Part 1: Beth Moore on Writing Her Memoir
Part 2: Beth Moore on Her Broken Past
Part 3: Beth Moore on the Firestorm
That’s right, 4:13ers! Author and Bible teacher Beth Moore is on the podcast, and I was so excited to talk to her about her new memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life.
Not only did I get to read it before it was released, but I also got the inside scoop from Beth. And sister, we had the best conversation. She shared such interesting and encouraging insights from her life, and then we spent some time catching up.
Did you know she and I go way back? She even wrote the forward for my first book 20 years ago. Fun, right?
Well today, you’ll get to hear how we met and our history in ministry together. And then, we take the plunge into her new book.
But here’s the thing…
We had so much to talk about that I had to break up our conversation into three episodes. It was just way too good to leave anything out!
As we get started, Beth shares her fears about writing this book. You’ll hear how she received her call to vocational ministry many years ago, as well as get a glimpse into her broken past.
Then we talk about what was happening behind the scenes with her marriage and how her past was beginning to show up and really dog her. And, for the very first time, she shares about her husband, Keith, and the trauma he experienced as a child. Plus, she’ll take us through the testing on her life that almost took her down.
And finally, we talk about what happened in 2016. You remember! It was full of controversy, challenges, and criticism—it was the Twitter storm that changed everything for Beth and her ministry as she knew it. She also shares about her departure from her lifelong denomination and why she was willing to risk what it may cost.
Be sure to listen to all three episodes because, sister, you won’t want to miss a thing!
Beth Moore is a New York Times bestselling author and teacher whose conferences take her across the globe. Beth founded Living Proof Ministries in 1994 with the purpose of encouraging women to know and love Jesus through the study of Scripture. She has written numerous bestselling books and Bible studies, including So Long, Insecurity; Chasing Vines; Breaking Free; and Now That Faith Has Come, as well as the novel The Undoing of Saint Silvanus.
In addition to her conferences, Beth can be seen teaching Bible studies on Living Proof with Beth Moore on the Trinity Broadcasting Network. She and her husband of 44 years live in Houston, Texas. She is a dedicated wife, the mother of two adult daughters, the grandmother of three delightful grandchildren, an active church member, and a dog-lover-to-the-death.
[Listen to the podcast using the player above, or read the transcript below. Then check out the links below for more helpful resources.]
- You can win a copy of Beth’s book, All My Knotted-Up Life. Hurry—we’re picking a random winner on March 7! Enter on Instagram here.
More from Beth Moore
- Visit Living Proof Ministries website
- All My Knotted-Up Life: A Memoir
- Follow Beth on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe to the 4:13 Podcast here.
- Were you encouraged by this podcast? Reviews help the 4:13 Podcast reach more women with the “I can” message. Click here to leave a review on iTunes.
4:13 Podcast: Beth Moore on All Her Knotted-Up Life [BONUS]
Part 1: Beth Moore on Writing Her Memoir
Beth Moore: What I have to give you is the authentic me. I've done that as well as I've known how in these books all of these years. But what I don't know how to do is a more sophisticated version of myself without coming across ingenuine. So this is it. This is what can I do?
KC Wright: Welcome to a fantastic, amazing, turn up the volume, can't stop listening podcast. This is a bonus episode of the 4:13 Podcast where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live the "I can" life because -- here's truth -- you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. Today you'll hear from one incredible guest: author and Bible teacher, Beth Moore. I'm KC Wright, Jennifer's seeing-eye guy, and now your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, hey 4:13ers. It's Jennifer Rothschild here. And I am so glad you're here because, oh, my goodness, do I have a gift for you. This is the first of three bonus episodes featuring author and Bible teacher Beth Moore. Oh, my goodness, y'all. She is talking about her brand new memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life. I got to listen to the audio version of this book, and I cannot wait for you to read her book or to listen to it, whichever you prefer. So on this first bonus episode, Beth is going to share her fears about writing this book and why the audiobook happens to be so special.
So we started off by she getting onto the podcast a little early, so she surprised me. And once I got over her showing up a little early and trying to get my act together, we caught up just a little bit, and then this is how the conversation started.
Beth Moore: I can either wait if you need a few more minutes to get ready. We can do anything you want, my friend!
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh noooo. I have been ready for three days.
Beth Moore: (Laughs) Jennifer!
Jennifer Rothschild: Listen. I listened, okay? So your people sent me your audiobook, and I also gave it to one of my team members -- one of my very trusted team members. I said, "Here, I need you to have this and listen for me because I don't know if I'll have time to finish it." Okay? I barely ate, slept -- did nothing responsible and listened to your entire book. I loved it, Beth. I loved it so much. I'm not blowing smoke here. And I'm like a book snob and a coffee snob and -- the literariness of it was incredible. Your water motif that you pull through the whole thing; your storytelling is masterful. I mean, I am so pumped about this that I'm actually nervous. I mean, it is so good!
Beth Moore: Jennifer, listen, I got to tell you -- number one, you not only have just made my day and caused me so much joy, but I know you'll understand what I'm about to say, but -- relief -- because you have published many books yourself, and you know it just is never without anxiety. Never. And then add to it that it is your story with a lot of the grit in it that you have tried to just really stay on the surface of for a long time. I've known that if ever God prompted me, I was ready to go a little bit deeper so that I could spend some of my later years ministering fairly focused in some of these areas that are very challenging. But still, this is a memoir, and it's like -- boy, they're not just going to be critiquing my writing style or even my doctrine.
Jennifer Rothschild: It's you!
Beth Moore: As vital as -- it's me!
Jennifer Rothschild: Your whole naked self.
Beth Moore: Girl, it is the truth. And so the other thing I have to tell you -- because this will always be special to me -- you need to know that I did not know Tyndale had sent it to you. And Jennifer, you are literally the first person outside our small Tyndale team that has even listened to it. So of the general population. I have not had one word of feedback on that until you. I'm talking about -- because you did the audio.
