My Sister Gay’s Second Installment: The Functioning Years

For the first installment of Gay’s story, click here.

My beloved Sisters, it is my great honor to bring you my sister, Gay’s, second installment in her mind-blowing, God-glorifying story of redemption. By all means, let your friends and relatives know to watch for these installments if they could really use this hope. Boy, have I ever been desperate for it in my own wrestling matches with the enemy. You do not need to worry that I am going to vacate the blog until her series reaches its conclusion. No such luck! I’ll still be right here in the middle of things. I also want you to know that her story in many ways is part of mine and my story in many ways is part of hers. As God would have it, our stories grow from the same roots and braid their ways like vines up the same tree. Before I send you forward to read this wonderful second portion of her story, many of you are requesting another livestream and I’m in the mood for another one myself! Aren’t they a blast?? We’ll do one next week – perhaps Wednesday so that I can give my solid attentions to Tuesday night Bible study. I’ll let you know the day and time several days in advance so we can plan.  OK, my beloved fellow sojourners, I’ll turn this over now to Gay! I love you so much, my dearest older sister. God’s glory radiates all over you. Thank you for sowing into this blog community. They are so dear to me.

I sat on the side of our bed in 1986 and said to my husband, Tut, “I think I’ve got a drinking problem.”

Ladies, before I move on I want you to re-read that sentence and let the weight of the year 1986 sink in all the way down to your toes.  I finally quit drinking, after profound suffering, in 2009, TWENTY-THREE YEARS after God gave me the first word of warning.

The single most significant event in my life to that date had occurred just six short months before:  the birth of our first born son, our sweet, red-haired, smart as a whip Zachary.  I was 31 years old.  Mind you, I had not drunk a drop of alcohol during the entire pregnancy, not one.  Yet a few months later I was beginning the most difficult conversation of my life.  One that I would continue to have for the rest of my life, even in sobriety.  I had an urgency inside of me once Zach was born to be responsible.  Now, I have an inkling that most people, especially women, decide to be responsible before 31 years of age.  But not me.  To this day, I don’t know why I had a wild streak down my back that wouldn’t quit.  I was a rebel from the time I can remember and wild as a March hare.  I either didn’t think I would get caught or gave no consideration whatsoever to the consequences.  I wasn’t scared of the devil himself and I sure wasn’t scared of my parents!  Then.

Tut and I had been married 2-1/2 years at that time and we had a good marriage although not devoid of problems, mostly growing pains.  Neither one of us had been raised in terribly functional homes and we were simply doing what we knew to do.  We were partners, “teamies,” crazy about each other and we were drinking buddies.  We drank every single night if we needed to or not and that was just the way we lived for most of our married life.  I heard the words “drinking problem” come out of my mouth and I feared they were true but Tut casually disagreed and I was looking for any reason to believe otherwise.  So I shut up and kept drinking, beer and wine thankfully, which wreaked little havoc in our lives other than the war that was beginning inside my head.  Am I alcoholic, like those OTHER people who have to go to meetings or am I making a big deal over nothing?  Surely I am overreacting.  I should be able to control my drinking.  After all, I’m me!  I’m smart and fairly attractive and married and daughter of Al and Aletha Green who raised me in church where I gave my heart to Jesus, was baptized at 9 years old, sang in the choir and went to G.A.’s (a young girls’ mission organization).  I know right from wrong and drinking excessively is wrong, especially when I have a child to raise.  So there.  Problem solved.  I’ll cut down.  I will control.

Five years later, age 36, I was sitting at my computer at the Fortune 500 company I had been employed by for many years, where I was well respected and performed with excellence.  My head was spinning and fuzzy.  I was accustomed to working with a hangover, it didn’t even phase me, but this particular morning I couldn’t think of ANYTHING except for the fact that I was baffled at this dad blasted drinking problem and the fact that it would not go away!  I picked up the phone, dialed Charter Hospital of Sugar Land and made an appointment to be assessed by a substance abuse counselor.  It was a radical move!  After being accepted into the first of a long string of out-patient programs that I would not finish, I walked into my first AA meeting and received my first AA book which we most affectionately call the Big Book, not to be confused with the Good Book.  I was scared to death to walk into my first meeting, afraid that I might see someone I knew or they would see me and think that I was alcoholic.  I didn’t hear a word in that meeting but took the book home and began to read in the privacy of my own home, with a tall glass of vodka and cranberry juice.  The Big Book was written in 1939 and sounded, well, hokey to me.  In fact, it was the most ridiculous thing I had ever read in my life!  I slammed it shut, gulped down the last of my drink, felt the love (the love it had for me, the love I had for it, and the love I had for myself), the elusive warm and fuzzy “everything is right with the world” magic of the first drink and I put that dang book out for my next garage sale.

The “functioning years” rocked on through elementary school, middle school, the birth of Zach’s brother, Joshua, my parents’ move to Sugar Land, membership at a prominent neighborhood church, teaching preschool Sunday School, PTO, Cub Scouts, basketball, soccer, the Houston Rockets winning the NBA championship two years in a row (I had to put that in!), 9/11, etc.  I stopped at the liquor store right after work every day, never missed even one day and never repeated the same liquor store in one week.  I bought a pint of vodka, never more than that because I knew I would finish the bottle no matter what size it was.  I either poured myself a drink in the car or simply twisted off the cap and drank it straight from the bottle.  I couldn’t wait to get home which was only about 2 miles.  I floated in and out of AA meetings yet never ever thought any of that stuff applied to ME.  I was living my life right (except for this pesky drinking problem which I was trying my best to HIDE).  I was doing the right things.  I came from a good family.  I went to work every day and never drank before or at work.  I kept the laundry done, family fed and got the kids to school.  I taught Sunday School, for Pete’s sake.  I prayed to God many times to take away my desire to drink alcohol but, for reasons I know NOW but did not know THEN, He didn’t.  I would arise hopeful each morning only to make the decision to quit tomorrow over and over and over again until tomorrow never came.

On August 7, 1998, my mother died right in front of our eyes.  She had been diagnosed with breast cancer three years prior to that and somehow I thought I was prepared.  I was a little, ok a LOT, mad at God because I had gotten on my knees many times and prayed that He would spare my mother’s life yet … He didn’t.  We didn’t only lose our mother that dreaded day but we lost our glue.  All five of us scattered to the wind and dealt with her loss in our own way.  I drank.  It worked.  It took away the pain and if your mother had just died, you would drink too!!!  I gave up trying to control my drinking the day my mother died.  It seemed acceptable under those circumstances.  I was too sad, too lonely and, frankly, too broken without her.  I had talked to her 6 times a day on the phone and seen her daily for 8 years.  She had raised Zachary while I was working and had come back to life herself at the news of our expecting another baby.  Josh’s middle name is Cage after Micajah Rountree, my mother’s father, because I wanted to name him after HER.  She wasn’t perfect but she was Mom and we adored her.  She was the Queen of Everything.  I still feel her loss deeply and I’m fighting back an all-out cry as I write this — but I’m not drinking (ha!).  Praise Jesus of Heaven and Earth!!

That was the beginning of the end.  It was when I stopped caring if I controlled or not.  I am quite sure that the devil was jumping for joy on that day!  He’d gotten me and he was about to carry me away.  That was August of 1998 and I finally put down my last drink on April 19, 2009, more than ten full years later.  Ten years of dwelling in the pit, ten years of spiraling out of control, ten years of the descent into the maelstrom.  Hell.

Fast forward to August, 2009.  I was sitting on a park bench outside a Methodist Church in Pasadena, Texas in the early warmth of a beautiful summer morning.  It was beautiful instead of South Texas hot because I was grateful to be alive.  As I let the sun shine down on my face, I thanked God for my life and four months of sobriety.  It was a miracle!  A dark car with tinted windows drove up slowly in front of me and the window lowered only halfway.  The woman inside spoke quietly, “I’m looking for an AA meeting.”  I said, “This is it.  Don’t be scared.  I’ll go in with you.”  She parked and joined me on that bench for a good five minutes before we walked inside.  Her name was Diane and she shared with me that she had come to realize she had a serious drinking problem.  She was married to a man she loved like crazy and had a son about twelve years old.  She said, “I know the stories of some alcoholics, the losses they suffer and the bottoms they have to reach.  I love my husband and son so much and I don’t want that to happen to me, to our family.  I know I’m alcoholic and I want to stop now.”  I was able to tell her in a nutshell what God had done in my life and was continuing to do through the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  We walked into that meeting together and I introduced her to my sponsor.  She was no longer quiet but felt welcomed and accepted.  I had breakfast with Diane and our mutual sponsor on New Years Eve Day 2011, just a month ago.  She’s been sober 2-1/2 years now and her family is stronger than ever before.  She never picked up another drink after she walked with me through those doors.  She found God in that room and never looked back.  He’s so good, isn’t He?  Everyone doesn’t have to pound the hot concrete with bare feet, somehow they are able to listen to the early warnings and learn from the journeys of others.  They are able to humble themselves enough to listen and apply.  They are able to see God intersect their lives long before the madness begins.  And have life, and have it to the full.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 New International Version (NIV)


