Shannen Fields "So Much Closer to Jesus" as She Grieves Husband's Death
The star of "Facing the Giants" leans on her Christian faith two months removed from his passing.
Shannen Fields is still working through the loss of her husband of 29 years, Jimmy, who died on February 15th. From the time of his diagnosis with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) in the spring of 2020, the Christian actress shared openly about his condition and the difficult journey it brought about. As we reported here and here, their faith during the trial was truly an inspiration.
As an act of her Christian witness, Fields is now discussing her grief just as openly. Earlier this week, she joined fellow Christian actor T.C. Stallings, with whom she also appeared in two recent faith-based movies - Redeemed and My Brother's Keeper - on his podcast, TCS Live, to talk about her loss, her sorrow and the faithfulness of God even in the midst of so painful a bereavement.
For Fields, the grieving process actually began even before Jimmy died. That is because of the nature of ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, which attacks the nervous system and leads to gradual muscle paralysis. She recounts to Stallings the relentless march of her husband's deterioration and how difficult it was to face.
"The first thing that I grieved of him is when he lost his arms and hands, the functions, and he couldn't hug me anymore...It hit me hard when my son hugged me and I missed the hugs (from Jimmy)."
But even during his suffering, the faith of Fields' husband shone brightly. Shannen says he encouraged her and their two adult children right to the end of his life.
"We stood on God's Word. My husband, I mean to the day he passed away, was ministering to us, to my children. He did not let this disease beat him."
Fields acknowledges the grieving process is painful and she has confronted profound loneliness, saying she does not "want to cry all the time," but adding, "sometimes it hits me. It kind of comes and goes in waves." She is healing, though, by worshipping God and staying in Scripture, knowing that because of Jimmy's faith in Christ, he is "in a much better place."
The death of her husband also made this past Easter particularly poignant for Fields, bringing home to her in a new and profound way the meaning of Jesus' redeeming sacrifice.
"Resurrection means a something deeper. Maybe I had taken this a little bit for granted, but today it means so much more than ever before. I felt so much closer to Jesus."
The podcast is powerful and uplifting, made more insightful still by the fact that both T.C. Stallings and his wife Levette, who also takes part, add much from their own perspective, having unfortunately faced the death of a parent. The couple and Fields are mature Believers and their honesty and vulnerability about the pain of bereavement on the one hand, and their faith and hope in the saving grace of Christ on the other, make this worth your time. The entire episode runs just over an hour and Fields joins the discussion at approximately the 40-minute mark. We suggest you give it a listen, which you can do for free via this link.