My Sister, Gay’s, Fifth Installment: Stepping Out On the Water

First Installment: Meet My Sister

Second Installment: The Functioning Years

Third Installment: The Maelstrom

Fourth Installment: Like Sunlight Burning at Midnight


The fifth out of seven installments from my sister, Gay, to you…


I was never the same after that night … and who would want to be anyway???

I think there is a lot of fear in change.  Fear of the unknown, of what we will become, of who we really are, of life, failure, being uncomfortable, not being good enough, pain, and how to handle or ease that pain.  Addicts and alcoholics have found a solution for pain.  For me and many of my friends, alcohol wasn’t just the problem; it was the SOLUTION.  So now, since I have anesthesized my pain for a lifetime, I am in FEAR, because the pain might kill me.  I might come apart at the seams.  And then what?  The unknown.  More fear.  I’ve been told that when the pain of holding on becomes greater than the fear of letting go, that THAT is when we become willing to give up the drug (the painKILLER) and step out onto the living water of faith.

I knew that I couldn’t stay in Sugar Land forever, that my time there was limited.  It was the FIRST TIME I had not had visions of grandeur, of being able to put my little family back together.  I had repeated that time and time again to no avail and had ended up in relapse every single time.  All I knew was that God had performed a miracle in my life that very night under the bridge and that I owed Him, my family and mySELF my very best shot this time, for THIS TIME, I feared, would be my last.  Otherwise, I would surely die.  My ONLY option, the only one this Miracle God deserved was for me to do what He put in front of me to do to the best of my ability, and what I became so aware of later was that where my ability failed, His took over!  He continued to supply me with strength and perseverance to endure the race He had set before me, one day at a time.

For three days, Tut gave me a roof over my head, a so-very-soft-comfy-warm bed to sleep in (ahhh), food to eat and a phone.  He did not make one call for me.  I knew it was my responsibility to get busy and find help.  I did that — it was what God put in front of me to do for those three days.  The only place in the Greater Houston Area that would take me with no insurance, no money and no I.D. was a women’s detox center in Pasadena called New Hope — so beautifully named, isn’t it?  Now, New Hope is not a fancy-schmancy place like my first treatment center was, in fact, it isn’t a treatment center at all.  It is a house for women to non-medically detox from alcohol (and some other drugs), getting fully sober and staying that way through living the program of Alcoholics Anonymous.  My sweet sisters, God did not drop me onto the church steps to get sober.  He dropped me smack back into AA again — not weak, watered-down AA but what I love to call Nazi-AA.  New Hope does not play.  They require 4 meetings per day followed by hours of Big Book study (the AA text) followed by getting a sponsor and working the 12 Steps.  Period.  Or you get kicked out!  God knew that I had not HEARD all of the prior times He had put me there and He meant for me to HEAR this time.  He meant for me to hear that I was alcoholic and that He had provided a most wonderful solution for me that required work on my part.  He meant for me to ACT!!!

This reminds me of a scripture that Beth has memorized and taught on several times:

“Therefore get your minds ready for action by being fully sober.”  1 Peter 1:13.

I could turn those words around and say, “Therefore get your minds ready for sobriety by being fully ACTIVE.”

Sweet sisters, this disease lives to kill.  It is chronic, progressive and FATAL.  There is no wonder that a smaller percentage of us recover from it than fall victim to it because it is also a disease of DENIAL.  We continue to try to convince ourselves over and over again that WE DON’T HAVE IT!!  I believe that it is the enemy’s most powerful tool and that there is no amount of ACTION too great to arm ourselves with the tools required to fight it.  I also believe that the enemy is hateful, insidious and low-down enough to use our faith in the Power of God to keep us from using the very tools that He has provided for us to ARM OURSELVES!!!  I beg you do not under-estimate the power of this disease.  I watch the walking wounded come through the doors of Mercy Street every Saturday night, back in treatment again, back from jail again, back off the street again, and I wonder how many won’t make it back the next time.  I made it back purely by the extravagant, unlimited grace of God — I should have died out there.  My friend, Jerry, did die out there.  He drank himself to death and was found in a puddle of vomited blood inside an abandoned house in Texarkana, Texas alone.  He was 39 years old.  I know that he is with Jesus and I know I will see him again in Heaven, SOBER.  But, my friends, Christ means for us to have FREEDOM in the land of the living.

For you, LORD, have delivered me from death,

my eyes from tears,

my feet from stumbling,

that I may walk before the LORD

in the land of the living.

Psalm 116:8-9

I wrote these words to Beth as she prepared to go to a conference where she would speak about 1 Peter 1:13 above.  It is the shortest description of what I did to HONOR MY GOD and get to where I am today.  I have edited it just a tad here and there but, for the most part, it is in tact.

