197 Facing Your Own Giants? – Actress Shannen Fields

What You Will Hear:

  • “Facing the Giant” Actress Story
  • Find Peace When You Scared – An Actress Story
  • You Can Do More Than You Think You Can
  • Receive God's Protection
  • Still Think There is Limitations to Achieve Your Dreams?  

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More about our featured guest

Actress, producer, model & inspirational speaker Shannen Fields was born and raised in a small southern town where life was simple and sweet. Despite those small town roots, her childhood dreams and desires were to do something in life that was much larger than herself.

In 2006, her God-sized dreams were realized in her feature film debut, Facing the Giants.

In 2009 she had the privilege of traveling to Australia to film Suing the Devil alongside accomplished actor Malcolm McDowell. Shannen has also worked on additional feature films such as Rumors of Wars , My Name is Paul, Let the Lion Roar, Love Covers All, Adopted, and many others.

Facing the Giant” Movie

Full Transcript

[00:02] Joel: Welcome to ReLaunch, your daily dose of inspiring stories, fresh ideas, practical steps, and solutions. You can think of this show as being your prescription for relaunching into the life and business you love. And if you are a daily listener, welcome back to the show and thank you for tuning in and being involved in the before and the after show online conversations. And if you are new here, well just know that you are among friends. And hey, Pei, do you remember when you gave me the DVD of that incredible faith-filled movie, “Facing the Giants”? Do you remember that?

[00:43] Pei: Oh, yes. That's been a few years back.

[00:45] Joel: It's been a few years. I don't remember exactly the situation or the occasion. It was probably an anniversary, or a birthday present, or a Christmas present. Do you remember the situation?

[00:57] Pei: No.

[00:58] Joel: You were just being nice to me that day?

[01:02] Pei: One of the few days, yeah.

[01:04] Joel: Something like that, okay. Well, that movie became one of my instant favorites, and I remember buying a copy fairly quickly and giving it to one of our pastors at our church. Remember Pastor Shawn? Remember?

[01:17] Pei: Yes. Our youth pastor.

[01:19] Joel: Exactly. I wanted to put that in his hands as quickly as possible. Well, if you haven't seen the movie yet, it is a must see. It's a phenomenal come from behind movie in which the two main characters, Coach Grant Taylor, and that's played by Alex Kendrick, and our guest today, the amazing Shannen Fields. Her character in the movie is named Brooke, and they have nowhere left to turn in that movie but to their faith and to God. And in that movie, they face enormous challenges; dealing with finances, dealing with work, dealing with relationships, and then also dealing with fertility. And Shannen joins us today. Let me catch you up to speed on where Shannen is in her life and in her career, and we will welcome her to the show. Not only did she fulfill her childhood dream when she got the lead role in “Facing the Giants”, but since then she has gone on to act alongside actor Malcolm McDowell, if I remember correctly, in the movie “Suing the Devil.” That's definitely one that we're gonna have to check out. And most recently, she has teamed up with Barefruit Films, and she is the co-executive producer of the redemptive family drama, “The Griddle House.” Another must see that we're gonna need to check out. Shannen, welcome, welcome to ReLaunch.

[02:44] Speaker 3: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

[02:46] Joel: This is gonna be so much fun. We loved you in “Facing the Giants”, absolutely loved you.

[02:55] Shannen: Thank you so much.

[02:56] Joel: Indeed, indeed. One of the reasons that I'm so excited to have you on today is because your passion, one of them anyways, is right alongside with one of the passions that we have for our business and also for this show. And that is to speak into the lives of women and young girls, and to encourage them to be the person now that they wanna be tomorrow. And we're gonna get into that a little bit later on in the show. But first of all, I couldn't have you on the show without first talking a little, “Facing the Giants” with you. I just had to do it. Is that okay?

[03:30] Shannen: Absolutely.

[03:30] Joel: If we could… Sorry.

[03:32] Shannen: Yep, absolutely, let's talk “Giants”.

[03:32] Joel: Fantastic. Okay, let me ask you this, what was the funniest blooper, malfunction, or practical joke that either you perpetrated or that Kendrick perpetrated against you? Go ahead, tell all.

[03:46] Shannen: Oh, my goodness, there are so many to pick from. But there was one, and if you remember, the rats scene?

