The Baffling Calling to Communicate

I’ve been thinking about something since a week ago Saturday that I’m not sure I can articulate well. I’m going to give it a shot, though. Over the couple of years we’ve shared this community, I’ve seen enough of you refer to teaching Bible studies or speaking at retreats or to various groups that it may, should God care to use it, answer a few questions. Or, then again, it could more likely save you the energy of asking them. Some things are just a mystery.

Like callings.

And grace.

And how much of an accomplished work has anything to do with human vessels or are we of no consequence whatsoever. The question is not, could God use anybody? We know that’s a yes. It’s not even, does God prefer weakness so He can show Himself strong? That’s also a clear yes. What’s less clear is how much that “weak-anybody” has one iota’s bearing on what God does with him from then on. And, what are the differences between the times we are called upon by God to labor intensely toward a victory with every last ounce of energy we have (Colossians 1:29) and times when we just stand there and watch God do the thing like we weren’t even there. Or maybe we see nothing happen at all and go home in near despair, only for somebody to drop a note to us and say, “God spoke the word to me that day that I’ve waited all my life to hear.” Sometimes they quote what they heard and you know good and well it wasn’t you who said it. God talked around you instead of through you.

So, what part is God and what part is man? Twenty-five years in, I have no idea. And, I’m just weird enough to be strangely exhilarated by the fresh pulsation that I don’t. Yes, of course, we’re told to walk worthy of our callings (Ephesians 4:1) but could we walk worthy enough to enjoy a consistent, full-throttle Presence and anointing?

I doubt it.

If these are simple questions with simple answers, you may not have been around this bend often enough yet. Ask some folks who’ve spent decades at podiums like Kay Arthur, Anne Graham Lotz, Louie Giglio, James McDonald, and a host of others the devil hasn’t yet harassed into quitting and they might agree that some things get more mysterious with time. Not less.

There are too many things that don’t make sense. For communicators who give one whit about being honest-to-God (I mean that literally) Spirit-led, filled, and anointed servants, there’s no finding a formula. There’s no learning how to hit and not miss. There is no exact list and order of Spiritual disciplines to practice. Fasting every Monday, for instance, may seem to be the key attraction of God’s favor for a while but it soon wears off and you consider whether or not to add Tuesday. Nothing “works” every time. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in fasting. I’m just saying that, if you think you can use it to induce God’s unwavering favor, you’re probably going to get pretty hungry. There is no secret PIN number for His ATM. It’s God’s safeguard for keeping us from being more committed to our disciplines than to Him.

Here are a few other things I’ve learned about gifted speaking. There is no physical condition or best mood to be in. There is no amount of self-abhorrence, self-flagellation, competence or confidence to make you best suited for a mighty work of God. There is no perfect place, format, or group where “it” happens without fail. There is no type of message that never falls flat.  Or, there hasn’t been for me. There’s simply no outsmarting it. Absolutely no mastering it.

We’re splitting hairs here so stay with me until your mind gets good and muddled and only then will you get what I’m trying to say. To be sure, there are some basic ways we can cooperate with God for consistency and fruitfulness. Thank You, Lord. There are ways we can intentionally live our lives to His great glory and serve and love in His beautiful name. Bless You, Father. If not, in our earthbound wanderings, how ironically lost would we, the saved, be? But, as those who have the gall or call, responsibility or culpability to stand before a group of listeners, is there any way to insure that God will bless a message with a significant work of His Spirit?

I’m not talking here about manipulating God or trying to make Him behave. I’m not talking about trying to get Him to make you look good. I’m talking about the sheer attempt to prepare well enough, pray thoroughly enough, be humble enough (and not be proud of it) or do it all right enough in His eyes for Him to always perceptibly bless it. Honestly, there are just times when we disagree with God about what is best for Him.

What I’m talking about here is almost indefinable. I’d more easily be able to tell you how it feels than tell you what it is and yet sometimes it’s there and there’s no feeling it at all. Muddled yet? The closest I can come to naming it is God’s anointing and, if that’s the long and short of it, no wonder we can’t tame it or formulize it. The very nature of divine favor is that it is unmerited. And the very nature of God being God is that He is sovereign. As the Psalmist says, Our God is in the heavens and He does what He has pleased.

For the life of me I can’t figure out the common denominator tying together the times God really shows up. Two things are for certain. Sometimes He shows up without us even knowing it. Other times we’ll be positive He’s coming and later think He must have googled the wrong address.

This speaking thing is baffling. Beyond mastery.  It’s not for the fainthearted or the full-of-themselves. Unless a person is certifiably clueless or narcissistic beyond all hope of recovery, he or she will soon discover that what ego it builds, it also tears down. What wins out at the end of any given year is a total toss-up. In human reckoning, you could be brilliant one moment and a drooling fool the next. You can give the same message three times and the Holy Spirit hit like a lightning bolt, give it a fourth time with the same passion and authenticity and have it fall, to quote my grandmother, flatter than a flitter. I’ve never known what a flitter is but I am more than sure I’ve been flatter.

Think twice before you beg to be up front. This is the kind of thing you only want to do if you can’t keep from it. If God ever throws you up there, best to just keep your ego out of it. You can either be crucified to self or let God give you a good killing right in front of everybody. You better learn quickly and repeatedly that it’s not about you and that self-loathing is as self-absorbed as inordinate self-love. And, whatever you do, don’t get into the rut of letting your personal devotional time with God get supplanted by preparations to speak or teach. The enemy will put few subtler temptations in front of you. Every decent Bible student knows we reap what we sow but the tricky part is the sizable time gap that can occur between that sowing and reaping. When it stretches over a considerable amount of time, we think we’re getting away with it. Maybe God’s even blessing it. In His strange way, you may not see the fall-out of the loss of lively, daily relationship with Him for months but make no mistake. It’s coming. It’s a slow bleed and often you’re not aware that the lifeblood has left you until you are stone-cold dead. Thank goodness God has a penchant for resurrections. You better guard your intimacy with Him like your dying breath.

God’s love for us and our value before Him are insurmountable and unwavering. Our daughter-ship or son-ship is unconditional. His worthiness is unquestionable. Let me say that again. His worthiness is unquestionable. These are the things that must occupy us. These are the underpinnings of our security as His laborers in this harvest of souls. Things like our fitness or spiritual performance or numbers don’t just ebb and flow. They shake like a bottle of oil and vinegar duct taped to a jackhammer.

I’ve thought about this off and on for twenty years and two hundred reasons but I’ll tell you what brought it all up on this blog.

