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.

 

 

Share

420 Responses to “The Identity Crisis of My Life”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Gravatar.com. Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.

Comments:

  1. 201
    Sarah G. says:

    Beth,remember when you asked, at the end of a Bible study a few years ago, that we would pray with you that a Holy Spirit fire would entrench this place? I have been praying since then for this very thing. Those on the margins need you to speak out for them, particularly the LGBTQI community that have a heart for Jesus. The vulnerable need you. Those in power, although they want your loyalty, they don’t need you. Keep clinging to Jesus and He will sustain you.

  2. 202
    Julia says:

    Beth it is comforting to me that God has lead me to you. We have never met nor can I imagine that we ever will this side of heaven. Over the last couple of years the Lord has been working in me and changing me. The sifting and identity crisis have been hard to go through and continue to make me stronger.
    You are loved and cared for miles away.
    In the sisterly bond,
    Julia

  3. 203
    Barb Rowe says:

    Thank you dear Beth for sharing this with us. I have been invthe same boat!characters asre different of course but I am in a place where I feel I am barely hanging on. Some parts are sweet and others in m y area of ministry gave been difficult at best and it’s the place I sense His pleasure in most. But since leaving my home church it has been a struggle which is still on going and it’s at the end of my run forcthis particular ministry. So anotherloss not much time left.

    I’m on a 17 yr run of devastating losses. And yet some really amazing things have happened amongst the losses. Losses to death of most if my dearest and best family, ministry partners, relationships, home, business,etc. This current state of our country and world. Feeling like certain things that need to change to be better are never going to! How do you keep your joy in all this?

    I just keep doing what I know to do and pray the fog will clear and I’ll find my joy and my place again.
    So your tweet a few,werks ago i so rekate to. Restless, depresse, frustrated, anxious, so much to do, so little time. You and I are the same age. Is it that? Why cast we do as much as we used to and not feel like this? Mygraandmother at 90 never seemed iverwgel e’d and coukd slice the a busy day like it was nothing! No she dfudnt have to work for a lliving so I guess that took a huge load off. But working is notgiing to change for me so how do you get so what comfortable in your place and what is expected of you by mikniustry

    • 203.1
      Barb says:

      Con’t…ministry, work, relationships incl with the Lord, rest? What’s rest? I feel guilty if I try to stop azndsosnbd time in the word or relaxing. Reasons I can’t explain here. I kerp praying Lord show men teach me, heal me, change things I can’t. Holding on that He’s hearing and will answer. Thanks Beth for all you do and your honesty with us. It feels goid to know I’m noit alone I. The uncomfortableness of life here on earth.

  4. 204
    Frances pike says:

    Beth,
    First thank you for being a Jesus follower. I have been one for 65 years beginning when I was 8!
    I heard you declare a strong true word at the Iphc conference in Orlando! Your obedience is still impacting lives especially leaders! My life was refreshed and strengthened and my prayers for you increased. Be encouraged in your new place with HIM! His plan and purposes for you will be fulfilled!
    Frances pike
    Ps my daughter is Janese Bennett, Communications Director at IPHC.

  5. 205
    Alli Conners says:

    You have completely expressed what I am going through right now. I had been questioning whether it was from God or the enemy. During this time, I have realized, as you so beautifully expressed, that we are always a work in progress and there are mistakes I’ve made, but it’s not as bleak as I was thinking. So my final thought on this is that during a time of God’s pruning, the enemy takes advantage and tries to do his own pruning, which involves cutting us from the vine. Thank you for sharing this. It means the world (actually that expression is weak, isn’t it), it is a blessing to me to hear that you have also experienced this. Please continue to do your good work and help us all be better Jesus followers, which coincidentally is exactly the expression I had chosen for myself about a month ago.

  6. 206
    Cheryl Bobbitt says:

    Beth!
    You are loved and so appreciated! As I read your blog I was reminded of the words of Corrie TenBoom. “You will never know Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have.”
    All Jesus followers get to experience a solitary confinement of a sort. Each uniquely fit for teaching that particulr truth experentially. Jesus is all I need! Amazing thing – when we have that truth forever embedded in our being He leads us out of solitary and back into the population with a new assurance – a deeper understanding that we can make disciples through! I am praying for your heart!

