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Undivided: Coming Out, Becoming Whole, and Living Free from Shame Hardcover – June 12, 2018
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“A heartfelt, honest debut. Christian young adults with questions about sexual identity in relation to their faith will find Beeching’s memoir illuminating, and all readers will relate to her earnest struggle against the pressure to conform to impossible expectations.” (Publishers Weekly)
“This is why Vicky Beeching is so inspiring - she’s not just commentating, or offering theological perspectives, or timely opinions here, she’s showing us in flesh and blood what hope looks like.” (Rob Bell, New York Times bestselling author of What Is the Bible? )
“Undivided is a profoundly important memoir. Vicky shares her story with such grace, empathy and power that many Christians who do not affirm same-sex relationships will be moved to reconsider their views.” (Matthew Vines, founding executive director of The Reformation Project and author of God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships)
“A touching, inviting and inspiring journey of faith and self-acceptance. In particular, her chapter on her acceptance of her own sexuality, based on an experience with a passage from the New Testament, was surprising, beautifully written and deeply moving.” (James Martin, SJ, author of The Jesuit Guide and Building a Bridge: How the Catholic Church and the LGBT Community Can Enter into a Relationship of Respect, Compassion, and Sensitivity)
“If the prize of Christianity is the testimony of those who know abundant life, then we are compelled to let Vicky Beeching sing light into our hearts!” (Jennifer Knapp, author of Facing the Music, musician, and LGBTQ advocate)
“Get ready. This book will pull you in, shake you up, pierce your heart, and leave you changed. A stunner of a debut memoir, Undivided is vulnerable and unflinching, tender and brave.” (Rachel Held Evans, author of Searching for Sunday and Inspired.)
“Beeching has experienced a struggle, a persecution, that few of us will ever know. Powerful, moving, and compelling, this book makes the reader extremely angry about intolerance, but provides hope to those of us who believe that genuine Christian love knows no boundaries. A vital book.” (Michael Coren, columnist and author of Epiphany: A Christian’s Change of Heart & Mind over Same-Sex Marriage)
“UNDIVIDED radiates warmth, humanity, vulnerability, honesty, and love on every page. It will help all who read it to see they don’t need to pretend or hide.” (Brian D. McLaren, author of The Great Spiritual Migration)
“This powerful, moving memoir is the story of Vicky’s journey from fragmented to undivided. It’s a journey we all need to make, gay and straight alike, and Vicky gives us a roadmap.” (Bishop Gene Robinson, human rights activist and author of God Believes in Love: Straight Talk about Gay Marriage)
“There is so much vulnerability in Vicky’s writing. Her story - of pain, longing, and hope - is equal parts a love story to the church and an intervention.” (Dan Haseltine, Lead singer of the band Jars of Clay)
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I have looked forward to her story since I first heard she was going to publish it, and this was everything I expected and more. It was emotional, raw, vulnerable and honest. It was also kind, compassionate and loving towards those who contributed to her turmoil and pain. I absolutely recommend this book to anyone who wants to understand the difficulties of balancing faith with living authentically. It holds a message of hope and healing for those in and outside of the LGBTQA+ and religious communities, and especially for those who find themselves in one camp unable to relate to the other, or torn between the two.
To me, the context of the book can be summed up by this sentence. We can only love ourselves and others well when we live from a place of wholeness. The intended audience is anyone who feels fragmented by the institutions of life—especially religion. People who have repressed who they really are will gain the most benefit from reading this book.
The two biggest lessons the reader will gain from reading this book are: 1) that If enough of us try to live in an authentic and vulnerable way, who knows what might happen. The world could become a very different place. 2) Learning not to fear others who are different than you. Vicky says, "Fear of the “other”—fear of the person who is different from you—is something I’ve felt personally and painfully. One moment I was seen as an insider in my evangelical Christian world; the next, I was treated as an outsider. People I’d known my entire life suddenly saw me as different because my orientation did not match theirs. I felt their suspicion and coldness as they stepped away. They didn’t see me anymore—they just saw someone who was different from them, and they relied on broken stereotypes and judgments. Experiencing this firsthand has fueled my desire to see society change."
Vicky's writing style is conversational—engaging and fast-paced. I thought the book was the perfect length and the author stays on topic throughout the book. She writes from personal experience but also supports her ideas with thorough research and leading authorities in her field.
The only thing I did not enjoy about the book was the reasonably extensive teaching from the Bible. However, Vicky throughout the book stresses how important her faith is to her and how much the scriptures have formed who she is—the good and the bad—so this over-emphasis makes sense in this context. There is a footnote that lets you know to skip one of the extensive scripture studies if desired, but somehow I missed that. On the other hand, if you are expecting honesty from one of the leading figures in the Christian worship music world--you will not be disappointed.
I have never read a book from a Christian performer this honest and transparent. In fact, I've never had a private conversation with a LBGQT+ friend this candid. Most of my gay friends (I am a straight married 60-year-old ordained evangelical minister) who are in the Christian music business are terrified to "come out" fearing the inevitable results that Vicky has faced so courageously. Many of my dearest friends can only dream of the healing that has begun in Vicky's life by being true to they are and living life free and clear.
I went through a mid-life crisis divorce from a 34-year marriage after a highly successful career as a mega-church minister, so this quote rings a tragic resonance to me: "It was crushing. I couldn’t believe how two-faced people could be. Only days earlier, many of them had been posting on Facebook and Twitter how much they loved me. But as soon as I made my pro-gay theology public, they called me every name under the sun. Doors were already slamming in my face."
This is a courageous and honest book brilliantly articulated. May Vicky's tribe increase. And one day perhaps, "Christian" people will begin to understand what Jesus meant when he taught the principle of unconditional love.
Undivided tells the story of a well-loved Evangelical Christian musician who hid her gay orientation until age 35. Vicky’s book is a brutally raw and honest, but expertly written, story about growing up gay in the church and the sacrifices she made to stay closeted. She takes the reader on a journey through a life marked by fear, unrequited love, and loneliness. In typical fashion, though, her story is punctuated by outrageous situations and humorous scenes.
This is a phenomenal book written by a phenomenal person. This is not just for LGBTQ Christians. Rather, it’s a book for everyone. The book is a mind- and life-changer. With a little more love, compassion and understanding in this world, it is my hope that no one - no child, teenager, or adult - will have to go through what Vicky experienced during her first 35 years of life.
Vicky Beeching, known for her career as a Christian musician and worship leader, chronicles her life journey from realizing she was gay as a young teen, to coming out at the age of 35.
Anyone who calls themself a Christian should read this book.
Spending so many years so deep in the closet that she should have fallen into Narnia took a huge emotional and physical toll on Vicky Beeching. The most important thing, though, is that much of what happened to her has happened to MANY LGBTQ+ people of faith.
This book is heartbreaking. This book is honest. This book is brave.
Since coming out, Vicky Beeching has been the target of so much hate and abuse- online and off. She published this book knowing that she would probably receive more abuse, but also knowing that so many queer Christians- like myself- needed to know they weren’t alone.
If you want to know what it is like to be an LGBTQ+ person who is also a Christian, read this book.
If you want to understand the impact that evangelical LGBTQ+ theology has on our community, read this book.
If you are a queer person, especially a queer person who identifies as a Christian, READ THIS BOOK.