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Last week during the SHINE Catholic Work Camp a young woman was given the opportunity to share her heart on stage to 100 of her peers. In poetic grace she expressed a HOPE that is for all of us to embrace.

Black & White by Katherine Teagle

I believe in white, like the color of wedding dresses and baptismal gowns.

The color of innocence and the wave caps on the ocean.

I believe in white, the color of fluffy clouds in the sky that children often make pictures out of.

I believe in white, like that of the unwritten pages of this book

and a clean slate of an ever so wanted forgotten past and the calm mind after over active thoughts.

I believe in white lines.

The color of battle scars of any kind,

the constant reminder of a hard time or an ever so regretted decision.

The color the light makes at the end of the tunnel shedding light on a new beginning of a happy life.

Along with white, I also believe in black.

The color of this pen writing down every thought of mine.

The color that often takes over the “white” in my life

and the thoughts that come to mind through the black nights.

I also believe in second chances.

I’ve been given many of these and that’s all I could ever ask for.


By God’s grace we are given second chances. It is what we do with them that counts. In our headquarters I have a framed picture that says

it is what it is

The most difficult task I have at hand is actively changing innate behaviors that have not served me well in life. After last week and witnessing so many lives that have been stuck in a desperate rut because of the lack of motivation to change a behavior, or thought, that does not serve well, I have been forced to look into my own life and think “What can I do different that will serve me and those I love better?”

building the new

I’ll be honest, the top of my list is to redirect my need to ‘control’. Many survivors of abuse have issues with a desire to ‘be in control’ of every aspect of their life, including those around them, because it gives us a sense of security. This is an issue I’ve been dealing with for most of my life and I know that the most control I can have is to give it all up to God and to trust Him.

Apparently, I’ve fallen out of line and need to get back on course. 😉  As my wise spiritual advisor told me, “Shannon, do you want to be right or do you want a happy life? What God wants you to say, to do, to respond, just do it for the Lord.”

There has been much gray in my life but this directive is pretty black and white. Do it for the Lord.




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