Remember last weekend’s simulcast? Those of you who participated may remember me saying that I’d had such big plans for it. As well as I know how to decipher it, not selfish or temporal plans. I honestly believed that so many women giving up their Saturdays were worthy of much deliberation, study, and preparation. And it goes without saying that God was worthy of those things and more. I felt like He must have been up to something strange and remarkably eternal to have put together numbers of women none of us could have anticipated. My plan was to give a profuse amount of time to preparation and illustration so that I could actually be familiar enough with my material not to do my usual thing. My normal approach is something like – let me think of a delicate word for it – regurgitation.  I seldom hit a platform unprepared but no one is going to accuse me of being impressively organized. For the most part, a thousand bites of information are swirling around like butterflies in my stomach and I just get up there and throw it all up.

The simulcast was to be the exception. I got home late the Saturday night before from a Living Proof Live in Florida and headed to church only to get a text from my firstborn, Amanda, telling me that her husband, Curtis, wasn’t feeling well and suspected something could really be wrong. In no time at all, he was in surgery with what his surgeon called an appendix that had gone off like a grenade. After sitting with Amanda at the hospital through the surgery, I moved into her house with my two beloved grandchildren and she moved into the hospital with her beloved man. That’s the way we spent the better part of four days.

Just like yours, our family comes first so I can honestly tell you that I had no second thoughts and, needless to say, not the least resentment. I wouldn’t have missed it for anything nor would I want to miss the next round. I have no intention of forfeiting my grandparent rights and responsibilities. I love Jackson and Annabeth like I love my own two daughters. Every minute I spent with them was my honor and joy and, yes, delightfully hard work. Every now and then I’d look up at the heavens and say something like, “Lord, I sure hope you’re preparing for Saturday while I’m keeping babies!”

And He was. He’s always faithful.

By late Wednesday night, Amanda took back the reins and her in-laws arrived first thing Thursday. At that point, my thoughts shifted totally to the simulcast. By Saturday morning, the Lord had graciously helped me prepare the two lessons. I was fine with them. Not fabulous with them but at peace. They were meaningful to me and appropriate for the occasion, I think, but, alas, not what I had planned. (Please don’t think I’m fishing for encouragement here. It would deflect severely from the point.)

This is where you come into the story. A few hours after the simulcast concluded Amanda called me and told me that comments were already coming in on the blog and that I ought to give them a glance. She thought I’d be blessed. I did and she was right, I was so thankful to God and was absolutely certain -100% – that anything of value was His doing. Then I came upon a comment I will never forget. It was posted at exactly 6:29. It said something like this: “I will always remember that we studied Ephesians 4:24 on 4/24.”  (April 24th) Somebody may as well have hit me in the head with a sledge hammer. I went completely slack-jawed and stared at those words over and over. It had never – not once – dawned on me that God had given me Ephesians 4:24 (which was our primary verse and the whole theme of the simulcast) for 4/24. He’d given that verse to me several months earlier to memorize then I began to feel that it was His leadership toward our gathering. Still, I’d never put the reference with the date. I wasn’t that clever but God surely was. Here’s the verse. See it from the point of view of the person who has decided to put her insecurity behind her:

“put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.”

He’d had it all along. Planned it to a tee. Didn’t mean for it to be complicated.  Wasn’t interested in a flawless delivery.  Didn’t even need it to be great. Any jar of clay would do because anything happening on the visible platform was virtually incidental…as long as it didn’t quench the Spirit. All God had in mind to do was cut through the layers of technology until we could see straight into the beating heart of the Gospel: Jesus Christ can change your life.

That’s it. Plain and simple.

I love the mysterious side of God. I love that we can’t figure Him out. I love that He honors us by choosing us and humbles us by not even needing us. I love that He is wholly beyond formulas and manipulations, because goodness knows I’m not.

I love Him.

So, what do we do with all of this since we don’t know one iota more than we did? Just keep doing what we’re called to do. In season. Out of season. When we feel good. When we don’t. Believe Him to do something huge. Trust Him when you can’t even tell He did something small. Keep your heart in it and your big head out of it.

He’s the only one who can make it happen. As for us, we don’t even know what “it” is.

“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us.” Deuteronomy 29:29 NLT

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504 Responses to “The Baffling Calling to Communicate”

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  1. 1

    I love what you said about thinking twice before begging to be called to the front. I don’t know that I ever actually asked to be in a “spotlight” of ministry, but when it happened a few years back (I used to work in vocational ministry), it was very apparent to me that what I had inside of me wasn’t strong enough to support the calling I had on me at times. I would get so wrapped up in “working” for God that I had no time — nor energy to feign an interest — in a relationship with Him. I truly felt like He was my manager, the boss I needed to check in with to make sure I was doing everything up to par. It was a lie, of course, and it was exhausting.

    I’m in a different season with Him now and it’s all about the relationship… something He and I are having to dig way back deep to fix a few cracks in the foundation. But I so want to know Him and love Him far more than working for Him.

    I also like what you said about keeping doing what we’re called to do. For a few years now, I’ve been called to spend time with a little girl from my home church whose mother left when she was three months old. I spend time with her one or two weekends a month (it’s a 3 hour round trip for me each way, so I try to see her as much as I can, but it’s difficult since I work full-time).

    Over the past few weeks, she has taken to calling me each night before she goes to bed. I can’t tell you what “important” conversations that eight year old girl and I are having each night — especially since there is a boy in her class who likes her (don’t worry, I’ve informed her she can’t date until she’s 38).

    I don’t know how to express it to someone who isn’t familiar with the situation, but it’s been so “full” lately — to see us emotionally connecting on a daily basis. I am not her mother — and I cannot take the place of her mother — but I am her Amy Beth and she is my MacKenzie. We’re a mismatched pair for sure (I am 25 and FAR too young to know anything about eight year olds), but we’re still a pair, and I think that’s what matters in the end.

    • 1.1
      Vicki says:

      Amy Beth, Wow. I needed that reminder that God wants us doing what He has set before us, and it may not be teaching a whole class or leading a Bible study. Maybe it IS something as life changing as reaching out to someone who needs “Jesus with skin on”. I am debating whether to do vacation Bible school or teach a Sunday school b/c those things are so important and the positions are open. However, I have not been faithful in the little things, namely, personal, intimate time with God, and being available to those people who need to know God sees them and loves them enough to send someone to them. Thank you for your comments. God bless you. This is my first time on this blog. God’s timing is perfect.

  2. 2

    That last scripture from Deuteronomy hit me square between the eyes, and sums up what you are saying so well…we are not accountable for God’s secrets and we will never understand the vast majority of who God is and how He operates, but we ARE ACCOUNTABLE for that which He has revealed to us!!! Thank you for sharing what I’ve also struggled with for years…and encouraging us to keep on keeping on!!! Love you!

  3. 3
    Leah Adams says:

    Just keep doing what you are called to do……how I needed that word today…that bit of encouragment. For you see, I had grown discouraged just a teeny bit about my calling. It wasn’t working out quite the way I had planned. Note I said, the way I had planned. Silly me. I need to remember to check God’s planner, not mine.

    Stay faithful to the last word I heard from God. Still very good advice for anyone.

