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. 301
    Erin says:

    Thank you for sharing this.

    You are vague in the details, but that’s okay here, I think. I am taking a similar trip, redefining my identities. What does it mean to be a follower of Christ? What underlying assumptions do I hold that are incompatible with God’s word or God’s character? Where have my own actions hurt or perpetuated existing hurt?

    I think my discoveries echo Paul when he says, “I want to know Christ inside and out. I want to experience the power of his resurrection and join in his suffering, shaped by His death.” He adds he is not there yet, but he presses on. I want to press on, being continually shaped by the voice of the Holy Spirit. I want to be transformed by the renewing of my mind.

  2. 302
    Melani Shock says:

    Beth–I am oh so familiar with this pain. After years of comfortable fellowship and dialogue with those I treasured and held dear, I found myself longing for more of what I read about in the living Word. I was totally blindsided by the fact so many of those I loved had no interest in stepping out of the boat.

    I stepped out of the boat anyway. A couple of times, I have looked down and immediately started to sink, but when I look up and back in His face, I immediately regain my footing and resume my walk toward Him on the water.

    Although the loss of closeness with some of my familiar circle still brings grief and pain, there is NOTHING that compares to the joys of more revelation, and closer fellowship, and His Voice which has only become louder and closer.

    I am praying for you during this season. May God Bless you!

  3. 303
    Fran says:

    We “square pegs” will never fit into the “round holes”. I’m glad to know you are one, too! To thine own self be true” in your belief system, which is everything that the Original Square Peg teaches us. Period.

  4. 304

    I have worked among Christians for more than 15 years and get it. It’s not heaven, but supposed to be a foretaste thereof. I remember one person saying that they could get through life just fine, if it weren’t for people! Lol. Including us, as believers. Sometimes it’s like a big family, with their often dysfunctional messes. We tend to be hard on one another, and have high expectations, which is somewhat unfair, considering that, though we’re believers, we’re still sinners saved by grace. It helps to remember we’re all in the same GRACE boat together. Being full of grace towards others, and remembering God’s grace towards yourself, I find is key. Keep on keeping on girl! In the end, God is still on the throne, and we’re on the way home. Remember the big picture Romans 8:29. Yes, verse 29! God bless you!

  5. 305
    Kelly Noll says:

    Oh, Beth. My heart aches for you and rejoices all at the same time.

    I am 46 now. When I turned 34 I was diagnosed with high functioning autism. As a result, I can honestly tell you I have never belonged anywhere. Not even in my own flesh and blood family.

    Maybe because of God’s knowledge of my future, and definitely because of His mercy, despite living with an atheist father, God made me aware of His reality when I was only 6. I started praying then. I haven’t stopped. The Holy Spirit is my best friend.

    The pain of social rejection is almost unbearable and that is why your post breaks my heart. Yet I celebrate for you because now you are on the cusp of developing an even deeper intimacy with Jesus. I’m sure the world doesn’t think you need it, but God knows you do. You will find it. And you will be all the better for it.

    I suspect that you can no longer deny the reality of the Holy Spirit in your own life, and for one in your particular domination, theological friction is bound to happen. I’m very sorry for that, too.

    I found this blog post because I logged onto Twitter to specifically send you a short tweet to thank you for preaching on repentance. I heard you talk about it this week thanks to YouTube. I’m not all fire and brimstone but I’ve had all of the Cotton Candy Christianity I can take. To me, your words are refreshing. Your words are true.

    I love the word of God. I love studying it. I love hearing it. I even love obeying it, and I’ve been asked to do some humiliating things. Like running after a lady in the grocery store because I had rolled my eyes at her when she cut me off in the aisle. God told me to go apologize. That’s a small example of the kind of obedience I mean and on the humiliation scale that was only about a 3, but you know what I mean.

    Beth, you will be okay. You will be more than okay. Those who trust in Him…their faces are radiant. They will never be put to shame. You will shine forth like gold.