[03:57] Joel: Yes!

[03:57] Pei: Yes!

[03:58] Shannen: Okay, that… The guys had a lot of fun with that one. And I come strolling in, and I'm getting ready for make-up and all that, and they told us we need to eat before we got started. So, they took the rat, which they actually purchased off of eBay. It was the funniest thing, watching them order all these things, and get excited over this. And they would proceed to scare me with it before we were even rolling.

[04:27] Joel: Okay.

[04:27] Shannen: And I think that's what God did. And it was really fun. They said they were preparing me for the role.

[04:34] Pei: So, were you eating when…


[04:36] Shannen: Yes, I was eating, but it was so funny, because my son… Right now, he's 20, but he used to do all of those things to me, and still likes to tease me as well. And another thing that happened, I would guess this actually made the blooper reel on the behind the scenes is when I was eating cereal at one of the scenes, we were sitting at the breakfast table, I kept missing my mouth.

[05:04] Joel: Was that the scene when you were having breakfast with your girlfriend, or when you were a…

[05:11] Shannen: No, I think it was at the very end when we were talking about the state championship game and that sort of thing. And I think I was so concerned about what I was saying, I couldn't actually eat at the same time.

[05:25] Joel: That is funny. You know what, I'm gonna have to watch that movie again this evening after we get off the show. Fun times on the set, and once again, “Facing the Giants”. If you haven't seen it, I cannot recommend it highly enough. Thank you for that, Shannen. This show, as you know, Shannen, is all about the ReLaunch. And what I generally ask our guest to do is to kind of zero in on the one relaunch that has been the most significant for them, or that has been the most transformational for them, and then just kind of unfold the story from there. Then we'll definitely get into the message that's on your heart and the message that you carry with you to share with the audiences at various speaking events. How should we start today's show? Talking about Shannen's relaunch.

[06:20] Shannen: Okay. When you asked me about my relaunch, there could be several things but there's one thing I feel like that the Lord has wanted to grow me, where I felt like he was relaunching me, or where I actually felt the growing pains and so forth. When we filmed “Facing the Giants”, it was actually 2004 when we did that. It opened in theaters in 2006, so it was two years. But from the 2004, I… There's a lot that happened to me, and I was speaking and I was trying to get into acting and different things and trying to do things on my own, and it certainly wasn't going exactly the way I had planned. And we… My husband and I, we moved to Atlanta from Albany.

[07:20] Joel: Okay.

[07:20] Shannen: ‘Cause he's a coach, he's actually a football coach, and so sometimes we move around a good bit. But we ended up… We've been here for eight years, so it was eight years ago, that we'd come to this area. And so, about that time, I kind of felt like maybe the Lord was done with me, with the acting, even though I still wanted to do that and I had that heart to do so, and wanted to speak into the lives of women of all ages, that passion, that desire was still there. But I took on a different type of work. I was a teacher's assistant here at the school. And it's so crazy, during that time… It was about 2009, I got a phone call to come film a movie in Australia, which was “Suing the Devil”, that you had spoke about earlier with Malcolm McDowell. And so, first of all, I wasn't gonna go. I'm like, “I'm not gonna do this. I'm not gonna leave my family.” And I am a southern country girl. I haven't done a whole lot at that time. I didn't even have a passport.

[08:35] Joel: Okay.

[08:36] Shannen: I'm serious. And so… And the whole time now I do speak, I speak into the lives of girls and I take my daughter with me. And…

[08:45] Joel: How old is daughter? How old is your daughter?

[08:45] Shannen: Now she is 17…

[08:47] Joel: Okay.

[08:47] Shannen: Right now. Then she was 12. And I was telling her, “I'm not gonna go. That's something… I don't wanna act that bad. I'm not gonna do that.” And she looked at me and she's like, “Mom, you speak into the lives of so many people and you tell these women to dream big and go after your dreams and do things afraid, but you're not gonna do this?”

[09:07] Pei: Wow.

[09:09] Shannen: So, of course, with tears in my eyes, I…

[09:12] Joel: I was gonna say, yeah, okay, so I gotta jump in here and break that down a little bit. So the daughter that you have been speaking into, you have been breathing on her, obviously, 'cause you're her mom, but from day one… And then to hear her confiden… Sounding, steady words, at that time coming back to you… Good job, mom, but how did that take you?

