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. 551
    lavonda says:

    Dear Gay,

    Thank you for sharing your story, your life and redemption, with us here. I have tears dripping from my cheeks as I read your heart on screen. These specific words I must’ve read a dozen times: “I believe that in order to LIVE what I have been delivered to I must REMEMBER what I have been delivered from.” I went numb for a few minutes as those words sank in. Then a heartwarming peace came over me, deep inside of me, as the tears fell for how much I remember. Thank you so much for being an encourager (like your sweet sister) who in the process of sharing your heart, makes the rest of us feel normal.

    And congratulations on one thousand days!!!!
    You will be so loved and cherished here on this blog.
    Much love to you,

  2. 552
    Jenny says:

    I’m new to this blog, but I’m so glad I started today. Can’t wait to hear the rest of your beautiful story, Gay.

  3. 553
    Bethany says:

    Who could judge? Who could condemn? Who could do anything other than fall to their knees (literally or figuratively) in front of our awesome, authentic Creator-Redeemer?

    How amazing is it that Jesus can take ugly-dirty-death and cover it up with His life so it shines with His glory? Praise God that He invites broken people to sit at His table and be His Bride.

  4. 554
    wm says:

    I cannot WAIT to read more of your story. There are so many alcoholics in my family that it is pathetic. I once found myself headed in that direction but, because I did NOT want to be like my siblings, I turned in another direction… I would like to say that I turned to God then and remained in him until this day, but that would not be truthful. I can hear the enthusiasm for Christ in your words and truly cannot wait to hear (read) more… God bless you, Gay! You will probably never know the number of lives that you are reaching by doing this…

  5. 555
    Cathy says:

    Thank you, Lord! We praise You for your faithfulness to Gay! Jesus, thank you for being the One who LOVED and LOVES her — always. Thank you for doing what it took for her to have life and freedom. Thank you for loving us all — FIRST! We love you back!!!

    Gay — BLESS YOU, BLESS YOU, BLESS YOU! Thank you for being willing to receive the “every spiritual blessing” that is yours in Christ, no matter how long it took. We are thrilled and blessed by you and your testimony. Let it ring out!!! We are listening — and crying, and praising!!!

  6. 556
    Kim My Good And Perfect Gifts says:

    Thank you for being vunerable. Thank you for sharing your story. Our God sure is good. No matter where we are He finds us and brings us back to himself. He uses us inspite of ourselves and we become a great blessing to others 🙂

  7. 557
    Sharon says:

    Gay, we’re so happy to have you here! Thank you for sharing the way that God has worked in your life. I’m looking forward to hearing more of your story. Blessings to you!

  8. 558
    Laurie O says:

    Keep it coming, Gay! Thank you.

  9. 559
    Amy in Italy says:

    What a beautiful example of His ability to make beauty of ashes. Thanks for sharing yourself here. I pray for open ears as we hear the rest.

  10. 560
    Christina says:

    The saints oif God defeated the ancient one by the blood of the lamb and the word of THEIR testimony, Revelations tells us. Thank you for sharing and continuing to share the word of your testimony,sister, that God may be glorified and the devil continually defeated. Your honesty and transparency are refreshing and courageous!

  11. 561
    Pam says:

    Gay, what a journey we sometimes take to get to our Lord. Mine is nothing like yours but I can’t wait to meet you and read YOUR JOURNEY.

    Welcome, to the the light. May he continue to richly bless you!!

  12. 562
    Jamee Miller says:

    For your willingness, your honesty, and your authenticity–thank you. I have a precious person in my life struggling with alcoholism and there are days when it definitely feels as though they are lost for good…how I know better! What you have written in your first post has reminded me yet again of God’s power, grace, and ability to blow the doors off of our expectations in the midst of “hopeless” situations–I look forward to reading your story in the weeks to come!!