  7. 207
    Verlene says:

    Love you Beth! I’ve been feeling the same in many ways. I keep my eyes open every day watching for God and what He’s doing, searching my soul for sin and anything that might be there between my soul and my Savior.
    God’s deepest blessings to you my dear Sister! You don’t know it, but you’ve been my best friend for 17 years! Keep lovin’ God.

  8. 208

    Thank you for this. 3 years ago I went through this same thing when I left my big church where I taught Bible classes & served & hosted a women’s group to go to a little country church where I still don’t quite fit in. God has very clearly told me it is not about the #s, or what I want. He has told me to focus on Him. Abide in Him. I am where I am supposed to be. I think I am to learn to serve in the trenches – serving meals, building other relationships through service. But it has been hard releasing my “identity”. Hugs to you. Prayers for His will to be done on this side of heaven.

  9. 209
    Mary says:

    Dear Beth, I understand this. We,the Church, are being refined and stripped of what we thought was important. What I am learning is a simple math problem:
    Jesus+nothing= Everything

  10. 210
    Eva Thomas says:

    Sister thank you for sharing. I had the pleasure to speak at a women’s convention last year at a Southern Baptist Church and when I arrived I wanted to share my testimony and preach what God laid on my heart. I was called to minister to women and children coming out of abuse and neglect. When I arrived I noticed all these men sitting in the back including the Pastor and I asked the Lord Jesus how am I going to share my past and the message to the women with all of these men here?! What came back was, ” Go where I send you and speak what I tell you to speak”! I spoke about my childhood and sexual abuse and I spoke about the rape as an adult. I shared about what the family looked like after the Vietnam war and when I was finished a man came up and shook my hand. He was in tears and thanking for sharing my message which was about walking in faith even when things look so bleak. He said he knew about the aftemath of Vietnam and was ready to get back into ministry. Go where God tells you to go!

  11. 211
    Lynn Bowman says:

    All I can say is ‘Wow!’ It’s almost like you’ve been reading my mind. I have been going through a similar identity crisis. The feeling of not belonging was so real. It has been a challenge (on my part) to move with the Spirit and just let God continue to do this new work in me. I know He’s got a plan and this period of time has a purpose, for you and for me. Pray for me as I pray for you.
    Peace and Blessings,
    Lynn B

  12. 212
    Carol Pierce says:

    For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. We want to emphasize the “to die is gain” and it is important but for now the emphasis of my life is on “for me to LIVE is CHRIST”. Perhaps the holes are the treasure as we realize how little He fit in as a man even among believers and how much every hole should reveal His face shining through. Even the holes are not empty they are just yet to be revealed.

  13. 213
    Vaughna Kromann says:

    I pray for you randomly. I have prayed for you for more than 15 years now. I appreciate your candor. Until heaven, we may all fit like square pegs in circle holes. This world is not our home. You have been brave and walked out before unimaginably huge crowds to testify of the truth of God our Father, Jesus His Son, and the Holy Spirit. The Trinity sparkles through you like a rare, polished diamond. Stay the course. Take time for yourself. Pull away when you need to and speak up when you can’t hold it in any longer. We are here for you.

    Sincerely, your long nose sister in Christ.

  14. 214
    Cathy B says:

    Dear Beth – I feel for your heart and know nothing of your notoriety. Your struggles are public and subject to scrutiny. Mine have been private and difficult enough. My break with all things Christian began about 20 years ago, maybe even longer. The things I heard within the walls of the church did not match up with scripture. I felt I was the only one that saw it. I, too, love the church and know it is a necessary part of my connection to Christ. It’s just so darn human. Blessings on you dear one as you walk this beautiful and dark journey with promises of wisdom and understanding on the other side.

