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Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal: Not Part of the Plan

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine
The Truth Network Radio
May 22, 2022 10:00 pm

Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal: Not Part of the Plan

Family Life Today / Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

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May 22, 2022 10:00 pm

When life’s detours are not part of the plan, how do you deal? On FamilyLife Today, Dave & Ann Wilson host Authors Kristen Clark & Bethany Beal, who get disappointment and longing—and the search for hope.

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You know it's been really fun lately is having people come up to me saying hey, you're my workout partner right in the world is evident, but I wondered they said we listen to family life today.

Every morning when I workout and I'm with you and so I just thought that's so cool because one good workout, but they're working on their family and their marriage. At the same time. That is an amazing thing that doesn't happen with people that are listed right now.

Soon I want to be a family life partner you notice that's a monthly financial giver to family life. That's how this ministry operates people like you decide to give one time every year or a monthly gift and it literally changes people like you just talk about their families and their legacy. We need you. We'd love for you to go to family life today.com and make a donation like it is going to be double yeah yeah for a whole year. Think about that. Everything you give every month for the next 12 months will be double by a generous donor. It doesn't get any better and that you can change somebody's life with a small or big donation, which will be doubled to go to family life today.com and make your donation. It will change somebody's life. Sometimes as women and as Christians we don't even realize how tightly were holding onto a dream, a longing, desire, and we may even think were surrendered. We may think were holding it with an open hand.

Thank God I trust you. Whatever your plan and I will walk that path when tragedy strikes God take something away or to give us something then realized I was holding on tightly. Now I feel like a part of me and wished away. Welcome to family life today where we want to help you pursue relationships that matter most and Wilson Dave Wilson you can find his life today.com or on our family life, family life, so we've had some hardship the start of COBIT like your whole life. Everybody has happen.

I think like a lot of people we've gone through some really rough list of where you got me thinking.

I lost my mom at the beginning of it that I lost my dad every person in our family said COBIT and thankfully Army families been okay. We had grandbabies hospitalized my brother was diagnosed with cancer and is and it is it just in the last year and 1/2.

He transitioned out of a church that he started 30 years ago and it was hard like that was hard cluttered and not just leaving but just how little stuff and we had a lot of things happened that were unexpected and they are really difficult and so we want to talk today about how do we live a joyful life when hardship hits us in our expectant dreams crash I'm looking at you almost ready to cry. It's been less than a month that your dad is 92 was really the time was right, but still still really hard have no parents alive anymore. You just don't plan for the things that'll be really hard because you have dreams of what life will be like and then when it doesn't go that way, how do we keep that joy. What it's like are planned and matches plan your so I should write a book. I called not part of the plan with the title that will get two women in the studio that actually wrote this blog not part of the plan and you guys are sisters Chris and Bethany. Welcome to family today.

Thank you so you have in tears right from the beginning right about life hard and you know talking about that because I know there are a lot of people who can relate to what you just that and and some of the trials and struggles we been through, but I know for certain. You guys every single one of us. We've gone through hard times and how do we find hope and estimate that it is interesting you know as I went online to research you to wow girl defined following girl to find like start to watch your videos and I like you are everywhere else look good about gratified how it started your sisters right very tall sibling so people in front of us at church. They could never see any behind at the church where the giant wall of a family is 6 foot or taller 61 family. Almost everyone is about 6 feet. The shortest is 510 and we always joke like our poor sisters is sort of like about for you and I were only a year and 1/2 apart and you know we both had a passion for ministry going on and it really was through this experience is kind of like people came to I get this turning point where we had to decide where we really get to follow Jesus or we follow her own desires and both of us actually went through this process of trying out the modeling world which was very interesting and crazy and scarring and all sorts of stuff all at the same time you break it was a model as well with the baldhead. You could, you know about mileage for a while. Just a little bit. I think I dabbled a little bit more than you high for me. It was really a journey of just asking the question and looking for answers for my identity. What makes me valuable what what is true beauty. What it means to be a woman. Where do I find my worth. My purpose grew up in a Christian home heard all the biblical things have wonderful parents but was really wrestling with that question number thinking how I have the title of a model like I am literally a model then surely I won't have any more insecurity. My looks. My beauty company woman out there right and I just remember that through that journey. After one year. Looking back on that year of being a model, I felt more insecure, more self focused, more critical of myself more focused on myself than I ever had been before and it was because physical beauty outward appearance chasing after my identity and all of the wrong places.

