This Journey by Shanna Franklin

by Sister Julie Ann on November 1, 2008

The Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity image of the month focuses on the photography of Shanna Franklin. Shanna reflects:

thisjourney.jpgThe leaves look like glitter as they scatter down from the branches of trees, frosted with Autumn. Colors cover the ground like icing on a cake, and soften every step; this place is just another attempt to silence the voices in my head, constantly pulling me in every different direction.

At times it is difficult to believe that another year has passed; this is one of those times. I don’t feel any different, although I know I should. I know I am. I look back on the previous year and imagine myself standing in this exact spot, trying to feel what I felt in those moments, so silent and colorful. The only thought that comes to mind is an illusion–a constant, flowing stream that waits for no one–not even change.

It has always been hard for me to see my life for what it is, and it seems like it’s getting harder. Every day that passes is another step in the right direction, but with all these leaves floating down from the sky, it’s hard to see in which direction I’m headed.

I know that change feels slow– and although I can’t see any differences in the mirror, one day I will wake up to a brand new me–and I’ll realize that, while I have been searching for myself, I have been slowly growing into the person I want to be–the person that I have become. And I’ll welcome that person with open arms and an open heart.

The road is never easy; this we have all discovered. But the part that seems to be the easiest to forget–is that it is always worth the while.

Click here for Shanna’s Flickr site.

13 thoughts on “This Journey by Shanna Franklin”

  1. Robert Frost says that one cannot travel both roads “and be one traveler.”

    Francis of Assisi says, “I have done what is mine to do; may Christ teach you what is yours to do.”

    For Francis the decision to follow Christ allows him to become who he really is; and when he becomes who he really is, he is free. The ground of all our being is God, and in choosing to follow the path of God, the footprints he left on creation, we rediscover the center from which our personal freedom derives.

    Only a true self can act freely. In choosing God, we are choosing to be ourselves and discover ourselves while on THIS JOURNEY with Jesus and all the saints!

    How is your journey bringing you closer to your true self?

  2. Jodi says:

    This photo is beautiful. It represents change in so many ways. Fall is a season of change between the hot summer and the cold winter. The road represents a the journey of life and how we ourselves change as we travel along it. With the fog it’s hard to tell if it’s daybreak or evening. As Shanna says, sometimes it’s hard to tell exactly were you are. That’s where trusting in God comes in. We may not always know where we’re headed, but we can trust him to lead us through safely.

  3. Thanks for your faith-filled insights Jodi! Trusting in the presence of God guiding our journey is the key to moving forward into the fog of the unknown. May you grow ever deeper in trusting Jesus.

  4. What a beautiful and “mystical” image of fall. The falling leaves remind me of all the people, places and things that I have to “let go” in order to move on to new days and new beginnings. Today, being All Souls Day, I am burning a candle in front of a picture of my mom and dad. I have let go of them physically but spiritually they are alive, vibrant and involved in the life of our family.

    I am giving a woman’s retreat on Thursday evening called, Autumn Graces. We will be exploring how we let go in order to invite new life, new experiences, and new people into our lives.

    Even the Church Year ends in November and we let go of another liturgical year and welcome Advent on Nov. 30. November is a “letting go” month.

  5. May Jesus grace the women in the Autumn Retreat, and you Sister Anne Marie, with blessings of “letting go” of all that is false and embracing the hope of change!

  6. Kara says:

    I remember trying to figure out who I was in high school. I defined myself as an athlete. Then as a freshman in college that identity was taken away from me, and I was forced to find out who I really was, outside of sports. Now I view my identity as very complex. I can’t narrow it down into a sentence. I am always evolving, always growing, still finding myself but content in the unknowing. I do know that I belong to God, and that is enough for me.

  7. Knowing that you “belong to God” is a grace beyond measure Kara! It is so refreshing to listen to you say that you are “content in the unknowing” mystery of your life as you Journey with Jesus. Thank you for writing!

  8. Leslie Gonia says:

    This remeinds me of a prayer I just read by T. Merton. It is called thoughts of solitude.

    My Lord God, I have no idea wher I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from taht desire. And, I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.

  9. Thanks for the meditation from Thomas Merton Leslie! It is an inspiration connected with “This Journey.”

  10. A growth of cells between the stem and blade makes the leaf break off and fall. There are many things in our lives that bring us to transformation. We too break from the old, die to self, cling to Christ crucified and are made more in His image. Exciting journey….a new photo each day.

  11. Sister Sean Marie, I know that you write from a deep faith within your heart! Thank you for sharing the mystery of your faith with all of us!

  12. jennifer says:

    This is a beautiful picture.
    it is breathe taking. ♥

  13. I really like this picture also Jennifer! I’m so glad that you found it and took the time to write about it! Blessings upon you!

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