To Beth, August 2011:

It has been my experience that sobriety and action are symbiotic.  One cannot exist without the other.  I must get sober, e.g. put down the drink, detox, go into treatment, in order to perform the action required to stay sober and subsequently follow God’s will and purpose for my life.  It’s not easy!!  It takes a lot of work.  It takes a lot of action.  Today, I do what I do (Mercy Street, treatment centers, the Houston Council on Alcohol and Drugs, sponsor ladies and take them through the steps, go to meetings, share my testimony, experience strength and hope) for many reasons but the gift, the by-product, is that I get to stay sober and without sobriety I am nothing and I am able to DO nothing.

To document all the work that I have done over the last two years and four months is far more than you want to muddle through, believe me, but I will tell you this.  When God jerked me up off that concrete in mid-April 2009, He dropped me in AA, not in church.  I might have liked for Him to drop me in church but He didn’t.  I knew that I had blown all of my other chances, all of the other times that He had dropped me in that very same place.  I had to do something different which was ANYTHING but sitting around waiting for Him to heal me and DOING nothing.  I had to abandon my way and do it His way.  I had to unweave all of my plans and trust HIS PLAN.  Right there, right then, on April 20, 2009, His way for me was AA.  I could see that as clear as a bell, no questions asked.  He has required a lot of work from me, a lot of action, one day at a time, whatever He put in front of me that day.  It started with chores and following simple house rules followed by getting a sponsor and working the steps.  I believe that God has wanted me to do that work all along but that I was too stubborn or prideful or entitled or all of the above to do it.  I knew that it was working because at 90 days sober I not only had 90 days sober but the obsession to drink alcohol, which I had battled with for 37 years, had been removed.  Poof!  Just like that.  I was neither thinking about drinking nor thinking about not drinking.  It was not a thought at all.  I was calm and acting sanely and normally.  Step 2:  Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to SANITY.  Bingo!  Poof!  Done!  Now I have to STAY THAT WAY.  I saw that the work, the ACTION, was paying off more than I had worked (because God was working behind the scenes in my behalf) so I continued on that course of ACTION.

My sweet Sisters, I do not have the words or the white space to say what the process of working the steps did for me.  All I know is that as I wrote down and spoke out and prayed for my enemies and made amends to my loved ones and reached out to another alcoholic, the chains started falling off of me one by one and I was able to wiggle free.  The resentment, fear, unforgiveness, unwillingness, dishonesty, pride and pure-dee SELFISHNESS that had been blocking me from Him fell away and I stood naked, just as I am, in Grace and Gratitude and Awe and Light.  I stood in FREEDOM and in the Pure Love and Favor of God.  To quote Manning again, I had been “seized by the Power of a Great Affection.”  I had experienced a Spiritual Awakening (Step 12).  Talk about replacing the need to self-medicate?  I had found the SOLUTION.  I had found the Power or He had found me.  We had found each other, a match made in Heaven.

On a short walk to the nearest convenience store one hot morning in July 2009, I surrendered my life to My Jesus and promised to follow Him, wherever He may lead me, for the rest of my days and to do what He asks of me.  I spent a lot of time praying and asking God to reveal to me what His purpose was for my life until I finally figured out that His purpose is for me to stay sober, do what He puts in front of me each day, and to step through the doors that He opens for me, despite my fears and my inadequacies.  I didn’t realize at the time that each day was getting me closer to my destiny as I continued to put one foot in front of the other.  The days would turn into weeks, then months, then years and then ONE DAY He would drop me onto the church steps where He was leading me all along!  “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD.

It is as simple as this, Ladies.  I had to do something different.  Albert Einstein is quoted as saying “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.”  Since I had failed every which way I could possibly fail, I had to do everything different.  I had to do it opposite from how I had done it in the past.  I had not applied anything to my life — I applied everything to my life.  I had not been willing to get a sponsor and work the steps — I got a most wonderful sponsor and worked the steps honestly and wholeheartedly.  I had gotten into relationships that had taken my focus away from my recovery — I had NO RELATIONSHIPS.  I had not been willing to do long-term treatment — I stayed at New Hope for 5-1/2 months and then moved to The Women’s Home in inner-city Houston for 16 months totaling 21-1/2 months of solid, safe, quality care, sobriety and life recovery.  I had prayed to God to deliver me and then expected to wake up sane and sober the next morning and stay that way for a lifetime — I worked my head off day after day in accordance to His will for my life and was graciously given sanity and sobriety in return.

The National Association of Christian Recovery states this:  “NACR is passionate about joining the work of Jesus in the world — partnering with, instigating, resourcing, disturbing, advocating and influencing the manifold ways that Christ seeks to transform and liberate those in addiction.”  Manifold is defined as “of many kinds; numerous and varied.”  God has created and provided numerous and varied paths to recovery, Alcoholics Anonymous simply being one of them and the one that worked for this serious, hardcore, dedicated, classic, textbook alcoholic.  Whichever path you choose, do it with all your heart, all your strength and all your might.  I had to put sobriety first and foremost in my life for without it I had nothing and could do nothing.  By doing that, I put God first and He has honored that wholly in me.  Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”  In my case, sobriety is His kingdom!  And He has stood by His promise over these 34 months and 3 days to usher in the rest of what I so desired and much, much more that I never could have imagined.