It was idolatry and it wasn't satisfying itself.

I realized wow model isn't enough by what is and that's when I really took a deep dive for myself into God's word to discover really what is God's design for my life.

One man, and through that and through my journey. Bethany's journey going on that journey to discover how to find God identity for us.

That's really where the passion for well-defined came about because we saw younger women are the exact same struggles like God has such great design trust come along let's cover it together and it's been so amazing because I think that in our generation social media wasn't really a thing it was you can get mentor by people in person, but that online mentorship. It wasn't as available and now you know the world we live in today.

It's incredible. You know, through books, through social media through just YouTube and all of that we get to be like big sisters to a lot of these young women are to sisters in Christ and link arms and say hey we know it's hard me know when you are in your own city, by yourself, you feel like I'm the only one that's trying to follow God trying to trust God. But then you get to hear a show like this with you. Are you follow, you know are age girl defined and you realize while I'm not the only one. And there are people fighting for that there are people that wants you will live out God's design not want to trust and want to be for us a woman of God and that so encouraging and so that's just, you know, as long as God will use. That's where were here together like you can try the following that you gathered there are a lot of young women you so not surprised because we felt that yearning in your head long for sisterhood as well and as we kind of stepped out there and just became really raw and honest about our struggles as Christian women and said hey yeah are still struggling were still on this journey. Let's tighten together. It was like the same thing we were longing for. They were longing for and we just kind of latched onto each other and more and more sisters from around the world latched on and we kind of became the community and it was just so sweet to see the way that got grit from the ground up like starting with nothing and growing it into a full-blown ministry and YouTube channel and podcasting books and conferences and were just like, okay Lord we just take it one year at a time and say, God, what you have forced their way like God were writing about what you have an extra one in this past summer devotional so technically it's like our fourth, you know an extra devotional so far say when we start girl defined. There was something that was not part of the plan that happened that we just were not prepared for Kristin. You know, she shared the really sweet part of it, but I think the part that surprised us and is being public about our beliefs in God and our stance on just biblical womanhood. We had no idea just how people who don't believe in God or who don't like what we were sharing how aggressive I guess the online world can be to come after you and I think that's the part that we've really had to wrestle and just think and pray and get counseled because it's hard to share you know truths about God. A lot of people in the world don't like that.

And so we've had to say, like, do we really trust that this is what God has for us.

We really believe his word is true.

Do we really believe that he lied to men and women to be equally valuable but purposely different. We really believe that stuff because it leads you were going to have to get out there and share this and you know if there are difficult opposition that comes our way.

We just have to trust God with that so that's been a huge area for us and having to know okay if we get shut down because we get reported a billion times like that's okay. Like God, he chooses to use us, but he doesn't yet and so we can be grateful for anything that he allows us to have a platform so that has been I would say definitely a lot of sleepless nights and making a lot of counsel just struggling with that.

You know, yeah that's hard and that's where the identity piece comes in knowing who you are. That is called you to do. But that's not easy. As I listened your story and even read the part of the plan that trust in God. Peace is a theme I'm here to now in your own life. Deftly the theme of the book when I'm in your subtitles is perfect is like trusting God with the twists and turns your stores. Let's get into that little bit because you are here. I am a dude reading your book. You start with this incredible wedding dress like to hear the my greatest shining moment in life. Chris and I are really on the date she got married 10 years ago. So when she was getting to know Zach and you know they got engaged the whole wedding dress shopping scene and of course you know we have many sisters in our family. There's a kids five of us girls. Her mom the mother-in-law the sister all that were wedding dress shopping. I am completely single at this point, but I am a very hopeful person. I hope that my man without there and on the horizon ready to come and you know me, I know everyone is thinking this will just be like the way you growing up. We did everything together two years apart were to grade the part I was a basketball she was about, I would you quite she would do whatever lesson we were always doing it and I'm getting married. You're right in the next year to absolutely and so she is. You know, going from wedding dress shop to wedding dress shop and nothing was clicking.

