To servants of Jesus in your 30s and 40s

Spectacular joys come to older ones in the faith as we get to witness the next generation coming of age. By coming of age I don’t mean numerically. There will always be individuals in Christ who hardly grow beyond their salvation and will wonder to the grave why God never came through with that meaningful life they thought they were supposed to receive. But the distractions of the world are enormous, demanding and titillating and, well, the phone and all. That we can be in Christ and immersed in a community of faith but never fulfill our calling is clear from places in Scripture like Colossians 4:17 where Paul told the brothers at Colossae,

And say to Archippus, “See that you fulfill the ministry that you have received in the Lord.”

No need to exhort somebody to fulfill a ministry if it’s not possible to leave it unfulfilled.

There will always be those who are enormously gifted and hold tremendous potential to impact community and globe for the kingdom of God but, like the unfaithful steward in Matthew 25, will bury what they’ve been given until Jesus returns at which point they’ll hand it back to Him looking pretty much like it did when they got it. They lost interest. But they are not my concern today as I write this article. These words are to those of you who are doing what it takes. Who are in the thing up to your necks. You, who are coming of age in your calling, though God knows that, most of the time, if you’re like me, you’re not even sure how you got there. Oh, you could try to tell someone younger what steps you took. You could write a blog post about it. You could do a very effective Q&A on a panel about it. You could even write a book about it but you know dang well deep in your heart that you really had no earthly idea what you were doing. All you can say at the end of the day is that you kept doing something – the next thing – however awkwardly, and perhaps even embarrassingly as you look back on it, to somehow serve Jesus. And, lo and behold, something finally started working. Not all the time, of course, but often enough to realize you might be onto something. You might be onto your calling. This season of your calling. Your works are producing fruit. You have this sense that you are where you are supposed to be for now.

That’s what I mean by coming of age. Though it’s not about chronological age, it often corresponds enough for most of you to be in your thirties and forties.

Man, it’s a gorgeous thing for your older brothers and sisters to behold. To get to cheer you on cheers me in a way I find ridiculously exhilarating. Right here on the spot I could list one hundred different names off the top of my head of men and women doing the thing. Some of you I get the chance to watch close up. Hands on. You delight me to no end. First and foremost, my daughters. My son-in-law. My spiritual sons and daughters. Others from across the room at church and others by phone and face-to-face as often as possible, like my beloved Priscilla Shirer. Good Lord, how I love her. Others of you on social media, which I love, by the way, and on which I’ve made some connections that really do have an ounce of substance to them. Jefferson Bethke, for instance. So many like him. Men and women. These relationships mean something to me. Their names are in my prayer journal. About eight young women communicators and Bible teachers are on my mind almost every day and jotted down regularly in a square in my prayer journal.

And I get to see you prosper in the Holy Spirit. I get to see your life bear fruit. I get to celebrate what God is doing through you. And I get to squirm, rub my forehead and groan – often audibly – as I watch you awaken to the war. That is why I’m writing today.

You didn’t know it was going to be like this.

You had no idea what you’d stepped into.

You think you must have done something wrong to make it this hard. When you started out, it wasn’t like this.

You haven’t really told anyone. Or not very many. Mainly because you’re too embarrassed.

You have no idea that every other person worth his/her salt in the kingdom of the living Christ is either going to go through their own version of the same thing or they are enduring it that very minute.

And it is hellacious.

The enemy comes for you. Of course, some of you aren’t calling it spiritual warfare yet because that’s what the older generation called it and you want to be cooler than that. You had sort-of become convinced that the devil was not that real. Not that specific. Not that personal. Not that aware. And surely God would not allow him to mess with your kids.

And it’s not just the enemy. Your own vulnerabilities erupt into liabilities. Life’s taking a crowbar to every crack in your armor. You are tempted to things you swore you’d never do. That you judged ________________ for doing. Your past comes calling. If you’re married, your marriage, which you’d boasted about publicly, looks like it could go humiliatingly belly-up. Your kids are going nuts. Or maybe it’s you losing your mind. Half the time, you think you are going crazy. You’re getting criticized. You’re getting a lot of opposition. You daydream sometimes that you quit and moved to a remote island with your family, wore loin cloths and drank milk out of coconuts and swam with dolphins. You night-dream that you hung in there in your calling and it slaughtered you.

You have come of age.

What you’re going through is how it goes. I don’t know why on earth we older ones are not telling you more often and with more volume. Maybe it’s because we don’t want to discourage you but it’s so ridiculous because you’re already discouraged. Or maybe it’s that you won’t listen to us anyway.

But this is my shot at it today. You have come of age. You have come of notice to the devil. At the same time, your very faithful God who loves you has made a covenant through the cross of Christ not only to save you but to conform you to the image of His Son. His obligation out of His wonderful grace is to grow you up. And there is suffering in growing up. Among other things, you are forced to face the deceiver and pretender in your mirror.

I’m here to say to you today that it will not always be this hellacious. Oh, trust me. It will ALWAYS be hard. It will at times be horrific. But this season of eyeball-bulging nobody-ever-said-it would-be-like-this coming of age will not last forever. Mine lasted about seven years. Yours could last one. Or ten. That’s all up to God. Well, and you. Your cooperation is required.

It’s all about whether or not you’ll quit. Or whether or not you’ll get sloppy. Whether or not you’ll hang onto the first things that so drove you in the beginning. Jesus. The Scriptures. Holy passion. Holiness. And not just hang onto them but press further and further and further into them. Or will you slip into the black hole of busy-ness and business, of name-making, marketing, position, notoriety, self-importance, celebrity and Instacrap? Now that you are no longer naïve, what will you do with all of this? Will you fight for a pure heart that the world and your own flesh have so polluted that you think you no longer have what it takes or will you just go with it and figure this is how it happens?