Jennifer Rothschild: And so did one of my team members, by the way, who is very trusted. It turns out she didn't need to, but she was so happy that she got to because she was texting me quotes. She was saying, "I am undone." "I am laughing out loud." Okay. But I will say this, the reading is brilliant. The drama of it -- the musicality of it -- the lyricness. I mean, it was -- seriously Beth! Like, my friend, Paula, who works on my team, she said, "You need to tell people on that podcast they need to listen to the audiobook." She said, "I'm sure print is good, but there's nothing like that audiobook."
Beth Moore: You know, Melissa -- you know, my two daughters, Amanda and Melissa -- I texted them about this interview and [indecipherable] already had a heads up because Philip had told her that we were going to be on together today. But they had both said, "Mom, we think this will be maybe the first time of any of your books that you've done on audio..." They said, "Maybe more people will actually listen than actually read." And I don't know, we'll see.
But Jennifer, I was so afraid. Okay, here was one of my dilemmas. So here I am going to read back to my childhood and I thought, the only way I can do this is in my Arkansas tongue -- in the accent that we used inside my home. I've said as many times as anybody would listen, I'm not just from the hills of Arkansas. I'm from the bowels. I do mean the bowels of Arkansas way out in rural Arkansas. My people are buried deep in that ground and so we have all of those kinds of colloquialisms. And so it wasn't true to me. It didn't sound true to me until I just decided... Go with the accent and then tell them. So I hope they added this part because at the very beginning--
Jennifer Rothschild: They did!
Beth Moore: Oh good, because...
Jennifer Rothschild: I thought that was really smart. Yes!
Beth Moore: If you can't stand it, bear with it. It may not get much better, but it will change.
Jennifer Rothschild: No, I thought that was really smart because otherwise it would take the reader off guard. They'd be like, "That doesn't sound like her. What in the world?"
Beth Moore: It just didn't sound to use those kinds of disagreements between the noun and verb with a serious and ironic voice. I couldn't do it. So I'm so glad you made it through because afterwards I thought maybe that was not a good idea.
Jennifer Rothschild: No, I think it was a good idea and I think it was a brilliant idea to give the reader heads up in your note from the author.
Beth Moore: Well, I'm so glad to hear that.
Okay, so Jennifer, when you said, "The music with it." See, I have not listened -- listen carefully to me because I'm not teasing with you and I think that you may understand this -- depends on how hard you are on yourself and if you're equally hard on yourself. But I haven't heard any of it, so I don't know anything. Girl no! I'm asked all the time, do you go back and review your work? Maybe it's obvious that -- know the answer to that. I'm watching myself on video or listening on audio. No! I can't stand the sound of my own voice, so--
Jennifer Rothschild: Me neither! And it's not like you can do anything about it. So I don't want to know. I just want to move on!
Beth Moore: I am with you! What I have to give you is the authentic me. I've done that as well as I've known how in these books all of these years. But what I don't know how to do is a more sophisticated version of myself without coming across ingenuine. So this is it. What can I do? My story is not someone else's. I can think of a lot better stories to have, but I felt like, okay, it's mine, it's mine. And that felt good.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm just saying I've read so much of your stuff. I just think this is the finest -- the absolute finest!
Beth Moore: Oh, Jennifer!
Jennifer Rothschild: As your friend who was completely and utterly ticked off about what's happened the last few years, I felt like your story and your heart and your character was well represented. And when you said -- you know -- "Delete anything that sounds defensive," whatever, I felt like you had such a magnanimous and humble spirit in the way you told that part of your story, I wanted to fill in a bunch of things. "But then so and so said this and then such and such did that." I've restrained. But my point is you could lay that at the throne of Jesus and say, "Here is my gift to you, and He would be honored."
Beth Moore: I'm so glad. I cannot tell you what that means to me.
Jennifer Rothschild: So now all the gushing and reassuring and just plain enjoying talking about how we felt about Beth's book is over. So now we're going to actually start talking about what is in the book. So here we go.
Okay. So can I ask you some -- can I take you through some of your story?
Beth Moore: Anything you want, my friend. I trust you.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, well, let's start -- because not everybody knows your story -- so let's start in Arkansas. That's where you start. You give us this very delightful and somewhat difficult glimpse into your family. Okay? And, by the way, you wrote a really interesting statement, I thought, about your family. It applies to all of our families.
Beth Moore: Oh, I'd love to hear it.
Jennifer Rothschild: You said, "We know each other way too well to know each other at all." I thought it was so interesting.
Beth Moore: Is it true?
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, so give us a glimpse into your family growing up, and what was your biggest takeaway from those years as being a little girl?
Beth Moore: Okay. All right, because I want to say this to somebody, because most of the people that I've served since I moved to Texas in the middle of high school, they think of me as a Texan. And I am! I love being a Texan, but when you're in a family with a husband who is native born, even in Houston, and then two daughters, and then I'm surrounded by people that -- really you have to be born here to be considered what they think is a true Texan. So I would still tell you -- and I know this sounds so weird -- but I still to this day, because my roots are so deep in the soil of Arkansas, I will still tell you that I think and reason in many ways like an Arkansan more than a Texan. So to say that, let me take you back a little ways. I was raised on a hill -- the early part of my life -- on a hill right outside Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Arkansas, a college town, about an hour from Little Rock. And I was raised on that hill until I was about seven, and then we moved in town. But I was raised in a family of eight. So I have four brothers and sisters, my parents and then my grandmother -- who you referenced a little earlier in the podcast -- she lived with us.
And so I point this out because for any of you who have lived in a three generation family, it's a different dynamic than if you haven't. Whether your grandfather lived with you or whoever it may have been -- it's just, it's different. I'm not saying it's any better. I'm not saying it's any worse. I'm just saying it's different. It depends on them whether it's better or worse. I am deeply grateful that my grandmother lived in that home. But literally, when my parents married, she moved in with my parents and was living with us when she passed away when I was in the later part of high school. So that's an important thing to know. So lots and lots of kids. And the wonderful thing was that we were taken -- I mean -- to church, First Baptist Church of Arkadelphia, Arkansas, every single time. And when we say -- and Jennifer, I think you may have this background. I'm not positive -- but I mean, every time the door is open, which is multiple times a week in those days and all different services; there was not just one thing you came to. You went on Sunday morning and you went to Sunday school, church, and then you went again in the evening to what they call training union in church again. And then you went to missions classes on Wednesday...