    Leah

  4. 4
    Sharon says:

    I cried while reading every word of this! It meant more to me than you can imagine for a million reasons!!!! Only God can speak to one person one way and to another one in a whole specific individual other way while saying the same words…. same, but so differently!!! He’s the sweetest most tender thang I know! And I am blown away by His GOoDness! I love how He does what He does in the wondering ways that He does it! Leave it to Him to do a 4:24 thing on a 4/24 day!!! What a Savior we have!!! And what a way to remember it!!!!!!! I love you, Beth Moore! I love the Jesus in your skin that I see!

  5. 5
    Laura says:

    Dude! Totally.

  6. 6
    Anne says:

    I loved that you were removed all week – it felt like a benchmark of how much He WAS going to show up. I was so blessed that it rained and I could go. And it’s funny, it wasn’t about “you” but about “Him” the things that ministered to my heart. It wouldn’t have happened apart from your willing obedience, but He really blessed me with things He’d been saying into my heart all week long and you just doubled it up. Thanks for being faithful to show up and do/say whatever He gives you in whatever way He provides. I just love you so much!

  7. 7
    Warm in Alaska says:

    Thank you. I loved reading this.

    The first time I ever spoke to a larger gathering of women than what I was used to (about 120); I was more used to leading small groups of 10-20 – I had the most interesting conversation with the Lord about it afterward.

    I ended up speaking for close to an hour – and didn’t really know until the day before that I was going to be asked to speak. The Lord showed up and many women later shared how the Lord had spoken to them through my teaching. But. But it didn’t seem to matter how many of my girlfriends genuinely came and told me how the Lord had spoken with them, I was waiting to hear from the two women who led the women’s ministries that I’d done a good job.

    They were both busy ministering after the talk and I didn’t get to touch base with them to hear, “Good job.” I went home, watered my flowering plants (a random point, but one I always recall when I think about this experience) – b/c I was waiting for that “Good job,” from the Lord as well.

    And let me tell you: He was being silent. (And I knew He would want to weigh in b/c He, more than anyone, knew I’d stepped way out of my “experience zone” in giving the talk). But He kept quiet.

    The next morning, while still in bed, but just barely awake, I was talking to Him and said, “How come You’re not talking to me about last night? Not even a thumbs up at all. How come?”

    And then, all of a sudden (I can’t believe I’m sharing this on Siestaville blog) the Presence of the Lord sort of swooshed into my room in a way that was very perceptible and He spoke to my heart, clear as I’ve ever heard Him, and asked: “Did you share what I gave you to share?”

    I thought about it – very carefully for a moment or two – how indeed He had been the One to direct my thoughts, notes and teaching time.

    “Yes,” I said. “I did.”

    And then, from Him, another question: “Is that enough for you?”

    There was such a real and sober quality to this heart conversation – that I really, really thought about it for a few moments. And then I answered Him with, “Yes. It’s enough for me.”

    And then, just like that, the conversation was over. His perceptible Presence lifted as quickly as it had come, and that’s the last we’ve ever spoken about that teaching time.

    But what it did for me is this: stopped me in the future from the obsessive questioning of: Did I do well? Did anyone get it? God, did you use it? Etc., etc., etc. The constant tendency to self doubt and than the tendency to glory in the moment if it appears a teaching was really well rec’d.

    The only question I try to bother with is: Did I share what He gave me to share? Some days my ability, when it come to the act of “sharing,” will be better than others. So be it.

    I just need to focus on doing the best I know to do to make sure I’m “getting what He wants me to give.”

    Sorry I just wrote a short book. I haven’t thought of this incident for a long while.

    I love the 4/24 connection. God is sweet. So, so sweet.

    Warm in Alaska.

    • 7.1
      Melissa May says:

      That is such a good word… I hope I remember it. He reminded me this week after I’d shared my testimony somewhere that my faith and obedience to share what He told me to share was more important than whether it touched anyone’s heart. I have to leave the rest up to Him. Thanks for sharing your story!!!!!

    • 7.2
      Kelly Glos says:

      Dear Warm,
      What part of Alaska are you in? My son is at school in Anchorage and is in a bit of a mess. Of course, we know no one there to help him. If you are in Anchorage, can you let me know? I know this is odd but I’m pretty desperate. Thanks.

      • Warm in Alaska says:

        Hey Kelly – I live about forty miles north of Anchorage in Palmer. You can email me at carolyns@mtaonline.net and we can communicate that way. It would be a joy and an honor to be able to help a Siesta. Blessings ~

      • Donna B. says:

        Kelly,
        We were stationed at Elmendorf in Anchorage, and I directed a youth group. As a result, I still have former youth, (who are now in their late 20’s), as well as their parents who may be willing to offer assistance, (depending on exactly what is needed). You can e-mail me at: dlb91366@yahoo.com and I’ll pass the info along.
        In His Service,
        Donna B.

    • 7.3
      Casey says:

      Thank you so much for sharing this with us. I admit that I am looking for the “thumbs up” from the Father when I do something for him. I am always so afraid that I failed him some how and want the validation that I did it right. You gave me much needed perspective that I need to remember that my job is to be obedient to what he wants me to do….and that should be enough.

      Bless you sister!

      Casey
      Fort Pierce, FL

    • 7.4
      Karen E says:

      Oh wow — “Did I share what God wanted me to share?” Thank YOU for planting that question for me to consider. God is up to something here — He’s been working on my pride lately. It’s all about Him! Thanks for blessing me!

    • 7.5
      Mary says:

      Thank you for sharing from you heart. I get it!!

    • 7.6
      His Kid says:

      Wow. Thank you. I needed that, and was so blessed. Yes…it’s enough for me.

    • 7.7
      Jariza says:

      That was an awesome testimony you shared. Thanks

    • 7.8
      Bobbi says:

      Tears are rolling down my face reading this. I am not a leader and have never done any public speaking but this is just what I needed. A year ago I had the pleasure of helping my grandpa find Jesus just before he died. I remember my sense of urgency and driving at a break neck speed to get to him before it was too late, and I remember a sense of peace after we prayed. But lately I have been wondering if I did it right and if he really said the prayer with me (he couldn’t do it out loud.) Your words are resonating with me. I realize it is the enemy putting those doubts there. I haven’t even spoken to God about it the doubts but now I am hearing Him speak to me that I shared what He gave me to share and the rest is His so give it to Him.

    • 7.9
      Denise says:

      Your words touched my heart today, siesta.

      I don’t have a leadership position in a public ministry, but this encourages me to remember “Did you share what I gave you to share?”

      The Lord teaches me and helps me share with others how He is working in my life; and most of the time, it is very humbling. Been eating a lot of humble pie lately. And so it can be hard to share but also rewarding.

      He’s also teaching me that when I share, to leave the results with Him. Do not expect Him to do something or act a certain way just because of what “I” said. One of my favorite principles: Obey God and leave the consequences to Him.
      Thanks. Denise

  8. 8
    JEN says:

    Thank you Beth! You’re beautifully humble.