    There’s no shame in being a slave to righteousness. Keep it up, girlfriend. Keep it up.

  6. 306
    Lauren says:

    This could not have come at a more apt time. Just last week, I told God through tearful prayer that I am done with trying to fit in and being timid. Like you said, there is too much at stake. In my life, it has been my own pride of friendships, that I have not been willing to risk for the Gospel. I have been so terrified that if I say the wrong thing, those friends would leave. Essentially, I placed myself in such a high position, that I was some how a key factor in bringing people to the Lord, and not His power through me. So I’m done and I’m here. Satan is on the move more and more everyday and I’m ready to fight, friends or no friends. This world is not our home and it’s time we act like it.

  7. 307
    Ruth In North Idaho says:

    I hear you on this, Beth and I appreciate your message. I am 70 years old, and going through something so similar. I too believe that “Jesus alone” is the comfort of the answer. Reading your blog today has been helpful and affirming to me. Even though I feel like I’m free-falling, I know that We are held buy that Strong Hand… May you find blessing and solace in this day, Dear Soul.

  8. 308
    Deb Peterson says:

    Hit so many bullet points. Looking forward to deeper digs! I woke up this morning from a dream where I was skinny again in a dress and high heals, wanting to hear that I looked good. When I awoke and reflected on this I wondered why am I looking for love and acceptance – why do I feel this need to be accepted by others around me that I’m ok, that I belong…that I am loved. I am from a line of men who have left me. 4 divorces and a father who took off when I was 12 never to be seen again. I am now married to the love of my life of 7 years. He helped me form a deeper relationship with God. Church. Bible Study. Thank you for all you do and the encouragement you share. WE ARE BUILT FOR JOY! AND FOR LOVE! SANGUINE!

  9. 309
    Angela says:

    I suppose on the side of heaven we will never get it all figured out; that’s the statement of seeing dimly. Of course, I don’t know the details of your navigations, but I know that you have consistently sought to hear and obey God’s voice. I used to believe that in doing so we’d be in unison with others, as walking in the light to have fellowship one with another. I still believe that, but I also believe that walking in the light of God’s direction is getting more and more difficult. Maybe the light has shrunk to a sliver, and obeying has become more specific. I feel that in my own heart.

    Jesus said He is to be supreme above all– mother, father, children. In humility, I pray that God will draw us to Himself in firm affirmation and clear direction.

  10. 310
    Ann says:

    Thank you for all of your love,study and sincerity in your teachings. A prayer for you:

    Great God of mercy and great God of might,
    Please help your warrior, in this her plight.
    Give her Your wisdom and impart Your light.
    Lead her and guide her as she does fight.
    Take her dear heart and wrap it so tight
    that love from Your Spirit imparts “all is right”.
    May your sweet peace surround her full site,
    So she can stand through shadows tonight.

    Stand in the Lord. Stand up in His height.
    Through you He will stand and fight the good fight.
    Sing Jesus Loves Me. Sing through the night.
    Then child of the day, go fly a kite.
    Fly it with freedom. Watch His wind blow.
    With only His freedom, will you so go.
    My prayer for you now is that you will know
    His peace from above as it does flow.

  11. 311
    Diana Rice says:

    Thank you for your willingness to share. This past year I’ve felt like a stranger in a strange land in my own church of nearly 20 years of active membership. I went waaay back to bedrock seeking to ease the painful cognitive dissonance : Beatitudes, John 3:16, the Ten Commandments, “words in red.” That helped. Then I started rereading the entire Story. The Bible is full of human conflict, including that among believers. When we have our faith in common we’re so happy that it seems that’s surely enough. But only the Author of that faith is enough. Pursuing Him is my best goal, and I believe the alienation I feel He will take care of. He loves me. He loves them.

  12. 312
    Debbie Szarka says:

    Dear Beth, thank you so much for sharing. I have no borrow at church either, but in other places. J came to a stand still during recovery, or at least in learning to deal with it healthy. All they you went through I know was something that needed to happen. I say to so many; what is seems like we are losing, God gives back healed and shaped just us. Amen!

