My Sister Gay’s Fourth Installment: “Like Sunlight Burning at Midnight”

First Installment: Meet My Sister

Second Installment: The Functioning Years

Third Installment: The Maelstrom

From Gay’s heart to yours…

Gregg Taylor, my pastor and sweet, sweet friend, said in a sermon one night at Mercy Street that “the person who has a WHY to live can bear with almost any HOW.”  He was quoting Victor Frankl, author of Man’s Search for Meaning which chronicles Frankl’s experiences as a concentration camp inmate.  It means that if I have a reason, a purpose, something beyond where I am, a sense of what I could become, and I know that tomorrow is going to bring me closer to that then I can work with where I am today.  He went on to say, “If you have no hope, life ends.”

I didn’t stop breathing while I was out there on the street, but in all other respects my life had ended.  I knew that.  I knew that I had caused my family to leave me because I had not been willing or able to stop drinking.  I don’t know now whether I couldn’t stop or I wouldn’t stop (probably some of both), I just know that I didn’t stop. In my mind, I no longer had anything to live for.  My family was gone.  My employability was gone.  My desire to make another stab at recovery was gone.  My self-respect and integrity were gone.  My faith in myself and God were gone.  I had no reason, no purpose, nothing beyond where I was.  I only had another miserable day on the street, in the elements, cold, sick, hungry, filthy, beaten in more ways than one, full of heartache, resentment, jealousy, fear, self-pity, self-loathing and hate.  My only purpose each day was to figure out how I was going to drink myself into unconsciousness so that I couldn’t see or feel the hopelessness that each day brought.  I didn’t want to wake up to another day of hustling, begging, stealing, cheating and doing what I had to do to stay alive, all of which were pitiful and incomprehensible demoralization.  I didn’t believe in God anymore — I knew that the All Mighty, All Powerful, All Merciful God that I had been taught about in Sunday School would not let me, ME, live out there like a wild animal!  I had lost all hope, and with that, I had lost the will to live.  I didn’t care anymore if I lived or died.

Yet somehow, unbeknownst to me, God WAS there.  I was just too covered up with my own “stuff” (heartache, self-pity, hate) and too busy trying to blot out that stuff to see Him. In the process, I had blotted Him out, too.  I did not see that when my body finally screamed out for food that food was there.  I did not see that the people I despised and hated, fought and scratched with, and told them I was BETTER THAN THEM were the very angels that God had sent to protect me.  I did not see that the porch that I slept UNDER (because I would get arrested for trespassing if I slept ON) was His shelter.  I did not see how much worse it could have been had my drug of choice been anything other than alcohol.  I did not see that each day that I woke up breathing was another day closer to the day He would strike … the day I would be ready; when all of the things that had blocked me from following His lead in the past were brought into submission.  The entitlement, the pride, the judgment, the dishonesty, the unwillingness to be obedient to His will for ME, for MY life, had to be surrendered so that I might not only obtain sobriety but also be effective in His world.

Now, let me rest on this for a second before I move on:  I found out later that His will for me was not simply for me to quit drinking.  It was for me to DO THE THINGS that He put before me each and every day, one day at a time, and that HE WOULD EQUIP ME with the tools to quit drinking!  He would EMPOWER ME.

Note: I know these things now.  I did not know them then.  Hindsight is better than foresight but I am hoping that those of you who are listening will not be as hardheaded as me!

Moving on …

After wandering aimlessly IN THE WILDERNESS for 18 months, a series of events that only a God could have brought together led me and my friend, Jerry, from Galveston to Houston.  The street was hard and mean in Houston.  No beach, no everyone-knows-each other-and-watches-each-other’s-backs, no First Presbyterian Church serving breakfast fit for a king on Saturday mornings.  As a matter of fact, all clothing and food supplies had been sent to Galveston to aid those still suffering from Hurricane Ike which had ravaged the island just six months before.  The City is much harder, walking distances much further, people more desperate, dangerous and demanding.  I couldn’t take it.  I couldn’t survive anymore.  It was too hard.  So I just laid down on the concrete underneath the Sabo Road overpass to die.  I didn’t panhandle anymore, I didn’t beg anymore, I didn’t fight anymore.  I laid down to die.

According to Jerry, I didn’t move from there for about two weeks, except to sit up long enough to drink myself back to sleep.  I might have eaten a bite or two.  I maybe even stumbled across the feeder road now and then to use the facilities at Jack In The Box, maybe not.  I don’t know.  I was in a blackout.  I had only one lucid moment during that entire time that I remember well, so well that it feels like yesterday.  It was night and I was alone in the dark.  I was lying on my left side and in my fear, whether of death or of continuing to live, I thought of my children and, at that moment, they became my WHY.  I didn’t care enough about myself to pray for my life but I cared enough about THEM to do just that.  I turned onto my back and hearing the endless roar of the traffic overhead, I spoke out loud to God where He could hear me and I could hear myself.  I spoke very precisely, almost demandingly and with my arm outstretched toward Heaven, I cried, “God, I know that You are up there.  I have been taught that all my life.  Now, I need Your help.  Now!  Because I’m going to die out here, Lord, and there are two little boys in Sugar Land that need a mother.”  Just like that, just exactly like that, and then it was done.  Amen and Amen.