  13. 563
    Marsha Bauldry says:

    Gay, I admire you for your courage and your writing is outstanding. It is wonderful to have the opportunity to read what God has done in your life. I am looking forward to the rest of the story,and I praise and thank God for you. Beth, thank you for sharing your sister and we welcome her as one of our siestas.

  14. 564
    Dori says:


    There is a Name that is given to our Lord that is sweeter to me than any…


    This story…YOUR STORY…is a PERFECT example of why I love His Name, Redeemer, so very much!!!


  15. 565
    Barb says:

    Welcome, Gay! You are already shining that light!! How refreshing to see God work in someone whom many can relate. The issues of alcoholism, drug addiction, and many more are not just out there in the world, but so many are struggling within the church walls but have no one to relate to. They here the stories of following all the sermon points so their kids turn out wonderful, their marriages flourish, and they live the “perfect” Christian life. But, there they sit (maybe inside the church) and know their life is so far from this. They don’t need to be beaten up anymore, they need Him and people who love Him to love them…people like you!! I praise God for what He has already done in your life and can’t wait to hear more and see what He will do with what was once a “mess”. Praise God…love you!!

  16. 566
    Christy L. says:

    I can’t imagine the courage it takes to share you’re story, but I am ever so grateful. It is an enormous dose of encouragement at just the right time for me. So looking forward to hearing the rest of your story. Congratulations on your 1,000 days!

  17. 567
    Jane says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and message of hope and victory in Jesus. The difficulties in my life are different than yours but the truth about God and His word are still applied the same. No matter how big the mountain is God is able to move it. I needed to hear your story today and look forward to hearing more.

  18. 568
    Traci says:

    Oh, goodness, Beth – I always thought you were the “only Beth.” Gay sounds so like you – I love her already!

  19. 569
    Cindy Childers says:

    Gay and Beth,
    I am so grateful for this day! I believe the Lord woke me up 45 extra minutes earlier today than my usual quiet time (before my sweet darlings wake up) to prepare me in prayer before having the chance to open up the blog and read this beautiful Love Story you’ve just begun. I love when He knows exactly what we need in our quiet time each day. Thank you Father! I believe on so many levels, Gay, that God will use you to reveal more of Himself to others and to me. As soon as I saw y’alls pictures from childhood, I bawled my eyes out and I believe instantly one of the things He will do most is restore and renew my relationship with my own sister. She is 40 and I am 38 and we’ve sadly never been close. And it’s just the two of us. She is a serious atheist and mocks nearly everything I say or do in the Name of Jesus. I have been born again since I was 21 and have never loved Jesus more. Reading your words, I imagine you know that God will help many with alcohol problems, but I’m believing that He will go even beyond that and use you to bring healing and hope to blood sisters and brothers. Siestaville has been amazing for me, because it has brought spiritual sisters in Christ to me that I’ve never known. But maybe now is the time for me to allow God to bring healing between me and my very own sister. God is so beautiful. I think He’s going to use you in ways you’ve never imagined. Thank you so much, Love, Cindy

  20. 570
    Debbie says:

    Beth and Gay,

    Thank you so much for sharing your stories!!!! God has blessed me to hear of what He can only do in our lives. We serve a gracious and merciful Savior.


  21. 571
    Elizabeth Sullivan says:

    Welcome Gay! I call myself a silent siesta…I read the blog often but have very rarely posted, so your story is so very special…if you can tell your story, I can most definitely post my thoughts! Congratulations for 1000 days….and for having the courage to tell your story. You are amazing and wonderful, and you and Beth are so blessed to have each other…and for you to share each other with us siestas, the silent and the vocal, we say thank you and God bless you both!

  22. 572
    Mary Watkins says:

    Dear Gay,
    Thank you for sharing your life with us. What courage,what a testimony! I look forward to hearing from you and the many ways our precious Lord has ministered to you. It is good to know, as Corey ten Boom once said, “Mo matter how deep the pit, He is deeper still”. What a precious magnificent Lord we serve.

    Hugs to you, my friend. I love you already.

  23. 573
    Angie says:

    Dear Gay,
    Thank you friend for embarking on this journey to share what God has done in and through you. I am excited to read and rejoice with you as you will no doubt “comfort others with the comfort you’ve been comforted with.” God is so good and merciful like that. I’m praying for you! Tell it like it is darlin’ – the truth will set you free! In fact, it already has!!!

  24. 574
    Terry says:

    Wow. Gay, you are an awesome communicator. I look forward to the next installment. To God be the glory!

  25. 575
    Stephanie says:

    Welcome sister! I too was healed by Him through AA and stumbled afterwards in a big way. Praise God for His work in you and be assured that the words of your testimony WILL bear fruit and bring a saving knowledge to others. May the love and peace of God be with you dear sister!

  26. 576
    Cheryl Hinerman says:

    Bless you! Keep loving, sharing and serving. You make your Heavenly Father proud!

  27. 577
    Lorraine says:

    Thank you for your precious words. How precious you are to Jesus. He loves you so and now you can proclaim how much you love Him. He is so worthy and you shine His love to all. What an exciting journey He has you on and to use you for His glory. Don’t let your feet hit the ground unless you need to rest in Him for a while!

  28. 578
    Janet says:

    Praise God for a 1,000 days and may He bless you with 100 times that and more! Thank you for sharing your story and I look forward to reading more.

  29. 579
    Cheri says:

    I’m typing with a HUGE smile and eyes filled with tears! Welcome to your internet home, Gay!

    I am not a frequent commenter, but I am a daily reader. I am looking forward to reading about what our AWESOME God has done in your life!

    CONGRATULATIONS on 1000 days sober!! That is incredible!!

    I will pray for you as you tell us your story

    I love you as I love your sister, Beth!!

  30. 580

    Beth – during your introduction I was already in tears.

    Gay – You are a true masterpiece! I am blessed and humbled and will continue to read your story as you share it. May you be only lifted and loved, not condemned. His story is written in each of us, but in you He is writing in BOLD, ALL CAPS! Keep sharing! God bless your preciousness.

  31. 581
    Kathy Smith says:

    Hallelujah, Oh Praise you Jesus! Shouting and praising God! Thank you Gayle for sharing and I look forward to hearing more. Our God is so awesome and it is always uplifting to read a testimony of God’s deliverance, healing, and restoration. God is all good, all faithful, all grace and mercy, ALL LOVE!!! He is our victory — Hallelujah!

  32. 582
    fuzzytop says:

    Praising God for His mercy and sweet deliverance. I cannot wait to hear your story Gay.

    Much love,

  33. 583
    Bonnie says:

    Gay, I can’t stop crying!!! I’m so excited n can’t wait to hear more of your story!!! Welcome to our community/ family!!!! Xoxoxoxoxo

  34. 584
    Dena says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Jesus for blessing us with these two women who have bravely loved each other and us enough to share their stories. Because you gave me two sisters whom I fiercely love, I understand the bond and the care Beth placed in us by sharing. Bless them both beyond their wildest dreams for loving you and us enough to do this.
    In Jesus Grace – Amen

  35. 585
    Karessa says:

    Gay, you are a wonderful writer and I love you already! Thank you for giving me some fresh hope today in my own situation.

  36. 586
    Jan says:

    Gay, You are COURAGEOUS and so I am thankful that you are so willing to share His REDEEMING LOVE with all of us. After reading all these comments the words “For such a time like this ” keep coming to my mind. Your courage has already spread seeds of hope and joy to so many. I thank His Holy Name for His story coming through you. You and Beth are going to do great things for the kingdom together and I <3 it! God bless you both!

  37. 587
    Alison Kerr says:

    Praise God for His redeeming power! Thank you for sharing your story! I’m Alison, a beliver in recovery for codependency of the chemically addicted and by God’s grace and calling I’m now the women’s ministry leader for our church’s Celebrate Recovery program. It is refreshing to hear the testimony of God’s work in people’s lives. Be blessed and praise God for your 1000 days!

  38. 588
    Amber Moon says:

    Dearest Gay,
    We serve a mighty and wonderful God and I’m blessed beyond measure that He brought you to us. Thank you for stepping out in marvelous faith to share your story with a loving little community called Siestaville. Your sister has touched my life in ways I cannot describe and now, I’m so grateful for you as well! Keep the faith and cling to Him. Trust in Him and He will make your paths straight! I cannot wait to hear more about what He’s doing through your life. Congratulations on 1,000 days…Glory to God!
    Much Love,
    Amber Moon

  39. 589
    Kristi says:

    In case you need just one more voice to encourage you, add me to the list of welcoming, open-eared and open-hearted Siestas. Be bold and courageous. You have nothing to fear from us. We love more and more proof that God can do what He says He can do!

  40. 590
    Jean says:

    Gay welcome to Siestaville!! Your story touched my heart and brought tears to my eyes. Can’t wait to hear more.

  41. 591
    Mary says:

    Gay, I wish I could give you a Big Bear Hug, so right this very minute I’m sending that Bear Hug to you all the way from New Jersey. Thank you ever so much for sharing with us. You have given me the courage to share “my story” with some co-workers. I look forward to hearing more from you. . . and to becoming friends.

  42. 592
    Julie Smith says:

    Hi Gay! I have to tell you that I feel that this message was written just for me! I am so moved and blessed and honored to be able to tell you that the Holy Spirit is doing a very deep work in me (foodaholic if you will) and your words have penetrated deep into my soul for Daddy. I needed to see this today and I’m moved to tears by the awesome power of the Holy Spirit that He will be able to deliver me as well. Thank you so much for sharing your story.

  43. 593
    Kay says:

    welcome Gay, and congrats. As the spose of a recovering alcoholic (with 25 years sobriety)who passed away this past July; it only gets better. God has great things in store for you. And it sounds as though you are on your way, one day at a time.

  44. 594
    Connie Jenkins says:

    God Bless You. We all need your courage!

  45. 595
    Ellen Roth says:

    Welcome, Gay! I love you already! Just watched Beth’s first James session last night when she talked about “Resurrected Family” and how you and she have been restored, then I find you here today! Can’t wait to hear more of your story. Beth’s honesty and vulnerability have always been used by God in powerful ways, and I’m sure yours will be, too.

  46. 596
    Julie Hodges says:

    Praise God! Thanks so much for trusting us with your story and your Heart what a blesseing to see the Beauty that God can make of our ashes! 1000 day is a grand thing keep It up Girl! by the time I was 17 I was an alcohic I did not stop killing the pain or myself 13 years ago when My Jesus came placed His arms around me and asked if I was done running? with that I was just undone…Praise Him for His love, grace, and mercy. I love you my new sister and you shall be In my daily prayers!!! May God plant His will in all our hearts. <juls

  47. 597

    oh Gay! what a pleasure to meet you and hear your story. may God RICHLY bless YOU as you share with us. I’m crying too as I read this because I’ve heard your story through the lines of Beth’s bible studies over the years. I’m so thrilled for both of you.


  48. 598
    Hilda says:

    You shared a little about Gay in Tampa Living Proof Live a few years ago, I was blown away then and after the first segment, I may never stand up straight again! This is so encouraging to me.

  49. 599
    Kathy B says:

    Welcome, welcome dearest Gay, to Siestaville! Absolutely blessed beyond words to meet you and hear your very own Redemption story. Thank you for the much needed reminder that our God keeps seeking, keeps saving, keeps loving, keeps over-coming! Thank you for taking the risk of sharing, my sister-siesta 🙂

  50. 600
    Carol says:

    Gay: I am so sorry for the pain and loss that has consumed so many years, but I am grateful that faith and not that pain defines you. I also thank you for so graciously and gracefully sharing your story of redemption. Your willingness to boldly share your ministry work and life story will bless many.

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