  13. 313
    Claudia says:

    Praying for you Beth and for us all… I once heard the difference between a cynic and a skeptic is that a skeptic is still searching for the truth, while a cynic has his mind made up already. The world is full of cynics, who are not interested in learning, growing, faith, or unity. That’s not a surprise to Christians, who expect that in the world. But, when it’s an inside job and the Body of Christ becomes such cynics it quench’s the Spirit, (who is always at work teaching and growing us from glory to glory until he who began a good work carries it to completion). I call this the autoimmune disease of the body of Christ. It presents as aggressive in outright aggression and also passive-aggressive in non-responsiveness (ignoring, dismissing, avoiding issues). Both fail to honor the Gospel and keep the Good News from people who desperately need it. Following Jesus means Always being teachable- one of His names was Rabbi! Following Jesus means not trusting in the emotions of the flesh, and instead walking in the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control) especially when others aren’t. I heard the word “offend” is rooted in the baiting of animals and that when we are tempted to be offended to remind ourselves not to take the bait. When the Body collective stops taking the bait against Each Other the world will become new- especially the world of believers, who are sometimes the most deceived of all… what a cunning move by the enemy.. Based on results (families coming apart, addiction, porn, financial bondage, political division, etc.), Believers are often a bigger part of the problem than they are the solution at the moment. BUT GOD is on the move and I am praying (for our enemies…) and staying tuned because my faith and hope are IN Him! ( Will never fail you. Hebrews 13:5

    • 313.1
      Regina says:

      Claudia, I want to thank you for your comment. It was a great ‘sermon’ for me…and anyone else that read it. The ‘autoimmune disease of the body of Christ’ statement is a perfect name for what happens in most churches to a degree. Also, learning the root of the word ‘offend’ and how it pertains to us is a valuable tool…a short sermon in itself.
      Again, thank you. May God bless you abundantly.

  14. 314
    Jennie says:

    I think your identity crisis resonates with many of us. Thanks for sharing. I’ve moved many times in my adult life and I am truly always the outsider. I have also often been naive in thinking I was becoming part of a community only to be reminded that I will always be an outsider. However, it’s the church that has embraced me and made me feel the most accepted. It’s also true that churches in the South can be very cliquish. There is always much to overlook. Even so, I still choose to identify with the church. It’s so much better than anything else. Praise God for the church.

  15. 315
    Lisa Beth Colvin says:

    Dear sweet Beth, while I can empathize with the feeling you express, I can only imagine the details of what you are going through. Part of me really wants to know what’s been happening, though I completely I understand your purposeful vagueness. I’ll just say, my heart breaks for you, precious and beautiful child of God. My prayers are with you.

  16. 316
    Wendy Holland says:

    Love you, so appreciative of your ministry, and praying God’s strength, guidance and holy boldness for you.

  17. 317
    Debbie says:

    Soothing words to my aching heart. Love you Beth ❤️

  18. 318

    Beth, I want to commend you on your courage and commitment to spiritual truth and integrity. As the senior pastor of a larger multi-cultural evangelical church I can tell you that many of us have shared your journey over the past year. Your honesty has challenged the political captivity of the church – and it has been both refreshing and prophetic. We need your voice. We need you and the gifts God has given you in the Body of Christ. You are welcome in my pulpit any time.

    Grace and peace,

    John Carter
    Lead Pastor
    Abundant Life Syracuse, New York

  19. 319
    Dianna Douglass says:

    thank you. may we all endeavor to press in to the fullness of what it means to be a Jesus Follower.