  15. 215
    Jeremy Miller says:

    Beth,
    I pastor a wonderful church…but have experienced some of the same internal and external realities you describe. When I read your letter, I am comforted and terrified all at once. I “identify” and yet I have no clue whether we would actually end up in the same places. Groups of every variety find my thought process and conclusions about Jesus frustrating. But you remind us that our King often felt this way. Perhaps God is doing something magnificent we cannot yet see. Thanks for the encouragement to stay faithful, loving His people and His world.

    Grace for the Journey

  16. 216
    Justine says:

    Beth – Thank you for sharing. Somehow I feel a little less “outside looking in” now. Your sense of unbelonging has inspired new hope in me for revival! I’m so proud of you lady and I’m standing with you praying for a change of tide. Here’s to receiving everything our good, good Father has for us in this season. Praying for strength and endurance in Jesus precious name. Amen

  17. 217
    Carolinda S Ellisor says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. Hit the nail on the head!

  18. 218
    Laurie says:

    Thank you. I’m in a “self realization” (sounds so unChristian) place myself. At 55 yrs old I am faced with my shadows and the root of those shadows. Those things that keep me from having passion and goals and knowing what God has uniquely called me to be. I’m trying to find me. The me that has been hidden in the service of “them”. Not to say serving is bad – it’s crucial. But I’ve lost myself. I think with the death of a second sibling recently I feel more desparate to find myself and a passion. Anyway – thanks for this. I love you.

  19. 219
    Kathy says:

    Beth, I’m there with you. Waking up has been a shocker to me. Unfortunately the wake up had to happen in my family relationships. Ouch!!! My ship wrecked and no life boats allowed. I’m looking around to see what/who made it to the shore with me.
    You are so right, no amount of discussion can remedy certain circumstances. The truth was always there, I was naive also. I want to say stupid!!!Heartbreaking and letting go is sooo hard. An identity I made up. The signs were there, I needed to believe the lie. Forgiveness for all including myself is the only way out, however the false identity is gone forevermore. A true identity being stripped of the old. Having to find my true identity and coming to grips with the last 45 years is a mystery I never imagined possible. The lord has kept me afloat ,where and how to rebuild is up to him. I feel as if I’m wandering around blind but grateful for the opportunity to possibly find my true identity during this last chapter of life. It’s scary!!! Help me Lord. Thank you , Beth for sharing this blog.

  20. 220
    Robin Stanley says:

    This brought me to tears. I’ve thought about how crazy things have been politically (yeah, I said it!), in our world, Country, locally in the church, and personally in our own homes. You aren’t alone in this “identity crisis”! I feel that way too. But I truly believe this is a great testing! When you said that we weren’t meant to have it all figured out, I accept that. But do I really? I thought I was here to learn. But I have to believe that this hardest lesson ever is learning that I have to let some things go that I simply do not and will not understand, because they are things that push the boundaries in ways that stir up all kinds of opinions. When these differing thoughts get to the point where they are dividing us more than bringing us together? Just when you thought things were settling down? Bam! Here comes another ego or tripped up situation to try to trip me up! I wish I could say “I’m too old for this!” But the truth is as long as I’m here on earth, I’m going to have to daily find my identity in Christ alone. If that’s not good enough for someone else? No matter how close we’ve been? I’ll just have to accept that. Getting caught up in this world is the identity crisis we have to avoid and guard against. All I’ve got to say to you Beth, is YOU ARE NOT ALONE!

  21. 221
    Betty Freeman says:

    Our allegiance is Christ alone. He is beautiful beyond compare. Our allegiance is not the organized system of evangelicals, not our programs, or ministries, or our flag. Christ alone. I hope you will partner with Ann Voskamp. She was the only one I could stomach during all the political talks this past year. Our youth is desperate for the real deal.

  22. 222

    Oh, sister. Been here. So been here. And though my own writing and speaking is tiny in comparison, I knew what it meant to take that leap and lose what would inevitably be lost. Yours is a voice God has used and is going to use in a new and very, very good way. Thank you for being bold.

