Meet My Sister

My hands have been frozen on the computer keyboard while I took in the pure profundity of this moment in my personal life and family life and, Lord, have mercy, my spiritual life. When I say that I am about to share something gigantic to me, I am not kidding. I am bug-eyed that this is really happening and it is everything I can do not to type these words to you from face down on the floor. My dear Siestas, it is my great honor to introduce you to my blood sister, with whom I was raised and with whom I shared a room for many years and many secrets. Some crippling. We have known much pain together and much devastation apart and were so close growing up that one of us could hardly be okay if the other were not. Today – and for this moment – we are both okay. And blessed. Redeemed. Forgiven. And, in staggering ways, restored. Only because of Jesus.

Years ago in a speaker/teacher workshop, the consummate Christian communicator, Florence Littauer, taught us to ask ourselves two questions before standing in front of an audience: “Do I have anything to say?” And, “Do people need to hear it?” I can confidently say today that, if Florence Littauer knew my sister and her story, she’d tell her to open her mouth and rarely shut it till God took her Home. Oh, Sisters, does she ever have something to say and do people ever need to hear it!

Please meet my older sister by three years, Gay Tuttle. She and I are two of five siblings who we love as much as we love each other. I do not know anyone well who has a more powerful and genuine testimony than Gay. Her rescue and revival flooded over into mine. God used her healing to add to mine. It is with the hope that God could use it to somehow impact you that I make this introduction.  My heart is pounding with awe and reverence as we release her story – and at times our story – to the public. In her words. I have not edited a single sentence. Here you will find the first of several installments of this story of redemption that, God willing, we hope to share with you over the weeks to come. I don’t want to put her into a time crunch but you could reasonably expect them about 1 to 2 weeks apart. Pray for her as she writes to you. Sometimes we have to relive to RE-LIVE.

As I put her out here for the eyes of multiple thousands, I beg you from the deepest part of my heart to take good care of my sister. This is huge for her and huge for me. Allow her the freedom to talk in the language that she presently speaks and with the terms she presently uses. I believe you will be so blessed. Very few of you Siestas need me to say this but, because I do not want to throw her to even two wolves, I ask you to please refrain from preaching to her. Instead, receive from her. Just let her share with you a vivid flesh-and-blood illustration of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God. These won’t be articles for legalists. These will be articles for people who do believe or who want to believe with all their hearts that “it is for freedom that Christ has set us free.” (Galatians 5:1)  If I didn’t believe you were the kind of people to embrace her with lavish affection, I’d never take this chance. But I know you, Siestas. I know she will be well cared-for here. By the way, she knows you a bit, too. She’s been reading the blog and many of your comments now for a year. So, without further introduction, my beloved Siestas, please meet my beloved Sister, Gay. I am now full-on crying.


Hi Siestas!  My name is Gay and I’m an alcoholic.  I’m not just any alcoholic.  I am a serious, hardcore, dedicated, classic, textbook alcoholic.  I drank just like that for thirty-seven years, all of my adult life, with the exception of the last two and three-quarter years.  Today I have 1000 days of sobriety, nights included, weekends too, consecutive, all in a row, no breaks, no slips and no sneaks.  Now, that might not sound like much of an accomplishment to those who have stayed sober all of their lives or for those who drink responsibly, but for ME, it is a flatout miracle from God!!

To be honest, Sweet Siestas, I have grappled with how to introduce myself on this most-esteemed blog until I almost didn’t come out here at all.  Because I have been “raised up” in the rooms of Alcoholics Anonymous and in our beloved Mercy Street, a church that ministers to many in recovery, the word “alcoholic” just rolls off my tongue.  I don’t even think about it.  It feels right, it sounds right, IT IS RIGHT!!  It is a huge part of who I am and I own that.  My God-given, God-planned deliverance from it is my testimony and I believe with all my heart that there are those of you who have, at the very least, people in your lives who have struggled or are strugging with some similar experiences and need some hope.  That’s about as simple as it gets.  I am quick to blurt it out for another reason as well, possibly the most important one:  I do not want to forget.  I believe that in order to LIVE what I have been delivered to I must REMEMBER what I have been delivered from.