And, in the words of Galatians 3:3, what you’d begun in the Spirit, you’ll just do from now on mostly in the flesh. You’ll  get prayer warriors to pray for you instead of also scrapping it out yourself on the floor, fighting with everything you’ve got in the heavenlies, hacking it through, bloody and bruised, defending the ground God entrusted to you.

You’re at the most critical place in your calling. The place of slaughter. The place where either the devil’s going to all but kill you, your flesh is going to destroy you or God is going to crucify with Christ that ego and fear and, truth-told, laziness and raise you MIGHTY.

Fight it out. Do not quit. If you’ve gotten sloppy, stop it. If you’re messing around in sin, repent. Go back to your face. Get that Bible open and plant your nose in it. Memorize Scripture. Learn how to fast and pray. Quit talking about Jesus more than you actually talk to Him. Quit letting your mouth overshoot your character. Become that person you’ve made fun of for taking it too seriously and being so dramatic about it.

You have what it takes. Do it. And I’m going to tell you something. What it will get you is Jesus. JESUS HIMSELF. Pre-eminent in all things. He is the joy. He is the prize in the fight. He is what makes getting hit by the debris in the hurricane worth it. Jesus Himself. He is everything.

I’m writing you today because I’m so proud of you. You’re out there doing the thing. And I don’t want you to quit.

Pay the price.


225 Responses to “To servants of Jesus in your 30s and 40s”

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  1. 1

    Thank you for your encouraging words today. Michelle @

  2. 2
    Corrie irwin says:

    Thank you. Needed this little pep talk.

  3. 3
    Joel says:

    Wow! I needed that today. I am definitely in that place you are talking about not just because I am about to turn 40 but because I am on the journey of creating and growing my calling more and more each day and the busy-ness of my day job, my past, my singleness and my want for control are difficult. So glad I read this and thank you for sharing your heart and letting God’s speak to minister to me.

  4. 4
    Kristy says:

    Thank you Beth. July 24th my 22 year old daughter leaves for the mission field for 2 years. I’ve watched her hold onto God and wait for the right one while everyone else gets married. July 28th my 20 year old son and his sweet wife move 14 hours away to attend seminary. In 3 years he’ll have his Master’s and they’ll be embarking upon full-time ministry. July 24th-? My husband (a pastor) and I go head first over the empty-nest cliff. We’ve raised them to say “yes” to God and now we will put foot to our faith. Thank you for you this encouraging word as we all head swiftly to a whole new season of following God.

    • 4.1
      Cary says:

      Kristy, first…what an incredible gift you have been given to see your two children LOVE Jesus. That is my greatest desire in life. I am still waiting for it and trying not to be jealous of those, like you, that have it. One thing I do have is the empty nest (except for summers and holidays) and can I say it…We love it! My husband and I have found this to be a wonderful time in our lives. What’s more our ministry (one that came as a surprise) to college students has been so rewarding. We seem younger than ever and our unity in Christ is at all time high. Not to mention, our deep love for one another. So sit back and watch God fuse you and your husband in ways you never thought possible. Blessings, Cary

  5. 5
    Teresa Bowen says:

    I so needed this today.
    It hasn’t been pretty at all, and many more missteps than steps. My husband left located ministry over (my opinion) getting his feelings hurt. I’ve tried to be supportive, or push him to see, but we are in a season again, of maybe going back in. Please pray for us, as I’m wanting to leave my job, because my distrust of hubby’s choices landed me in having to work almost every Sunday, and I feel God is drawing me out of there now.

  6. 6
    Mary G. says:

    Wow! What a Mama in the faith you are! So glad God gives you the boldness to just say it like it is. This morning I do yeild. I do declare Jesus I am willing to be who you want me to be, to do what you want me to do. Because you don’t call the equipped, you equip the called

  7. 7
    Beth Wayland says:

    Snot is flying this morning over this post. I’m 41. Worked in campus ministry starting at 23. Followed God’s leading last year to transition and begin a ministry caring for those in ministry. It’s been incredible and very hard. I’ve been scared every day for 18 months now. Fear that keeps me close to Him. Thank you for cheering us on. I’ve been so hungry for women who are ahead of me to speak into NOW. Thank you. Love you, Beth!

  8. 8

    Oh Mama Beth,

    What a word…I’ll take it as an answer to words I hurriedly scribbled in my journal last night before I went to bed. It’s a whole new ministry season for me (deep mentorship, Bible-teaching) in a new place and reminders of my old stuff has come screaming back. The Lord has set me free from my relationship addiction and I’m obsessing about keeping guards. But I feel like the Lord is saying, “You gotta be all in.” My mentor looked at me and said, “Make sure you’re not getting in bondage to not being in bondage.” Um, yes.

    I’m memorizing Psalm 119 this year and the Lord has taught me: “It is good for me that I was afflicted that I might learn [his] statutes,” (v. 71) and “that in faithfulness, [he has] afflicted me,” (v. 75b). Jesus has said, “your stuff makes you remember your need for me, which keeps you safe from needing others. Stay desperate for me and my Word. Peace, child, peace.”

