for him, but in your mind, that's all sorted. And you're moving forward? He's pursuing you? How long did it take before there was a proposal and a wedding? And how did that happen?

 

Shonah Marie 

We dated just over a year, year and a half, I think, before we got married, and there was a minor breakup in there over some conflict. And but like I was 32, when we got married, and my husband was 39. So we're both kind of in a phase of life of you know, as you get older, it doesn't take a whole lot of dating to figure out the type of person you want to be with. And, you know, as you get older, that dating relationship tends to shrink a little bit. So we dated for just over a year before we got married. This summer leading up to our wedding, our conversations just kept ending up at, well, where is this going? You know, it's sort of talking about we started talking about like, where we would want to live one day and what that would look like or career changes. And it was like, Well, why are we talking about that? before? We're talking about? Are we getting married? I think we both naturally, like avoided the question for a while. But then after so many conversations have an ending up at like, okay, like either where we're doing this or not, right. So we just kind of decided like, yeah, like, I think, I think we're doing this, like we're getting married. And we actually had our whole wedding planned before there was even a ring on my finger. Because we just knew where we were headed. It was just obvious to us it. It did scare us both just because Rhett was everything I wanted to have in a husband. But I also knew there were a lot of aspects to him that I purposely tried to avoid. So it was a little scary for me to think, okay, like, Whoa, we're doing this and I was kind of determined to trust God over falling victim to my fear. And likewise, for Rhett to date me and pursue me as a wife was really outside of his comfort zone. Me being you know, as innocent and protected and sheltered as I was, and him being my first experience of a relationship was really quite nerve racking for him as well. We got married in the fall. And by Christmas of that same year, I knew that alcohol was becoming a problem for Rhett and in our marriage, and I had no idea how to handle that.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Was there a sense in which you were thinking, Oh, God, you you've kind of warned me of things before you've given me this. This feeling that this is not right. And yet you've let me walk into this. What's going on?

 

Shonah Marie 

That is such a good question. I've really struggled with that a lot. I was like, okay, Jesus, like, I knew Rhett kind of freaked me out a bit. But I also felt so confident in God's voice over our relationship we both did. You know, we really felt like God was speaking and guiding our relationship. And there wasn't really any doubt that we were meant to be together. Like, even right now, as I speak to you like, I know that there was no doubt that we would be we were to be together. But when the drinking started ramping up, and I could see Rhett start to become very emotionally distant and start to choose alcohol over connection. I kind of unraveled and that not only fueled my distress, but it fueled Rhett's addiction.

 

 

I asked

 

Shonah Marie 

myself that exact same question like, okay, God, like I consider myself to be a fairly discerning person, I would consider myself to be fairly confident in hearing your voice, like, why would you allow this knowing chaos was around the corner? And I think a lot of Christians are asked to that question like, why would you follow a God who allows destruction to happen? You know, you say your God is loving, but he's also a God of judgment. And, you know, why would Jesus allow the Holocaust to happen? So it's all these big questions that people love to put in front of Christians in order to catch them in the corner. And I would say, like, what I've learned going through this experience is, I don't think that God's setting his followers purposefully on a path of destruction to teach him a lesson, so to speak. But I, I do think there's an aspect of God, who goes, You know what, this is going to be really hard for Shonah. But I know there's good things in it. And I know she's strong enough to get through it. And we're going to be with her as she goes through it, and it's going to suck, but she's going to come out the other side stronger, send her off.

 

 

And I think

 

Shonah Marie 

that is a loving God, to say, you know what, this is going to be hard, but you're going to be better for it. That's parenting that is loving parenting, to shelter your kids and to keep them from experiencing any sort of character developing experiences is kind of neglectful. So, you know, I wouldn't say that God wished for us to go through horrific things. But I do think he sees the outcome, and knows that we'll get through it. And he's okay with walking out that journey with us,

 

Rodney Olsen 

You're starting to see these signs that things are not quite right. How did you feel about actually addressing that with red? Did you feel that you could actually approach him on this? Or is this still something that you weren't quite sure which direction to go?

