Stopped. Started.

June 6, 2019

By Shannon Caeley


Broken towers, ripped apart.

Life is full of pain; nothing is

right. All has been demolished.


How did it get this way?

Tattered and torn, broken to bits.

Was life always pain and suffering?


And yet a never-ending wave

of what it has been follows

behind. Grace upon grace,


gift upon gift, happiness and

joy used to be the lot.

Then one thing tore it down.


The thing could be a moment. A pause

in time where everything stood still,

and life was irrevocably changed.


Like a little boy’s life snuffed out by cancer,

your friend’s parents getting divorced,

or your big brother dying. Just like that


you are torn down. Destroyed.


But it started in the womb. Peaceful,

quiet growth, into the child to

become. You cried at birth.


Made your mother smile

even though you were born out of

brokenness and pain, something more,


a shoot of hope. You broke

into lives and brought joy

even in those lives’ brokenness.


And so your character was molded

block after block. And your parents

trained you to be who you were, who


you are. Life was a game. You saw

joy even in the sorrow, happiness

even through the pain.


Indeed, life was so happy it seemed

surreal, and that was fine. You often

imagined you could wake up,


your life would be gone, the joy

just a dream.


So your past was marked by the joy

you found even when sorrow was there.

But then this sorrow came, and you stopped


looking for joy. Stopped looking for

the good. But it’s there. Just build your life

back up again. Build it upon the rubble


of the past. For the rubble makes a very

firm foundation; it is what shaped

your new structure. Build it better


than it was before. The effort is worthwhile, for

it isn’t over yet. Just reconstruct block

upon block. Memory upon memory. Grace


upon grace, for it is given to you so you can

start over. Because you want your life

to be resurrected. And it will be.


The world is good at inspiring people. Including Shannon. Constantly seeing things in a different way, she wants to write them. She wants everyone to feel the joy she feels in life. She is mostly composed of dreams, flower crowns, watercolor splotches, and clicking keys. She is seventeen, participates in her family’s band as guitarist and lead vocalist, and is always down for a good book. Her reading propels her writing, and she knows that she would be nowhere without all the amazing books she’s read throughout her short life. Also, she knows she would be nowhere without the incredible God who carries her and her family through the deepest trials, with the greatest love.


  1. Joyce

    This is so fabulous.. deep and inspiring. I love your thoughts and your writing.. beautiful you!

    • Shannon Voeller

      Aww thanks so much Joyce! The encouragement is always appreciated <3

  2. Grandma

    Grace upon grace – even in pain. Thank you for publishing your heart thoughts Shannon. I really appreciate the poem. Please keep writing and sharing!

  3. Jane

    Shannon, I appreciate your message in poetry from a precious ❤️. Please keep writing and sharing your heart this way.
    Love, Grandma

    • Shannon Voeller

      Thanks Grandma, so glad you liked it 🙂

    • Shannon Voeller

      Thank so much Emma! Yes I really enjoyed writing the second half 🙂

  4. Dakota

    Very pretty! 🙂 Thank you for sharing and keep writing!

    • Shannon Voeller

      Thanks for the encouragement, Dakota! You can bet I will 🙂

    • Shannon Voeller

      Thanks Ariel!

  5. Rachel

    Thanks for sharing that poem. We all get broken down at some point. And I appreciate the reminder to look for the good things. Hopefully I let God build me up again this time, because only he can make me as I was meant to be.

    • Shannon Voeller

      That’s so true Rachel. I’m so glad it encouraged you!

  6. Libby

    Shannon, this was lovely. Wow. I cannot tell you how much this touched me with its truth and the simple way you laid forth life’s joys and struggles. And that last line hit home so well. Love this <3 Keep it up in the faith, Shannon!

    • Shannon Voeller

      Thanks so much Libby. I’m so blessed by your words. <3

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