    Thank you for your words. “MIGHTY”….you said that same word over me at Norfolk LPL: “you’re a MIGHTY Bible teacher.” Wooooh. And by the power of the Spirit, I’m going to (1) stay under authority and (2) stay humble. 🙂

    Your prayers for Bible study tonight are greatly appreciated. Teaching through Titus with a gathering of 20-somethings, my joy and my crown.

    Much love.

  9. 9
    Kelli says:

    Blown away by your words. Thank you. Funny you said your coming of age lasted 7 yrs. Im in my 6th year of hellaciousness and joke I only have to hold on for one more year since 7 is the number of completion and perfection. :). Love and prayers Ms Beth.

  10. 10
    Denise says:

    This is truth if ever I’ve heard it! I’m 53 and I thought I would die in those years. All hell broke lose, kids went crazy and my marriage was, well, I didn’t think we were going to make it. But God is so faithful! We are empty nesters trying to adjust and we’re finding that we like each other’s company. I never thought it’d be this good! I bawled reading this post, brings back memories of pounding it out with God and lots of fear at times. Don’t give up, it won’t always be this way.

  11. 11
    Ladykawartha says:

    I want to print this and pin it up like a poster on my wall!!! Every noun syllable and verb! If this is taking a shot id say you hit right on mark dead on and it was not missed!. So encouraged by this!

    Quote i heard today -so fitting – “The more you sweat in practice the less you bleed in battle.”

  12. 12
    Betty M says:

    As an oldster I can say living for Jesus is not easy but so worth every bit of pain. Apostle Paul Said in Romans Eight that he considered the present suffering not worth comparing to the glory that will be revealed in us. Everything here is so temporary so transient. We keep our eyes on the prize that is for us that is laid up for us in Glory some day.
    It is not easy spending time reading His Word and doing research for a writing project. Your family may ask if you would just “get over your religious kick.” Some who were friends earlier might even call you crazy, I know I have been there. You may proclaim something you feel is profound one day only to think you may have to eat your words later. Your vocation in life will change, you will be a student, a child, a parent, a grand parent but your calling never changes. Be open to different roles you might have. I thought by now I would be doing public ministry and doing some public speaking, instead I am doing day care for a year old grand daughter. I am at peace in it. Sure it is not glamorous but the reward here is, I am at peace. When you are walking in His will for your life whatever season you are in you may not always love your role but if you embrace it, you will experience His peace. it can get danged lonely at times but you will be at peace and the reward is beyond anything else you will ever experience in your life.
    I loved this post and sometimes I still feel young in my faith even though I have followed Jesus most of my life. Not always as close as I wish I would have, but always sensing His presence. Go with God you “younguns” you have His blessing as well as ours!
    Love to Y’All!
    Betty M

  13. 13
    Heather says:

    Thank you for this. I only wish I heard it about 2 months ago. A little over a month ago I gave my notice and quit. I am working as a barista now. I feel like a half- melted marshmallow, unable to move in any direction. My heart is broken by my own cynicism and I’m not reaching out because of that same cynicism. I feel stuck. I was serving the Lord in full-time ministry and now I don’t even want to go to church and that is not me. I refuse to be like others in my generation and quit the church. I just don’t know what to do. Help?

  14. 14
    Leslie Walker says:

    You do not know me not my journey. It has been good, bad and indifferent. I’m seeing things in my life I have never seen and yet the turmoil is still there in this life that not only I have chosen, but has been chosen for me. I would love to share my story with you, but here, time and space won’t permit. But this I do want to say, thank you. From the bottom of my heart, thank you for speaking to me. I am 42, a wife, mother, sister, daughter and friend. I am a singer, worshipper, communicator and called to be voice for people. My roles are BIG right now. I am stretched thinly most if not all days and my feeling of lack and inadequacy runs deep most of the time. None the less, strangely I feel like I am coming into my own. How crazy huh? Thank you for speaking into ME. Thank you for encouraging me to know I am on the right path. I’m asking you to put me in a square on a page in your prayer journal. Thank you for your obedient word this morning for MY life.

  15. 15

    Thank you for this and I receive it as a word. Also keenly aware that I used to be the 20s you talked to, now here I am 35, and it really couldn’t be more timely.
    My church is preaching on the “Unseen World”, felt really compelled to get into Fervent, and this last year He has been teaching me how to war in the Spirit, so on the learning goes.
    I am currently in those years, they were terribly bad for 5 years. That is where God started breaking off my pride, stripped all I found my worth in; appearance, church leadership, money, friendships and said…only Him. I was terribly depressed but He kept pressing the issue of humility, to consider others better than myself. Seemed silly as I was broke, in a true season of invisibilty, and ruined my hair over dying it myself, I mean come on Lord. It wasnt till this last few weeks (in a new season/place) that He has shown me my false guilt/condemnation the Enemy barrages me with is tied to my pride, again. That in myself, nothing, in Christ, righteous, and to boldly remind the Enemy of that because He has been trying to use vain imaginations and religious guilt to confine me. The Holy Spirit has also taught me when I feel attacked to worship my guts out, because if every time the Enemy goes there I turn and praise Jesus, got him where it hurts.
    I have no earthy clue what God has for me, and I am OK with that, most days. But I am defermined to fight the Enemies standing on my Promise Land in those weird ways God demands that take faith, and do not make sense to me.
    Since 2003 I have been listening to you, always wishing for a chance to sit over coffee and pick your brain, especially about this stuff. Your periscope at the coast felt like that, just hide the chat.ha. I so appreciate God prompting you to share with us about these things, they are simply invaluable to me. Thank you for teaching us how to fight and be in love with Jesus.