 

Shonah Marie 

I kind of describe it as like, falling off a horse and having your, your foot stuck in the stirrup. And, you know, you get dragged for about 30 seconds before you realize you can't do this anymore. I've kind of felt like I had fallen off a horse, you know, right away with Rhett. And I was like, No, like, this is too hard. I can't do this. You know, I want off, one off this ride. I confronted him immediately, you know, the first time that he called me to pick them up from a bar. I was irate. You know, I said, like, What is going on?

 

 

Like, where is this going?

 

Shonah Marie 

What are you doing? Like, I don't understand why you're doing this. And because he had periods of relapse and sobriety in his past, this was no new experience for him. He was like, I won't do it again. Like, I'm going to work on this. Like, I'm so sorry. I don't know how it got that far or whatever. Right. But for me, I just exploded right away. And I wanted answers right away. For Rhett it was it was this journey of almost him wondering like, how did I get here? So not only was he asking himself that question, I was demanding an answer of something he hadn't even figured out himself yet.

 

Rodney Olsen 

And this comes down to the whole nature of addiction, or alcoholism is it's not just a matter of saying, I want to stop this. There's something internal, there's something going on. That means I need to have that next drink. So he's, he's battling with this at the same time, saying he's sorry, and you're wondering, when will this end? So how did that journey continue from there?

 

Shonah Marie 

There was a lot of good moments, you know, in our first year of marriage, and I was determined to focus on those good moments. You know, like we went camping we went, we hung out with friends. We were part of a home church that was really fulfilling for us spiritually. There was a lot of really good stuff that happened that first year. Rhett sort of went through phases where he would binge drink. And then he go a few weeks or a month without drinking, and then it would come up again. And, and so I tried to write out the positives of what was happening. And I kind of ignored the negatives of what was going on, you know, okay, well, that was just a slip up, we're done with that now, when things would arise again, and the alcohol would increase, and then I would lose it again, I was completely out of control. And now we're fighting and now I'm demanding answers. And so it was this roller coaster of good memories and good times, and these depths of I can't take this anymore. And it carried on like that for essentially, the first two years of our marriage, the good times got a little longer, the bad times got really dark and hard. And eventually, to fast forward the story. Rhett ended up going to treatment. Two days before our second anniversary, he was there a month and came out of treatment at the end of 2019. And then he came back home, the end of December. And you know, we're still celebrating sobriety here. He's still working, his recovery and his sobriety, and I'm working on myself to help curb those emotions on my end. But it was it was a two year journey of up and downs before I reached the end of my rope and said, either you're signing separation papers, or you're going to treatment, like that's your options.

 

Rodney Olsen 

Were there people you could confide in, along this journey, especially in those early days that, hey, things aren't quite what they seem?

 

Shonah Marie 

Yeah, as I just mentioned, we were a part of a small group of some really good friends for a few years there. And we intentionally met every Sunday night at around five 5:30, we would all contribute to a pre planned dinner, we'd have dinner together, chat about our lives, and then we'd spend the rest of the evening focused more on a spiritual focus now that would change from week to week as to what that looked like. But that home group was really our lifeline, especially my lifeline through all of that, I have definitely been a very sheltered person, my whole life, I don't really like to let people in and show them what's really going on, you know, I, it's very much about maintaining the front, but this experience just didn't allow for luxuries of hiding. I was really vulnerable them you know, I, I leaned on them a lot in dark times called them at 10, 11. at night, midnight, saying I don't know what to do. Like, I don't know how to get home from the bar. I don't even know if I can be home right now. And they would come pick me up or tell me to come over and give me a reprieve. I honestly don't know how I would have got through without them. I don't know how people get through tough things like that without community and without Jesus. Like I just don't have an answer outside of those two things.

