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. 451
    Tara says:

    Beth, thank you for sharing your sister with us!

    And Gay, thank you for sharing your heart with us! We do love you and praise God for the 1000 days that He has given you victory in!!!! I can’t wait to read more of your testimony!

    Blessings to you!!!

  2. 452
    Lori Willey says:

    What an honor to call you all my sisters. Rejoicing through tears and a lump in my throat. Praying for every bit of ministry in this testimony, that Jesus pour out every bit of anointing upon it to be used for His glory. May there be hope for the hopeless, freedom for the captives and encouragement for all to know we serve a risen and all-powerful Savior! Not a drop of doubt or wall of fear stand in the way of what Jesus has for you all in this.

  3. 453
    Antoinette Cagle says:

    Thank you, thank you for being brave to begin sharing your story with us! I want you to feel the holy spirit hugging you and know it is from us your sisters in Christ who also seek his grace and mercy on this journey called life. XOXO

  4. 454
    Shannon Pate says:

    Dear Precious Sister Gay!! Thank you so much for your willingness to be honest and vulnerable in order to help others. I can’t wait to hear your “God story”! I pray God’s biggest blessings on you!! Much love, Shannon

  5. 455
    Courtney says:

    CRYING as I read this!! I’m 25 & just did the math & I have 922 days sober. God has transformed my life but lately I’ve started to rely on my own strength & have skipped meetings. Can’t wait to read your story. There is a loneliness that only we know! Love you already!

  6. 456
    Tammy Walters says:

    Thank you…for your honesty, your candor, your humility in sharing, and for reminding me that there is hope for the hopeless and strength for the journey!

  7. 457
    Diane Bailey says:

    I have no words sweet Gay, Just know there is a Standing Ovation going on here, for you …
    Clapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclapclap….to eternity…

  8. 458
    Lynn says:

    Gay, Thank you for sharing your story. It brought tears to my eyes as I read your words. A wonderful reminder that God is totally amazing and brings hope when we can’t see past hopelessness. Your story has impacted me and I am looking forward to hearing more of your journey. Love, Lynn

  9. 459
    Kathy says:

    Welcome to “siestaville” I so look forward to hearing your story. Our Lord and God is sooooo good.

  10. 460
    Patti says:

    Gay, thanks so much for honest sharing. I am in the middle of my worst relapse yet. I had 5 years, been out for 5. I know where to go when I am ready. I want to be ready, I dont want to lose everything… thanks again.

  11. 461

    This is beautiful…all of it! The reconciliation, the freedom, the hope, the grace and mercy for others because of the grace and mercy you have received. Looking forward to hearing and sharing your story. Thank you!!!

  12. 462
    Christina says:

    Thank you both for sharing your stories. God will use it to heal so many hurting women. You both are such a blessing to us.

  13. 463
    marie says:

    Lord, Beths sister started drinking before he was born. He started drinking at least by 16 . Now in a halfway house that call themselves rehab. He is 30 he has shredded all our relationships to tiny pieces. My hope for any difference is almost gone. He stays at the rehab place but has to provide his food, his probation money,and rent for the place weekly. He left his job in December. If he doesn’t pay this week he goes back to jail. He has been arrested at least eight times DUI but not all have stuck angels lifted him out of the back windshield when he rolled his car and could not have gotten out on his own, yet emergency workers found him walking down the road with hardly a cut. This morning after being cussed out yesterday, I praying Lord give me a sign there is some hope”……………

  14. 464
    Heather Smith says:

    Hi Gay and welcome to Siestaville!
    I live in Lewiston, Idaho, but I have been to Mercy Street in Houston!! It was a wonderful place and I learned so much… My husband and I attended a service there back in January of 2008 (with his Beeson cohort- your pastor and church were such gracious hosts to our group!). What a great community you are a part of! We felt so privileged to attend a service and see all God has done and is doing among you! I can’t wait to hear more of your story. Thank you for having the courage to share!
    Heather in Lewiston

  15. 465
    Patty Pierce says:

    Thank you so much for sharing. I praise God for what He is doing in your life. I’m just so glad for you Gay and our sweet siesta momma. God is so very good . I will look forward to what you have to share.