    JEN

  9. 9
    Janet says:

    As a matter of fact, you articulated it perfectly! It was certainly a train of thought I needed to hear…I recently led my first Bible study discussion group. I planned and planned for it, but in the end, put my notes aside and let God’s Word speak for itself. Thank you for reinforcing the truth I came face to face with…it is never about us, but Him and Him alone! I love Him, too.
    Thank you, Beth.

  10. 10
    TraciG says:

    Hey Beth–Here’s another little nugget of God-gold for you: our pastor has been working through Colossians. God had laid something different on his heart on Sunday the 17th, so he postponed his sermon a week. Apparently we Miles City ladies needed a little reinforcement on that lesson of the “old” and the “new”, because He had Colossians 3:1-10 ready for us on Sunday the 24th! We got a kick out of that!

    Also thanks for this sincere and heartfelt admonition about leadership. I have been struggling with my “passion” and my “purpose” since before I read the book, and after reading it, it has motivated me to do some serious thinking. I’m not sure what or where or how, but I feel a nudge. I already approach it with a bit of wariness, as I’m mindful of the tremendous responsibility that comes with it. In addition, pride and others’ approval are two of my big areas of struggle.
    Your wise words are great food for thought and the reminder to BE IN THE WORD is crucial (funny, our Gideon speaker spoke about that specifically today too).

    We were sincerely blessed by God’s message last Saturday… still swimming in the afterglow! The coordination by the women of our church body and surrounding community was stunning and totally superceded anything we could have imagined. We shouldn’t have been surprised, I guess. It was God’s annointing!

  11. 11
    Kim says:

    Oh my, Beth I am not going to go into details. No it really is not a secret except that I am just not ready to spill. But Thank you for this post there is something in here that is very specifically from God to me. I know I have probably made you curious sorry about that. So again thank you. Kim B. in AZ

  12. 12
    Melissa May says:

    Thank you for this… I’m gonna be chewing on it for a while. I’m one of those you were talking about… talking to. Even told someone at church this morning that I can’t help it that God made me a mouth in the Body of Christ. : )

    So glad it’s about Him and not about me… Thanks for reminding me again!!!!!

  13. 13
    Kim says:

    Once again, thanks for sharing. I was there and it was truly amazing. Everyday is off with the old me and on with the new me!!!

  14. 14
    Kim B says:

    Thank you Beth for all that you do for the Lord! You are an amazing, obedient, godly woman. I am so thankful for the gifts of teaching and speaking that He has given to you. I love learning from you…I love how the Lord speaks to me through you! Only in a way that He could. Thank you for sharing and being so transparent with so many areas of your life!

  15. 15
    twinkle says:

    I understand all you are saying here. You know this reminds me so much of what I learned through the men’s responses to your questions when preparing to write the book on insecurity. We “Think” we don’t measure up in their eyes…but the reality is we do. And it’s not our outward manifestation of security. It’s more about “who” we are to them. Instead of how we act or look.

    I hope that makes sense.

    God really doesn’t care about all the stuff we do to prepare. He wants relationship. Not perfection.

    So what you write here about the calling you have on your life makes sense. It is HIS Work through you and sometimes in spite of you.

    To me…that event was more than a topic (like you said). Can’t wait for the dvd so I can hear all of it again.

    The “except her” words you spoke…God spoke those to me. It was your voice speaking them, but I know God spoke those to me. It was healing. It was inspirational. It was something to initiate change in me.

    I love you, Beth Moore. Thank you for getting in the boat of women’s ministry. We are so ofter storm-tossed and lacking faith. You have made Christ my Peace. Keep battling with us.

  16. 16
    Rebecca terry says:

    Beth I just wanted to say you have been such a blessing to me . God has
    used your teaching to help me to walk closer to him . I’m not your
    normal Christian I’ve got history dancing with the devil . Only because
    the grace or god I’m here to talk to you or anyone . A friend gave me
    your book praying gods word. That book has helped me pray through
    stopping drugs . Glory to god free for 8 years . I have alot of stuff
    to let God clean up were I have messed up . I’m so thankful that he
    has allowed you someone as human as I to help me through all this
    stuff to walk closer to him
    in chirst love your sister

  17. 17
    Debbie says:

    I have never really responded on this blog, but here goes.

    Our 2 1/2 year old daughter LOVES to spin around. Her Dad or I hold on to her and we go around and around. And she squeals with joy. And no sooner have we stopped then she pleads with all the delight in the world, “Do it again, Daddy, do it again!” It could be the first time or the 100th time and we get the same response. “Do it again, Daddy, do it again!!”
    As I reflect on the AMAZING things God does, like 4:24 on 4/24 set in motion by God months if not years before, I am in Awe. So much awe that it is to the point of sometimes being so overwhelmed with joy and humility that I can barely stand. Those times I think of our daughter and how I want to be just like that with my Heavenly Father… “Do it again, Daddy, do it again!” And I am just as amazed/blown over on the first go around as I am on the 100th.
    But ya know what is great too.. the look on my husband’s face when she says it – Joy beyond measure. And I just have to also imagine that God is the same way.

    So I have no clue what part is Him and what part is us, if any. But I do LOVE to go around and around with Him, good times and bad. And I believe He LOVES to watch me. It just doesn’t get much better than that.

    Blessings,
    Debbie

  18. 18
    Michele says:

    wow. Mama, that’s a lot. I rode a roller coaster of emotions reading it. I think I want to cry but not sure why.

    I’m going to copy that to my hard drive and read it again sometime when my mind is better – right now I’m exhausted.

    This week is “crunch week” – the final week of the semester. I am due to graduate from seminary next week with a MATS. I have been unemployed for 20 months, still looking for an engineering job. Soon my unemployment benefits and health insurance will expire. I know my gift is teaching, but have no idea how that will manifest. And I have no idea what God has planned next.

    I love being in front of a Bible class, and think I’d love to be in front of 10,000 people, but your post makes me think twice. Not that I’d change my mind, but it is a great reminder that God alone teaches.

    So what do we do when we don’t know what we are called to do?

    I’m getting a headache thinking about it. All I can do is try to finish these papers (it will be a MIRACLE if I get them all done on time) and trust that God will make the next step clear when it’s time.

    I love you MamaBeth

    • 18.1
      HFridelle says:

      Michele, I can relate to where you are coming from. I had trouble finding a job when I graduated from college (I’m an engineer also) and then last year I was laid off, but both times God has provided and taken care of me. It’s really hard not to worry but God is in control. He will always be there for you! You’ll be in my prayers!

    • 18.2
      Rene says:

      I am also remembering you in my prayers 🙂

  19. 19
    Kelly Glos says:

    My goodness – I sure needed this but on such a different level – well maybe it’s not so different. I am walking through something and fear is emcompassing me at every turn and I am trying everything I can to do things “right”, to get in good standing with God so He will shine favorably on me. Ha, the joke’s on me, He is GOD and GOOD and has it all in HIS hands. Help me Lord to step off the stool that is of no control and bow to YOUR Throne.