 

Rodney Olsen 

It would be easy for us to say, Well, this is obviously already doing. He's the one that's broken in this situation. But we know that each of us is broken in a different way. And I would imagine that God is teaching you things along the way. What were some of the things that you needed to work on yourself during this time? Oh, man,

 

Shonah Marie 

I'm still working on them, I would say but God was definitely shaping me and working on me. And I would say that those two years of relapse, I have never been closer to Jesus as I was in those two years. I felt like I was literally in his arms at times. You know, he was teaching me about how to be resilient. He was teaching me to find strength where I didn't know strength existed. The biggest things he was teaching me were compassion and love and grace for Rhett, you know how to look past someone's exterior and see who they are see their heart, see who God made them to be. I still don't know how I managed to muster up the grace and compassion in some of those darker moments. You know, like, it was really a day to day thing. I would have to seek God on almost every conversation every moment being like, I don't know what to do. Like, I don't know what to say, I don't know what to do. I don't know where to go, I don't know who to call. I would just rely on Jesus to bring the answer to me into to guide me again. So learning to trust God was was a real big component, and then learning to trust that he is good. Even in the midst of chaos was probably the hardest lesson in all of it. I feel I really started to understand the heart of the Father and it all a lot of like, kind of like I said earlier, a lot of people love to challenge God like Oh, how can you worship Loving God, who has done X, Y and Z that's so hateful. How is this a loving God, but really, in all of that, like, I could feel God's heartbreaking for what was going on, I could feel his sorrow for what we were going through. And learning to sit with Jesus in that empathy was probably the greatest gift. I remember one morning, I woke up, probably five 530 in the morning, and I was home alone, because it was one of those seasons where I had asked Rhett to take a hike for a while, you know, and he was staying in hotel rooms with friends. And so I was home alone. And I woke up at about 530 in the morning, and I sat on the couch, and I didn't feel like I could connect with Jesus, I was so hard in my heart. But I felt like God was calling me to himself, you know, he was saying, like, come spend the morning with me, come spend the morning with me. And I was like, No, I can't do it. But slowly, slowly, I got up, I just put some worship music on, I sat on the couch. And suddenly I'm bawling my eyes out. And like, the only words I can get out are Jesus my marriage. And that's all I can say. And I just felt like Jesus say, I know. I know. And that was it. And he didn't need to say anything else. And I didn't need to hear anything else. I just needed to know that he knew what was going on. I didn't have to tell him what was going on and have to describe it. I didn't have to say this big, long prayer of Jesus, this this, and this is happening. And I need you to show up in all these ways. All I had to do is come to him and bawl my eyes out and go my marriage. And he was just like, Yeah, I know. That simple, simple prayer just told me he didn't only see, but he gets it. And he's, he's hurting for us, too. And that was a sign of Jesus. I never know him prior to this.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You talked about the fact that you're learning grace and compassion for other people. And certainly that grace and compassion for Rhett, as he's walking through that, did you find it difficult to strike that balance between that grace and compassion, but still needing to call out behavior that was unacceptable to call out? What is broken in an effort to bring healing?

 

Shonah Marie 

Yeah, absolutely. I would never condone someone to stay in a relationship that where the other person wasn't willing to acknowledge their brokenness and come to a point of forgiveness and seek redemption through God. Like that's the point. So there was there was a lot of tough love that happened in that season two, I remember a lot of phone calls between Rhett and I, where i was said to him, like, you got to figure this out, you got to get up, you got to pursue sobriety, you have to call someone, tell them what's going on. Like, I can't do this for you, I can't be the person who heals you, I can't support this, like, you need to figure this out. And he was always like, I know, I know, like, like, I don't want to be here. I don't want to do this. But I just don't know how to do anything else right now. And so there was a lot of a lot of calling out of his behavior. And I would say to him, like, look like, I'll support you if you support yourself. But I have to see that you're supporting yourself. It was a back and forth tussle for the two years, you know, like I said, there were good times where things are going well, and there were bad times or things were falling apart completely. Anyone who has loved someone through addiction will know that they have to come to the end of themselves before they reach out for help, I would say Rhett came to the end of himself a couple of times, but that point where I said to him, like, Look, I have played every card, I know how to play in order to save this marriage. And I said to him, I'm like I'm out of cards. And I feel like you're still holding half a deck in your hand. So I'm going to play my last card, which is your signing separation papers, or you can start playing some of the cards that you're holding on to and you can get help. It was at that point where he was just so desperate for a different way of life that we ended up getting him into treatment. But yeah, it was really hard, you know, being a newlywed and just sort of wanting that like, blissful honeymoon experience. And I was trying to cling to what that might look like and love him and have a marriage and walk this out. But the reality of it was, there was no marriage happening because we had addiction stuck in the middle of us. I wouldn't even say I balanced it. Well, I would say I bounced back and forth you know tough love, Grace, tough love grace and I think some situations I responded wrong and some I responded correctly. It was a very much learn on the job type experience.