  16. 466
    Betty M says:

    Welcome Gay!
    We open ourselves up to any and everything by doing just what you did but we never know who we will help by being open and vulnerable. Alot of us have alcoholism in our families. I have an uncle who was a drunkard. He lost everything. When he was still a young man he would drink himself into oblivion every Sat night and he would stagger into his home at the same time his Christian mother would be praying for his salvation. Grandma never lived to see Uncle Henry come to faith but he was one who was saved on his death bed. I often wonder what kind of reunion they had together in Heaven. Remember none of us live a perfect life but we all are forgiven. All of us struggle daily with some kind of issue. You have a very talented younger sister Beth whom God is using in unbelievable ways. You are among forgiven friends and a wonderful community of love and support. Blessings to you. Remember too as you reach up to God He reaches down to you and holds you inhis strong right arm. Hugs from the Heartland of ND!
    Betty M

  17. 467
    Stacey says:

    Beth thank you for introducing us to Gay here. I have watched you introduce her many times in the past couple of years at Tuesday night Bible Study and I see the joy in your eyes when you do.

    Gay – you are incredible and I thank God for you. The gumption it takes to tell your story is only obtained from The Almighty! I have watched alcoholism from the other side and have been utterly scared out of my mind by the unbelievable stronghold that the enemy can have. I pray for you dear sister as you share your journey. May you bless and be blessed abundantly! WHAT A LADY YOU ARE!

    Much love!

  18. 468
    Suz says:

    Jesus’ Light shines through you Gay! What a beautiful gift you are and hope you bring!

  19. 469
    Julie Howard says:

    What a blessing to hear! So excited to meet you and to hear more about your story…or HIS story! 🙂

  20. 470
    April says:

    So happy to hear from you!!! Your words mean so much and will help so many. Thank u

  21. 471
    Becky says:


    It is a delight for me to be able to “meet” you. I have followed your story for quite a long time-way before I even knew your name.

    I have spent the last couple of hours with some women discussing the fact that we don’t have to have it totally together before we can help others. In fact, if we ever DO get it together, we will likely be full of pride and will not be able to help anyone. Our struggles keep us humble. Our imperfections keep us relatable. If we refuse to accept opportunities to share our struggles, then we remain bound by guilt and shame. At the conclusion of our discussion, we determined that the key to victory as opposed to defeat is being willing to be vulnerable, no matter how scary it feels. Walking straight through the fear, needing Jesus desperately, and DOING IT. Whatever IT happens to be.

    That’s exactly what you are doing and I am so proud of you. You are going to impact many lives by sharing your story in such a public forum.

    I will be praying for you. That God will calm your fears, and that even if He doesn’t, He will give you supernatural courage to write and speak anyway.

    I look forward to hearing from you again. And I will say it one more time….I am SO PROUD of you.

  22. 472
    Colette says:

    Hi Gay! It is very nice to meet you! I just wanted to tell you how much this made my night! I have some very special family members who struggle with addiction and your testimony gives me Hope that they will have 1000 days clean also! Someday soon I pray!! Thank you for your honesty! I look forward to reading more of your story! Thanks for sharing your sister with us Beth!! 🙂
    P.S Now there’s some fruit from your intercessory prayers!! Awesome fruit!! Can’t wait to see the fruit of my prayers!

  23. 473
    Sharon O says:

    Oh your story I so understand.
    In 2006 my sister was on hospice dying of starvation and severe alcoholism, she drank a fifth of vodka a day. In the midst of her death pending her husband died. My older sister, myself and our two husbands brought her home to die, instead she gained strength and in that process we detoxed her for 4 weeks in our family room. It was ‘Horrendous’…and awful and other words, today she is alive and living in an assisted living home.
    The story is much more involved than what I am sharing in a brief note. It is a story of sisters.

  24. 474

    I read this post and am still praising God for all He has done, is doing, & will do in and through your life, Gay. I have prayed for you often over the years and am absolutely overjoyed to hear in your own words the work God and you have done as He is redeeming the years the locusts stole. May our Jesus surround you with His peace as you walk step by step with Him. I can’t wait to read the rest of the story. Congratulations on your 1000 days!

