My Sister Gay’s Third Installment: The Maelstrom

First installment. Meet My Sister.

Second installment. The Functioning Years.

My beloved Sisters, my coworkers and I have been praying hard for Gay as she labored to minister to you over this last week by reliving a descent into darkness. I ask for you to pray for her, too. True depth of ministry is rarely without cost. Can you imagine how furious the devil is at her?? Please thank God in advance for being her Shield and her Fortress, her Refuge and her Strength. I have no words to express my gratitude to her and my boastfulness in the Lord because of her. She is a true miracle. So am I. So are you. Oh, that we’d know it! In Tuesday night Bible study right now, we are making six stops in the Book of Deuteronomy to behold the divine law of love. To me, it is no coincidence that Gay handed in this entry on the very day that I am preparing a lesson on REMEMBERING. Once again, my sister. My hero.


From Gay…

Hi Sisters!
As I proofread the final draft of my last post, I was even taken aback at how NON-functioning the functioning years were! I thought my life was manageable because to the outside world, I appeared to be functioning (as far as I knew) but alone and inside my head, the battle raged. I remember driving to the liquor store one afternoon after vowing not to drink that day for the zillionth time and meaning it, tears streaming down my cheeks, wanting so badly not to WANT it yet consumed with the overwhelming NEED to have it. Understand, Siestas, that there are drinkers out there who are functioning and always will. They are what we alcoholics want to be. We are wannabees!  Bill Wilson described it so perfectly like this, “The idea that somehow, someday he will control and enjoy his drinking is the great obsession of every abnormal drinker. The persistence of this illusion is astonishing. Many pursue it into the gates of insanity or death.”

There is no way for me to describe accurately or list wholly the events that occurred during the next ten years of my so-called life. I can’t even piece them all together myself. It was an endless cycle of drinking to feel “normal” or somewhat happy and functional, followed by not being able to stop at “normal,” followed by the negative consequences associated with intoxication (never positive consequences!), followed by more shame and guilt than I thought I could take, followed by self-medication, followed by more negative consequences and down the tubes I went. A maelstrom is defined on Wikipedia as “a very powerful whirlpool; a large, swirling body of water. A free vortex; it has considerable downdraft.” Although I had been severely warned yet still believed I was EXEMPT, I was beginning the swift descent into pure, alcoholic destruction and SELF-destruction.

By this time, my little “drinking problem” was becoming blatantly obvious to the outside world, my extended family included, and I was confronted. They dragged me out of the closet kicking and screaming and, as you can imagine, it did not go well. My response to that was outrage, blaming them for what they had done to CAUSE me to drink in the first place (all the way down to my parents!), withdrawal from the family and isolation.  Alcohol had moved itself up my diseased brain’s priority list to the Number 1 position. It came first, period, end of paragraph. No matter how much I wanted my children to come first, the alcohol was FIRST!! It screamed at me to feed it!  I did have a few periods of sobriety during this time, mostly in treatment, and I prayed for God to deliver me but I never did what God had put in front of me to do time and time again, so I never found the freedom that He had waiting for me on the other side. Because “Faith without works is dead, Gay!” (James 2:17) Consequently, each period of sobriety was followed by still worse relapse followed by more of the same.

It went something like this:

In 2002, I asked my employer of many years for a 6-month leave of absence.  Tut and I were finally able to live on one income and I was exhausted!  I had worked hard with virtually no time off since Zach was 2 years old and he was finishing his junior year in high school.  I needed rest, quality time with our children and, besides, I needed to put this blasted drinking problem to bed once and for all.  What do we say about an idle mind being the devil’s workshop?  Bingo!!  I quit working — He worked OVERTIME.  I had too much leisure time alone, no coping skills and no tools to fight the battle raging inside my head.  I had no relationship with God although I attended church every single Sunday morning.  I had no support group.  My friends were all at work and I had withdrawn from my family.  And, very key point, I had the disease of alcoholism.  Perfect cocktail (pardon the pun) to bring down the proud, the entitled, the exempt.  My drinking moved into the early afternoon, then morning, then round the clock. Alcohol quickly invaded every nook, cranny and pore of my existence.  I laughed and cried with it, I raged and soothed with it, I celebrated and mourned with it, I went to bed with it and I got up with it, I loved it and I hated it.  When I asked for an additional 6 months of LOA because I was too sick both mentally and physically to go back to work, I was denied and laid off instead.  I had survived every single downturn that my company had been through.  My life was there, my friends were there, my self-worth was there.  My heart was broken.  Again.  More medication please!!

In 2003, I went to my first inpatient rehabilitation facility in the beautiful Texas hill country.  It was one of the finest treatment centers in the country and not cheap!  It employed the best Big Book instructor I’ve ever heard to date, even now.  Some of his words got through and I related more to what was written in the book, however, I still had not reached a place of full surrender.  I was still different, special, proud.  I would not humble myself to do the work that was asked of me — to do as thousands had done before me who had STAYED SOBER.  That stuff still did not apply to me.  Not to ME!!  I stayed there 28 days at a cost of $16,000.00 (its more now!) and could not wait to order a glass of wine on the flight home.  After all, I had abstained 4 full weeks.  I had proved that I could do it.  Let’s celebrate!  I was drunk when Tut picked me up from the airport and he was livid, to put it mildly.  A few months later, he asked me to leave the house that we had lived in for 17 years and where we had raised our children.  Zach had just graduated from high school and Josh was 8 years old.  I moved because I could not argue with him.  I knew I was out of control and I knew why he was asking me to leave.  Although I tried to justify and rationalize and blame HIM, I knew the truth in my heart.  It was not a safe environment for the children.  Period.  I walked out that door and never returned for any significant time period until about 1025 days ago in mid-April of 2009 — almost 6 years later.  The loss of my little family, Tut included, was by far the greatest loss of my life.  My feelings after the death of my mother (which I never felt, by the way) could not hold a candle to the heartache and grief I suffered at putting my family on death’s altar.  I was never the same after that.  I not only had given up the desire to control. I gave up hope.

During the following years:


  • I was charged with 3 counts of Driving While Intoxicated which left me incarcerated in the most overcrowded county jail in the United States of America, Harris County Jail, which holds 10,000 inmates.  By God’s pure grace and mercy, I did not get a felony conviction on the third charge and did not kill anyone!  I could have; I should have.  But God.
  • I lost my driving privileges and owed the State of Texas $7,800.00 in surcharges to reinstate them.  At this point, it did not occur to me to give up drinking.  I would give up driving instead!
  • I received a 23-page Final Decree of Divorce from my husband of 22 years while I was incarcerated.  I could not appear to protest it and wouldn’t have been able to anyway, even had I been free.  It granted full parental custody of our minor child to my now ex-husband giving me supervised visits only.  It contained a Permanent Injunction that prohibited me from going to Josh’s residence, school, or any extra-curricular activities.  I was able to call him or write to him ONLY with his father’s permission.
  • I went to 3 more inpatient treatment centers, all state-funded, the last being in Galveston and long-term.  After spending 4 months there, I was successfully discharged at noon and in the liquor store before closing time that very night.
  • I lived alone and tried to drink myself to death many times in 4 different apartments after leaving my home in Sugar Land.  I walked out of all four of those living spaces with nothing but the clothes on my back, leaving everything behind.  I lost all of my personal items including pictures, jewelry, keepsakes, high school memorabilia, artwork by me and my children, furniture, appliances, clothes, etc.
  • I lived in one halfway house in Galveston 3 different times.  Again by the grace of God, they had allowed me to return after I had relapsed twice.