Oh, by the way, if you walk into the doors of AA pull your walls down, check your judgment at the door and open your mind, unlearn the habits that have been standing in your way to freedom and be willing to do things different, and hold on tight to the similarities rather than the differences.  Yes, there are non-believers in AA — they just might be in our churches too.  If I go there I might not only GET SOBER but I might, just might, be able to shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night by simply looking straight in the eye of a sister who is scared to death to step out on the water of faith, smiling warmly and saying, “Hello, my name is Gay and I’m an alcoholic.”  Hope.  Everyone needs some.


James 2:17

New International Version (NIV)

17 In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.


Philippians 2:12-13

New International Version (NIV)

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.




227 Responses to “My Sister, Gay’s, Fifth Installment: Stepping Out On the Water”

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  1. 101
    Nichole's Mom says:

    Thank you for your sweet real words. I was addicted to Meth for a number of years but in His Mercy God enabled me to set it down. I still have to be careful of certian pain med’s that could open a gateway back to addiction but other than that I’m in a good place. However my 16 year old son is now in the battle of his life with the same drug and having a very hard time with what God has shown me is the same demon that taunted me. Your words give me a fesh insight into what my baby is facing and joy in seeing the program he is using (NA) as a true road to recovery. I love you sweet sister!

  2. 102
    Penny says:

    To God Be The Glory!!! Thanks for sharing.

  3. 103
    Robin says:

    I love the message of action! There are things we must do to break free of the chains. “Sit and hope something happens” ain’t on the list! Thank you!

  4. 104
    Fran McCurry Plott says:

    Gay, thank you.
    I have needed for 14 years to hear a story told in AA with a full understanding of the Higher Power being the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!
    I have been “brought up” in my home group with the idea that it is better to leave the terms “God of my understanding” and “Higher Power” alone, and not talk about Jesus in meetings. (I have not felt that way with private discussions with AA friends, sponsors or sponsees, though.) Oh, how hard that is for me to contain myself sometimes in meetings, though!!! Because I respect what has worked for 77 years, I have not challenged this in meetings, but have really wrestled with it over the years. So, your testimony has been so meaningful to me…
    I want to say that you have been telling your story beautifully. We HAVE to own what we are, what we have done, and what we still COULD do in this disease. How well you make that point. The beauty of a well-told story is that we all can relate to it if we have the same type issues. When told in the general way, we are not halted by your specifics, rather inspired by what we have in common! Beth does such a wonderful job with this in telling her story, as well.
    I am feeling the “kinship” here with both of you as Sisters in Christ living for freedom in this world as well as the next!
    Gulf Shores

    • 104.1
      Gay says:

      Oh oh, Fran! — I’m going to hit this just a smidge in the next post. I had this hard tugging inside me while I was at New Hope to return to Jesus. I mean, Jesus was always my Higher Power but this tug was greater, almost like a call. By that time I had a phone and could have more than just AA literature. I texted my little brother and asked him to send me a Bible immediately. He sent me two: Life Recovery Bible and Celebrate Recovery Bible. I like CRB the best simply because it is NIV. I tried and tried to figure out how I was going to combine the steps and Jesus to my liking. Hahaha, doesn’t that just sound so much like an alcoholic? TO MY LIKING???? But I just wasn’t going to rest until I had that all straight in my mind, in my heart. When I moved to a transitional facility in inner-city Houston, I got there on a Monday and got on a church van on Saturday. That van brought me to Mercy Street; that was 2-1/2 years ago. Mercy Street is not a recovery church. They accept EVERYONE, no matter what faith, even no faith, in recovery, not in recovery, NEEDING recovery, some having been wounded in their childhood church experiences. Mercy Street is very “come-as-you-are” both inside and out. Because those of us in recovery have so much shame and guilt, Mercy Street evolved into the “church of choice” for recovering addicts and alcoholics. I plopped down in a chair and heard exactly what I had been looking for: Jesus combined with open mention (not exactly discussion) of the twelve steps, program, etc. I knew I was HOME and like I always say, “I was never the same again after that night.” Hahaha. More in Installment #6. I loved your post. God is so wonderful to give us this venue, isn’t He??? THANKS BETH!!!

      Together with you in the journey, my Sister,

  5. 105
    Joy Cravens says:

    Thank you, Gay!!!! Has anyone told you that you have a gift for writing…..kind of like someone else in your family???? HA Thank you for sharing. I’m praising the Lord with you!

  6. 106
    Julie Reynolds says:

    Thank you sweet Gay for your authenticity and willingness to share your story. It is ministering to so many including myself.

    Please Siestas pray for two young women in our church who are in bondage to addiction and who are destroying themselves and their families.. their names are Jennifer and Kristin.

    God bless you Gay for daring to bring this into the light!

    Thank you Beth and LPM for being a city on a hill.

  7. 107
    Jen says:

    Gay, you don’t know how much your testimony has meant to me. I have an alcoholic family member that, for years, has self destructed himself and his family. Your story gives me a glimmer of hope that one day he will listen to the Lord. You need to write a book…I love your writing! God Bless You!!!