I don’t know how much time passed between that prayer and being gently shaken awake by Tut: an hour, a day, two days.  But alone again in the night in the exact same spot, I felt a nudge and I heard a voice saying, “Gay, get up and get in the truck.  We’re going home.”  I didn’t hesitate.  I didn’t look around to see who I might take with me.  I didn’t look around to see who might stop me.  I didn’t even look around to see who it was.  I simply got up off the concrete and walked to the truck, one foot in front of the other, each step closer and closer, remembering the prayer because it was the ONLY thing I could remember about the weeks prior, knowing with each step that God – that God — that’s all I knew, without a shred of doubt, — that God had heard my cry and had moved Heaven and Earth to save me!  I became acutely aware in those miracle moments of the size and depth of the Love of God for a sinner like me.  As I settled into the warm, soft, leather seat of the white Chevy Suburban that I had ridden in so many times and looked over to confirm that the man was indeed Tut, I was struck with an awe that I can’t possibly describe.  That awe multiplied as we pulled away and I saw the bridge that I had tried to die under get smaller and smaller in the rearview mirror.  It was over.


It was OVER.


It was OVER.


My heart is pounding now as I bang this keyboard and I feel an urgency to cry my eyes out in more gratitude than I know how to express.  In my mumbling and fumbling to find the words to describe those moments, I think of the words to a song by Francesca Battistelli.  It goes like this:

Don’t know how it is You looked at me
And saw the person that I could be.
Awakening my heart
Breaking through the dark
Suddenly Your grace
Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so beautiful, beautiful.
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so beautiful, beautiful.


Gregg Taylor, my pastor and my sweet, sweet friend, also says that God never brings an end without offering a new beginning. I didn’t know HOW I was going to begin the climb out of hell.  I just knew that I was going to begin.  I was never the same after that night.
I have come undone.
But I have just begun
Changing by Your grace.
Like sunlight burning at midnight
Making my life something so beautiful, beautiful.
Mercy reaching to save me
All that I need
You are so beautiful, beautiful.


Praise Jesus, Love of my life.


471 Responses to “My Sister Gay’s Fourth Installment: “Like Sunlight Burning at Midnight””

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 151
    Laura S says:

    I am in awe. Praise God!

  2. 152
    Susan B. says:

    What a wonderful God we have! And what courage it took for you to share your story with us. Thank you for reminding all of us what a loving heavenly Father we have. What a story of redemption! Much love you to!

  3. 153
    Humble Pie ;) says:

    Addiction is a monster of a different kind, huh? I know it all to well as I have walked the humbling path myself and lost someone I loved to the ravages of this uncompromising battle. You, my dear, have walked through the fire and lived! Keep fighting for who God has created you to be! The road is long but is paved with the power, presence and purposes of a God that can satisfy every craving you have! Bless you and be well!

    • 153.1
      Gay says:

      Humble Pie — “The road is long but is paved with the power, presence and purposes of a God that can satisfy every craving you have!” Yes, I believe that!! That is coming true for me NOW. Like Beth says, “Ain’t no high like the Most High!” Thank you so much for your comment. I love it!

      Loved you are,

  4. 154
    Village Sister says:

    “I didn’t know HOW I was going to begin the climb out of hell. I just knew that I was going to begin. I was never the same after that night.”

    You words above so much describe the night I grabbed Jesus’ hand from the bottom of a pit nearly 16 years ago. Thank you Gay, thank you…I needed to remember. Right now in this season, I really needed to remember afresh, again. Thank you for believing Him & telling it…all of it. He is using you in a mighty way here, girl. A mighty way.
    :)Love you, Pam

  5. 155
    Pat Mooney says:

    Gay, you are so brave to share your life with us. While I have never been addicted, there was a time when I felt life as I knew it was over. I was depressed and lonely, I too, reached out to God for help and, being the loving father he is, He answered my prayers.

    Life is never easy but with God in front of you, leading the way, it is manageable.

    Thank you for sharing your life with us.

  6. 156
    Joan says:

    Most powerful part to me yet!! This is being made into a book – right?? Someone said to me once – a good testimony has a test and much moaning! haha and ends with the power of God restoring broken lives. What a testimony you are Gay!!

  7. 157
  8. 158
    Cynthia M Evans says:

    Sweet Gay,

    GOD is so wonderful!!! We are friends with Viktor Frankl’s family (in fact were talking with them last night). I will share how his words helped you with the family when we see them next week.

    Man’s Search for Meaning is one of the top ten books on most to read lists. His grandson, Alex Vesly, just released a movie about his life and work

    May God richly bless you TODAY!


  9. 159
    Angie says:

    Keep on writing Gay! God is using your story.
    Romans 8:28

  10. 160

    What a beautiful story of the Rescuer and His damsel in distress. It is amazing how much He loves us. Your story brought tears to my eyes this morning. Thank you for sharing. Rev. 12:11-“They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony.” That’s the kind of testimony that triumphs!