Jennifer Rothschild: And then Wednesday night.
Beth Moore: And then you went to prayer meeting and you had choir. All of that.
Jennifer Rothschild: And church visitation.
Beth Moore: Exactly, all of it. And then all the youth stuff, you name it. So I went to vacation Bible school every summer. Then when I was in the 6th grade and graduated out of it, I started helping with it. So it was a very constant thing and constant presence in my life. And so at the same time that church was this harbor for me and this constant, my family was incredibly unstable. And one of the things -- you would have known this, you would have known this the moment, because we have known each other long enough -- you would have known what I cheered up to now and then when something was like, "Whoa, that's brand new." And, you know, I have always remained vague about the circumstances of my abuse and of the identity of my abuser. And I tell it in this book and I'm going to tell you why. Not to bring disrespect or to bring graphics. It's not graphic, but you just know. You know what happened. I am very clear what the circumstances were and that it was in my own home.
But Jennifer, I knew someday that I would probably do it. And my reason being -- incest is its own thing. And there is no abuse that is not destructive and devastating. None. And then there is incest that has been much longer term or worse than what I went through. But what I am going to tell you is that when the system under the roof breaks down and the one who was supposed to be your protector -- or one of the ones who was supposed to be your protector -- is your perpetrator, Jennifer, I'm telling you, all bets are off. And so I've wanted to speak to this and I've intimated I've gotten so close, but I thought, "You know, I'm 65 years old. What really do I have to lose?" I sat down and sat across from Keith. This was early on. And I said, "Baby, here we are in our mid-60s. We don't know how much of our lives we have left. Maybe a lot of years, maybe not many years. But I just ask you, what do we have to lose to tell just another layer of our story and to go ahead and say -- to minister to somebody specifically." I've never been able to use that word so that I could say to someone, maybe an adolescent girl, maybe a young woman, maybe an old woman.
Jennifer, do you know how many people -- because I told it real early, I just didn't tell who it was -- do you know how many gray-headed women, gray-headed women, Jennifer, have hugged me through the years and whispered in my ear, "I have never told anyone that I was abused until now."
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, gosh.
Beth Moore: That I was their first person because I was their Bible teacher. And they've gotten where -- in their day, just like in my day, and especially the day before my day, in my mother's day -- you would never have told something like that. It would be to bring shame on your entire family. And it's the reason why so many people never, ever recover is because they can't bring it out into the light where it can be exposed to the healing of the Lord Jesus and where we could get some good, solid, professional therapy. So I knew -- I hoped to someday get more specific and be able to just say to someone who has known that particular devastation, "I get it. I get it. I know what it's like to be so ashamed of yourself that you feel like a fate worse than death is for people to really know you." But it's in being really known by God, and then by some others, that you are set free.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, yeah, I can't wait for people to read -- and I would love to recommend listen -- to the book because there's something about being that specific. There are a lot of people who will feel for the first time known and seen and heard because of that gift. And it is a gift. And so we don't take that gift lightly that you share that. And I remember reading as you talked about your family, basically just spinning out of control. Your mom went through a terrible time of depression.
Beth Moore: Terrible, terrible depression.
Jennifer Rothschild: And I just thought of little Beth. I wanted to go into the pages of the book and snatch you out of that scene because there was no sense of stability. And you wrote that "one of our family's core values was fear."
Beth Moore: Fear, yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And it makes total sense. You had nothing to anchor you except Christ, which is enough. Yet at the same time, we do need our family of origin to give us a sense of stability.
Beth Moore: Yeah, we do. Jennifer, you said something -- it was very tender of you to say you wished you could have snatched that little Beth out. I want to tell you something because I just know that one of our listeners is going to be able to relate to this -- because I made so many poor decisions and I've caused myself so much pain and so much harm over those decisions -- I did not look back at my life with much mercy. I really didn't, because I thought, "Girl, I mean, there's what happened to you, but then the pain you caused yourself is just unfathomable." But I will tell you that it was the first time and not only there, but I was able to look -- in fact, I could choke up now talking about it -- my high school self, my very messed up high school self. I could look back and go, "Bless you. Bless you." And I felt mercy on her. And then looking back at how hard, Jennifer, I just wonder -- of course, it makes me want to read your memoir. Makes me want you to write... Makes me want to read... Because one of the things that I think that as Christian -- as these young speakers and authors that we were, Jennifer -- we still had lived only a little bit of life.
Jennifer Rothschild: Right.
Beth Moore: But we felt the weight of the world, and we were -- if I may say this to you -- as many mistakes as we may have made -- and I don't know any that you've made, but I've made a gillion -- in getting this wrong that I taught or that or saying something a way I wish I hadn't said it. All the things, all the things, all the things. But I can look back and I can go, that girl was trying hard. And I believe that you would say the same. That as you look back at your early marriage, you're trying to get all the... How do I be a Christian wife, and how am I going to go speak, and I'm mad at my husband. I don't know, maybe you've never been mad...
Jennifer Rothschild: Oh, no. Yeah, that could be part of my testimony right there.
Beth Moore: Yeah, it's tough. It's tough.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, I will say this and you hit that in your book a little bit later because I'm going to ask you about that because while you're on platform, you're living this life. It is not unauthentic because you can be honest without being thorough.
Beth Moore: Absolutely.
Jennifer Rothschild: And we all know that we got stuff going on that doesn't always show up on the platform. But I think there's some people listening who don't even know how you got to be where you are.
So let's go back to the 18-year-old Beth -- you mentioned being a teenager -- 18-year-old Beth, and you are a counselor at a GA camp, which is Girls in Action or Girls Auxiliary. Something happened there. Tell us what happened.