 

Rodney Olsen 

We all love the Hollywood movies where we see there is first All things are going well, then there's something that disrupts that. And then by the end of the movie, everything sorted. Everyone lives happily ever after. But we know that that's not life. And you mentioned that, whilst there's been this, this long period of being sober, that it's something that is a continual work in progress. How do you walk day to day with that? Working in with read sobriety,

 

Shonah Marie 

You know, that happily ever after is not going to happen until Jesus comes back, right? Maybe not even then maybe he's got more for us after that. And like we are a constant work in progress. And like I said, you know, where we're a year and a few months into sobriety, but we're still, we're still working on things. And like I said, at the beginning, you know, a person who has the trade of addiction or alcoholism will combat that trait their entire lives. And last year was a hard year. I don't know what statistics are like everywhere, but for us, and where we live, overdose rates, suicide rates, were through the roof last year of people who just couldn't take anymore and, and read had some close calls, you know, with relapsing last year. And I'm, I can't believe that he made it through last year without relapsing. It was a tough year on everyone. I can't even say how proud I am of him for getting through that year without relapsing. I, you know, I don't know what our future is going to look like, I don't know if, if we'll have to go through that again, or what have you. But I do know, you can only take it one day at a time. And that's kind of how we take it. And you know, you just have to focus on what you can do with what you have. And even retrospect, you know, like, I was speaking to a friend recently who is in a relationship with an addict, and they're in the middle of chaos with it. And then I'm coming home and I'm thinking, Oh, man, like, I remember what that was, like, like, I'm so thankful that we're not there anymore. You know, and I just had so much gratitude for what our marriage looks like. And it's not a perfect marriage, you know, we still have lots to work on like anyone else. But I was just flooded with gratitude for how far we've come. And that it is a day to day journey that we don't actually have to be perfect by tomorrow or next week, but that we can just focus on the one thing God's asking us to attune to tune into and work on and just work on that for right now.

 

Rodney Olsen 

You wrote the book steady in the storm, which really Chronicles that journey that you went through, and very much from from your perspective, obviously, was it difficult to write that to bring back those memories and walk through it again, in the writing of the book,

 

Shonah Marie 

That was actually kind of the intention of writing it down? To be honest. When I started writing out my story, it was really for my own personal benefit. I had a lot of friends and family and counselors asked me like, oh, have you ever thought of writing out your story? And I was like, What story like, what, what on earth would I write about, but they really encouraged me to do it just for retrospect, to work through those memories. And as a personal journey is a point of healing. So when I started writing the book, I I wasn't actually thinking that it would be a published book, I'm more thought, Okay, well, if I'm going to write up my story, where do I start? What do I say what's important? So I started writing it with the perspective of me sitting across from a stranger, telling them my story, you know, what would they need to know about me in order to understand why this journey was so hard? And I kind of started with that idea and went from there. It really was a healing thing for me, you know, there'd be times I'd be writing and I would just stop and bawl my eyes out and ask Jesus to come and help me heal that memory. And I feel like I learned a lot about myself and how traits I have were really points of strength in the story and how others other traits were points of weakness, and it helped me understand why I reacted the way I did. About halfway through writing the book, I really started to feel like I had something worth telling. And, you know, I thought, there's so many people out there who are going through this who feel so alone, you know, I felt so alone. I asked a lot of people for book references, podcasts, even like, pamphlets, anything like can you give me something to help me understand what I'm going through and to know that I'm not alone and all the recommendations that came my way were all about addiction or alcoholism, you know, understanding the addict, which I read, and I found helpful, but then I also felt like, Well, where's my side? For every addict? There's got to be 20 people that love them, where are their stories? How come I'm not hearing about them. So about half through writing the book, I thought, you know, this could be the book that I wanted in that season of knowing that I'm not alone and the empathy of hearing how hard it is to be in that position and the hope to get through it. As I neared the end of writing it, I had read it and my mom read it and give me constructive criticism. And I thought, you know what, God, if this is something you want the world show me how to publish it. And the blessing of the COVID, lockdown allowed me the time to get it published,