  11. 161
    Heather Motschman says:


    Thank you for glorifying God with your life and your story. I burst into tears with full sobs of praise and gratitude to Christ Jesus when I read this today. Amazing!

    Keep telling your story!

  12. 162
    Jennifer says:

    Oh Gay. Thank you SO much for speaking these words!! The way our God loves is so amazing. You’ve been given a gift. The way you express his humbling love… it has moved me beyond tears. Keep on speaking. The hope it brings. The clarity. Thank you Jesus. And thank you Gay.

  13. 163
    Lissa Litka says:

    Beautiful. Simply beautiful. My favorite stories are the ones where God shows up and shows off. Thank you for the transparent sharing of your incredible God story. Only Him…only Him.

  14. 164
    April Jones says:


    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your story! Three words – WRITE A BOOK! PLEASE! (Ok, that was four words!)


  15. 165
    Sheila says:

    So many thoughts reading your posts, but what ‘picture’ this last post put forefront was a picture of the prodigal son. When reading that story I always picture the father – as our Father – sitting poised on the edge of the rock at the edge of the town looking down the road with anticipation and earnest. Is today the day she will return, is today the day she will reach to me…He was waiting for you with anticipation and earnest even when you had given up hope. I am certain that you are uncomfortable with the ‘praise’ for YOU in the posts. We know that you and your story are the reflection of God’s glory. So does Satan. I pray a hedge of protection around you and your family – physically, mentally and spiritually. I was going to write I’m not sure you have any idea what an impact your story has made on so many of us, but God knows, and just like Him – it is HUGE.

  16. 166

    There are no words to describe how amazing your testimony is. Praise God for using your story to reach the hearts of so many! Only He could use such heartache to bring beauty and love to the broken-hearted. Praise Him! Thank you for sharing your heart! You are so loved.

  17. 167
    Betty Murphrey says:

    Thank You so much, Gay, for sharing your life with us. My our Holy God bless you and use you in more powerful ways than we can imagine. I was reminded of this little poem that I love:

    I walked a mile with Pleasure, She chattered all the way;
    But left me none the wiser For all she had to say.
    I walked a mile with Sorrow, And ne’er a word said she;
    But oh, the things I learned from her When sorrow walked with me.
    (from Streams in the Desert)
    ((hugs to you))

    • 167.1

      These words are a part of my favorite song as sung by Barry McGuire. It is one of the most powerful things I’ve ever heard. Thanks for reminding me of it today. Totally appropriate for Gay’s story, for sure!

  18. 168
    marlece says:

    I’d love to hear Tut’s end. How it was that he was driven to come save you. This is a story I look forward to, can’t wait to hear more….

    • 168.1
      Diana says:

      I’d love to hear Tut’s story too…how did he know where to find Gay? Thank you Gay for being so honest, so open, so truthful about your experience. May God bless you as you walk this path and share with others the wonderful God we love and WHO LOVES US.

      • Melissa Ford says:

        I totally concur…this would really cause christian fiction romance authors a huge setback but hey…let’s live in reality here…keep sharing!!!

  19. 169
    Kathleen says:

    Amazing! God shed the old you and brought forth the new you Gay. Thank you so much for being brave enough to share your story and how God brought you from the pit of hell to full blown glory. I have goose bumps. Love you and pray God blesses you each and every day!

  20. 170
    Debbie says:

    There is nothing worse than being trapped in a filthy dirty pit. I know, I have been there. There is nothing better or more amazing than being rescued. I know, I have been there too. Praise Jesus for His grace and mercy. Always in awe of His power as He moves Heaven and earth for His children!

  21. 171
    Jill says:

    Dear Gay,

    That was amazing! Your story would make a great book. What a courageous story of hope. There are so many people who would be so encouraged by you!

    I am in awe of you, and blown away by this God we worship. I am full to the brim with His mercy.

  22. 172
    Valerie J. says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for your willing heart to share these posts about your rise to freedom in Jesus. Coupled with just having studied James 4:1-3 in James, Mercy Triumphs,our loving Heavenly Father just reminded me again that our calling, “my” calling is to dwell in the secret place of the most High under the shadow of the Almighty, covered with His feathers. He wants to protect me – all of us – from the destruction that ensues from following the path of our weaknesses and inordinate desires. Your post also shouted out that we MUST remain sensitive to His voice so that we will unconditionally love others and be used by Him to reach out when He calls to us as your husband Tut did when he came for you and took you home. Wow! Praise you, Lord!!!

  23. 173
    Not now. says:

    I have read each and every entry. Last week wanting to write but too ashamed too.
    See, I am not under a bridge. I am not an alcoholic. I could be. Would probably feel some relief if that was my problem.
    But I have a problem women dont talk about. I dont even know how to say it, or that i can. Its so disgusting.
    Is it from my childhood, being exposed to so much filth? Being exposed to things at such an early age and abused that my whole thought process is wrecked?
    My husband and i are serving in ministry. That is the worse part. The WORST PART!
    Gosh…I cant say it….but thank you. i know what the word says…he loves me, he forgives me…confess your sins to HIM and he is faithful and just to forgive you…but how …can…I …even…ask..? after all hes pulled me from?
    i have not lost all hope…but I tell you, this thing has nearly wrecked my life more times and i thought i was over it….WHY NOW?