Beth Moore: Yes. What I love being able to tell people, and I say this in the book, is that whether or not you buy my story here -- and by that I mean that you believe it -- surely you've got to know that if I was going to make it up, I would have put it in a better place than a bathroom. And I had gotten up early that morning, and just to put it in a nutshell, I got up early that morning, I had a cabin full of 6th grade girls and we were sharing with some other girls from some other churches. And I had gone as a sponsor, as a very young sponsor. Nobody else wanted to go. It was un-air conditioned in the middle of Houston, Texas, summer, all of those kinds of things. But I gotten up really early that morning and was just trying to wipe the sleepiness out of my eyes. So I'm in the lavatory, literally -- you know those -- what color do you even call the kind of green that a bathroom stall... I don't know what you'd even call it, but just that gross green.
Jennifer Rothschild: That pukey green
Beth Moore: And I'm standing -- yes, and I'm standing at a sink. A concrete floor. I'm standing at a sink that's got all the -- where it's been bumped and cracked and all the things -- it's not even perfectly clear. And the best way I know to explain it is that the presence of the Lord just engulfed me, engulfed me. And there were no words. I didn't see a vision, nothing. But in that moment -- I had been in Christ since childhood. I'd received Christ as Savior as a little girl -- but in that moment, I knew life had totally changed for me. And it was what I know now and what I'll say to someone listening is that was the moment that I received my calling.
And please understand, you could look at God calling people all the way from Genesis to Revelation and you won't find any pattern. So it doesn't need to look like that. You don't even have to know when that happens. You just look back and think, "Oh, well, when I was 24 years old, when I was 35 years old, when I was 55 years old, I really sensed the Lord calling me to do this." But think of it like that. But it was like every plan I had -- I mean, I knew it was a lifetime and I knew there was no going back. And I knew that the plans that I had for my life to give me a hope and a future were off and that -- whatever it was -- and I didn't have any idea. When people say, "Well, what were you called to?" It was like, "Follow me. You're mine."
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Wow!
Beth Moore: But here it was. And, you know, I was about to brush my teeth and it was like, "What do you do now?" And so I just brushed my teeth and spit. What can you do? But I happen to run out -- I want to tell somebody this because if you ever have, like, a moment that you really believe was -- you just had an encounter with the Lord that you don't know -- you know "What in the world was that? And I need to know. Have I made something up? I need to know." This is when you go to a mature believer. And somehow the Lord gave me the wherewithal -- I was not a wise person. I mean, I was just as superficial as you could imagine. But I somehow knew to go to the director of that GA missions camp and say, "I had something happen." And she said, "Tell me about it." and leaned forward. I'll never forget how she looked and after I told her the story, she said, "I believe that you have received a vocational call to Christian service." That's how we termed it then, is that right?
Jennifer Rothschild: Right, right.
Beth Moore: Is that the way you termed it, too? Yeah. And so she said, "You go Sunday, and just like you walk the aisle when you received Christ the Savior, you walk the aisle and you tell your pastor." And I was so glad that she told me that. For one thing, I would make so many -- I still had such brokenness; I was set to make poor decisions. I was set to make all manner of poor relational decisions, and I would still do it. I was like, "Lord, you'll never be sorry you called me." Well, then I come back to him several years later and go, "I know you're sorry, and I know it's off." And it's like, "Now maybe we can get started since you know you can't earn this if your life depends on it." But I was so glad I did that because I would never forget that. And it held me. I knew it was real. And so no matter what happened, I have been tempted to do a lot of things, Jennifer, quit has not been one of them.
Jennifer Rothschild: Wow, it's a long obedience in the same direction. Faithfulness.
Beth Moore: It is.
Jennifer Rothschild: And it started in a camp bathroom.
Well, it started there in that camp bathroom. And that calling has taken her across the world to the top of mountains and to the bottom of deep, emotional, dark valleys. But thankfully, one thing she never considered was quitting. May we all have the same long obedience in the same direction.
Well, my friends, we are just getting started. So listen to the next episode. It's going to show up right after this one. And on it, Beth will talk about meeting her husband and beginning in ministry and how that path unfolded, including the hard speed bumps that tripped her up and almost took her down. You don't want to miss this.
Okay, my friends, you need her book. It's called All My Knotted-Up Life. You can actually win one by going to my Instagram, which is @jennrothschild, and KC is going to tell you more. So KC, cue the official outro.
KC Wright: Thanks for joining us on this episode of the 4:13 Podcast. Go to the show notes now at 413podcast.com/bethmoore to read a complete transcript of this powerful conversation. And we'll also link you to her new book, All My Knotted-Up Life. But the best news... We're giving one away. Someone's going to win. It might as well be you. You can go straight to Jennifer's Instagram now at @jennrothschild to enter to win, or we will also have a link at the show notes to get you there. Again, the show notes are 413podcast.com/bethmoore. All right, this episode is a wrap. So until next time, remember, whatever you face and however you feel in this moment, you can do all things through Christ, who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
KC Wright: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: You can.
Part 2: Beth Moore on Her Broken Past
Beth Moore: It is like the enemy knows right now is the time. You are weak. You are tired. You are as vulnerable as you can possibly be. And I am coming for your Achilles heel. And I mean, he knows just exactly where to get us. Now, the thing about it is that God, if he could not bring glory, his glory, and our -- some sphere of influence, our fellow man, some good from it, it would get a no. But in his good purposes he will allow that refining fire. And I mean it came burning.
KC Wright: Welcome to a fantastic, amazing, turn up the volume, can't stop listening podcast. This is a bonus episode of the 4:13 Podcast where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live the "I can" life because -- here's truth -- you can't do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. Today you'll hear from one incredible guest: author and Bible teacher Beth Moore. I'm KC Wright, Jennifer's seeing-eye guy, and now your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well hey, this is Jennifer, and I am just here to help you be and do more than you even feel capable of as you're living as "I can" life of Philippians 4:13. I hope that you got to hear the first of these three bonus episodes featuring Beth Moore and her memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life. Wasn't it good? Well, this is the second of three and on this episode, we're going to be talking about, well, what was happening behind the scenes with her marriage and how her past was beginning to show up and really dog her. So she met her husband, Keith, in college, and I asked her to introduce him to us. And also, I asked her to share what she -- for the very first time -- shares about Keith and their marriage in her new book. So, here we go.