In August of 2007, while at R-House in Galveston, I finally got a much-needed break after a few weeks of sobriety.  I interviewed successfully and got a great job at the Galveston County Courthouse as Administrative Assistant to the I.T. Manager (Information Technology).  Since I had an I.T. background from my last place of employment, it was right up my alley.  I was excited about the opportunity and had hope for a future.  Finally!  I was also very optimistic about getting on with “normal” life and giving up living in treatment centers and halfway houses.  I quickly put down a deposit on an 1894 Victorian four-plex apartment, all hardwood floors, very nice, walking distance from my new job.  I was also dating a really nice man (big red flag!) from a Narcotics Anonymous group in Galveston.  He was funny, well-liked, and had solid sobriety.  It wasn’t the first time I had gotten side-tracked with a relationship.  I would invariably put the relationship first, rather than the sobriety, thinking that the love of a man would be enough to sustain me through anything, especially a SOBER man!  I later saw that I had a pattern of putting anything, everything, even the important things BEFORE sobriety, and that I would always, ALWAYS end in relapse and inevitably lose those things. I moved into my apartment on a Friday and tried to contact my so-called “boyfriend” on Saturday.  He did not respond.  He did not respond for hours.  He had gone to a recovery function without me.  I was furious.  How do I handle furious???

Drink, of course.  I will never EVER forget this, my last relapse.  After all I had lost, after all of the bullet points listed above plus more that I can’t even remember, after all of the warnings and having been beaten down time and time again, I STILL THOUGHT that I could do it one more time and that no harm would come of it.  I slung my purse over my shoulder and headed out the door at a fast pace to the liquor store to get … a pint, of course!  By the time I got there, I had talked myself into a fifth because I wouldn’t want to return should I need more. I bought a quart, drank from it on the way back and the beast came forth!!!  I called in sick to work on Monday, again on Tuesday, didn’t call at all on Wednesday or Thursday and got fired on Friday.

I was baffled, confused, embarrassed and had no way to pay next month’s rent.  After countless vain attempts at asking for help from my family with promises of sobriety in return, I didn’t even ask for their help.  I was homeless a month later and outside with the others who were both wandering aimlessly and drinking themselves into oblivion because they/WE could not face another day.

“The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me; the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord; to my God I cried for help. From His temple He heard my voice.” Psalm 18:4-6a


(End of third installment. To be continued soon in the fourth installment.)

Sisters, this is back to Beth now. That’s one incredibly powerful entry, isn’t it? Revisit Gay’s words, “I gave up hope.” Many of us know what that’s like. Oh, how the enemy of our souls delights to walk us to that despairing place one step at a time. You are welcome to respond to Gay in your comments to this post any way you feel prompted but, in addition, I’d also like to ask you to consider doing something else. Consider sharing a time when you, too, had given up hope…

but God….

Maybe somebody needs to hear just a few lines of your story, too. You are treasured here at LPM. And, far more significantly, you are the treasured possession of the God of all Creation. Believe Him about you.



436 Responses to “My Sister Gay’s Third Installment: The Maelstrom”

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  1. 101
    Rachel says:

    Gay – thank you a million times over. I am the daughter of an alcoholic – and the granddaughter of an alcoholic….both of whom died alone in just sad ways, from their alcoholism.

    I grew up with my mother, I remember as a child helping her walk home from parties – stumbling home, holding her while she threw up on the side of the road….it was dark….I could have been no more than 8.

    I’ve been to a number of therapists over the years – always in a vain attempt to understand WHY. WHY was that drink more important than me? WHY didn’t she want me? My last therapist tried to help me understand that it’s a sickness….and just one of those things that someone not caught in the storm wouldn’t fully understand and to make peace with that.

    By the grace of God, I became a mother myself almost 4 years ago now. The love that I feel for my child is just endless….it took this strong of a love to make me realize how strong of a demon alcoholism is; to make my mother choose it over me….there is nothing that would keep me from my daughter. I understand it now.

    Gay – I thank you so much – for sharing. For allowing someone like me who never had a chance to gain such understanding from her own mother, insights into truth, and how despairing it is….and how she maybe always wanted to break free but couldn’t. I remember asking her, WHY? Did she want to die like her father….she told me no, and cried….but she just couldn’t stop.

    Your story has been a TRUE blessing to me today. I am, and will always be greatful to you. This has brought some true healing to my life.

  2. 102
    Sheila says:

    As a child, my parents fought constantly and my sisters and I seemed like just a burden to them. Several times I wanted to give up and tried suicide, but God.

    As an adult, my husband cheated on me and left me for another woman. I was devastated and begged him to come home to me. I wanted many times to take my life, but God. His relationship fell through before I gave up and we reconciled. It was rocky for a couple of years and then he left again. This time I was ready to give up, but God pointed out to me that I was supposed to forgive 70×7 times. I was in the process of working on forgiveness when he died. It was a horrible time for me. I was dealing with the betrayal and now he was gone and I couldn’t even imagine how I was supposed to go on, but God.

    God has saved me so many times from myself and from my sinful life. He has recently been using me in ways I never imagined possible to touch other lives. He has reminded me time and time again that all of the things He allows us to suffer are so we can use them to help someone else struggling with the same things.

    Thank you Gay for sharing your struggles with us so that we may be helped by your story. May God richly bless your life.

    • 102.1

      Sheila, thank you so much for sharing your story. Some things you shared I struggle or have struggled with also. But God is so good!
      May God richly bless your life also.

  3. 103
    Christine says:

    Wow God, Wow Gay. This story is amazing and thank you for being brave enough to share it with us. I am married to an alcoholic who is trying to stay sober for the first time in 11 years. It has really reaked havoc on our lives. The good news is that through the pain I have come into an intimate and very real relationship with the Lord. When the Lord is all you have, be thankful that the Lord is all you have. He has taken me so deep into knowing and learning to trust Him to walk me through the cold, treacherous waters. The area that I have struggled in no matter how much I have learned about Alcoholism is that it is truley a “disease”. It is very hard to understand that part for me as a spouse. I talk to the Lord often about it and why I don’t get it? I get self righteous, and mad and my heart turns to stone towards my alcoholic. Gay reading your blogs are an answer to prayer for me. I am starting to get it! I am seeing it, and for the first time getting some compassion for this
    disease. I cannot control it nor wish it away. But i can begin to feel sorry for the decisions you have made but so excited to hear about God’s restoration in your life! This in turn is helping me see that my husband too struggles with these same thoughts. No amount of nagging or lecturing or blaming from me will change a thing. Like you this sickness is between he and God. I so look forward to these blogs, they are filled with so much hope. You are a wonderful courageous woman and I can’t wait to read each one. Thank you for turning the light on this disease that affects so many of us and is alive in so many Christian homes. We all need each other, Hope and our Savior. The Lord has filled you with mercy. Wow God! Wow Gay!