What it was like:

I started drinking at seventeen years old as a rebellious teenager (loved it), continued to do it through the “functioning” years (tolerated it) and moved on to radical self-medicating simply to kill the pain, much of which I caused myself (hated it).  I was given countless opportunities to recover and refused.  By the time I got serious and very scared, it was too late.  I was hopelessly addicted to alcohol, both mentally and physically, and I had lost the power of choice.  So I threw in the towel and proceeded to try to drink myself out of my misery and miserable existence, to death.  And I almost did, many times, but for the radical grace of God.  I lost my husband, my children, my job, the trust of my family, my home, my car, my driving privileges, my self-respect, my dignity, my values, my freedom and the list goes on and on.  I was confined to jails and institutions more times than I can count.  I thought I was a certifiable lunatic because WHO would drink after all that???  And that wasn’t the bottom for me; I ended up homeless and on the street (yes, outside!) for approximately eighteen months.

What happened:

God intersected into my life like a burning bolt of lightning and in the blink of an eye my story took an abrupt about-face and became His Story.

What it is like now:

A thousand days of sobriety and a God bigger than life Who requires a lot of WORK from me, have molded and chiseled me into far more than an alcoholic.  I am a loving and responsible mother, sister and friend.  I am a dedicated employee and member of Mercy Street who believes in its mission and lives it OUT LOUD.  I am a driver with a valid Texas drivers license and insurance, a car owner, townhouse dweller, volunteer, law-abiding citizen, taxpayer (ugh), sponsor, sponsee and recovery coach.  I sit on three committees that are a part of the Houston Area Recovery Initiative for the fourth largest city in the country.  I am a Servant and Lover of God who is fully dedicated to following His will for my life which is to share my experiences, both there and back, and offer hope of God’s deliverance for all who suffer from a similar seemingly hopeless state of mind and body.

I hope to offer a unique perspective, possibly even tilting the axis a bit (in a good way), of an intimate relationship with this most Mysterious Jesus God who never leaves us or forsakes us no matter how far down the scale we have gone.  I love Him because He loves me, all of me.  He first loved me!  I had been taught that as a child and had sung Jesus Loves Me since I could form words.  Yet I had forgotten that while I was out there in the wilderness, pounding the hot concrete with bare feet.  I didn’t know the love, grace and mercy of God until I walked off of that concrete and began the journey out of the pit, to hope and a future, to FREEDOM.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners,”  Isaiah 61:1-3

I am going to tell you my story, Sweet Siestas, if you care or dare to listen.  I promise I will be honest and candid, direct and to the point.  I will try my best not to ramble on about the problem without moving quickly to the solution.  For me, not just any alcoholic, there is but One Solution.  Not just any God.  It takes a God the size of the universe, bigger and badder than them all, to accomplish for us and through us what we cannot do for ourselves.  It takes the all powerful, all consuming, all merciful Crazy Love of Jesus and our full acceptance of who we are in and to Him.  It takes a willingness to do WHAT HE ASKS, which is A LOT.  It takes honesty and authenticity.  This is Who I Am and it only matters what God thinks because of Who He Is.  Then its Katie bar the door!  Here am I, send me, all of me, scars, limps and all.  And He will and He does because He loves us with a love that transcends all barriers and which is, well … indescribable.  Brennan Manning, my second favorite author, wrote these words in The Furious Longing of God:  “Employing adjectives such as furious, passionate, vehement, and aching to describe the longing of God are my mumbling and fumbling to express the Inexpressible.  Yet, I plod on.” Please bear with me, my Siestas, while I mumble and fumble to express the Inexpressible.


Dear Jesus God, You know that the absolute best prayer I ever prayed in my life was the simplest of all prayers:  God, Please Help Me!  I’m praying it again now, Dear Jesus.  Please help me to be effective in Your world and for Your glory and honor alone.  Please help me to shine the light of Jesus in the darkest night, to the wounded and broken who need a shred of hope because everyone needs some, Lord.  I love you with all my heart and soul.  I am Yours, all of me.  Amen.


1,534 Responses to “Meet My Sister”

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  1. 1
    Sherri Moehle says:

    What a mighty God we serve. Thank you for being brave enough to share your story. You are loved.

  2. 2
    Lisa says:

    Praising God with you for 1000 days of victorious living! God’s given you a wonderful story of redemption. May He use it here on this blog for His GLORY!!

  3. 3
    Annie says:

    Ahhhh!!!! YAY! I’m so excited to read more about your story and god’s grace to you! yay!

  4. 4
    Jodi says:

    We welcome you with open arms, hearts and ears, Gay. May God show Himself big through your story.

  5. 5
    Victoria says:

    Gay, this line belongs in most every Redemption story ever. And amen!!!

    “And I almost did, many times, but for the radical grace of God.”

