Sunday, October 25, 2015


Okay, so my last post, I said that I was going to upload songs onto youtube. I will, I haven’t yet because I haven’t had access to my music as my computer has failed on me. But, I will upload all kinds of good songs that are worth listening to. I will upload songs that are fun, good music that have shaped my life in some way or another. Worth listening to. My youtube channel is
Next, let me share with you what happened to me last Wednesday.  So I woke up at 3:30 (am) and felt like I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep. This is a very, very common thing with TBIs. I once said that I didn't think that God would always make it so that I could sleep great every night because sleep doesn't have much to do with your eternal salvation. But I prayed this morning to help me go back to sleep anyway. I had a great big day ahead of me; we were leaving out of town the next morning. I needed to bring things home from my condo, then pack stuff at home, I wanted to exercise and shower, do my hair really cute, I needed to take my car in to figure out what was wrong with it, I had to go to work, I wanted to see a couple of people, etc etc. So I prayed that I would be able to sleep for just a few more hours so that I would have the energy to do all of these things. But I felt "no." "Are you kidding? Please!!!" "No Shannon, trust me." "GRRR! Okay, I will trust thee." So I got up and started moving. (No by Cherie Call - I promise I will put all these songs up as soon as I can). So this kind of set me up to look for God's hand everywhere throughout the day. I can't remember all of the ways, but I do remember like 2 or 3 times every hour, saying "Thank you Heavenly Father!" Two of the distinct ways that I do remember however, I will share. The first is when I began to recognize that I was hungry as my stomach continued to growl. (Yes, I can't really tell when I'm actually hungry). But I also had decided that I was not going to eat crap and I was at UVU without my car (long story). Where could I get non-crappy food around campus? I didn't know, but I started walking. Then God led me straight to a Jamba Juice. Huzzah! So I got myself one of their healthier smoothies. A little bit later, I called Toyota to see if my car was fixed, it was so I told them I'd be there in like 10 minutes. So I began to walk towards where I thought was the exit of the building. I got lost and stuck and ran around the campus for nearly an hour. I was about to break. I was praying, asking for someone to come and help me find my way out, my eyes were watery and I could barely hold in my tears. After about an hour of this I eventually got out of the stupid new building at UVU that I was very, very unfamiliar with. (One more thing that TBIs do NOT deal with very well, AT ALL). Anyway, then as I was walking back to the Toyota dealership, it suddenly occurred to me. "Heavenly Father knew I wasn't going to be able to exercise when I got home, and he also knows how important it is to me - although I don't think it's important to Him - that I have visible 6 pack abs, so he made it possible for me to get in a good work out. Oh how the Lord works in mysterious ways! (Better Promises by Hilary Weeks)
One last thing. Although this is the most important. I have decided to start an experiment. This experiment is something that I may work on for the rest of my life. I am calling this experiment #ShannontheMiracle. I truly believe that I returned to this God forsaken world so that I can bring people to Christ.  I knew that I would have a very strong, powerful approach because I am a miracle save the grace and mercy of Jesus Christ and the Eternal Father. So, what I am doing is I am encouraging all people – especially non-members –to come unto Christ by looking into real life stories of how He changed these people; of how He comforted them in times of terror and grief.  So, what I’m asking of all of you, is to post (on facebook, google+, your own blog, comments on this blog, wherever) you’re faith-promoting experience with my accident and include #ShannontheMiracle and #JesusChrist. The point is I want to bring others to Christ, and I believe that I came back to Earth so that I could be a catalyst in making that happen. So, let’s do it. I am now asking for your help. In case anyone sees or feels something and they become curious, I want stories that they can find of how my accident, recovery, and determination has shaped them. I want testimonies of our Savior, Jesus Christ. These stories do not have to be anything great. I know I have not changed everyone dramatically, but if my accident has changed you in anyway, whatsoever, please, write about it. Thanks!

Monday, October 19, 2015

Songs for Encouragement

"...Let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong..." D&C 121:45
Oh how the days seem longer and harder. Yes, my perspective has changed, but that in no way means that life is any easier or that my days have been much better. My conversations with other members of the church have been a little bit more uplifting, rather than discouraging. I am trying to be a beacon of light towards all men, but I'm not sure whether that's working or not. I do not want to be overly negative, but I do not want to say that life has just magically become perfect, because it has not. I am trying to let faith guide my life. I am listening to good, spiritual music. If anyone wants a list of artists, or a sample of these songs, email/text me. And these are not motab songs, many of them are pop, or upbeat, or fun in some way or another. I love these songs with all my heart. Typical Girl by Cheri Magill was very influential in becoming the kind of person I am today. Beautiful to Him by Rachel Thibodeau as well as Beautiful Inside by Kirby Heyborne (also Everclean) and Never Be Another by Jenny Jordan Frogley taught me that I don't need to care what the world thinks of me. I Am by Nichole Nordeman and Names by Cherie Call has strengthened my testimony of the Savior's constant role in our lives. All the Way by Trey Warner (from Pride and Prejudice) and This Day by Jenny Jordan Frogley has lifted me up and kept me going. All that I Can Give by Cherie Call is one of my favorite songs around Christmas time. Beautiful Heartbreak by Hilary Weeks is a song that has gotten me through a lot of crap that I've had to suffer because of my TBI, or any challenge. Hero also by Hilary Weeks, reminds me that I need to serve others anonymously. Believe by Cherie Call tells me that life is never over, and that Christ is always there, even if it's in the final watch. My Giant and Self Portrait  by Stephanie Smith remind me that it is the carnal, sensual, temporary man who keeps my self-esteem down. I'm sure that I have overwhelmed you with so many songs, and I'm going to make sure that they are on youtube, if they are not, and maybe even if they are, I will upload them. The artists I listed more than once (Cherie Call, Hilary Weeks, Jenny Jordan Frogley - and Cheri Magill) are worth looking up more of their songs. This last one is not an LDS artist, but imagine singing it to the Savior - You're the Reason by Victoria Justice. Again, sorry to overwhelm. But, when you have the time, they are worth looking up.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Tough Things Made Possible