[09:39] Joel: It set me on… It was setting me on my relaunch, is what happened.

[09:45] Joel: Okay.

[09:47] Shannen: And the reason I say that is because I was… I don't know if you've ever felt that fear, that true fear to where… I was literally scared to go get my passport, to leave my family for three weeks, and I look at it now, and I do films and I do all these other things, but at the time, I had never done that before. I've done “Facing the Giants”, and it was in my home town. That's where my kids went to school. It was my state. I wasn't really out of my comfort zone, other than doing something I had never done before, when I was acting. This time, I felt like the Lord was gonna… He was relaunching me into something that he was planning for the rest of my life.

[10:39] Joel: Okay.

[10:40] Shannen: And I've been married since I was 18 years old. My husband is eight years older than I am. We've been married 22 years, and he's kinda always been right there for me. And so, to leave him for three weeks… I didn't know anyone when I did this. I literally got on the plane, and the poor person beside me, I know that he probably wanted to hug me or something, because I had that cry of… That sort of thing…

[11:12] Joel: Okay.

[11:12] Shannen: Because of fear that I wasn't ever gonna return. All these things that you think of, these bad things that you allow your mind to dwell on, 'cause I was leaving my family. And… But I also knew that God was calling me to do this. And I…

[11:29] Joel: Did you ever… Thank you, Shannen, for that. Let me just jump in here. Did you ever think that through again and really distill what it is that you were really fearful of, at that time?

[11:44] Shannen: Well, one of the things I was fearful of is not being able to come home in my family, and I was gonna… I don't know. I don't know why I was so scared, but the fear was very, very real…

[12:00] Joel: Well, sure, yeah.

[12:01] Shannen: And very strong, And I knew that I had to do this, and do it afraid.

[12:09] Joel: Okay, okay, okay. Take that apart, please. You knew you had to do this. Why did you know that?

[12:15] Shannen: I knew because… This is something I had prayed for and asked the Lord to expand my territories, to expand me being able to speak in the lives of people, and being used in a mighty way.

[12:29] Joel: Sure.

[12:29] Shannen: These are my prayers for day after day, day after day. And He had to take me down under, literally, down under…


[12:39] Joel: Nice.

[12:40] Shannen: And throw me. It wasn't about me being in the movie, it really wasn't. Now that I've stepped back, He was throwing me as a person. He was warning me to draw close to Him.

[12:54] Joel: Okay. So, take that apart. When did you realize that, “You know what? This isn't about me being in a movie, this is about something deeper than that.” That's a great point that you're bringing up.

[13:04] Shannen: It was after I got back.

[13:07] Joel: Sure.

[13:07] Shannen: It wasn't during the three weeks that I was there.

[13:11] Joel: Okay.

[13:12] Shannen: Because when I got there, the whole process and experience… And I did end up having one of the best, beautiful times there. But when I stepped away, and I came home, and I was able to dissect everything, I have felt so much closer to the Lord. I felt like a stronger person, that I actually did something that I was so scared to do, because you actually can do more then you think you can.

[13:49] Joel: Yes.

[13:49] Shannen: And, all of these things I was beginning to learn. And…

[13:55] Joel: I love this word that you said, “learn.” And let me give you a minute to catch your breath there. When Pei and I are helping people set the stage for their own relaunch, there is a lot of learning, and there is a lot of relearning that takes place, obviously. Learning about your own potential, your own possibilities, your own value, and, sometimes, even your own worthiness. So, I'm wondering what were some of the things that you learned or relearned about yourself?

[14:30] Shannen: Oh. Well, I've learned that I can't walk on my own, that I have to rely on God's word…

[14:42] Joel: Okay.

[14:43] Shannen: To breathe life into me, because I am very weak, of course, he is strong. But relying on God's word and prayer is… Not that I didn't do that before, but He opened my eyes to the importance of putting me out there in the world, putting me out there in some hard situations that I have to draw near to Him.

[15:08] Joel: Okay.

[15:08] Shannen: So He can protect me, and I can hear Him, so I won't walk the crooked path, that I'll make sure I'm straight.

