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Editor’s Note: The book Shannon refers to is God Isn’t Hiding: Volume One — The Spaces and Places I’ve Found Him, available at or your favorite bookseller.

It was a cool fall afternoon in Southern California. Holding a steaming cappuccino, I took a seat on a rainbow-striped bench outside a local coffee shop. The colors of the bench were so beautiful, and the light was hitting it just right, so I figured my cup o’ joe deserved a little photo shoot. As I was slightly turning the cup to see the logo and moving my phone to get that perfect angle, a text alert dropped down on my phone. It read, “I started and couldn’t stop. Shannon, this is extraordinary. Oh, my. God’s given you a gift … I’d be honored to work with you.” Tears flooded my eyes as I read the words over and over again. I had to quickly walk back to my car, where I had a good, solid, happy cry, celebrating what God had done.

Seven Minutes

Before stepping into the coffee shop, I’d sent an email to a potential editor for a book I felt the Lord nudging me to write. She was referred to me by a friend. I’d asked if she’d read a few chapters and let me know if I were a writer she’d want to work with. However, it was Thanksgiving week, so I encouraged her not to rush, considering the upcoming holiday. To be honest, I wasn’t expecting a reply at all. I figured I’d follow up after a week or two. But, exactly seven minutes after sending the chapters, I received her response—and it blew my mind.

It wasn’t just an encouragement in regard to writing. It was a generous confirmation from the Lord that I’d heard Him correctly and that I was moving in the right direction. He really did give me a gift, and He was walking right alongside me, making all the pieces fall together perfectly. As we continued our conversation over the coming weeks, we realized we’d actually met several years before when I was singing at a beach festival. She said God had brought me to mind quite often since then, directing her to pray for me. She believed that throughout those years, she’d been praying for this very project! I was wowed by the intricacy of God’s planning.

Going Back in Time: From July 2023 to 2016

This story really started many years ago though. Let me take you back in time seven years before that moment, back to 2016. I was a full-time traveling worship leader, and I kept an online blog sharing ways God revealed Himself to me in everyday life. I felt Him encouraging me to create a book from these online blogs, and so I started taking steps toward that end. I finished thirty chapters, paid to have them edited, and sent them off to people I looked up to seeking feedback before moving forward with publishing.

One response in particular brought this project to a screeching halt. “Your stories are cute. I just think you should be careful being so open about sharing your story. You could lose a lot of people.” The words came through the phone but felt like a punch in the stomach. Hearing someone I looked up to criticizing not only my writing but also my transparency and honesty caused me to freeze in fear and abandon the project.

I set it aside and went on with life as if nothing happened, assuming I just wasn’t meant to write a book: I must’ve heard God wrong.

Returning to July 2023

Let’s hop back in that time machine and set it for July 2023, which is only ten months ago. I could hear the voice of God whisper that He wanted me to pick back up that dream of publishing a book—and finish it. And so I said yes. I opened that old file on my computer and began reading the stories I hadn’t looked at in seven years. Some made me smile, others made me cringe, and were immediately deleted. I was left with twenty good chapters and ten left to write. I was a little scared, to be honest.

I wondered if my dream would actually come to fruition or be another failed attempt. I tend to put myself out there on social media, sharing my heart honestly, the good, bad, and ugly too. So, I posted an Instagram and Facebook story sharing that I was picking up this dormant project simply as an act of obedience to God. I was a tiny bit afraid. But over those seven years, God had taught me that sometimes it’s necessary to do things while scared. He will often call us to do things slightly out of our reach. Not because He’s cruel, but because He wants to show us that our human effort can only accomplish so much—but with His help, we can do amazing things!

Four Months Later: November 2023

Within four months, the chapters were completed. And that fall afternoon, as I sipped on a fresh cappuccino with tears in my eyes, I knew I was in the palm of God’s hand. He really had led me to this project, and He would bring me through to its completion. This confidence in Him carried me through the tough days as I learned all the tedious bits and pieces that go into publishing a book. There were many potential roadblocks, making me want to quit. But God turned them into speedbumps, places to slow down and ask Him to remind me that I was simply participating in the work He’d already completed.

Just as Paul states in Philippians 2:13, “It is God who works in you both to will and to do for His good pleasure,” it’s been my joy to finish this project hand in hand with Jesus, the lover of my soul. His timing is always perfect. Seven years ago was just the beginning, and He had a reason for the pause. I’ve grown closer to Jesus: I know now that there’ll be naysayers. Everyone may not enjoy my transparency. And that’s okay. My responsibility is to say yes to Jesus and to leave the results up to Him.

Do You Relate?

I wonder if you might be in the same place I was seven years ago—or perhaps ten months ago. Wherever you are in the process, know that when God calls you to something, He will walk through it with you. And along the way, He will draw you closer to Him and teach you, deepening your confidence in Him. God really means what He says. If He led you to it, He will bring you through it.

Shannon is married to her best friend, Jessie, and they have two grown daughters. She has worn many hats throughout the years, including worship leader, speaker, realtor, fitness coach, and vocal coach, but her favorite is Follower of Jesus. She is passionate about her walk with God and hopes the story God has written for her life inspires others. Having been brought through the deepest valleys, and accompanied through great victories and triumphs, Shannon knows God has never left her side … and that He extends that same promise to everyone. As a result, Shannon especially loves encouraging the next generation of women in their walk with God. Whether it be recognizing the dreams God has placed in their hearts, or the incredible plans He has for them, Shannon considers it a privilege to partner with others on their journey. To connect with Shannon, visit Instagram: @shannonquintana Facebook: The Quintanas