  23. 223
    Robin says:

    I have been a Christian, raised in the church from my earliest memory. I have never known a more confusing time. The voices of Christian leaders are loud and often conflicting. I find myself wanting to agree with many who are so fun and funny and appealing. There is such a temptation to say ” Oh well. This doesn’t seem to align with scripture but maybe they know better than I do.” I want the church to continue to be my safe place – I need my place to belong. But when I seek Him I feel checked and then I feel sad because so often it feels as though a great portion of the Fellowship is leaving me behind. I’ve come to believe that when Jesus said in Luke 12 about families dividing, perhaps he was talking more about spiritual families. I don’t know – just spinning thoughts here. Thank you for always speaking through and with scripture. So many leaders today only seem to share their own thoughts with little or nothing of Gods Word to back it up. And sorry for just rambling. Just trying to process my heavy thoughts. Love you!

  24. 224
    Debra says:

    Hi Beth it’s such a pleasure to have your ministry in my life. It keeps me grounded a lot. This is something I personally want you to know because I have been going through my own fog as well for months now. Feeling unworthy in life and around people I love and know so well. But by the grace of God, through this complication in my life, I want you to know this, Jesus loves Me, God is Good, He is on His throne, it will turn out well, I choose to trust Him. Love to you and your leadership

  25. 225
    Anon says:

    This resonates with me so much. I’m having an identity crisis too, and it has undone me in ways and to such extent I never knew was possible. And it came to a head just this week, such uncanny timing! For someone who has been generally accepted in life, rejection by this particular group has devastated me beyond words. I’ll sit in it like you say, and not run anymore. I hope Jesus can help me bridge the way to true confidence, not as something gained by looking into the eyes of another human being, but something forged within. A confidence not easily shaken.

  26. 226
    Janet says:

    Not sure of your specifics, but I can definitely identify with your feelings of not being sure where you fit within the church at the moment. My husband & I recently moved 800 miles away from home, loving our new assignment, but 2 years in still haven’t found our church home. It feels harder to fit in, as we are now in a different stage of life (empty nesters), so no Awana or youth group…. My husband was also a well-known leader in the previous Christian community, and is a bit of a smaller fish now Strange adjustment. But we love your closing lines of this blog: “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. ” Longing for heaven! Thanks for sharing your heart, as always.

  27. 227
    Charlotte Skadal says:

    Dear Beth,

    Your post is under the most amazingly perfect aspect of God’s timing! Surely He knows how many of us would write so many of your words with our own pen if we could or had the outlet to do so!

    There isn’t enough room here for me to tell you how much encouragement I have received from your studies, teaching semesters in Houston (which I ache for terribly), video downloads, blog posts! Your faithfulness to His calling in your life drove me deeper into God’s Word to glean truth, wisdom and encouragement from Him first, foremost! In my younger days, I wasn’t always sure where my Bible was…today, it’s rarely more than an arm’s length away! The Lord used you as an instrument to help me find my way to a very close walk with Jesus. Like so many others, I have my days of stumbling when my Christian heart could be much more Christ-like, but how would I even understand that without God’s Word (and your teaching) for “reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2Timothy 3:16).

    Beth, I pray that under God’s direction, in His timing and according to His perfect will, you will know what He is calling you to do among the faithful; that you will have His touch of courage and strength to take the hard road if it is where He leads you (after all, what are those snake boots for?!) and when you are walking through a cloud of darkness His light pulls you forward…all to His glory! In Jesus’ Name!

    Press on Siesta!
    In His Love,
    Charlotte

  28. 228
    Jackie Gray says:

    I don’t think I can put into words how much this touched me. I am going through something similar. Thank you for writing so eloquently and authentically.

  29. 229
    Monica Romero says:

    WOW. I felt like I was reading my own thoughts. I’m in a season of wilderness. Walked away from a job, walked away from “friends”, loss of my own identity and knowing there is something different for me. I’m not sure where this path is going but there is something that is calling me elsewhere. Thank you for sharing.