  16. 16
    Angela says:

    This…Oh my. God knows what we need to hear when we need to hear it. I am a 34 year old mama of 3 little ones 7 years old and younger. I am also a pastor’s wife. A pastor’s wife who was ugly crying at the altar during the time when everyone else was just standing and singing the morning worship songs like normal church people. I was broken…am broken. The enemy is working overtime right now as well as my own sinful nature. I needed to read this this morning. I will not give up. I will keep fighting and I will learn how to better fight on my knees. The stakes are too high. God is bigger. Thank you for your willingness to write this and to pray for us. Thank you for your honesty and example you are to those of us coming up behind you. I am so thankful God is a Redeemer and loves to bring beauty from ashes. Praying for you to keep fighting too.

  17. 17

    Sweet Beth!

    Thank you for writing this for us today. I needed to hear it. I’ve been in the fire building up and edifying others.

    I’ve been with you since the early years of the “New Millennium” just after 9/11 rocked our world and shook our foundations. As I cut my teeth on God’s Word through your studies I was leading a group of 40+ women through Bible study and I was only 35. I heard God whisper to my heart that begged Him to make me 1/10th of who you (Beth) are, and in those whispers my calling was birthed. He told me not to try to look like you, act like you or talk like you. He was telling me to stop comparing myself to you… But, I so admired you. I esteemed your knowledge of the Word and your quick wit. I learned to soak up every bit of God’s Word like I was finishing up a meal and using my biscuit to sop up the gravy left on my plate.

    I often tell people I came through the “back door” of ministry. An insecure, hungry adolescent in the faith – desiring to be so different, but really only working to keep the Monster down as you like to say. My pastor’s wife invited me to help her build a women’s Bible study at church and a few weeks after we started she turned it over to me completely. My worst unconfessed fear at that point was having to speak in front of other adults, especially women. My experience with women was they will smile to your face and tear you down behind your back. But, I bought coffee cake, made coffee and pushed play on the DVD player each week before leading these older women God had given me through “Egg Timer Talk” for about 30 minutes. I walked it out quaking inside and crying out to God telling Him this is not exactly Titus 2 ministry, if you know what I mean.

    In those 4 or so years of leading women’s Bible study I did 9 of your in-depth studies and pored over every inch of your website, participated in the online forums at LifeWay before blogs were a “thing” and I did the thing. I wanted to know how you knew what you knew – not just do your Bible studies, but I wanted to dig deep in the things of Scripture and learn it for myself. I saw myself teaching others in my mind’s eye. I began to pursue that thing which seemed to keep me awake at night and get me leaping out of bed in the morning. I took a position on staff at church and eventually we moved to a larger – non-denominational church where I worked on staff for three years. All the while I heard God say, this is preparation – be ready to Go when I Send you.

    People began to recognize my gifts and call me up to them. I wrote curriculum and led grief recovery. I began to work daily with God in getting my heart whole. And then I heard the call that requires risk. Quit your job, and let’s build something together that’s just about Me, I sensed Him say. So I did. I did it. I walked away from full time vocational ministry in the church without a clue what to do. That has been four years ago now.

    That year I had such favor. You responded to something I wrote in the comments on your blog. I made a personal connection with an executive at Women of Faith and they picked up a blog post I had written, then I met you face-to-face at Life Today that fall and you so graciously affirmed me and well, humbled me. Something about coming to a full circle moment like that when you meet the one who brought you up through the pages of Scripture and all you want to do is say thank you and you get something so much more in return. You have blessed me beyond a million ways. And still, not even a year later I walked right out of that favor and we’ve been in the desert a bit learning what it means to pursue the promised land and eat manna from heaven. Lord, don’t ever let me cry out for those days before this desert…. Lord, please.

    God “took” your studies from me while I was on staff at that non-denominational church. Not because they weren’t valuable, but because He didn’t want me to settle into them and not do what He wanted me to do. I still pick one up now and again, but I focus my heart on His Word and hearing what He wants me to share and use to mentor others rather than relying on just what I’m reading from other people. It has been bitter sweet.

    But you have been here, a touchstone – like a lighthouse that calls me home. You still inspire, encourage and point me to Jesus each time I connect with something you’ve written. You make me want to love Him more, serve Him more, and be exactly who He created me to be – more. Because there is always more! So much more.

    You wrote in this post: “And it’s not just the enemy. Your own vulnerabilities erupt into liabilities. Life’s taking a crowbar to every crack in your armor. You are tempted to things you swore you’d never do. That you judged ________________ for doing. Your past comes calling. If you’re married, your marriage, which you’d boasted about publicly, looks like it could go humiliatingly belly-up. Your kids are going nuts. Or maybe it’s you losing your mind. Half the time, you think you are going crazy. You’re getting criticized. You’re getting a lot of opposition. You daydream sometimes that you quit and moved to a remote island with your family, wore loin clothes and drank milk out of coconuts and swam with dolphins. You night-dream that you hung in there in your calling and it slaughtered you.”

    And my sister, my mentor, my friend… This is the part that has nearly killed me. Yet, it is the part that has grown me the most. Just this last weekend I met a leader of a ministry who has agreed to mentor me and bring me up into my speaking ministry. I’ve so longed for this – God has been marvelous as my mentor but I knew He was pressing me this direction – and if I am honest, I didn’t want it. I didn’t want to submit my gift to someone else, what if they say it’s not good enough or they see a character flaw in me that needs to be vanquished that I’m not ready to let go of… I don’t want to disappoint anyone least of all myself, or even… God.