[15:17] Joel: Awesome.

[15:17] Shannen: Does that even make any sense?

[15:18] Joel: Yes, it does. And yeah, Pei, you're gonna say the same thing I am, so go ahead.

[15:23] Pei: Not at this moment, actually. I'm curious, Shannen, when did that fear actually start to ease off? Did it happen…

[15:34] Joel: That's a very good question, and I'm glad you're asking this question, because this is actually what happened. I got picked up from the airport, and they took me to the hotel. I walked in the hotel room and I began to sob, like an uncontrollable sob. And I laid down the bed, and obviously, it's day, and it's night over here, in the States.

[16:05] Pei: Right.

[16:06] Joel: Sure.

[16:06] Pei: It's like a 17-hour difference.

[16:08] Shannen: It is. It's very, very strange and, not to mention, I was exhausted, and everything from the flight. But I called my husband, which I always have, my whole life, and he can't come and save me, physically. And I didn't know he did this until I returned, but he immediately fasted and he prayed, and he said, “I can't physically get to her, but God, you are Almighty. You are the one who can take care of my wife.” And that's what he did, and when I woke up the next day, I'm not even kidding, I had… Nothing's changed, but I had such a peace that I have never had. And I didn't know he did that. But I know that I know that is the reason that the peace came over me that I could actually enjoy…

[17:04] Joel: Wow.

[17:04] Shannen: The journey that God put me on while I was there.

[17:07] Joel: Wow, what a great story. Thank you for sharing that. Shannen, you said just a few minutes ago, you talked about putting yourself out there, and how you put yourself out there. That is something that a lot of people that listen to ReLaunch on a daily basis, that's what they struggle with, myself included, putting yourself out there. So, if we shift and start talking about words of encouragement and empowerment, to girls, to women, to entrepreneurs, to men in the audience, how do you encourage people? How do you speak into their lives, and give them what they need to hear about putting themselves out there? That could be putting themselves out there as an author, as a speaker themselves, as a podcast host. How do you address that?

[18:04] Shannen: I guess there are so many things that I can say on that, but I don't think we ever really fail. I just think that we learn what not to do, or what not to do again. It's kinda how I look at it. I'm one of those, “I'm gonna take the risk, I'm gonna jump out there. I don't care what somebody really thinks of me, but God. And if He's happy with me and He's proud of what I'm doing, it's all good.” It may not turn out the way I think it's gonna turn out, but most of the time it's gonna turn out better and it's gonna take me down a path that I was actually supposed to go in the first place. But we're human…

[18:47] Joel: Sure.

[18:47] Joel: So we have these dreams and we have these desires, and I'm a planner, and I'm a goal… I've got these things I wanna do that doesn't necessarily mean it's all gonna… And actually, it never actually works out exactly the way I think it's gonna work out.

[19:03] Joel: Okay. So let's take that apart because some people, me included, want to have things work out exactly as planned. First of all, how do you deal with that, and are you okay, or how did you get to be okay, I guess is a better way to say it?

[19:23] Shannen: Well, I can tell you a real quick story.

[19:26] Joel: Please.

[19:27] Shannen: I thought, this is before I actually filmed, “Facing the Giants”…

[19:32] Joel: Okay.

[19:33] Shannen: I actually thought I had to be in a large city to be in a film. I thought… This is me, I've got it figured out, I've gotta go, I've got to get an agent, I have to be in a big city, I have to get out of a small town. And God took me through a process about a year of me just trying to do it on my own and in a bigger city, and actually I was in Raleigh, and it's bigger than where I'm from. And so, in Wilmington, which is about an hour from Raleigh, they do a lot of filming and those things, so I spent a year there and I was thinking that I was gonna go over there, get an agent, I've got it figured out, kinda thing. Not that that was wrong or wrong-thinking, but God can do whatever He wants to, whenever He wants and however He wants. And this is how He showed me, because we ended up moving back to Albany, 'cause we moved from Albany to Raleigh, and I was like, “Yes! I got out of the small town.” Well, God shuts all the other doors for my husband to a football couch. He opened the door at Sherwood Christian Academy for him to be the head football couch back in Albany, which is my hometown, which I just escaped from there.