  8. 108
    K. D. says:

    I have been very quiet on this site over the past six months or so because of the intensity of my own journey through recovery. Gay, thank you for your installments. My journey is much different than yours as I come from one of a lifetime of extreme abuse and self injury. Some of this abuse took place through the church. Therefore, my recovery could not take place in the church setting. There is part of me that has felt somewhat ashamed of this fact and has caused me to “hide” from Christian affiliations. Your openness in regards to how God used a non church affiliated approach to bring you to sobriety, gives me validation that the path that I am on is the one that God has chosen for me in my reoovery. Thank you, so much.

  9. 109
    Bailey Wenger says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story. The Lord has been teaching me lately that many lost people need to be loved by followers of Jesus in order to see the love of Jesus. But so often, we followers of Christ can get so judgmental and unwilling to help over and over.
    Thank you so much for using the testimony that God has given you to reach others and be the encouraging light of Christ!

  10. 110

    I understand that you couldn’t post my comment, but I’m so lost and alone it’s not even funny. I’m not taking that drink. Thanks to Brittany and the people who reached out to her I remember all to well what that could cost me, but I’m stuck. I’m hurting and alone with no one anywhere near me who understands or wants anything to do with me. I don’t know why I’m such a freak (even though they all have problems) that they can’t even call me back when I call and for whatever reason, I apparently don’t deserve help! It makes me so angry and it makes me feel like I really am the one and only completely hopeless person on the planet, not worth one ounce of anyone’s time.

    • 110.1
      traci says:

      Shellie, you are not a freak…you are a daughter of the King…please believe that truth and not the lies that are swirling around you. Humans will fail us…God will not. He CANNOT. Period.
      Lord, I pray that your beautiful girl Shellie will feel your touch right now, your great love for her…oh Jesus, that you would heal her hurting heart now please.

    • 110.2
      Brittany says:

      I am praying for you. You are loved. I love you.

      • Hi, Brittany! It’s so good to see you here and I saw your other comment (I was looking for you) so I know you through out the alcohol. Good for you! I know how hard that is to do. I’d have had to leave the house and send someone over to do it for me, cause I couldn’t even bare to watch them do it, after all it’s perfectly good alcohol! Don’t toss it! There’s an alcoholic mind for you! So, yes, I’m very proud of you! I’ve been crying out to God and am much less tempted than I was, so thank you all! And Brittany, I understand about the financial situation. I’ll be praying for you. Please continue to pray for me. Our finances are a mess, too. Not as bad as yours, but we’ve been places like that, believe me. It’s a good thing we don’t have to rely on me getting a job, or we’d be in big trouble. Despite all the trouble I’ve caused my husband’s managed to keep his career going strong, so we’re slowly, but surely climbing our way out of debt, but it is hard. Love you so much!

  11. 111
    Valerie says:

    I love reading your story & can’t wait for the next part!
    There’s no telling how many lives are being changed because of your willingness to share.
    Bless you!

  12. 112
    Colette says:

    Thank you for continuing to bless us with your testimony! I am so thankful for your honesty and I am seeing changes in my loved ones lives that struggle with addiction! I am praying, they too will have a beautiful testimony someday soon!! I am seeing the fruits of my prayers!!! And yes it has been slow, and in God’s time! But it has given me Hope to continue to have Faith that they will have the VICTORY!!! Thank You so much for sharing with us!!
    P.S. And Beth your message on Family Calamity spoke loud and clear to me too!! Thank You!! And Thank You Jesus!!! 🙂

  13. 113
    Tracy says:

    I have read all your installments, and look for the next with much anticipation. I have been in your shoes, more times than I want to admit. I have read the letters of those that have had brothers, sister, and other loved ones that were addicted or are still addicted. Like you, I was the one addicted; ME. I however, used drugs as well. I now unfortunately fill the void with food. Lord help me..:0)
    I came from a family of abuse (physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually). My parents said they were believers, but always kept God on a self in the closet. Never really talked about God, just sat in the pews, and sang the hymns. After my parents divorced, and my mother remarried a man (alcoholic) deacon of the church that sexually abused me.
    By the time I was in the 3rd grade I lived with whatever friend I could so I would not have to go home to watch and listen to the fighting. When I had to go home, because there was no one else that would let me stay at their home for the night, I would sleep on my stomach thinking that if so no one could touch me “there” in the middle of the night. I started drinking, so I could pass out, it became my problem and SOLUTION. By the time I was in the 7th grade I was a full blown alcoholic and drug addict. I sold so I could support my habit.
    Living with my father would not have been an option either. He was sexually abusing my half sisters that lived with him. Both of them turned to drugs and alcohol. One of my sisters spent 8 years in prison for 2nd degree murder, she and friends beat a man to death for drugs and alcohol.
    I moved to Houston to escape that life, to start a new. It has not always been that way. June of 2005 after a night of drinking I fell 15 feet off a balcony, landing on my rear end. I broke my hip and caused permanent nerve damage. I will for the rest of my life, have drop foot and will walk with a limp. I read a thing recently that said “a man that walks with a limp is still walking”..AMEN?
    I am very proud to say that I am a BELIEVER..And so are all my Sisters..With all the his’, hers, and those there is 9 of us..Some follow Jesus; some still keep him on a shelf in the closet, working on them. I do walk, and I tell everyone that “I used to walk by myself; I now walk by the Grace of God”. I even do walks for benefits. My sister that was in prison does speaking to the incarcerated and wayward teens. She is married and doing well. We like all families have issues we are working through, but on a path of salvation, not a path of destruction. I am currently attending Beth’s live study on Tuesday nights…LOVE IT!! Thank you for sharing your story. I believe that admittance to God, and self is the first part of recovery. I kept mine a “Secret for too many years” God was just waiting until I was ready to talk,now we have conversation regulary.GOD BLESS YOU, MY SISTER IN FAITH!!