  30. 230
    Sue says:

    God bless you Beth. This morning I was feeling like the only nut in the nuthouse. Emotional turmoil is so hard. I too am being reshaped and remolded by our Savior. I feel like I’m in a Cuisinart. Like you said, sometimes things have to change. People disappoint, I disappoint, even harder. My temptation is to run. Thank you for the encouragement that I’m not alone and that I just need to cling to Jesus and His will. Thank you for ALWAYS being a strong leader, a godly woman with flaws who is honest as she can be about them. I will pray for you. Love you so much. God is reminding me right now of an old song by Paul Overstreet “just pick up a shovel and dig another well” speaking of those wells that I think Jacob it was who kept digging wells and the enemy would keep filling them in. Sometimes that’s all we can do

  31. 231
    Shawn Parks says:

    In the past year…me too.

    To Him and Him alone do I desire to belong.

  32. 232
    S PopTart says:

    I sat under you for 4 years in Houston so I feel I know you somewhat. Lately, I see your struggle through tv, and internet. I could see on your face/body language the strain. I felt a distancing spiritually for a while. Then it lifted. I believe it was all spiritually orchestrated. But what the devil meant for evil/demise, the LORD works for your good. I applaud your vulnerability here with this post. I affirm and commend the ‘process’ of late, and the change I see, as a long term siesta. But more than that, the new territory that you are being sent in to. GO with God dear sister. The spiritual sword you wield will be more powerful than ever. Prayers and appreciation!

  33. 233
    Leroy Case says:

    A friend sent me a link to this blog post and by the time I finished, my heart was racing. You and SO many people are going through this (including myself). I’m serious. I’ve been connecting with more and more believers across state lines who like you are feeling that sense of unbelonging, having that identity crisis, and I don’t think God is allowing the debris to settle yet.

    My friend who sent me this link said to me recently after seeing a yard stick and two paint stirrers in the car I was driving next to her seat, “Sometimes things have to be stirred up in order for us to measure things differently.” God is stirring things up all over the place because we’ve been using the wrong measuring stick. Our measuring stick as the Church of America has looked more like the worlds than God’s. Consequently, we have not measured up. We have come up lacking. The funny this is, we don’t measure up by trying harder. We measure up to His measuring stick by seeing Him, ourselves, and others the way He does.

    Thank you for putting this out there for us all to digest with you. God honors this. He really does. He is pruning us so we can bloom more beautifully. Jesus is coming back for a Bride who has prepared herself. Let the preparations commence… (I think they already have)

  34. 234
    Jennifer Winner says:

    Thank you Beth for being so bold to even write what you did! As a pastor’s wife I too have been so frustrated with the events of the past year. I want also to be known as a Jesus follower and not my political status! I have wanted to speak out so so often but did not much because it would cause those in my own church to stumble or fight. I know the cost even just writing what you did must have had! Praying for you and other leaders like you to continue to follow Jesus and love those as he did and does! And to continue to lead people like me to know what words to say to unite and not divide!

  35. 235
    Shawn Brooks says:

    Sounds like something Steve Camp went through
    A shaking….
    May Jesus shake us and only His character remain
    Bless you in this season in the wilderness

    “Shake Me To Wake Me” Lyrics
    by Steve Camp
    from the album Shake Me To Wake Me

    I was born in a religious town
    That had a very good name
    Everybody wore their faith around
    Like a ball and chain
    People living so carefully
    Trying to keep the image clean
    But underneath all the sanctity
    Things were not what they seemed, oh no

    Salvation was nice and neat
    It had four little laws
    And that arrangement was fine with me
    Cause it didn’t really cost nothin’
    But something that I read in my bible one day
    Really shook my world
    Jesus was talking ’bout Pharisees
    He was talking ’bout me
    So I fell to my knees and said

    Shake me to wake me
    I’ve been living too long in this fantasy
    Shake me to wake me
    Got to strip this man of mediocrity

    Sometimes, when my heart is proud
    I get full of myself
    Self-righteousness will bring you down
    I ain’t better than nobody else
    Other times, I drink the wine of complacency
    I get comfortable, lackadaisical, so cynical
    So I call to my Lord and say

    Shake me to wake me
    I’ve been living too long within this fantasy
    Shake me to wake me
    You’ve got to strip this man of mediocrity