    So last fall, I hit that part where people call you a heretic because you don’t follow the same “rules” they do or your experience is different than theirs and it pricks a wound in you both. And I let God minister to my heart as He drew three women to my side to champion my heart, to call me up out of that crazy darkness and spur me on to love and good deeds. I nearly quit then to be honest, and I wanted so badly to just walk away but God will not let me. And somewhere in all this madness I heard Him whisper, “They called My Son a heretic, too.”

    Can I count it all joy?

    Can I just let it go and forgive?

    Can I be grateful for this painful pruning and move forward?

    These are the questions I’ve been mulling over in my heart the last 8 months and this weekend it all broke free. God sent affirmations upon affirmations from people I never thought I’d hear them from… My Senior Pastor who has cautioned me about not making things too weird. 🙂 He told me I am a mother to many at our church, and a good one.

    Thank you, Lord, for that word of encouragement.

    His brother who taught this past Sunday came to me and several others like me who are praying and interceding for the awakening of hearts to the power and ministry of the Holy Spirit – and He shared his journey from realizing that the “weird” people may just be the normal Christians, and we should look more like them because the truth is – those we read of in the Bible were a little “weird” by our normal standards. I’m seeing culture shift and change. Thank you, Lord, for this…

    I’ll close here… Because I know I’ve gone on and on… But I just wanted to share with you that you still are making a difference in my life and leading me to Jesus as a leader. I lead a group of women to pursue the gifts and the fruit of the Holy Spirit each week on Sundays. One of the girls dropped out last fall, came back and then dropped out again in February telling me she was unworthy of our company of women. I told her it was a lie from the pit of hell and if she wanted to talk I was there for her. She didn’t reach out right away, but I texted her and checked in with her from time to time and two weeks ago she came to see me. She spilled her story of poor choices and fear-driven reaction to a life full of miserable circumstances and I loved her through her story. I led her to pray for freedom from shame and invited her to come and share with our group – to rejoin us and let us love and walk her through. So now, this single, 40-something mom who is expecting her third child came to us last night and shared her story of heart-break, disappointment and rebellious choices and my sweet women of God I’ve been leading to love more than judge – they loved on her big, welcomed her back and embraced her imparting truth, hope and mercy – which is what she needed. We asked the hard question about repentance and she agreed to weigh these matters of her heart. And while she is walking now in the grace and mercy of God, we are committed to loving her through to VICTORY!

    And that is worth more than a book deal, a platform to reach many more, a successful social media following – that is where I realize that it is WORTH it. To tell my messy, struggle filled, failure rich story and encourage those who follow after to love those who walk like me. And to encourage those who walk like me to rise up – shake the stench of the pigs off their clothes and go home to Daddy who is waiting to embrace and love them more.

    THANK YOU, Beth. Thank you for sharing your heart today and reminding me of all the reasons I have to press on and in – not just fold up my lemonade stand and go home. Thank you for reminding me to be grateful for the process and journey as much as I am the victories and the opportunities. Thank you for being you – and leading us to Jesus time and again. I hear our Father whispering of you, “Well Done.”


  18. 18
    Leigh says:

    Thank you! God meant this for me right now!

  19. 19
    Shayla says:

    Wow! Praise God for this message! We are so grateful for those of you paving the way and reaching back to pull us along.

  20. 20
    Deborah says:

    Thank-you ever so much for the encouraging words. Jesus is everything. He will complete this work He has begun in us! Hallelujah!

  21. 21
    Amy Beth says:

    You always know just what to say. You are many things to many people, but I think you’re at your very best when you speak as a mother would.

    P.S. – I’m coming to LPL in Nashville this August… and I’m bringing my pre-teen daughter with me on our very first mom and daughter trip. She may be young, but she’ll be able to follow along. She lived a thousand lifetimes before she came to us and therefore understands listening for the voice of God better than some people twice her age. I can’t wait for her to hear you speak for the first time.

  22. 22
    Beth Herring says:

    I’m in my 50’s (have mercy) but can relate with this as my husband and I left the pastorate 18 months ago after 22 years to full time missions at the ages of 52 and 59! We are totally dependent on God for our support and He is faithful!

  23. 23

    sobbed through the whole thing.

  24. 24
    Tess says:


    You put today’s struggle to paper. Thank you for always, ALWAYS encouraging me to push onward with Jesus.
    Much love,

  25. 25
    Kelly Renee says:

    Thank you Beth, from the bottom of my heart, for obeying the Spirit’s prompting to write this. This last year has been a terrifying journey as I stepped into my calling and started running the youth group at my church. Between the enemy’s attacks and my own ‘stuff’, I’ve been walking through one fire after another.
    So thank you for saying the hard stuff, thank you for helping me understand I’m not alone out here in this part of the battle, and thank you for reminding me why I’m in this in the first place. Such a great reminder to keep my eyes on the prize, Jesus himself, and press on. Sometimes the price seems steeper than others, but I know in the depths of my soul that it’s worth it – HE is worth it. So I’ll pay it willingly and I thank you for the encouragement to keep going!

