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Beth Moore Is Still Writing Her Story

Beth Moore Is Still Writing Her Story

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Plenty has been written about Beth Moore.

Ever since she stepped into the public spotlight in the 90s, people from all over the world have had a lot to say about the Texas teacher with the strong Southern accent. Moore has spent the last several decades working through her Living Proof Ministries to train and equip women with Biblical knowledge and advice. As her ministry grew, her supporters and critics alike had a lot to say.

Beth Moore’s ‘All My Knotted-Up Life’ shines never-before-discussed details on the speaker’s life.

Now, she’s decided it’s time to tell her story, in her own words. In her memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life, Moore uses her familiar and humorous tone to share the realities of her life and how she’s felt about the diffculties she’s walked through.

But, she admits, that doesn’t mean she’s figured everything out.

Setting the Record Straight

“What made it the perfect time to tell my story was that I had never known less about who I was and what my identity was,” Moore said to RELEVANT. “Now, I know what my place is in Christ. I belong to Him, and I know who I am in Jesus. But as far as this life plan… well, so much of it has gone off-road that I feel like I’m in a vehicle, jumping all over the place.”

She’s not wrong. Moore’s life has been one hurdle after another. In her memoir, Moore goes into details about the abuse and trauma she’s had to overcome throughout her life.

Moore’s childhood was more complex than anyone knew. She was one of five siblings in a family that was “zipped up inside the unknown together.” From the outside looking in, everything seemed normal and happy. But the inside told a much different story.

For the first time ever, Moore opens up in her memoir about what it was like to live with a father who sexually abused her and cheated on his wife regularly in a way that led Moore’s mother to mental illness and the brink of suicide.

By the time she was able to forgive him on his deathbed, the damage had dug its roots deep into her life. She battled depression throughout her 30s, brought about not only by her childhood but also due in part to learning to live with her husband’s PTSD and bipolar disorder.

Life didn’t slow down there. In her 40s, Moore gained prominence in the Church as a speaker and author, despite many people encouraging her to simply be quiet.

“You know, I wasn’t looking for it,” Moore said. “I didn’t have any clue that I would go under some kind of scrutiny. But suddenly I’m going to speaking engagements which are getting bigger and bigger, the Bible studies are taking off, and I’m in rooms of thousands of people. I can’t even describe the anxiety of it.”

Moore pressed on, learning to stay focused on her mission as others tried to slow her down.

And then 2016 happened, and Moore faced her most vocal critics yet. She was one of a few prominent leaders who didn’t throw support behind President Donald Trump, instead calling out his hypocrisy and bigotry. Suffice to say, people were not thrilled.

Moore faced more critics online and in real life than ever before.

“At this point, I’ve been called every insult,” she said. “I’ve even learned a few new ones.”

The way people spoke about her tempted her to step away from public ministry. Yet every time she thought about it, she found a reason to stay.

“It has been very, very difficult,” Moore admitted. “But I’m going to tell you right now, one of the things that has kept me out there through all the controversy, through all the criticism, through getting on social media, was all the young women out there.

“I kept thinking to myself, ‘Oh my gosh, what I’d love to do is just go completely out of the public eye,’” she continued. “Well, not quit ministry — I’ll never quit ministry because I’m in that with Jesus. But what became my concern is that the culture was going to use me as a cautionary tale and make women say, ‘Whoa, I don’t ever want that to happen to me.’”

Moore was determined to not let that be the case. Despite the negative comments she faced, she continued to speak up, whether it was on stage or on Twitter.

“Your generation had so much to do with it, so I don’t know whether to thank you or to spank you,” Moore joked. “But I just knew you deserved to see some people hang in there.”

Determination and Grit

As a female teacher in a space dominated by men, Moore has faced more obstacles and worked to overcome more hurdles than many of her peers.

On one hand, it’s easy for Moore to look back on her life and only see “the trainwreck,” as she lovingly refers to it. But she’s gotten some perspective and realized through it all, she’s found a story worth telling.

“I would have thought by the time I was 65, I would be able to just sum up some things and it would all have come together on one trajectory I could easily define,” she said, “But that is not what happened.”

As she’s gotten older, she’s found that life isn’t about having all the answers. It’s messier, freer, more confusing, but ultimately still good.

“If you had asked me 10, 15, 20 years ago, I would have told you my story in a completely different way,” she said. “I would have told you that the whole thing looked like one mess. But I can see how good God has been good to me all along.

“I hope [my story] is a value to someone else,” Moore continued. “I don’t want it to just be a value to me, because if it was, I could have done that in a journal. It would have saved me a lot of time, a lot of trouble and a lot of anxiety. But I just want it to encourage somebody else who needs to hear it.”

Moore continually brings up the importance of setting an example for younger believers. For many women who grew up in the Church in the 2000s, she has been a bit of a spiritual big sister. Someone older and wiser who could show others what it meant to stay focused on God throughout the ups and downs of life. It’s a role that she takes very seriously.

When Moore sat down to write her memoir, she knew she would have to bring a layer of vulnerability she’d never used before. Although it was an emotional process, she came out on the other side grateful for the new lessons she learned along the way.

“I went into it knowing that I was going to share some things I’d never shared before, and there is a relief that I can just come out of that writing process and go, ‘Here are some things we dealt with now, and let’s see how we can encourage you in the aftermath of having told that,’” she said.

