It’s ingenious how Beckah Shae transforms the lyrics of secular songs into a worship experience. A soulful singer and songwriter, Shae has eight studio CDs, and scored a Dove nomination for her radio single, “LIFE.” Despite coming from a broken home, struggling with insecurity and eating disorders, Shae testifies that she knew “God was with me and for me.” Check out the excerpt from her interview with YS below, and be sure to read the rest of the interview in February’s issue.
Captain Pamela Maynor: I read about your struggle with anxiety and bulimia in your younger years. Could you share advice with our readers who are struggling with that?
Beckah Shae: Absolutely. I gave you the first third of my life with this amazing example of God’s mercy and protection. Then my mom moved to Orange County, California. We had nothing and were poor. I remember staying in shelters and going through plastic bags for clothes.
In high school, I lived in a mobile-home park across the street from the beach. The only problem was I made a great friend in school. I was really excited. She was a Christian and we wanted to go to church together. She said, “Meet me at my house.” We pulled up to her multi-million dollar house right on the beach. I was literally shivering and shaking. I was so scared. I wanted to cry and run away because I thought she is not going to want to be my friend when she knows where I live, where I came from. That was the first time the Enemy lied and told me I wasn’t enough. His greatest strategy is to lie to you about who you are, because everything else doesn’t matter. If you don’t know who you are, you can’t do anything. All this time God proved to me He loved me, and I knew Him. Then that one lie caused a crack. All throughout high school I hung out with these girls and felt not worthy enough, not good enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough.
I never was in a school for more than a year or two; I was always moving. I wasn’t great in school. Many things were up against me. I felt like I could never measure up. It was really difficult, and the Enemy had me feeling like nothing.
I became a prodigal. Basically, I took my eyes off God and put them on myself. I was doing things I never thought I would do. I was really messed up because I was so lost. It’s like Peter; when you take your eyes off Jesus, you drown.
I became so helpless and was in my room one day and wanted to die; not only did I hate myself and everything about me, but I felt bad for anybody else who had to be around me. I wanted to stop breathing and tried to do so on purpose. Then my best friend all of a sudden shows up and whispers really softly and He says, “Remember me?” He just whispers and says, “Remember Me?”
I had a little breath. I remembered. I knew the only way I could go on is with Jesus. I cried out to Him and He came. His presence covered me like a blanket. It was as if I were in a smoky room, couldn’t breathe, and then all of a sudden I could breathe. It was comfort, love, and peace. I felt safe.
I loved that moment. His presence didn’t lightly say, “Hey, I’m here.” He straight up came in and whoosh, “I love you. I’m here. I am all here. I’m not just a little bit here. I am all here.” That’s what I needed.
I was repenting and crying out, “I’m so sorry. I missed You.” Just like the prodigal in Scripture who says, “I’ll clean your pigs,” I remember telling God: “I just want to be stuck to You. I don’t have to be anything. I could clean the toilets at church. I don’t care. I just want to be around You and never want to be away.
When it comes to the depression, anxiety, and self-image, when I minister to young people I have to be straight up. I tell them, “Look, this is what the devil does. The devil doesn’t stop working. God is up day and night in you, with you, for you. He’s fighting on your behalf. The devil doesn’t stop either. He may stop for a second because Scripture says to resist the devil and he’ll flee [James 4:7], but he’s going to come back. You always have to be ready.”
The Enemy’s strategy is to lie to you. Once he can get you to believe one lie he has an in. Have your shield of faith up—that helmet of salvation. Be girded up in truth. If you know the truth, no one can tell you a lie.
Sometimes my girls come home with stories from school and say, “This person said this about me or a little boy,” or “They said I’m ugly.” I’m looking at my daughter and making a face. I’m like, “Yeah? So?” She’s going, “That’s mean!” My daughter has beautiful big brown eyes and I always tell her. “What if I said you have really ugly blue eyes?” Then she gives me a funny face like, “What? I don’t have blue eyes. I have brown eyes.” I’ll say, “Exactly. Doesn’t that sound so stupid?” She’s like, “Yes. I don’t even have blue eyes.” What does the ugly part even mean?
Recognize that the devil is a liar so you can recognize how stupid he sounds when he lies to you. Know the truth. If you don’t, it’s easier to believe the lie.
What if in high school I had been like, “You know what? I have mansions in Heaven. I am blessed to highly favor the Lord”? Every time the Enemy tries to put something in your face, you have to know who you are and that you’re Spirit-minded; know what God has for you and how He sees you.
I’ve walked in many different shoes. I served tables for seven years. I’ve been on stages in front of thousands of people where they treat me a certain way; but when I was serving, people wouldn’t even look at me in the eye. I was in shelters and then there’s people who see me as, “Oh, Beckah Shae with lines out the door.” They don’t know my backstory. People have all these perceptions and they’re often wrong. The only true perception is God’s. If we put our “love glasses” on and start to see ourselves the way God sees us, that’s the beginning of freedom. That’s also how we’re going to impact others because we’re going to begin to love people the way God loves them. That’s what matters.
Captain Pamela Maynor, Editor of Young Salvationist