  26. 26
    Esther says:

    Cannot tell you what this means to me. It is so exactly what I need to hear that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Jesus told me He moved your heart and your pen to write just for me. I am 44 and have a passion like a fire to serve Him. I long with everything in me to be a wise steward who has something to give back to Him who has given so much for me. The last couple years have been so hard that I literally have thought that maybe I just have to give that up. That, ‘Somehow it’s for servants like you who are more talented but not for me. I’m just not one of the ones who is going to bear much fruit. I just don’t have what it takes”. I don’t have the perfect marriage and I’m feel like I’m fighting the enemy every single time I engage in something of meaning in my calling (I’m a counselor). In all my years of following Him, I’ve NEVER felt that way before – not in any serious kind of way like this – and I’ve been at this for a long time. But I have lately. But this gives me courage. The courage to work hard because I know that I need to. To do the hard work even when I feel like it won’t be enough and it will just incur the wrath of the enemy who I know I’m no match for…though Christ is. So thank you. You’ve encouraged me to pay the price and I will. It feels high right now but I will. Jesus is worth it. There is no better reward.

  27. 27
    E Richard says:

    I read this on the Crosstown bus on 57th St in NYC and burst into tears this AM. As a 30 something woman in NYC fighting to preserve the balance of faith and work in my career and family, I needed this gift of a blog. Thank you, Mrs. Moore.

  28. 28
    Esther says:

    Cannot tell you what this means to me. It is so exactly what I need to hear that it wouldn’t surprise me one bit if Jesus told me He moved your heart and your pen to write just for me. I am 44 and have a passion like a fire to serve Him. I long with everything in me to be a wise steward who has something to give back to Him who has given so much for me. The last couple years have been so hard that I literally have thought that maybe I just have to give that up. That, ‘Somehow it’s for servants like you who are more talented but not for me. I’m just not one of the ones who is going to bear much fruit. I just don’t have what it takes”. I don’t have the perfect anything and I feel like I’m fighting the enemy every single time I engage in something of meaning in my calling (I’m a counselor). In all my years of following Him, I’ve NEVER felt that way before – not in any serious kind of way like this – and I’ve been at this for a long time. But I have lately. But this gives me courage. The courage to work hard because I know that I need to. To do the hard work even when I feel like it won’t be enough and it will just incur the wrath of the enemy who I know I’m no match for…though Christ is. So thank you. You’ve encouraged me to pay the price and I will. It feels high right now but I will. Jesus is worth it. There is no better reward.

  29. 29
    Dawn says:

    WOW, Mama Beth, just Wow!! Powerful words here. Thank you!

  30. 30
    Jodi Barnes says:

    Tears sting my eyes. Thank you. I SO needed to hear this.

  31. 31

    Wow, God spoke specifically to me through you! I’ve been through traumas,difficulties, demonic oppression and more—yet I’m still standing. Only God could do what He has done in my life. I have felt like my entire adult life has been a sifting by Satan. Now at age 47 I can only hope that I have exhausted him more than he has exhausted me. Thanks for the encouragement as I continue to serve our Great God in faith, hope and love without ever ruining my testimony!

  32. 32
    Lynn says:

    I’m 42. Thank you for truth! It’s like a surgeon’s careful scalpel to read…it hurts, but hurts so good, because truth lived brings life. I’m weeping reading this, holding the shred of the mustard seed that is left of my faith due to the total devastation and losses my husband’s sin has caused in our lives 22 years and 4 children later. He was a pastor who had everyone deeply fooled for so long and abused his position. God brought it all to light to finally deal with him. I accept the charge to NOT give up on Jesus in the excruciating pain and betrayal, I’m in the slaughter and I can’t become sloppy now!
    ONLY YOU Lord, have the answers, where else would I go??
    Beth, thank you for being courageous enough to never sugar-coat what we Jesus lovers may be called to walk through in deep pain…but we can choose to keep walking with tear-clouded eyes for the glory of CHRIST and hope of our eternal home. Love you

  33. 33
    Lisa says:

    Beth, I’m 43, and every day, I re-submit my life and my will to God. I’ve been praying and praying for years to begin to sense my calling, and thus far, I have not an inkling of anything that I am doing or could be doing that brings glory to the kingdom and draws others near to Him. It doesn’t help that my once-believer husband has decided he no longer believes or wants any part of it. I feel lost and very alone, like a wilderness wanderer without a compass. I know my primary responsibility is to trust, but I guess I can’t understand how I’m supposed to walk a path with a non-believing husband and still fulfill — much less know or understand — my God-ordained calling. Please, if there are verses that can especially help me, or if there is a study you can recommend, I would be so grateful. Blessings — I am so thankful for your tireless servant heart. It’s been a beacon for me on more than one occasion.

    • 33.1
      Cary Valdes says:

      Lisa, your comment saddened me. I usually do not “respond” to comments but this one I felt prompted to. If your husband is ok with it, you should pursue whatever God is calling you to do. It may be having your teenage neighbor over for tea and cookies. It could be to do a Bble study with some women on your block. But if the Lord is calling you to do something, do it. As long as your husband gives you his ok, move forward. God will take care of your husband. And as you grow in joy (because even though serving is tough, the joy outweighs the difficulties) your husband will reap only good from your spirit and attitude. I will pray for you. My heart has been touched by your vulnerability and openness. Blessings sweet sister.

      • Lisa says:

        Cary, thank you. I am so touched you would take the time to respond. My husband has no issues with me believing (although he does at times make comments that make me wonder if he thinks I’m naive to believe) and he is utterly supportive of every endeavor I undertake. If God did take me in the direction of ministry outside the home — which I do not at all feel is His intention for me, at least during this season of life — it would be a test, for sure, but my husband and I are both 100% committed to our marriage. I strongly feel I need to be faithful and obedient in certain areas of my life before God will allow me to have more (what that “more” might be, I don’t know) so I have been wrestling with obedience lately and gradually loosening my grip on a handful of things. I truly don’t think He will entrust more to me until I learn to be faithful to and responsible with what I currently have, if that makes sense. Still to have my husband go from being so dedicated a believer for a number of years to now being utterly pragmatic and skeptical of believers has been extremely difficult. Over and over again, I feel the word “trust” pressed onto my heart, so that is what I will continue to do. Thank you so, so much for your kind words. I appreciate them more than I can adequately convey here.

