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. 151

    What a beautiful testimony to our faithful, beautiful God!

    We love you sweet sister!

    Blessings, Kristi

  2. 152
    Debbie says:

    How I wish my brother would read your story. Alcohol is slowing destroying him and his family. I have done everything I know to do to help him. I’ve been praying about this for at least 25 years. Thank you so much for putting your story into words.

    • 152.1
      Yanna Westmoreland says:

      Debbie, have you thought of sending him the link to the blog (starting with beginning of the testimony) reading the comments from the family of Siesta is inspiring, or I would have suggested copying Gay’s testimony and mailing it to him. Praying the stronghold over your brother is broken by God soon.

    • 152.2
      Gay says:

      Hi Debbie — Keep praying for your brother! Its not just the BEST things you can do for him, its the ONLY thing!! Alcoholics and addicts are extremely stubborn and, at some point, won’t let anything stand in the way of them and the drug. The drug takes FIRST PRIORITY over everything else!! It is EVIL and it lives to kill. If he is open to going into treatment, jump at the chance to get him there. But you CANNOT make him be open to it or make him LISTEN once he gets there! Love him twice as much, pray for him like crazy, let go and let God. That’s what my family had to do. I am praying for you, Debbie, and him too. Do not give up hope, Sweet Siesta. The wildest things can happen with this God of ours!!!

      • Gay says:

        Debbie — You might want to find an Al-Anon group as well. Some of my very best friends go there and it has changed their lives and the way they deal with the alcoholic family member. Just a suggestion.

        Loved you are, Sweet One!

  3. 153
    sherry says:

    Thanks for sharing your God Story…what would we do without each other in the body: being real and seeing God’s grace, deliverance, and restoration at work in each other! Love ya sista!

  4. 154
    Royana says:

    Joy to you! Thank you for sharing your story of redemption with us. God is sooooooo good to us!! I plan on sharing your story with our Bible Study group of about 100 women. I know someone needs to hear it. I have a very good friend who lost her husband to alcoholism. I think it’s closer to a lot of us than we may know. You are so brave!!

    Much love and respect,

    Thank you for giving your sister this opportunity to share her story with us. You are gracious, loving and kind.

  5. 155
    Emmy says:

    Gay! I can’t begin to thank you enough for sharing your story… I have no words! I am beyond grateful! I hung on every last word and was so sad when I came to the end! You will have to write a book one day! 🙂 Thank you for your transparency… for sharing your heart with us! I praise Him for you precious Gay… hugging you from Georgia! Emmy 🙂

    P.S. I ADORE Brennan Manning too! (2nd favorite author/speaker of course!) Been to see him speak many times. His heart is incredible. One day I wrote him a long letter asking some hard questions about the church. Somehow he tracked me down by finding my home phone number through my husbands office. He called me and said he wanted to chat about my questions! I was blown away! He spent close to an hour with me on the phone… sharing and listening! It was such a sweet gift to my heart. Just finished his memoirs, All is Grace. Have you read it yet? Powerful! Just finished last week and the thought “All is Grace” continues to roll around in my head and my heart… All is Grace! All is Grace! All is Grace! 🙂

    • 155.1
      Gay says:

      Emmy — Well, I am so jealous I could POP!! Ooops, I think jealousy is a character defect. Hahaha. Your comment put chillbumps all over me. I’m tempted to write him a letter myself!! 🙂 The Ragamuffin Gospel changed my life. It was where I could put into words what had happened to me one bleak night underneath a busy Houston freeway. I had been “seized by the power of a Great Affection.” And I am still. And SO ARE YOU!!! Oh I love God so much. Stay with me, Sista!

      Loved you are,

  6. 156
    Dawn Winslow says:

    I keep wanting to read on. I hope you will consider writing a book about your life. It is an Amazing story of God’s Grace.

    I Love You Sister in Christ and look so forward to your next installment.

    Dawn in MO

  7. 157

    This is so beautiful to see how God has brought good out of bad and using you to help others in such an amazing way, and I am sure you could never have imagined this during the most difficult times. But God did, because He is Able!

  8. 158
    Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing. Your strength is helping others. God Bless You.

  9. 159
    Karla Wasion says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! It is bringing encouragement to all who read it, and I’m sure it is encouraging you as you write it!

  10. 160
    Lynda Rickey says:

    You make me love Jesus more! Lynda

  11. 161
    texatlast says:

    What a beautiful testimony to the power of God! Alcohol is truly a thief that steals life right out of our hands. Thanks for sharing your story Gay!