  20. 20
    Shelly says:

    The mysteries of calling and grace…

    “He’s the only one who can make it happen. As for us, we don’t even know what “it” is.”

    Enough said.

    Thank you for articulating your thoughts Mrs. Beth.

  21. 21
    elena says:

    “So, what part is God and what part is man?”

    If you only knew how often I ask myself that question. I’m so glad to know that it’s not only me who *still* doesn’t know.

    As I read through the comments that day, I noticed that 4:24 on 4/24 comment and it blessed me as well.

    Thank you for your words!

  22. 22
    Sweet Anonymous says:

    Always surprising, always a mystery..that’s our blessed Heavenly Father..I have often felt God calling me to be “thrown up front” to which I have always responded to God by burying my head under a pillow and telling Him to go find someone else..or you must be totally joking. No one hates public speaking more than I! I guess if I finally take the step of faith and obey that it’s all God, not me..Keep my heart in it and not my head… Yikes!
    You have challenged me Siesta Mama…as you always do..
    Thank you for the amazing word last Saturday, it was life
    changing. I know the women who sat across from with tears streaming down her face thought so too..

  23. 23
    Jane says:

    Well, I’m sitting here stunned, literally. God has been speaking to my heart all day, in bible study this morning, in worship through the music and message, through a CD I was listening to in the car. I’ve been either close to tears or in tears all day. As I sat down to do some prep work for my Wed night bible study I am facilitating, I read a devotional out of “My Utmost for His Highest”, Oswald Chambers, titled “Gracious Uncertainty”, all the while knowing the avalanche from heaven was continuing. I subscribe through a feed to this blog and it was not updated on my homepage, Amanda’s last post was showing but something, Someone, lead me to go to the blog webpage…. there it was, Beth’s post. I read, re-read, yes it is muddled, but clear at the same time. I know the message, I understand the urgency, I remembered in the business of it all, don’t “leave your first love”, don’t let your knees forget where the floor is, don’t rely on your own strength in preparation, don’t think “I’m getting pretty good at this, I’m getting comfortable”. Comfortable is a dangerous place to be. I should mention, I am new at this, I’m leading my second class and yes, God did call an unlikely person to do His will, a person who gets so nervous in front of people, she shakes, literally and very noticeably. I’m getting to the point this is less and less an issue but it has Him sounding the alarm in my heart.

    You wrote this for me Beth.

  24. 24

    Beth,

    Okay, I’m going to tell you that I don’t like to tell you when something you say hits me, obviously because it seems to create a domino effect(grin)- but REALLY,
    You just HIT me on the head! And you have NO idea what I have been going through.
    First of all, Deut 29:29 was spoken to my heart not even 2 hrs ago. I was telling my friend how I just don’t get what God is doing right now, in so much, and it came as I was speaking to her, but I took it as, ” Oh yea, I know that verse” and didn’t think anything of it.
    I think I am learning more and more when verses come to my heart, I usually take them for granted, and that is horrible! But it’s my human tendency.

    Anyway, I am feeling your next book would be beautiful if you would write it on “speaking”- Especially for those of us, who are called to it, but are scared to death to do it!

    I have so much I would like to write, but I know I need to follow the rules:)

    Loved being in Atlanta to see you and my siestas:) God gave a WORD!

    Love y’all:)

    Angie

  25. 25
    Sherry says:

    Beth, You put into words what I can’t explain to others. God has called me to write plays. When people pat me on the back or say, “you’ve done such a good job” etc. It is hard for me to say thank you because I know, with my whole being, that it wasn’t me! It was God…all Him! I can set aside a time that I know that I will have several hours alone to sit down and write and I sit there and just look at the computer….and…nothing. Then, I will be in the middle of cleaning house or working on another project for church and God tells me to go to the computer and write. The play I just wrote for this past Easter, I felt as though I didn’t put enough time or effort into it as I should have, but God in His infinite wisdom knows better. It was just right..for Him to prepare those who came and for Him to minister to them. Not me. I was just the vessel. And that’s fine with me. That’s all I need.

  26. 26
    Barb says:

    Thank you for sharing this. I so needed to hear this today.

  27. 27

    I have begged God to not put me up front–to let me be behind the scenes, maybe even to write something that will bless. But oh, I pray for you everytime you speak, Beth, for I know that it is something only God can do. I am in wonder of your schedule, your discipline and your abundant love for people. Sometimes, I don’t even like them!

    Then the other day we got a letter from our Compassion child. He said these powerful words: “I pray for God to always help you to love me.”

    And that is it! I pray for you Beth, for God to help you to always love us. And I pray that for me, too. Lord, help me to love others. Yes!

    There are no extras in His play…we are all vital and important to the parts He has for us.

    And 4/24 was one of the most memorable and life changing days for me–God in you and through you, Beth, is a beautiful thing!

  28. 28
    Sue M. says:

    Amen, Sister. Isn’t God just too cool?! Don’t you just love having a relationship with Someone you can totally trust even if you cannot totally figure Him out? He knows exactly what He’s doing and I’m so glad! I’d go nuts otherwise… 🙂 When my ego starts to swell and get in the way, He has a way of taking care of that. When I need to be encouraged, He has the answer for that as well. I’m so thankful that I can say that I love Him so.

    Thanks for sharing and looking forward to your “regurgitation” in a few weeks here in Michigan! Praying for that time together.

  29. 29
    moosemama says:

    Well, I just had a conversation this week with a new found sister on this very thing. I told her I loved teaching but I was afraid of loving the praise FOR teaching too much. I just want to do it for HIM! I want women to love HIM as much as I do. But sometimes I catch myself loving the praise for ME!

    “You better learn quickly and repeatedly that it’s not about you and that self-loathing is as self-absorbed as inordinate self-love.” Yeah….How do I find the balance of not loving myself OR hating myself over this thing?

    Praying, praying, praying for His direction in this. I’m so scared to NOT do what He wants, and equally as scared to DO what He wants. I don’t want to blow it.

    Gonna print this one out, Beth….and read it a couple more times. Had to turn down the K-LOVE and lean into the screen for this. You hit me between the eyes today. I’m listening.

    Melana

  30. 30
    elizabeth says:

    Oh, Isn’t that just like Jesus. He keeps us guessing and dependent on Him….so that His glory shines through our earthly human vessel.
    I love you Beth. Thanks for being you, being real, being in love with Him.

  31. 31
    danae says:

    well-written & much-needed. this is a post i will be reading over & over to help keep me grounded as i serve the Lord. He does a great job at keeping us in our place, i think! and tonight, He used you to do it again. as always, thank you.

  32. 32
  33. 33
    OceanMommy says:

    Beautiful. Thank you. 🙂

    Steph.