[20:54] Joel: Well, that's actually the high school where the actual, “Facing the Giants” happened, correct?

[21:00] Shannen: Exactly, so when I thought I had it figured out in Raleigh…

[21:04] Joel: Now this is… Yeah, go ahead.

[21:06] Pei: Wow.

[21:07] Shannen: God shut all the doors and He's like, “Let me do this. When you give me your dream, I… ” It doesn't matter if you're in a small town, He's gonna find you. He knows right where to find us when He's ready. And He took me back to Albany, and that's where I ended up in “Flywheel”, that's how I met him, the movie before “Facing the Giants”. And I was in a small little part and then I ended up auditioning for “Facing the Giants”, and that's when God spoke so loudly to me in my heart and He says I can do whatever I want, anytime I want, anywhere I want. “And I can find you. You just seek me. Let me handle the rest and I know where to find you. You don't have to keep on, keep on, keep on all the time. Just do what you're supposed to do when you wake up that day.”

[22:04] Joel: Wow, that's incredible. Pei, were you gonna jump in with that?

[22:06] Pei: No, I'm good. This is very powerful.

[22:09] Joel: What she said is God can find you when He's ready.

[22:13] Pei: Yeah, there's no limitations. Most of the limitations are assumptions.

[22:21] Joel: Ooh, I like that. Most of our limitations are just assumptions.

[22:24] Shannen: Yeah, very good.

[22:25] Joel: Indeed. Talking with Shannen Fields today. A must see movie, “Facing the Giants.” She was one of the lead. Alex Kendrick was the other one. And she played his wife, Brooke Taylor, in that movie. Shannen, coming in for a landing on this really appreciate your willingness to be on ReLaunch today. With the last minute or two that we have in the program, give us a taste, if you will, of some of the words of empowerment and freedom and healing that you speak to your audiences, to audiences filled with girls and women of different ages, and men as well. And we'll just… If it's okay with you, I wanna give you the last word in today's show. So go right ahead, Shannen. Thank you for your time.

[23:20] Shannen: Oh, thank you. I think that, what I've learned is that we're all on a different journey, we're all on a different path. A lot of us, of course, we're just doing our focus and we're focused on Jesus, but we all carry out our journey in different ways. And I think a key thing to remember is that we don't need to compare our behind-the-scenes with somebody else's highlight reel. Because a lot of the times when we're on Facebook, we're on Twitter, on Instagram, and all these things, we see all the good and all the wonderful things everybody's doing, which is their highlight reel, but we never see their behind the scenes of their struggles.

[24:11] Pei: That's right.

[24:11] Shannen: So we compare ourselves to that and therefore, we can't do what we're called to do if we're looking at what they're doing, when you don't know the whole story of their lives. So that's what I always try to… And there's many things that I share, but that's a huge thing, for us just not to compare each other. And our behind-the-scenes with their highlight reel, it's not… You don't know what they went through to get where they are, and you don't know what they're going through day-to-day. And that way, we can actually do what we are called to do each day. If we actually focused on us and not somebody else, somebody else is what they're doing and God's not giving us what they're getting and that sort of thing, and I think we need to stay away from that so we can be strong.

[25:07] Pei: Love that, because when we go through struggles, there's already… We can get negative quickly. And then if we get into the comparison, then we go down a downward spiral.

[25:25] Joel: It's a no-win situation, is what it is.

[25:27] Pei: Yes. So, thank you for sharing.

[25:29] Shannen: Thank you.

[25:30] Joel: Shannen, thank you so much for your time today. Shannen Fields is our guest. Shannenfields.com. Shannen is spelled like you would always spell “Shannon”, except the last two letters are E-N instead of O-N. It's shannenfields.com. Shannen, you're welcome back here on the ReLaunch show anytime. You just give us a call and we are delighted to have you on again.

[25:58] Shannen: Thank you so much for having me.

[26:00] Joel: God bless you in a powerful way. Thank you for your time.

[26:02] Shannen: God bless you, too.

Connect with Shannen on Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, and visit her site.

Joel Boggess

Keynote Speaker | Corporate Trainer | Award-winning podcaster I help teams ignite their courage, take bolder steps, and get greater results. Together, we create possibilities that bring empowerment, meaning, and financial impact.

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