  14. 114
    Angela says:


    This so wonderful. My father was an alcoholic my whole life and I am 36. He went to rehab several times, but never chose real recovery. He died in an accident last October. My dad choosing his addiction over his family is a very deep wound. I don’t know what your children have said to you and it takes time to trust, but I imagine their hearts are filled with immense gratitude that you chose them. I am so happy for you!

  15. 115
    jill_in_AL says:

    Gay — you are painfully honest and it is to God’s glory. Last week in talking with a long-time friend the conversation rolled to her sister who is living somewhere in the “functioning”/”I sorta want some help” years but still thinking and saying to her family that “I got this(alcohol). My friend is so frustrated, mad and aggrevated with her sister. I shared links to your posts so that Mandy can maybe see a glimpse of what her sister is living, lying and doing.

    Your words are going to be honey to many, encouragement to some and strength to others. Bless you for being brave. Hugs and love, J

  16. 116
    Meghan says:

    Praise God for shining His bright light into our darkness, and meeting us there in the way we need individually. It just makes my heart swell to think of how merciful He is to us.

  17. 117
    Melany says:

    I found this entry to be the most convicting and thought-provoking for me so far. I think it’s because of the emphasis on action and change. Your point about Satan using our trust in God to keep us front doing what we need to do especially resonated with me. Although all of our situations are different, Satan delights in keeping God’s people “stuck.” Thank you-again-for sharing!

  18. 118
    Melba says:

    Thank You My Dear Sister-Christ Gay,
    I have read all your posts, We all need to remember what GOD has delivered us from, 22 yrs. for me my sister. May God use our past and fulture to be who he created us to be. I recently choose to divorce my husband of 39 1/2 years after Jesus and I have worked on my 22 years of soberity. My husband choose to still to pratice his drinking and choose the drinking .We married young I was 16 and he was 19 best drinking buddies we were for many years. Today I am at a place where I never thought I would be, 56, divorced and 9mts into this divorced life. I still have to rememeber God has a plan and a purpose for me. I have worked so many of your sisters workbooks that kept me grounded. My Sister, ONLY GOD !!! He knows the plans he has for us , A FULTURE & HOPE !!!!!!

  19. 119
    Natalie says:

    Thank you, Gay, for your unvarnished honesty and amazing courage. I pray that God protects you as you share your story with us (and with whomever else you are able to share) and that He continues to do His good work in you. May God richly bless you. I’m looking forward to the next part of your story.

  20. 120
    ashley e says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story. I’ve been following along with each installment. Only yesterday did I find out that my uncle was picked up for a DUI and sat in jail for 24 hrs. He is an alcoholic and been through rehab (many years ago). We all thought he was through the roughest part. Please pray for me and my family. I was very young the first go round, so this is my first time dealing with something like this. I’m praying for wisdom in how to talk to his daughter (who doesn’t know yet), his mom (my grandmother, who likes to give him everything in the world), and how to deal with this in the family (we aren’t typically super open or “real” in our discussions).

    Im doing the James study now, so from memory: “if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the man who doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind. For that person must not suppose he will receive anything from the Lord. He is a double- minded man, unstable in all his ways.”

  21. 121
    Linda Erny says:

    Hey Gay and other responsible for this blog. Thank you Gay for sharing your story. Your story and His story are beautiful…. cold water in a parched land. Thank you for sharing so truthfully and personally… thank you thank you thank you, He is still in the business of saving and delivering and i love your message of plodding, its a daily choice, a daily submission…

    And just finished week 5 day 1 of homework in new James study… didn’t know how to leave comments for Beth and Melissa… thanks ladies for your beautiful work. What a good friend James is to us, as you both keep pointing to so kindly. It’s such an awesome study, i truly appreciate all the hard work and sacrifice it represents.

    • 121.1
      Beth says:

      Melissa and I both are so honored to serve you and blessed that God is using it to speak to you, Linda. May He continue to woo you to His glorious Son.