  12. 162
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    Gay, you also have a gift for writing and I am so thankful to be able to feel your love for God and how you express how much He has done for you. I join you as you “Extol the LORD and all times and His praise will always be on our lips.” Psalm 34:1 Your testimony will be a light for others to want to bask in and yearn to see His Glory in their lives as well. Well done good and faithful servant.

  13. 163
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Oh Sweet Gay – I am so thankful that our great God spared your life and brought you through the functioning years!! He is so good to us, isn’t he? I am so thankful that we serve a God who still performs miracles and “who is who HE SAYS HE IS!”

    It was my delight and pleasure to hug your neck at BCF after the SSMTC and I have thought of you and prayed often since last weekend. Sister, your words are being used in a powerful way through this blog and through your ministry with Mercy Street, and I am thankful for you. I pray a hedge of protection around you as take back everything the enemy stole from you. Gay you are such a blessing.

    Father, thank you for Gay, for her authenticity and her willingness to share all that you have brought her through and to in her life. Thank you Father that you are EL ROI the God who sees each one of us where we are and still pursues us with a passionate desire to draw us to you. I am captivated by your love Father and so blesed by those you have put in our lives for such a time as this. I am so blessed by this blog community and our Siesta Mama Beth – thank you again for this. You grace us with so much more than we could ever deserve or repay. I love you too ABBA!!

  14. 164
    Just me says:

    Gay and Beth,
    Thank you so much! I knew God was up to something big when I was in Pensacola recently and Beth shared about you. I happened to be with my own baby sister, but I am the “Gay” in this. I, too, am functioning, praying to stop drinking every morning. By the time I get home from work, I head straight to the wine bottle. Like you, my husband and I have a drink nightly whether we need it or not:). However, he has 1 glass, I have 3 or 4. I carry with me the verse “wine is a mocker and beer a brawler”. My family tries to ignore my problem, and I need your prayers!
    I have too much to lose to keep drinking, yet I do it anyway.Do you know it takes to drink this much in a dry county in the Bible belt!? Thank you so much for sharing your life story. Praise God for redemption and second chances (and third, and fourth…..!) I can’t wait to read “the rest of the story”. Praying for you like crazy,

    Just me

    • 164.1
      Sandy Bowers says:

      And praying for YOU like crazy, Just Me.

    • 164.2
      Debbie from Mississippi says:

      Just me,

      Some people can’t just stop drinking. They have the disease of alcoholism or addiction that keeps them in the cycle of drinking or using drugs. You can’t stop this progressive and potentially fatal disease on your own. If you could do that you already would have. I urge you to seek help. Reach out to a drug/alcohol treatment center in your area, local AA meetings, etc. As you said, you have too much to lose to continue down this path. I will be praying for you. Please seek help for yourself, and ultimately for your family.

    • 164.3
      Dawn, Pottsville says:

      Dear “Just Me”,
      I don’t know who you are, but sister, God knows and I pray His love, comfort and strength for you. His mercy is new each morning, for each of us. I love you in the Lord! Dawn

    • 164.4
      Gay says:

      Just Me — I applaud you, sweet sister, for speaking that out here. Satan wants us to try to hide it so that we’ll keep DOING IT. I got more like the millionth chance, but I don’t want YOU to go that far. Its a MIRACLE that I didn’t die out there. Hang with me, Sister. You are in my prayers and KNOW that God is faithful, strong and ABLE. Know that He loves you with the Greatest Affection of all. Praying for you like crazy!!

      Loved you are,

  15. 165
    Linda says:

    Im so Proud of you sister, and thank you so much for telling your story. Your story gives me much encouragement…. Praise God, His wonderful GRACE is ever Changing us more like him….I am walking this walk, thank you again. I will pray for you, and ask you and my sisters on here to please pray for me…

  16. 166
    Allison says:

    Well I came on this website to post a comment my six year old said this morning. After reading this post I realize I needed to be here to read it. I have been sober for 4!!!! Years! I am 31 young mother of 2. I started drinking when I was 12 ish I think.
    As I said I came here to this site to post an uplifting post for Beth. Little did I remember it’s a miracle, she is the reason I stopped drinking. Four years ago I w so hungover that I couldn’t make her innocent two year old perfection of a child breakfast. Handing her that dry bowl of cereal was all I could muster.
    I never drank again, my only stronghold to be broken so quickly!

    Well unto the uplifting comment.
    So my now beautiful godly six year old was up very un like her. It was five am, I was able to finish day five of my homework from God’s dwelling place and even though she had lost her tv privilege the night prior I put lesson three in. With big bright brown eyes she said” mom this is a straight up blessing!”
    No my little one it is a straight up miracle!

    God bless and have a great day!
    By His grace alone, Allison

  17. 167
    Janell Urban says:

    First I want to say thank you Gay for sharing your story, and to Beth for putting it on the blog. I am currently going through the James bible study and just this morning went through the Royal Law chapter. I knew I was suppose to do this study and though I have looked with great anticipation upon every study, I knew this one would be tough!!! I have read the book of James several times. Honestly back in 1989 I even memorized James 1:2-4. Those were the days that I began to get a hint that something was wrong with me. My background is one of anger and abuse and alcoholism. Everyone fought with everyone and it was considered normal. My Dad was the first to find Jesus, lay down the alcohol and even walk away as best you can from his family. But the anger and abuse stayed with him, poured onto me and my brothers and has as much as I tried to stop it…sprayed onto my 3 children.
    God has taken me through my own recovery process with the help of you Beth, in the best book I ever bought and used the most…Praying the Word over your situations. And through your studies I have found freedom. Along with some other authors on this subject of abuse. I also became for a season a facilitator of anger management as I got healing teaching others something I needed to learn myself. After that season I thought…”thats it…I’m healed..I’m as good as I can get”.
    Well….deep down I know thats a lie because as I do this study about the Royal law and love and relationships I am feeling conviction. The problem is I don’t know what to do about some things in my life. Please pray for me to find the answer. Pray that God will speak and I will hear and be able to obey. A part of me is scared that I won’t be able to do what He is asking. I’ve asked counselors and pastors and teachers this one question no body seems to have an answer. Just like Joseph was put in prison for the good of his family I have a feeling I have been put where I am for the good of someone or something but I am clueless as to what that is.
    I live next door to my mother-in-law who is very helpful but very controlling. Everyone’s answer is just move. Which trust me if I could I would have long ago!!!! Short of divorcing my wonderful husband that is the only way out and thats not happening. So if you can put 1 (woman who wants to be delivered of anger… works on it daily with God’s help but has not arrived ) plus 1 (woman who is passive aggressively controlling, doesn’t think she has any issues and is sticky-sweet; which I thought I made that up til I read your study today) equals 2 (many women living on the same street)!!!!
    Pray for me to listen and find the answers I need…and the strength to obey. I’m faithfully going through this study. But it is not easy. I just wanted to share that. I just wanted you to know that I am truly a disciple and I truly want to be able to have healthy relationships as scarred as I am. Thank you for encouraging me by your testimonies.
    Janell Urban a Siesta Sister from
    Covis, NN

  18. 168
    Jsimpson says:

    You are so raw, brave and honest. You have no understanding of the impact of this testimony on people -on me. Can I be the only one that recognises herself in this testimony?

    I have asked God for help so many times – where is He?

    Why does He help,you and not me?

    I get so much from Wednesday’s with Beth , but I feel abandoned and not heard. Thank you so much for sharing your pain and your insides. We are functioning but at what costs?

    • 168.1
      Beth says:

      We surely do hear you here, dear one. Thank you for tuning into this community. You have a place here. Our Savior will never abandon you. I pray that He will allow us to be an extension of His loving hand to you.

      • Jackie SImpson says:

        Thank you for your speedy response- I cannot believe I am speaking to you!!

        I have not stopped crying since I read it!

        Like Gay, God gave me a warning some years ago which I have tried to follow but not always successfully.
        I have had a difficult week . I have a stressful job, and my husband might have bowel cancer or a serious problem. We are going to the hospital to find out on Monday. A friend who is also a Christian has committed suicide this week and I am so angry with God – she trusted Him so. She did not contact me to help her. I only found out from the police.

        Thank you Beth for replying. I did not expect it and this means a great deal to me. I think God is shouting at me to listen!!

        • Beth says:

          Christ loves you so much, Jackie. I am so deeply sorry for the death of your friend. Please let us know how your husband’s tests come out. Hold tight to Jesus.

        • Caroline says:

          Dear sister, I will be praying for you! YOU are brave for sharing your need with us here while in a raw place. I echo Beth – hold tight to Jesus! “The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save! He will take great delight in you; he will rejoice over you with singing!”
          Grace to you!

    • 168.2
      Ruthie says:

      Hi Jackie. You are not the only one. I make two of us.

      • Gay says:

        And I make three of us!! We’re all in this together, Jackie and Ruthie. That’s the way God made us. He made us to be in relationship with one another and to LIFT EACH OTHER UP. When you cannot feel him there, hear him through us! He is there, don’t you doubt it one bit. While I was out on the street, I didn’t even believe He existed anymore. I turned my back on Him. HE DIDN’T TURN HIS BACK ON ME!! He was there all the while and surprised the socks off of me when he SHOWED UP!! Stay with us, Sweet Siestas. Don’t give up.

        Loved you are,

        • Ruthie says:

          Gay, Thanks for the encouragement. I believe God has never given up on me. I give up on myself too often. I am pulling myself up from another fall AGAIN.I am not only an alcoholic but a binge drinker. The fact I am still alive is a miracle of Gods mercy and grace. On Jan.26th I asked Him for another chance. Oh how many times I prayed that prayer. On the 28th I visted this blog and there you were. Gods timing is perfect. Maybe that is a sign he heard my prayer. “If I could just touch the hem of His garment,I would be healed”

        • Jackie says:

          Hi Gay!

          The last few days have proved you so right. I have felt God to be so much closer since I posted here and felt Him so powerfully through you and the other responses to your testimony. Ruthie has been on my heart and I felt compelled to respond to her -and then read your response to us for the first time! WE are all so connected. The joy at being called a siesta!
          The billboard at my local church I saw tonight for the first time saying ‘ You are held in prayer.’ He is still shouting at me!

          God bless and keep you, you adorable and giving woman.
          God bless and keep you you adorable and giving woman.

      • Jackie says:

        Hi Ruthie,

        I have felt so supported by the lovely responses to my comment and the prayers people have offered for me and each other. I have reread Gay’s testimony so many times now and feel Gods love flowing through it to all of us. You are very much on my heart and I have been praying for you. How are you?

        • Ruthie says:

          Hi Jackie. Im hanging in there. Thanks for asking. How are you? Thanks for the prayers. It blesses me to know God has put me on your heart. I have a tough day ahead of me today. It may involve someone close to me finding out about my recent fall to drink last week The outcome my be devastating. It could make my situation worse not better. I can only trust that I can put it in His hands. Hang in there Jackie. Jer.29:11

          • Jackie says:

            Hi Ruthie, today seems like a big day for you. The only thing that has got me through this week is this blog and rereading Gay’s testimony. I pray that you do what Beth told me to do – hold tight to Jesus. I am praying for you and pray that Jesus strengthens you to face whatever today holds.Feel the strength and love of Christ and know that people care for you and are willing you on. I am.

    • 168.3
      Dawn, Pottsville says:

      Jackie, I’m so glad you are reaching out to this community of siestas. I have felt the Love of our Father time and time again just reading this blog. Hang in there. I am praying for you and I love you! Dawn

  19. 169
    Happy Heart says:

    Thank you so much Gay for sharing your journey with us! I believe that when we began to show our scars and point others to the healer of our wounds GREAT THINGS begin to happen. We are honored that you would share with us! May the LORD use you beyond your wildest dreams.

  20. 170
    GJ says:

    Your words just draw me in and I’m so very thankful to be trusted with your story. You write so beautifully. Thank you for giving all the glory to God and for your transparency. May God continue to use you dear woman.
    Blessings to you,

  21. 171
    Jenifer says:

    Thank you for your bravery and transparency!! We all have our “stuff” but we do not all possess the courage to share it for the benefit of others.
    Your story is going to help so many people! You are a true blessing and we will all be praying for God to continue to bring beauty from the ashes! You are an inspiration!
    We love you!

  22. 172
    Marlene Boss says:

    God does amazing things for us, doesn’t He?
    My father started drinking when I was a freshman in high school and drank heavily for the next ten years. He was a mean drunk, verbally abusive and hateful. He would then go teach a Sunday school class for “little old ladies”, thinking he had them all fooled. He hid bottles of whiskey everywhere and was miserable, made his family miserable too. But one evening he confessed to the Lord and walked out of the church born again. He witnessed to everyone who would listen, drove us all crazy with it for awhile, but we all saw the miracle, right there in front of us! He never had a drinking problem again, could actually have a glass of wine occasionally. That is when I KNEW God was real, that I could have a real heavenly father as well.