Beth Moore: Early on, I knew he had come from pain. I didn't know how much because, I mean, you know, I was 20 years old when I met him, and he was distractingly cute. And all the things... He was mysterious, a little bit dark, a little bit of a brooder. I'm very enthusiastic. Big seven on the enneagram, if you're into that kind of thing, and just very outgoing. He was very introverted, all of these things. But I was drawn to it because he was so different from me and so different from anyone I had ever dated before. But after we got home from our honeymoon, about a week, maybe nine days into our marriage -- it would have only been a couple of days after we got back, Jennifer -- we were sleeping. I was doing the best I can. It's an odd thing when you marry because it's like, "I don't know how to sleep with this person on the other side of this bed."
But, you know, all of a sudden I was awakened by him yelling at the top of his lungs, at the top of his lungs, and I thought someone had broken into the house. I sat straight -- and he's standing on the bed yelling at something, at something. Well, I look, because I think there's an intruder. I mean, I'm yelling, too, at this point, because I'm like, "What?" All I know is something terrible has happened. And so, he's not even cognizant of me at that point. And I'm even a little scared to touch him because he's so in whatever dream state -- in whatever sleeping state he's in -- he's so in it, and he's in such danger in it that I am afraid that he would think I was trying to harm him. But I finally sort of talked him down, sat him down, and whispered to him. And we began this wild, wild journey together.
And I need people to know who are listening that Keith and I had an equal amount of baggage. I came from a background of sexual abuse and extreme instability and duplicity and hypocrisy within my home. I was loved. I also was abused. And all those things that can happen under one roof. So I brought in an equal amount of baggage. But where it was a little bit different was that Keith's was so deep and down in there because it was so early on.
He and his brother had been in a house fire together when they were little bitty boys. Keith wasn't quite two. His brother was about three and a half, just under four. And his brother lived six days. And Keith was burned and in the hospital room with him for those six days. And his brother was out for most of it. But they said Keith just screamed his head off every waking minute. And that trauma that -- you talk about PTSD, and I am talking about that kind that comes to have you constantly. And it began this journey that would ultimately lead to some other diagnoses that became part of what we then, to the best of our ability, tried to navigate and manage.
And one of the things that I share that I want somebody to hear -- because I think that a lot of people live with varying kinds and degrees of mental illness in their home, but they don't feel free to share it, even though we've got to get through our heads, it's never anyone's fault. Never, ever anyone's fault. But we get trapped in it, and we certainly don't want to dishonor the other person.
I had my own problems, but here we were, inside of it, and all we knew is that people from the outside probably thought something was wrong with us because we couldn't do a lot of the normal things. For instance, we would never know -- I can remember when a new pastor at our church said, "Let's set a date of the month that we always go back and forth to one another's houses." And, Jennifer, I remember so well, thinking, "We don't have that. No, we don't plan like that. Sometimes we don't know where a day is going to go. So I can't plan like that." We navigate something very -- we ride sort of like a horse. That horse may be calm and gentle as can be for days on end and one day that thing just bucks like nobody's business and it is just --hang on for dear life.
There's somebody that needs to know. Listen, I get it. I get that you feel so different from everybody else. But if some of us would start telling not what causes dishonor and not what embarrasses, but if we would not be so shamed and would get through our minds that this is not something that was a person's fault, or that they made happen to themselves. If we get that through our heads, then maybe we wouldn't feel so alone in some of the challenges that we're dealing with.
Jennifer Rothschild: I jotted this down when I heard it in your audiobook because you wrote, "Mental illness can be mean. Mental illness can be many things, but one thing it is not -- it is not someone's fault." And I thought that was so powerful. And I repeat that. And I also honor and thank Keith for his willingness to share this because that also takes such courage and that also sets people free. And I think of you and Keith at this stage in your marriage. You're dealing with all this undertow and at the same time you're teaching aerobics. You're teaching women's Sunday school. Speaking.
Beth Moore: Absolutely.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you begin -- which I think is very cool -- you write this study on the tabernacle for the women who you're teaching.
Beth Moore: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: And you even describe a lot of the mentors who played such a big part of your story. So, take us to that season.
Beth Moore: Many of them -- at least two of them -- you would have known or been aware of. So it's fun that we come from such a similar world, Jennifer.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I know because you talked about Marge Caldwell.
Beth Moore: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: John Bisagno, your pastor.
Beth Moore: And then my Bible doctorate teacher.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah, Buddy, I loved that! And I got to say this... I thought, as I was listening to that part of your story, I just had a moment with the Lord where I thought of your mentorship to me because you probably don't even know this, but my first opportunity to speak -- and I was a singer back in the day -- I wasn't a speaker.
Beth Moore: I remember this day like it happened yesterday. I remember this day.
Jennifer Rothschild: We were in Fort Lauderdale, right?
Beth Moore: Listen, you were a baby, Jennifer.
Jennifer Rothschild: I was!
Beth Moore: I can remember exactly what you looked like. I could remember the sound of your voice. I was utterly mesmerized. So you tell it, but I remember it like yesterday.
Jennifer Rothschild: We were at this conference together. You were this little-known Bible teacher from Houston. I think you brought your cassette tapes to your resources to make available.
Beth Moore: I did. (Laughs) I did.
Jennifer Rothschild: I had my keyboard. I'd stand up there and I'd sing, lead praise and worship. Probably "This is the Day." I mean, it was back in that era. And then you get up and teach. I just was so enamored just by the gift of God in you. I remember it. I bought all your little cassette tapes, and I'd listen to them. So fast forward... A lady from that conference -- she had attended the conference -- she calls my husband. Somehow she tracked down his number to ask if I could speak at a conference. And she literally said, "'Cause I tried to get that Beth Moore, but she wasn't available. So I was wondering if you could speak." And my husband, of course, says yes.
Beth Moore: I love that. I love that so much because I think it's fun for listeners to hear that you started out doing one thing and God bridged it over to another. Because I don't know if we realize that -- please, please, please listener, know -- that that really is the way God works more often than not. And that's why it's so critical that we walk with Him instead of assuming this is what I will always do. No, it may be what you're doing now. He gets to decide what you're doing in a year. He gets to decide what you're doing in ten years. So I love that because I'm trying to think, if you had never started teaching and writing, Jennifer, what a shame that would have been.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I talked to someone earlier this morning -- I was doing a podcast with -- and her first comment to me was, "I came to Christ 20 years ago, and your Bible study and Beth Moore's were my first Bible studies, and I just want to thank you." And I said, "Well, I'm going to talk to Beth today, and I'm going to thank her also for you."