  22. 122
    Diane Dikes says:

    You do have a family gift of TRUE life story telling.I too cant wait till the 3rd offering of your story. Thanks for being so honest.How awesome is it that you can share your story like this and touch so many women in recovery and who are looking for recovery and those who dont even know that until they read your words! Wow! Our God is and Awesome God!
    Prayers my Sister in Sobriety and Sister in Christ!

  23. 123
    Amy says:

    Gay, I think that last paragraph is one of the most powerful things I have read in a long time! Thank you for sharing your story and I hope God has plans for you to share it with more and more people. and not just people that struggle with alcoholism but also with those of us that need our eyes and hearts opened to those struggling around us. Thank you Lord, for your hand on Gay!

  24. 124
    Joni says:

    As your sister in Christ who has also come to the end of herself due to depression and panic disorder and had her mind restored by the mercy and grace of God, I rejoice with you. Our circumstances may have been different, but some of the steps to your recovery were the same as mine. I can really identify with parts of your story. Your testimony will touch so many lives. “Many will see and fear and put their trust in the Lord.” (Ps. 40:3) God is beyond just “good”–He is most excellent in every way! Glory, glory, hallelujah! Glory, glory to you, Lord. Glory, glory, hallelujah! Hallelujah! (Chris Tomlin-style) 🙂

  25. 125
    sweet anonymous says:

    I have read and heard that verse about faith not accompanied by works is dead I’m sure thousands of times. But today it hit me square between the eyes…it cut right thru like a two edged sword. I’ve heard that many times also, but when you feel it…man…My God and His Word never cease to amaze me..

  26. 126
    Tanya says:

    Hey there Gay. Your comment about needing women…HUGE. Its a problem though you know–finding women you can trust. I’ve found anyway. They might be there but I have trust issues I guess you’d say. Not without reason either. This forum opens communications and it feels like a certain level of honesty is achieved and certainly your post has been very open (I admire you there as that must have been incredibly hard!) I know for me the ability to open up is first difficult because sometimes I’m not even sure what I struggle with–but it comes out in a scenerios that play out in my life that cause some amount of shame then I go into some depressive cycle (and I can actually FEEL the assault)then I go to church and I guess its nobodys fault that they don’t know because I don’t say but I go and we ‘greet’ each other and its all just the same thing–I’m fine…never mind that last night there was a very real presence in my bedroom that was slinking suicidal thoughts that almost seemed logical in my dreams and waking thoughts.

    Now I have found too that action helps. Doing what I don’t FEEL like doing. Writing when I don’t FEEL like writing. But this doesn’t stop the assault that is very real. And it doesn’t enable me to open up in a real way to real people and get real support.

    One blessing of alcoholism (ha! blessing might be entirely the WRONG word…) but many recognize that need and there are support groups for it. Maybe there are for people like me. Maybe I should seek more.

    Anyway, I am so glad you had that moment of light. I will pray for you. So glad you have people that you can trust with your temptations and your thoughts and such…people to support you.

    • 126.1
      Lori says:

      Wow…I have began trying to type since Gay’s last post. I cried and cried over her installments as I dont struggle with alchohol but with depression and anxiety to a point it has taken my well being away from me. I am in bible study, church, prayer, journaling, etc. I have pleaded with God for his help over and over again. Honestly I dont even know how I am still married with a son with autism and this battle my husband doesn’t understand…I am ashamed, and embarrassed as I feel it is not very accepted in our society to have such issues. I have been told to just get up and get over it over and over again unti I just hide deaper into my covers. I have slept with my bible many nights just praying and asking God not to make my bed look enticing. You said exactly to a fine point of what depression is doing to me. If I didn’t have four kids to force me to get up at times and go to their events I dont think I would leave my house. Anyway I cling to the fact that I do have faith and if God can take a life like Gay’s and so many other wonderful women on this blog and change it….heal them…make them whole again….I shall be waiting for that day when I can feel whole again. And in he mean time if the depression and anxiety stays I just pray everyday that God will give me the tools or a spoken word from the bible to cling to. Thank you Tanya for being strong enough to post what I couldn’t and thank you Gay for listening to God’s calling and sharing. Thank you Beth for allowing God to use this blog to his Glory!

  27. 127
    Michele says:

    Gay, Thank You.

  28. 128
    Nancy G says:

    Dear Gay,
    I just wanted to thank you for your naked honesty about your addiction. More importantly, your constant directing our eyes to Jesus Christ as the reason for your relief from the obsession to alcohol. I am someone who has turned to the 12 steps of AA (Al-Anon, OA) for several years and yet have felt a kind of disloyalty to my christian faith and bible study. Thank you for confirming to me that it is ok to use the tools of the AA program alongside my bible study; somewhat like we would go to a medical specialist if we had a specific issue. However, my trust in Jesus always supersedes any confidence placed in the program. Jesus Christ IS my “higher power” and I hope my life’s example will draw more of my friends to Him.

  29. 129
    Traci says:


    I have read this installment at least 3 times and each time I have found another nugget pointing me in the right direction. ACTION spoke volumes to me. I want what you’ve got Sister.

    I am so thankful to Him for saving you. And to Tut….you are surely going to tell us how he found you and what happened next…?!