 

Rodney Olsen 

Rhett must have known that there was hurt on your side but were there new hurts that he was reading through that book and thinking, I'm sorry, I didn't realize that you, you experienced that at the time,

 

Shonah Marie 

He read the book, probably in three or four days. And you know, he'd be sitting in the kitchen, reading it on the laptop, and I'd be in the bedroom reading my own book, and he'd come in and let out a big heavy sigh and kind of flop on the bed, I'd be like, Whoa, like, What's going on with you. And he would be like, your book is amazing, and really hard for me to read. He's like, it's really hard for me to read that, like knowing that I put you through it. I remember when he was in treatment, we had a counseling session, and they encouraged me to tell Rhett certain things he had done and how it had made me feel because they said it was important for him to understand the sphere outside of himself. addicts, in general, are quite self focused and selfish. And they actually said, you know, it's important for you to share with Rhett, when you're hurting, or a memory comes up, what happened in that memory and how it affected you, so that he can understand how addiction affects people around him. So for him to read the book was really, really hard for him. I think it was also healing for him, in a sense to, to know how God was supporting me through it, and how I don't claim to be a very strong person to be honest. Sometimes I feel not a hypocrite, but close. Like, I remember when I was reading the book in the editing mode, and I would read something and I'd be like, wow, like, that's really good advice. I should do that. I'm like, wait, like, I wrote that. I did that. Like, there's aspects to it, where, you know, I went like, man, how can I do that? Like, how did I get through? Like, I can't believe that, that I have the strength to do that. And that that was what I was getting out of it. Whoa, like, Who am I, you know, like, I still feel like such a broken version of myself, I can really only claim God's faithfulness, that got us through that. So I think for rent to read that and really understand, you know, how, how much God was there for me and our community was there for me in the time was, was also kind of healing for him.

 

Rodney Olsen 

They would be some listening today who would think well, I don't actually have someone in my life who is an addict or is an alcoholic? So this book probably isn't for me. But that's not the case. You're telling the story of God's goodness in amongst struggle, and we all face struggle, don't we?

 

Shonah Marie 

Absolutely. And that was why the title to be honest, you know, steady in the storm, like, it doesn't matter what your storm is, like, we all went through a storm last year, you know, we're still going through it to some extent, you know, whether it be the storm of addiction, or the storm of walking with a loved one through an illness, or even losing your job are massive forms of grief. You know, a lot of the book I talk about grief and about how I was grieving my marriage when I was a newlywed and what that looked like, it is obviously my journey of walking with my husband through addiction. But I talk about what it's like to get through hard things, essentially, and what I needed to get through and how God came through. And I think a lot of that is applicable to whatever it is you're going through that you're being challenged in. I think there's a lot of aspects of the book that that can be tailored to your experience. It doesn't have to be. Yeah, oh, that's not for me. I don't know any alcoholics? I think it is. I think it is a worthwhile book for a lot of journeys

 

Rodney Olsen 

Shonah, I'm sure that there are people who are wanting to learn more from your experience to be able to read the book, what's the easiest way for people to find the book or to be in contact with you?

 

Shonah Marie 

The book is for sale just exclusively on Amazon right now. It is available in any country accessible that, you know, with Amazon, which is good if you're going to be exclusive with one person. Amazon's a good one to be. Yeah, so even if you were to Google Search steady in the storm book, it comes up right away with an Amazon link. I also have a website steady in the storm.com which links to the book itself. I also actively blog on that website. So if you're wanting more consistent content, that's a good place to go on Facebook, setting the storm alarm.com my Instagram is shown in Murray. Yeah, even just Google searching Steady In the Storm book will bring you to the Amazon store

 

Rodney Olsen 

Shonah, I want to thank you for being so open and honest about this story which has been a difficult road so many times and it's still a road that you're walking down, but I know that it's going to benefit a lot of people. So thank you for sharing your story. Thank you for your time on bleeding daylight today.

 

Shonah Marie 

Thank you for giving me the opportunity to tell it. I appreciate it.

 

Emily Olsen 

Thank you for listening to Bleeding Daylight. Please help us to shine more light into the darkness by sharing this episode with others. For further details and more episodes, please visit bleedingdaylight.net

 

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