  4. 104

    God Bless you Gay. Thank you for being so brave and sharing this story.

  5. 105
    Eva says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing your life with me! I have been encouraged to see what God is doing in your life! I am also believing for my daughter, she is so beautiful and has 3 beautiful daughters. But, she faces alot of these same battles and I know that God is no respecter of persons. what He has done for you, He will do for her! Love you Gay!

  6. 106
    Christie says:

    Gay, I am so grateful to God for your testimony. My big sister is struggling with this horrible disease. She too, has been in treatment several times. I have shared these blog’s with her and have hope that God uses your story in a miraculously powerful way in her life. Thank you again!

  7. 107
    Lia says:

    This morning I am choosing faith. I’m deep in the valley, and I know that my enemy is anxious to escort me to the gates of despair – he’s taken me there many times, or highlighted the road map so I could get there all on my own. My circumstances are seemingly hopeless; marriage woes, financial ruin, social disgrace, backgrounds of physical and sexual abuse, troubles heaped upon me by others, and lots that I have pulled down on my own head. I’m not addicted to drugs or alcohol, but both of those addictions are rampant in my family, so I am very familiar with their demands and costs.

    Before reading your installment today, I was telling the Lord that I have no hope other than that I have in Him. And I do have hope in Him. I have all the hope that is in heaven through Him, “Christ, the hope of Heaven.”

    I can’t see what He’s doing. And, O my God, it hurts. But, God, I know You are working. I’m in the James study, and I have listened ahead on the audio disks to the lecture session “Between the Rains.” I don’t think it is any mystery why God had me listening to that session just three or four days ago. I could not have needed it more. I don’t feel like I’m in a desert drought. I feel like I’m in the salt flats. My metaphorical skin is parched, I’m thirsty and too sick to eat, But, God, I know You are working, and I am keeping my eyes fixed on the horizon, because I know the fist sized rain cloud is just a little way away……

    Thank you for sharing your life and lessons with us. I think the common denominator among we daughters of God is the crushed and broken spirit, which everyone reading your blog can relate to. But we also know that crushed and broken today translates into healed, redeemed, restored, useful, useable tomorrow.

    “Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then He told me, ‘My grace is enough; it’s all you need. My strength comes into its own in your weakness.’ Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness.”

    2 Corinthians 12:7-10ish, from The Message.

    I debated so much whether I should answer Beth’s invitation to answer your post, but, as one in a battle today, not yet come out on the other side of this one yet, I wanted to boast in the Lord, that even though my heart is broken, His Spirit within me is connected to the hope that is eternal, and hope that might resonate with someone else who is fighting tough and bloody today. When I went to find the above verse, and I thought I might have to dig, the Bible fell open to the page.

    Yes, Lord, You are at work.

    • 107.1
      Beth says:

      I’m so glad you commented, Lia!

    • 107.2

      Oh, thank you so much, Lia! I am in that battle, too! You should read my comment if you can find it!

    • 107.3
      Kristin says:

      Lia, I am so glad you posted as well. Your comment about the James study, along with your story, reminded me of Beth’s analogy about giving birth in session 2 (I think). She encouraged us not to give up in the midst of our storm because at the point of our worst pain, the baby is almost here. I’ve never been able to have children, but that still spoke volumes to me. Hope is our lifeline and Jesus is our anchor – and though my days of nearly losing hope were NOTHING compared to what some have suffered, I still saw the Lord come through for me in the most amazing way. It’s weird that I would read this blog today, because I woke up this morning thinking, “Oh Lord, where would I be had You not rescued me?” Tears are streaming down my face as I write this because I have experienced His miraculously deliverance and I KNOW that you, and Brittany, and everyone else who hangs on to our Great Savior for dear life, will too. To use Beth’s phrase again, the baby’s almost here.

  8. 108
  9. 109
    Lia says:

    Dearest one, there is no thing He will not forgive you for.

    That He does not forgive and forget utterly is a lie. I believe that forgiveness is a gift, though, both the gift of forgiveness that I receive, and the ability to forgive others, AND myself. May I encourage you, when you pray, to particularly as Him to give you the ability to forgive yourself, knowing that He has already forgiven you.

    When you have received His forgiveness, and you take your sin to Him again, I think He may even give you that loving, incredulous look as He says ” What are you talking about?!?! It’s done. I forgave that a looooooooooonnnnnng time ago.” It is only your enemy that hounds you with fear and regret. These things are not from the Lord.

    • 109.1
      Lia says:

      This was meant to be a reply to Brittany, but apparently one of my weaknesses is not being tech savvy enough to work the blog………..

  10. 110
    Laura says:

    Thank you for sharing your experiences of God’s faithfulness and redeeming love. So many will be blessed with insight by your story. I know I have.

    My redemption and story of God’s faithfulness:
    Born to 2 mentally ill parents and sister to a sister of mental illness, repeated raped by my mentally ill grandfather from age 3? until age 9, moved from place to place to hide my families poor choices, did horribly in school, was a compulsive liar to hide my family problems, was in 5 car accidents, parents divorced the day after my high school graduation, became my mothers caretaker by default and guilted into
    taken care of her financially for years which bankrupted me and has destroyed my credit, flunked out of college, unable to ever have children due to earlier victimization after countless fertility treatments,
    and abandoned by all of my family after the secrete of my vi
    ctimization became public gossip, diagnosed with several physical issues including fibromyalgia and a brain bubble due to chronic heada ches, chronic pain and fatigue syndrome and countless other issues.
    But God…
    Married the love of my life that has also survived a home of mental issues, was able to lead my man to Christ, graduated suma cum laude and student of the year from college, worked as a family social worker with children in foster care.
    Even though every thing is not perfect God has been faithful to hold my hand every step. My test in life have provided the testimony of my life so far and I would not have missed it for the world!
    Much love to you and all the others fighting the good fight!

  11. 111
    Christy Treadway says:

    I am a newcomer to this blog, and cannot express to you both what a blessing it has been already!! Gay, your story is so powerful, such a testament to all that God is. I absolutely love the truth in the words “but God…”!! So often we think that we are writing our own story, without the realization that God himself is the story writer, and we are the reciepents of his wonderful plan if we will only lay our lives down before Him. Thank you both for your commitment to encouraging others, I am blessed!!