    Love ya!

  30. 130
    Cheryl says:

    Thank you dear sister for sharing your story.
    You are “living proof”.

  31. 131
    Vickie says:


    After cutting and pasting this precious gift, that you are blessing us with, that is your life. It comes to a solid 15 pages of cliff notes, so far. I’ve made four copies. I plan to deliver these copies along with a love letter to each member of my brothers family. My brother has been an alcoholic for, I’m really not sure how long. His wife has been addicted to prescription and street drugs for probably as long. To most, they look like a match made in hell…at least, that is satans plan. He is hoping that is where they die too. BUT GOD…..His plan is best and His plan is done, they just don’t know it yet. God has blessed them in countless ways, just like He has all of us. They have two absolute amazing daughters that are following in their parents foot steps…only, they are progressing way faster than the parents.

    You know, God gave us His word(the Bible), He said, we can trust Him. I don’t beg for God’s will anymore, I just so sincerely thank Him for it. His will is going to happen period. When and where, only He knows the particulars. I know Him and thats all I need to know. His will is best in all situations for those who love Him. He knows that I love Him and He is gonna Romans 8:28 all things for the good of those who love Him….you know the rest. That is His promise to us….God keeps His promises because His word is mighty important to Him. This is His peace…..a peace that surpasses all understanding. So, I AM PRAISING HIM IN ALL STORMS.
    We all have some very violent storms that we are in the midst of ourselves. This is the peace I’ve come to know…just this very past week. The string of love that God has woven into my life this past week…..I just don’t have proper words.

    All this to say, Gay please consider writing a book. I know you are leaving out mountains and mountains of things that many folks are literally dying to hear. And I do mean dying literally…..they need it almost as much as they need their next breath!

    I think you probably have a pretty good resource in that sister of yours, in helping with the “how to’s”. 🙂

    I love you guys,

  32. 132
    Sherrie says:

    Clapping and Praising Jesus for you and your testimony…
    Keep telling it, and telling it, and telling it…because it and you are changing and saving lives from it. I have read each of these installments with baited breath, gave copies to a friend who is where you were…and wished I had it for a friend who is no longer here because her addiction took her life.
    I appreciate you exposing your heart…and getting real with us. I pray for you daily…and can not wait to read the remaining 2 installments. Put it in a book….because Lady, I am hanging of every word like this is the best romance novel ever written… Why? Because we have found strength reading this, and because when you cried out to God..he heard you, and reached out with His mighty right hand and saved you!
    Praise Him!

  33. 133
    Kim Feth says:

    Wow. It’s still sinking in. I’ve never carried the burden of alcoholism, but I’ve got my own -isms, and your insight has been eye opening.
    Kim Feth
    Aex, NC

  34. 134
    Michele says:

    I have read all of your installments Gay and this for me is the most poignant. It takes work, dedication study to grab on to our healing and not let go. That is what I took from this installment and that I take away and apply to my own life. Your story changes lives, mine included and I just want to cheer you on to continue sharing in whatever way you are let to.

  35. 135
    Jackie says:

    Dear Gay, I met Jesus through the 12 steps of AA. I am praying for my dear sister to meet Him the same way. I’m praising Him with you tonight. Thank you for sharing.

  36. 136
    Dayna says:

    Gay I have loved reading your story. I am so blessed that you have shared this with all of us.
    Love and blessings to you, Dayna 🙂

  37. 137
    Sandy says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart and soul with us. I have learned much from your story. I’m not an addict of alcohol. Food is my addiction. But as a counselor stated, an addiction no matter if it’s food, sex, drugs or alcohol.

    What stood out for me in your most recent installment was your statement…

    “I spent a lot of time praying and asking God to reveal to me what His purpose was for my life until I finally figured out that His purpose is for me to (fill in the blank),do what He puts in front of me each day, and to step through the doors that He opens for me, despite my fears and my inadequacies. I didn’t realize at the time that each day was getting me closer to my destiny as I continued to put one foot in front of the other. The days would turn into weeks, then months, then years and then ONE DAY He would drop me onto the church steps where He was leading me all along! “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD.

    My “fill in the blank” is to honor the body He gave me by taking care of it. Everyday, day in and day out, despite my fears. Do what He puts in front of me each day. Because if He puts it there, He will also be there to help me through it.

  38. 138
    Sandy says:

    Correction – The counselors statement should read…An addiction is an addiction….

  39. 139
    Misti Fairchild says:

    Beth, I have to say that I’ve never read your blog before but will try to make time to do so now that I know that you have one. However, I am doing your James study right now. I searched out some way to contact you to tell you how proud I am of your daughter Melissa. She is not even my own, but I would love for one of my four daughters to have a thirst for study the way that she does. What is funny is that every one of your studies that I have facilitated at my church, I always add a little bit of history to our discussion time. This time, Melissa has done that for me. I have found in reading her exerpts that she likes many of the same books that I read. 10 years ago, I begged for the gift of teaching, and He gave me an insatiable thirst for the knowledge of the Word. I am not able to go to seminary at my age, but I cherish books like Grudem’s systematic theology. I am crazy enough to be attempting to teach the book of Romans to a group of junior high kids. I love the Word with everything that is in me and I am loving reading Melissa’s pages! I just had to tell you that.