    With love from your sister in Christ and in Siestaville, and with continued prayers,

  25. 475
    Ruby says:

    Had to contain myself while reading your message, lest I wake my children. I wanted to jump up and shout praises to our King! Thank you for sharing your story with us.

  26. 476
    Leslie says:

    Precious Gay, oh how my heart rejoices in all that the Lord has done. I am so proud of you for sharing your life with us, and am grateful for your 1000 days of sobriety. You are a new creation, you are a daughter of the King of Kings, you are clothed in “strength and dignity” (your sister taught me that)! God’s love for you is passionate and lavish, and all consuming! Blessings to you my dear sister in Jesus!

  27. 477
    Anne says:

    Gay, welcome to our “siestahood”. Thank you so much for your willingness to share your story so others in similar situations will have hope and learn how powerful a restorer our Savior is. I pray that He uses you as a shining light in the darkness beyond what any of us can imagine.

  28. 478
    Linda says:

    WOW!!! God is SO awesome and kind and loving and and and……

    WOW!!! God is so awesome!!!

    My girlfriend and I just this morning were praying for our sisters who are currently so far from the LORD. In the natural it doesn’t look like they will likely turn to Him. But we know better than to walk by sight. We are asking and thanking and believing that Jesus will rescue them just as He did us

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for sharing your testimony. What encouragement to press on in their behalf.

    Bless you

  29. 479
    KK says:

    Gay, thank you for sharing Hope with us today. I am eager to read more from you. Thank you for sharing!

  30. 480
    Pat Christopherson says:

    Gay, it is an honor to meet you! I will be in prayer for you daily as you seek the Father’s heart on what, when and how to share.

    Thank you for your willingness to be open. It will bring hope and courage to many; I’m certain of it!

  31. 481
    Jane Martin says:

    I’m a sister. I grew up with three sisters, and we loved each other dearly. Once there were four and now there are two. My heart is so full – full of gratefulness that God has “restored to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten” and given you and Beth the blessing of sisterhood. We have an awesome and mighty God. Praise Him.

  32. 482
    Tammy York says:

    Bless your heart and praise God ! You have touched a hidden and tender part of heart. My mother was a alcoholic who came from generational depression n oppression . She committed suicide when I was 151/2 . I too have a story to tell of the saving grace of Jesus Christ, not just my salvation but from my self and the deamons that have been sharp on heels for years .

  33. 483
    Diana A. says:


    GOD is so Faithful!

    May He continue to redeem your ‘lost’ years, and use them to glorify Himself, and bring encouragement to others.

    Thankfully He has the ability to make all things work for the good of those who love Him! He is able to make your life story good!

    Looking forward to reading your story, and seeing how your “Prince” came to your rescue! I love a good Love Story!!! 😀

  34. 484
    Texas Nana says:

    What a powerful testimony to the ever-persistent love and grace of our precious Savior. As I read your post, Gay, my heart is full. I’m literally weeping – thrilled to my toes that you have found the courage and faith to put your life into the hands of the Deliverer. For thirty years now I have been pleading for my own little sister, who is ravished by a cruel addiction to alcohol. By all appearances, she had the perfect life, but has lost it all. Her life has been so completely stripped that she avoids any contact with those of us who desperately want to help. Don’t doubt, sweet Gay, that your story is meant to be shared. You have seriously given me renewed hope that my sister is not too far gone and that the Lord indeed listens to the heart-wrenching cries of a sister
    who’ll be belly up in a grave before she gives up the fight!

  35. 485
    Heidi says:

    Thank you for sharing your sweet sister, Beth and THANK YOU for sharing your life, Gay! Congratulations on the first 1,000 days!

  36. 486
    Shelly Wilson says:

    Dear Siesta Gay, Daughter of the Most High,
    Congratulations on 1000 days! That’s huge! The angels are rejoicing, as are we. Yay God, and Yay Gay! (rhymes) My dad was an alcoholic until I was 25. But I promise you, the sweetness of the 17 years I’ve had with him sober has so far outweighed pain of the past. I appreciate him more than the average girl, cos I witnessed firsthand the pain he overcame to be free. So thankful for the precious Blood of Jesus.
    Love! Siesta Shelly

  37. 487
    Charlann says:

    Jude 1:24-25
    “A Prayer of Praise
    Now all glory to God, who is able to keep you from falling away and will bring you with great joy into His glorious presence without a single fault. All glory to Him who alone is God, our Savior through Jesus Christ our Lord. All glory, majesty, power, and authority are His before all time, and in the present, and beyond all time! Amen.”

    I pray this prayer over you Gay, and I thank you for your ministry and transparency. Having a difficult past as part of my testimony as well, I know how hard it can be, and sometimes doubt wants to creep in. I pray that you will hear His still, quiet voice, resonating through your heart, and be filled with His peace and love. I know you will be such an encouragement to so many sisters. God bless!

  38. 488
    Margie by the Sea says:

    Dear Gay and Beth,
    Tears of joy stung my eyes when I first started to read this post and haven’t stopped. Ever since you were so candid with us in Tampa, Beth, your beautiful sister Gay has been in my prayers. And, Gay, I want you to know that you still are.
    Our God is so good! Welcome home.
    Your seista,

  39. 489
    Jennifer says:

    Gay, you are so welcomed here and so loved already. What a brave woman you are and I can not wait to hear the rest of your story. So proud that the Holy Spirit is guiding your every step. What a gift your family is; clearly Beth and others never stopped praying for your redemption. Our God is Amazing!!

  40. 490
    Lisa Braun says:

    I totally LOVED meeting your sister! ♥
    I have 4 sisters and each of us has a story!
    God bless you immensely for sharing yours!
    I LOVE to hear testimonies of what God is doing in the lives of the ones He loves…we glean soooo very much from each other!
    God has and is doing an AMAZING work in Gay!
    HUGS to you both!! ♥

  41. 491
    Elizabeth says:

    “My second favorite author” made me smile. Love you, girl. So, so happy and thankful for you!

  42. 492
    Kate Long says:

    This was such a God thing that this post hit the blog today. I can’t begin to tell how this post touched my heart and brought me hope. Looking forward to the rest of the story – because I think I just might need to hear it.

  43. 493
    Brenda says:

    It is so nice to meet you Gay, we look forward to getting to know you. You are sooo loved and accepted here and we are blessed to have you as our Siesta in Jesus!
    Chairen (Joy to you!!) Gay!!

  44. 494
    Candace says:

    Amen Gay!! Keep telling your story, siesta! God has called us to authenticity -this is how we are to reach the world for HIM. Praying God’s blessing over you! Keep sharing & I can’t wait to hear the rest of your story.

  45. 495

    Gay, I am so blessed by you. I am praising God for YOU!! We started our first lesson on Beth’s new James Bible Study last night. It was a special treat to be able to hear from you today. 1000 days is amazing. Love and blessings from my heart to yours.

  46. 496
    Lynn Kelly says:

    Dear Gay, what a blessing to meet you and to hear part 1 of your story. A very good friend of mine is involved at Mercy Street and I’ve gone a few times…..they do amazing work and so delighted to hear you are there in their loving arms.

    You indeed have a story … and an amazing sister….. and an even more amazing God!

    God Bless as you journey with him!


  47. 497
    Mary Schroeder says:

    Praise GOD from whom all blessings flow.

  48. 498
    Sherrie says:


    1000 days that is amazing! Your faith amazing. Your paying it forward what a service. So effective when one says “been there done that” to someone trying to recover, someone trying to avoid the pit.

    Thank you so much for sharing this much of your story I can’t wait to hear more.

    May God keep you strong as you serve him and others. Praying for you Gay and am celebrating 1000 with you. That is a rarity.

    one piece of His peace,

  49. 499
    Lauren says:

    Gay, It’s an honor that you would share your story for the Glory of Jesus to us. Looking forward to hearing all you have to offer!

  50. 500
    FontaineTabor/Lake Charles, LA says:

    Oh Gay and Beth….What an awesome Wonderful Savior we serve…Thank you for sharing…My heart is soo full and running over thinking of how He is already using you and your obedience. Can’t wait to share this with Celebrate Recovery girls this week. God Bless and keep you strong Gay.

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