    I’m so proud of you today, and believing on God for something miraculous in my own sister’s life because of how He’s smiled on yours. Thank you so much for sharing!

    • 5.1
      Gay says:

      Oh so RADICAL!!! I love that word too, so descriptive of the grace of God. I am standing on the promises of God for your sister too, Victoria. Jeremiah 29:11 was my mantra from Day 1 through Day 1000 and onward to the finish line. Thanks so much for your comment.

      Loved you are.

  6. 6
    Emily says:

    Thank you both for being willing to share. Gay, I cannot wait to read what you have to say! Just you mentioning the milestone of 1000 days (HUGE Congratulations!) encouraged me. I’ve never had a drink but I know what it’s like to have to fight minute by minute to not do something distructive. You, just in your intro, encouraged me to celebrate my milestones more. I will pray for you. Thank you for sharing you!

  7. 7
    Meggie says:

    Dear Gay, when I started reading your story, I had to think about the book I just read over Christmas: The Furious Longing of God. And then I saw at the end that you quoted Brennan Manning. We do have an amazing, GREAT, GREAT God. And His furious longing for us is just indescribable. Blessings on you, sweet sister, as you continue to walk with Him!
    Sending you warm wishes and lots of love from the very ice cold Winnipeg!

    • 7.1
      Gay says:

      Oh Meggie, don’t get me off on Brennan Manning. The Ragamuffin Gospel changed my life! I thought I was far too gone for God. NOT TRUE!!! The Signature of Jesus is another one. Second to BETH, Manning is my fave. She is alway the first. Thanks so much for your comment and your encouragement. STAY WARM!!!!!

      Loved you are.

  8. 8

    It takes a willingness to do WHAT HE ASKS, which is A LOT. It takes honesty and authenticity. This is Who I Am and it only matters what God thinks because of Who He Is. <—–AMEN! Thanks for sharing Gay, Praise YOU LORD for the work You have done and are doing in Gay! god bless and keep blogging!

  9. 9
    Tracy says:

    I am SO proud of you. Thank you for allowing yourself to be vulnerable. God will use your story to help others. God bless you!!!

  10. 10
    Eva says:


    You are beyond brave and I simply know God will be glorified in your story and I feel certain lives are about to be changed by the sharing of your story and heart! I will continue to pray for you as you boldly share your heart. Bless you for your transparency!

  11. 11
    Tiffany Morse says:

    Hello Gay, it is wonderful to meet you!! I have prayed alongside Beth when your sweet name was anonymous, and NOW I rejoice with you!! I have loved you long before you had a name, and now my love grows for you sweet sister, I hope to meet you someday and hug your neck! God be praised!

    • 11.1
      Gay says:

      Hi Tiff!

      I don’t think I’m anonymous anymore. 😉 Thanks so much for your prayers in the past and for the ones I will need in the future.

      Loved you are.

  12. 12
    Kathy Gerlach says:

    As I read this, I was sitting on the edge of my chair. Thank you Beth, for sharing your sister with us, and thank you Gay, for sharing your story with us.
    I could never preach to you because I have my own issues, and I suspect we all do. I have learned so much since I found your teachings, Beth. And I look forward to learning much more. Life is not easy, but with God on our side, it can be bearable.
    Thanks, again!!

  13. 13
    Michele says:

    Hi Gay!
    I want to say “Welcome to Siestaville,” but, the truth is, you were the original Siesta long before we joined in.

    Huge congratulations to you and praise God on 1000 days clean!! That number speaks to me. I have learned the hard way that in God’s math, the number 10 can signify trials, so I just wonder how many of those days were excruciating for you. But, 1000 is also 10 to the Third. While I have no idea what you will tell us, I pray that this 1000 days means that a season of plowing is complete, and maybe today is the first day of your season of harvest.

    In any case, we are glad you are here and look forward to hearing more from you. Thanks for having the courage to share.

  14. 14
    Tatia Cook says:

    Wow, Gay…all I can think is from Ephesians 3…

    “Now unto him that is able to do EXCEEDING ABUNDANTLY above all that we ask or think…unto him be glory…”

    Testify, please, ma’am!! May He get ALL the glory for what He has done and is doing in your life. May He also bless you for your courage! Love and prayers 🙂

  15. 15
    Wonder Woman says:

    Praise God!

    We are blessed to hear from you!

    Fort Mill, SC

  16. 16
    Aimee says:

    It is an honor to “meet” you via this blog and hear your story. May God bless you abundantly for sharing it with us, and offering hope and love to all those who need it so much.