  20. 320
    Sandy carney says:

    Dear,dear Beth: You mean so very much to me even tho we’ve never met.Your studies have helped me grow in Him for almost 20 years and I feel like I know you so well that we could easily share coffee in our jammies with no makeup -so I hope my prayers now will help carry you through your dark valley.Remember: HE WILL NOT FAIL YOU! ♡♡♡

  21. 321
    Leigh Ann says:

    Beth, as many have commented already, I too am in the midst of a season of searching like I haven’t experienced in years. People and callings that have seemed to be the perfect fit are being removed, not because they are bad, but the ending of one chapter as I await and seek the next. I feel God is reminding me during this time to get back to the very basics in my Christian walk. I find this so fitting as our church has been focused on revival this calendar year. Revival begins at the personal level, one person, one heart, at a time. May I be found faithful. Yes, this is true – Neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord!

  22. 322
    Angela says:

    Dear Beth,

    I can relate to this. So much so, that an aching part of me stilled when I realized the holes I felt, the people I disappointed instead of characteristically pleased were part of my becoming, and that in going through that process I was one of many who had endured a similar process, which meant I was never alone. I knew I had never truly be alone. I knew I had still had allies, so to speak, as in people who understood me and appreciated me. I knew even if they were gone, I had Jesus, the One and Only, Who never disappoints. I have learned there are times when comvi tions or principles will cost us some comfort. I have learned God can work some things out in relationships that fractured, not for lack of living at peace as much as is possible with me but because the cords had to break that felt strong before I saw they were not and cut as easily as scissors cut balloon strings. And I have seen God ask me to be still and not try to fix it. I have seen Him fix it and tie a big Southern bow on top of it, which is always so much stronger than it seems. Has it been every relationship? No, or not yet, anyway. But He has also brought in new relationships. He has been faithful and made His name great. Katongole and Rice wrote a beautiful text called Reconciling All Things. They gave me needed perspective for my work as a scholar but also for my interpersonal relationships outside my work that must needs shift. I love the Church as you do! I love my family in Christ, and they love me. I am learning to keep that love strong even when we disagree over certain principles at work in society or the way the empowered and privileged are problematic in the way they frame their context. And that is humbling be ause sometimes the empowered and privileged one is not an outsider in a mansion but me working on my Ph.D. and getting things wrong. Jesus knows what it feels like to be where we amd others are journeying existentially. He knows what it is to be a 12-year old boy in the Temple, astounding the teachers and growing in stature and favor not only with God but also with the humans he was in fellowship with. He knows the deliciously good feeling every good church kid (former and/or current) has known to be doted on and told they should be cloned from a character point of view. He knows what it is like to be a middle-aged person being called into ministry, a ministry that will re-introduce him to some of those he astounded back then and yet drastically change their perception of him and not for the better. I heard a minister speak recently on contentment. He talked of Paul and Silas in jail, how they could sing because they had learned and were learning to be content, as Paul tells us somewhere he learned to be. The minister asked himself and the Lord about what made them content. His inspired answer came from another NT passage where it says God never forsakes us or leaves us alone. I think God inspired the writer of that verse to record His voice speaking it to us in 1st person so that when it got to “I will never forsake you” that you would feel like “you” is the default name of us all. They were content, the minister said, because they knew they would never be alone. They were not without help. And Christ was more than enough. Who better to teach is that lesson but Him since he walked that road before us and found God to be faithful to Him. I love the Amplified and ASV translations of that verse, which is Hebrews 23:5. I didn’t mean to wrote my own blog response to yours. The words flowed out of me, and God is faithful to empower theme to do His work. ~From someone who has recently lived/is still living this, too~ Hugs and prayers!

  23. 323
    Josee Foster says:

    Courageous. You are not the only one. Through your sharing I pray that others may consider the toll ofreligiosity. Jesus has crushed performance. He has made a way! He actually came to fulfill what the law even existed for: right-standing with the Father.

    I pray that we as a church would live into the fullness of Life He has for us as His children – that we might all shake off the chains ww no longer need to carry… that we would come to submit to the rule and reign of Jesus Christ and experience the fruit of the Promised Land.