    You were born in a religious town
    That had a very good name
    You were wearing your faith around
    Like a ball and chain
    You’ve been living so carefully
    Trying to keep the image clean
    But Jesus is talking ’bout Pharisees
    About you and me
    You better fall to your knees and say

    Shake me to wake me,
    I’ve been living too long within this fantasy
    Shake me to wake me
    You’ve got to strip this man of mediocrity
    Shake me to wake me
    I’ve been living too long within this fantasy
    Shake me to wake me
    I been sleeping too long, put some fire in me

    Put some fire in me
    Oh, you got to shake me
    Oh, you got to wake me, Lord
    Lost in a fantasy

    Advertisement
    More Lyrics
    Read Lyrics
    01. Help Is On The Way
    Read Lyrics
    02. Lazy Jane
    Read Lyrics
    03. Surrender Your Heart
    Read Lyrics
    04. Bad News For Modern Man
    Read Lyrics
    05. Stranger To Holiness
    Read Lyrics
    06. On The Edge
    Read Lyrics
    07. Asleep In The Light
    Read Lyrics
    08. Shake Me To Wake Me
    Read Lyrics
    09. Going Through The Motions
    Read Lyrics
    10. Even Now

  36. 236
    Kaye Hauser says:

    Beth
    I have thanked God for you many times and prayed for God to bless you and enlighten you as you teach us the Word. I trust you I guess more than any spiritual leader because I’ve heard your heart so many times over the years. May HE fill any empty places as you walk out this journey and may you know every minute detail that He wants you to know and realize as you walk. I pray you find rest for the journey. Don’t fret about people. They will do all kinds of things and they will also desert you but Jesus never will. Go knowing that and also that you have a sister in NC who loves and supports you always !!!

  37. 237
    Nicole says:

    Beth, Im so thankful for your genuine heart for our great God and for people. I’ve done quite a few of your Bible studies and I’ve grown so close to God and learned so much from them. Life seems extra tough right now for all people truly walking with Him. Sweet lady, the enemy wouldn’t be fighting you so hard if you were no threat to him. You are being used of God to draw women closer to God’s heart. Take whatever time you need, but remember you belong. To the only place that truly matters to the only One who will truly be on the Throne forever. “Be strong and courageous for your work will be rewarded.”

  38. 238
    Sherry Pearcy says:

    Dearest Beth:

    I love your heart! Thank you for sharing these words of truth. Satan is sticking his ugly head up more each day. It seems like there are those who are tryIng to “genetically alter” God’s word to fit the lifestyle they want – so dangerous! You are so right, as true followers of Jesus, we must put our identity in Him alone, and we must know the Word in order to not be deceived. Growth can certainly be painful and sometimes isolating – as you said. I pray for you as you continue this journey.

    Love to you my sister.
    From one of your Siestas.

  39. 239
    Renae says:

    Dear Beth,

    Thank you for being so transparent and thank you for all the time and effort you put into researching the Bible and teaching – I have learned so much from you and my walk with God has reached a different level because of it.

    My desire for God is so big that I don’t even know where to begin. I’m a pretty private person and I love my alone time but I feel God is leading me out of that (which is hard for me.) I too am a people pleaser and I failed so many times in the past, that now I just want to be alone and not risk it – but God is tugging at me. I want to be bold and brave for the sake of the gospel – I feel a sense of urgency.

    I don’t know what you’re going through but I know that when we are in God’s will, He will make a way. Our purpose is to reach the lost and we must purpose to do so regardless of the cost.

    Love and Blessings,
    Renae

  40. 240
    Paula Fletcher says:

    Thanks, Beth, for putting into words what so many of us feel. Amen and Amen.

  41. 241
    Pam Mayer says:

    To quote a young child of mine: “you too me too!” Man, and by man I mean fully-God-yet-fully-man man, you said it and I feel it. Amen.

