From Crisis to Hope Dawn Perry Shares About Her Sanctuary Season

Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Dawn Perry.

Dawn sits today viewing life from a new vantage point – after having experienced 10 out of 11 top life crises in the past 7 years – she sees with different eyes. During what she describes as her “Mark 6:31” Sanctuary Season of wait. She is learning that winning the War of Wait is achieved through worship – being rather than doing. She is looking forward to her next season with hope to where the waiting will lead.

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SHELLEY. Welcome back to the Broken Crayons Still Color podcast! I’m your host, Shelley Hitz and today’s guest is Dawn Perry. Welcome! Dawn.

DAWN. Thank you! Welcome. Thanks for having me.

SHELLEY.  I’m so grateful you are willing to share your story. We could probably do 12 podcast (LOL) on your story but we’re going to talk about one specific piece of it today.

Dawn sits today viewing life from a new vantage point – I think many of us can relate to this. But after having experienced 10 out of 11 top life crisis in the past 7 years’ wow! – she sees with different eyes.  During what she describes as her “Mark 6:31” Sanctuary Season of wait. She is learning that winning the War of Wait is achieved through worship – being rather than doing, oh I love that.  She is looking forward to her next season with hope to where the waiting will lead.

So Dawn thank you so much for being here and just to start off share with us just a little bit about what your broken crayons look like.

DAWN. Well we have a box of 64 broken crayons we got the leg jumbo size (LOL).

SHELLEY. (LOL) I know! What I was I like wow 10 out of the 11 top crisis in 7 years – that’s tough, that’s a lot to go through.

DAWN. Yeah, it’s a lot but God is good and you know what I’ve really learned I think in the overarching’s scheme of things what the Lord was really shown me Shelley is that we’re really are never broken but we’re whole in a million pieces. Right?


DAWN. So just like the body of Christ we all function – even internally with different roles in our lives different spaces each if the crisis has taught me something precious and sacred. The Lord has enveloped me in His arms and taught me that warriors rest sometimes – they don’t quit they rest so through each season there I’ve seen His grace, I’ve seen the foot print of what He is doing – and you don’t give up you learn to stop and you learn to wait which for type A personality is really not a top priority ever, you really think that you should be constantly doing.


DAWN. Doing and doing and sometimes I find, I have found personally that in my doing I was actually undoing and I was getting in God’s way.

SHELLEY. Wow! There’s so much right there but before we unpack some of that because I want to unpack a little bit more in depth but just to touch on what kind of crisis you walked through just so we can get an idea of what you had to face these last 7 years.

DAWN. Sure! So starting in the fall actually thanksgiving season of 2009 we started with an abduction attempt on one of my children.


DAWN. Yeah, so we dealt with that we dealt then the following February with a paralyzing accident of another child.

SHELLEY. Oh my goodness.

DAWN. And you know what we learn in crisis is that everybody breaks – so it may happen to one person but the whole family breaks.

SHELLEY. Yes, it’s a riffle effect it affects everyone in the family.

DAWN. It really does so that really followed by the disintegration of my marriage – that was kind of its own special set of crisis that were attach to that. I discovered financial devastation that I wasn’t pretty too, the lost – yeah, the lost of our family company. We dealt with addiction issues in our family, cancer, death of a close friend.


DAWN. Sexual abused scandals in the church that we needed to be a part of unraveling and I think that was ten.


DAWN. Yeah

SHELLEY. Yeah – I mean and there’s probably more I mean like when we first talk here like Shelley there’s so many things I could talk about but I think just giving the general picture like you’ve watched through a lot and you’ve been through a lot and its been – it’s been painful you have a lot to grieve, you’ve had a lot of losses, you’ve had a lot of just different things happening and I’m sure there’s somebody listening right now that feels like why do these things keep happening to me, why is this keeps on happening and there’s just more and more and you know what would you say was the lowest point for you during that season I mean there’s probably several different points but there’s like one really low point that you can point out for us?

DAWN. Yeah, and that’s I have to think about that for a minute and I think Shelley you know each one of those crisis was kind of like God attempted wake up call to me to live transparently something that I really was not good at, I really wore my abilities very well and they masked a lot of things in my life, right so the low point for me was actually as I look in the rear view mirror when I was driving down my driveway for the last time was my car packed with whatever is in my car and a couple hundred dollars in my checking account leaving.


DAWN. And it was a very sacred moment as our driveway was pretty long and as I passed each station of our driveway there’s just a stone of remembrance and it was an opportunity for me to praise and worship for each of those stones that had been so graciously given to me even in the ugliness of all of it was so raw but beautiful. You know so yeah.