    • 33.2
      Tracey Knight says:

      lisa, i prayed for you this morning. sometimes we think our calling is this very clearly defined billboard-worthy thing. many times for me it’s just been “how can I best love, honor & serve the people right in front of me?… what does saying ‘yes’ to Jesus look like today?” praying for you & your husband.

      • Lisa says:

        Tracey, bless you. I’m sitting here with tears in my eyes. A prayer is never, ever wasted on me. I crave prayers on my behalf so much, and when someone I have never met prays for me, well, that is just such a precious gift. I definitely think you are on to something when you say it could be simply praying for guidance in how to love better and to see others as He does. I have felt for some time that He wants me to continually ask Him how I can better love people. If that is all He ever asks me to do, then it is more than enough. What I want more than anything is to be His faithful servant, however He wills and allows it. Thank you so much for your prayers and for your response. They have made my heart lighter!

  34. 34
    Sonya says:

    Thank you. Satan has been firing his darts at me left and right. Husband diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer to parents illnesses, just so much. But I will not quit doing what God has called me to do! Thanks for the reminder to and peep talk! God bless!

  35. 35
    Moinca says:

    Well, sometimes you’re 55 and you only got started at 47 after a hurricane went through your life! You discovered Jesus is everything and then He gives you a desire to study. Then you don’t want to do it alone so you ask a few friends to come along and then 8 years later you’re leading a class of 33 and you wonder how did this happen?! So I’ll take this as a word to me too. Even though my 30s and 40s are way back in the rear view mirror! Thanks!

  36. 36
    Emily says:

    Thank you, Beth. I’m in my mid-40’s. The devil has hammered me that I am that seed among the thorns, that man who buried his talent, a failure and a childless waste of humanity, whose calling will never be fulfilled because of procrastination and lack of focus. It’s exhausting and I’ve had enough.

    The Lord goads me to finish and publish this novel about King Athaliah (2 Kgs 11) I have been working on for over 4 years for the secular market. Why, I cannot say. I only know that the enemy conspires with my flesh to prevent me, having nearly destroyed my marriage, rejoicing when I compare myself with other women my age and waving past failures before me to knock me into an abyss of regret. Enough.

    Enough. It’s not about me or who or where I think I SHOULD be at this point in my life. It’s about loving, following, and obeying JESUS. Indeed, he IS the prize. Thank you, Beth. I need to get on my face now…

  37. 37
    Anne Atchison says:

    Oh Beth!!!! I just cried my eyes out!!! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!!! You said to me in Norfolk and just confirmed in me again what I need to hear! Thank you for saying the things no women in my life has spoken over me. I want to be crazy for Jesus! I want to be so in love with him that all the ministry I do is just a reflection of him! Where I love him so much that lives are changed! I’m so glad that He loves me and that the only reason I do what I do is because of him in me. Because, truth be told, I am not capable on my own. I vow to him & to you to invest in the younger generation. To speak the truth in love to them, pray for them & support them. Thank you for your example. You have been one of the greatest influences of my life! I love you my sweet sister!

  38. 38
    Michelle says:

    Hi Beth,
    My husband and I just read this together. We are certainly exactly where you have described in this post. I am so grateful for Jesus and that he would use you to communicate to us for all these years. I have “grown up” in Christ reading your words and this post is just such a timely and a perfect companion to what God is speaking into our lives right now. Thank you. I pray for you that you will be blessed for all the blessings you pour out to us so freely.

  39. 39
    Desiree says:

    Thank you. Always thank you for being obedient, for pursuing Christ with the tenacity that shows us all what being tenacious and audacious in this spirit-filled life is really all about. I’m sitting here, in tears, reading your precious letter to my age-group. I’m back in the trenches of toddler-rearing while crying over my son’s broken marriage and the heart of his own son, his desire to serve his God but somehow seeming to be spinning in circles. I’m crying over the newly adult child who thinks she knows the road so much better than how she was raised and wants to walk in an alternative lifestyle. I’m crying over the 28 year marriage I’m about to celebrate with the man I love yet sometimes dislike, hoping and praying for the type of marriage that forever and always glorifies Christ.

    Once again, Thank you.

  40. 40
    Deb says:

    Dear Beth,

    This post blows me away. Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am 41 and you have just so eloquently put into words so much of what I have been living lately. This helps me put it all into focus and feel encouraged in the midst of the fire. Wow. THANK YOU!!!

  41. 41
    Denise says:

    With tears in my eyes, I say, “Thank you!” Recently, it feels like I’m scrapping and grasping, but I will hold on and press in to His calling!

  42. 42
    Jennifer T says:

    Goodnight, Miss Beth – this is like a slap upside the head. A good and much-needed slap. At least for me. God, help me walk this thing through to MIGHTY for Your Glory. Amen.