Nothing was just let me.

She looked amazing at all. The dresses but it wasn't her and so we go to this one particular shop and she comes out and what I thought was like the perfect it was it. I'm like practically in tears with how beautiful and she's like, but not really me in on what know where Kristin and this is where people get confused.

They think I'm a selfish sister like taking over Kristin actually suggested that I go and try this Cinderella perfect dress on and so the poor sales clerks that you know their dislike is going on trying to figure out what's happening.

So I literally go in the dressing room and put the stress on and I will. It is my moment, I did on your life. Yeah we had. It was literally like I was getting beyond.

And you have to get it you have to get it gained three been dating literally is still not looking at this like okay if you love that dress so much and you gotta get married soon you better snatch it.

If you think the price will be high. Years ago, and I will say you know singles might have that many expenses. I guess I still lived at home so I literally was like I'm get a duet and so I just pulled out my debit card and thousand dollars for this you know I wasn't looking for any particular deal. I was checked, you know like imposed by the dress. I don't see one. I don't and the salesclerk pastor was just checking out like what I like. I'm I came home I was so excited, but also some time. Remember, you know who wasn't at the shop.

I literally did not tell none of my friends. No one knew that I had bought this wedding dress. I stuffed it in the back of my closet and I dismember thinking lip on my day to come see you now. So it is probably what's in here for that long and it's just crazy because Kristin ended up finding her dream wedding dress up getting married and I'm still you know very like 21 or 22. At this point tell me this.

What were your expectations has a little girl only guys ripped together you did everything together.

So what was your girl yeah like I said I grew up in a big family. I loved the idea of getting married young, I wanted to have literally and I was younger I would have 20 kids. Now I have one at all.

Big families. It's awesome but I like you know I just remember thinking like I love romance. I want to get married.

That's what my life is to be about that time to serve God and that is God's best plan for me because marriage is wonderful. Being a mom is wonderful and all of those things are, I just thought this is your best for me and this is how I can serve you best. So this is what needs to happen very much had a box that I was putting God and you know he can't be put in a box in my mind and I was thinking like. Of course I can serve you. I can love you. I can trust you because this is the plan for my life dress I'm ready to sound like an act of faith. I got you so much on by the stress reverse activate beginning we had these plans and this is what my life is not look like this is what you can do right God doesn't happen according to timing are well along that interested in the closet you're listening to David and Wilson with Kristin Clark and Bethany feel on family life today will hear Bethany's spot in just a minute. First I want to let you know about this group of friends who help make conversation. Like today's possible family life partners. Partners are a generous community of people who believe in our mission and give financially every month and thanks to some of those euros really right now if you sign up to give monthly. You not only receive all the benefits of our partner program but your donation will also be doubled for a year up to $300,000.

So that means if you give $25 a month. The impact is actually 50 to 50 becomes 100 on top of that when you give this month as our thank you. Will send you a bundle of resources including books one called not part of the plan by Kristin Clark and and second, a lifelong love like Gary, so you become a monthly partner doubled every year and you get a bundle book when win-win really. You can give today@familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-356-3291 800 F's and family L as in life, and then the word today along with interested in you know I got it when I was 21, 22, I am 33 now and I've been married for three years in the back of my closet for almost a decade I'm reading right to keep like every report haunted me for many years and I have run one time helping me paint and they try to reach the back my closet to see like the baseboards I don't know. Something need to be painted not only tackle them for didn't want them to find address that those sort of the secret your stick on.

I will say got a little bit more like now and I didn't want to talk about it and I just started to feel like I'm like one is a very big dressing like very Cinderella. You know, so it took up a lot of room. But when I met my husband Dave. You know all these years later we got until relationship high was like stress, like eight years ago. I cannot and Jen walking down the aisle to my fianc in the stress is still not this is still not him. This is just that and so I felt as guiltily, but I bought this drive that I should wear like you know okay I was a really stupid nave 20-year-old like to be like I lost my site did I will say I tried to sell it didn't work. So I ended up getting another dress paid for. It didn't just worry about it, but another dress walked down to the island that dress.

And the sad part is that I was never able to sell it and I haven't been able to find anyone to give its use was actually still hanging in the back of my closet to this day.

