I have a beautiful daughter named Shiloh. She is eight years old and a delight to be around. She is kind, generous, funny and full of Holy Spirit. Sometimes, I look at her and just want to shield her from all the hatred and evil in the world, to preserve that sweet innocence I see in her. I want to run away to the mountains and live siloed away from all harm. Then, the feeling passes as quickly as it came. Who am I kidding? I love Target too much! And the mall, the movie theaters, Chipotle…
Recently, my daughter was flattened by some friends. Insulted and made to feel small and unwanted. Oh, how my heart hurt for my baby girl! How I wanted to take all her pain and make things better. Well, she ended up being just fine. She didn’t need me to rescue her – she’s not a victim. Shiloh was quick to forgive and to surrender her pain to Jesus. Wow, I was struggling more than she was! But this little girl led the way.
This little event led to more talking and processing about all the things that are in my daughter’s heart. Thoughts about her identity and her value. Thoughts about what makes Shiloh, Shiloh.
“Shiloh equals happy.” These words were uttered from the backseat of the car, on our way home from dinner that evening.
“Oh wow, that’s awesome! What makes Shiloh happy?” I tried to keep it casual, but inwardly, I was so grateful that this was my daughter’s conclusion.
“Well, God equals freedom, and freedom equals happy. That’s why Shiloh equals happy.” Then she started humming a happy tune while looking out the window. All thoughts of what had just happened with her friends were gone. She had decided that her choice would be the joy of the Lord.
That night, I couldn’t stop thinking about what had happened with my daughter. At the tender age of eight, Shiloh managed her own heart so well. Knowing that unforgiveness makes her miserable, Shiloh chose to forgive quickly, and to receive joy and happiness back from the Lord. This episode, that was meant to harm her, was used by God to strengthen my daughter’s character and spiritual muscles.
The very next day, Shiloh’s friends apologized to her. She received their apologies with an open heart and told them she had already forgiven them! Ready to play, she was running around outside with her friends, like nothing had ever happened.
But something had happened. My daughter got back up again. She found her voice. She used her voice to forgive her friends and to release freedom to them. She made a choice to be happy and to embrace God’s forgiveness and freedom as a way of life.
Shiloh equals happy. This little girl is giving us an invitation. What will you choose?
Ann’s life is deeply marked by the love of Jesus. Having been dramatically rescued from a life of fear, Ann is now a prayer ninja that loves to partner with God to release freedom to others through prophetic inner-healing prayer! Ann regularly spends a solid part of every week praying for others and loves it! She is passionate about the presence of God and desires for the church to be free from all traces of religion, judgment, pride, condemnation, shame and hatred – to embrace the truth of freedom, love, grace, hope, acceptance and belonging!
Ann and her husband John are pastoring at Centerpoint Church in Murrieta, CA. They have been married for 15 years and have three beautiful babies! Ann has her B.S. in nursing from the University of Virginia and her M.A. degree from Fuller Seminary. Ann worked as a registered nurse but decided to hang up her scrubs for the privilege of staying at home to raise her babies.
Ann loves to sing, laugh, read, play the piano and guitar, drink coffee and go on adventures with her family and friends. Follow her adventures on instagram @annlhansen.