341 Responses to “My Sister Gay’s Second Installment: The Functioning Years”

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  1. 101
    Joyce says:

    Hi Gay …….. am reading your 2nd installment and like the first I have a huge lump in my throat and I’m expecting it to burst forth anytime. I have a 25yr old son who is in jail looking at time in prison because addiction has a hold on him so strong that many days, hours and sessions in AA and other therapies have yet to break the hold that the evil one has on his soul. He has walked the streets homeless, shoeless , penneyless, hopeless. We are guardians of his precious daughter who is 4yrs old now. We have had her since her birth. He is missing out on so much beauty. He too has a foundation in Christ. He will face what his choices have brought him. We pray every day that Christ will FINALLY come to him. One year and 4mos ago he lost his older brother from poor choices that took him home way to soon. He was 27yrs old. I am so happy for you that you found your way out of the pit and Christ held his arms out and you allowed him to lift you out. I live with the hope that one day soon He will hold his arms out and my son will allow Him to lift him out also before he loses out on the beauty of life way before his time and we face the loss of another precious child. Appreciate your bravery in telling your story and thank you for the hope it brings me.

    May God continue to Bless you Gay and keep you strong.

  2. 102
    Volleyball Ginger says:

    Powerful! Thank you for making yourself vulnerable Gay.

    Wetumpka, AL

  3. 103

    I know God will use your story to help so many who are suffering from addictions. It helps me to see you being so open and honest about yourself. You are not telling someone elses story but opening yourself up to judgement and criticism.
    Thank you for sharing your heart with us and for setting an example of a strong and courageous woman.

    • 103.1
      Gay says:

      Hi Charlotte — My sponsor told me in the early, EARLY days of sobriety, maybe 10, “It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, Gay! It only matters what God thinks because HE’S THE ONLY ONE WHO COUNTS!!!” I’ve held onto that since Day 10 and I’ve never looked back. The judgment and criticism is just another tool of Satan to make me back off. NOT HAPPENING!!!!! I promised God at 90 days sober that I would do as He asks. I’m simply obeying. He gives me the STRENGTH and COURAGE. Thanks so much for your comment, Charlotte. It makes me ever so much more committed.

      Loved you are,

  4. 104
    Lisa Bowden says:

    Hey Gay!
    Thanks for sharing! I was wondering when you’d be back! 🙂
    I read your story with tears because it’s so nice to see my beloved AA intwined with Beth’s ministry. I love the part where you shared “I’m not like those people. I teach Sunday School for pete’s sake!” HA! I thought the same thing.
    Alcoholism is a full-fledged disease and no respecter of persons. AA is the prescription written by God for me. He can heal in any way he pleases…his ways are not our ways…but today I’m grateful he chose me to be a meeting maker. It’s a daily reprieve, just like His daily bread.
    I love you, sister. I’ll probably never meet you this side of heaven, but someday we’ll dance on streets of gold.
    Keep writing, keep coming back.
    All Glory to the One and Only who’s hand is mighty to save.

  5. 105
    Jean M. says:

    Wow. Your story is so amazing. Thanks again for sharing! Please don’t wait too long for the next part.

  6. 106
    Charlene says:

    Gay I cannot express to you how blessed I was reading your testimony! I will spare you the long story but your story easily could have been mine, I come from a family addiction and the LORD spoke to me several times about my alcohol consumption, I am so thankful I listened!!! Praise HIM! But your sentence “felt the love (the love it had for me, the love I had for it, and the love I had for myself), the elusive warm and fuzzy “everything is right with the world” magic of the first drink” resonated with me and still does, as you described EXACTLY how I used to feel!!! It wasn’t about getting drunk, it was about the warm and fuzzies….I am so thankful, thank you so much for sharing!!!

  7. 107
    Karen says:

    Sweet Sister Gay…thank you for sharing your story with us and the hope we have in our precious, glorious Savior. Abba Father!