  43. 43
    Michelle says:

    Wow Beth! How many times in the last 7 years of my “fight” did I wish someone ahead of me would have told me all that you just shared. Countless times I bemoaned that someone should be telling our younger “sisters” that they are going to get the spiritual snot knocked out them. Only to get back up and have it happen again and again. It sounds obnoxious and almost laughable, who would sign-up, like you said. But need to be tol,so thank you for always being so brave and leading in the tough conversations!
    As you brilliantly stated I stand here so strong in Jesus knowing it was all worth it, but no exact idea how I got here. I did write a book, coming out soon, that is about this very topic. This IS a good fight we are in, and we need the people who are mature Jesus lovers, not to protect our fears, but tell us the whole hard truth, and then lead us well. You are a beautiful example of that, thank you so much. I am looking so forward to seeing you at Living Proof Live in Chicago this September! I pray God’s presence, protection, and constant blessings on you and yours. Much Love, Michelle

  44. 44
    Cheryl Moses says:

    I want to post this someplace where I can see at a moments notice, whenever I feel overwhelmed or I’m asking myself the question, “Now why am I doing this?” Thanks, Sis. So encouraging!

  45. 45
    Danyel says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you for this encouragement. You don’t know me. I’ve never written a book. I don’t have thousands of followers on a blog. My husband and I are living out our calling as teachers in a church in North Central Florida . we love young people, and want them to know that Jesus is so much more than a memory verse at AWANA. We want them to know his love and power. We want them to know that He loves them, no matter what. You see, we are “been there, done that” Christians. Both raised in church, but never really understood. Left for years. Joined the Military (both of us), saw it all and did it all. Married, had kids, divorced, hit rock bottom, and then finally found true love through Jesus and one another. We don’t want these young people that we love to have to go through the pain and heartache we did, because no one taught us about GRACE 30+ years ago. We spent all of those years seeking to fill Jesus shaped holes. First by being good. Then by being bad. Then …. You understand.

    Anyhow, thank you Beth. You are such a blessing and a joy to so many. Thank you for being who God has called you to be. We live tou!

  46. 46
    Martha-Marie Smith says:

    I don’t know what to say except you completely get it. My husband and I do crazy things but when God lays something on your heart you do it right?! So Satan has showed his tail Beth and in one way I’m glad to know I’m a threat but at the same time can we just get a moment to catch our breath?! The line about it being a critical point..nail on the head. I fill that with everything in me…praying I will keep the faith and do what I know God wants me to do even when it makes no sense at times…I feel the battle…very intense but trying to let God do the fighting and for me to stay out of it…God’s got this. May He get ALL the glory.

  47. 47
    Cece says:

    Amen! Thank you for your wisdom, encouragement, and love. I needed to hear this today. This helps me keep fighting the good fight.

  48. 48
    Regina says:

    Thank you for these precious words, Beth. God’s timing is so perfect and spectacular, as I needed to hear just these words today. Thank you for reminding each of us that what we are experiencing is all part of the journey. Thank you for the encouragement to get in there and fight the enemy. To fight in prayer for our family, our children, our marriages, our communities and our churches.

    “Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your brothers, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.” ~ Nehemiah 4:14b

  49. 49
    Darla says:

    Thank you dear sister Beth. Sure needed this.
    46 – single and walking with the Lord for almost 30 years. Most of it alone, and wondering why. I got blasted over the last two weeks by the enemy and still struggling to recover. Heard a sermon on 1 Peter 3:1, and the guilt of my not changing enough in order for my husband to be convicted and save our marriage. So I’m struggling to believe I’m not a failure.

    I get so dang lazy and complacent in my walk. I’m single and alone, so I think sometimes….who cares?

    The Lord knew I needed you to put your big sister boots on and start kicking. I love those people in my life – those who aren’t afraid to call me on my stuff and expect me to rise up and fulfill my calling. They are rare, but loved greatly. Thank you <3

  50. 50
    Betty M says:

    Dear Beth,
    In my quite time today a thought came to mind. I was thinking of your post today and how really important it is for us to encourage these young leaders.
    Then my thought turned to those who probably are saying..”Yes, but I am not leadership material. I am a lousy speaker and I don’t feel compelled to write anything more than my name on my credit card purchase when I shop. What then for me? Can I serve even if it isn’t in a leadership role?
    Thinking of the young gal who’d like to go to college but right now she is wrapping Big Macs all day long. Maybe one would love to be a nurse some day but for now she’s a CNA at a small hospital or nursing facility. She wonders how can I do something that will get God’s attention if it is not writing a popular Bible study series or speaking to thousands of women.
    Even there we can be assured we have His attention. We can read a devotion as a CNA to a lonely older person who can not read any more and wants the scriptures read to them. We can assure a fearful youngster facing surgery in a hospital by telling them of the love of Jesus and how He is with them even now. Even wrapping hamburgers, nothing like an infectious smile and a pleasant word to another harried person. Someone might just ask how we can always be so happy and there we go, a perfect opportunity to tell what Jesus can do in their life as well.
    He sure does give alot of different gifts and abilities some to lead, some to teach and some to serve in less visible roles. We’re told in whatever we do to do it all to the glory of God and we can be sure we will be blessed.
    Just thought I’d share. Blessings on your day!
    Betty M

    • 50.1
      Deb Mott says:

      Your response touched me. Thank you esp for your last statement, Betty.

      Sometimes the “lowliest of us” are the greatest in God’s economy. Naaman’s servant girl. seemed insignificant, but she pointed Naaman to God, the One and only One, who could heal him. We are called to do the same no matter where we are or what our position or our past. This servant girls past and abuse and like “kidnapping” could have rendered her faithless but she was fearless and lived believing in God’s greatness despite her circumstances. . 2 Kings 5. One of my favorite places in Scripture…. I want to be like this servant girl!

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