This is an illustration you should not get rid of the state that this is what we do is women so often we have our dreams and tangible rest, and it looks all of us have addressed may not be addressed, but all of us have a dream that we hold onto that we think. When that happens I will have made it. I think you said because we all relate well. I thought that was a crime is so often get on the only guy in the studio so I have this male perspective were looking at three women that I'm thinking a lot of times a woman's dream is that guy.

It's a relationship it's marriage is kids.

So when that doesn't happen. Walk us through what them, though I got married and what you go.

But yes, dear Kristin, we all have dreams right out of address but I have the usual my head I have something that I wished I wanted didn't happen and I blamed God's sake don't want walk us through what that felt like for both of your existence you had dreams unfulfilled as well right so I got the dream of getting married right thinking I'm getting married young and I remember thinking on my wedding day got married at 24 which old but I remember so many people questioning like are you sure you're so pretty young 23.4 get married and I'm a member thinking going on the aisle life is perfect. I am marrying this godly man.

We live in the same city as our family. We love our family were surrounded by this incredible Christian community were healthy, just everything seemed to be clicking into place and I'm kind of a ducks in a row kind of person like black and white. I like that. My plan is a member thinking how God I am so blessed like thank you for this amazing life and little did I know the next decade would be filled with so much heartache on the front of wanting to start a family have kids and not be able to experience multiple miscarriages and multiple losses just devastation in my own life and her own marriage family wise and so we get married life seems perfect two years go by a number like excited to start a family and nothing's happening and I get pregnant and that pregnancy turns into a miscarriage. Six weeks later so early, which I'm grateful for, but still heart wrenching because I Bethany's that I'm from work from a big family and our mom is a birthing probably could crank like superwoman and so I'm thinking have struggles and that department have friends who did infertility miscarriage.

But that's not to be my story and I remember that first miscarriage was such an eye-opening loss for me because I do sometimes is women and as Christians we don't even realize how tightly were holding onto a dream, a longing and desire and we may even think were surrendered.

We may think were holding it with an open hand. Thank God I trust you. Whatever your plan is.

I will walk that path. But when tragedy strikes God take something away or doesn't give us something then suddenly her eyes are open and we realized how I was holding onto this so tightly that now I feel like a part of me has been ripped away and I don't even know how to trust God. I don't understand God almost feels cruel and I remember feeling and falling in my heart with this sort of anger and forgot why would God give me this and take it away. You know, because I wrote for me just even seeing the subtle lines of getting pregnant. I was already fairly cold and the baby baby names like a matching baby showers and so all of that comes crashing down and you're just back at square one and I just remember feeling so devastated. Walking through the grief with my husband and then pressing on trying to trust God moving forward and then six months later the same thing happened again. And so now I find myself back in that same place of going back.

How could you let him then and now did fear start settling and now I'm here to get pregnant yet very thing that I long for so much. I'm terrified but at the same time longing for it just as much, and so that for me was such a journey of God comforting me through the loss but also in a gracious way. Jane my heart of where is my hope is my hope in getting the dream life that I've always imagined I assumed would become easily mine or is my hope ultimately and God hear my truly surrendered to the life he has for me or the life I've scripted and then expected God to follow right and so for me it was such a journey of surrender and just nice and while I really idolize this idea of having this perfect family with a white picket fence. I didn't even know I was idolizing now and working through that and then going on a journey of four, five, six years of not even being able to get pregnant getting diagnosed with and explain infertility's of doctors visits and just left with way more questions than answers and through that just feeling like almost where is my identity and my even a complete woman I can even do the very thing my body was designed to do just feeling broken and helpless and having to go back to the Lord. Remind my heart and character and who he says he is that he is a good God even in our pain and long story short the whole story, not part of the plan but I experience 1/3 pregnancy, not one ended in miscarriage.

Later on, so it was almost out of the first trimester and I just remember feeling again almost God. How could you let this happen and that for me was the lowest point in my life and some years later, and then the hardest part was that Bethany them. The hard but beautiful part.