  17. 17
    Melissa says:

    So proud to be your niece and love you so much! Also, I’m on the edge of my chair! I want to read the rest of the story!

  18. 18
    Melissa says:

    It’s very nice to meet you! What a story you have to tell and I cannot wait to hear it. May the Lord bless you and keep you strong in Him! I pray that through your testimony many lives will be changed.
    Love in Christ,

  19. 19
    sabrina says:

    Gay! Yes and amen!
    I rejoice and celebrate with you!!!
    you, and your post are beautiful
    your life story tells the beauty that God brings forth – Hallelujah!
    Our God is beautiful – I love you, sabrina

  20. 20
    Debbie Kerr says:

    How awesome! Thank you, Gay for sharing so openly your story…. which is now His story (I love that)! I was married for 6 years to an alcoholic/hard core drug addict. I met him at church and was deceived before marriage. We divorced and he passed away in 1999 of Hepatitis C. Anyway…I know how hard it is to get lifted from the pit and delivered. I will be praying for you as you share with us and that someone who desperately needs to hear this will be forever changed. With love and thankfulness for ALL He has done for you! ~ Debbie

  21. 21

    For such a time as this, Gay. In this broken desperate world where we all try to look so pretty but feel so ugly. For such a time as this, you are called. Thank you for your vulnerability. Oh, how we need authentic voices to truly hear Him. Bless you.

  22. 22
    Patti says:

    There is nothing more encouraging or powerful as the testimony of changed lives! Thank you for your boldness in sharing and count me in as one who will pray for you as you share and will pray for those who will read, be blessed & encouraged to trust the ONE who has the power to give us freedom to live as HE intended!

  23. 23
    Wendi says:

    Thanks for opening your life to us and I’ll be waiting for more!

  24. 24
    Lucy from PA says:

    Thank you Gay for sharing your story!

  25. 25
    Joelle says:

    Gay, If you don’t mind me saying so, you “sound” an awful lot like your sweet sister. You have captivated me with this post. I can’t wait to hear more from your heart. Much love to you. You are just Beautiful! -Joelle

  26. 26
    Christi says:

    I was soaked in your tale. Like falling into a fluffy couch. Addiction, health issues, many, many things we struggle with – your message holds true – God Never Leaves Us. Thank you for being YOU.

  27. 27
    Debbie says:

    Well Done Gay!!! I am so looking forward to hearing your story and hopefully meeting you this week when I come to Houston. We all have people in our lives we can think of as you tell your story and one thing I hope you will share with us is what was it that finally made you stop. Was it something someone said or did or, as I suspect, did it come from deep in you?

  28. 28
    Dedra says:

    Dearest Amazing Gay,

    Thank you from the bottom of my heart for your voice, obedience, testimony, passion of Hope and Restoration. DON’T stop.. keep telling and sharing with us.. reminding us all that “but there for the grace of God, go I”. You are amazing and loved and I cherish every word of your testimony and can’t wait to hear more. Celebrating and anticipating with you – your sister in Christ, Dedra

  29. 29
    Amanda says:

    Aunt Gay, thank you for sharing your story with us! Jesus, You are so good. We worship You today.

  30. 30
    Eileen says:

    Me too, Melissa! I am on the edge of my seat for the next installment.

    Praise God for what He has done for Gay!

  31. 31
    Holly Smith says:

    I am honored to meet you, Gay. To read your heart–beautiful, soul stirring words from a humble sister! I am literally typing from the floor on my face and thanking God with all that I am and have for you, dear sister. I have prayed for you in the past, because I always try to listen and to pray. Something Beth must have spoken…brought me to pray for you. I love your family–love you. May His Words through you indeed set the captives free! If the Son sets us free, WE ARE FREE INDEED!!

  32. 32

    What an honor to meet you Gay! Your beautiful words left me in a pool of tears…I love you already! Your love for Christ was leaping off the page! Thank you so so much for sharing your life.

  33. 33

    Dearest Ms. Gay,

    We have prayed for you for a long time, never knowing your name; only knowing that you were a dear loved one of Mrs. Beth. We will continue to do so as you continue to walk this road of recovery and share your story of redemption.


  34. 34
    Ashley says:

    Typing through tears, Gay, I am so honored to hear your story. Praying you through the next few weeks as you share what the Lord has put on your heart. Praying that you find yourself in a warm, loving community that continues to lift you up and hear what He has to say through you. Glory to our Father! What an amazing time!

