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. 151
    Mary says:

    Sweet Beth, Thank you for your spirit, wisdom, and authenticity. These traits are why we love you so much. Praying for God to show himself the ga’al and redeem this situation – all of it – for His glory. He is faithful!

    • 151.1
      Midge Edmond says:

      Your authenticity is so amazing! I know this must be so hard for you all…but as you say God is still at work and will always be. We so love you and your heart! Praying hard for all!

  2. 152
    Tina says:

    OH my heart is heavy and oh so sad for all of you! Dang DEVIL! I hate that y’all have to go through whatever it is. Please don’t think you have to share details, just your honest heart reaching out for prayers is enough. Just know, I’m praying! LOVE to all of you! Praying praying praying!

  3. 153
    Dawn Rowden says:

    During this time of hurt and disappointment, I pray that God will pour back into your lap all the hope,strength, joy and faith that you have planted in so many of our lives. God used your bible study “Believing God” to bring me out of a horrible five month battle . I am the prayer leader at our church and had stopped praying, attending church and was having trouble teaching my students at Job Corp. After trying many other things my counselor suggested I try your bible study. During the first week I knew things were a lot better. A couple weeks later my Pastor told me that he could tell I was really doing better and asked what I did. I told him about the bible study, what I was learning and how it was helping. He was excited and wanted to start doing the bible study in our cell group. Pastor Chris started the bible study in the cell group this last Monday. At the end of the study the Pastors wife asked me if I would order books for her two daughters because they had come in at the end of the DVD and really got excited about what you were saying. Several of my church sisters noticed the difference in me and I told them about the study and we started the study fora group of women from various churches this last Sunday evening. I teach at Job Corp, it is a government program for kids 16-25. One of my female students saw the bible study workbook on my desk and ask if I was going to have a study on center. I told her I would if there was girls who wanted me to. She spread the word and we will be starting the bible study on center. 525 students live and go to school on our center. God has used you and your amazing work/bible study to bless a lot of people in Astoria Oregon. I pray all that will poured back into your lap and situation. Love Dawn

  4. 154
    Angela says:

    All I know to say is that the battle has been won and the victory belongs to Jesus. Much love!

  5. 155
    Pam Woods says:

    My heart goes out to you, Gay and family… life, unfortunately, is messy and I’m not sure I would want it any other way, except it is painful. Praise be to Our Father in Heaven for He is the Great Redeemer – if I’ve learned anything, it’s that His Plan and His Story throughout the Bible is to show His grace and mercy through His Mighty Redemption. I yearn for peace and restoration for your family as well as all of us… and praying for you, Gay and all involved to come more whole on the other side. Much love to all of you and thank you for your perseverance, perspective and your infectious joy in the Lord.

  6. 156
    Dawn B. says:

    Thank you for sharing with us Beth. It does help us deal with honesty about things in our own lives. Our prayers are with you, your sister and entire family. Thank you for leading in the way you do.

  7. 157
    Becky says:

    Oh Beth, prayers for you & your family, especially Gay. My oldest son is an addicted & being tormented by the enemy. I try & try to reach him. I know the pain this causes families and loved ones. God is almighty and with us, I will not doubt that one minute. You, Beth are such an inspiration to me! I just met you during the Mercy/James bible study, oh how I love James! Dear Beth, I have learned so much from you about our dear Lord. Thank you for reaching me, teaching me and sending God’s love out to all.

  8. 158
    Ann says:

    Gay’s story isn’t done–and our prayers for her (and you, too, Beth!) aren’t, either. Praying right now…have been every time I think of her since her series ran…

  9. 159
    Casey says:

    Mama Beth,

    Fitting that tonight we watched the last video session of Mercy Triumphs and your words hit me in the gut but are so proven in your post. “Community is messy.” Even more pointed, “Immunity to Community = No Ministry”.

    Beth, you are certainly not immune and you absolutely minister. May the Holy Spirit minister to you and your family at this very moment. James 5:19-20 is caught in my throat.

    Mercy will Triumph!

  10. 160
    June says:

    Our eyes are wet and our hearts are sorrowful for what the enemy is trying to destroy. But God is more powerful and I choose to believe that He will still receive all of the honor and the glory for what He will do for your sweet sister. Her previous comments conveyed so much about her heart and soul and what a precious lady she is. Will continue in prayer!

  11. 161
    Michele says:

    Praying…and yes, you do. To GOD be ALL the glory in LP, your personal life and in ours!! Your Light shines….praying God will highlight your path as you keep seeking after His steps.

  12. 162
    Wonder Woman says:

    “He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
    he drew me out of deep waters.

    He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
    from my foes, who were too strong for me.

    They confronted me in the day of my disaster,
    but the Lord was my support.

    He brought me out into a spacious place;
    he rescued me because he delighted in me.”

    Psalm 18:16-19

    Dear God:
    Thank you for your promise to rescue us. Thank you that you delight in us. Always.

    I lift Gay up to you. I don’t need to know details to pray, because you know all and you love us no matter what.

    Thank you.

    Fort Mill, SC

  13. 163
    Misty Ansted says:

    Praying for you Beth and for Gay. With almost 12 1/2 years sober myself I know the heartache of addiction in my own life and the lives of countless others I’ve had the opportunity to
    Know, be related to, or sponsor. And I know it takes what it takes. And that every sober breath drawn, is a sober breath drawn and can’t be taken away by any scheme of the enemy. I don’t know details but I do know that when we’ve been Sealed with the Holy Spirit, it’s a done deal and there is only One Author and perfector of our faith and HE will
    Have the final say! Gay’s story IS powerful becaue
    Its author is powerful and NO hard blow, no matter how hard, can take that fact away!! Can’t wait to hear how God uses this next chapter in her life
    For her good and His glory! Praying always.

  14. 164
    Ernestine S. Bonicelli says:

    Our hearts break with you, but our God is in charge and that is the hope we all have, right along with you and with Gay. She is His, and the devil cannot change that. Nor can he change one thing that God has planned and does not intend to be changed. I love that, that He does as He pleases and NOBODY can stop or change it – because what He does is perfect. And He has the power to back it up. It is not surprising that the enemy has struck after the deliverance she has had, and her public testimony. I repeat, he cannot win. Dr. Rogers used to say “Sin can’t win, faith can’t fail.” Glory to God!!!!

  15. 165
    moongirl says:

    No other words but to say, I am so sorry for all of you. And I’m praying. Consider this a big tight, long hug!!! For Gay too!! Believing God for all of you!

  16. 166
    Billie says:

    It is no secret that Gay’s glorious testimony upset the evil one. Her honest writings have witnessed and ministered to many people. I commit to pray for Gay and all involved. Thank you for allowing us to share in the responsibility to pray! (((HUGS)))

  17. 167
    Kelly Burnett says:

    When you hurt – we hurt…prayers for precious Gay…her story, as all of ours is a work in progress…we love both of you so much!

  18. 168
    Andi Wernke says:

    Praying with you and Gay. Much love fills my heart for both of you. Our God is good, all the time!! And He is faithful and sovereign.

  19. 169
    Angelina says:

    I am so sorry to hear that Gay is hurting. She has been so courageous by being so open and honest while sharing her testimony. Because of that, God has used her to reach so many people, and many of us will not be the same because of her. Sweet Gay has suffered more than anyone should ever have to and all of us who have been touched by her are hurting with her now. I was reminded a couple of nights ago when I was in a period of darkness that God works ALL things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. She is living proof of this promise and whatever struggles she is facing today will be tomorrow’s victory. But in the meantime, I will be praying that you will all find comfort and peace during this difficult time.

  20. 170

    Dearest Beth,
    My heart hurts for you and Gay and your whole family. I feel like I know you all personally just from how real and honest you have been here on the blog, and in your bible studies, and at the SSMCT, and it has been amazing and awe inspiring to see how God has worked in you and through you and your family.

    You are being prayed for. I know that many more siestas will chime in here and continue to lift you and yours up. we are on our knees for you! I know I speak for many siestas when I tell you that! Storming the gates of heaven, and praying for God’s protection, peace and love to flood over all of you. He covers you with His feather and under His wings you can take your refuge! (I love Psalm 91)

    Love you, Siesta Mama!

  21. 171
    emily says:

    my first thought when reading this was, God’s got her.. So evident in each word she wriote, each miracle! grace upon grace… He’s got her.. I too am in a place of mess (within my precious church) where I SO wish it looked like it should, but God’s work in broken people are what captivate the broken world in which we live, and so I too believe your beautiful sister will rise back up, dust herself off, and continue to walk in the Mercy, Love, Grace and Freedom that can only come from Jesus… I will pray as she comes to mind that God’s covering and protection would surround her..The power & redemption of her words, her story- all of it poses such a threat to the enemy.. For me, this is a prompting to stand in prayer for those who are just getting on their feet.. Just like we don’t assume a child can run after their first steps, it would seem the same for healing from addictions..

    Thank you for being vunerable with us, Beth… the spills and falls are so powerful in the Hands of our redeemer, so so powerful. My parents are in AA, and I know of Mercy Street well.. I will be praying God would rise up friends, and members of that community to support your sister.. I am so grateful there are so many moving pieces into all of our stories! God has been glorified through your sister, and this does NOT negate that – I fully believe what He works through the midst of this mess will cause others to say, Only God! So thankful that our redeemer lives!

  22. 172

    Beth –
    Your honesty & vulnerability, and Gay’s willingness to share her story with us…breathes life into us all.
    These words of truth and reality reveal the living proof of MERCY, right here amongst us.
    Thank you for that.

  23. 173
    Nikki B says:

    I once heard a wise Bible teacher (OK, it was you…) sharing about 2 Corinthians 4:2 and how our enemy thrives in anything “secret and shameful”. Your authenticity and vulnerability with your sisters here brings light to dark places and calls down the armies of heaven to hold up our dear Gay and your sweet precious family. Press on, friends. We win this! Love you all.

  24. 174
    Brittany says:

    Praying for you, your family and Gay. May Satan get out of her yard, and God’s mercies flow like rain.

  25. 175
    Shon Tetik says:

    Dear sweet Beth–
    Whatever has happened, you are loved. Gay is loved. We sisters who you have ministered to over and again stand behind you–more importantly KNEEL WITH YOU, in any and all of this life. You are real. Not some phony, plastic personality simply feeding empty carbs to hungry souls. You offer the meat of God’s word and nothing less. And yes, sometimes it gets messy. Sometimes it gets real, real messy. But that is who we all are. Messes covered in grace. I can’t tell you how much I appreciated Gay’s openness. Her sweet soul lifting high the name of the One who delivered her from death’s grip. So beautiful and eloquent in the simplicity of her gratitude–her words reached into my heart and grabbed hold. I knew even while reading her story that the enemy would come gunning for her. And as often as I thought of her, I lifted her in prayer. So whatever Gay is dealing with, your siestas will unite in prayer over her–and you as you work through this difficult season.
    I had the privelege of being in KC for Living Proof Live last month. I saw you being open and honest about yourself and your family. That is the type of ministry that truly reaches hurting people. So stay real and messy and flawed–you and your whole family! Because that is who we love. We are all works of grace and mercy in progress–not complete. Not yet. “….he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Please tell Gay how loved she is as well. Praying!!!

  26. 176
    Ashley Honea says:

    I am so sorry. Oh as much as my heart is aching now, I know yours must ache that much more. Praying for you, for Gay, and the whole family. God is not finished with Gay yet.

  27. 177
    Little Steps Of Faith says:

    7But this beautiful treasure is contained in us—cracked pots made of earth and clay—so that the transcendent character of this power will be clearly seen as coming from God and not from us. 8We are dented and dinged on all sides from our afflictions, but we are not crushed by them. We are greeted with pain at every turn, but we are not trampled and defeated. We are bewil- dered at times, but we do not give in to despair. 9We are persecuted, but we have not been abandoned. We have been knocked down, but we are not destroyed.

    (2 Corinthians 4:7-9, The Voice)

  28. 178
    Terre says:

    Words come too easily, sometimes, but hugs and prayers are for real. Sending both hugs and prayers for you, Gay and your families. We serve an awesome God, and I praise Him with you.

  29. 179
    J says:

    Gay, just in case you are reading… We love you. We don’t condemn you, no matter what has happened. We all fall short, every single one of us. Thank God his grace is enough! “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. Make level paths for your feet,so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Heb 12:12-13) We are praying for you!

  30. 180
    Deborah says:

    Praying for you and your sister! Oh the pain when a loved one is hurting! So thankful for a Savior who hears our prayers and walks with us through the valleys!

  31. 181
    Tammy Elrod says:

    Praying for Gay and for you and all of the Living Proof family. And for all families, who like you and like me, suffer through addiction with the ones we love. My brother did and he died from it. But the man who took his life is now convicted for it and will spend the next 20 years in jail. Pray for us as my husband and I seek to reach the man who murdered my brother with the Gospel of Jesus Christ, our next initiative in this long battle that began with my brother’s addiction.

    Love to all of you and continuing prayers for all of you.

    Tammy Elrod
    Mechanicsville, VA

  32. 182
    Debbie says:

    My heart is heavy for you Gay and Beth and your families. I am sure that Jesus is tending to you now. As Beth wrote just days ago ” God will continue to tend to you until you are stunning in HIS sight, darling Child! ” Oh how that ministered to my soul. I am lifting you up in prayer to our merciful Savior for everything you need today. You all mean so much to me, I love you much.

  33. 183
    Anne Lewis says:

    Beth, I love you and Gay as sisters in Christ and will be lifting you and your families up in prayer. I know our God is huge and He will bring healing and restoration. WE know Who we BELIEVE and He has overcome the world. He is fighting for Gay in the Heavenlies and Satan will not succeed! I just completed Believing God for the second time today and I am believing God for this victory for Gay.

  34. 184
    Kara says:

    Beth, I read (didn’t get to comment on) all of Gay’s installments and was so encouraged by her testimony. Not enough people have her courage to be real and honest about themselves and their real life struggles. She and your whole family will be in my prayers. God Bless

  35. 185
    Dawn says:

    Dearest Beth,
    You are so loved and you are so being covered in prayer … and your dear sister! May God’s peace be a balm for your aching hearts, a place of rest and safety for your souls.

    I can’t tell you how much your honest sharing ministered to me tonight. I am right there with you, Beth … my heart is not in a ‘neat and tidy’ place right now either but frustration and shame have taken up residence there, rather than thoughts of ‘grace’ and ‘mercy’ and ‘in process’. Thanks for the refreshing reminder that this community is a safe and healing place because mercy and hope abound, chasing away the enemy’s cold-hearted lies of perfection and performance.

    Mercy triumphs!

  36. 186
    Michelle says:

    Dear Beth,
    Your honesty is an inspiration, your reality refreshing. I am sorry to hear how your heart is hurting and your sister is struggling. My dear sister ( who was killed by a drunk driver 17 years ago) has a birthday today. I am celebrating, while mourning, while missing, while knowing fully who is in control. God, please bless Gay today; please hold her and love her and let her feel Your goodness surround her. Let her earthly family love on her as well; give her strength and courage and peace Lord Jesus. Help her to trust You to make all things new. Amen.

  37. 187
    Lorisa Smith says:

    Dear Beth,
    Praying here for this heartache. As always I appreciate your honesty with the women you love and serve… If only we could all say to each other “without Jesus I would not be sane or perhaps even alive today…” No casting stones at a struggling sister, ever. I love His amazing grace that I know personally- everyday now and forever!

  38. 188
    LA says:

    I just love the song “Blessings” or Lauras song. So fits every single occasion of what they enemy trys to wreak havoc with in our lives. I love you for being real, it is so hard to do in ministry. But I am Living Proof that God does have the last word!! HE WINS!!
    Praying for you sister!

  39. 189
    Steph says:

    Father we lift up precious Gay- Thank you so much for her courage to share her story…..thank you that she knows of your grace and strength….Please let her find any draw to the struggles of her old life so unappealing that she is only drawn to the gentle hand of your healing strength- Guard her, protect her, wrap your ever loving arms so tight around her…..AMEN-
    Standing with you all in prayer!
    P.S. Isn’t it AWESOME that she was able to share her testimony on this blog- She’s got an army of Christ’s Warriors praying over her even as I write this…WHOOP WHOOP better just back off now Satan cause your Defeated 🙂

  40. 190
    Jill H. says:

    Dearest Beth,

    Your precious sister, Gay, touched me deeply as she shared her life and words. She filled me with hope concerning my own precious brother, when I needed God’s encouragement! God is so gracious to His children.

    He knows our inmost being. He knit us together in our mother’s womb. His ways are not our ways. Praise be to our God who created us so wonderfully. He holds your dear sister in His strong and capable hands. Nothing surprises Him. Gay is His treasure. He continues to woo her wherever she is in life, just as He does for all of us. She is loved and lifted up.

    One of the things I love about this blog, and about you and your life, is that you are willing to share honestly with vulnerability, yet respecting, loving and protecting your family.

    Siesta Mama, do not allow the evil one to steal your joy or your hope in whatever situation you are facing! Your sisters are praying!

    I love you dear Beth, though I have never met you. You have walked my journey with me as a silent partner in teaching me to walk closer with Him and breaking free!! Likewise, I will walk with you on this journey as a prayer warrior! Huge hug from me to you dear sister in Christ.

  41. 191
    Lori says:

    My heart is breaking for all of you. Praying for Gay, you, and your families.

  42. 192
    Emilee says:

    Stay real. We wouldn’t have it any other way… If you didn’t do that we wouldn’t have the invitation we have with you now… To stay real with our siestas {and everyone for that matter}. Thinking about your family… We all come broken. And we are surrounding you now… even if we don’t know why. AND YOU are loved around here very much.

  43. 193
    mimi tinsley says:

    I love you. You open your heart with heaviness that our Savior will refill with hope and healing. Long years you have reached for us, now I reach back to you, in prayer and faith knowing God is God, and with you and your family he holds close. Feel him. He is with you and Gay. No judgement can come from pure hearts for God. He heals, loves and sustains. I love you friend of the heart. We’re all praying, and you know you are not alone. All my love to you all!

  44. 194
    Heather says:

    Oh, I’m so sad for your brokenheart. 🙁 I’ll be praying for Gay and the rest of the family. I’m so so sorry!

  45. 195
    Amanda Cross says:

    I’m so sorry. The Holy Spirit checked me when I read a few of Gay’s installments. I should have prayed then, but I didn’t. I will be sure to pray for her and you and your family.

  46. 196
    Debbie says:

    Grace is so big when it comes directly to us from our Lord! Bigger than anything we can have happen to us. Gay, you are loved no matter what. Beth, you are loved no matter what.
    Praise Him!

  47. 197
    Dedra says:

    Beth, I don’t doubt for a moment that Gay’s heart & testimony are every bit as authentic as the battle she currently faces. Doesn’t Satan love to deliver a swift kick to the ribs just after we’ve gained the courage to stand up and tell our story? What a jealous coward he is when it comes to the power of Jesus in our lives. I pray for comfort, peace, understanding, restoration, and all the things God knows your family needs right now. The only stories worth telling are the true ones and your sister has been terribly brave…I pray for a glorious and triumphant next page!

  48. 198
    Colette says:

    I love you too Beth! We have our own hard blows going on over here too!! And yes I wish life was a whole lot tidier also!! But I continue to trust God with the messy things in life!!
    Praying Psalm 18:32
    “it is God who gives me strength and makes my way perfect!!”. I am trusting He will make my family members and Gay’s way perfect too!!! 🙂

  49. 199
    Martha Williams says:

    As I read this, my heart was breaking for you, Gay and all who love you and Gay. May God’s peace and healing encompass you at this time and forever.

  50. 200
    Diane Archibald says:

    Beth, you mean so much to me, too. Be encouraged and reassured, you serve us very responsibly. Thank you for being real and allowing the grace of our precious Savior shine brightly in this hushed moment. We will ALL overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony. Praying continually for you and for Gay. Sending love…

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