    2 Cor. 1:3-4 “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (NIV)

  8. 108
    Diane says:

    My Dear Gay-
    I wish so much that I could sit and chat up a storm with you. Gods story of my life is similar to in many ways, from the childhood to the functional drinking years, to a rock bottom, that included my own breast cancer, my husbands quintuple bi-pass and the death if my grandmother. I too had a ‘Beth’ in my life – my baby sister who loves me unconditionally and prayed for me till the gold bowl in front of the throne overflowed and Jesus himself gave me a big “it is finished”. He restarted my life of sobriety and service for His kingdom and His glory. Thank you for your testimony. I am sure God will use it to help many who struggle with alcohol, And those prayer warriors who fill gold bowls on their behalf. May God be with you as you share your story,


  9. 109
    Marcy says:

    can’t wait to hear more

  10. 110
    Elizabeth Sullivan says:

    Thank you so much for continuing to share your testimony! We are all receiving such a blessing from your experience and we thank you for having the courage to come forward and share your past with us siestas! 🙂

  11. 111
    Diane Archibald says:

    Thank you, Gay. Written so beautifully, told so truthfully, your story is amiracle. My story lasted 18 years and is very similar to yours. It rattled me to the bone to read my name in your story. What a miracle…we are redeemed…we are free. Thank you, Jesus!!!!

  12. 112
    rhonda says:

    What a great story. I could not help but think how many of us continue to walk in a destructive pattern, thinking we can control it and instead end up losing control. You are a great encouragement to us all!

  13. 113
    Cynthia says:

    This is just amazing! Thank you for sharing your testimony here on this blog, public as it is. About 3 weeks ago, another alcoholic in my hometown came to our small, but regular ladies prayer group to give us her testimony and thank us for praying. She has been sober for a couple of years and isn’t into “testimonies” but was willing to share how amazing God has been in her life. It was astounding to hear how big a God we serve. Maybe I shouldn’t be astounded, but honestly, I think God enjoys astounding us! And I love Him for it and appreciate you astounding us with Him again through this blog. Thank you!

    • 113.1
      Gay says:

      Cynthia — I love it, I LOVE IT!! “Honestly, I think God enjoys astounding us!” So true, sooooo true. He absolutely does. You made my day!

      Loved you are,

  14. 114
    Tiffany Morse says:

    I love you so much! I praise Jesus for your sweet life!

  15. 115
    Lisa Riley says:

    Oh Gay,
    I am deeply touched by your story. I come from a family of alcoholics and recognize how difficult of a struggle that you went through. Glory to God! He may take us through the valley before he takes us to the mountaintop but HE WILL ALWAYS take us to the mountaintop when we trust and obey! God bless you dear sister!

  16. 116
    Maggie says:

    Dear Gay, I love how you are sharing your story! I have a young woman in my life that I deeply care about, I would like to share your story with her, but don’t want to offend her (if that makes any sense) Please pray that I do the right thing, and that if I forward your story it will be well received and make an impact in her life. God bless you Gay!

  17. 117
    Kim says:

    You are beautifully brave. Thank you!

  18. 118
    Barb D says:

    Once again, thank you! Your story is God’s story. And He is using you in a most significant way. My husband is 2 1/2 years sober by the Grace of God after steady using for over 30 years. He was also a highly functioning alcoholic, was a “good” drunk having never been arrested, never missed work, came home every night, didn’t fight, etc. Oh, and I was his co-dependent wife of 30 years then. We found out in 2003 that he had Hepatitis C resulting from IV drug use prior to our meeting in 1978, and the beginning stages of liver disease. Even that didn’t make him quit. I believe God used the birth of our 1st and only granddaughter, now over 3 1/2 years ago, and some tough love to finally bring him to the point of desperation. He is now undergoing treatment for HEP C, which is really hard. But he’s also the man I always knew he could be and the man God created him to be out from under the darkness of alcoholism. His story has also helped change the lives of many and I couldn’t be more proud! Blessings and prayers for continued sobriety go up for you…one day at a time:-)

  19. 119
    Georgia Boone says:

    WHEW!!!!!!!!!! WOW!!!!!!!!!! God is so good….Meant to comment after the first installment….what a testimony. Can hardly wait for the next installment!! To God be the glory….to God be the glory….to God be the glory….for the things He has done……

  20. 120
    Colette says:

    Thank you so much Gay and Beth! Your life story gives me hope for my special loved ones futures! Yes I have a few family members that I am praying for and believing will hear God and listen! I soooo want them to have life and have it to the FULL too!!!
    Thank you again!
    “Mercy, Peace and Love be your in abundance!” Jude 2

  21. 121
    Kelly Hohne says:

    In a word, woah. Gay, your jaw- dropping testimony leaves your readers hungry for more.
    Reminding us ‘there is no pit so deep that God is deeper still.”
    God bless you dear one! Spur on!