SHELLEY. Yeah. I actually just got little chills you know I got God bumps as you were talking, you know its like midst of like feeling like your life is being torn apart and you know your driving down that driveway and God’s you know reminding you of different things and – so tell us a little bit about your turning point of really learning how to embrace waiting and worship and what that means for those of us walking through crisis because there’s people listening right now that are actually in the middle of it or they’ve walked through it and they haven’t quite gotten through it and there are still there and so share us a little bit about what God’s taught you about that.

DAWN. Yeah, that I have been when I left I had come up to our home which is I call up my sanctuary and I’ve been here for the past 17 months just tucked away. I find that the turning point came – when I said I call up my Mark 6:31 year where the spoke to me and said “You come away with me to a distant a secluded place and rest for a while.” Resting really was not something that was in my vocabulary as an over producer.

SHELLEY. (LOL) Same way.

DAWN. Yeah, I know we over produced right, I over produced. So I think the Lord was about my undoing that this season has been about my undoing so kind of I would in contacts put it in terms of probably ripping the wrapper off of my crayons (LOL). So that He can reconstruct, reconstruct, reconstruct so, craziest of places I feel like these past 17 months has been a master class with the master himself. And its been a place, it’s a sacred space where the Lord has allowed me to look at what happened realistically, He has kind of given me new eyes shown me my part in it, accepting the reality of all of the things that had happened, grieving.


DAWN. Getting in touch with those emotions that often times we tend to pushed to the side, right?


DAWN. Yeah, so that could really only happen in this secluded space. There was no more busyness my big life was gone.

SHELLEY. Right. Because busyness can be an addiction and it can numb us just like any other addiction alcohol, drug, sex you know other things shopping, food (LOL).

DAWN. Absolutely, right.

SHELLEY. And you know workaholism has been my – the one that’s been like it’s the addiction that’s hold it held on the longest coz’ it is you know its for me it was the hardest to let go but it can numb those things that than when you don’t have that its like whoa! You know now it’s time to start dealing with this and so.

DAWN. It is.

SHELLEY. Yeah, that’s you know such a precious time God has given you but I’m sure its been hard too.

DAWN. Oh yeah. You rail against, you just rail against the undoing right but I think the thing that I has been pressed upon my heart most Shelley is that – the waiting and that war of worship wins the waiting the war right, so when we are battling in the front lines kind of like you know so many times when the walls of Jericho were stormed and we are just standing there doing things that kind of from the human eye would look absolutely ridiculous.


DAWN. Right. So marching around walls with its trumpet while your life is crumbling, you learn that that’s were those battles are won it’s when we bend out knees and the quicker we bend our knees the quicker the battle we claim victory, right.

SHELLEY. So for someone who is maybe not quite sure like what worship looks like you know for – you know like for them or you know, what did the worship look like for you? Like what were some practical things or what are some ways that it looked like for you during this season?

DAWN. Thank you. Yeah, you know its been a sacred time of trial and error – I have gone to places that are in my old life would never have been seen, dealing with the broken, you realized you are one of them right, and so you go where the broken are. And when I sit here alone so I was without a community for a large part of that time and so it was an intensive one on one so worship looked like and I’m glad I live in the woods because screaming, yelling there was really a lot of on my face shouting at the top of the lung – at the top of my lungs, marking certain things that were happening for victory in the Lord.

You know Shelley I think one of the biggest keys to worship has been to really lean into and learn to understand the power that we have as His beloved daughters we have a lot of power. And when we take the ground that He has already given us by seating at His feet and adoring Him that unleashes Him to do what only He can do.

SHELLEY. Yes, yes and I love that you were just real of worshipping is not always pretty.

DAWN. Oh no

SHELLEY. Its not always wrap in a nice box with a pretty bow.

DAWN. No. No

SHELLEY. Like sometimes its just raw and real and I have had times too where I’m like screaming in my pillow coz’ I am you know in a condo or whatever you know I mean but like and punching and you know sometimes we just have to allow some of those emotions to come through and the Lord can handle it He knows read the Psalms David poured out his heart to the Lord and I think worship many times is just that pouring out our hearts to the Lord its not this Pinterest you know Instagram type of like beautiful, pretty, perfect looking thing its real its raw and its sometimes silence.

DAWN. Yeah, I’m seating and learning to listen.

SHELLEY. Listening. And so I just want to read that verse you shared earlier Mark 6:31- do you have it in front of you?

DAWN. Yeah

SHELLEY. Okay, could you read it for us?