This last week has been harder than it ever should have been. Multiple times a day I would have to say to myself, "Shannon, you are here for a reason; don't get discouraged; find that light; be strong; you can do this; this will not be your undoing" etc, etc. Because quite honestly, this week I have had a LOT of things attack me; things I felt would just destroy me. But, we must stand out from the crowd, we must be different. This was the "theme" many of us took from General Conference. So that's what I've been trying my best to do.
Each week I am posting a different scripture on my door so that I see it before I leave. This has helped me be a little bit stronger. So let me share them with you. Last week, the scripture was Joshua 1:9, which goes something like this: strong and of a good courage, for the Lord thy God is with thee; withersoever thou goest. Applicable, right? Yeah well, how about this week... Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I didn't search for these scriptures, they fell into my lap (in a sense). I testify that the Lord knows exactly what we need. As a matter of fact, He knows what we'll need years later. For example, when I was a young teenager, I would collect the little cards that would come out in the New Era. I would look at them, and then put them in my drawer, so it was good, but there wasn't a real purpose as to keeping them. Until today. Today I put them all around the family room in my apartment. This is one way that I am keeping the light burning within me, and being  missionary to my roommates.
As far as more-TBI related stuff.... As many of you may or may not know, math has always been my thing. I've been really good at it for as long as I can remember and I developed a desire to teach AP Calculus in my AP Calculus class. My current job is tutoring kids with math. I have been so frustrated because I can't remember things that I should know. That and the new curriculum that they are teaching in schools is absolutely awful. So I asked my boss if I could take an assessment to determine where I would place in Mathnasium's (where I work) curriculum. It took a lot of digging, and it took me to full on cognitive fatigue a couple of times - so I had to leave and come back, and it hasn't officially been scored yet. But, I feel very confident in all of my answers. What? Wait a second, but I suck at math now. Yeah, so it takes me a lot longer, but maybe I don't suck at math. I don't know. So for someone dealing with a TBI, I'm saying that while there may most definitely be things that will be lost - especially for TBIs as severe as mine - that not everything is a lost cause. Some things, the things that really matter to you, with a lot of Heavenly Father's help, you can still obtain the info that you have locked inside of your head. Yes, there is no doubt that it will take longer. there is no doubt that it will be harder, but you can still access it through the atonement of the One who saves us all. Granted, not all TBIs are the same, for some, life will not be this hard. I'm just warning you for the worst. But oh how great it is to finally fully - admittedly -rely on the Lord!
Just a few further notes. First, take a look at the new poll, and please vote. Second, if you friend request me on facebook and I don't know you, please write me a message or something, otherwise I will not add you. Yes, I am one of those weird people that only adds people I actually know. Follow me on instagram, believe in Christ, and know that He is the only way that I am still here. I love the Lord and yes times are extremely difficult, but I am excited.

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

A New Perspective

Conference weekend was incredible for me. I wrote down many, many questions I had going into General Conference. Then I tried to pay attention really well and take notes on all the speakers so that I could get answers to my dozens of questions. Unfortunately... my TBI brain cannot last quite so long, but I still got some very important instruction.
Elder Lawrence's talk on Saturday morning instructed us to go to the Lord and ask "What lack I yet?" or "what do I need to do to further my own progression?" Between sessions on Sunday, I went upstairs, knelt down and did just that. I didn't get any sort of answer like Elder Lawrence talked about. I didn't feel the Holy Ghost telling me what I needed to do next. But instead, I gained so much more. 
Let me talk about two things that occurred. First, I distinctly realized as I was communicating with my Father in Heaven that I am the same person, the same beloved daughter of God that I always have been. The same spirit I was before the accident. Yes, the TBI gets in the way all too often, especially in my dealings with other people, but in the end, in Heavenly Father's eyes, I am still His righteous daughter. So, as I was beginning to do anyway, I have changed everything back to Shannon Blackham. (P.S. I have an instagram account -ShannonBlackham- and you should follow me!)
But the second thing is far more important. I learned why I am still here. Yes there have been little things along the way that I've said, "maybe..." but no, now I know. It is none of the "maybes" from before. The reason why I chose to live is because I said "Lord, I will return to be a living, walking, breathing testament of thy reality, of thy love, and of thy infinite atonement." So this is what I have decided to change my life to be. After having this newly acquired vision, I have felt so much better, so much stronger. I have been able to take things that would have been devastating even hours before, I have been able to resist temptation when it is right in front of me. I have the desire to do good continually. Because I am here - quite literally, I am here to show the world that we have a Father in Heaven who sent His Son, who came as a baby and changed the world. Through Him we can each do things we never thought possible. Through His infinite atonement, we do not have to suffer alone, and our sufferings can be made light. I am a living testament of that. As such, I will go throughout the world proclaiming His name and rejoicing in His grace.