    • 173.1
      Beth says:

      My dear sister, I want you to run to Amazon right this minute and get the book “How People Grow” by Townsend and Cloud. THEN READ IT COVER TO COVER and do what it says. It will give you such powerful Godly counsel. One of the things they say: accountability to a small group of people with whom you can be honest is key. A small group that you can trust and will not just comfort you in your stronghold, but keep cheering you to freedom as you do the same for them. Never let Satan tell you that you are in so deep and have been there so long that you will never be free. One reason he has sought you out is your call to ministry. We all have much we’re ashamed of. You are so very far from being alone. But God has done too much for us to just sit in that shame. It is for freedom that Christ has set you free. Cooperate with Him every step of the way in outrageous obedience to His truth – one day at a time. Watch what He will do. You are loved here. And, Lord have mercy, He loves you so. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

      • I totally understand why you didn’t post my comments. I have been fairly discouraged off and on throughout this series, but God is using it in amazing ways to show me things I have denied in myself,including the alcoholism I have continually refused to accept, mostly because I don’t want anyone telling me I can’t have wine with dinner anytime I want, thank you very much! I love going places where no one knows about my “little drinking problem” so I can drink! Sometimes it doesn’t prove to be a problem, but other times…Oh, BOY! Have I ever gotten out of control!!! I’ve had to deal with whether or not the risk is worth it to me. Unfortunately, sometimes it is. I love to drink. I’ll admit it. I love everything about it! I love the taste (which I’m told is actually rare among alcoholics), I love the way it makes me feel, or as you suggested in the book, “Get Out Of That Pit” how it makes me not feel, is more like it. I did have a moment when I was feeling good (it was the first time I can remember that ever happening for real) and I was drinking and I got to that point where I couldn’t feel anything. And it SUCKED!!! I was feeling good, so losing that was not cool! I wasn’t meaning to get drunk, but then what else was new. That was the last drink I took by the way, which I’ve mostly had to guess on the date, cause like I said I hadn’t owned my alcoholism, so I really didn’t keep track of the date. It was around the 20th of August, so that’s the date I went with just to have a time frame to go on for my time sober. Which I will have 18 months in a couple of days. Wow! 18 months! I’m pretty sure I’ve never gone a whole year without drinking before! Like I said, I was in total denial of my being an alcoholic, honestly didn’t feel like I could relate to any of the stories in the Big Book of AA. Read the thing from cover to cover! Anyway, I’ve never really kept track of my sobriety dates until now. In fact, I lied about it to people who thought of me as an alcoholic. Sometimes I was drinking just that day and I’d give them several months! Cause I didn’t count it unless I actually got drunk. Most stories of hard core alcoholics make me feel like less of an alcoholic. Like I’m just a joke. Like I said before, couldn’t even be a good, consistent addict! I would drink for days and then stop for months and do it again. It was crazy! But I’m obsessed and it’s the first thought that pops into my head whenever things get tough, “I just want a drink!” That’s all! Just numb the pain and get over it! I’m pretty sure that qualifies me as an alcoholic. I’m learning to turn to Jesus instead, which is a lot harder, but I’m told it’s worth it, so I’m going with it. I’m determined to kick this depression and anxiety crap once and for all! Mostly I’ve gotta start learning to trust, and ouch, that is HARD! All that to say, I love Townsend and Cloud! I read Townsend’s book Boundaries With Teens, which mostly confused me since it was the very first book that directly addressed boundaries I’d ever read and it was telling me how to set boundaries with my teen. Boundaries I myself did not have, I realized!!! I think I need the original boundaries book. Right now, I’m reading Cloud’s “Changes That Heal” provided for me by our very own @micheledidasko (twitter name)! I’m loving it! Well, okay, it’s painful a lot and the first quick read through I cried all the way through it cause it touched a lot of wounds that have obviously not healed! Now I’m using the study guide and ouch, do I have a lot of stuff to work through! No wonder I drank! I had a lot of painful crap in my life. Still do and it’s still very tempting to just go straight back to the bottle instead, so please pray for me! I’ve been hearing about the “How People Grow” book and I might have to get that one next, or maybe not. Maybe it’ll just be more of the same stuff I’m getting out of Changes That Heal. But anyway, just wanted you to know, God is using your sister in this siesta’s life for sure!!! I’m not sure what it is about her story that made me not feel that I’m not really an alcoholic. Maybe it was her talking about saying that she had a drinking problem before she really quit trying to control it. I quit at that point, but I think that’s why, because even then she was an alcoholic, even if she quit then like I did. Anyway, don’t know if any of my rambling makes sense, but love you and love your sister and I’m determined to have a better attitude from here on out and look for God in every circumstance even when I’m disappointed or totally blow it! (Or both at the same time, which often happens. I blow it cause I was disappointed! What a spoiled brat, huh?) As you can see, I’m having trouble ending this, so I’m out. Hope you read this and it makes sense.