  12. 112
    Village Sister says:

    Thanks for pressing on in telling your story. I’m cheering you on from my little kitchen table as I read & pray.
    As for my own story, as Beth asked us to share…her closing words sum up my final steps out of hopelessness. “Believe God about you” – that is what I had to do to take my final steps to freedom. I finally believed God about Himself & His forgivness to me, but I struggled with forgiving myself & letting go of my self-loathing. Satan loved reminding me how much I had repeatedly messed up for yrs. in the same area of sin & he’d taunt me with horrible lies of how although I might be forgiven, I was still used & therefore useless.
    God took me the final steps into fully believing Him through Beth’s ‘Breaking Free’ Bible study. Through her, I finally heard HIM on this & took the last steps out of my pit.
    Satan still tries the same old junk with me even today (I guess b/c he had so much success with it before), but praise Jesus he rarely gets any ground anymore. I know what I know what I know now, and as a song I love goes…”Victory is mine….I tell Satan, get thee behind, victory today is mine!”
    Oh how I love belonging to Jesus!
    God bless you Gay…Love, Pam

  13. 113
    Yanna Westmoreland says:

    I am shaking as I type. Our Awesome God is so wise. As I read your life Gay I felt like I was with you. Then I read Beth’s closing comment and I was touched by how wise God is through Beth to ask us to remember our loss of hope and need for Him. It is harder to write/tell to such a public forum (so I feel for you) and when asked to do so the inside tearing apart comes back again, yet to God’s glory it feels so good to get it out. He is so wise with the steps of our lives. Thank You Jesus. I struggled all my life with not wanting to be who I was. My type A personality, perfection tendency, here I want to say the way I was raised yet I hesitate to blame anyone else, now.
    After a difficult marriage, feeling like I was not needed anymore I searched Scripture to find why I should not just go ahead and be with God. It was His love I needed. Now to my delight, and His, what I learned was it was not my job. This type A personality finally listened to the Voice of Hope, and gave Him control. My life became His and now I live only for Him. I found my identity in Christ Psalm 34:1 “I will extol the LORD at all times His praise will always be on my lips”. He needs me. Now there is only One Thing I ask for in my life “One thing I ask, this only do I seek, that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life (this one and always) that I may look on the beauty of His face and seek Him in His temple.” Psalm 27:4 Thank you Gay for passing on the torch of courage it gives strength and I feel like I just picked up my shield of faith. You are so loved, and so is your little sister.

  14. 114
    Megan says:

    What a powerful testimony! My husband and I have tried for 2 years to get pregnant and have a baby! I have ALWAYS wanted children for as long as I can remember! We thought we were being responsible by waiting for several years after we had been married to get pregnant to save money, work, travel, ect. I had much heartache in this journey to get pregnant. I prayed, cried to God and BEGGED Him for a baby! I cant even begin to count the many nights I cried myself to sleep lamenting over this. My husband felt helpless. I could never understand why all of my friends were constantly getting pregnant and I had not. I finally would give this over to God then take it back with worry more times than I can count. I struggled! We had truly almost given up hope. After my last fertility treatment, the LORD has blessed us and given us a baby! I feel blessed beyond measure and I would not give up my time with the Lord during this struggle.

  15. 115

    Well, my stories a little confusing. I’ve always joked (bitterly) that I wasn’t even a good addict. I said this because our Celebrate Recovery leader always said that addict’s had some of the best potential of anyone he knew, because the very things that got us into trouble in the first place were really great potential gone the wrong direction. Something like that. I could see his point in some cases, but not mine. Mine just proved what a failure I am. I jumped from one addiction to another. I’d drink for awhile, then use some other drug for a while, cause I could see my drinking was getting out of control, so I’d smoke pot instead. Or, and I’m embarrassed to say this, even sniff rubber cement. I’d do ANYTHING to numb the pain. I remember waking up in a hotel room in Mexico with the worst headache I’d ever had. (It was a school sanctioned trip) My friend, Shannon said, “Shellie, you’ve got to get up. Mrs. Smith will be here any minute and we have to be at the Cathedral in two hours.” Ha! Church! Wouldn’t you know it! I just groaned and said (if you could even call it that) “I’m never drinking again!” Shannon laughed and said, “Shellie Stilson never drink again!That’ll be the day!” That should have been my first clue, right? That lasted…ummm…about two days, since I couldn’t get away from my teacher for two days. We tried to convince her that I’d eaten bad seafood, but she figured it out. Darn! Those teachers are smarter than they look, although, I question the intelligence of that one for letting two teenage girls go out with 3 teenage boys in Mexico City by themselves. I don’t know what good she though would come of it. I also remember the next year being in a counselor’s office. (I had not church after someone grabbed me off the Joseph Dam before I jumped.) She told me that she couldn’t help me until I quit drinking. I remember feeling panicky, and hearing the words through tears coming out my mouth, “I can’t!” The compassion in her eyes was almost too much for me as she whispered, “Oh, sweetie, I know you can’t.” Did I really just admit it? I ended up not being able to see her, because I couldn’t quit. She tried to convince my parents to send me to a drug and alcoholic clinic designed specifically for teens with drug and alcohol problems. They wouldn’t have it. No way were they going to expose their horrible daughter who had shamed them so much! She then asked if they’d let me go to AA. I was willing to go and she was going to help me in any way she could. My parents wouldn’t have that either. Anonymous or not, everyone knows what happens at that church on that night and someone might see me and know that I’m their daughter. Well, everyone in that tiny town knew I was their daughter. This is also why I couldn’t tell anyone they were abusing me. No one would believe me and trust me they still don’t! It was pretty hard to believe that at 18 years of age, I was already an alcoholic. I’ve tried to convince myself that I’m not. I’ve honestly controlled it very well ever since then. I go months at a time (and at this time 17 months) without drinking and then I get drunk sort of to reboot when I’m in a funk. It does seem to work actually. I get drunk and silly and I feel better and then when I sober up I’m no longer depressed. But it worries my husband and my kids, so I don’t do it anymore, and now I have to go through the long hard battle to climb out of depression, which I’m kind of in right now. Not as severely as a couple of weeks ago, but definitely pretty down. I need counseling, but haven’t been able to get it. The recovery groups here have not been helpful. We’re moving soon, but it looks like housing is going to be more expensive than we thought, and we may not be able to afford it, even though we’re going to be in a city with some of the best therapists and doctors in the country! But I can’t afford them, but God….That’s my only holdout to losing hope, but God….

  16. 116
    deborah says:

    I have tears streaming down my face as I read your story, Gay. I don’t know what it’s like to be in that situation and I thank God for that. My heart hurts for you and all the people out there that Satan has ensnared with alcohol or one of the many other traps he uses. I have my struggles as we all do and Satan loves to remind us of how worthless we are. He doesn’t care HOW he keeps us ensnared, just so he does. Praise God for the battle you are doing against Satan, Gay, by sharing your story.

    What a Savior we have! Hallelujah! But God. That says it all.

    I wish for you that you wouldn’t have had these circumstances in your life, but your testimony and sharing with others is being used hugely by God. Thank-you.

  17. 117
    Lisa says:

    My pastor’s wife asked if I checke dout Beth Moore’s LPM blog (we’re in week 4 of Beth’s James Study) because there is a powerful testimony being shared by her sister – in fact, I have read LPM’s blog on several occasions, but this one is unique…by being still and listening for God’s whisper, I was led to read your testimony. Most comments mention “But God”…yet I mostly relate to your comment about “the beast came forth!” and wanting to please everyone else at the expense of your own well-being. In your case well-being = sobriety. In my case well-being = healthy weight loss. I’ve been diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes although (by God’s grace) I’ve been able to keep my numbers border line without medicine – I should be scared to cross over that line. Already lost a much beloved uncle at age 50 due to years of abusing alchohol that led to Type 2 diabetes that led to his body shutting down. As you’ve been to countless AA meetings, I’ve been to countless WW meetings – knowing what is right and yet when disappointment comes, “the beast” is unleashed. The one way I’ve not tried to conquer this enemy is with God – completely sold out, whole-heartedly faithful, focused on the fact that through Christ, all things are possible.

    Thank you for sharing your story…testimony is powerful because it involves loving God and loving people. Thanks for being such a wonderful example of “big sis” to Beth so she could be a “big sis” in Christ to so many women(including me!).

    Blessed in the one who perserveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised those who love him. James 1:12

    Perservere, Beloved Gay!


  18. 118
    Annie says:

    Gay thank you
    I grew up with both parents alcoholics
    I told myself as a girl I would be different
    Im not a drinker but use food as my drug and purge
    I married an abusive man was married for 21 years he started abusing our youngest son and I got a divorce my youngest son turned against me and to this day blames me for fathers abuse
    Have not seen my grandchildren my youngest daughter also dent speak to me and blames me
    I’ve lost everything but God !!!

  19. 119
    Living4Him says:

    What a powerful testimony to all of us. Amazing example of God’s power. Thank you for sharing.

  20. 120
    Anne Mathews says:

    Gay, your message could not have come at a better time for me. Last night I just finished Breaking Free. When I closed that book last night and thought how far I have come….Wow !. The growth as a Christian I experenced felt like the growth spurt teenaged boys go through. I don’t suffer from an addiction like you, but I was held captive by the way my family verbally and emotionally abused me up untill a few years ago (I am now 50yrs old). Reading your story this morning made me realize just how far I had really come but also how much farther I need to go. I can forgive my sister(she was the worst) but I am not to the point where I can pray for her healing (she is an alcoholic but won’t admit it). I know that is weird but it is the way I feel now. I am working on it thou.

    Gay I hope your continued recovery goes well. Just know the God is with you as are the members of this blog

  21. 121
    Linda Unger says:

    Praise God you found your way back to the rooms Gay! We met a few times in Beth’s class and then again at the SETA conference in Galveston a few years back! What a miracle you are, and a great inspiration to me! Keep Coming Back!!
    Linda Unger 7-8-96

  22. 122
    Kelli says:

    What a powerful story and thank you for sharing. I, in no matter of speaking, have experienced the kind of hopelessness you describe but have had my demons to deal with on various levels.

    For me it was two abortions – the whole time struggling with what I knew in my heart was wrong but society told me was alright. My mom was the worst although she doesn’t know what I have done, she is a major voice in my head that made me jump off the deep end without regard to the splat at the bottom.

    Still somewhat struggle to this day and it truly sucks! But I still read and pray and ask for forgiveness – and someday peace will come. It is here – I just need to do a little more work for the Lord to find it I guess. All in His timing and for His glory for sure!

    Thanks again for sharing your story – it is truly a remarkable one!!

    • 122.1
      Beth says:

      Oh, Kelli, Christ loves you so. He knew. He knows now what true restoration will take. Every day of your life, choose to believe Him about you. You have been made whole in Christ, purified from every transgression. He is your peace.

  23. 123
    Michelle V says:

    Gay, once again, thank you so much for sharing your story! It is blessing me and so many people! I am praying for you.

    I will try not to make this too long. Years ago I was trapped in an abusive marrige. I had given up hope and used to ask God just to let me die. But God put people into my life who cared. At this point I had gone to church as a child but I was not a saved Christian and had no idea what that really meant. The people at my job where I had been for over 5 years saw what was going on that I had been trying to hide. They waited until I made it known that I wanted to leave, and suddenly they sprang into action. They actually chipped in and paid the deposit and rent on an apartment for me and they took a company truck and got what the boys & I needed and they got us out.

    But, then I was a single mother, not making enough to get by, but making just enough that I didn’t qualify for any kind of assistance. I could pay the bills but then we didn’t have food. And I had one child with severe behavior problems that was becoming completely uncontrollable and I couldn’t keep him school because he kept getting kicked out. I was depressed and felt hopeless. Then, we stumbled on a church when one of the boys wanted to sign up for Boy Scouts. And, that was my… But God!!

    Years later I had a teenager in and out of juvenile facilities, only getting progressively worse. The last time he was in a state juvenile prison for a year. Now he is out and working at our church. I pray like crazy for him every day to stay on the right track!

    Michelle V

  24. 124
    yvonne says:

    thank you for sharing your story! It is so powerful. Praying God will bless you and use you mightily!

  25. 125
    Jill says:

    For the last 12 years, I have suffered disappointment after disappointment. Some were big, some were small, some were petty and some smack dab broke my heart and caused me to cry out WHY?? I quit hoping because I just could not stand to be disappointed any more.

    The words from Isaiah- “Then you will know that I am the LORD; those who hope in me will not be disappointed.”
    kept playing over and over in my mind. And they made me mad. I whined. I grumbled. I acted ugly. I wanted my way. Finally ( I am a slow learner) I got what God was trying to say. Quit relying on the world, others, your circumstances and rely on Me. Psalm 27:14.

  26. 126
    L says:

    Gay – Thank you for allowing the Lord to use your story by sharing it in this very public forum. I have a family member who is an alcoholic and was sheltered from her for most of my life b/c of her addiction. Your story helps me better understand what her life was like. I pray that she will see her need for a Savior – even if she is currently sober.

  27. 127
    traci says:

    Love you authentic, courageous, beautiful friend!!

  28. 128
    Tiffany Morse says:

    I am thankful beyond words for your story. Seems silly to “just” call it a story for it was at the time a very real living hurting reality. I pray for all of us as we move forward into our places where hope lives! Life sure is tough!! You are so greatly and deeply loved, thank you for telling your darkest times and yes the Lord gets the glory! He loves us so, and that humbles me greatly!

    As for my own stuff to write, I am not sure WHAT to write, but I assure you that in my hopeless places, and there have been several throughout…BUT GOD….has delivered me and He is mighty and He alone is Able!

    Love love love you!


  29. 129
    Kristen says:

    Tears stream down my face as I have read each of Gay’s installments. I too have a family member who journeyed and battled the depths of addiction. Although the characters and details might be different, the thread of the story is the same. And then there is the “But God” moment. My family member, who is male, an educated, well loved professional in the medical field battled addiction for many, many years. He could have lost everything… his professional license, his livelihood, his wife, his children, his family… his life. One day day over 16 years ago his wife) who was as immersed in his disease of addiction as an enabler/co-dependent, fell to the ground prostate and begged God to help her family. She pleaded “we are good people, please help us”! Two days later her husband came to her and said “I can’t do this anymore”. It’s not that she had never prayed over their situation before. Those words were poured out to our Lord many times, however her husband had to also submit to the Lord and hand over the battle to Him. He checked into treatment and was gone for 3 months. (expensive – but worth every penny) The years after weren’t always easy either as he recovered. Depression set in as they continued to journey… But God… and 16 years later he counsels physicians, nurses, pharmacists, prisoners, addicts in a hospital several hours south of us… he too is a miracle! He has such a witness of the power of God’s healing! For addiction, for a family… for a soul! There is light at the end of the tunnel of addiction. Over 16 years sober!

    I praise the Lord today for the healing of Gay and for my family member. I pray for all those who are in the midst of this battle!

    God Bless!

  30. 130
    Carol says:

    Thank you for sharing your life wrenching, life changing story. So many times we hear of God saving the sinner but without knowing the details, it’s hard to imagine the pain and the hopelessness without Him.
    My husband lost his job due to health issues. We are still living that story. But God! He is True. He is Faithful. He is our Sole Provider!
    Your story gives me encouragement that God provides daily and is our future. Praise His Holy Name!

  31. 131
    Amy Knight says:

    Oh Gay, thank you. Thank you so much for speaking about your journey. As I type this I am a 31 year old mother of two small children (3 and 1). I have an amazing husband that I have been married to for 7 years. I have a job and a beautiful home and I’m addicted to pain killers. Admitting that brings me some comfort actually. It all started so innocently. My tailbone was injured during the birth of my first child and then I started to get migraines and then after the birth of my second child I was diagnosed with post partum depression…all of these illnesses were treated with pain medicine. I learned in the last 3 years to depend on a chemical instead of God. I accepted the Lord as my savior at the age of 9. It wasn’t until I experienced the loss of a pregnancy in 2007 that I really started to draw near to him. This morning I knelt on the rug in my livingroom, eyes to the sky and arms open wide, begging God that today will be different than the others. Begging him to make the urge for pills go away. The numbness that the drug brings is what my mind and body crave. I had surgery last week to repair a hernia…what do you know, they prescribe pain pills for the recovery. Right this very moment I feel no hope but I KNOW that our God is the God of hope. I have to depend on him for every single step that I take even the ones from the livingroom to the kitchen. So we may not feel the way we want to but the holy spirit of the living God dwells within us and that is one thing the enemy cannot have. I can already see the destruction this stronghold is taking on my life and the lives of those around me. I pray with everything that is in me for this to stop. I am praying for you. I am thanking God for your courage to remember these difficult times and to relay them to others so that God’s glory can be seen. You are heaping burning coals on the enemys head because your story of victory has proven that he didn’t win. He played the game but he LOST. You are the winner because you are not only still standing but you are walking with Jesus. Thank you my sister…march on.

    • 131.1
      K says:

      Dearest Amy,
      I just want you to know you are not alone in your sufferings and trials. My body is also addicted to pain medication. Like you, my addiction started out with real pain, and I still have real pain…but, I KNOW that the pills have become a god in my life, a way of feeling better, something that my mind thinks about all the time. I am a Christian, I do love the Lord, I am in His word daily, and I beg him to take this from me. I struggle with feeling guilt and shame, and even frustration at God for not releasing me, for not miraculously taking away the physical withdrawals I go through when I try to stop. I function, I work, raise my kids, go to all their events, and Praise the Lord with my lips, all the while knowing I have this “secret” sin in my life. I have so much dysfunction in my childhood, and mental anguish, abandonment, and other abuses from my family. Praise Him, I married my highschool sweetheart, and the Lord has kept us married for 25 years. He has blessed me with His gifts despite my weaknesses. I read Gay’s life story, searching for the answer of how to stop, searching for the key to unlocking the power of His hand in my own life. (thank you Gay for sharing the Truth with us). I feel that my sin is hindering His power, I question whether He even hears me any more. I really could go on and on…I guess I just want you to know, you are not alone, I so understand, I cry with and for you. I believe He can take this from both of us. I do not doubt for one single minute that He has the power to do it for both us! Know that I am praying for you…would you and anyone else, please pray for me?
      Beth..I so love you, and I thank God for you! Sometimes the words that come from your mouth, are straight from Him to my heart! Thank you!

      • Amy Knight says:


        I will pray for you. Thank you for letting me know I’m not alone. I’m in the process of stepping down off the medicine since my surgery. The anxiety that comes with that is what has me on my knees constantly. I pray we both experience freedom very soon. God bless you.


        • Amy Knight says:


          I just wanted to write to let you know that I have continued to pray for you. I am on day 3 of absolutely no pills. The Lord has been faithful and I am standing on firm ground. He is our HOPE sister. Cling to Him with all you have. He will never shake you off and if you pay close attention you’ll feel Him squeezing tighter and tighter.

          Feeling the sweet freedom of Christ,

  32. 132
    Sharae says:

    What an encouragement you are to me! I spent just last night helping my sister (who returned to drug use yet again) with her daughter. I feel so helpless and hopeless, yet I so hold onto hope knowing that today, this new day, can be HER day! How I pray it is!

    I once felt hopeless in my own life with my marriage. BUT GOD, my loving God, saved our marriage! He took two broken people and healed us individually and has made our marriage the beautiful treasure it is today! I praise Him for the miracle I am and give Him all the glory! For anyone out there fighting to save their marriage: KEEP FIGHTING and may today be your day!!!

  33. 133
    Laura says:

    My mother is a recovering alcoholic, sober now for over 4 years. I thank God that she never reached the depths of despair that Gay did. She was functioning alcoholic until she finally acknowledged the hold alcohol had on her life. We (the family) rarely ever confronted her on the issue. Whenever we did it only gave her the opportunity to attack us. We learned how to live our lives around her disease. Even though my mom was always a functioning alcoholic, our lives were no less damaged by it. The scars still burn with the words she spoke while drunk.

    The hardest thing is that I don’t feel like I can be honest with her on how deep the wounds are that she created. Part of me really wants to go down the list of all the past hurts and dissappointments. Remember when I was 13 and you said we would play tennis together, but you were to hung over? Or the time you told me I was too frigid to love? Or the time we were at a wedding and you told a group of people I didn’t know about intimite details of my life? Or the time…, the list goes on and on.

    But really what would be the point? It would be selfish of me. I know she remembers some of the words. She has apologized for saying hurtful things. I told her I forgave her. And as much as I have forgiven her, the dissapointment, embarrasement and emotional scars still hurt at times. The damage is still there. So instead rehashing past hurts, I pray. I thank God that my mom finally realized she was an alcoholic. I pray that God will take the feelings of anger from me. I pray that God will take away the insecurities her words caused. I pray that God will restore the trust I lost.

    Even while dealing with my mom’s alcoholism, I never lost hope for her. Maybe it was because she was always a functioning alcoholic. The relationship I lost hope on was with my dad. My parents divorced when I was 11. My dad responded by moving away from 3 states away when I was 12. He wasn’t the type of dad that was ever a “daddy”, one a young girl could look up to and adore. He did’t know how to be a father. He didn’t even know how to be a friend to us. The relationship was stressed for as long as I can remember. I lost hope over 17 years ago that the relationship would ever be repaired and then he died 2 1/2 years ago from cancer. Before he died I thought I was at peace with how the relationship was, the fact it wouldn’t ever be the type of relationship I thought I needed. I didn’t see the point of talking to him about how I felt. Again I felt it would have been selfish of me. Why make him feel guilty? Or worse, why take the chance of being rejected? So I continue to pray. I pray for God to take away the guilt I feel for not being a better daughter to him, maybe if I had been a better daughter he would have been a better father. I pray to God to help me understand why my dad didn’t love me the way I needed to be loved. I pray to God to take away the loss of hope I have that the relationship will never be healed now that my dad is dead.

    But mostly, I pray to God that I learn to trust. My lack of trust deeply affects the relationship I have with God.
    When the two people you naturally love the most, break that trust, it is so difficult to learn to trust anyone. I struggle with trusting God. But deep down, I do have hope. I know that one day, God will heal the pain of the emotional scars and that He will help me to trust.

  34. 134
    Rhonda says:

    Oh my goodness Gay! I am so excited for you. So touched by your courage. Sooooo…praising God for your deliverance and the glory YOUR story will bring to the One who deserves all praise and glory! It reminds me of Galatians 1:24 When Paul said, “And they praised God because of me”. Oh sweet sister!!!! I am praying for your protection.. and for fruit and for life and for peace. Wish I could hug you.

  35. 135
    Casey says:


    I discovered the LPM blog just as you started posting your story. Seriously, it was a God thing, His timing was perfect. Your story is so beautiful, which sounds crazy, but the mess causes so much beauty! I cry reading this and knowing that God was loving, and faithful to you through all of this…and that is the hope I am seeking.

    In the fall of 2010, I went to college and was so excited for what God had in store for me. Before getting on campus, I knew everything I wanted to do and the type of groups I wanted to join. God led me to a Bible study with amazing girls. In the following months, the leader and I became best friends. We found many ways to glorify God during the year. But beneath all of that, the devil attacked. About a year ago, my friend and I started to seek sexual comfort in each other. Never in my life have I had feelings of homosexuality, and in fact, I still dont, but the devil still succeeded in placing bodily desires as a priority. We both hated it, we prayed against it. But it kept happening. Eventually the summer came, she went to another country and in the fall, I went to another country. We spent 7 months away from each other and were both heavily convicted in that time. Today, there is no friendship between us, all our mutual friends know something is going on, but dont know what and I go everyday feeling that I am fighting this battle alone.

    I have seen God work in so many ways in this situation, but honestly, I wouldnt call this a “but God” story. I guess I am posting on here, because I am holding on to hope that soon I will be able to say, “but God.” Your life gives me hope. The witness you are to the Lord’s faithfulness gives me hope. I dont want to give up, because people like you give me hope.

    • 135.1
      Karen says:


      Don’t mean to disagree with you but I’m definitely hearing a big, fat “BUT GOD” here!! Do you know how many people fall into this sin and NEVER repent? Or if they do, it’s often after many wasted years. PRAISE GOD it was just a few short months. Continue living in victory sister!


    • 135.2
      J says:

      Hey Casey,

      I would encourage you to see a Christian counselor or Christian minister at your church. There may be other struggles/wounds beneath the surface that have caused you to seek comfort from another woman. And, if nothing else, you would have a safe person that you can share with and you would not have to fight the battle alone.

      When I went to college, I realized what a strained relationship I had with my mom and I sought counseling to help me through it. I didn’t have homosexual tendencies, but for me it came out in other destructive ways (through an eating disorder). It was very helpful and key for me to share my struggle with a real person who could care for me.

      Take courage and seek help from others who will support and encourage you.


  36. 136
    kathypinkbicyclearkansas says:


    How I admire you that you are able to be so public with your stuggle. I do not know that I would ever be able to do that in your shoes.

    I have a family member that has been in rehab four times that I know of and possibly more. He was never exactly homless becuase others took him and his family in at a great expense.

    To this day he still drinks heavily and his family has given up on him, even though ther are still “intact”.

    My prayers will be for you that you will continue to be sober and continue to draw your strenth from God.

    Thank you again for being so open to share.

  37. 137
    Valerie Robertson says:

    Oh sweet Gay, we have much in common. Alcohol was not my problem, it was methamphetamine – big time. My addiction cost me so much. BUT GOD intervened in my life. He took drastic measures with me and I stand today, delivered and healed. So many of my old ‘friends’ are dead or dying of the same disease that I was treated for and am now in remission of – Praise His Name! He spared my life and yours for us to tell our story to help others. Until my last breath I will proclaim His goodness. You go girl – tell it like it really is 🙂 Much Love to You

  38. 138
    Sharon says:

    “I gave up hope.”…… There was a time (a season! a long one!), that I wanted to die but I didn’t. I wanted to sleep and never wake up again. I didn’t want to be faced again with the choices put before me. I wanted the choices taken away, and for God to make them for me. I remember asking Him, “Make me want the same things that You do, make my choice to be the same as Yours. Don’t give me choices, Lord! I never make the right ones!” In truth, I didn’t want what He wanted. I wanted what I wanted more than I wanted what He did. Though… down deep, I so wished I were different. So…. I continued to do as Gay said she did, I continued to call to Him in my distress, in my deep, in my “shadow of death.” From “inside the fish,” like Jonah, “I called to the LORD, and He answered me. From the depths of the grave I called for help, and You [HE!] listened to my cry” (Jonah 2:1-2). He’s pulled me from that pit! He’s changed my path! He’s made me now want what He does! He was faithful through all of my unfaithfulness! He heard me! He listened to me! He never gave up on me! He answered my prayers!! And now, I now want the plans that He has for me! He’s freed me! And I never want to walk down that road again! But too, I always want to remember, I never want to forget where I’ve been. For what use would that be??? Oh Lord God Almighty, may You use every horrid place I’ve been to Your Glory!

    Thanks you two sisters (Beth and Gay), for encouraging us out here by showing your realness! God’s Light shines brilliantly through you! Not necessarily because of all you’ve done right, but because of the dark and the wrong once in you that He’s broken through and made righteous in order to show Himself as Brilliant! You both Display His Splendor well! Oh, at the grace of our Savior!!!

    • 138.1
      Robin (robinmac23) says:

      Sharon ~ I can so identify with you … and it so comforting to hear someone speak honestly about giving up hope and being in a pit … it makes me feel human 🙂

      • Sharon says:

        Robin, you said. “it makes me feel so human”….. from one “human” to another, I LOVE that! I read a book once, “All We Like Sheep” by Mary Peoples…. she made me realize how “stupid” (pardon the “S” word) sheep are! How they don’t learn from their mistakes. How they often fall into pits and only the Shepherd can pull them out of it (NOT themselves! NOT another sheep). They get lost and canNOT find their way back! They’re often scared to drink, and He has to coerce them. Etc. I was so comforted after reading it… for not only are we “human”, we’re also “sheep”… And BOTH are in desperate need of our Savior! We’d both be lost and doomed without Him! 🙂 Thanks for commenting, Robin. You not only made me laugh, you made me again realize that God Himself knows what (with this human flesh of ours) that He’s working with! 🙂 Many blessings to you!

  39. 139
    Kathy Sanson says:

    Dearest Gay,
    MERCY TRIUMPHS! Hooray for God and His wonderful redemption story in YOUR life, and in ALL of our lives.

    Blessings on you as you continue to share the “hope that is within you”. We love you.

  40. 140
    Janet from FL says:

    Wow! What a story! They say addicts have to hit bottom before they will change, but you hit bottom and then kept digging deeper. You dug the pit right under your feet! Thank God He was able to reach down and pull you out.

    Beth I can see why you are so joyful to have your sister back. She is the prodigal sister returned from living with the “pigs”. (Her pigs being the alcohol.) An amazing story!

    Thank you to you both for sharing your story. Gay, may Jesus keep his arms wrapped tight around you, so you can never turn your back on him again!
    With love, Janet

  41. 141
    Sharen says:


    Thank-you for having the profound courage to share your story. I have been unemployed for over 3 years and feel like giving up everyday. I have really been struggling hard not to give up on myself and to a lesser degree struggling to force myself to keep looking.
    One of the scripture verses that I keep rolling over in my mind is from I Corinthians 10:13, “But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” The tempation in this case is to give up.

  42. 142
    Donna Pritchett says:

    Dearest Gay,

    I am amazed by your story and your story telling! Oh how amazing is Our God to love us enough in our filth of sin to not give up the pursuit and desire to pull us out of the mud and mire! Thank you for your courage to tell us about your life.

  43. 143
    Denise says:

    I can literally FEEL the power of God vibrating through this story as I sit here reading through Gay’s story and the Siestas comments, tears pouring down my face! Thanks to all the Siestas who have shared so openly, one of your stories especially touched me as I am afraid I will be facing the same situation in the not-too-distant future. Thank you, God- Gay and Beth, also- for allowing Gay’s story- Your story! – to be told here, and for allowing the readers to share also. But God!! Yay, God!! <3 My heart is overflowing (as well as my eyes!)

  44. 144
    Melissa Ford says:

    Wow Gay…that is one tough post to read…you are one tough lady. I said a prayer for you, like your sister had asked us to do at the beginning of the post…as I was praying I had a picture of one tough cookie, named Gay, doing pull-ups and trying hard, hard, hard to keep pulling up and straining to overcome and then I saw a pair of hands holding up your feet while you pulled. Praise you Lord we are not alone and that you “are w/ us always…always”..

    I lost my hope countless times as a little girl and young adult to the constant screaming and abuse of a set of parents. Parents who never planned to have me, tried to hide me and even get rid of me..but God had other plans. He planted seeds of hope in me thru teachers, friends and just a firm belief that I knew that He knew the truth about me and that He knew that what was happening to me was wrong and one day I would be FREE. It has been work. Work on my knees and in the Word and lots of tears. My husband and I almost called it quits after the birth of a special needs child, a marriage w/o any hope and lots of baggage. God gave us hope and restored what was stolen and now we are fighting on our knees for the marriages of friends, for other children in desperate situations and knowing that it’s not about us or what we do it is all about the Lord. His love is an all consuming fire as Brennan Manning has said. Praise you Lord!

  45. 145
    Casey says:

    I cried through your story. Because while I haven’t had the addiction of alcohol. I have family that has…among many other addiction to substances. It is a desperate feeling not knowing how to help them. I admire your ability to look back and see the path that God has brought you through. I know this can’t be easy for you or your sister to share this. But please know that we love you. And that while the devil is probably fired up mad…you aren’t his! AMEN!Praying God will continue to cover you and guide your steps.

  46. 146
    Natalie Malec says:

    Thank you Gay for your courage!! I am so blessed by this!!

  47. 147
    Susan says:

    From His temple He heard my voice.” Psalm 18:4-6a

    Yes, He really does.

    Your story mesmorizes me in a way. And gives me hope. Your candid, honest description opens an amazing portal to look into a redeemed life. Thank you for doing this, I hope you write a book.

    It would be great to sit with you over a meal and hear what you have learned about love and other things. I have so many questions but I am grateful for whatever the Lord leads you to share. Thank you for being willing to write.

  48. 148
    Lena says:

    As I was your blog today I took the time to pray for you even before I started reading I felt compassion for you in the instant I called your name……I too was raised around alot of alcoholics thinking that was the norm in life…I have never wanted to be around alcohol every since I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 27 years old..
    I just want to take this moment and encourage to stand God has you in his hands and he is going to use your boldness and your bravery to meet someone who is at death’s door with this disease! God is such a forgiving God he has all that you have gone through for such a time as this……Thank You Beth for being obedient again to God’s voice and allowing your sister to share such a marvelous testimony of God…………
    But God,
    Servant of God praying for your needs <3

  49. 149
    Dorothy says:

    Gay and Beth:

    Thank you very much for sharing. My prayers are with you. I would love to see you write a book. It will probably be a bestseller. Be Blessed!

  50. 150
    Liz says:

    Dear Gay,
    How thankful that God has given you the strength and courage to write your story.
    It is truly a blessing to my heart and I thank God that He and He alone has brought you out of this horrible bondage of alcohol!! Your story is incredible and my hand shakes as I write, because I grew up in a home with an alcoholic father. I remember one night when I was about 9 yo that he tried to shoot his entire family with a shot gun! The memory of that night will never leave me!
    There are so many memories that haunt me! I was sexually abused at the age of 5 for the first time. If I close my eyes, I see what I was wearing, I smell the air around me and I see the man’s face that did this to me! Sexual abuse occurred several more times before I left home at the age of 16.
    My home was so dysfunctional that I would not know where to begin. I struggleged with self esteem issues all my life and I am in my mid 50’s. I had no realtionship with my Mother, her only child was my sister! My brother and I were treated like we did not belong to anyone. He was killed in a terrible farm accident at the age of 17. I tried so hard to meet my Mother and sisters approval! I have tried to committ suicide 4 times. My mother died recently and left me out of her will. Just another way of her saying, I never loved you. My sister will not talk to me.
    But God, He blessed me with a wonderful Christian husband that has been through so much with me and still loves me! God used him in my life to be my redeeming grace! However, I have many scars, I never leave my house, but 2 days a week to go work. I have no friends, I trust no one! I am seeing a counselor, because after my last suicide attempt, after my Mothers death, my husband gave me a choice, either go to a home, or go to see a Christian counselor. I choose to see the counselor. Now, even though I still have many issues in my life I trust God will heal, I am so lonely for that love and approval of a parent, ESP., a Mother! I was not a bad kid, i was just in a very bad environment and could not get out.
    I have many illness, because I am scared to eat, because I may gain too much weight. My mother used to tell me I could not have food, I would get fat. I never had money for lunch at school.
    I could go on and on. But, here I sit mid-day, still in my pj’s , but one thing I know for sure, I have been redeemed by our LORD and SAVIOR! He and he alone is my strength and He lives in me and I can walk free in the Spirt! God is not finished with molding me and making me a new creature in Him. He is my hope and my salvation! I am the clay in His hand! Praise God!
    Thank You again Gay, I wish I could meet you and give you a hug. This blog has helped me so much. Beth, your studies have helped me grow up in Christ, I am still being molded, but I know He loves me!
    I have never even met you Gay, but I feel a kindred spirit with you. Thank you again! May He continue to bless your life .

    • 150.1
      doo-dah (KimDotJoy) says:

      I am so sorry for what you have had to endure in this life. Cling to Jesus, you are precious and He love you. I care.

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