  22. 122
    april lopez says:

    Dear Gay,

    Thank you again for sharing! All I have to say is W-0-W 🙂
    Blessings to you dear sister,

  23. 123
    Terre says:

    Once again, Gay, you are right on Sister! Been there, done that, got the t-shirt…but God!! My story of redemption is similar to yours and I thank you for speaking so eloquently for us all. God bless you, moment by moment in your walk, because yours is a story that need to be said aloud.

  24. 124
    Kathy says:

    As I read with tears, my heart aches not only for the life you lived, the things you endured, BUT ALSO for your sister Beth who watched you suffer, knowing the POWER available to you thru Christ Jesus. I could hear in her voice and see the heart-ache on her face for her loved one that so needed the transforming Power of Christ if she would only turn to Him, she would say. I too have a heart ache for a dear son who accepted Christ as a child but now living the life of his peers, all non-Christians. I grew up with this kind of life-style very foreign to me as I had the priviledge of a calm, sheltered, Christian atmosphere and Christ-like example set before me in childhood. I plead before the Lord daily for my child’s release from satans grip and pray many verses over him from Beth’s Praying God’s Word. (that book has helped me for quite a few years). A year ago, the Lord started answering specific prayers I had prayed, and knocked out first one and then another of satans grip in certain areas on him. I’m belivin God and do trust the Lord that soon (at least before I enter heaven) I will rejoice in His Redeeming Power in my sons life like your sister rejoices in yours. I too share your joy- I remember praying for “this loved one” in Beths life. Amen and Amen.

  25. 125
    Sharon O says:

    Your story is real and raw. I understand it.
    In 2006 my sister was 90 pds on hospice dying of starvation and alcoholism. Her husband was her caretaker and he died unexpectedly leaving her alone. I picked her up and brought her to my home and began a journey I had no idea how to start. We had no idea she had been drinking a fifth of vodka a day ‘straight’ out of the bottle by herself. Her liver score was 800 a normal score is 25-35. She was weeks from dying in the care of hospice.
    LONG STORY made VERY short. WE detoxed her for 4 weeks in our family room (horrible thing to do), she willed herself to live and she is no longer at deaths door. Alcoholism is an addiction and a family illness. It is so intensely gripping. It can be overcome, but alot of work has to take place for that to happen. You need to write a book.

    • 125.1
      Gay says:

      Sharon — I literally have chillbumps all over me. Great story, GREAT STORY, and YES, a lot of work has to take place. But its so worth it, isn’t it?? I haven’t wasted one drop of blood, sweat and tears, Sharon. Not one. Sobriety is worth it. Without it I wouldn’t have my kids or my family or this wildly wonderful relationship with Abba!!

      To Him be all glory, power, honor and majesty. And to Him alone!!

      Loved you are, Siesta!!

  26. 126
    lavonda says:

    Oh my goodness, Gay, I didn’t want to stop reading. Please write more soon. I love what God is saying through you.

  27. 127
    anon says:

    Gay, and by extension Beth…

    God is working through you. Through your testimony and support of each other. I’m a “functioning alcoholic” as well. I had a few years of sobriety etc…before the enemy started to steal away my entire life (father-cancer, sister-suicide, aunt-freakish, deathly, virus, father-in-law- sudden heart attack…).

    i have progressively hidden in a bottle as well. I know the path I need to take. I’ve walked down most of it before. You both are inspiring me to do it again. And again if needed. AND EVEN AGAIN.

    God is The God of GRACE, and mercy, and above all, new chances…

    thank you for reminding me of that.

  28. 128

    WOW. I’m speechless because of how close this hits home. I’ve never been a drinker. Can’t stand the stuff…it’s tormented my extended family since long before I came along 32 years ago, and I have seen what drinking has done to those I love. Some have risen above it, with God’s help and grace, and I am forever grateful. Others still feel they have no problem and I can hear the warning bells clinging like cymbals in my head…but can’t do a thing for them. It love reading testimonies such as this because it reminds me that you can be in the pit for a while…and still climb out. Love you guys so much!

  29. 129
    beginning2learn says:

    Gay, thank you so much for your incredible bravery, honesty and being willing to share your story. You are amazing.
    I can relate to a LOT of things…like “needing” alcohol, to relax, before stressful events, trying to cope with pain and enormous amounts of stress. I accepted the Lord, at an early age, rededicated my life to him many time, and have gotten defensive when people have been concerned I might have a problem. I don’t have any record and don’t drive, after drinking, but one of my main fears, since I have lots of anxiety (medical diagnosis), is that is they learn what is going on, I will be taken off (cold turkey) of my anti anxiety meds. I don’t get drunk, but I rely on the relaxation and relief of pain, by wine. I dont have hangovers and I dont do drugs, unless prescribed. So, thank you for your transparent sharing and story. I can’t wait until your next posting comes… signed, a lover of God, Jesus and a sinner (saved by grace), in a vicous cycle of fear and shame. I see hope and I love God…So I am encouraged that my story can have a happy ending!

  30. 130
    Amberley says:

    Again, thank you so much for sharing your story, your heart, your pain, and the redemption of Jesus. Glory to God that He is bigger than any problem!
    Much love to you in His glorious name,

  31. 131
    Heather V says:

    Gay- I can’t tell you how much it means to me personally that you are telling your story. I grew up with an alcoholic father and my husband recently quit drinking after almost 20 years of it. I read this aloud to him today and I got through to the last few sentences and tears just started flowing. I got all choked up and I don’t even really understand why. Maybe it’s the honesty. Maybe it’s the truth. Maybe it’s because I know that Saviour who loves and cares so deeply for us and I still see many struggle today. I took a friend home tonight who was drunk ( she walked to my house and was in my yard screaming). I talked with her, calmed her down, told her of God’s love and prayed for her. 30 minutes later we get a call that she has tried to commit suicide. She is in the hospital now but she has a long road ahead of her. This is real life and I thank you for your story. I thank you for showing others what God has done. And I am so glad you made it.

  32. 132
    Keren says:


    Thank you for writing candidly….for speaking without a mask. As your testimony unfolds just know that there are a host of sisters walking the journey with you. There are all sorts of destructive sins that rob, kill and destroy…and while they may not lead to homelessness, they do lead to the wasteland. I’m reminded of the lyrics from the old Imperial’s song:

    Mercy came running like a prisoner set free
    Past all my failures to the point of my need
    When the sin that I carried was all I could see
    When I could not reach mercy; Mercy came running to me!

    So proud of your sobriety…..may each day be filled with peace and joy and a dose of humility…. the friend that keeps this wanderer sitting at His feet.
    Warmest regards and deepest appreciation,

  33. 133
    Village Sister says:

    Hi Gay,
    I’ve been anxiously awaiting your next installment.:)
    You are blessing & encouraging me so much. (I am in a season where Satan is pressing me hard in a certain area & I’m battling discouragement severely.) Your story is reminding me of ‘where God brought me from’ & how much is mine in Christ. To God be the glory…He deserves every word of praise & testimony goodness we can speak & write!!

    Oh, I gotta tell you…just finished Brennan Manning’s memoir,’All Is Grace’. (got it for Christmas – so, so good) 🙂
    Love & prayers,

  34. 134

    Dear Gay (what a beautiful name),

    Thank you for being real about your struggles. It is through my cracks people seem to see God most clearly.

    Together on the journey,

  35. 135
    Anne says:

    Hey Gay….Your story is so rich! Thank you for taking the risk and sharing so openly with us. God is so good. It is for freedom he sets us free. I have only learned that in sobriety (almost two years!). “God is doing for us, what we could not do for ourselves.” Amen. Can’t wait to read more of your story!

  36. 136
    Angela says:

    Gay, Your journey is a joy to follow, & you wouldn’t be you if your 1st meeting had “done the trick.” i’m so proud you are sharing life and giving hope to those who find the end of their search for help “hokey.” you’re loved here!

  37. 137
    Kathleen says:

    Thank you for sharing your amazing story! It breaks my heart to read all the years that passed for you. Years that I am watching my sister loose right now. She had verbally attacked me while drunk, the night before your first post. I read it with tears streaming down my face. I love her so much and know she needs help but she says she does to have a problem. That I am the one with the problem… me and my God she says! I pray God opens her heart and her eyes before she has to loose more people in her life. Our mother is on her death bed as I type from lung cancer. This might sound harsh but I am praying that when we loose mom, it will be her rock bottom. I just hope she is not in that rock bottom pit for a long time. Alcoholism is very deep in our family. God has put a fire in my heart about the destruction it has cost me in my life. I have just started an out line of what I feel he has laid on me.

    Thank you for sharing a very emotional and real part of your life. I too have prayed for you many times as I know how it broke Beth’s heart to see you living in the depths of hell. May God bless you each and everyday and hold you firmly in the palm of his loving hand. You are now a blog sister and we are a powerful bunch! 🙂

  38. 138
    Sherry Dunn says:

    To God be the Glory! Thank you, Gay.

  39. 139
    Kaaren says:

    Gay, tears in my eyes sweet sister. I am not an alcoholic, but I have my addiction. It’s food! Your story sounds so much like mine. I have been off and on diets since I was in Jr. High (1986). I would lose weight only to gain back more than I lost. I can always start over tomorrow, and you are right, tomorrow never comes. I thought I had won the battle this year. My dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and died in August. He weighed over 450 pounds. As one of his care givers I told myself I never want my kids to have to take care of me because of my weight. I lost 40 pounds from May to September. The day of my dad’s funeral was the day I lost control, once again. Thank you for your transparency!


  40. 140
    Elizabeth says:

    I thank God the encouragement you have shared with to continue spurring on in sobriety. As a single mom of a 2yr blind child with a past full of sexual abuse I used the bottle to keep running away from all of the memories. I remember walking into my first AA mtg and hearing it was a closed mtg so I walked out only to understand what that meant later. Now I’m a single mom of a deaf line 12yr who has been clean & sober for just over 7yrs now and I’m 2wks away from leading a women’s conf at my church for hundreds of women and many I’ve been in worship with for those 7yrs and they have no idea my testimony. I’m praying for your same vulnerability and courage to be bold for Christ…not because of anything I’ve done or that’s been done to me but because Fod has asked me to be the first step for these women. It just takes one person, that first person to go to the altar and others follow. Gods been asking me for quite a while to speak up and I’ve shared candidly with individuals who needed to hear but never anything like this. I’m praying I stay out of the way and only share what is helpful and not hurtful. That I would share just enough publicly that it would allow women to come and have more conversation privately if need be. As doubts have started flying in during these last 2wks of preparation I needed this encouragement right exactly now. I love Gods perfect timing! I praise God for you Gay and for you Beth and for each of you siestas…the ones who have already shared comments of similar stories and those of you not ready to share yet…and those of you who have just commented in general and those of you who haven’t. I praise God for all of you my siestas!

    • 140.1
      Elizabeth says:

      Line = blind and Fod = God

    • 140.2
      Gay says:

      Elizabeth — YOU GO GIRL!!! I didn’t get sober and well by myself, girlfriend. God sent an ARMY of people, mostly women but some men in my church and my SWEET AS PIE pastor who’s father was alcoholic, who shared their stories of hope with me and who stood by me no matter what. You not only need to be that warrior for someone who needs it, it will set you free like crazy!! Satan doesn’t want us to speak out, so he uses all sorts of stuff inside our heads mostly FEAR. I have it too, believe me. But, Elizabeth, God CALLS US OUT of our comfort zones to be EFFECTIVE in another person’s life, IN HIS NAME and FOR HIS GLORY!!
      I’m with you all the way and I’m praying for you.

      7 years — WAY TO GO!!!

      Loved you are,

  41. 141
    Alisha says:

    WOW! I look forward to reading your story because I am not sure if you realize that your story applies to more than just alcoholics but to any kind of addiction. And the enemy is in no shortage of coming up with all kinds of ways to pull us into the pit. I praise God Almighty for your testomony. Thank you for being willing to be transparent.

  42. 142
    Donna says:

    Hello Gay,

    When Beth mentioned you very briefly at the Living Proof conference I knew then that we were kindred spirits. It was then that we ‘met’ in spirit and I started to pray for you. I didn’t know your story but I knew it wasn’t unlike mine. Now that I am reading it, I see so many similarities that it’s almost certainly crazy enough to be a God thing. 🙂 Gay, I could spend a day and probably several days telling you my story but I won’t take up that space here. I wrote my email address and would truly love it if you would contact me even just to say hello! What I want to say here is this. YOU are a walking, talking, breathing miracle and a blessing to everyone who hears your story – keep telling it. Loud and proud. Even the most darkest parts. They are all part of the journey that got you to this place. The Lord saved you and me not so that we could be quiet about it but so we could proclaim His amazing grace and glory to everyone. Next month will be 5 years since I walked into my first AA meeting, since I came face to face with the fact that I was an alcoholic and it was okay. As a matter of fact it was so much more than okay, it was an amazing freedom and just a showering of grace. You know how they talk about that ‘pink cloud’? Usually it’s not in a good way but in my case I found my pink cloud and I”m not ever letting it go! The freedom that I have in Christ Jesus that I found through sobriety you cannot put into words. I could write all day and would love to tell share with you but for now I will just say – I love you Gay and I’m praying for you! Keep sharing, keep inspiring, keep moving forward one day at a time. I am truly blessed to know you. We may never meet this side of heaven but I do know one day we will in glory and I will get to thank you in person and give you a big hug! Oh and one last thing 4/19 is the date my own big sister passed away from a brain tumor. A profoundly sad day for me but a date that has been used in my life for some pretty amazing wonderful things since she’s passed. For example, I was pregnant with my son and had serious early preterm labor. The doctors said I could lose him. At the hospital they put me in room 419. I knew that I’d be okay. I prayed and prayed and prayed. He’s a strapping 10 year old today! My next son his little brother by 15 months was born in that same room in the hospital!

    Anyway, sending you love and big hugs across the miles. Keep inspiring sweet Sister and keep sharing your story loud and proud.

    With love,
    [email protected]

  43. 143
    Debbie says:

    Oh Gay, thank you so much for your story. Like so many others, I relate. I was raised in an alcoholic home and was “sent” to church and that was how I learned about what I thought was a punishing God. I drank for 16 years (even during pregnancy), found AA and enjoyed 26 years of sobriety. My “Beth” in my life was my older brother who was more of a father to me than my earthly father and always was my rock. He became ill a few years ago, suffered greatly for a year in which I was his caretaker and died just nine short months ago. I relate to the feeling of loss that you still feel of your mother. I’ve lost my “rock” who was always there for me and am in so pain over the loss of my beloved brother. He was a wonderful Christian example in my life. I yearn to know God because of my brother’s example and am in that process. However, I find myself going down a dangerous road in that I’m picking up a beer almost everyday. It helps and just thinking that scares me, because I know the warnings. I find myself making excuses why I don’t have to give up that one beer because I’m controlling it. My 39 year old son fell into the dark hole of alcoholism years ago and is spiraling downward fast. We both need prayers.

  44. 144
    Karen Jordan says:

    Following your story … keep writing!!!!!

  45. 145
    Carla says:

    I affirm and rejoice with you in the joy of fulfilling the destiny of your name. Thank you for the precious gift you’ve given the Body of Christ.

  46. 146
    Jennifer says:


    Thank you for being so transparent. Even though I do not have a drinking problem, I can certainly relate to addiction of another sort. The years of denial and believing all would be just fine because I had the “normal” ingredients to life – husband, children, career, home, etc. But it was a house of cards that crashed around me when I was forced to face my addiction head-on and give up the illusion of control to my Heavenly Father. I do not share my story often b/c of the shame and embarrassment. Thank you for not doing the same.

    I am so proud of all you have come out of and anxiously await to hear the rest of your redeeming story.

    Much Love,

  47. 147
    Janice says:

    There is nothing too BIG or too small for HIS unconditional love, grace and mercy to triumph over! Your story is speaking LOUDLY to many of us and shall continue to do so through your honesty and conviction that this is HIS will for you. Even in your darkest times HE was working in and through you, it is evident that HE NEVER left your side but waited patiently for you to take HIS hand! What a gift it is to read your story and to become even closer to you as I read the posts of those that you have touched. By taking that leap of faith and sharing honestly from your heart, what it was like before and how He has changed your life, it opens the doors for others to take a peek at HIS Story through your eyes and life. You are an amazing woman and I cherish His words that flow through your finger tips. Keep the faith and continue sharing for others to see that He can and will HEAL us from ourselves… and teach us to love again.
    I love you GAY!

  48. 148
    Dawn says:

    Your testimony is powerful. Such an encouragement to everyone who is hiding something. Amazing! God is so awesome!

  49. 149
    Julie says:

    Hi Gay,
    Thank you for sharing. I use to read this blog then just got away from it until i recently joined Mercy Triumphs bible study and remembered this Blog site. My brother has been a year free from alcohol so this post is encouraing to me. With God ALL things are possible! God Bless you! ANd praise Him for you and what he has done in your life! Take care. GOD BLESS.

  50. 150

    Dear Gay,

    Thank you again for sharing your incredible story. So much of what you wrote resonated with me like the day in 1986 when you said, I think I have a drinking problem and how you and your husband being drinking buddies.
    But I truly truly thank you for when you said that even though you still feel the loss of your mother deeply but you are not drinking…Praise Jesus! I needed to hear that be reminded of that miracle.
    It will be five years this May since I have had a drink and my marriage of almost twenty years is coming to an end, not by my choice. This has been a year of sadness my husband deciding to end our marriage. I have moments where the pain is go great and fear and everything just for a moment seems to be too much but I know I cannot ever ever go and try to just have one to numb the feeling because that would be the end of me. It is a miracle every time I choose to continue to trust Him and believe Him through all of this and not run to a bottle to help me get through.
    Praying for you Gay and for Diane, what a beautiful testimony!
    In His love,
    michelle in VT

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