  40. 140
    Pam Houston says:

    Your forthrightness and transparency is truly amazing, as is the journey you now walk by faith in the Son of God! Thank you for shining a light on my pathway too as I reflect on the price alcoholism and addiction has exacted from my family, my beloved Daddy died a hopeless alcoholic at 61 years old, and my beloved sister convinced she is a “social drinker” only I know better. How I pray for God’s delivering power to breakthrough to life more abundantly in Christ! Thank you again and again for sharing your story so succinctly and the points of light shining so brightly for Jesus. Hope is my mold for faith!
    Love you so in Him,
    Pam H.

  41. 141
    theHarborMom says:

    This is an amazing story. Thank you, Gay. I am reminded of the book, The Shack. In the book and in your life-story, I am reminded of the great and unimaginable lengths that God will go to to retreive one of His lost sheep. I am so grateful for God’s relentless love.

  42. 142
    Brittany says:

    I wanted to say thank you for the prayers. I got rid of the alcohol and while this weekend has probably been one of the hardest I’ve ever had, especially in regards to financial difficulties, I am here. I am still sober. I am still terrified and anxious but I have spent most of this weekend praying because for a while it seemed like I was going to completely lose my car and my job. But while my car was repossessed, I have a plan to get it back thanks to God working in my boss’ heart to let me borrow money and pay them back weekly. So hopefully by the middle of this week, I will have a car again. It’s time to start taking care of my financial amends. Please continue to pray for me. I am praying for y’all.

  43. 143
    sheila says:

    Why is it that we stand in the way of God, even when logically we know He knows best. Pride is ugly. Thank you Jesus for this precious sister in Christ. In God’s Love, sheila

  44. 144
    Kim Safina says:

    The Journey Continues ~


    I LOVE YOU !!!!!!!!!!

    You have been blessed with wisdom to CARRY THE LIGHT!!!

    Praying that ALL people will find their truth and strength to heal with each step.

    John 8:32 NIV


    (((((((( HUGS ))))))))

    • 144.1
      Gay says:

      Kim — “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32 PREACH IT, SISTA!!!

      Loved you are, Kim,

  45. 145
    lavonda says:

    Dear Gay, thank you for speaking so clearly about His saving grace. It’s a blessing to see how He’s worked/working in your life.
    Much love!

  46. 146
    Celeste Monds says:

    WOW! I am in awe of all the ACTION you have taken each day you have been sober. It has convicted me to take ACTION on what GOD wants me to do.

    I want to thank you Gay for what you are doing and have already done to help my sister, Bridget get on the road to ACTION in her life right now. She is ready now and I know she will complete it. Thank you so much for loving on her. If you had not shared your story in the blog, I fear to think where she might be right now. Thank you sweet sista!!

  47. 147
    Ruth says:

    Blessings and true Favor on you, Sister, as you continue to “Trudge the road to Happy Destiny” (BB l64). Your account of your story and your sharing of your experience, strength and hope HERE is an enormous gift.
    I wanted you to know that, besides the Siestas who can read this here, one Siesta has been reading your installments each time to some groups of women in a State Prison as they pursue sobriety and God–and each time they just clamor for more.
    The Lord knew JUST who would be moved and inspired by your words here.
    THANK YOU for walking with the Lord on this Road. So many are with you in prayer.

  48. 148
    Christy V says:

    Gay~ What an amazing story of your journey and fulfillment of the 9th Step promises, moreover, HIS promises unfolding in your life. My name is Christy and I’m an alcoholic, co-dependant, mother, wife, friend, and most importantly child of the Living God who has found her identity IN Christ. I, as well, went to the same treatment center in the Hill country. I was there in 2001. I know of the Big Book Nazi (implied with pure affection) who walked us through the first 3 steps. The way he conveyed his passion for THE SOLUTION left a lasting impression. How I love our Lord who fashions his story in all of us with His Grace and Mercy being consistent, yet our individual journeys so different, yet somehow interwoven with others. I praise the Lord for your bold testimony of His Redeeming Grace and Power. I thank Him that you, a woman of God, can have such an influential opportunity to marry His Word with THE SOLUTION while sharing your experience, strength, and hope. My prayers are with you as you trudge the road to happy destiny, though the inexpressible joy has already been found. LOVE to you my sister.

  49. 149
    Snowbyrrd says:

    Bless you sweet girl! May God bless you!

  50. 150
    Erin says:

    Just wanted to say, that although alcoholism isn’t something I’ve dealt with, God still used this post to speak to me (I have read and been blessed by all of them.) But I knew that I was going to hear something specific before I read this post – and I DID! I said God used it to speak to me, but I think scream to me would be more like it. Not scream AT me, of course, but TO me – thank you for being faithful to write it. Blessings!

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