Beth Moore: Oh my goodness. That just kills me.
Jennifer Rothschild: You know, we're all in it together. I look back and nobody knew who Jennifer Rothschild was, which is fine, but they knew who Beth Moore was. And so when you had the graciousness to forward my first book and Bible study, then it allowed other people to take a chance on me. So I'll tell you one other story, because then I want to get back to yours.
Beth Moore: Oh, no, I love it so much.
Jennifer Rothschild: I'm in a conference. This was a few years later, but I'm still new in speaking. And I get back into the green room before we're supposed to go out, and the conference director and her whole little ministry team is there, and they're all like, "Let's pray." And so we're all standing around holding hands, and they all get quiet, and I can tell they're looking at me. I'm like, "Oh, I thought the conference director was going to pray." And I don't know why, but I was freaking out. I was like, "I don't know what to pray for these people." And it just took me so off guard. And honestly, I just struggled with confidence. Well, I still do struggle with confidence -- I just have more confidence in the Lord now. But anyway, I literally thought at that moment, "Okay, okay, what would Beth do? What would Beth do?" Because I had been with you in those settings.
Beth Moore: (Laughs) Oh, Jennifer!
Jennifer Rothschild: Okay, I know what she'd do. She prayed to Jesus -- yes, okay. But she would love the women through prayer. She would love Jesus through prayer. And I did it, and it was totally genuine. But what I'm saying is -- what I'm saying is, and I want our listeners to hear this too -- we don't realize the importance of our everyday acts and how influential they are.
Beth Moore: Yes! I agree with that.
Jennifer Rothschild: We really do need each other. You do not have to have a giant platform to have giant influence.
Beth Moore: Oh, man, that's the truth!
Jennifer Rothschild: And so, may we just all be faithful with where we are and what God has called us to do. So, okay...
Beth Moore: I want to say one other thing about that, Jennifer, because for whatever reason, God, in his goodness and grace, did a fascinating thing among a bunch of us who are not necessarily peer age. I would be at the older end of that. And then a lot of youth, other teachers -- most of you all are younger than I am -- and then it goes down to sort of to our daughter generation. But one of the things that the Lord has protected many of us against and all the ills that this world tries to do to us is that we have seen each other as comrades instead of competitors. And I want to say that to some people listening... Do not let the enemy drag you into thinking of those that have similar gifts to you as your competition. Those are your comrades. That's who you cheer on. Those are the people you want to put in front of you. Those are the people you want to cheer on. Don't let it get poisoned with jealousy and envy. Don't get into that. Don't try to think -- if you're at a conference with other speakers -- "How can I make sure that I'm going to wow the audience the most?" Forget all that. That's all of the world and it's all of the flesh. Be that person's sister in the faith and be their cheerleader.
Jennifer Rothschild: Amen. I'm so glad you said that because they will know we are Christians by the way we love each other. They really will.
Beth Moore: Yes!
Jennifer Rothschild: And we are our best ally. We need to be for each other!
Beth Moore: 100%.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, let's go to age 34. Okay? Let's take you back to age 34 because you write in your book this collision of three things. First was your troubled passed. You just couldn't hide it anymore. Second was just really -- just demon attack. The domain of darkness descended on you, and that meant relationally -- every way. But then you described this third force, which was God himself. He was always there, and you said he allowed testing, tearing down and clearing out. And you write this, which I thought was really good, "Part of you didn't survive. You actually survived a killing. God killed what was killing you."
Beth Moore: Absolutely.
Jennifer Rothschild: So explain that.
Beth Moore: Absolutely. I am watching a friend of mine -- a young friend of mine -- go through this right now, Jennifer. And I'm not making a rule here by any stretch of the imagination. There's nothing that I can draw up from Scripture to go, "This is when it's going to happen." But it has been my observation and my experience -- and I have talked to many, many people about it -- there is something about your 30's and 40's. And I think that it is because for those of us in Christ and those of us who feel, which is every one of us who's received Him, that we have a calling on our lives and that we've been chosen in him for good works that he planned before the foundation of the world (Ephesians 2). But I think that during those years, particularly those 30's, it is as if -- think of it this way -- in some respects the coming of age. But it means we are going to be an imitation of Christ in some ways. We're going to be thrown into that wilderness of temptation and we are going to meet our inner self and it's going to be shocking.
And so I've said a number of times -- you talk about this mixed up person, that's what the reference to so much of it being a "knotted-up life" is -- it's just all of there thrown together. And it's hard sometimes to know what was good and what was bad and you just always want to sort it out, but sometimes there's no sorting. But this person has been, as you say -- what I had told was true and real. There was just a deeper layer than that of tremendous pain and just that victim mentality and it was like a nine-foot Goliath that was going to stand up.
And so, it was just -- and I'll not take time to describe this -- but it is like the enemy knows right now is the time. You are weak. You are tired. You are as vulnerable as you can possibly be, and I am coming for your Achilles heel. And I mean, he knows just exactly where to get us. Now, the thing about it is that God, if he could not bring glory, his glory, and our -- some sphere of influence, our fellow man, some good from it, it would get a "no." But, in his good purposes, he will allow that refining fire. And I mean it came burning.
And I tell you I thought it's when I started really dealing with my childhood abuse and all the instability and then all the things -- it's like my life played out right in front of me. It was a moment, by the way, it started with a moment. It went on for some amount of months, but it started with a moment when someone else that I was not equipped to deal with -- I tried to say that I wasn't equipped -- that somebody that had a background of pretty graphic abuse. All of it's graphic, but I mean, this was like, some kind of story. And as she told me her story, my story starts. I mean, I break out in a sweat. My background starts coming in living color out before my eyes. Every mistake I had ever made, every fear, everything you could imagine. And I mean, it sent me into a tailspin. And to this day, the deepest, darkest time of my life. And I thought, "I won't survive this. I won't survive it." And it would be some -- I mean, our family made it through. To this day, I don't know how. I don't know how. I guess part of the saving grace of it was that -- for me it was the night. Because some of my most nightmarish things in life happened during the night. And so I could sometimes operate okay during the day and do what I needed to do, but at night, I would just be terrorized.
