The Way God Sees You: Beckah Shae’s Search for Identity
Sometimes Beckah Shae was dressed head-to-toe in bold yellow, red, and purple, sporting the full urban Cross Colours gear and jamming to hip hop. At other times, she was listening to Kurt Cobain and donning thrift-store plaid flannel shirts, torn jeans, and combat boots. On other days, she dressed in bright club wear, short skirts, and platform shoes to take on the rave scene. But Beckah wasn’t simply being her own creative, bold person.
After her parents’ divorce, Beckah’s mom remarried three times and kept Beckah moving from rental homes to trailer parks to shelters. Beckah got used to putting on a new self. She became a chameleon, reflecting whatever environment she entered, listening to whatever music was popular, and doing whatever her new friends were doing.
“I was so used to it, I think I didn’t realize that I was conforming and had no idea who I was,” said Beckah, now a Christian pop artist.
Conformity eventually led to fake IDs, raves, wild road trips to Tijuana and Vegas, hanging with California gangs, and experimenting with drugs. When she got a big break and went to record a demo in Los Angeles, Beckah wanted to conform to society’s ideal of a pop artist.
“I tried every way to fit the mold—starving myself, working out until two in the morning,” said Beckah. “Silly, ridiculous things . . . I was really so unhappy with myself.”
When her music career failed to take off, Beckah found herself living in Las Vegas and, for the first time, “hungry for God.” Visiting a church in Vegas, she met a woman who suggested she move to Nashville to pursue her music career. Beckah headed across the country, certain that God was calling her to something new.
“When I first moved, I was so excited,” said Beckah, who found a church home as soon as she landed in Nashville. “I was just thrilled to be a part of a church.”
“Honoring [Christ] with faith and obedience” became Beckah’s joy. She was becoming a new woman and wanted to join the church. However, during the final phase of the church’s membership process, a meeting with the pastor, she was met with a cold handshake and words of judgment. Being denied church membership, Beckah felt the props being ripped away and her life falling into turmoil once again.
“I believe what happened in that meeting was so horrible and so wonderful for me,” said Beckah. “I went home and felt like I was lying in my Daddy’s arms. I cried out to God, ‘Please reveal to me what’s going on! Why is [the pastor] saying these things?’”
That’s when she heard God’s gentle voice saying, “I know you. Let me show you who you are.”
All of her life, even in the church, Beckah had based her identity on what her environment told her to be. But in that moment, Beckah discovered that the real depth of who she is lies in who God created her to be.
“When you see yourself the way God sees you, that’s when you find your freedom.”
Shortly after moving to Nashville, Beckah got married. She is now a confident and self-assured mother of two and a successful Dove Award-nominated recording artist. Having found her identity in God, Beckah hopes her music will help others to learn the truth about who they are.
“You’ll never be able to please everybody,” Beckah says. “Find out what pleases God and what God wants for you.”
PRAYER: God, let me see myself as you see me. Reveal to me the person you have created me to be so that I may please you. Amen.
Listen to “GOLD” by Beckah Shae.
—from devozine (September/October 2012). Copyright © 2012 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.