News anchor Shannon Bream (’93) on finding light in the darkness of depression

November 15, 2021

Shannon Bream (’93), anchor for “FOX News @ Night,” helped kick off Homecoming during the Oct. 8 Convocation. Even though she has risen to broadcast journalism fame, Bream said she has not forgotten her alma mater.

“I want you guys to know I pray for you,” she said. “I pray for this campus, I pray for every student, every teacher, administration worker, and staff member who works here because there is no other place like this in the world. … I am confident in the future of this country and in this world because of you.”

Bream has played an active role as a Liberty alumna in Washington, D.C. She regularly meets with students and alumni interning or working in the capital and takes students on tours of the network’s studio. 

Bream earned her undergraduate degree in business from Liberty and went on to earn a juris doctor with honors from Florida State University College of Law. In May 2013, Bream made Liberty history as the university’s first female keynote Commencement speaker.

Looking back on her own college days, Bream said the faithfulness of Liberty’s founder, the late Dr. Jerry Falwell, still inspires her today.

“He would say, ‘The minute we take our eyes off of God, glorifying Christ, and spreading the Gospel, burn it all down.’ That is what this school is about. … You guys are sold out (for Christ), and it’s a beautiful thing to see.”

Bream shared her story of growing closer to God through a painful, years-long experience with major eye pain.

“There were many nights where I ended up on the floor of my bathroom, and I could not put together a prayer of any substance,” she said. She could only repeat, “Lord help me,” over and over.

“After months and months of this, I was spiraling into a darker and darker place,” she admitted. “I felt the walls closing in around me. I had no answers. I had nothing but chronic pain and a mystery.”

She was beginning to lose hope.

“No food tasted good, no jokes were funny, there was not a trip I looked forward to going on, there was no one I wanted to see,” Bream said. “I was just in a shell of depression.”

Bream pleaded with students to never isolate and to always remember that no matter the crisis, the Liberty family will be present for them.

“Don’t get to such a dark place that you feel like you can’t get out. That is where I felt I was at.”

A specialist later diagnosed Bream with a rare eye issue that causes continual tearing of the cornea. There is no cure; however, she underwent surgery almost four years ago and most of her pain has left.

She said that through the trial, she has grown closer to Christ than she ever has before. At her worst, she had to remind herself that she had the Creator of the world on her side.

“It was enough for me to keep going and to believe that in our darkest pain, in our worst moments, He is always there,” she said.

Bream speaks to students in Liberty Law’s Supreme Courtroom.

Later that afternoon, Bream visited with students from the School of Law and Helms School of Government in Liberty Law’s Supreme Courtroom to share stories of her career journey and answer students’ questions. She reminded the future professionals that work is not the most important aspect of their existence.

“Your job cannot be your life,” she said. “I fight that every day, because it can be all-consuming. In whatever you do, you cannot find your worth there. It is just never going to love you back.”

Bream said that her best days on the job are the ones where she begins with time alone, reading Scripture, praying, and journaling.

“(Your job) can be a platform and a place the Lord has you in for a season, and I am thankful for where I am now, but I have to remember that He’s got a grander plan,” she said.  

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