    • 172.1
      Sarah Elizabeth Farish says:

      Dear Marlene,
      Thank you for sharing your personal experience. It really spoke to me and reminded me of the greatness of God’s amazing power. I love that everyone on this blog is so transparent and welcoming. Praise the Lord for his work in your Fathers’ life!
      Sarah Beth

  23. 173
    Sarah Elizabeth Farish says:

    Dear Miss Gay,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I really am getting a lot out of it and I am so thankful that you are willing to be transparent. It is really humbling and amazing and pointing me towards our savior. Please know that you are dearly loved by us along with your heavenly Father! (Much more so by him!)
    Sarah Beth

  24. 174
    Becky says:

    Gay –
    Wow, such honestly, such healing.
    thank you for sharing.

  25. 175
    Lori Schoch says:

    Gay, thank you! With your permission, I would like to share your story with the people in our program where my husband and I minister.

    Beth, Thank you for the SSMT weekend. Loving the Fulfill Your Ministry set. It is just the perfect Saturday morning, quiet time help. Thank you

    P.S. I couldn’t help think of the following chorus, when you were speaking on taking back your ground from the Enemy.

    • 175.1
      Gay says:

      Lori — You absolutely have my permission. I think I’m pretty-much OUT OF THE CLOSET!! 🙂 And, of course …

      TO HIM be all power, glory, honor and majesty, and to Him ALONE!!!

      Loved you are,

      • Lori Schoch says:

        Thank you, Gay.

        I will be sure to give Him the glory; especially since He has reminded me recently of not “pilfering God’s glory” as I was reading the story of Judas pilfering the money box(John12 NASB). His Word IS alive and active!

  26. 176
    Margie says:

    Praise God for your new life Gay and sharing about what your former life was like. I’m printing out your story for my niece that is 19 and already has a drinking problem. She is a believer and I pray for her daily. God Bless You!

  27. 177
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing! Our God is so good!!!

  28. 178
    Linda says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I am the daughter of a functioning alcoholic. He was never mean, or abusive , or hurtful. We lost my daddy to cirrhosis ten years ago this summer. There were several hospital stays where I would pray he would finally walk away from the bottle and back to the family that it stole him from. I have spent many years wishing he could have – would have – chosen his family over the alcohol. Your story is making me understand the depth of his fight. That it’s not as simple as making a choice. Thank you again for blessing all of us. Praying for you as you continue on your journey.

  29. 179
    Susie says:

    God bless you, Gay! You are not alone — just courageous! We all struggle against some kind of bondage. Thank God we have One who came to proclaim freedom to the captives!!!
    Hugs, Sister:)

  30. 180
    Andrea Porter says:

    Thank you Gay, your testimony, courage, honesty and humility and a lot of JOY, come through loud and clear. I am so glad you are on the LPM Blog. I will look forward to the rest of your story.
    Many Blessings and Much Love,

  31. 181
    patty swinford says:

    Gay, I have checked the blog several times for your next installment. The pain you describe feels very real to me and your explanation of ‘functioning’ resonates in my memory. Your story needs to be told; you are blessing our Father God and ministering to so many by sharing what He has done for you. And, by the way, you and your sister Beth sure do share the gift of writing. That, too, is from our LORD who encourages you in every fashion to praise Him for His mighty works, His merciful hand. He has been so good to me.

  32. 182
    Debbie K. Summersville, Mo says:

    Thank you for sharing your wonderful testimony with us. It is though people such as you that His word is spread, and He is glorified!I just cried when you talked about your mom, mine has gone to be with our Lord too along with my youngest son. I thank God every day for His mercy and grace that I know there are there with Him.

  33. 183
    karen says:

    When I read your first instalment I couldn’t leave a comment as there was nothing I could write that could express my thoughts. YOU are an incredibly brave,strong beautiful woman. YOU are now clothed with strength and dignity. praise Jesus. thank you for sharing your story with such transparency. You are touching so many woman with your story.

  34. 184
    Debbie says:

    Dear Gay, Thank you for your story. You are encouraging so many…Debbie

  35. 185
    Casey says:

    I don’t think any of us can say that we haven’t been touched by alcoholism. Thank you for sharing your journey. Seeing John 10:10 gives it new meaning to me. Praying God blesses and protects you.

  36. 186
    Cindy K says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story and your victory in Christ! That combination causes faith to arise in all who hear!

    Cindy K!

  37. 187

    Ugh…you did it to me again…I was so caught up in your story and the pause button came way too soon again. I want to push the “click here to keep reading” button but alas its not there:)

    Can’t wait to hear the next installment. You write so beautifully Gay and your story is so compelling…it leaves me praising God all over again.

    Thanks Gay!


