In 2018 when I was ready to publish the book, my good friend Shannon (Samantha) told me to put her real name in it.
That, in and of itself, was a huge deal. I was so proud of her for wanting to own her truth, but essentially felt that her story was not mine to tell.
To be honest, I wasn’t even sure at that time that telling my story was the 100% right thing to do. While I knew that people who read my book (and knew me well) would know who she was, I wanted to give her more time to come to terms with all that had happened.
I knew that she would own it and speak about it when she was ready. Shannon found solace in Jesus not long after we reconnected and has pursued her faith as a path toward love and healing. She has recently embarked on getting her Masters in Theology and her faith and healing journey has quickly deepened.
Shannon has always been a strong leader, but until recently has kept her story close to her heart. Recent happenings led to her reflecting on her life and speaking up against a really tough topic.
Shannon and I have a unique bond and our friendship and trust in one another was what allowed me to stay strong enough to make it through the trial.
Shannon is an incredible woman and I am blessed to call her my friend.