  35. 35
    nancy says:

    Gay, oh my gosh, the emotions I am feeling after reading this post by you! My heart rejoices immensely in your victory, and in your courage to tell. Seriously, so brave! Such a profound celebration in my heart to know you have made 1000 days!!! Such answers to prayers, and such hope for us all, in whatever prayer request we have that is still waiting for an answer. Because God does indeed deliver! And answer prayer. To His great glory. Thank you for sharing. Well done. I continue to pray for you, and for many many more to find the same victory. You are awesome. i love you. nancy

  36. 36
    Elizabeth says:

    How timely this is Gay! Thank you for your courage and strength to share your story of hope, healing and restoration. I leave tomorrow to travel to my parent’s home. My mother is very ill and my father is drinking heavily. God has used your story to remind me that HE is in control –ALL Praise and Glory to HIM the KING who loves with an everlasting love!! Thank you- thank you Gay for this encouragement. I will pray for God to continue to guide you as He leads you in sharing your story.

  37. 37

    Dear Gay,

    This is one of the most important blog posts I’ve read. Thank you for your transparency…for your willingness to follow God unabashedly. We need God’s people to be REAL–to reveal their brokenness so we can see HIS glory. And oh, how HIS glory is shining through you.

    I’m awed, all over again, by God’s goodness.

    Your story encourages me on the path God’s planned for me–to continue following Him, to share my own story of His rescue and salvation–without fear of what others may think.

    Thank you!



  38. 38
    Cindi says:

    Cannot wait to hear what God has done!! Welcome!!

  39. 39
    Danielle says:

    Beth and Gay: Thank you for your surrendered lives. Let us all keep fighting the good fight of faith! 😀

  40. 40

    Amazing. I am thrilled for you and can’t wait to read more.

  41. 41
    Tisha says:

    Thank you for your story. I REALLY needed this today. I also have a sister who struggles with alcohol and drugs. She is not at the point in her life where she wants different, but I know God is bigger and He can deliver her from addiction. I pray for her and ask you to pray for her. In the mighty name of Jesus.

  42. 42
    Rena says:

    Gay, I can’t wait to read the rest of your story!! I have not battled an addiction to alcohol, but have struggled with many other things… Thank you for your willingness to share your story and be vulnerable. I know it will bless many!!

  43. 43
    DeLynn says:

    Beth–thank you for entrusting your sister to us.

    Gay–thank you for sharing your story. I can’t wait to read the rest! Many blessings on you!

  44. 44
    Stacey Calton says:

    To God be the glory…my 53 year old brother just finished a rescue
    Mission program this summer, after struggling with alcohol his whole adult life. He is now serving others struggling as he did, Jesus grace is sufficient – thanks for ssharing, Gau

  45. 45
    Beth says:

    What an amazing reminder that God does indeed love us first..and He loves ALL of us, every part of our being. Thank you so much for starting your story, I cannot wait to read the rest of what God has done in your life. Love me some God stories 🙂

  46. 46
    Cindy says:

    God BLESS You, Gay! I come from a huge hillbilly family that is just riddled with alcoholics and a string of other addictions. Know that there are hosts of siestas praying for you and with you each second of each day. Give your sweet sister a big ole hug for just loving you.

  47. 47
    Tanya says:

    Gay ~

    I don’t use the word “love” lightly. I love you. We have not met. But over the years, I have prayed for “Beth’s loved one” for whom she prayed. And I have cried as she has reminded me to never quit praying because we serve a God Who saves. I’m praying for my beloved who is in a stronghold. YOU, my dear sister, have refreshed my hope today. And I so appreciate your willingness to do so. I hate to cry, but I’m crying tears of joy over your 1000 days of freedom.

  48. 48
    Misty says:

    Thank you for sharing Gal! I too come from a long line of Alcoholics and had to learn the hard way that I was worth more than that life! Sending hugs! Amen for His grace on all of us who stumble and fall! By His grace are we saved to outlive that former life and live a new FREE live in Him! Love does!!

  49. 49
    Chris says:

    So beautiful. The love and protection of Jeaus. The love and protection of sisters. So beautiful.

  50. 50
    Mary Craig says:

    Praise God and His Work in you…in all of us. Thank you for sharing. I can only imagine how hard it must be to write the first words. I will pray that you get the whole story out and that you are blessed for doing so. I know readers will be blessed also, and some may even be healed by your sweet words and encouragement! Don’t stop! I want to read more. You have blessed me and given me hope that my sister will someday…be a recovering person, saved by the Grace of God. Only Him! Thank you.

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