The Identity Crisis of My Life

I think it’s time to say something. I’m going to keep it pretty short because I’m not ready to go long on it. Still processing it. Still trying to figure things out. One day maybe I’ll write on it with some length and depth but not until God has done a longer and deeper work in me.

I’ve been through the identity crisis of my adult life in the last year. No exaggeration. It has been one of the most excruciating things I have ever endured. After a lifetime of belonging – which, in itself, betrays a certain privilege – I tumbled into a season marked by the most alien sense of unbelonging. Some of it was imagined. Some of it was startlingly real. Some of it was temporary. Some of it painfully endures. I disappointed people I’d so wanted to please and I was disappointed by people I demanded to be heroic. In some very painful respects, I’d given the benefit of the doubt where I shouldn’t have and withheld it in a few places worthy of it.

Numbers of us who’d previously aligned and agreed – not on everything but on enough – were cracking and crumbling. Some people I thought I knew felt like strangers to me and I, to them. Each of us Christian, some of us would talk and talk and truly attempt to understand one another only to hang up or walk away exasperated, incapable of grasping the other’s view. New teams were forming and I felt like I was slipping on ice, scrambling to find the right one.  The one that would always be right on everything.

A fog had cleared that I couldn’t cloud back up.  I saw things I couldn’t unsee and, for a while, a dark cloud descended where that fog had been. I had the unshakable sense that, though it was dark, I was not to shut my eyes. That I’d see more in that dark place than I’d seen in years of sun-up.

Still navigating some of it. Still trying to keep my eyes open.

And mostly to things that need changing in myself. Ways I’ve been kidding myself. Ways I’ve been part of the problem instead of the solution. Ways I’ve been a coward. A people pleaser. A crowd pleaser. Ways I’ve been acceptably Christian in many circles maybe, but not Christlike. Make no mistake. There can be a wide gulf fixed between those two things.

My entire identity has been steeped in the church. In a people, not bricks and mortar. Started serving the church in 6th grade when I’d graduated out of VBS and began helping the grown ups. Church has been good to me, a harbor amid the stormy unstable home life of my upbringing. I have no horror stories about church. I’ve known love, acceptance, forgiveness, grace and growth in each congregation and never loved a church more than the one I’m presently part of. I can’t imagine life without church. I will serve it till I die.

But my identity is having to be reshaped in Christ alone. He alone cannot change. He alone remains unswayed. He alone is Savior. He alone can take the pressure of being adored. Everyone else we set up high is just another Humpty Dumpty waiting to fall.

I am sanguine to the bone. I love a group. I love my friends. I love my associates. I love familiarity. I love knowing what to expect and getting it. I love being able to fill in a sentence like this with confidence: I am a ____________________.

But the only label I know for certain I want to wear is this one: Jesus-follower. I want to go with Jesus. When pilgrimage gets to be a group fare, fabulous. Nothing is more fun to me. But when pilgrimage with Him requires more aloneness or more traversing with unfamiliar sojourners who make me feel awkward, that has to be just fine, too.

I want to do people good. I want to go to those margins where people need the gospel most. I want to love. Sacrifice. Wrestle. Change. I don’t just want to go where I feel like I belong. I just want to go where Jesus points.

Months into this ridiculous identity crisis, it turns out I didn’t lose as many friends or as much community as I feared. But what I lost was my naivety.

Good riddance I guess. Good but hard riddance.

I want to be brave for the sake of the gospel. Too much is at stake and too many people dying and suffering to take the cheap route. This was meant all along to cost us something.

Maybe fitting isn’t the point. The fact is, we don’t fit here. We fit someplace we’ve never been. Maybe the holes we feel in our lives aren’t all supposed to be filled. Let them sit there awhile and ache. Let them sit there awhile and speak. Maybe they’ve got something to say.