    Love to you dear sister!

  24. 324
    kathy says:

    Perhaps this is happening to many of us. I also want to find the truth of what it is to be Christian, a Christ-one, not just to go to church and be surrounded by the comfort of my familiars , but it is hard to step out, I think unbelonging is necessary to form a new belonging with Him. I asked this year to learn to pray, and have had some lessons I have wrestled with , to let go of what I have thought God was about, and try to understand what He really is about. I too want to brave for the sake of the gospel, but I have seen the coward in me, and ask that He will bring me out of the fear and into a new boldness for HIm. I know that we can never fully comprehend the enormity of who He is and what He has done for us, but I want to know enough, to let Him work through me, to touch those I love, and those He loves, there is only one thing, to know Him more. Wrestle on, we will all be doing that together, I know He will answer our prayer !

  25. 325
    Crys Hatcher says:

    The Body of Christ needs a revelation of Jesus – the fullness of Who He is and who we are in Him. Since you began moving farther away from your comfort zone and stepping out boldly to break through denominational and theological barriers, I have prayed for you in a new way. I have called for the Whole Armor of God, the Lord Jesus Himself, to cover you from the top of your head to the soles of your feet. No weapon formed against you will prosper. Every tongue that rises against you will fall. You have the mind of Jesus Christ and the Peace of God rules in your heart and mind. There is victory in the midst of the storm. Continue to press through. Continue to stand on the Word. Continue to proclaim the fullness of the Gospel. Continue to yield your will to the Will of the Father. What you have been called to do is not easy, but God knows you are equipped through His Word. The same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you, My Beautiful Sister in Christ! Thank you for proclaiming Truth. The Body of Christ needs it! I will continue to stand with you for your peace and the ability to persevere with joy. “The is the way. Walk in it!” (Isa. 30:21) Standing and believing with you for the Body of Christ,
    Crys Hatcher

  26. 326
    Deborah Pitts says:

    Dear Beth, please forgive my familiarity but after so many of your teachings, you feel like a dear friend. My heart and prayers for you reach heavenward. We are the same age and share the same damaging childhood abuse. I did not have the nuturing experience of a church family but certainly rejoice with thanksgiving that you did. It helped to make you the extraordinary teacher that has blessed many (including me). However, I fully understand a season of loss;that loss of niavity and the grief that comes with it. No matter the pain and temporary confusion, the truth remains the truth and indeed sets you free. It had set me free to stand fully in Christ and love people in a more unconditional way and with more of my heart. Please forgive my presumption in sharing some of my story. My intention is to convey that you are certainly not alone. The process of letting go of what you have believed and embracing what is, creates a tempoary wound and is very painful.It take courage to endure this process. God bless and protect you as you find your knew balance.

  27. 327
    Pamela McDonald says:

    As I read your post through tears, I realized this is exactly what has been happening to me for a couple of years. Thank you for being genuine. I have had to part ways with some of those who were very dear to me, but I long for Jesus more. Praying for you, and thank you for opening your heart. God is at work!!

  28. 328
    Rosie Marsh says:

    Dear Beth Moore,

    Do not crumble, do not doubt. Eyes like flint – set on Jesus. Don’t look to the right , don’t look to the left. I am praying you through.

    Rosie

  29. 329
    Care Young says:

    I feel like we are in a similar situation…I believe God is doing a new thing with the church. But at any rate know that this time, tho hard is a stepping stone for something He has planned for you! Praying for you! Hugs!

  30. 330
    Kim Driedger says:

    The timing of this is so perfect. Thank you Beth for being vulnerable and authentic and allowing your voice to be used for His glory. It needs to be said, our eyes need to be opened, our perspective needs to be higher. In the midst of the hardest season our church has gone through also, I just want Jesus. Face on the floor, whatever you want to do Lord, whatever it costs me (or us). You alone are worthy.