  42. 242
    Jenna Berthoud says:

    Oh Beth, how do you do it? How do you somehow put words to things that seem indescribable?? I am sure you are dealing with this at a far greater scale but I felt like you read my heart and wrote it! I needed this more today than in any other time! Thank you

    I loved hugging your neck at The Quest taping.
    A LITtle friend
    Jenna

  43. 243
    Teri kober says:

    I have followed you through your studies since 1998, feeling that you were my spiritual mentor friend, soul-sister. Reading your stuggles helps me to recognize my own struggles are not so bizarre. For several years I have felt the Holy Spirit moving in the church body to shake our core! I believe you stated recently that we need to SERVE. The church body, especially in the USA is self-serving and thick-skinned, thwarting the Holy Spirit prompting and direction. If we serve it is for self-serving and back-patting reasons. Suffering is avoided at all cost and viewed only as evidence of sin, not for cleansing, learning and growth. Beth, continue to pray, seek and speak the truth. We will be listening, praying and hoping to follow the direction the Holy Spirit is leading us. “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I Here I am send me!” Isaiah 6:8

  44. 244
    Heidi McClain says:

    Beth,

    This has been a strange year for the church of Jesus Christ. I can identify so much with what you say. People are changing! You aren’t alone. I feel the same. Jesus is asking us to draw ever closer. LEAN in! Right into he middle of his heart. Keep your focus on him. That’s what he’s telling me.

    The world is getting darker. The devil is furious because he knows his time is short. Rev. 12:12
    It’s time for the church to WAKE UP!

    We wont win people to Christ by being politically correct or even on the RIGHT side. Whatever that may be. We will win people to Christ by being on our knees and totally obedient to the Holy Spirit. thats it. thats all we have.

    We cant lose sight of the goal. It’s getting ever closer.

    Much love to you. Ive been praying my heart out for you!

    Heidi

  45. 245
    Michelle says:

    Beth- It is my prayer that you’ll consider that this angst you’ve been experiencing might very well be the loving conviction of the Holy Spirit. There are many of us out here who love you and pray regularly for you that God would lead you to repent of the false doctrine you teach, the false teachers you yoke with, and the fact that you preach to men- all violations of Scripture. I would urge you not to regard lightly the discipline of the Lord (Hebrews 12:5), but to see this difficult time you’re going through as the Holy Spirit graciously wooing you once again to submit to His written Word- a God-given opportunity to repent and walk in obedience.

  46. 246
    Kitty says:

    Thank you Beth for being real and transparent with all of us! But most of all…for being faithful to Him who began a good work in you…and He will complete it. My sense of belonging, especially with those who I considered ‘my people’, in the church and in my family has been a struggle for the past 2 years! It hurts, it is confusing…but I press in, look up…and my sense of who I am in Christ keeps me perservering! Being a Jesus Follower is what keeps me humble and grateful to walk these crazy, messed up days…knowing, believing with tiptoe faith at times…that His grace, mercy and truth are the banner I walk/live under…praising my Savior all my days long! I continue to pray for you dear sister in Christ, fellow so-journer! His comfort, strength, peace and provision each day be with you…and even moment to moment at times! Your name is written across every one of His promises!

  47. 247
    Amanda says:

    I am so thankful for your realness, your transparency! This is exactly the way I have been feeling and truly I thought something was wrong with me… Like I am the problem, and in many ways I guess I am. But its God taking us and molding us… And I have been asking HIM to do just that! Now I stand here like I am confused as to what is going on. Lol Sometimes it isn’t always comfortable or exciting. But it is all worth it! Thank you so much for sharing!!

  48. 248
    Colette Pellegrino says:

    AMEN! God brought me closer to Him during the darkest and hardest times in my life and I learned to trust Him more than I ever have! That’s when God spoke to me the loudest! And showed me to focus on His Promises NOT the circumstances!! I love you Beth! Thank You! Keeping the Faith with Jesus by my side!

  49. 249
    Mischia says:

    Beth,

    I love you and I love that this was your short version!

  50. 250
    Suze says:

    I’m very sorry to hear that you’re going through this.

    I see that many Christians today are being misled by false doctrine and emotional appeals based on feelings by false teachers. Holding on to Jesus is the answer.

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: