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. 251
    Cheryl says:

    I read Gay’s testimony with tears streaming. As a child of an alcoholic mother and step-father, with also addicted brothers, I have seen them get sober and relapse so many times I gave up hope and begin to await their death, my father did indeed pass away but he got sober and didn’t drink for 5 years prior to his death, my mother still drinks and is often in detox/ill and yet I see God moving on her/in her to reach for Him, so I keep praying. God blessed me with an inability to drink much, get drunk without getting violently ill I praise Him for that mercy all the time. I am so grateful Gay that you’re willing to be open and transparent about your whole battle, not just the win. God bless you both (Beth, your realness and depth of teaching the word has been used of God in my life so much I feel like you’re my sister from another mister though I’ve not met you in the flesh– yet).

  2. 252
    Cheryl says:

    I read Gay’s testimony with tears streaming. As a child of an alcoholic mother and step-father, with also addicted brothers, I have seen them get sober and relapse so many times I gave up hope and begsn to await their death, my father did indeed pass away but he got sober and didn’t drink for 5 years prior to his death, my mother still drinks and is often in detox/ill and yet I see God moving on her/in her to reach for Him, so I keep praying. God blessed me with an inability to drink much, get drunk without getting violently ill I praise Him for that mercy all the time. I am so grateful Gay that you’re willing to be open and transparent about your whole battle, not just the win. God bless you both (Beth, your realness and depth of teaching the word has been used of God in my life so much I feel like you’re my sister from another mister though I’ve not met you in the flesh– yet).

  3. 253
    Cheryl says:

    I read Gay’s testimony with tears streaming. As a child of an alcoholic mother and step-father, with also addicted brothers, I have seen them get sober and relapse so many times I gave up hope and began to await their death, my father did indeed pass away but he got sober and didn’t drink for 5 years prior to his death, my mother still drinks and is often in detox/ill and yet I see God moving on her/in her to reach for Him, so I keep praying. God blessed me with an inability to drink much, get drunk without getting violently ill I praise Him for that mercy all the time. I am so grateful Gay that you’re willing to be open and transparent about your whole battle, not just the win. God bless you both (Beth, your realness and depth of teaching the word has been used of God in my life so much I feel like you’re my sister from another mister though I’ve not met you in the flesh– yet).

  4. 254
    rita says:

    My husband stepped out of his corporate job,and stepped into full time youth ministry where i was currently the youth pastor`s assistant. Combine the horror of myhusband becoming a pastor (i grew up with an abusive pastor for a dad),my pride over the existing ministry,the spiritual warfare that shook our marriage enough for us to say…lets go back to the way things were. But God

  5. 255
    wanda says:

    Praising God for Gay. Thankful for her willingness to share such darkness with someone who needs to hear it!

    Love seeing what God can do with our sin!

  6. 256
    Tricia Knapp says:

    Thank you for sharing. What I am going through is far less of a deal but to me it is just as hard. I am facing anxiety all the time. But GOD! This week…just days ago…the Lord got ahold of my heart. I can’t change the physical aspects right now but I can change how I handle it and how I respond! God is still working but I am seeing victory!

    • 256.1
      Teresa says:

      Hi Tricia,
      I, too, suffered from anxiety for many years. With God’s grace, I have overcome. I replace my own negative thoughts with words from God starting with “I can do all things with Christ who strengthens me”. Those were the first words I memorized. It is a horrible feeling to be anxious and not have a way to control it. I tried everything and until I realized that worry and anxiety meant I wasn’t trusting God to take care of my needs, nothing else helped. I pray for your recovery. It took time and hard work but I overcame and have not looked back. Thank you Jesus. Praying the same for you!

  7. 257
    Joni says:

    Beth asked about a time when we were hopeless, but God…

    Reading Gay’s story about alcoholism, the functioning years, and the end…it all just resonates with me. At the end of my functioning years, I was in a co-dependency support group that I joined when my 17 year old son ran away from home. I was so heartbroken. Though a closet alcoholic, I had “kept the Biblical bargain”; I had raised my children in the church: Sunday school, Sunday am & pm services, Wednesday church, church school, every night revivals that went on, sometimes, for weeks. I taught them all about God’s love and power–something I believed for them, but not for me, because I was a LIAR. Everything about me was a lie in my eyes, because I drank behind closed doors every night.

    Anyway, after 2 1/2 years in a Christian co-d group, I heard a statement of Henry Blackaby’s that began the change for me. “God pursues you for a love relationship that is REAL and PERSONAL.” I finally believed it…but still wasn’t “done.”

    Four months later, after surviving a breast cancer scare, I left the hospital, went home, and began drinking 24/7. My husband would come home to find me drunk, though he couldn’t find the booze. Fast forward to an intervention from the co-d sisters I’d lied to for almost 3 years. They said they were going to release me to God, and would not allow me to continue meeting with them unless I got help. A week later, God took me to my first AA meeting. God took me, because I had to go out of state to get some booze (no Sunday liquor sales here) to face God knew what, at this AA thing. I missed my connection…and God spoke to my heart in the darkened doorway of my friend’s house and said He’d go with me. April 29, 1999, I finally committed myself to God’s recovery plan.

    They tell me when the student is ready, the teacher will appear. I confessed my fear and hopelessness to God, and He, who was never far away–took my hand. Seems like a long time ago; seems like yesterday. God took me from hopeless to hopeful to victorious. Praise Him forever more.

    • 257.1
      Busy mom says:

      Joni, I read your post and am crying because I finally someone who has been through what I’m experiencing! I’d love to chat if you have time. Can you get to my email via this comment?
      Hope you’re doing well!

  8. 258
    Cathy says:

    Gay, thank you for a very open and honest post. May God bless.
    I also want to say I have been blessed to read the comments by others that have been posted to encourage other readers. This is what the Body is about.

  9. 259
    Shannon says:

    Once again, I am so grateful that God is proving, through Gay, that he intends to use ALL things for good and for his glory. I can just sense him being so proud that he cannot even stand it. Maybe even looking around heaven and pointing her out saying, “Yeah, that’s MY kid. That one right there. Did you see what she just did? She’s got my name written all over her.”

    This honest account is doing so much good and is like a healing balm to my broken heart. My big sister was “saved” from her meth addiction and is instead now dying from multiple sclerosis. Unfortunately, the only reason she is sober is because she can’t move any part of her body due to that horrendous illness. I had lost hope for her, but now I am claiming that God will clense her addicted mind and heart and provide her with a moment of freedom before her final breath.

    Thank you, darling sisters, for sharing yourselves with all of us. So many of us are still in the trenches, fighting with all we’ve got to save the ones we love. Thank you for being a light along this dark path, urging us on to victory.

    • 259.1
      Heather says:

      Thank you so much for your beautiful post. The Lord used the first paragraph greatly to touch my heart with his true heart. I wrestle with a massive load of shame and the Lord spoke to me through your comment to help me release some of it. Thank you for sharing that bit of love and Jesus with the rest of us. Blessings.

    • 259.2
      Nancy Genova says:

      Dear Shannnon-
      Please let me suggest a new perspective on your sister’s diagnosis. I have Chronic central nervous system lyme disease. As you know, MS is believed to be caused by some unknown virus. PLEASEm have your sister find a lyme literate physician that will do lyme testing specific lyme testing from the ONLY lab in the country! IGENIX! …. Chronic CNS lyme disease MIMICS M.S. !!! I am apoligetic for this off topic post but i truly want you to search cns lyme on the internet and read the research! My doctor has M patients who were mis diagnosed with MS! Critically ill patients who could not walk or swallow or put together words! Please get to a lyme literate doctor who treats CHRONIC lyme and uses IGENIX Labs. In California! I pray for your sister! God bless you both!

  10. 260
    Sylvia says:

    Gay, your story is giving me renewed hope for a 34-year-old son who drinks over being with his 4-year-old son or holding steady work. Praise God for the victory in your life.

  11. 261
    Dee Dee says:

    O Gay-my heart goes out to you! I was born late in my parents life, the youngest of 5 kids. Never, not one day in my life do I ever remember feeling wanted. My mother hid her preg. and never seemed to delight in me. When I was 15, she died of cancer. My father didn’t step up to care for me and my oldest sister that still lived at home treat me horribly and was in no way a “mother substitute”. I ended up living with another sister that had a son and of course was treated like her son but I was like a stepchild. Don’t get me wrong I appreciate her taking me in but the enemy used it to fuel my insecurities. I never got to go to college but got married and in the scope of about 10yrs, I had 2 miscarriages, carried my son to full-term and he was still-born, had several surgeries, my dad attempted suicide and eventually died to cancer. I had lost all hope! But thanks be to that He pulled me out of the pit through His Word. I still struggle turning to food and sugar in particular. Pray for me Gay and I continue to pray for you.

  12. 262
    April says:

    Dear Siesta Gay,

    Thank you dear one for being so transparent with us all. I as well have a background in addictions as well as many other issues. I will lift you up dear sister in prayer. God never wastes any of our hurt or pains.
    Siesta April

  13. 263
    Debbie says:

    Hi Beth,
    Hey, I just found out that the venue was changed for the Nov. Conf. from Portland Me to Lewiston Me. That is a big difference. On the email that was sent out it said that it was do to circumstances out of your control. Well, I just called the number on the email and the very nice woman said that it was changed because of the demand for a larger place, so it was moved. Even though that is great news, it will not work for me and my friends. That will now make the trip too far for us. As stated on your email, it says it is another 30 min, it is more like 50. That is if it is not snowing.
    Here is my question, there was nothing in the email about getting you money back. We can get out money back, right? The woman on the phone did not know the answer to that question.
    Also, the email went into our “junk” box so if my friend didn’t find it there we would of never of know. You may want to send out the info via reg mail.
    Now, I am using the work YOU and your, I know it is not you, but I am saying that to easy the point.
    So you can tell your people, ha.
    I am glad you are drawing a crowd in the dry land of northern NE but for this sister and her friends it will not work.
    What do you suggest we do to get the cost credited to us?

    Thanks so much, Debbie NH
    Sorry to all you bloggers, I know this has nothing to do with this blog. But were was I to go???

    • 263.1
      Beth says:

      Oh, Debbie, I am so, so sorry! That is the first I knew of any changes to the event. None of the venue decisions are made by Living Proof or me personally. Those are made by the very hardworking event team at LifeWay and after much deliberation and prayer. They and we do our very best to serve people well but we inevitably disappoint at times. I so regret that the change didn’t work for you. Please try to contact LifeWay first since the ticket sales are all handled through them but if you are unable to get answers, contact us here at Living Proof. I care so much – and so will they! They are wonderful people. Please accept my deepest apology. I would have so wanted to see you there.

  14. 264
    Seddy Bear says:

    Oh Gay, thank you so much for sharing! It helps to know that there are other people out there who have a powerful testimony!

    The part of my story I feel I should share on here is all too recent for my liking. I wish I could say this were quite a few years ago, instead of the very few it has been.

    I come from a background of abuse, but I was always a good child. I was scared of my parents (in different ways) and was an only child, so kept everything to myself. At school, I was smart, well behaved and always the teachers pet, until I became a teenager. When I got to middle school, (age 12) something flipped. I started what would be a downward spiral. By 11th grade (age 17) I was caught in what would be an 8 year battle with depression. I was in an abusive relationship that was to last many more years to come,I cannot remember a time when I had not been addicted to pornography, I saw real demons and this started my foray into self mutilation.

    In the fall of 2004 I started college 6 hours and 3 states away. I thought this was a fresh start. It was a Christian college and I already knew several people there. By the third month, I was in the counselor’s office. After my first visit, I found myself in a mental hospital in the hills of Tennessee. First in rehab, then in the regular hospital part. I finally came back to school and things really started getting bad. The medication they put me on was harming me instead of helping me. Several times, I tried to commit suicide (this was not a new thing for me. I was 8 the first time I made the attempt). People in my dorm started telling me that Jesus didn’t die for me. I was so sick in my head that I started believing them. I came quickly to the conclusion that if Jesus blood didn’t count, maybe I could redeem myself. My self mutilation was back in full force. At the time of my last suicide attempt, a friend had come in and caught me. I tackled her and tried to choke her as she was running to get me help. This brings us to Christmas break the first year. By the time I got back to school after break, I had a special contract I had to abide by. Less than two months later I was kicked out. I came back and enrolled in a local school. Things continued to get worse. I was still in the bad relationship, which by this time had become sexual (at the time, although well into his teens, he was still a minor and I an adult). This is where the drugs and alcohol started. I almost failed out of my new school, several times (it was only God’s grace and His plan for me that kept this from happening). I got a job, which only made the problem worse because now I had money and a car. I got kicked out of my church’s youth group, my friends left me. I was in a deep pit. Then God sent the right people along who could get through to me and get me the help I needed.

    Skip to 6 and a half years later, I finally graduated college, am earning my master’s degree (that focuses on helping sex traffic women) and am in ministry. I should be rotting in a jail at least if not dead. But for God. His GRACE AND MERCY ARE SUFFICIENT! He was not done with me, and so He pulled me out of my pit and set me on the rock. The verse at the end of Gay’s post is so so right on. The devil had me, but God heard my cry and rescued me. He ransomed me from Hell!

  15. 265

    Dear Gay,
    One of the many things I love about this community is that your sister is real about the mountaintops and the valleys of life. And your willingness to share your maelstrom confirms you are of the same cloth. I love you both because you’ve helped me so much to take off the mask and let others see who I really am. When you shared about not doing what God put in front of you and then never finding the freedom, my heart agreed so much; but my struggle has been with food for years. I’ve tipped the scale at 257 and also been at the other end of controlling my eating so much that I was not eating enough. As seemingly everything in my life and family swirled out of control, I found I could control food. But God…

    • 265.1
      Yolanda says:

      I love every thing about you Miss Lora Lovin Osburn!!

    • 265.2
      Elaine Yeager says:

      I too struggle with food. I have not been able to control the food, it controls me. I know that it is only a symptom of a much deeper problem. I would like to hear how God intersected you in your struggle.

      And thank you Gay for your story, and vulnerbility.

    • 265.3
      Madeline says:

      I agree with Yolanda Lora. What you said are all true and inspiring. I look forward to read more of you posts and replies. 🙂

  16. 266
    MaryAnn says:

    Thank you, Gay, for your transparency. A friend recently told me transparency in testimony is like ‘miracle gro’ for spiritual growth!

    A few days have passed since Gay’s 3rd installment was posted…but the Lord will not let me rest without posting a comment.

    My 16th wedding anniversary is tomorrow. *tears* I had an affair for 7 years. Oh, how I wanted out. Oh, how I wanted to stop this behavior. I lied to my beautiful children, deceived my husband and everyone I knew. I tried and tried and tried to end the relationship, but always went running back, pathetic and desperate. I honestly came to a point where I just felt like there was nothing I could do to stop running to this person. BUT GOD…..

    He allowed me to see my choices and the ruin they caused in a divine encounter… I was able to see it all as He sees it. And He whispered to me “This is not what I had for you, dear one.” I was overcome with sorrow, grief and true confession/repentance. This was followed by His mercy and grace FLOODING my soul. I have never been the same. I was radically undone…. 3 years ago.

    In the months that followed, my husband was so drawn to Christ within me and the incredible transformation within me that we reconciled. He moved back home and we have never been the same. A new marriage, a new LIFE…. FREE in CHRIST! I will never pass an opportunity to tell others what Jesus Christ has done for me, and that He wants to do it for you, too!


  17. 267
    Teresa says:

    Thank you, Gay, for sharing your story with grace and honesty. May God’s blessings continue to shine on you!

  18. 268
    Andrea Porter says:

    Dear Siesta Gay,
    You are such a courageous person and I am humbled that you would share your story with us, thank you. You inspire me to no end with what our LORD can do in us, through us and for us, if we would just step aside and let him drive. Why do I keep fooling myself by thinking that I know better, ha ha, jokes on me. 🙂 It is a good thing that he does not give up on us easily. Can I get an Amen!!!! (((((((BIG HUG)))))))

  19. 269
    Stephanie L. says:

    My heart just swells for all of our brokeness. All of us. Broken in our own ways, all of us loved beyond measure by Our Father. All of us absolutely undenialbly REDEEMABLE from any and every pit. I am humbled and awed and totally in love with Our God.

  20. 270
    Another Beth says:

    Gay, A million thank yous for sharing. My prayer is that for every word you’ve typed, someone will decide to never drink…or never drink again. May your sharing save many lives and many families.

  21. 271
    Debbie M says:

    Dear Gay: I have stopped and started this several times. I am praying by the power of God’s spirit i will not hit delete this time. I have lost hope and I want to encourage you to keep on keeping on. For as long as i could remember i would pray to God to let me not wake up in the morning. I could not take the abuse any longer or a mother who let it be known more days that not, that she wished i was never born. But that was an un-answered prayer by God. When i recommitted my life to Him in 1997 after the initial Honeymoon was over… and the pruning and the trimming and the weeding process by our masterful Potter started, so too did the enemy. I would not be where i am now in my walk with Christ if the enemy had his way. God had HIS way and He is way stronger then what can be tossed my way. The tossing around by the enemy has upped its notch over the past year and that desire i had as a child is back…. why can i not just come home…. It has been a very long season of Dr’s and medication and misdiagnosis or unknown diagnosis and i am just tired of the fight. A few years ago God gave me by His word the reason why my prayer as a child was unanswered. I had read quite often the story of the demon possessed man called Legion for they were many and Jesus drove them out into the heard of pigs who then went over the bank, when the town came out and saw the man was in his right… sitting at Jesus feet… they were afraid…and wanted Jesus to leave their town…. and the man, the saved man… wanted to go with Jesus… this time when i read that same lesson in the Book of Mark, Jesus said to him in verses18-20 no, Jesus would not let him go w/ Him instead said to Him, go tell your family how much the Lord has done for you…. it was THEN God spoke to my heart and told me THAT is why i am still here.
    Gay, i know the enemy does not want you going out to tell others what Jesus has done, i know that, i am living that again in this season, you see even on my worst days when i am not walking well or not feeling well, those are the days i have the greatest divine appointments for our Lord. So HE gets all the glory. I can say on those days when someone comes to me needing encouragement or prayer that i can truly say Not I but Christ, as those are the days i can hardly form 2 words on my own. God has a plan and a purpose to use me right where i am and the enemy hates that….
    I do not know if this story will help you, but since i can not have peace in my being until i share, i had to write it. I am praying for you Gay as i know you ARE doing GREAT things for the Kingdom of Christ… and the enemy hates that!
    May God be with you today and always!May He protect you and watch over and you live loved today.

  22. 272
    Mary says:

    Dear Gay – thank you so much for sharing this, and Beth, thank you for giving your sister the space on your blog to share.
    You have no idea how many women can relate to Gay’s story. My husband of many years is also my drinking buddy. I did start trying to clean up my act by returning to church in my early 30’s when I had my kids. I worked a corporate job where my ability to go out drinking at work functions was almost an asset. I drank when I was happy, stressed, depressed . . . But at some point before I lost it all, I knew I had to change. With God’s help, I’ve been slowly making progress, career change and other things. I’ve controlled my drinking but it still controls me. Every weekend is a new challenge to try not to drink with my buddy, my husband. Reading Gay’s story, and everyone’s posts is a tremendous blessing and support. I look forward to new installments. God Bless!

  23. 273
    Lisa S. says:

    In November 2011, I had given up hope that I would ever be able to meet my husband’s needs in our marriage. We had a rough conversation one night where he spelled out his needs and reminded me that I was missing the mark. I am a stay at home Mom, and I work VERY hard at that job. Sometimes I feel like nurturing my thee children drains everything out of me, leaving nothing of quality left for my husband. My wise, brave husband comes to me when he feels short-changed. I went to sleep that night feeling like a complete failure. I just felt like I was never going to be able to make him happy on top of all my mommying demands and I was ready to give up. Here is what God sent in my Bible study the following day: “Have you failed in a test of following all the way, even to the cross, death to yourself in order to obey God? Do not continue sinning by remorse and discouragement even though people’s confidence in you is shaken. Bring the weakenss to Christ’s cross, which has the power to make it dead. Take the power of the Holy Spirit to produce strength in place of weakness (Ephesians 3:16; Colossians 1:11). The people who distrusted you will eventually commend you.” I added Col 1:11 to my SSMT spiral, and turned my eyes to Jesus, who is strong enough to make me what I need to be in this marriage. Yes, it is hard, but He is able! Higher is our God! As I have worked to meet my husband’s needs through the power of the Holy Spirit, my husband reciprocates to meet mine. He booked me a hotel and sent me to the SSMTC so this Mommy could re-charge her batteries. Praise God! Don’t give up, ladies!!

  24. 274
    Judy Kaiser says:

    I rejoice in the rescue of Gay from this horrible
    bondage. I fear that my one brother and a brother of
    my husband also are addicted to alcohol. Their names are
    Tom and Tom–one a Viet Nam veteran and the other a
    millionaire. AND, both are as precious as can be.
    Reading your story is such a testimony of the power of
    God. Praise His wonderful Name!!!!!!!!!!!!!!God bless you
    all!!!!!!!!!!!!I love you. Thank you for all you have
    done for our family through your wonderful Bible Studies.
    My daughter Susanna is there on Tuesday nights. Oh, how
    lovely it is for her and for us to know that she is
    being so blessed.

  25. 275
    Kori says:

    Wow! Your story just blows me away. I have never had the kind of addictions that you have dealt with, so I guess I can’t fully relate to what you have been through, but know that your story speaks volumes to me. You have such a gift in the way you write, (it obviously runs in the family). Your story has blessed me beyond measure. Thank you for being so willing to share from the heart. For reminding me that know matter what we are facing God is always there!

  26. 276
    Linda Kagey says:

    Hello Gay, I am so impressed by your candor. The courage you have is an inspiration for us all. And for those of us in the healing fields it is stories like yous that fuels us for the next hill. You are greatly loved and appreciated.

  27. 277
    Lisa says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story – it is so encouraging to see the miracles God does. I identify with your story – oh the depths to which I have sunk while pursuing my addiction (binging on food). By the grace of God, I have been free from binging for 7 months and 10 days. Every day I say to the Lord, “You are my Refuge. I trust You to do this for me.” I have battled dysfunctional eating since I was 7 and up until the past 7 months, I couldn’t make it 7 days without a binge. A year ago I had given up hope, but God rescued me. Praise God for the miracles He works!



  28. 278
    Fran Plott says:

    Gay and Beth,
    You two are so important and influential in the recovery community. I am just thrilled to see so many bloggers admit their deepest issues on this Christian blog. AA saved my life over 14 years ago. We are taught to look at our similarities, not our differences in order to benefit from all sharing. I definitely have benefited by the sharings of my sisters here on this blog. Gay, you are right; when I feel unique and special relative to our disease, I am in big trouble. We have a story that will help no one unless it is told- at least, and often at best- in a general way. Thank you both for sharing your stories.
    Love to you both, and to our Siestas, too, especially those still suffering.

  29. 279
    Laura says:

    When I gave up hope. . .but God. . .
    My second husband (no, I’m not proud of that number) had abused me and taken me to the point of hopelessness. After being choked and threatened, I finally was able to put him out of the house and out of my life. I did not grow up like that and truly despaired for my future. I can now say that I have truly forgiven him. . .and even pray for him. I gave my life fully to the Lord and am now married to a tender, godly man who supports me wherever God leads me. Several years ago we both were baptized – him as a rededication and me for the first time. I am now a certified lay speaker in my church and will travel to Kenya this coming summer as the main speaker at a Christian ladies’ conference. But for God. . .

  30. 280
    Erin says:

    I have been following Beth’s blog for a long time, so it was only natural for me to follow you, Gay, as well. I sit here thinking about that statement.. “But God”.. and I have no words. If it wasn’t for the “but God” in our lives, where would we be? I, personally, would be divorced, raising two small children on my own. I had given up all hope on our marriage pulling out of the pit it was in. My husband had left me, I had seen a lawyer, this was IT! BUT GOD!!!! Hallelujah!!! God, through some bold friends, a Godly couple and a Priscilla Shirer message at a conference, began putting the pieces of this broken woman back together. God began to do a work in ME and in my husband like never before. I saw a quote the other day that said, “Faith is raising empty hands to God”. We began to TOTALLY trust God, lift our empty hands to Him in faith. For the first time in my life, I TRULY BELIEVED God could HEAL me, HEAL my husband, and HEAL our marriage. And you know what, HE did, RIGHT ON TIME!!!!! I never thought I would say this, but I THANK GOD for allowing me to travel through that wilderness, as painful as it was. I am a NEW creation because of it, because of HIM. Thank you, Gay, for your strength, for your courage, for your willingness to share this most AMAZING journey.

  31. 281


    I am clinging to the Author and Perfecter of your story for a dear loved one. Thank you for being willing to testify to His power working in the midst of your weakness. He is so worthy of our praise.

    A ‘But God…’ season for me:
    Unexpected death of my Dad, who passed at age 48
    Dropped out of college my sophomore yr. b/c I couldn’t cope with the loss
    Kicked my ‘functioning’ eating disorder into high gear
    Sought self-protection in the worst of ways
    Financial ruin as a result of his death; lost everything (our home, cars, etc.)
    Moved back home and lived with friends, lived with people I didn’t know in unhealthy circumstances, in and evicted out of apartments, homeless
    Waited tables day and night for grocery money for my family
    Looked for love in the wrong people and places; Self-hatred, lying, and degradation

    Enough about that nutshell

    BUT God…
    Brought a support group around me who loved me in a tough and tender manner
    Taught me how to not only love, but like myself in Him – no one can take that away from me
    Broke the chains of an eating disorder, self-hatred and degradation
    Broke more than a few generational curses
    Supplied the tuition money for me to return back to college for my remaining years through a man I had never met in my life up to that point. He is a godly elderly man, blessed by the Lord financially, and made an investment in me.
    Gave me rest and peace behind the shelter of His hand
    Taught me how to love, knowing that He is able to handle the associated risks

    “It was good for me to be afflicted, so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:71

    • 281.1
      Yolanda says:

      But God!! Thankful for His redemption and healing hands. His outstretched hand does me in!! Thankful for you and this scripture, His word is life!M

  32. 282
    Stephanie P says:

    I have currently lost hope. Please don’t ask me to change this as I’ve hoped too many times before. My husband is an alcoholic. I filed for divorce 2 years ago, but chose to believe my beautiful, on – bended -knee man, when he promised “to do what it takes for however long it takes to have the marriage he knew I longed for.” That lasted a couple of months. Yesterday we agreed it was time to stop beating a very dead, stinky, smelly horse of a marriage. As friends. I’m sad today. We will put our house on the market (oh God! Please do a miracle and make it sell fast.) and I will move to Atlanta to start a new business and life there. I don’t hate him and at this point don’t even blame him. I don’t want him to hurt, but my life doesn’t fit who I am. I’m so done with being angry, frustrated, and tired. The insanity is overwhelming. It’s a little hilarious that I’m leaving this comment…on Beth’s blog….how many times I’ve led a Bible study….how many times I’ve worshiped with you at an event…dreaming that I would be on stage with you proclaiming the goodness and the freedom of Jesus to those in bondage…funny…asking God when He would open those doors…so thankful He kept them shut. Sounds kind of bleak, but I WILL see the goodness of the Lord in the land of my living. I don’t know how the heck promises He’s made will ever be fulfilled through this almost TWICE divorced now middle-aged woman. Need I even request…please pray for me.

    • 282.1
      AmberK says:

      No blame. Just a sister praying for her sister.

      It’s not hilarious…and a few months from now or days or weeks or hours, you may see this all very clear from HIS point of view. Our Daddy loves us and He’s got plans…

      He’s at work, we know that.

      Hugs and Prayers to you and Prayers for Your Husband…he’s not an ex yet. 🙂 I pray for a miracle.

  33. 283
    Elizabeth says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I can’t imagine the courage that it takes to share your story.

    To respond in a time when “I gave up hope.” I’ve been married short of 6 months. Though my husband is not an active addict/alcoholic, our life often is disrupted by the distorted thinking he gets stuck in. To say that the distinct character change has not led me down roads of giving up hope on the dreams of a life I had the day we got married, I would be lying. I go there often, but always when I’m looking head-on at the situation. During those times I know my focus has shifted from THE Hope to hope in some thing changing my circumstances. I decided I needed to spend way more time with Him. I started doing Beth’s “A Heart Like His” because I had it unfinished. When I opened it there was single sheet of paper with two notes written on it. The first said “The difference between influence and manipulation is intent.” That reminded me that I can’t make my husband better. I didn’t cause the issue and I can’t take it away. I can just love him like Jesus. My attempts to help up to that point had been manipulation. The second was from Beth and it said, “God reveals His majesty most clearly against the backdrop of apparent hopelessness.” God knows exactly what he is doing… and I had never needed to hear that more than right at that moment.

    Thank you all so.

  34. 284
    Amy says:

    Beth and Gay, thank you so much for this ministry. My mother is an alcoholic and has long struggled with it. I’d like to share your blog with her. Will you pray with me towards her receptivity.

  35. 285

    A very dear friend asked me to read your blog, and reluctantly I did so and then only after the insistence of my wife. What a God-Send you are. I too have been nearly swallowed by the beast on many, many occasions only to be saved by God. Until 2003 I never waited long enough or listened closely to even inquire what His purpose for me was. In 2004, I found out; I went to work at a juvenile detention facility after being clean and sober for less than a year. What God has done for me since that day will not even remotely sound possible, but everything is verifiable and there are many who can prove it (witnesses). No “A Million Little Pieces” here more accurately entitled for me would be “All the Real Big Messes”. I do not pretend to understand why or have the ability to comprehend, all I know is that he did not rescue me from the ocean of Satan’s sin to turn around and let me drown in my very own bathtub! I know longer work in a recovery field and I feel like I’ve lost my purpose, I think you just might be able to guide me through this maze and steer me where I need to be.

  36. 286
    Melanie says:

    Dear Gay and Beth,
    I’m writing this because I know that there is hope. Thank you for your truthfulness. Your situation was so bad – even horrific. Mine, to most people, would not seem as bad – but to me it’s awful. I’m friendly, outgoing, have a great job, my husband is awesome and I have great kids, I was raised in a good home, etc. The problem is – I don’t know!!! If anything ever goes wrong I totally flip out – I can’t eat, sleep, etc. My thoughts are constantly consumed by my problems. I had a situation with one of my children, that may seem not as major to most, but has totally cosumed me! What is wrong with me??? I don’t drink, use drugs, or abuse my kids, etc – but I’M JUST NOT RIGHT! I know that God does not intend for me to live like this!! I pray fervently, but I think that I must be standing in the way of God’s help. How do I move? Please pray with me. I need help!

  37. 287
    Yolanda says:


    Thank you for sharing your heart and love with us. You are loved so much by your family, YOUR GOD and us. My own walk with addiction was in the form of “love”. Seeking it in all the wrong places, I never had been told I was loved by my Mom until I was in my 20’s. Not sure if it stemmed from that, but I know that I know the choice to look in all the wrong places for love was mine alone. And poor choices they were, leading to a life of so much self-destruction. THEN….. BUT GOD….

  38. 288
    Yolanda says:


    Thank you for sharing your heart and love with us. You are loved so much by your family, YOUR GOD and us. My own walk with addiction was in the form of “love”. Seeking it in all the wrong places, I never had been told I was loved by my Mom until I was in my 20′s. Not sure if it stemmed from that, but I know that I know the choice to look in all the wrong places for love was mine alone. And poor choices they were, leading to a life of so much self-destruction. THEN….. BUT GOD…

  39. 289
    Bobbie Puckett says:

    I have 3 children, two boys and a girl. and countless grandchildren. One son and my daughter live here in Ft. Worth Texas not far from me.
    My daughter was sexually abused at an early age and I was totally unware of anything happening. (she told me years later) She had none of the outward signs of being abused. She had good grades and lots of friends. One day when she was around 12, she asked us if she could have a lock on her door. At first her dad said no but my immediate reaction was if she thought she needed a lock on her door she should have one and we put one on her door. Still never thinking anything serious was going on.(it was not her dad that was abusing her) I was divorced from the kids dad in 1988 and married a wonderful Christian man in 1991, he was 10 years older than me. He had 4 boys all unmarried except for one. My daugher was in a relationship but she really had her pick of the 3 boys. So she married the youngest son. In 1994 they started having babies and I was the happiest Nana alive. She has 4 girls. We were all so close, and my husband & I were there for them anytime they needed us, babysitting,etc. At times I think we practically raised the two oldest girls. They were so wonderful and we were involved with their lives from their birth. We thought it was so cool that the girls were granddaughters to both of us. All the other grandchildren were step-grandchildren. My daughter made sure we were in invited to all their school and church activities. Life was like Heaven from 1994 till Christmas 2008. All of a sudden I realized that my daughter was not talking to me at all. We “talked” about it but never got anywhere she just needed space she said. Everytime we “talked” (always my idea to talk) she had a different reason why she wasn’t talking to me. One time she said an older woman told her we had an unhealthy relationship” the next time she needed space. I did not know what any of this meant.
    I suggested counseling and we would pay for it. We went to see a good Christian counselor and nothing changed. We saw the girls on a very limited basis. By the Fall of 2009, we were not allowed to see, talk to or e-mail or text any of them. My husband did talk to his son on ocassion but she was determined we were not going to see them at all and he could not do anything about it. He told his dad that even he did not understand what was going on.
    There was no abuse involved in any of this. That was never one of her accusations against us. So I was not cooperating with this plan at all and started doing and saying horrible things that I can’t even believe I was capable of, but it only made things worse. I was on the verge of having a nervous breakdown, I turned to God but I did not live “IT” I could not give them up without a fight. and fight I did. I’m so ashamed of some of the things I did.
    I know God has forgiven me, but one time when this all first started I “talked” to her to asked her if she would forgive me and we could start over and go on with our lives. She told me in a hateful voice that “I’m not going to today and it won’t be tomorrow either, meaning
    not anytime soon. My brother passed away in summer 2009 and she did not call, would not talk to me at the dinner or the funeral. My heart was officially broken. So this past May 10th, 2011 my husband passed away suddenly. This was her father-in-law and the grandad to her girls. She would not talk to me, we had not seen the girls since Christmas day of 2010, finally they let the girls come to see him in the hospital.
    On the day of his surgery, I thought they were not there with the family but they were sitting in a different part of the hosptal to avoid seeing me. My husband had a stroke during surgery and was never able to move or talk again. So he never got to see his granddaughers again in his right mind. He was in pallitive care for about 5 days and God gave him periods of surpriseingly clarity on a few of those days. It was so wonderful. I was there at the hospital when my daughter came in one time and she was so mad at me for coming up to her and trying to talk to her. Then she said she gave the girls a choice if they wanted to go see their grandad for the last time. These girls were 17, 14, 11, & 9. How were they supposed to make that choice?? So only the oldest girl came.
    Tears are running down my face as I write this. I have been to grief recovery, singles class at our church, all sorts of counseling. But nothing heals the hole left by my daughter and not being able to see the girls. They are growing up so fast and are just about 4 miles from me but I can’t hold them and give them comfort as well as receive some healing for me to just hold one of them. I am currently doing your Bible study James and it is so wonderful.
    But she would not talk to me at the funeral or the dinner.
    Two years after my brothers funeral she is still not talking to me. I pray daily for her and could forgive her and forget at a moments notice, but still no communication between us. She was one of the most beautiful christian young ladies you ever saw. I don’t even remember what she or the girls look like. I live alone and still work but will retire in a year or so. As of Jan 2012 we are going into the 4th year. Only God can heal this relationship but she has shown no sign of letting him, but I still have my faith and I still trust in Him. It’s so unbearably hard, no one can imagine how hurt & rejected I am, and my diginity and self worth have taken a beating also. I wish someone would reply to me with some encourging words. A brokenhearted Mother and NANA

  40. 290
    Pat W says:

    but god… loved me when i didnt love myself. it’s been told to me that while i sitting in a meeting dipping my cookie in my coffee, that my disease is sprinting around the parking lot, doing pushups, just Ready for me to slip up and forget why I’m here. but not only am I Here in a meeting and it took something to get here, I am also here and Able to be in a meeting because god loved me and wouldnt let me die. I can remember being in sunday school as just a little girl, and god loved me then, but god Loved Me into a Relationship with him now that I have such a gratitude in me that I could be so lucky to be one that could find him through the process of recovery, just Loving me when I didnt even know how to love anymore, but god loved me and wanted me to live, when all I wanted was to die, god loved me, he just Loved me…

  41. 291
    LeAnn says:

    I had given up hope that my husband could ever be delivered from sexual addiction, BUT GOD! Who was I to think that there was no hope, when I knew Jesus was alive and The Hope? I regret that day I doubted Jesus’ saving power. Thankfully, my husband and I were directed to a Celebrate Recovery meeting. I am grateful to say that God brought my husband to a true place of humility, repentance, and remorse. God also brought me to a place of enlightenment, revealing to me the sin of pride and co-dependency (insecurity) in my own life. We are now teammates in this battlefield called Life. There really can be life after sexual addiction for a marriage through God’s mercy, grace and forgiveness. My husband and I now know with all our hearts that there is hope, and His name is Jesus. What a blessing to be walking in victory over hurts, habits and hang-ups all through the saving power of Jesus Christ alone! Thanks you, Gay, for your honesty, transparency, vulnerability, courage and obedience to God in sharing your story – His story!

  42. 292
    rebecca says:

    Oh how much love I feel for you gay for sharing you story … As I set here with little hope left in me. Reading your life crying. I was sober for 11 years . I didn’t have a drug of choice I would hop from one to another. Starting at the age of 12. I two lived on the streets and did things that will for ever regret . Feb. 24 2001 is when I became sober. This past year I had to go against my whole family cause my 15 year old niece came to me and ask to get her away from her abuse parents and I fought with god by my side. For 10 months I went from being the cool aunt to the parent that has rules. She decided she wanted to go back. My saves was gone I couldn’t fight and more. A month ago I started going through test and now I’m waiting to see if it is cancer. In pain the Dr gave me pain pills. Did I use them like I should no to easy to just take them to forget the loneliness. I’m broken and I flushed the pills well a friend flushed them for me. Thank you for sharing thank you for loving . I’m going to get up and go to church thank you.

  43. 293
    Tanya says:

    Another said it well–thanks for being willing to not just the victory but the struggle. So often our lives measure against anothers victory, recovery and it can aid in our own failure to recover because we don’t have the hope of knowing that they TOO were as hopeless. This more true in christianity as it seems to be presented or understood by many. The place to go to be condemned–the place to go to know how life OUGHT to be and what you OUGHT to do and very few people willing to confess to the stuggle to DO those things…very few who honestly inpire hope and confidence in the Lord. Now of course theres the bible and for those who would read the good book there’s ready made hope and confidence. But why thats not crossing over into the lives of the people we know and confide in, or not often anyway…well, thanks for being one such person. Your story prompts confidence in a God who really doesn’t let go…

    I look forward to more installments and the healing that you’ll tell of. Be brave!

  44. 294
    Shannon says:

    I had lost HOPE so many times over the course of my addiction which lasted for 20 years. Alcohol, I lived for and I just thought I could not live without.
    I went to numerous treatment centers (high dollar ones and state funded) I too would always get drunk AGAIN. Not until I totally 100% surrendered my life over to Jesus did I stay sober and I have never looked back. God delivered me from ALL my bondage on Jan 16, 2010.
    Today, I am so blessed. Remembering all the numerous times I was protected and shielded from dangerous situations by God…all the many times I cried out to Him and He saved me over and over. I thank God for my praying family who ask everyone they knew that was a prayer warrior to pray for me. HOPE…I am full of today, I have never not once felt HOPELESS since that day in January. Thank you Jesus for your Mercy, Grace & Love bestowed upon me….He continues daily to Bless me. I live today to serve Him first and foremost and He is opening HUGE doors for me to serve Him! And guess what? The best things I am experiencing today is walking through those doors….for you see that is where ALL my HOPE is today.

  45. 295
    Heather says:

    I just started reading Gay’s story from the beginning today. Give up hope… ahhh I know that all too well. I was in an awful relationship that caused my family to give up on me back in 2006. He was verbally abusive, manipulative and managed to isolate me from all that was important to me. For 1.5 years I didn’t speak to my family: my parents, my brother and sister-in-law and my niece and nephew. But God. In the midst of all this turmoil, the boyfriend had Christian friends who saw our struggle. They invited us to church time and time again and loved us along the way, through all of our refusals. And then finally, I knew I needed something different and I went. I kept going. And one night… while the youth leaders sang “Let it Rain” by Michael W. Smith, I raised my hands to the Lord and surrendered it all. I was in need of a Savior. That night I told my boyfriend he needed to move out of my house. We dated for another year living separately. But it was just a matter of time. He managed to try and confuse me by saying God wouldn’t want me to give up on him. I finally broke and ended it after 3 years. During this time, my grandmother passed away and it was what brought my family back together again. Since I surrendered my life in February of 2008, my life has never been the same. I went from being a party girl who sought my self-worth in relationships with men, to a Christ-follower who seeks my self-worth in Him. And now, 4 years later, God has blessed me with the most amazing man I could have ever prayed for. I lost all hope back in 2006 when my family left… But God. I praise Him every day for saving me. Thank you SO much Gay and Beth for being so transparent and speaking to the hearts of so many! May God continue to bless you abundantly. Much love!

  46. 296
    Katy says:

    I battled depression for years, yet could not find anyone who would help me, even within the church. In fact, especially within the church–when I struggled with erratic emotions, the response from those around me was flat-out rejection. Why couldn’t I behave like a perfect Christian woman should? My self-hatred and despair just pushed me farther and farther to feel like giving up. Only the belief that Jesus was real and my salvation was in Him, plus the need to somehow not abandon my three little, beautiful and fabulous daughters kept me from looking at suicide seriously. When I could see no hope for things to ever get better, God moved us to the Denver area and brought me into contact with a kind and loving counselor at church. His non-judgmental, thoughtful, and Christ-like response was like a hand held out to a drowning woman! The first step on a road to recovery that has been long, hard, and humbling…thank you, Jesus, for never giving up on the process of sanctification! We are helpless but for YOU!

  47. 297
    Vanessa Szanto says:

    Dearest Gay, I wish I had elegant,powerful words of encouragement and gratefulness to share. Instead I simply want to say THANK YOU. THANK YOU for your honesty and courage. THANK YOU for your love for Christ that transcends the screen. May you enjoy the freedom that Christ has given you and never let up for a moment. With love for you and Beth, THANK YOU

  48. 298
    Ellen says:

    I have been saving Gay’s story to read at a time when I would have time to soak up what I only knew would be an incredible story. I’m so glad I did; I honestly had no idea just how powerful it would be. While my story and journey does not resemble this on the OUTSIDE, the Lord only knows how much it resembles my INSIDES. Depression is/was my big, nasty culprit. I have been to the point of no hope. Looking back I see that I was at said point of no hope for much longer than I even realized. That blows my mind.
    Referencing the Second Installment: The Functioning Years I quote: ‘Everyone doesn’t have to pound the hot concrete with bare feet, somehow they are able to listen to the early warnings and learn from the journeys of others.  They are able to humble themselves enough to listen and apply.  They are able to see God intersect their lives long before the madness begins.  And have life, and have it to the full.’
    I’ve come to believe that this is an older(est) sibling syndrome of sorts. We are so stinking hard headed! During college (after my first bout with depression-not my last and definitely not my worst) I realized how much pain and setback my younger sister of three years has always avoided because she learned simply (but painful) from watching me make mistake after mistake that eventually led to my depression. I am so glad, Gay, that you wrote that sentence. I have never been able to put it in quite so accurate and concise words.
    I did not plan on writing a book here (ha!) but maybe someone somewhere needs to read it. So in closing, I must say that God is SO good. He is SO faithful. And I/YOU are so worth it to Him. Thank you so much-Gay for writing and sharing, Beth, as the younger sister, I know how hard it was to watch this. To God be the Glory!
    And now I’m heading over to my blog to share this, the third installment, so I can get to the fourth ASAP!

  49. 299
    Lisa says:

    In 2004, I thought I was crazy and started seeing a therapist. I admitted bulemia to her and she recommended a 12-step program. I couldn’t reach them so, because I also knew I had a problem with alcohol, I started attending AA. I had a great 18 months sober and then the world caved in. My husband left, I was fired, my father-in-law died, my father died all in the space of 3 months…and I drank again. Fast-forward 3 years and I felt I’d hit bottom, stopped drinking and went back to AA. I met “him”. We thought we’d keep each other sober and replaced alcohol with each other. EVERYONE tried to warn me but I married him anyway. In two years, we had 4 horrible relapses where I left for a few days and then went back to sober him up so he could leave…but, once sober, the honeymoon was back on, for a short while. The last time, he hit me and I did make him leave. I then discovered that he had spyware on all our computers and bugs on the cellphones. I left the house once and he broke in. I lost 15 pounds in 3 weeks. A co-worker suggested a local church group – Boundaries – and it saved my life. I prayed, finally, after years of doing it all on my own. I got a protective order and filed for divorce which was finalized a month later which left me with the entire financial burden we’d wracked up in that short time. A month after that, I was lonely and missed him and wanted to call him but the Boundaries kicked in and I didn’t. His sister told me the next morning, he’d killed himself. I stayed sober for a week. I was baptised a month later. I’m still struggling with drinking to this day, living a lie to those I work with and see in church. I abstain all week and give in on the weekends, alone. I want God to work in my life but if I don’t give this up to Him, He can’t do the work He wants to do. Lord, please help me lay this burden down!

  50. 300
    Glenda~St.Charles, MO says:

    Beth asked about a time when we were hopeless, but God…

    I grew up thinking that I was worth nothing! I believed that the only thing I was good for was pleasing boys.

    It has been a long struggle to learn that I am a child of God!

    Recently I’ve had to spend intensive time again with the family that is toxic to me that makes me feel so worthless. I was headed back down the road of self-loathing. I started thinking what can help me please, i don’t want to be losed again. Then God sent an angel my way….not a real angel a good friend gave me a dose of reality telling me that I am important and that I am HIS daughter….

    I am on solid ground right now. I am starting to once again steep myself in the word (which I had neglected).

    I hope to never leave the TEACHER’s feet again.

    Thank you Betha and Gay!

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