And so I will also tell you that what God did -- this was truly -- Okay, think in terms of Luke's gospel when Jesus tells Peter, "Satan has asked to sift you like wheat, and I prayed for you that when you return..." (I love that 'when,' not 'if,' but 'when') "...you will strengthen your brothers." I was sifted like wheat. And if you ask me, "Beth, why would somebody else -- like everybody will be tempted. Everybody else will be -- all of us will know warfare. What's the difference between a sifting and general warfare?" Well, it's that you've got something that needs sifting out. The Lord's coming for something. And for me, it was that very unhealthy part of myself that loathed myself and set myself up for destruction over and over again. And that very broken part that had to be dealt with.
And I will tell you, I've had a lot of struggles since then, but he dealt -- every now and then something God does, a work that has permanence to it. And to this day, as many things as I've been through, that old part of me that was so prone to destruction got dealt with over those coming months and years in such a way that it's really what led to writing Breaking Free, which I'd consider to this day to be my life message.
Jennifer Rothschild: One of the strongest, best Bible studies ever. Well, and glory to God and thank you that he did that, because then 2016 happened.
Oh yes, 2016 is what we talk about on our next bonus episode, and you do not want to miss it. And it's going to show up right after this one on whatever platform you're listening to this podcast on. But, oh my goodness, can I just say, I am loving her perspective, her honesty, her empathy, her wisdom. And that is what is written into every word of this book, my friends. So you have got to check out her book, All My Knotted-Up Life. I love it, and I highly recommend the audio version, by the way. So, KC's going to give the official outro and tell you how to get the book. But, just want to let you know, we are giving one away. Actually, we're giving three away, one for each bonus episode. So no matter when you're listening, you need to go to my Instagram @jennrothschild to enter to win. All right, my people. KC, it's time for that very slick, official outro now. See you next time.
KC Wright: Thanks for joining us on this episode of the 4:13 Podcast. Go to the show notes now at 413podcast.com/bethmoore to read a complete transcript of this powerful conversation. And we'll also link you to her new book, All My Knotted-Up Life. But the best news... We're giving one away. Someone's going to win. It might as well be you. You can go straight to Jennifer's Instagram now at @jennrothschild to enter to win, or we will also have a link at the show notes to get you there. Again the show notes are 413podcast.com/bethmoore. All right, this episode is a wrap. Until next time, remember, whatever you face and however you feel in this moment, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
KC Wright: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: You can.
Part 3: Beth Moore on the Firestorm
Beth Moore: But I want to say to anybody that knows anything about my departure from my lifelong denomination that it was like a death to me. And I don't mean the death of a friend. I mean the death of something much -- I'm talking about if I had lost a primary person that I loved more than my own life. I'm talking about that kind of colossal loss that you feel like you will never get over.
KC Wright: Welcome to a fantastic, amazing, turn up the volume, can't stop listening podcast. This is a bonus episode of the 4:13 Podcast, where practical encouragement and biblical wisdom set you and I up to live the "I can" life because -- here's truth -- you can do all things through Christ who gives you supernatural strength. Today you'll hear from one incredible guest, author and Bible teacher, Beth Moore. I'm KC Wright, Jennifer's seeing-eye guy, and now your host, Jennifer Rothschild.
Jennifer Rothschild: Well, I am so glad you're back. I'm Jennifer, and my goal is to just help you be more than you feel capable of and do more than you feel capable of as you're living as "I can life" of Philippians 4:13. Well, this is the last of three bonus episodes. I told you on that first one I had a gift for you, right? So now you get to unwrap this third gift, this episode with Beth Moore. It's been so good. Now, we're still talking about her new memoir, All My Knotted-Up Life. And seriously, my friends, I love this book so much. And I also deeply love and admire the author of this book. So if you didn't get to hear the last two bonus episodes, you just need to stop right here, right now, and go back and listen to them because they will make this one even more meaningful, because we left off about to talk about what happened in 2016. So now we are at another hard place in her story. There was a lot of controversy, challenges, criticism. Yep, we got into the Twitter storm that changed everything for Beth and her ministry as she knew it. So that's where we will pick back up.
Then 2016 happened. Okay? So a series of tweets -- you know, it just became the beginning of a kind of ending for you that none of us anticipated.
Beth Moore: Yes.
Jennifer Rothschild: So would you mind giving us just a little glimpse into that as if no one knows, but...
Beth Moore: I will. Do you know what they may not know that I'm glad to put voice to because you can't hear the tenderness in a tweet or a social media post. But I want to say to anybody that knows anything about my departure from my lifelong denomination that it was like a death to me. And I don't mean the death of a friend. I mean the death of something much -- I'm talking about if I had lost a primary person that I loved more than my own life. I'm talking about that kind of colossal loss that you feel like you will never get over. And so it would be so inaccurate to assume that I left just mad and defensive and carelessly because that's just not true. I loved it so much. And to this day, even though -- not even though, but in the midst of God doing so many wonderful and tender things to make sure that I knew that I was right where he wanted me to be. I still -- if you asked me, Jennifer, if I would write it a different way and have written my lifelong denomination out of my lifelong --absolutely not. Absolutely not. I loved my upbringing. I will love it till the day I die. It's a complicated story, and it became obvious that God was like, "Go, go." But it was devastating. It was absolutely devastating and very, very isolating.
And listen, I'm going to tell you something. There are times when God's going to get down into the root of where you have developed your identity. So much of my identity was wrapped up in it. I mean, it was just all I knew, and so it was quite traumatic. But I still have so many ties, so many relational ties and the like, but the Lord just put us in a situation where we had to take new steps of faith and find some new communities and some ways of -- I love to put it this way -- what I needed worse than anything was to find a new way of doing the timeless, age-old thing. And that was -- Jesus is -- He is my whole life. I love scripture. I love missions. And so it was like, Where do I go from here? These are things that are -- they're part of my marrow and bone and my joints. That was a process of going like, "Okay, Lord, lead us." And he has done that.