It was like this dichotomy, she ended up getting pregnant a few weeks after my miscarriage. Here we are sisters always so close to running this ministry I am walking through the hardest time in my entire life, as she is walking through one of the most joyous times in her life and I just remember we were walking and I just said you know we were very open with each other. We always have been and so I just said hey like you pregnant, you know, kind of joking and she just started crying because she was so sad even tell me because she knew it was in a be so hard for me to hear. And as I was grieving so just even a sisters and I know anyone listening knows what it's like to long for something or to experience a loss that the very same time, someone that you love someone that you're close to you is getting the very blessing that you desire.

As Christians, how do we walk that faithfully and not the huge attorneys that God took each of us on as sisters and as Christians we celebrate the joys of others. While we grieve the loss and how did that go and that I know it's long ago but if you take us back to that second she's over there. Enjoy you having that second when you heard the news whether there feel like for both of I think that it's really hard life and publicly I've been through doing so. Thinking back to that moment is even harder because I can understand the pain now of what that is like and just wanting not so much in so you know I was so excited for Kristin and I would've done anything like I remember putting my God, why can't you get healthy pregnancy. Why did you give her this baby like we haven't even been married for a year like I'm super happy for her to have this and so to know that she had just lost this baby and that this is something they been praying for.

They been married for 10 years and then you know within two weeks of that timeframe for me to have to tell her and I remember truthfully, on the other side. I was dreading and want to tell her and I didn't know how.

I just remember when she asked me and I burst into tears because it's a hard thing like I love her so much she loves me so much and I know she was to be so happy for me and she was gonna rejoice with me, just like I rejoice in her marital those years were super close like that, but it's hard to know and so that it was so hard just having that like we were on a walk in our neighborhood and I can still member the exact spot that we were having to realize like wow we had talked about. This is an idea in the past that I could get pregnant and that she would still be struggling with infertility, but you don't want to actually be in the moment and so to be in the moment was so hard and we had no idea what the future held. We had no idea you know I had no idea for sure if my pregnancy would go on to be healthy and in all of that but I mean you have walk through so many of felt that like one of our sons to his wife had three miscarriages right in row just it's that. Oh, I'm hopeful naming your dreams, your homes crash and so I'm thinking of our listeners that have struggled with this like it's heart wrenching and even as she said Kristin even like your thoughts of God. Like why don't and so I'm wondering is we close Kristin could you pray about the moms that may be of lost babies, but also even the mom's daughters who are struggling with agility right now it just so the husbands those women yeah are often forgotten but their earnings will be paid before you now so grateful that you are not a distant God far away from our suffering.

You are near got a father. He sang her only son to come to this earth to live as a human it to die a cruel death for the people that you left God. That is the kind of guy that you are and so we praise you that you are a God who draws near to us in our brokenness in our suffering that you are the one who can truly comfort us and I want to lift up right now every woman who has ever walked through infertility, miscarriage, and for every mom. His listening who suffered that or has a daughter who has or sister or a friend of someone who's been touched by this. I just pray for each of those hurting hearts even memories that maybe start up right now from something that happened a long time ago. God, I pray that as you promised to be near to the broken hearted in the Psalms that you would draw near, and that we would not push you away that we would not get angry at you got recognize that there is only hope. When we run to you and we look to you when we draw near to you as you draw near to us. That is when we find hope that is when we find peace in the midst of the storm. I pray for every woman grieving right now in the midst of that lost God which you comfort her heart as only you can. Lord, help her to know that there is hope.

On the other side God is our greatest need isn't to get what we want to get more of you like you are our true hope and I've seen that in my own life I may. Steve pulled me out of the pit. You have pulled me out of my despair and my grief and my feet on solid ground that you would do that for every woman and man, listening as couples walk through the struggle together, Lord drawn in Jesus name Amen David and Wilson with Kristin Clark and Bethany Beale on family life to let me remind you that you can get their book, not part of the plan.

Trusting God with a twist and turns of your story when you become a monthly partner@familylifetoday.com or by calling 1-800-358-6329 this one, 800 F as in family L as in life and in the word today.

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If you rate and review tomorrow evening will be talking again with Kristin and Bethany about understanding your true identity in the midst of tragedy, because identity starts with who we believe God is coming up tomorrow of family life ministry helping you pursue the relationships that matter most


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