The Start of A New Journey

Welcome to the Start of A New Journey

“Forget what happened in the past and do not dwell on events from long ago. I am going to do something new.  It is already happening. Do you not recognize it? I will clear a way in the desert.  I will make rivers in a dry land.” Isaiah 45:18-19

I’m going to step out on a limb here and say that the vast majority of you reading this don’t know me :-)  So first, a little background:

I’m a 41 year old wife and mother of two living a truly Norman Rockwell life in Southern Indiana.  Mr. Incredible (the husband) and I just celebrated our 20th anniversary, we live on the family farm in a house we built on a lake, and we run our own business.  We’ve homeschooled  TechnoTeen and FunnyGirl  and they are amazing kids who love the Lord with a love and understanding I didn’t have until I was 32. Our parents are still living and close by.  We’ve got two dogs and a cat.  See?  Norman could have painted us at the dinner table.  We are wonderfully blessed.

Ok, that’s the highlight reel.  Now for the bloopers.  I spent the first 32 years of my life in church, saved when I was 9 at the altar  of the little country church I grew up in. At age 10 it was discovered I could sing and  I began singing in churches all over the state I grew up in.  I also began crafting the mask of faith I would wear for the next 22 years. I grew up and I went off to college and gained a degree in vocal music and a husband but I didn’t gain any real understanding of how to grow up in my faith.  I’d heard the words “grow in your faith” and “mature in your faith” all my life but no one had ever told me what that looked like or how to do it. So I did what alot of us in the church do, I faked it.

I’m a performer, trained to portray a part on a stage and that’s what I did.  I became a worship leader for a mid-sized church in southern Indiana and week after week I sang songs about the love and reality of Christ and I prayed prayers right out of the handbook for how to sound like a Spirit-filled, On-Fire-For-The-Lord, Got-My-Act-Together, Hand-Raising Worship Leader.  Even if you knew me, you didn’t know it was an act, a mask, a lie.  But I knew. And He knew, of course.

I didn’t defraud people on purpose.  I just didn’t know how to get to where it was real in my life. I didn’t know how to grow up and attain what I saw in others and wanted for myself–a real life, down to the bone faith and walk with the Lord.   Then one day in 2004 I cried out to Him in the most honest moment of my spiritual life and  He met me there.  Right where I was, lukewarm and phony. He’d been waiting all that time for me to give up the act.  He wasn’t waiting on me to get it all together.  He didn’t expect me to know everything or anything, really.  He was waiting for me to ask.

That day began what has become an ongoing journey around a lot of mountains to KNOW Him, to have more of Him in every atom and second of my life.  It has often been painful, ego-crushing, frustrating but Oh, so worth it!

In 2005 I left my position as worship leader to begin a new ministry that has become Come As You Are Ministries, a teaching and speaking ministry driven by a desire to help other women who are where I was get to where they want and need to be with Him.  I don’t have all the answers.  But I’m willing to share my journey and mistakes and flaws and victories in the hopes that you will allow Him to find you Right Where You Are.  Will you travel with me?  Will you admit that you’re not where you want to be in your walk with Him?  Are you ready to look in the mirror and see the real you behind the faith mask?  Strap on your boots!  The mountains ahead are rough but we have the Map (His Holy Word) and the Guide (The Holy Spirit).  Let’s go!

Shay Barnett is the founder of Come As You Are Ministries, a speaking and teaching ministry begun in 2008 and geared toward helping women to grow in their faith. Shay describes herself as just another pilgrim on this journey we call Life and Faith who thought being saved was enough. She’s been given a desire and passion by the King of Kings to challenge women of faith to find their path to a victorious life in Christ no matter how far they feel from Him, no matter how inadequate they feel.

3 comments
beyondsundaymornings
beyondsundaymornings

I've been that person you described and have that same desire for people, including myself, to just be real and let Him be real to them.   Looking forward to what you have to share with us.

MarcyByassee
MarcyByassee

I can't wait to follow your blog! I truly value your willingness to share such an intimate area in your life that most won't. It means alot to me. 

camilliamadden
camilliamadden

WHOOT! What a faithful God we serve! I love that you so openly shared of your not knowing, and how God pursued you and loved you thru those years! I cant wait to read more, and get to know you more as you so willingly share your journey with us on this blog!!!