  31. 331
    Tracey Ward says:

    Wow… You have put into words exactly how I have been feeling this year as well! In prayer and study, I DESPERATELY look for God’s outstretched hand and grab on tight when I see it. Somedays its just so hard to see His “footsteps” with all the wind blowing the sand imprints away… There is just so much wind and noise outside… Sometimes He is drowned out with fancy concerts and bright lights, “celebrity” christians who rally behind voices that make me scratch my head, critical voices who wound rather than encourage or gently correct in love. Oh for the day we see Christ appear in all His glory, and the only noise we hear is Heavenly worship! Sending love your way.

  32. 332
    Jeanne Colvin says:

    Yes.
    I’m sorry. It hurts.

  33. 333

    Dear Beth,
    I get you. I get it. Completely. I have know idea if you will read this comment. I do not know what you are going thru exactly but resonate with what you shared in this post. I have found much pain amidst the body of Christ. After going thru a time of pure hot refinement with my local church, God has painfully removed an idol I had know idea was there. An idol that was good, godly and scriptural but had a hold on me that no one but Christ should have occupied. And, parallel with that time, the diversity in the global church was burning me up. However, recently I read John 17:20-23 with fresh eyes and heart. Pure and simple beauty.. Love you.. I really do.

  34. 334
    Martha McNeal says:

    125B Townsend Road, Hopewell Jct, NY
    Thank you sincerely for posting this. The timeliness for me personally leaves me in awe. Of a God again. For me I had thought my issue might be seasonal, and it may be in part but not the whole. Reflections very similar to what you shared. So still waiting on the Lord and trusting to do the deeper work in my own heart, as well as in others that we may find the unity born of the Spirit
    We desire, true koinonia.
    With you in Christ, in Him alone,
    Martha

  35. 335
    Dee Williams says:

    My sweet sister … I pray for you often and am lifting the shield of faith high from the grace boat. Still miss those Tuesday night studies, but know you followed Hum. Much love!

  36. 336
    Narda says:

    Dear Beth,
    Our Lord, Jesus Christ is interceding for you . Stand firm in Christ. He will carry you through. You are just noticing your feelings, and feelings are not ” truth”. The Bible is truth and God’s word is life.
    We are disallusioned at times , beaten down, but Jesus loves His own and is able to keep His own. We can feel lost , identity questioned, purpose shaken, but He is able. Truth is God’s word and stands forever like Jesus is the only way. Nothing else compares to running the course – just pursuing our Lord , humbly but with utmost sincere love. Simple trust , simple living one day at a time . God bless you , our Beth, keep you and lead you .

  37. 337
    Amy says:

    Please, please… Do not grow weary if doing good.

  38. 338
    Renee Love says:

    I can relate to much of what you said, it feels like so much has changed, but in the end Jesus remains the same and I want to be found in Him. Praying for you Beth.

  39. 339
    Nancy Remling says:

    I’m so sorry you are going through this hard time. All of us true believers have experienced this. It’s painful and difficult but Jesus is enough. He truly is. My grown children are in my opinion in a complete crisis of faith. I blame myself for this. But I hold fast to the truth of Christ. He will not fail. I love you and your ministry. God bless you in all things.

  40. 340
    Derry Gleason says:

    I know this journey. Godspeed.

  41. 341
    Chandra Domich says:

    Hi Beth,
    I left my church in April after 28 years. A denominational church not operating in the 5 fold ministry. Over the last 8 years my “life as I knew it blew up”. The only two things that sustained me were I know God is good and I know His promises are true. From there God took me on a journey and I was exposed to the gifts of the Holy Spirit. I realized that I had the authority because of what Jesus did on the cross and by His commission to go preach the gospel, heal, cast out demons, and raise the dead to do these things. A few of us started an inner healing ministry 6 years ago and we have see so many miracles. I have traveled with Global Awakening over 10 x’s hungry to see God move in miraculous ways. I left the church not because of a divide but because I am more Charismatic then I ever thought I would be. Yet after I left not one person checked in to see why? And the healing prayer ministry we started has been under a huge attack. People I have called my family for 28 years did not reach out. I left because even after testifying to what God was doing they were happy just remaining in the status quo. Great programs, good sermons, but no doing what the sermons say to do. I have no bitterness I am just sorry they can’t see what God is doing. I was the same, it took my life being ripped away from me for me to seek Him even deeper.
    I don’t know what you are going through but I pray you have the courage to do whatever God tells you to. I know you hold a lot of responsibility as a teacher- don’t hold back go for it! Bless you Chandra