  38. 188
    Donna Pritchett says:

    Dear Gay,
    Your story is a beautiful disaster that by the Grace of our Sweet Jesus ends with The Beauty! I am moved by your strength to be so honest with where you have been. The time of my pit dwelling has ended but I haven’t found the strength to be public with where I was. The filth of my pit is too frightening for me to share with my family (except my husband) and the people who know me.

  39. 189
    Ruthie says:

    Thanks for sharing.

  40. 190
    Ruthie says:

    Gods timing is perfect. I have only visited Beths blog maybe 3 times. Last time maybe a year or more ago. To night I read the first and then this second installment of your testimony. I will continue to follow your story and hope God uses it to encourage me and others. God bless you.

  41. 191
    Becky says:

    Thank you so much for being so honest and sharing your life. I look forward to reading the next installment. My brother drank himself to death at the age of 53, my dad drank the whole time I was growing up. My son battles it and I’m not sure he is go to be able to walk away from it.I have struggled with prescption pills due to a back problem. I keep hear Gay say help me Jesus and in him I have hope.

  42. 192
    Christine Rhodes says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I have several close loved ones who deal with alcoholism, & reading your story reinforces the fact that with Jesus–anything is possible! I am so looking forward to reading more about God’s redemption of your life. Praying for you, and thanking Him for you and your willingness to share your story. Blessings!

  43. 193
    Denise says:

    My husband struggled with alcoholism, and I was oblivious to it until it almost destroyed us. With the help of God, a wonderful Christian counselor, the prayers of many people, and the support of friends and family, he has been sober for over 12 years. You have a way with words that allows me to see the pain in a way that makes my heart more tender to this struggle. Thank you for sharing your story.

  44. 194
    Dawn, Pottsville says:

    Gay, thank you for your story. How brave of you. I am happy for the freedom you now have. How glorious that must feel. I hope someday I have the courage to be that open and get rid of the burdens I carry. Love and prayers, Dawn

  45. 195
    Mary says:

    “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 pray too. Why won’t HE take my desire to drink away?

    Myself and so many others need this! Thanks!

  46. 196
    Carol says:

    Sister Gay – your testimony is so touching and you are so brave to share it with us all. May our loving, gracious God continue to hold you close.

  47. 197
    Juli says:

    I cannot wait to read the next installment of your story, Gay. I keep hoping that we get to see the moment when God grabbed your heart, when you finally believed. THAT is the moment I can’t wait to read about.

    I’m also addicted to something. It’s as socially acceptable as alcohol. In fact, in today’s society, it’s may be even more socially acceptable.

    I have to admit that this addiction keeps creeping up on me. I don’t even know that I’m “using” until it’s too late. It’s like my hand would be automatically picking up a glass of wine or beer. But it’s much more subtle than that….more deceiving.

    My addiction is…..quite frankly… I find myself obsessing on how I can do better. I even obsess on how I can serve better, or how I can show God’s glory better. (Notice the “I” in all these statements). I’ll admit, God has taken me so far on this journey. I don’t think of myself quite as often as I used to, but it’s still there. So easy to slip back into old patterns and react in old ways. I’m learning, though, and find myself paying more and more attention to my thoughts.

    I have asked God to take this addiction away, and instead, He’s pulling me through the fire of it. I’m learning more and more verses and learning to replace the thoughts of me with the thoughts of the King of kings and LORD of Lords. I cannot wait to break this addiction completely.

    I thank God for your story. How He has redeemed you. I know that if He can redeem you, He can also redeem me. Thank you, again.

  48. 198
    Shelby says:

    My mom passed this along to me last night and I have been needing to hear truth like your words spoken into my heart. I live in Austin Texas and I feel like nearly everyday I see beauty and joy! However, I too turn to Alcohol frequently to cope with whatever is making me feel hollow. Last night I went to South Congress and tried to find my friends. In order to make me seem well adjusted I drank. Wine, then beer, then back to wine.

    Sometimes I feel as if without the drinks I wouldn’t be interesting enough to talk to. I guess we will see what today will bring…

    in his love, keep and hold you! it is 10:06a and I have been sober for 9 hours. <3

  49. 199
    Elisabeth says:

    This is beautiful, glorious, and the brightest ray of hope. Thank you, Gay. He just increased your influence by thousands. He doesn’t waste a bit of it, does He?:)

  50. 200
    Traci says:

    I wish these comments were private so that I could let you know just how much I can relate to your story.

    Praising God that He pulled you out of the slimy pit and placed your feet firmly on a rock.

    Thank you so much for sharing!


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