DAWN. Yeah sure – its “come away by yourselves to a secluded place and rest for a while.”

SHELLEY. And I know someone listening right now needs to hear that because so many times we don’t even allow ourselves to rests. I don’t know sometimes we don’t think we deserved it or its not productive, its not accomplishing anything. I recently went away on a 24-hour prayer and fasting retreat in our little retreat center in the woods here in Colorado, it accomplished more in that 24-hours than I could have you know done just in the busy you know in the regular life so sometimes it is just so powerful to come away whether that’s just closing your bathroom door coming away for 5 minutes you know or sitting in your car you know finding a place finding a spot.

I know when my mom was in her crisis moment that’s when my parent’s marriage was dissolving and she just found a little place near their house in Ohio which is a little wooded their area and it had a smaller stream and it wasn’t gorgeous like you know sometimes you think you know here in Colorado but it was sacred for her and so I think just finding those phases coming away but also you know allowing yourself to be raw and real I mean I think that is so powerful what you have mentioned in that and just in closing do you have any final words of advise for those that have really walked through just a lot of crisis in their life, they feel just really broken or just life doesn’t make sense right now – do have any you know just final words or advice?

DAWN. Yeah, so still going through there are pieces of my things that are still unresolved trait so still going through and I think this is what keeps me pressing in. You know I asked myself this question – I asked myself two questions, one is – how much of my full potential do I want to have realized when I stand before God’s throne what’s the percentage give me a number – I would be really disappointed to have gone through all of these stand before the throne and hear God say 62, right? (LOL)


DAWN. I’m like really gunning for the 105 because that’s the overachiever in me right.


DAWN. Then I have to ask my question because you know this crisis are sacred trust. They are given to us for a very very very specific reasons, right – so when Jesus said to Peter Satan has demanded that you are going to be sifted like weak and when you come through you turn around and then you strengthen the brothers. So there’s the sacred trust right?


DAWN. That we have a responsibility for it so when I want to realize that full potential when one has realized that full potential of this crisis then I asked myself the second question which is what’s keeping you what’s keeping me from realizing that full potential and I need to be, an you need to be really honest and you have to answer some serious like introspection there and I’m really learning that I need to through off a lot of what’s encumbering me to run the race well.

SHELLEY. Yes, and you know I just – I think that verse you shared about Peter was just so so powerful of like being sifted but then to go and strengthen the brothers and you know there’s also verses where we comfort for others with the comfort we have received and during crises we either tend to draw towards God or away from Him.

And crisis is actually an ideal opportunity to draw near and to grow more than you’ve ever grown spiritually or emotionally in your entire life because its such a time of dependency – dependency on the Lord and not that self sufficiency that we can get into during good time and for me its those crisis times that I’ve grown the most and that has used the most and that’s what I say in my book broken crayons still color you know its our mistake, its our regrets the things that you know many times we want to just push aside that God ends up using the most in our lives and He can use it for His glory.

And so thank you so much for sharing part of your journey with us today. If someone wants to get in touch with you how would they get in touch with you online?

DAWN. You can always Facebook me at Dawn Stevenson Perry. You can also get me through my website which is and via email so

SHELLEY. Thank you so much and.

DAWN. Thank you.

SHELLEY. I just know that someone needed to hear this today – I actually think you know there’s a couple of book titles that could come out with what you share (LOL). The Sanctuary Season of Wait.

DAWN. Yeah. Yeah

SHELLEY. You know – The War of Wait Through Worship. You know those things are so powerful and I just know God is not finish with you yet Dawn He is going to continue to use this season to not only draw you closer to Him but to also brings you so much fruit and its truly, your story is truly another example of how He can take our broken pieces and create a masterpiece.

DAWN. Yeah, thanks Shelley and you know what in closing I think I would probably say the biggest stories in scripture right are achieved and accomplished through the people who were willing to follow Him in blind trust to the scariest places right – So Moses into the dessert or Esther into the throne room or Shadrach, Mishael and Abednego into the furnace like these are real scary places. So I think when we want to accomplish big things in the kingdom we need to walk in those spaces.

SHELLEY. Yeah, and I just love that. I know God has been speaking to me about some of those things lately too so.

DAWN. We have to continue those chats.

SHELLEY. I know it! Yes.

DAWN. Thank you.

SHELLEY. Thank you everyone for joining us today I just pray that you were blessed that you really just were encourage to what Dawn shared today. And if you were someone else you know has a powerful story to share I would love to feature you on this podcast, you can apply to be featured at Thank you so much for joining us and we will see you next time bye!

DAWN. Thanks. Take care.

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