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    Deb Wood says:

    Dearest Beth, We your sisters come along side of you and we raise our shields of faith, standing in all that is true because of the shed blood of Christ. I’m presently half into your study “entrusted” and this post reminds me of the letters Paul wrote Timothy, while in prison. His call to Timothy to not give up doing what was right; echoing your words of what He would come against while delivering the gospel. I was reminded that no prison can keep Paul contained but infact, the love for Timothy whom God had entrusted him with, he refused to stop calling Timothy out of discouragement, and reminding him of God’s faithfulness. I don’t know if you will read this post, but for those reading I am reminded of where God lead me to read just last week; psalms 84:6. God was telling them he was leading them out of the valley of Baca, which means tears. The enemy has told you, that you are in a prison; and we your sisters are calling to you; look up He is coming, and he will ride his stallion and stoop down to you and bring you out of the valley of tears. We love you dear sister, mentor, accountability, truth speaker and warrior. Now pick up your scord!!

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    Susan says:

    As I read and felt your heart tug I too felt tears welling up in my eyes. I’ve never been able to write how I feel, but I know it hurts. I have been serving in ministry alongside my husband for over 30 years and it seems as though I am a stranger, a stranger to those I have served and those that have served me; to those that I love dearly and have been loved by in return. I don’t know where He is taking me and I don’t know where I’m going at times but I know this, I will love Him, even when I don’t feel loved I will obey Him, even when I want to rebel and I will never forget where I was and where He has taken me. It has been beautiful and ugly all at the same time. I know that if I keep telling myself that my identity is solely in Him, that I will start to “fully” believe it. Only till I see Him “Face to face” will I know completely. I’m willing to wait for that.

    Thank you, Beth, for your vulnerability and your willingness to let us all know that you too are human and you need Him just like we all do. What a beautiful Name it is, the Name of Jesus!

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    Natalie says:

    Hey Ms. Beth! I just happened to glance at your blog and saw this. I was at LIT this past year, and your commitment to God’s Word and your passion for our generation was SO refreshing. You don’t even know the impact it has had on me to further the Kingdom! It seems to me that you are not the one having the identity crisis; the church is having that problem, and I pray they remember that their purpose is to spread the gospel and make disciples. So sorry this year has been so hard 🙁 I would never have known it during LIT. That Saturday was seriously the biggest JOY and blessing to me. I will be praying for you!! Love, Natalie

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    Regina Ripamonti says:

    Dear Beth,
    Thank you for your openness and refreshing transparency! We love you for it. We love you for your authenticity and relentless tenacity to have Jesus, only Jesus, Jesus first in your life and your ministry.
    A group of friends and I started a study last night of the book, The Emotionally Healthy Woman by Geri Scazzero. It’s been groundbreaking for many of us who’ve read the book and last night we covered the first of 8 ‘I quits’…Quit Being Afraid of What Others Think. One of the ladies in the group sent me this blog post of yours and I can tell you that you have touched on a HUGE stronghold that we all need to ask the Lord to break in us. God is doing a major stripping work in me and has been for the past year. Stripping me of an idenity rooted in anything else but the Father’s love for me….identity in my ministry, identity in being a great mom, identity in being knowledgeable about the Bible, identity in church denomination or lack thereof, identity in whatever, a myriad of things. The Holy Spirit’s fire has been and is burning off much dross from my heart. It’s been very bittersweet but I’m finding my desire for Him alone is stronger than it’s ever been. He has to prune me in order to use me. And the pruning hurts but I’m looking a bit more like Jesus, more and more. He’s helping me to get ‘over myself’! John 5:44 How can you believe, when you receive glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes only from God? Oh precious Lord, purge from us the desire to receive glory and acceptance from others. Keep our eyes firmly fixed on Jesus and by your mighty grace, help us to live for an audience of One. Praying you through this season, Beth. You do belong….you have many sisters in Christ who love you to bits and are cheering you on as you so tirelessly cheer us on. All for Jesus!