  34. 34
    AbbyLane says:

    welp. my first instinct was to come on here and say something like
    “you’re such a brilliant writer”.
    now i’ve decided i’m not sure i like that response. (not because it isn’t absolutely true, but because i know it wasn’t at all the point of you sitting down to say what was on your heart.)
    hmmm. so if you need to be encouraged, read that. if it will stress you out or mess with you cause we’re all trying not to think highly of ourselves, then forget it’s there. grin

    it is a joy to be the one who gets crackers (memphis) or butterflies thrown up on me from a sister such as yourself. any sister. i am in a season of being overwhelmed with gratitude from the generosity that has been shown to me through some new friends in my life. absolutely overwhelmed. if i didn’t know better it would send me into a terrible self-loathing frenzy because of my immediate feelings of unworthiness. but i’ve already crawled (in and) out of that pit far too many times to jump back in because of something so lovely.
    this is such a timely word for me. for almost 3 years now, God has graciously kept me in a season of anonymity while serving others who are very much known in our world by their industry occupation. it has been like servanthood boot-camp and i wouldn’t trade a minute of it for what it has taught me. but He is calling me out. and it’s uncomfortable. and it’s scary. and the enemies schemes have been not so subtle.

    hanging on for dear life. you said it girlfriend, He is so worth it.

    • 34.1
      April Nicole says:

      Abby, I can totally relate. Nearing graduation again I feel that God is calling me out of anonymity as well. Like you, I’ve really enjoyed just serving and learning. I’ve known what is coming and well I have often asked God to reconsider His ideas for me :O) – it is a bit scary and overwhelming right? LOL But like you, I am not ready to jump back into the unworthy pit. I like being secure – it’s kind of fun!

      Beth’s Word for me is timely as well. God is so worth it. I wish you the best my siesta friend and I hope God continues to bless your socks off.

  35. 35
    April says:

    These are the words that flew off the page to me as I read your post, “a host of others the devil hasn’t yet harassed into quitting”. My husband is a pastor and oh the dance of harrassment each week we feel as the devil unleashes his onslaught upon him as soon as he faithfully and tirelessly teaches the Word to our sheep. I must be on my face this week even more for him.

  36. 36
    Bev says:

    How does God fit in such a little package as Beth Moore–that is a mystery to me. 🙂

    Re: You can either be crucified to self or let God give you a good killing right in front of everybody.
    Wow! If that isn’t a 100% Truth with 100% voltage.

    Not sure who said this but in regard to crucifying self…”Let a carpenter do it, He’ll use real nails.”

  37. 37
    Lindsey says:

    Wow. I am speechless. Yet, not completely. Praise the most brilliant, amazing, incredible, and strategic God of my life. Beth!! I needed that. You should know that I was reading this, I was making noises like “hmmm,” and “YES,” and “uh-hmmm.” My husband said, “You must be reading Beth.” And I was…yet I realize you are a mere vessel…an instrument…used only by God. Thank you for teaching me, through His divine intervention, that EVERYTHING is for Him, by Him, and about Him. Hallelujah!!

    • 37.1
      Lindsey says:

      Ok…insecure moment. In my response, I do not want to “water down” the talent God has given you. I think you are an amazing teacher. And just like you would want me to…I give the Lord ALL the credit. But always know…the Lord has blessed you with a gift that goes beyond talent. Love you and your ministry to women!!

  38. 38
    casey says:

    I tried desperately to have my church be a host site for the simulcast. They chose not to and I wouldn’t have been able to join anyway since I am still here with my daughter in the hospital. However, for the first time in nearly a month I got out and drove with my eldest son and we went to Lifeway and a few other places. As I wondered through the store my heart started dealing with everything I have dealt with over the past weeks with my 7 year old. I turned a corner and saw an ENTIRE ROW committed to Living Proof/Beth Moore studies. My first thought was how humbling that must be to walk in and see that display. My next thought was if Beth came from as messed up of a past as she said she did, then my daughter who ran on Sunday and was paralyzed on Wednesday from a random virus can recover and walk again. I proceeded to cry forever in that store. I have been a part of several of your studies and I have been to an events and I am continually amazed at your annointing. Beth, thank you for bringing God to us woman in our nuts, busy, insecure world. I can’t imagine what my walk would be without God sending me the word through your studies. Thank you for sharing your life and your family. We do love you.

    • 38.1
      Erin says:

      Wow hard stuff, Casey your daughter is in my prayers as are you and your family.

      • casey says:

        Thank you Erin!

        • His Jules says:

          Casey- I am praying for you and your daughter, I know what that crying forever is…my husband was paralyzed in 2006 and when that first cry took place I was on the side of the interstate being pulled over by a policeman who asked where I was going and why and I proceede to cry until I am sure he thought we would both float away. This too, has passed. I am praying that God will show you many things through this time, most of all his healing and restoration to your daughter but KNOW this… normal is just a word on a page and until her healing takes place you can and will get used to a New kind of normal. God will use this in ways you cant even imagine. I pray that you will feel His presence at all times and that you will be assured of His faithfulness. I can honestly say that througout all the dark days, and long nights and various hospital/rehabs – HE CARRIED ME!!

          • casey says:

            Tha is ironic that you used the phrase “He Carried Me” because one of my closest friends today used that Footprints image. Thank you for the encouragment. IT it nice to hear soemone’s perspective from the other side.

  39. 39
    Stacy says:

    I have been having a hard time, because I felt for over a year God was leading me in a direction, then boom, the rug was pulled out. I still believe what God was leading I am meant to do. After your post, God knows the time and I need to continue to seek Him and draw even closer. Know his word.
    Thanks for your word- stay on the path and Trust Him as He leads

  40. 40
    Fran says:

    I’m just in tears with my heart in my throat. I love Him, Beth and I’ll never “get it” or even wanna try to get it, but I love Him. Thank you for pointing me to Him in everything you say or do.

    Overwhelmed with gratitude and love and how He can use me in any little thing He wants.

  41. 41
    peg nichols says:

    B-E-A-U-T-I-F-U-L !!!!!!!!!!! Your gift of words is profound Beth…God bless you real good girl!!!!!!

  42. 42
    Kim Safina says:

    4/24 @ 4:24 Los Angeles, California!!!!!
    This may sound really bizarre, however, if anyone can understand this, IT IS YOU!
    I was just preparing to leave with my husband for an outreach that was at Dodger Stadium that night. All of a sudden, YOU came into my mind. I kept thinking it strange since I was attending another outreach with another guest speaker but YOU just kept coming into my mind. SO, In my hotel bathroom at the Biltmore in LA, I got down on my knee’s and asked GOD to glorify the teaching of the simulcast. I prayed over you, your family,the Siesta’s, and women who would be attending. I FELT THE HANDS OF GOD WITH WARMTH ALL OVER MY BODY!!!!! The time 4:24 PM! For the next 4 days, I kept awaking at strange hours of the night. YOU and YOUR FAMILY kept coming into my mind. So, PRAYER YOU GOT!!!
    BETH, You have been called to your post. You have listened to the authority. You have been anointed with the reverence of standing before others and sharing your testimony,faith,and the gospel of Christ Jesus! There were women before you and there will be women after you but you are called to THIS GENERATION TO CARRY THE LIGHT OF JESUS CHRIST OUR LORD AND SAVIOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    For this is your calling!

    My prayers are with you daily!!
    With “Heaven Bound” blessings,
    Kim Safina

  43. 43

    Sweet Beth,

    You just have to believe that it’s the Holy Spirit when a post like this hits so many women. Reminds me of the verse in James, “not many of you should presume to be teachers…” I believe this verse with my whole-heart. I didn’t presume to be a teacher of God’s Word but certainly was called. Of course the call astounds me as well it should. I was called when I was 16…doubt I’ll ever forget the moment. Words and Scripture spilled from my mouth at an FCA meeting at 16 and life was set on a different course from that moment on.

    It’s funny to say but to increasing degrees I’ve been teaching God’s Word for 11 years. It makes me laugh. I literally have bible study notes from those early days. Yes from when I was like 16! I talked A LOT about sin and repentance and suppose I still do.

    No later than THIS weekend I stood before a sea of women His Word open and with a great deal of fear and trembling (I pray before God and not men) I spoke.

    When you say speaking has no formula you are right. The only hope human’s have to comprehend much less communicate the living Word of God is God Himself! His utterance is the only hope we have. His power! HIM! I am sure of that.

    Thank you for writing on this issue. I don’t know why but I wonder if one day I won’t share a real cup of coffee with you on this side of heaven and talk about this glorious call to communicate…I’m certain people say things like that all the time. On the couple of occasions we have met (former LW women’s team girl), even before, I have thought (figuratively) if God cuts humans out of fabric…we were close cuts 🙂 if that makes a lick of sense.

    That’s a whole lot of words. If you’ve gotten to read em’ thanks. I pray that all who teach – their eyes would be enlightened so that they can understand the hope of the call they received to know & love JESUS our Savior. At the end of the day HE IS ALL THERE IS! After seas of women have come and gone. Whether we stand or fall. HE IS! Be glorified in us Jesus in your name I love I pray Amen!

  44. 44
    Amanda May says:

    Wow, God’s timing blows me away! I “just so happened” to check the blog this afternoon after wrestling for days with so many of the questions you’ve mentioned here.

    I am speaking for the first time at our church’s Ladies’ Retreat in three weeks. When I was asked (told!) that I would be speaking just a few weeks ago, I was so full of mixed emotions – terrified & thrilled all at the same time. I’ve never done anything like this, and I KNOW that it doesn’t come naturally…hence the terrified thing. But thrilled at the thought of being used by the Lord in an area that there would be no doubt, if I even did a half-way decent job, that it was ALL Him.

    Almost immediately, I felt like the Lord gave me VERY clear direction on exactly what I was to talk about. I would not have chosen this topic (it’s pretty heavy and I would have preferred something light & more of a “crowd-pleaser” for my first time) – but I know that I would be in disobedience if I went with something different. I’m not gonna lie, I have been intentionally disobedient to the Lord many times (and I’m not proud of it), but this doesn’t feel like a time when I want to walk in outright rebellion…I’d rather not get struck down in front of a bunch of women…I can’t imagine what they would say (kidding…I read SLI)! 😉

    The times of study & preparation that I have had have been some of the sweetest times with the Lord I’ve ever experienced. I have sensed His presence so strongly at times, as He’s speaking directly to me through His Word, that I seriously didn’t know if I could contain myself (most times I haven’t).
    Most of my study times end with me flat out on the floor begging the Lord to somehow give me the ability to communicate what He has laid on my heart (believe me when I say that it is not a natural gifting of mine). I know that I can’t do it in my own strength…and frankly, I can’t really even figure out how He’s going to do it through me.
    I bounce back and forth between the fear of doing so badly that I’m completely humiliated…and doing well and becoming prideful. Both horrible scenarios.

    One thing that I’ve been struggling with is not being sure how to separate my own quiet time from preparation time. When you addressed that topic here, I jumped for joy! Such wisdom. I feel like it’s really tricky for me because the topic that I’m teaching on is also what the Lord is currently doing in my own life, so they automatically get all tangled up together. So often, I’ll be in my personal quiet time, and the Lord will lay something on my heart that I really think I should share in my talk – I’m always conflicted as to whether I write the thing down in my personal journal…or in my teaching notes!

    I have soooo much swirling around in my head (much like you described) and I happen to have have a really strong need for organization/outlines/etc. Unfortunately, every time I sit down to try and make an outline of what the Lord has planted in my head, it feels like it all goes out the window! Like I’m trying to bottle it…and it’s not “bottle-able” (I wish that was a word). I know that the Lord is wanting me to trust in Him, but it’s really throwing me for a loop. I can’t think of anything more exhilarating than getting up and just speaking what the Lord lays on my heart at that very moment…but at the same time, it feels so scary & vulnerable – I know, that’s probably the point…but yikes!!

    Anyway, THANK YOU for this incredibly insightful post. Very timely for me!!
    Praise the Lord!!!

  45. 45
    Kara says:

    This post speaks a loud word to me. It confirms something God has been teaching me for some time. God called me into, I don’t even know what to call it – a speaking ministry, I guess it’s what most people call it. Well, He called me years before He ever used me. He spent much time humbling me, refining me and equipping me. Let’s be honest He just spent years pruning and pruning and pruning away.

    Well, the first time I spoke I didn’t feel like a speaker at all. I was scared. My heart was pounding. I prepared a lesson but I coldn’t tell you what i said. I got off that stage and asked God, “What was that?!” Did I hear Him wrong all this time?

    This is what I felt He taught me: Child, my gift to you is that there will be times when you speak that you will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that I am speaking through you in a powerful way resulting in much fruit. Then, b/c i love you and never want you to fall to pride, I am going to allow you to speak and be completely unable to discern what, if anything, was accomplished. You will have to walk by faith and complete dependency upon God. I want you to learn to be content in plenty and in want.

    And that is exactly how things have played out. It’s just nice to hear He does the same thing with you. What a relief!

  46. 46
    De Anna says:

    Beth, thanks..I am in that place of uncertainty..knowing what God has promised, sensing a call and anointing on my life to lead..but the “vision has not yet become a reality” (to quote Oswald Chambers). The waiting seems endless…but He is measureless. I shudder to think that I would act or move outside of His timing. Other spiritual leaders tell me to “go for it”. I do not sense God speaking that over me. So I continue to wait, learn and trust.

    Thanks for your post. I found encouragement to guard my intimate life with Him. An important reminder.

  47. 47
    Vickie Barbee says:

    Okay….All I can say is, I love you so much, Beth Moore. This post makes me weep and weep some more. I didn’t get to attend live or the simulcast. I read your book and read every post, I so love these women too. I had a previous engagement with my son, he is getting married on May 21st. We had some planning to get done, etc… If I didn’t love him so much, I would have ditched him for you. I love how God shows up in you and the rest of us benefit so greatly. GOD IS SO AWESOME!!!

  48. 48
    Laura says:

    Beth,

    This is my first time posting on your blog. I am a long time follower of your ministry–I have facilitated several of your studies, read all of your books and have had the honor of attending many simulcasts-including “So Long Insecurity” just a little over a week ago. Your ministry, dear sister, has changed my life in so many ways. I am in awe of what our Lord accomplishes through you!

    Last summer, God called my family to leave our church home of 15 years to a new congregation where we could continue to grow under solid Biblical Leadership. This meant laying down my 10 year role as a women’s ministry leader ( one I loved)–and walking into “limboland” as I have waited for the Lord to show me what my new calling will be. There’s too much to tell now but your post tonight has given me much encouragement and insight-I will read it a few more times to let it all sink in.

    Jesus and I continue to knock down many obstacles (strongholds) together as I BELIEVE HIM at his Word. I am a 51 year old college student finishing what I did not finish years ago. I plan to graduate, then retire from my current job and follow where He leads. I am beyond excited to take my Bible , evangelism and ministry classes. He is so good to me! Trust me, if you knew my past–you would recognize this as the miracle it is!!

    To all of you out there who think it’s too late to be who God created and called you to be–it is NEVER too late!

    Thank you dear Beth for displaying God’s glory so beautifully and thank you Jesus– we are nothing without You.

    I promise any future postes will be short! My girlfriends tease me about the “great crowd” in my head–something I think you know a little bit about! 🙂

    Love,
    Laura

    • 48.1
      Pat Anderson says:

      Laura, I can so relate to your story! My husband and I left a church in December ’09 after 17 years (12 years he was on the staff). It has been the most humbling and life-altering challenge of my life. I love your term “limboland!” That’s where I’ve lived for over a year now! Visiting churches is so hard — I cried for the first 6 months every Sunday, because no one knew I was there, and no one hugged me! God has finally gotten through to me that I was placing church, my role as teacher, and the security of those dear friends before my relationship with Him! I needed to learn that lesson so much, and I’m so thankful that He loves me enough to not leave me the way I am!! I’m still learning so much. We’re in a new church, and I’m praying like crazy to know where I’m supposed to serve. I want to be very careful and not “assume” that I’m to be in any up-front role ever again. I just want to please Him now. God bless you as you wrap up your degree, and I pray God will lead you into your “sweet spot” — right in the center of His will.
      Pat in Olathe, KS

      • Laura says:

        Pat,

        You described my emotions to a “t”. It has been quite a year, but God has been quick to affirm our decision. Like you, both my husband and I were leaders and now we are not!! 🙂

        In one of her studies Beth described an older woman who had been her former neighbor when she was a child in Alabama. When Beth returned many years later to visit her, she told Beth she always knew she would be a Bible teacher! She said that she remembered when Beth was a little thing she would line up all her dollies and “teach the word” to them.

        The story contiues when Beth shared that she had no memory of those days–no recollection of ever wanting to be or even pretending to be a Bible teacher. Because of all the childhood trauma she experienced after those days, her dreams and gifts were buried for a very long time.

        The amazing part of the story is that Jesus, who is so faithful to heal us ( if we go for it!) brought her back to the place where she started, the place where she belonged all along. He restored what the locusts had eaten ( and boy, did He ever!!). Glory to God!

        My story is not as traumatic as Beth’s but the results were the same. A long time ago I was aware of how I was wired and the path that He had me on, but the dreams and gifts were buried. He has been healing me for the past few years and I am returning to who I was always meant to be in the first place. I can’t even tell you how I feel about what He has done.

        If nothing else miraculous or good happens to me in my life I will still praise Him til the day I die.

        I will truly pray for you, Pat as you wait for Him to give you His next plan for your life.

        A few years ago I would have never thought I’d have to leave my church and ministry in order to get “there”, but I can look back and see now it was a nessesary step. My church took all my time and attention. Our new church is a place of growth and healing for us. Our eyes are on Him.

        Beth’s Deuteronomy verse says it best–we are accountable for what He has reveals to us.

        Love,
        Laura

  49. 49
    Angie says:

    Dearest Beth,

    I’m praying for you. You use every ounce of energy you have inside of you to give to women. You have no idea what you are doing in the lives you touch… even a week later. Our church played the taping this weekend and it was amazing. Thank you! You are exceptional! I am praying the devil NEVER harasses you into quitting!”. I know you would never ever fish for compliments but I sure want to give you one right now.
    You are dearly loved, sister!
    Angie in Michigan xoxo

  50. 50
    Dawn says:

    Wow, it’s gonna take me a minute with my journal and my Wonderful Counselor to process all He just spoke to me in your post. You may think it was all one subject, but I assure you, for me, He addressed several issues.

    Let me just say that in the couple years I’ve “known” you…for lack of a better word…I’ve I’ve never felt so connected to you. Actually, I’ve never felt that way at all. Yeah, there’s times I wanna pick up the phone and tell you how God used you to pen words that spoke to the deepest, darkest regions of my soul, but it’s never been personal to you. But reading that just now, I have the deepest desire to hang out on a big puffy couch and just let our minds have at it. Like if we could just put our two minds together we just might have something! “are you muddled yet?” Oh yes, definately. Yet it’s accompanied by this deep understanding that I can’t even articulate. There were pieces where answers sprang to my mind and pieces where I’m more baffled than you lol. Is it odd that I enjoy being muddled? I think it’s because I know that moments of being muddled like this are always followed by huge revelation and/or growth and that makes me giddy with anticipation.

    God hasn’t quite called me to public speaking, but I fear that someday He will. If I’m truly honest, I acknowledge that seed He buried not too long ago. It sits over in the corner and I pretend not to notice it’s there or that He’s watering it. I don’t know that I’m anywhere ready, there’s still a big chunk of healing that needs had, but He has already told me that their are others out there with the same special twist to their testimony as me and they need the hope of my example. I’m hoping that they just live up the road or at a small church lol.
    Thank you for your honesty and vulnerability 🙂

    • 50.1
      Audrey Auernheimer says:

      Beth, I attended the live simulcast on the April 24th here at our church in Sallina, Kansas. I’ve also read “So Long, Insecurity”. I have lost 3 of my four adult children to serious mental illness. Two children, son 28, and daughter 26, to suicide. Our youngest is in prison as a result of a psychotic break with his illness. My husband and I volunteer teaching, and offer a support group through National Alliance on Mental Illness. To give is to heal. I thought I had worked through my insecurities. After reading the book, I know I still have work to do. Thank you, thank you, and God bless you for your ministry to women.

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