 

 

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420 Responses to “The Identity Crisis of My Life”

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  1. 101

    I belonged to the same wonderful church for 27 years until the pastor asked my husband to step down in 2006 as he was no longer a “good fit.” I hit rock bottom. God never intended for my identity to be in a strong pastor, a strong ministry. Never intended for my identity to be in anything but in Him. I have found Him in ways I never imagined since that time. But I lost “belonging” and am still making peace with it all. Wonder if I’m on another planet at times, ha! When we lost our beautiful church, you told me Ezekiel 8:3 and I never forgot it (I don’t know you). God yanked me by the hair of my head to the place where I am. Cancer came next and then more loss. It’s all about walking through what God sends, not around it. I may have been ripe for ruin in my circumstances, but our God had great mercy in store for me. I’m so drawn to pray for your story, your minsitry. No one knows the price you’ve had to pay for so many to find God. Thank you for being so alive in this post. Perfect in Beauty is the God Who pours out of you, Psalm 50:2. Praying for you in the beautiful midst of sehnsucht. Bev

  2. 102
    Shanna Fretwell says:

    Ms. Beth, You have my upmost respect as a sister in Christ and spiritual mother. My pastor often says that Christians need to hear the gospel just as much as the non-believer. You preach the gospel to yourself and I am reminded again that is what we all need to do. You have a tender place in my heart and prayers. You shine His radiance! Thankful for you and all at Living Proof Ministries. Praying the Lord meet you in this season with His tender mercies and loving-kindness.

  3. 103
    Crystal Mae says:

    Beth,

    Thank you for this authenticity. I’m thirsty to know more. As a sister who also wants to be a Jesus follower, period, no matter what the cost or the company, AND as someone who has spent most of her life outside of the crowd and outside of the acceptance of the brick and mortar church.

    I just want to say that what matters and has always mattered to me when listening to you and reading your work, has been your obvious, passionate, and unashamed love for God. Whether all of the rest was in agreement or not doesn’t matter. It is the wholehearted giving to and loving Christ that truly unites us.

    With love from this sister,

    Crystal Mae

  4. 104
    Judy Whilden says:

    You have no idea how I needed to read this at such a time as this! THAT’S WHAT’S WRONG WITH ME!!

  5. 105
    JoAnne says:

    Thank you, Beth, for sharing such a personal part of yourself. And thank you for allowing Jesus to use you as a vessel of His Word that has literally changed my life. Praying for you

  6. 106
    amy says:

    I wish that my identity crisis had the same results as yours.

  7. 107
    Barbara says:

    I am so in the same spot! Something strange is happening with relationships lately, and we’re not the only ones. When I saw the new book titled “Uninvited” I knew it was written for me. I even lead our Bible study group in Paul Tripp’s book on relationships, I told our group to guard against the enemy because he doesn’t want us together. And yet our relationships just kept falling apart. I wish I was on the other side of it like you, Beth. You put into words some of what’s been happening to me. I know we’re all just longing for heaven and being loved completely by the Lord, but it would be nice to have some friends to try to love on us like Jesus as we try to love on them the same way….

  8. 108
    Tammy-Beth says:

    I’ve been right there with you. Totally could have written that – though not near as eloquently. This last few years my life and beliefs have been challenged, tweaked and turned upside down…well, maybe right side up. I have a similar background to yours minus living it in front of hundreds of thousands daily. Big “other than” huh? lol.

    30 yrs and still love you more each passing one sister Jesus-Follower <3 Keep standing for Him. His word is truth.

  9. 109
    Debbie says:

    Christ came to earth with a purpose and remained single minded…he lived and died to give his father glory. If we are being challenged in both positive and negative ways, it’s purpose is to bring Him glory as we trust Him to mold us into the image of Jesus. It’s excruciatingly painful to go through times when the people we love the most hurt us so deeply. Often, we have caused a significant amount of pain ourselves. That is where forgiveness comes in. Forgive yourself, forgive them, and allow Jesus to do the healing. Satan comes to seek and destroy us by taking our eyes off God and putting them on our circumstances and those who haven’t measured up. None of us measure up. That’s what his grace is about. Change is good dear sister, He may want you to travel to Nineveh…..