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    Amanda says:

    Dear Beth,
    Amen and Amen!!! Satan is hard at work isn’t he?? His time is short and you have a HUGE impact on us women because you ALLOW God to use you. I do know how you feel. It’s good to belong. I just think we are extremely distracted by all the “ways” to belong. We actually don’t end of being very supportive of one another or having real relationships in all our “connecting.” It feels empty. Especially since we are made for face to face communicating and relating, the good, the bad, the ugly. We want everything faster, superficial, and grandiose. Beth, you offer us JESUS, the REAL thing, a real relationship with HIM that involves getting off your phone and iPads and back into God’s written word on paper. This is where I can underline, write notes, prayers, dates, and remember all God has done for me. Anything less is just not what God wants. So, PLEASE, learn whatever God wants you to learn in this season (it usually becomes a fantastic Bible Study for the rest of us), but remember YOU are Loved by SO many. I know my life would not be anywhere near where it is today without your willing surrender to be used of God. Many Blessings dear friend from one Siesta to another!! 🙂

  47. 347
    Rose42 says:

    Dear Beth,
    You’re not alone in this. As a single young woman living alone in a city 7 hours away from home, I too have been going through identity crisis as well. I wrestle with many of the same things I think most 25 year olds deal with like “Will I ever get married? Have children? And the need to be needed.” I’m caught in the middle of being the teenage Sunday school teacher I was and stepping into whatever my new role is suppose to be. I recently came out of a busy season where I was traveling and serving the Lord in a very physical way in other countries and now that season has abruptly stopped and for the past year I’ve almost felt like Ive had idle hands. So many times I’ve said to myself, “I don’t recognize this place.” but also I’ve never had more time like to just dive into His word. I am beginning an in-depth study on the book of Exodus. This study is conducted solely for my own personal desire to understand the deeper things of the word of God. My hope is to learn more about the nature of God in a particular passage that I have not always understood. To be honest in all the times I’ve studied early Scriptures (not invasively) God seemed a little bit bigger, mean or even as strange as it may sound, frightening. I want to understand why I have felt this way and hopefully dis prove my theory or at least find out why God often needed to be so firm in the Old Testament, particularly with the Israelites. For some reason I had the feeling that is about to change my perspective on something’s hopefully many things! I think that I’m about to view the children of Israel through the eyes of a parent/father. Now, two questions for you. 1) is there any advice you would like to give for young woman battling this identity crisis at this season of her life? 2) what resources would you recommend for such a in-depth Word search journey?

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    Karen Todd says:

    Amen, I want only Jesus and more of Him. I am in a period of my life where I am searching for where Jesus wants me, and I fight discouragement everyday and some days I feel overwhelmed by things that happen and I have no control over. Lord, help us all, and please just give me Jesus.

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    Steve Schenewerk says:

    Wow. I was with 110 teens and 35 adults at a camp when I read this but limited connectivity. as a 61 yr old pastor- raised in SBC culture and spending 40 years in small ( normal) rural churches I certainly identify with your sense of dislocation. just this morning in a group of fellow who pastors and lament from a variety of denominations we all shared a sense of dislocation.
    thanks for your honesty

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    Dawn Byers says:

    Praying for your faith to be made stronger as He molds You…have thine own way Lord, have thine own way, for thou art the potter I am the clay….may we be made into vessels for His service…

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