Jennifer Rothschild: Let's go to your dad's death. Okay? Because about that, you wrote, "I've held the hands of perfect strangers when they're dying, but only strangers are perfect." I'm going to pause. I want our listeners to hear that you wrote that. "I've held the hands of perfect strangers when they're dying, but only strangers are perfect." Clearly, your dad wasn't perfect.
Beth Moore: Hmm. Makes me want to cry.
Jennifer Rothschild: So describe what that moment was like for you. What was that like?
Beth Moore: The Lord orchestrates such interesting moments, and he's so purposeful, so deliberate. Because I could not have known that I was going to have time alone with my dad as he was dying. Now, my sister was the one with him when he actually took his last breath. I had left a little bit before that. We were still expecting that he would be alive. He could have lived even days. It depended entirely upon his body. But after he had had a stroke and after it was just like -- they knew he wasn't coming around. They took my stepmother -- my mother had died some years before that -- my stepmother, they needed to take to do some paperwork and my sister wasn't there yet. Nobody else but me. And they just said, "Do you want to go in with him?" And I said yes. And the complexity of it, let me tell you, and somebody -- no, not somebody, many people listening -- can understand what I'm about to say in that if there's been a complicated relationship, there is also a very complicated grief. And it has been oh so complicated because that man had brought so much heartache to my family, to his marriage, and yet I also knew that he had done so many good things in his later years, and I'm just standing over him.
And I know somebody can relate, and I'm hoping to talk to someone after they read it and know how they can relate when you're just going like -- I mean, I whispered to him, I whispered other things, but one of the things that I whispered was, "Who are you? I've never really known for sure exactly which one the real you was." And it was something, girl, it was something. But I wouldn't take anything for that moment because there are times when you go, "Oh, no, only God could have seen to this."
Jennifer Rothschild: Yeah. Well, I'm not going to give anything away because, again, it's a powerful scene in the book, but it took a lot of courage. And, in fact, you actually write in the book that -- you say your sister, Gay, was the brave one, and I personally think you're pretty brave yourself. And in fact, you write something that I thought was really striking. You write, "What every author hopes but cannot demand is that every reader deals gently with sacred things." And you compare sharing this whole story with, like, pulling back a bandage on wounds that will never actually heal in this life.
Beth Moore: Right.
Jennifer Rothschild: And then you say something like, "We cannot know what it will cost until it is too late." So my question is -- you shared these sacred things. I'm curious, why were you willing to risk what it may cost?
Beth Moore: Because I think that is the calling from the beginning, don't you? That when Jesus said, "Count the cost." When he said, "Deny yourself. Take up your cross and follow me." It's like, what would we be willing to lay down if it helped someone stand up? If it helped someone feel a little bit less alone?
And, Jennifer, I think you're going to understand this. I think that we all have a desire to be known in some of the complexity of who we are, that it's not just on the surface. I would also want to say to someone... It would really be hard to understand some of the ways that I think -- it would be hard to understand some of the things I said in 2016 and on from that, for heaven's sake -- if you don't know my story, you don't know why it was impossible for me to keep my mouth shut. I mean, like 100 tries at it, and it would almost definitely have turned out the same way, because there's reasons. And I think that just to go -- I would be -- the relief of just going, "This is a little bit more of the real me." And if somehow it makes you appreciate a little bit more of the grace of God, yeah, it is worth it to me.
Jennifer Rothschild: All right, you look back at your whole knotted life, as you call it. What can you now see most clearly?
Beth Moore: That those very knots are what tied me to Jesus. That those very things -- the fact that gray has really been out of the question for me, Jennifer. It really has. I haven't -- I just I can't get away with it. I've got too much trash in my background. If I stand too close to the hole, I'm sliding in it. I have too much history in the darkness. And so for that reason and because things were so hard and were hard then going forward... My marriage was hard. Keith's marriage was hard. Both of our marriages were hard. And, you know, because of those things, I really -- prayerlessness was just, it was out of the question. It just would have been foolhardy. He kept me -- and I'm talking about Jesus -- he removed the luxury of just sort of playing at it. That would be the thing, is that those knots that were so negative to me, so negative that by the time I sat back from the whole thing, I thought, "Every single one of those knots tied me securely to Jesus." And it was just like, "What do you do with that?"
Jennifer Rothschild: Except say, blessed be the tie that binds.
Beth Moore: Blessed be the tie that binds, girl.
Jennifer Rothschild: Yes. Blessed be the tie that binds. Just like God has held and held together Beth Moore all her knotted-up life, my friend, he does and he can do the very same for you. So trust him. Trust him that he is working in and through and even in spite of all the things.
All right, my friends, I want you to get her book, either on audio, which of course I already told you I highly recommend, or get it in print. You need the book, and that's why we are giving one away. Actually, we have been given three from the publisher to give away, which we are so grateful for. So go to my Instagram, which is @jennrothschild so that you can enter to win. I am so thankful that you have hung out with me and Beth for these three bonus episodes, and I hope they have blessed you as much as they have blessed me. So please leave a review, especially if you are living on -- uh, living, you're not living -- listening! If you're listening on Apple Podcasts, please leave a review there because it just helps spread the word, and I want to know what you thought. All right?
Now it is time for KC to give us our final, very spiffy, highly slick, and quite professional outro. So take it away, KC.
KC Wright: Thanks for joining us on this episode of the 4:13 Podcast. Go to the show notes now at 413podcast.com/bethmoore to read a complete transcript of this powerful conversation. And we'll also link you to her new book, All My Knotted-Up Life. But the best news... We're giving one away. Someone's going to win. It might as well be you. You can go straight to Jennifer's Instagram now @jennrothschild to enter to win, or we will also have a link at the show notes to get you there. Again the show notes are 413podcast.com/bethmoore. All right, this episode is a wrap. So until next time, remember, whatever you face and however you feel in this moment, you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength. I can.
Jennifer Rothschild: I can.
KC Wright: And you can.
Jennifer Rothschild: You can.
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