“I think often we look back on our lives and have so many regrets and questions and frustrations,” she continued. “But somehow at the end of it, I realized I may not feel like I have a very good story, but I have had a very good God. If you allow the Lord to work through some of your story with you, you would be able to see His hand prints all over it.”

As she’s reflected back on her own life, Moore has recognized God’s hand prints on every part of her story. She recognized them along the way too, because there were many times that was all she had to keep her going.

“There are times when nothing else is enough,” she said. “You’re only in it because you love Jesus and He loves you. It is very deliberate — us choosing that Jesus is worth this.

“I’ll tell you this: my belief system wouldn’t have been worth it if He wasn’t worthy. Christianity as just another way of thinking or a world view would not have been worth it. But Jesus is worth it. He is worth it every time,” she continued.

Moore’s passion grows the longer she speaks about the worthiness of God. When you hear her talk about it with such conviction, it’s hard for anyone to argue against her. Her assuredness lends well to her strong will.

“I have always been a strong-willed woman,” she said. “There’s nothing more wonderful than a strong-willed woman — that is, a woman who is strong-willed about the will of God in her life. That kind of strong will is essential in this culture.”

The Next Chapter

Moore’s memoir may be out, but she knows her story is far from over.

“I don’t know how many years I have left,” Moore said, “but I want to be able to speak into people’s lives, and minister to some people who have had similar challenges as I have.”

While Moore is still figuring out the next steps in her life, she has one prayer she returns to over and over again that keeps her going. It’s something she’s prayed for since the very beginning of her ministry — before the book deals, the speaking engagements, the platforms. One thought that’s kept her moving forward.

“I ask the Lord to open a door for me, and then I walk through it.”

It’s a simple prayer, something that can have big or little follow-up steps after it. But for Moore, it’s all she’s needed to keep one foot in front of the other. Although, she’s under no illusion that it’s an easy prayer to live out.

“I’ll be the first to admit that my walk with Jesus has certainly been wobbly. I know what it is like to fall in the ditch. And I have gotten back up just to trip and fall again, or I should say God has picked me back up,” she said.

The last few years have included more bumps and trips than Moore likes to admit, but it’s also reignited a fire in her. She jokes often about what getting older means for her, but she knows she’s got plenty of wisdom left to pass down to younger generations, even if no one knows what’s coming next.

“What God is calling some young women to might not even exist yet,” she said. “He’s getting us ready for things that we don’t even know how to prepare for. We just have to trust it.”

Moore has learned over and over again what it’s like to walk into an unknown future. When she began her ministry by leading aerobics classes at her local church, she never could have guessed where she’d end up decades later. It turned out to be better than anything she could have imagined, even with the bumps and bruises along the way.

And that’s a hope she clings to as she looks to the future of the Church. Because right now, things look bleak. Church membership has been declining for years, and studies predict Christianity will become a minority within the next few decades. Despite all of this, however, Moore is still hopeful for the future, because she has placed her hope in the right place.

“Nothing is happening beyond God’s command and beyond His eye,” she said. “So you look around your churches or your events or whatever it may be, and you see so many less people. And we start to think to ourselves, ‘Well, this can’t be good. Christianity is dying.’

“But Christ was raised from the dead, meaning Christianity cannot die. It simply cannot. Christianity is going to endure to the end of this world, to the end of this age, to the creation of a new heaven and a new earth. It’s going to endure, but what we must trust Him to do is that very often growing looks like shrinking. He’s pruning back branches so that they will grow,” she continued.

Moore believes the key to growing the Church is for the next generation of leaders to flip the narrative on what a flourishing body of believers can and should look like.

“We have been trained to think numbers and success are signs that God is pleased,” she said. “We have lost touch with what Christ-likeness looks like in the Gospel. But you’ve got to be able to distinguish between those two things. And once you can get to where you can distinguish between what is Christ-like and what is just in our culture, then you’re going to find there are a whole lot of people pursuing Jesus.”

This is a lesson Moore had to learn the hard way. Throughout the years, as she’s faced vocal opponents who have questioned her faith and ministry at every turn, she’s felt discouragement that the Church was failing. But everytime she started questioning what was going on with God’s people, someone would enter her life to remind her of what true Christianity looked like.

“Do you know how many people are out there today you will never, ever see on a screen that are just serving the poor? Or who are just helping a woman find a safe place for her and her child? Or who is helping somebody out that is just not going to make it through their sickness? So much of Jesus’ work is happening, but we associate it with what we see on a platform, and here with the loud volume. And it’s just two completely different things,” she said.

Moore hopes the next generation will be able to see the difference better than her generation could. She’s made it her life’s mission to help teach young people what true Christianity looks like in our world.

“I want your generation to be able to distinguish between what Christianity can look like on people and who Christ actually is,” she said. “I say this over and over again: get to know Christ. We have to be able to distinguish — especially in American Christianity — between what it looks like to be pro-Christian and what is actually Christ-like. And we don’t ever, ever use un-Christ-like means to get pro-Christian results.”

It’s taken Moore a long time to get to a place where she’s comfortable saying all of that. She knows her words will anger many people and might even cause division, even though that’s the last thing she wants. But she’s learned that she can face her fights head on, because God’s carrying her through it all.

“If I’m being honest, I feel like most of my bones are broken from the top of my head to the bones in my feet,” she said. “I feel battered up. But the best part of writing this memoir was seeing the times when Satan meant to absolutely destroy me, and there were times when it felt like he got away with it, and realizing that as I look back over my life, even with all these broken bones, I did land on my feet.”

© 2023 RELEVANT Media Group, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

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