    • 173.2
      sweet anonymous says:

      Hello Dear Sister,
      I’m sorry your hurting. One of the things I do every year at Christmas as a gift for someone is to commit to pray for them every day for one year. Because of how crazy things have been I haven’t done that yet. Would you mind if I did this for you? I’m crying out to God right now that God will remove the cloak of shame the enemy has placed upon you and because of the precious blood of His son clothe you in a robe of righteousness. God has not given up on you! But instead of referring to you as Not now, I’m going to refer to you as His treasure because that’s what you are.

      • me again says:

        Oh my…I need it so , I do. Thank you my friend. Oh goodness, I’m bawling as I type. I dont’ deserve this…I am so terrible and pitiful. I hate my sin so much. Im 37 and i wonder will it ever happen? Will i really ever be clean.
        Your words mean alot…really, I just, gosh I dont know.

        • sweet anonymous says:

          My dear sister,
          I have wondered the same thing for 47 years. I am at present seeking professional counsel for the severe child abuse and neglect I endured and the time before last I shared with my counselor the mistakes I had made that I never told anyone because my shame was so great. So much so that I felt I should die and go to hell that moment. It was tearing me apart on the inside. At that moment the Holy Spirit brought to memory something I heard Corrie Ten Boom say that when conviction comes from Jesus it seen through the light of the cross and there is hope in it. The messages you are recieving are straight from the pit of hell. Look up dear sister and see a Heavenly Father who adores you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for the help and support you need. I know if you just ask Him, He will be faithful to lead you to the right people. I know because that is what He did for me…and for the first time in 47 years I am begining to experience something I thought would never experience…sweet freedom….and it’s all because of Jesus. Sweetheart I have been praying for you (His treasure!) all day and promise to continue for the next 364 days. In His Love, Sweet Anonymous

    • 173.3
      Rhonda says:

      Thank you for your courage to step out into the light with this post. I could have written something similar. Having confessed sin, wanting to be free from strongholds ..then why is it still a problem? My faith must not be real or why can’t I “power past this”, And the condemnation… the cycle, the defeat. How can I read the Word. carry verses in little flip charts, love the Lord …love and serve people, ..but fail miserably in these strongholds… It’s like the ultimate failure, because I’m a beleiver. If anyone should be able to walk in freedom it should be me…

    • 173.4
      me again says:

      To each of you, thank you.
      ordered the book.

      I need a, BUT GOD. I do.

  24. 174
    Carol Bruntlett says:

    The only word that I have to say is that was God all over that , I have been reading your posts and they are moving Praise Our Wonderful Loving Father for using you in this seista’s life . Thank you

  25. 175
    kerry eblen says:

    here’s another:

    HE is jealous for me
    HE loves like a hurricane
    I am a tree, bending beneath the weight of His wind and mercy
    When all of a sudden, I am unaware of these afflictions- eclipsed by glory
    I realize just how beautiful you are, and how great your affections for me
    Oh, how He loves us so
    Oh, how He loves us
    How He loves us so
    We are His portion, and He is our prize-drawn to redemption by the grace in His eyes
    If grace is an ocean-we’re all sinking
    Then heaven meets earth like a sloppy wet kiss
    My heart turns violently inside of my chest
    I don’t have time to maintain these regrets, when I think about the way He loves us
    Oh how He loves us.

    David Crowder Band

  26. 176
    Kat says:

    So beautiful. Thank you for your words. It’s touching and real on so many levels.

  27. 177
    Bridget says:

    What a powerful testimony. Such boldness, beauty, and courage coming from a shattered broken life. This speaks volumes of encouragement to me and others I am sure. We all have our own “Sabo Road” bridge where we have laid down to die. Some of us are still under it, some of us have emerged and gone forth, sadly, some of us will actually die under it. Praise be to the Lord, Gay, for touching your heart so tenderly, yet with such force that it gave you the courage to go forth.

  28. 178
    Gwen says:

    I’m currently participating in the JAMES study. In lesson 6 last night, Beth mentions “her loved one.” I’m a faithful reader of this blog so I knew she was speaking of you and then this morning this entry. Last night’s message on cynicism was writen for me. I’m still pondering today. Maybe this tap on the shoulder will help me avoid that tail-kicking Beth warned was coming:) Bless you and your family for sharing your hard-fought battles with us.

  29. 179

    Thank you so much for remembering, and for letting us read about how great and mighty our God has been and IS in your life.

    I have a younger cousin who needs Jesus so desperately. In her 20 short years she has descended into a pit so deep. Addiction, abortion, jail, being left for dead…things I hate, and don’t want to imagine. Her dad is in a similar situation. Until I began reading your story, I’m sad to say that sometimes I thought of them as lost causes. After years of praying and talking with them, and her making several trips to rehab…nothing changes.

    But then, when I read your third installment, it broke my heart for my baby cousin. For the first time, I wept and pleaded with God to have mercy on her soul. As much as she’s put herself through, God has still saved her from so much. She’s alive! God has not forgotten her. Each time I read another piece of your story, I have a renewed sense of urgency.

    I am reminded–and want so desperately for my family to know–that HE IS STRONGER. Period.


  30. 180
    Penny says:

    Seriously, this has to be one of the most powerfully, beautiful things I have ever read. I was crying early on, but when I read that it was Tut He sent to bring you home, the tears just coursed down my cheeks. It reminds me somewhat of the book of Hosea, not that your circumstances were the same, but just that Hosea kept searching for his wife and bringing her home, even as she was planning her next escape. There is a depth to that kind of love and concern that some never know. I look forward to reading more. Please know just how much you are blessing others with your story.

  31. 181
    Kate Hawk says:

    Oh my! WOW!! What a mighty mighty story He has given you to share! The Power of the Holy Spirit is so strong and so crisp in your words. You are a gift, Gay…a priceless gift!

    Blessings and Joy and Love to you dear Siesta!


  32. 182
    Kim says:

    Thank you Gaye! I wept as I read your story, so REAL! Life is hard, but God is good. Very fitting on this Valentine’s Day, the love and care of a man to take his wife home and care for her, and our precious Lord to never leave us nor forsake us. I can’t wait to hear more, I didn’t want you to stop. Hugs to you my sweet sister, you are loved!

  33. 183
    Ashley says:

    Through tears, goosebumps & a dropped jaw…wow, God.

    Line by line, you are defining HIS VICTORY. He is surely grinning at you, beloved sister.

  34. 184
    Tatia Cook says:

    Wow… my words fail me, Gay. Tut found you under that bridge? Wow…

    “I will praise you, Lord my God, with all my heart;
    I will glorify your name forever.
    For great is your love toward me;
    you have delivered me from the depths,
    from the realm of the dead.” Psalm 86:12, 13 (NIV)

    Praise you,Lord!! Love to you, Gay!

  35. 185
    Linda R says:

    It IS over!!!!!!!!!
    I love it that God sent TUT to pick you up! He could’ve used anyone, and He used Tut! Love your transparency. So many should be encouraged today!

    Happy Valentine’s Day my sweet friend!


  36. 186

    Wow! Wow! That is an amazing story, Gay! I honestly can’t say God ever did anything like that for me! He’s done plenty of other things. I’ve never laid under an overpass to die. I’ve never had the guts to leave my family and for whatever reason my husband has never kicked me out, but I didn’t drink quite as heavily as you did. I have this thing about stomach aches so I always slowed down when my stomach started to hurt, though I tried not to let myself get to sober, for days at a time. I haven’t drank for more than a few days or a week or two straight since I was in high school, but I hated being sober. I just still had that little bit of a goody-goody rule follower in me. I really didn’t start out a rebel. I willed myself to become a rebel, cause I had no friends, my mother and father hated me, and all the kids called me a goody-two-shoes and a mama pleaser. It was the mama pleaser thing that got me. If they only know how unpleased my mama was with me. I was and probably still am the biggest disappointment of her life. Miss popular in high school gave birth to a loser. I remember in one moment as a freshman in high school, friendless, in severe emotional pain that I hid from most, even after taking some pills in an attempt to kill myself which only made me really sick, I made the conscious decision to prove to the whole school that I wasn’t a goody-goody. And my sophomore year I did a great job of it and discovered just how much alcohol could numb my pain. The summer after my freshman year my father finally all out beat me only once, but it increased my pain exponentially! I tried to starve myself that summer and didn’t eat for two weeks. I was having blackouts when some of the kids I was hanging out with at the time basically forced me to eat. I had lost 15 pounds and could fit into a size 0. I did love being skinny and forced myself to quit eating whenever I got up to a size 3! Not that I was fat before! I never wore anything larger than a size 5 when I was in high school and that was when I went back for seconds for EVERY meal! Don’t slap me, poor eating habits have caught up with me and now I’m the worst food addict you’ve ever met and way overweight! Anyway, I started smoking, drinking, and smoking pot my sophomore year. I also skipped school a lot. After a seven day suspension I almost got in a fight with another girl, but one of my friends pulled me back seeing I was about to punch her in the face and said, “Shellie, if you hit her you’ll probably get expelled at this point.” I didn’t even want to think what my dad would do to me if that happened, so I didn’t punch her. I loved the numbing effects of alcohol but my overly sensitive conscience and my fear of getting caught and having my dad beat me to a bloody pulp always kept me from going too far. Mostly I was just terrified of my dad and avoided crossing him like the plague. He did at one point when I did get caught drinking on a school trip decide he was going to “cure” me by forcing me to drink two large bottles of tequila. My mom told him he couldn’t do that because he’d kill me!!! I had drank three quarters of a bottle of tequila in Mexico. One of those large bottles they use for mixing drinks at bars and things. I don’t know how big they are, but that time it was a miracle I was alive as it was! Obviously that time I didn’t stop when I felt sick. I think I drank too hard of alcohol too quick to feel when I had overdone it! I can promise you that’s the sickest I’ve ever been, but it was worth it as far as I was concerned. I often still wish I could drink myself to death. I also love my children way too much. I’ve been told I can’t do recovery just for my children I have to do it for myself, but I don’t like myself enough. Never have. I’m pretty sure they’re the only reason I’m still alive. Like I said, I’ve never laid under an overpass to die, but I’ve definitely laid down to die many times, staying in bed for days and not eating. At those times I didn’t even have the strength to go get anything to drink. Wish I would have. It would’ve hurt a lot less, and been easier to sleep. I’m glad your doing so well. I hope God will rescue me soon.

    • 186.1
      His Jules says:

      Sweet Shellie, don’t you see that He just keeps rescuing you? I have read and re-read your comment and I see how Jesus has rescued you so many times. YOU ARE ALIVE!!! You have a family! You have a community of siesta’s who love you and pray for you!!
      I believe if I remember correctly that you memorized 24 verses of Scripture for our SSMT. James said “Do not merely listen to the Word, and so decieve yourselves, Do what it says!” Girlfriend, quit believing the lies of the enemy and take hold of yourself. If you are reading this, you survived yesterday – so determine to thrive today! Do one more thing in the name of Jesus than yesterday, even if its just to stand with your arms upraised praising Him that you survived yesterday. YOU ARE WHO GOD SAYS YOU ARE! I love you Shellie and I’m praying for you!

      • Thank you, His Jules! I just wish He’d rescue me in a way that I could do more than just survive. It’s hard to even get out of bed in the morning. I really didn’t “memorize” all 24 verses. I must have fried more brain cells than I thought, cause at only 37 years of age, I don’t “memorize” anything. I don’t even remember the details of all the abuse I sustained growing up which you would think would be seared into my brain forever. Unfortunately the pain of it stays with me even without the memories, which makes it even harder to deal with, cause I can’t talk about it. Nothing to talk about. I just hurt! I did meditate on 24 verses and I had them mostly memorized, I think. Since I never had anyone to go over them with without holding the cards in my hand, the only way I’d have really known if I knew them would be if I had made it to SSMTC and told it to another. I was hoping, because I really wanted whatever the prize was Beth was giving for memorizing all 24 🙂 It would take a miracle for me to be able to do that as well. I know I need to focus on who I am in Christ, but that’s really hard to do and take care of 3 kids and pack to move and clean the mess of a house I let go cause I was too depressed to keep it up. I know the siestas love me. I just wish there were some here I could talk to. Or just anybody who would just listen without judging. I just want to put ducktape over people’s mouths around here sometimes. I need God to help me be able to talk to a counselor about what I feel and be able to grieve that loss. It always gets interrupted, because I have to stay strong for my family, and they’re here with no privacy for me for days at a time. It’s hard to get back to grieving when they’re gone again. I don’t like to let myself feel, so it takes me a while to soften up again. I also need to be able to take care of my responsibilities at home without getting so drained of energy I have to lay down. I’m told that is a symptom of depression as well. That’s why the doctors could never find anything physically wrong with me to explain why I get so tired so easily. But thank you. I’m trying to seek God with all my heart amongst all of the craziness and I hope I will get to where I don’t want to drink anymore. That is something I prayed for a long time. That God would help me to hate that sin! That’s the one sin I’m still a little too in love with! Come to think of it, I haven’t prayed that in a long time! I think I need to.

      • Okay, after having read my comment and yours a zillion more times (give or take a few) I realize you’re right! I need to just focus on God, see where He’s rescued me over and over again, and I often just threw it back in His face, cause it wasn’t exactly the way I pictured it! Like I so often do to people who try to help me. Granted some of them were clearly out of line and others didn’t even hardly speak the same language as me, so didn’t make any sense, so as well meaning as they were just weren’t the right people to help me. Maybe someone else, but not me. But I try to push people away that are helping me, I just don’t always want to accept what they have to say right away. That’s another thing I need to do, is take the time to let things people say to me sink in before I just react. My reactions are usually negative, whereas if I let it sink in a while (such as in this case) I realize it was very good counsel and I ought to go with it. In this case, I’m going with it and trying to see God in all of my circumstances and after reading your comment and then going back and reading mine to see what you were talking about, you’re so right! God has rescued me over and over again! I was mad at Him for not letting me die the many times I tried to kill myself and I was mad at Him for not making me more of a rebel so I wouldn’t care if I got caught, but He’s used all of those things to save me from myself! I’m so determined to self-destruct! I want to be equally as determined to see HIM in everything! Obviously, He’s not given up on me, so I have no right to give up on myself!!!

  37. 187
    Jennifer Y. says:

    My sister is also struggling with addition to alcohol and it has torn our family apart. My sister lost her daughter one month ago to me, I took custody. I have struggled for so long trying to help her. I pray for her ALL THE TIME! I love my sister but I cannot be around her. It is too unhealthy for her dauther and myself. Often, I thank God for his grace never ending because I would (and at times have) given up! Even after loosing her child, she still takes comfort with Alcohol. As I have read all your stories, I keep thinking, “Will it take all of this to get through to her?” Our small Kansas church is currently doing Beth’s BELIEVING GOD bible study. I have been struggling with 1) Knowing that God CAN break through to her and 2) My sister’s free will to reject God. I want her healed and SAVED!!! She often thinks of me being the, Too Good – Bible thumping sister and her the looser. Without God saving my soul at the age of 24, I could be in her shoes.

    Beth, I know I am just one of many comments BUT = I am desperate to know your side of Gay’s story. What advice can you share? I have been the squeeky wheel in prayer. I have prayed scripture. I have asked for God to soften her heart. I have prayer for consciences for my sister to change her, to break her. If you Beth, having a stronger prayer and bible reading life than I do, could not reach your sister, can I? Where is the balance between believing God can and my sister’s free will??

    Broken Hearted from Ellis, KS.

  38. 188
    Cindy says:

    Wow! God’s timing is so perfect. I have a son who is getting out of prison soon. I am going to send him your testimony. He needs to know there is still hope and I need to hear it too! Very nervous about him getting out and staying clean. So thank you for your honesty and allowing God to use your testimony to help others. I’ve told my son for years that I believe God will give him a testimony of his grace to share. Thank you for sharing yours.

  39. 189
    Ahvy Whiteside says:

    What a tragic story, yet beautiful and powerful testimony to the only God who can save us. I love you Gay!

  40. 190
    Nancy, Georgia says:

    Gay, I am speechless, but full of wonder for our God and how He holds us in His Hands. Thank you so much for sharing this difficult time in your life. It is unimaginable how many people your heart is speaking to. God Bless.

  41. 191
    michelle says:

    WOW. I am so blessed to hear your story, and so glad you’re sharing it. So many people need to hear it! The world needs to hear it. I agree with other Siestas….I hope this is steps towards writing a book. I also was overwhelmed when you wrote that it was your husband Tut who came….beyond amazing! I think of a song too, “His love never fails, never gives up, never runs out on me…” Like the other sisters have said, I cannot wait to hear more of your story. Thank you so much for sharing, for your courage, and transparency. Please keep on sharing. I love you sister!

  42. 192
    Sharon Gowen says:

    Thank you, Gay, for sharing…I don’t know if it is proper to say I have enjoyed reading your story, but I will say it anyway. I have read all the installments, but the latest one God used to speak to me. I am dealing with some things and praying about them, trying to hear His voice. The sentence you wrote about “the entitlement, the pride, the judgment, the dishonesty, the unwillingness to be obedient to His will for me, for my life had to be surrendered so that I would be effective in His world” jumped out at me in ginormous letters. This is what I need to do, and I thank you for being willing to be used of God to help me see what I need to do to be able to climb out of this pit I am in.

  43. 193
    Deb says:

    Gay, my tears join all the others. The words thank you seem so small, but they are huge in my heart. Your surrender. Christ’s redemption. It’s a powerful thing.

  44. 194

    I am beyond words…..just tears.

  45. 195
    Shannon says:

    Isn’t that just like God? Seems like some things just have to run their course, and at the end of it, there’s God. Not even a minute late, or a minute early. Although I haven’t woken up under a bridge, I’ve had my own junk to deal with just like everyone else. I may make ridiculous choices and act like I have no sense, and then….God. Consistently, graciously, perfectly. He is good.

  46. 196
    Another Beth says:

    Gay, if we had all known, we would have lined the streets of Houston as you rode by and whispered and yelled and sung, “Welcome Home, Gay, Welcome Home.”

    • 196.1
      Lee Ann says:

      What a beautiful thought…..makes me wonder how many women, men, teens, children……..are being rescued by Jesus today and we are unaware. To have seen you, Gay, that moment, when Tut put you in his suburban, we would not have realized, “Wow, that woman is in the very moment of her life when God is changing everything”, nope, probably would have missed it! Makes me want to look at the people I see today with a whole new light. Going to take a moment right now and praise God for the prodigals who are going home right this minute – all over the world, it’s happening. The prodigals may not even realize it until time has passed and they looked back, but it is happening. Praise God!

  47. 197
    Valerie says:

    Thank you so much for sharing! How precious that it was Tut who came for you. I love it! We serve such an amazing God!
    Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

  48. 198
    sheila says:

    Unfathomable Love. I thank God for your story and ask that you would please pray for my husband. In God’s love, sheila

    • 198.1
      Jennifer T says:

      I keep coming back to your comment, Sheila, in its simplicity. Praying for your husband, Siesta, and for YOUR strength.
      Lift your eyes to the mountain, Sheila! Where does your help come from? Siesta Sheila’s help comes from the LORD, the maker of heaven and earth. Psalm 121:1-2. He does not slumber or sleep – the same God who heard Gay’s prayer under that bridge (and my prayer, too) hears EVERY ONE of yours. He’s on the job regarding your husband. Love to you.

    • 198.2
      Delinda says:

      Sheila’s husband-Lord, rescue!

  49. 199
    Sara says:

    Thanks for telling us your story!

  50. 200
    Crissy says:

    Preach it sister! We love you!!!!

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: