Don’t We Wish Life Was a Whole Lot Tidier?

I love you guys in this blog community so much. And I hope to heaven it goes without saying that I love my extended family. Lord have mercy, oh so much. But every now and then we are challenged to figure out how to demonstrate a balanced love to all of the above. This is my attempt and it will no doubt fall short of the place I wish it would land. I remember Kay Arthur telling a group at a Deeper Still event (in the Q&A segment) how painful it is to be totally misunderstood by something said or quoted out of context. She said, “If I somehow get my words wrong, haven’t we been together long enough for you to know my heart??” It hit me so powerfully.


My hope is that, if I somehow miss the mark and don’t find that perfect balance between honoring this flock and honoring my family, I hope so much each entity has been with me long enough to know my heart. I have never been more honored by a series appearing on this blog than my beloved sister Gay’s 7 installments. They were, each one, completely genuine and written in complete honesty. And they all still stand as a testament to the inconceivable power, grace, and healing of God.


But her story goes on.


And so do the rest of ours.


And life is hard, the devil is mean, the flesh gets weak, but the love of God stays strong.


I simply write today to say that you will never waste a prayer on anyone around here. We are all flesh and blood, weak in our natural selves, but (many of us) deeply committed to our pursuit of Christ. We’re not playing a game here. He is everything to us. Our joy. Our Strength. Our Refuge when we’re hurting. Our Rock when we’re rocking.


We established this blog with an unwavering commitment to remaining real in our witness and in our encouragement and exhortation. Thus far, we have to my knowledge held onto that commitment for dear life and, goodness knows, that’s a praise to God alone. This post is just an attempt to continue in that vein. We want to stay real with you. And what’s real is that Gay’s story is still being written even amid a painful turn of events and by the faithful God who spoke her name before the foundation of the world.


And my story is still being written. And I know your hearts well enough to imagine that right now you would say, “And mine, too.”


I wish it was tidier but it’s not. Gay has suffered a hard blow. I am heartbroken for her and also just plain heartbroken. One of these days there will be a next chapter from Gay, whether it’s here or elsewhere. It will not negate a single one she’s written. It will simply add to. It also does not negate a single thing I wrote or shared in Mercy Triumphs. I love her so much. I know you love her, too. We do not condemn here. We do not shame. We believe that our God can conquer all, recover all, redeem all, and use all.


I wish we could have it more together around here sometimes, sisters, but we remain completely cast upon our Savior and we live one day at a time. I love you immensely and I thank you for your patience with us. We are works in progress, all of us. Would you be so gracious not to press too hard for more details right now? To tell you the truth, they’re in flux and less than clear anyway. Let’s just leave some space for the beautiful healing mercies of God and let most of our talk take place from our knees.


You mean something to me. Something down deep. I want so much to serve you responsibly.


With much love,









882 Responses to “Don’t We Wish Life Was a Whole Lot Tidier?”

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  1. 1
    r.elliott says:

    Oh…my heart breaks with yours today for your dear…dear sister…I read every word…I believe every word is still true…even if it is covered up right now…we can all stand together in one voice for Gay…lifting her before the throne of Grace and Mercy. and also lift your family whose hearts are aching in pain as well. Thanks for the honesty…oh yes if life could be tidier…but where would Grace be found.
    I have watched my brother be driven by his addiction for way too many years…but we are still praying for his heart to yield to his savior…a yielding he has never found.

  2. 2
    christina says:

    I’m sorry for this new sorrow. We have so much reason to give thanks for the likewise real biographies in Scripture: Noah, Sarah, David, Peter. God is in the business of restoring and redeeming, and whatever has transpired is not too big for Him to handle. Miss Beth, as I heard you yourself say someplace or other, “God is not biting His nails about how this will turn out.” That came so timely for a situation in my own life, and perhaps you needed to remember it just now. I pray so, anyhow.

    The timing of this post is so curious, after Gay’s fellow struggler Josh Hamilton had his marvelous night at the bat. His failures and victories likewise occur in the public eye. Perhaps I need to start a “recovering addicts” section on my prayer list. Actually, no perhaps. I’ll do it now. And Gay will be on it.

    The powerful grace of Jesus to you and yours.

  3. 3
    Kristen says:

    Praying for your family today & every day. God’s Word & Work still reigns. He is good. He is faithful. He endures forever.

  4. 4
    Amber says:

    Praying for Gay. Thanks for the honesty!!

  5. 5
    Crissy Kinley says:

    I’m so sorry. I will be praying for your sweet sister. May satan truly be punished for attacking her after such a great cloud of witness she gave here.

    Again, sorry for your “loss”. My heart breaks for you.

  6. 6
    Jessica says:

    We’ve absolutely got your back right now. You are released to not have it all together.
    Will pray.

    • 6.1
      karen lipford says:

      agreed. makes us all closer when we are real. life is real. praying for your family.

    • 6.2
      Ohlookaduck says:

      I love that–we release you to not have it all together. That is so my heart also!

      You (Beth now) said something once at a Living Proof that made you cover your mouth (Stockton a few years ago) and that “slip” of honesty has blessed me ever since. Who knows what bit of imperfection we have that will shower someone in blessings–and that includes Gay along with the rest of us.

      Prayers for all of you, because God knows what we all need.

  7. 7
    Beth from Ohio says:

    Hugs and prayers for Gay, for you, and for your whole family!!! May God’s strength and peace rest upon you all during each and every moment of this human existence.

  8. 8
    Amy Storms says:

    Oh, tears. Believing that He will keep redeeming, and thankful that His grace is enough. Thanks for your authenticity–for leading from who you are. Much love and many prayers for your family!

  9. 9
    Tracy says:

    Praying fervently. {{{{{{{{HUGS}}}}}}}} to all of you.

  10. 10
    Mindy says:

    Praying for Gay, for you, and all of your family.

  11. 11
    Jessie says:

    Praying, for all of us, and the messes we all face!

  12. 12
    Lauralee Courtney says:

    Committed to praying for you and the situation. You are loved.

  13. 13
    Traci says:

    I. am. so. sorry.

  14. 14

    So very sorry to hear that Gay has suffered a hard blow. Prayers for her and also for you, Beth, and all those who are hurting with her.

  15. 15

    Dear God, thank You for grace. Thank You that You carry our burdens… Even the ones we place on ourselves. Thank You that the death You died on the cross is BIGGER than any sin, any sickness, any death, any guilt. Your blood covers ALL. Let us believe that. Crucify guilt and shame and sin and sickness in us. Then use these very things for redemption. Use the blackest parts of our lives to shine light on who You are.

    Dear God, come to Beth and Gay with Your mighty compassion and mercy and love. Turn Your wrath towards whatever tears down Your Body the Church, but save us.

    Let Beth and Gay feel our love and yours. Your love transforms and restores.

  16. 16
    Laura Drury says:

    praying for all of you and love you.

  17. 17
    Karen E says:

    I am blessed to pray and serve our awesome Lord with you!

  18. 18
    Melissa says:

    Praying for Gay right this moment..Let’s storm heaven for her, on our knees.

  19. 19
    Ann says:

    Between the rains. I feel like something has happened to a dear friend. She has been through so much. I will continue to pray for she and your whole extended family. “Who am I, O Sovereign God, and what is my family that you have brought me so far?” He will bring her farther. He will triumph.

  20. 20
    Joni says:

    The devil is relentless! We can do all we know to do, but in the end, it is God’s work in us that counts. And that work is continuous for all of us. Salvation is ours forever once the commitment to Jesus is made. No one can cancel out that commitment, because God keeps it for us. The Enemy (and I hate to even capitalize his name) cannot destroy it and maybe that’s why he tries so desperately to destroy us. Jesus will prove Himself faithful in the end. To me, that’s the glory and the wonder of our salvation. I hope Gay knows we are praying for her…we are praying for all of you. And each of us needs to pray for each other.

  21. 21
    Amanda Lebow says:

    I just want to say thank you for your honesty. Beth, not only have you given me the greatest gift of a love for God’s word, but you taught me how to respect that word (thanks to your first teaching on Wednesdays With Beth). And you also taught me to study my heart out even if I may stumble across something new,,, to not be afraid if what I learn from God and His Word doesn’t match what I thought I knew to be true.

    I will be praying for Gay!! Her posts ministered to me greatly, and I have the utmost respect for her. We serve an aweome God, as you well know, and it is through Him that we are made strong. I pray that Gay continues in the strength of her Jesus, for He is mighty to save! Thank you for serving us as you so faithfully do. How much you all are loved!! God bless!!!

  22. 22
    Leah says:


  23. 23
    Michelle says:

    I don’t have a lot of words other than I am praying for you, Gay and all of the family. Blows are hard, regardless of what they look like or what they are. We have all experienced them in one way or another. But God will triumph!

  24. 24

    I love you, Beth. Hard to know what’s going on … but when I was 29 and first heard you speak, I said, “I want to love God the way she does.” And I do now. You are beautiful inside and out. Always praying for you.

  25. 25
    Michelle Baylerian says:

    Oh Beth,

    Because I love you so dearly, I love the ones you love! When you hurt, I hurt for you. There is therefore no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, EVERYBODY is included in that. I respect and honor your privacy, after all a family’s business is just that.

    Know that your love for Jesus, sincerity and commitment to faithfully serving all of us is never taken for granted. You dear Siesta Mama are precious to me. I will pray for you and your dear family.

    You are highly esteemed!!! Have a Happy Mother’s Day XOXO


  26. 26
    Jo Lillig says:

    Sweet Beth,
    I just found this entry of yours. My story and Gay’s run parallel but are different. I, too, am being tested right now, pushed by the predator to return to his myriad ways. I love God so much for coming to get me… Hang in there, my little Mama. Gay loves Him and God can do anything, ANYthing and you know it.. In my case He came and got me after 40 years in my chosen desert. I’ll be praying for you and yours and for Gay. I think you might need to hear a “You, Sweet Thing” from someone so here goes… Hang in there, Sweet Thing, tell Him to BRING IT, just bring it to her. Keep your hand in His, clasp your thumb in a lock hold on Him. Shout out your grief and love to Him and just GIVE it to Him, Beloved. You need some light and lifting up! Ask Him for exactly what you want and say it LOUD. Here’s hoping some of your generous medicine will feel good coming back to you! In Jesus saving and delivering name, Amen. You go, girl, He’s got a plan…

  27. 27
    sweet anonymous says:

    Dear Beth,
    When one part of the body hurts, we all hurt. I’m sorry for Gay’s heartbreak and yours. This Siesta loves you both and will be praying. I keep thinking of the words of a song by J.J. Heller that says When my world is shaking. Heaven stands. When my heart is breaking. I never leave your hands. I pray that this truth would resonate in your’s and Gay’s hearts during this time. With much love and prayer…Mary

    • 27.1
      bethany says:

      Mary, I was able to hear JJ sing that song 3 times this weekend as she was at my church Friday and Sunday and with us for women’s retreat on Saturday. It is the perfect song when life is hard and we or our loved ones are suffering. I am reminded to pray for Gay now when I listen to it.

      • sweet anonymous says:

        Smiling…thanks for sharing Bethany. I’m sure so many hearts were blessed by JJ. The song has been playing in my heart and mind all day and lastnight as I’ve prayed for Beth and Gay also. I pray they can feel all of our love and prayers and the presence of Jesus so near and dear. Blessings to you too, Bethany. Mary

  28. 28
    Annette says:

    We need You every hour, Lord! Beth, you are so loved and appreciated. Praying to the One Who knows all. In Christian love!

  29. 29

    Thankful for your words that are keepin’ it real in the blogosphere. I am also grateful for your sweet sister, Gay, and will certainly keep all of you in my prayers. Life is HARD and until someone walks in another’s shoes there is no room for even a whisper of condemnation, and even then still none. I look at people’s faces around me each day and the choices that they make, sometimes they aren’t the choices I would make for them, but they have lived a different life than I. My mom always used to say, “People, as a whole, do the best they can do with what they have been through.” I have always appreciated that sentiment as it has helped me have gentler and loving eyes for all those around me. Your sister’s story is not over, she knows the heart of Christ and is the recipient of His great unfathomable love, she is His beloved…and she is in our hearts and prayers.

  30. 30
    lynn says:

    So sorry to hear this but will pray for your sister and for the whole family. I know how heartbreaking life can be.

  31. 31
    Jeanie says:

    God is good all the time. My heart breaks for Gay and for you, dear Beth. I’m sorry for the struggles that still face her. One thing I know for sure…Satan is alive and well on planet earth and he hates nothing more than someone who loves the Lord with her whole heart. 🙁 Prayers for Gay that she will trust in the Lord with all her heart during this time of trial. Her story opened my eyes to a whole world of hurting people.

  32. 32
    Lakeisha says:

    Beth, your honesty and transparency is so very touching., I truly appreciate you so much. I will be in prayer for you, Gay and your entire family! For strength and God’s peace which surpasses all understanding. I’m so sorry you all are going through this!

  33. 33
    Cathy S. says:

    Praying for you and yours. Jesus has already won the victory. This battle may feel like a loss, but the this is not over for you or for Gay.

  34. 34
    Tracy Collins says:

    I am so grateful there is always HOPE and we know Who that Hope is! He is TRUTH! What a blessing that Gay has family praying for her, crying and crying out for her. Beth, thank you for sharing your hurting heart so that others can stand with you!

  35. 35
    Karen Riekeman says:

    I almost never say a single thing on here but I read every word. Beth, you have had such a profound effect on my spiritual walk and I hope someday to testify in front of our Savior how much I fell in love with him because I saw it first in you. Anyway, I am praying for you and for your family. Please know we care for you very deeply and will lift you up before our Lord.

  36. 36
    Jan says:

    Thank you for being real and for letting us know that you have real struggles in life too. Right or wrong, it makes my struggles easier to know that Satan messes with everybody. I just get so tired sometimes. It never ends. When one obstacle is overcome another one pops up. You nailed it in an earlier post when you were talking about the move to the new house and you said something to the effect that we are all looking for the perfect home here but won’t find it till we get to heaven. I am sorry that this has happened to Gay. Prayers will be sent up. You mean much to me and have greatly influenced my desire for Christ.

  37. 37
    Anne says:


    From the rest of us with broken and messy families, please know that we love you and pray for you. I know what it is to be so disappointed and hurt about a loved one that you are nearly sick with it. I pray over your family what I am learning to be pray over mine – may God be glorified in our most painful experiences.


  38. 38
    Dana Ackland says:

    Praying for you & your family sweet Beth. Your vulnerable courage & integrity lead me & others to freedom & grace. Only a good God can take hurt & lead people to love & freedom. You are in my prayers.

  39. 39
    Mary says:

    On my knees for you, your family, and Gay. Lifting you all up to the One who Redeems all.

  40. 40
    Amy Beth says:

    In my counseling grad classes, we were told that one of the worst things you can say to a person is “I know how you feel.” But I want to say that, without knowing what is going on, I suspect that I really do know how you feel.

    I was contacted by DCS last week regarding the state of my former foster daughter (who has aged out of the system and has chosen to not be in relationship with her support team of myself, case workers, counselors, etc.). The situation is dire in the truest sense of the word. If you knew the details, I am fairly certain you would be shocked into silence. My mind and heart haven’t caught up with me yet, but my mouth is confessing that we need a Genesis 50:20 up in here, and stat.

    I teach a class at the university where I work. The summer version of it began yesterday and we’re currently talking about God’s view of benevolence and specifically exploring the explicit “people categories” He provided as to who He would have us care for and why. I use an example each semester with two plastic bowls. In one bowl, I put clear, clean water. In the other bowl, I put whatever expired food and drink I was able to pull from the refrigerator in the faculty break room down the hall.

    I ask my students to put their hands in whichever bowl they would prefer. After several of them have put their hands in the clean water, I ask if anyone wants to volunteer to put their hands in the mixture of expired milk, cottage cheese and rotted vegetables that is waiting in the second bowl. When no one volunteers, I start talking about how I began my journey of taking care of needy children with “clear water” dreams. I tell them how I imagined Pottery Barn sheets, Saturday morning waffles and more love than those children knew what to do with.

    I then put my hands in the second bowl (and try not to gag as I do it). I begin telling them about how the reality of the ministry God has called me to for the last few years has been filled with nights spent awake with children who have been horrifically violated, going without new clothes or make-up for myself because it wasn’t in my budget after feeding hungry mouths and even showing up at a county jail to visit one of them in prison a few weeks after she turned 18. I talk about how ministry is often messy, unappealing and downright revolting. And then I remind them that Jesus seemed to be drawn straight to that very type of ministry in His few short years on this earth.

    I don’t know about you, but I’m glad He chose the messy bowl of my life to put His hands into.

    • 40.1
      Tiffany Morse says:

      Amy Beth, the messy bowl has been my ministry experience and indeed it humbles me more than anything to know He put HIS perfecting and grace filled hands in my messy life!! I love you dear sister, and I ache with you as you walk out the hard and hurtful aftermath of messy ministry…You are certainly a kindred spirit!

  41. 41
    Emily says:

    Much love and many prayers to your sweet family. Our enemy roams the earth, but we know who owns the victory!

  42. 42
    Elizabeth says:

    Praying for hope and healing in the midst of this trial. Our God is good, He is powerful, and He loves each of us.

  43. 43
    Kim says:

    Beloved Beth,

    You do serve us responsibly and the fact that you’re a work in progress just like the rest of us endears you to me even more! We’re all just flesh and blood trying our absolute best to be real, authentic, and transparent. Life is hard and we don’t always understand what’s going on and why things happen the way they do. I’m so sorry for Gay’s hard blow. I can only imagine how your heart breaks for her. I’ll be praying for the both of you and your families. Remember, GOD IS GOOD, GOD IS STRONG, AND GOD IS LOVING! HE WILL NEVER ABANDON OR FORSAKE YOU! HE IS THE ONLY SOLID ROCK UPON WHICH YOU STAND! HE IS BRILLIANT, RADIANT LIGHT SHINING IN THE DARKNESS! HOLD FAST TO HIM! HE WILL NOT LET GO OF YOU!

    I love you,

  44. 44
    rhonda says:

    Enemy knocks us to our knees sometimes. God’s grace and strength allow us to stand again. With honor. Clothed in dignity. Praying for you all.

  45. 45
    Kim Vest says:

    Oh my dear Miss Beth, I am so sorry……………I will pray. Love to your family especially Gay.

  46. 46
    Amanda says:

    Praying for you and Gay.

  47. 47
    Marion says:

    Praying for you both. I feel convicted because I should have upped my prayers as I read her entries – of course she was going to be hit after such a powerful testimony. Will you please forgive me for not covering her more in prayer? I imagine many of us feel the importance of covering all of you in prayer and may this be a wakeup call to do just that. Beth, I speak for many when I say we love you, love your family and want to share your hurt. Now ladies, time to intercede on their behalf!

  48. 48
    Linda says:

    Our God is merciful,loving, and faithful.
    Love you,Beth…so blessed by your faithfulness.

  49. 49
    sherry says:

    Praying for you and your sister and all your family…don’t need details, which is the coolest thing because the Holy Spirit’s got that all taken care of. Thanks for your gentle and respectful expression of love…it’s so what we need to be doing for each other…grace, mercy to infinity and beyond!

  50. 50
    Tammy Bellinger says:

    You are so responsible in how you do things. Don’t let Satan attack you through this. You have been faithful in all God has called you to do. He will be faithful to walk through this with your sister. Like you tell us, Believe He can do what He says He can do. He is who He says He is, and YOU are who He says YOU are. We love you, and your sister through you. We will lift you both up in prayer.
    Believing for you.

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