  10. 110
    Bobbi says:

    I so understand some of this. Sometimes I feel that I’ve outgrown or something like that, the church we belong to. We have a ministry at their mission church in the outskirts of town, probably where a lot of members don’t want to minister to. Even some deacons don’t understand the difference between a mission church and another “campus.” We and our loving, small mission family feel like we don’t belong, aren’t accepted, outsiders, misfits.I think there’s a difference between ministry and programs but too many don’t. We need volunteers to help and can’t seem to get more than a handful. So many of our kids just need someone to love them and the adults need mentoring so they don’t fall back into old behaviors. I probably get impatient and want attitudes to change and am trying my best to let God do the changing and me to wait and be quiet and let Him fight the battle. I just want to be able to talk to those who will listen and not judge the folks we minister too and not get overwhelmed. I get overwhelmed. Most of what our people are going through, I’ve not dealt with or know how to help. When I ask for help there aren’t answers or training or support.
    I’m happy and blessed to be where we are and I hope that God is leading you where He wants you to be too, Beth.

  11. 111
    K.L. says:

    Dearest Beth, You are not alone in this. This past year has been a year of dismay and unhappiness that has left me wondering about the continued existence of the American church and my role within it. I know amazing Christ followers and see their love for Christ and for others. But I also see much of the self-identified church abandoning all pretense of following the words of Christ. And powerful, persuasive Christian leaders leading their flock with such authority directly in opposition to the teaching of Christ. It is mind boggling. I am still in this dark place where, as you say, I can’t unsee what has been seen. I believe that GOD will raise up his children – it just might not be in the pews and hollow worship of this current church.

  12. 112
    Tammy Lodygowski says:

    Dear Beth, my sister your scaring me.

    Every word for word including the humpty dumpty on the wall comment. I Actually said that’s what I felt like happened to me and it was dark. Why though?

  13. 113
    Marketa says:

    God is surely up to something! May it be a sifting that brings us closer to Him! The last 9 months have turned solid ground to quicksand. People I thought I knew seem alien and distant. What appeared like godliness is reappearing as a a form of godliness stained with self righteousness. Love grows cold and truth is traded for unapologetic justification for accepting sin as normal. Keeping my eyes solidly fixed on the only one who can heal the chasms, awaken the sleepers, heal the brokenness, expose the darkness to light and redeem this broken world. Thank you for speaking the truth, even when it’s not popular!

  14. 114
    Brit says:

    You’ve summarized the last 3 years for me too! I’m still grappling but lately it’s all been making more sense. Although at times it has felt overwhelming and the loss has been great. Comfort such comfort in seeing the Lord leading you through something similar! Thank you for putting it into words!

  15. 115
    Pamela Smith says:

    I am sorry to read of your pain. Thank you for sharing. I am 57 years old and went through excruciating thing three years ago–I disappointed extended family members(not on purpose!). The previous “alignings” were “cracking” then the “crumblings”. For me and extended family there would be no more pretending. I am now living in reality. I would like to share: Proverbs 89:17–“It pleases You to make us strong.” Thank you again, Beth, for teaching me to know God’s Word and God’s Love.
    Live, Love, Repeat

  16. 116
    Michele says:

    HiBeth, Thanks for sharing. I have “learned ” a few times that I can’t put people on the throne. When I realize that,I think right Jesus you told me that before. You own the throne. Thank God he does because he does not leave us or forsake us. I must confess I could not use the word disapoint. I know in my head He does not , working on the heart. Love to you and yours God Bless

  17. 117
    Karen says:

    How can you write so much of how I have felt this yr? When so many things are happening that I ALMOST forgot who I am. A child of God first & for most. Thank you & I look forward 2 more depth of this conversation.

  18. 118
    Lavana Yates says:

    My pastor said something recently that I couldn’t stop thinking about. He said, “stop letting the world dictate your behavior.” I thought about that so much, as I was preparing to speak to a group of ladies on “Godliness.” One night as I was studying a light bulb came on. We have two major man-made doctrines…legalism and libralism. In our human thinking we know that God doesn’t want us involved in either of those two extremes. So we try to find a warm, comfortable, cozy, safe place in the middle. Right in the middle of two “man-made” doctrines. God calls that place “lukewarm” and a placertain that makes Him sick to His stomach. We were never meant to find our place between two man-made dictrines, we are called to live by the doctrine of The Truth…Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 6:3-5). It is not always going to feel comfortable, in fact it normally makes us feel like an outsider. I have tried so badly to figure out how to make the truth “easier” to swallow, “prettier” to study, and sound “more pleasant” to my listeners. But I’ve have come to realize The Truth is perfect just like HE is. Some will accept Him, some will not. Beth just teach truth, just live truth, and just stand on truth, and you will continue to be exactly who God called you to be, and exactly who you have been the past 16 years as God has used you to grow me and so many more in His Word. I thank God for you and for your ministry. God bless you!

  19. 119
  20. 120
    NIna says:

    Many of us in the evangelical world have had to face some things head-on…things that really aren’t pretty or biblical or have anything to do with being a Christ follower. I was so proud of you for standing up against Trump in the election and for speaking out on behalf of women, minorities, and those of us who have been abused. I can only imagine the backlash. It sounds like you are on a journey. Know that there are many of us who have walked the journey away from that world and into the arms of Jesus in deeper, fresher ways…many of us going to faith streams that are rooted and grounded in the ancient church. I have found so much life in the liturgy and rhythms of the Anglican church which also allows for movement of the Spirit, too. There is lots of room for you under the Anglican umbrella, Beth! <3

  21. 121
    Haydee says:

    Dearest Beth,

    I’ve been to several of your Bible studies in Houston, my hometown. Every one of them spoke to me deeply. And I thank God for those moments. I thank God for having you in that place at that time because you brought to the surface, things that needed healing and restoration. You were there to speak into my life at the perfect God-given time. I know that since then you have followed God in this new season. And that is a Jesus-follower. Thank you for sharing this with us and being transparent and vulnerable.
    “but my identity is having to be reshaped in Christ alone. He alone cannot change. He alone remains unswayed. He alone is Savior. He alone can take the pressure of being adored. Everyone else we set up high is just another Humpty Dumpty waiting to fall.”
    I do not know how the things that you write have such insight but I thank God for your God-given talents and more than that, that you want to be used by God, no matter what. Be encouraged because God has used you to speak to me when I needed it. Thank you so much!

    Love,

    Haydee
    Blessings

  22. 122
    Deedeemarie says:

    Thanks for your openness. I benefit from your words. Moved 11 years ago
    to a place where I’ve never felt like I fit in. As a belonging soul this has been
    hard and lonely. Trusting for family and friends and sharing is not easy

  23. 123
    Emily says:

    Thank you for being so vulnerable and sharing what many are feeling. I had to leave my church a few years ago for doctrinal issues and it was the hardest thing I’d ever done. My church of 20 years was my family. I felt so very alone and disappointed, but it put me on a path where I am getting closer and closer to Jesus and learning more about Him and His Word….but, again, it can be a lonely place – especially when the grey’s seem to get more black to me, but the world seems to be seeing things more grey. Please keep remembering, Beth, that the impact you have had on me and hundreds of thousands of women has truly transformed the Church and God has used you in powerful ways. “Well done good and faithful servant.”

  24. 124
    Heather Busin Arnold says:

    Miss Beth,
    Thank you.
    My goodness-thank you! You are a Kingdom treasure to this rural western PA chick! Keep on, sweet sister, in this brewing and processing of identity!!! Oooohhhh. Ooh! He’s working something good in you!

  25. 125
    June Eberle says:

    Beth,
    Your post is much appreciated. I always wondered how you have endured your wonderful teaching for so long, without this occurring. We are in the midst of being in and among the wheat and tares found in Christianity. My heart is continually broken by church folks.
    I have enjoyed many of your Bible studies. I am excited by your honesty
    You are not alone in your feelings. I also walk the stoney road, but find flowers between the stones.
    I believe God is preparing you to show us Him in a different light. I was a missionary for 18 with my husband and 3 children. Came home to the states and retrained myself & taught high school for 25 years. A year ago retired & now am battling cancer. God has shown me yet another path.
    My prayers are with you. ❤️

  26. 126
    June Eberle says:

    Beth,
    Your post is much appreciated. I always wondered how you have endured your wonderful teaching for so long, without this occurring. We are in the midst of being in and among the wheat and tares found in Christianity. My heart is continually broken by church folks.
    I have enjoyed many of your Bible studies. I am excited by your honesty
    You are not alone in your feelings. I also walk the stoney road, but find flowers between the stones.
    I believe God is preparing you to show us Him in a different light. I was a missionary for 18 years with my husband and 3 children. Came home to the states and retrained myself & taught high school for 25 years. A year ago retired & now am battling cancer. God has shown me yet another path.
    My prayers are with you. ❤️

  27. 127
    Resa M says:

    Thanks for sharing a bit more of your journey. Sometimes that journey is more public and other times it is very private and intimate with the Lord. There is strength in transparency and vulnerability. Many would not agree, but I believe this to be very true.
    I will be praying for your journey and for those closer to you. May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He shelter you and protect you. But more than even those, may He continue to mold you and grow you into His image.
    Hugs, loves and prayers,
    Resa

  28. 128
    L says:

    I am certainly not the teacher you are and in circles that have exposed you. But I do know this…almost every detail and definition you shared, I get it, sounds familiar in our neck of the woods where there is a lot of demonic stronghold…churches, men and women ministry leaders are attacked in similar ways. No I’m not blaming it all on the devil, however, sounds like some big guns pointed your way and GOD will have the victory and sharpen us through the warfare. He teaches our hands to war and it is no joke. Continue to have those warring sisters around you and I pray He will give you discernment like never before, love deeper than you’ve ever known for your “enemies” and as you shared, laser focus vision to GO to whatever “uttermost” He is continuing to call you to. I love you, I love your Holy Spirit infused personality in the way your express and teach, ONWARD CHRISTIAN SOLDIER!!! WE are cheering you onward and upward, with His Blood over you and a Wall of Fire about you!

  29. 129
    Laura says:

    I’m so sorry you’ve been walking this path but ever so glad you shared with us. I feel like I’m in good company now as I walk out my own identity crisis after years of knowing who I am. I’m beginning to feel a little excited to find out who the new me will be as I’m changed from glory to glory.

  30. 130
    Diane Flemming says:

    Thank you! I, too, am feeling lost, as if I no longer belong. I am uncomfortable in my own church, with my dear friends. I no longer understand them and know that they do not understand me. Do I stay? Do I find another church? other friends? I don’t feel safe anymore, emotionally, not physically. It is too easy to either argue, or stifle all meaningful conversation. Neither helps relationships. Thank you for your voice of reason and understanding. Praying to get through this.

  31. 131

    Thank you for sharing and being real. My mom and I were just discussing this topic today about how we are the ones who “don’t fit” in most places. Family, friends, even church sometimes. It’s not that we are weird or anything, it’s our focus. God has had me on a journey of discovery (and it’s far from over), but I sometimes think some of my circles would back away if they knew what God was stirring up inside me. I feel like something is building and it’s coming from DEEP places. I’ve always been timid, but I feel a strength building in myself like I’ve never known. I am submitted to Jesus and I know there is nothing I can do in my own strength to prepare myself, but it is making me dig deeper into His Word seeking a deeper understanding. I lead a group of ladies and we are about to do your Daniel study in September. I am so looking forward to it! I have almost 60 women signed up so far! GO GOD!! I look forward to seeing what God is doing with YOU with excitement!

  32. 132
    Little Steps Of Faith says:

    I wanted to leave my name as my blog name, because that is most how I remember you other than your studies…I think if we care at all about each other as Christians that it is important to remember the roots…I could have written a long letter but what I write I want everyone to see it, because it is for us all…I am writing more so to the bloggers, those out there that used to pour out their hearts and never be judged for it, never be criticized in public for the world to see…This is what has irritated me most in everything that has happened, while we may not all agree with one another it is not fair how some of us have treated one another, or how they have treated Beth either. Jesus is our defender, absolutely, but as much as we are saying to speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves is as much as we need to stand with those who do speak so their voice can be louder.

    The Lord brought John 14:1 to my heart first thing, and my pastor has taught me that its important to look more for context then just read the verse, the Lord showed me what was going on during everything and Matthew Henry commentary stated ” He knows our souls in adversity.” – the disciples faced similar to what we are today in another form, and Jesus is speaking the same thing to us now…”Do not let your hearts be troubled.”

    It hurt my heart to read this post, because while 140 characters has not been the easiest way to get tone across, people should seek out truth from peoples words instead of call them names they do not deserve…I am not talking politically, I am talking in general for us all…

    Our identity is in Christ, He shapes us, He molds us and He is not done with us.

    Love you all, and If this is too long to post here, I do understand.

    angie sarich

  33. 133
    Deborah Hays says:

    Prayer for you. I don’t really know what this is about but it just sounds like you need prayers and I always have time for that.

  34. 134
    Julie Moore says:

    Thank you, sweet Beth! I am struggling through a similar, dark season that I’m confused by. Jesus is faithful, I know this…..it’s hard though when we feel judged for when we struggle, or ‘excommunicated’emotionally for sin we are trying to overcome, and aldo trying to be transparent as we journey. I didn’t foresee the great exchange, I didn’t want….Not extending enough grace to some I probably should have, and the pain of those I thought were on my team for life, turning away, then discussing it with everyone but me. I’ve made many mistakes, I’ve never doubTed God’s love, but have seen people’s change (Christians friends) when we can’t line up on an issue. We know each others hearts, it’s mind-boggling to come to an impass. It hurts. I can’t help but want to defend my love for Jesus, and my hearts motives being pure. It’s for not.In short, I love you, Beth! Thank you for letting us see you change, struggle, grow, mess up, apologize, call things as they are, not you want them to be. It’s reassuring to know we aren’t in the fire alone, and that everything has seasons….friendships, ministries, closeness, separation, healing, darkness, hills, valleys. I think it really does come down to who we are in the fire when it’s just us and Jesus in it….We have to let our own approval and disapproval of ourselves, and our ‘friends’ die with the cross. Oh to be consistently calm, confident, secure in any situation,company,circumstance with who I am in Christ regardless of what anyone, any thought, any shame say. Come Lord Jesus, Come.

  35. 135
    Joni Moeller says:

    My words do not hold the eloquence of those above…but, I have to say that I have cried more tears than imaginable the recent weeks over my church and relationships there. I had been attending there for over ten years; participated in several ministries and led a couple of them. But there was something so strong within me to know that something was certainly amiss. I believe God is up to something. God is stirring, preparing, sifting. And Jesus is in the midst of it all! (You gotta love it!) My prayers for you and all the writers above.

  36. 136
    Linda Trammell says:

    As long as I hear the Word, praise of the Word, how to apply the Word to my life, as well as hear the love of Jesus presented in your teachings. As long as you encourage me to research commentaries for myself, take this to the Lord in prayer, until my heart is satisfied. As long as your message is one of no judgement, because only Christ can do this, and in Him there is no condemnation. As long as your interpretations of the scripture show me a savior that loves, accepts me, and is aware of every tear, I will thank Him for each effort you make to His glory. You don’t know this, but we’ve been through a lot together. I have adopted some of your coping strategies. They work , in His Word & blessed by Him! I have never been in a study that did not change some aspect of my life for the better. Keep on, Beth, affirmed that if someone is throwing cold water on you – you must be on fire!!

  37. 137

    Thanks for sharing, Beth,
    I too am learning not everything is as it appears. I am grateful He has been the one constant in my life from the time I came to Him at the age of eleven. And His Word has been not only my guide, but my guard. And I’m grateful for the Holy Spirit who promises to lead us. My prayer the last couple of years has been for protection, direction, correction, and connection and He is faithful to do all. God bless you as you continue to hear and follow Him and share with us your heart and HIs Word. Marlene

  38. 138

    Amen, Beth. Lets all be brave for the sake of the gospel! Thank you for your steadfast leading in truth and courage for the sake of Christ.

  39. 139
    Marianne Iselli says:

    As we get older and grow through the word we begin to see with the eyes of Christ but it doesn’t keep us from experiencing what the world throws at us. Keep doing what you are doing because I have grown in Christ because of you.

  40. 140
    Wanda says:

    Hi Beth, you are an inspiration to many! So Inspiring is what I think when I think of you! A part of your identity. Along with many many other positive identity traits that make you who God created. When I struggle with every aspect you listed above. All I can do is fill in the blank with, “I am a Child of The Most High God and He Loves me more than anything or anyone can!” That’s all I KNOW! Church, friends, family, location, health, and myself are all the variables in life but as you said, Christ stays the same and what He says about me stays the same regardless of what everything else does or says, including my own thoughts and emotions. Sometimes it’s the only thing I Truly cling to or more like, He hangs onto me! Don’t get me wrong, I have been married 29 years have three awesome children and live a wonderful life! All Because of Our Lord. But those empty spots are reserved for Christ alone and I have come to accept that, most days!!! Thank you Beth for all that you have done in my life and the lives of many! As currently I’m doing Whispers of Hope! Life is a journey and I’m Thankful we don’t travel this place alone! May God Richly Bless you Beth! Love Always, Wanda

  41. 141
    Julie says:

    I don’t know why we get to be so surprised when this earthly life hits us in the gut again and again . I’m praying that seeing in the dark for you becomes brighter and brighter for you . Because even when we walk through the valley of the shadow of death we will fear no evil. . He is with you. ,I pray He will comfort you and prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies. And I pray that surely goodness and mercy follows you all the days of your life … This world is just temporary and just barely a wisp of the Life that is to come. I’ve been isolated from friends for awhile now and want you to know that your bible studies that I have done with neighborhood girls have been a lifeline for me . I went through “breaking free” 3 times! and got your book on praying Gods word . Your passion for Christ has spurred me on and the Lord has richly blessed me with a strong family and many good gifts . You are among my most precious treasures! And I can’t wait to be your sister in heaven !!

  42. 142
    Julie C. says:

    We expect rejection from the world, but not from our own circle of fellow believers. There is no one any of us can trust except God himself. Thank you, Beth for helping those of us also going through an identity crisis we never dreamed we would face.

  43. 143
    Becky says:

    I have been feeling the same way and have slowly but surely been making positive changes in my own life. The confidence to shape and mold our lives in a way to best serve Christ is difficult and not always something I have. We’re all still learning and growing and that is a beautiful thing. I have been in Bible studies with ladies in their 90s and I have loved that they still desire to know more about God’s Word. I want that to be my life! Praying for you.

  44. 144
    Christy says:

    I’ve been waiting for you to say something like this. The change is evident. I applaud the courage it takes to step out away from your “crowd”. I pray the crowd sees your example and becomes willing to step out…as a whole they will not, but you will be surprised the sphere of influence He allows you to have. Similarly, I have recently stepped away from my “group”. I do miss my place in the group…I too love a group, but I will not trade the peace of the prevailing TRUTH that I have found apart from my group. My the God of all comfort hold us when the loneliness tries to take root. He’s up to more than we would have ever asked or imagined. You’ve got this! He’s got you! ❤️

  45. 145
    cyndi grace says:

    I have been in ministry for 30 years and I too lately have felt that I really don’t belong anywhere…been disappointed and wondering where He was leading. Thank you for sharing your heart with all of us. I believe God is bringing His Bride to a special place where the only rules are following Him and doing the things He says. Keep following sister! I will too. I believe we will look back on this time and see something that will make us fall flat on our faces in worship.

  46. 146
    Taryn Bolton says:

    Glimpse at the circumstances and Gaze at Jesus

  47. 147
    Susan K. says:

    Beth, I am closing in on my 60th birthday and this past year has been a similar journey as you’re describing. I kept asking myself why, at this age, I am struggling with this whole identity thing, and trying to find my place, so to speak. I have struggled with shock and being disillusioned over the way the body of Christ battles among themselves. With everything going on in this evil world, I fail to see why believers have to be at each other’s throats instead of fighting the enemy of our souls together. I’m so thankful for you! You are bold and courageous and you are a priceless gift to me and many others like me. I love you dearly.

  48. 148
    Sherry says:

    I can’t even begin to tell you, Beth. How many times you have put words to the struggles in my heart! So So many times! Thank you, again and again!

    Sherry

  49. 149
    Mary says:

    Beth, He’s leading you into the wilderness so that you may find your nourishment only in Him. Revelation 12:14

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    Shelly Wilson says:

    Yes….but you can do this…with Him…praying for you…

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