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. 651
    Penny says:

    There is nothing more refreshing than authenticity; the genuine, yet so often battered and wounded heart that screams, “all of me, for more of You!”… May there be one less stone today as you pour out your story.
    I can’t imagine what could bless God more!

  2. 652

    Praise Jesus! Our raw, personal stories of personal redemption by a personal Saviour is a precious beautiful blessing- a testimony of God’s amazing grace and eternal salvation! I have shared this and pray it will bring hope to many, many more precious people! Walking with Jesus, Melissa

  3. 653
    Angela says:

    Welcome!!! Such a blessing to meet you, and I can’t wait to read more from you! Thank you for being YOU!! 🙂

  4. 654
    sharon says:

    Beth and Gay I want to thank you for sharing your storie/ almost my life storie.Hearing your storie gives me hope and another to know that I am not alone in the struggals that come are way.. Thank you Jesus for showing me this website and the strength of all these women who love you so much !

  5. 655
    Bridget Fisher says:

    Thank you, Gay – for sharing your heart. And thank you, Beth, for sharing your sister.
    I sincerely believe God is already doing great and powerful things in the lives of all who dwell here.
    I have no doubt that this is exactly the kind of encouragement that this wounded sort-of-a-siesta needs.

  6. 656
    Susan says:

    God bless you, Gay! Thank you so much for sharing your story with all of us. I admire your courage and look forward to reading the rest and learning from your experience.

    We all need to be reminded of the all-encompassing power and love of Jesus. Nothing is impossible with Him and your life proves that!

    Blessings to you,

  7. 657
    Shelley Groh says:

    Soul baring honesty at its finest. Thank you for sharing your story, Gay.

  8. 658
    maureen ross says:

    Blown away..I am absolutely in love with your sister. Our testimonies bring healing, and by the blood of the lamb, we are washed clean. Praise God for her boldness and passion. I am humbled to be a witness of such a wonderful story. Thank you for sharing. Looking forward to the next installment. God bless you and your family.

  9. 659
    Deana says:

    I will text my sweet cousin today and have her read this. Her beautiful momma struggles with drinking…My uncle and her have stayed by her side through many difficult times. We love her so and want to see her free. THANKS FOR THE HOPE OF GOD, GAY…
    Made 4 Him

  10. 660
    Amy Greer says:

    Knocked out praising Jesus. I love my sister so and can only imagine how Mrs. Beth must feel. As your sister in Christ, I feel it, too. Hallelujah!

  11. 661

    How could anyone judge such beautiful honesty. Your story, every word of it, oozes with the grace, love, and forgiveness of God. I love how He specializes in repairing and restoring the broken. Your life is precious in every way, it always has been. Bless you sweet lady!

  12. 662
    Hannah Lee says:

    Simply amazing. What guts it took to write this but what GLORY, God’s GLORY, that is shining through this incredible testimony.

    Something that has always bugged me is how sometimes peoples understanding of struggles is a little skewed. People who have never had to walk through fire never know the intimacy one can gain from actually walking through it and being delivered straight into the hands of Our Father. Spirituality/Christianity is a place of healing for so many and I am so glad you took an opportunity to share your struggles and the healing process! You are so brave and I am so proud of you.

    Can’t wait to hear the next installment!

  13. 663
    Carmen Griffin says:

    Gay, this has truly touched my heart. I too am in recovery and have been for 4 years. My recovery began with my son, whom I tried to fix. He was an addict and I attempted to “fix” him for over 7 years. Once I began “Breaking Free” to just help another friend become free, (see I had no problems or issues LOL), I began to realize just how many issues I truly had. You are amazing and I look forward to hearing more and more from you. I pray that many hurting are healed by your ministry. Many will hear hope in your words and accept our One and True Living God. Thank you and God bless you abundantly.

  14. 664
    Sharon says:

    Thank You, Beth and Gay for being willing to be used by God, to tell your life histories so that others may be helped and turned toward God. This is an awesome thing you are doing. May God bless you as you tell your story in the coming weeks and I pray that many will be helped by hearing it.

  15. 665


    Thank you for your bravery and boldness may you never lose either. I love hearing stories of how our God loves to do exceedingly and abundantly more than we could ever imagine. The Lord pulled me from a mire of a pit and I love to be reminded we are never alone in our struggles but the Lord always provides sisters to love, encourage, admonish and help hold us accountable as we strive to live our lives as children of the Most Holy God!

  16. 666

    Ms. Gay,

    there are not adequate words for me to say how much I love you, how brave and courageous you are to be where you are now and how DELIGHTED I am to continue to pray for you and and defend you to any who would have a harsh word OF ANY KIND. Your victory encouarges me to fight sin and not give in to my own struggles. 1000 days!!!!!!!!!!! are you kidding me?! YES!! only Jesus.

    Truly, this siesta loves you deeply, Ms. Gay. I am so privledge to be a part of the expectant audience as you continue to share. and I deeply wish to squeeze your neck this weekend if you will be at the SSMT Celebration!

    with great love and respect,

  17. 667
    Sharen says:

    Gay, Thank you for sharing. your courage for overcoming your struggle and your willingness to talk about it is awe inspiring.

  18. 668
    Gail Morris says:

    Oh sweet Gay! I’m in tears. Do you know what an honor it is to meet you? I’ve prayed for you for years. I didn’t know your story, didn’t know your name, but knew I needed to pray for you. Welcome, welcome, welcome! So glad you are willing to share your story for His glory.

    Congrats to you and Praise be to Him! 1000 days! I hope you celebrate with cake!

    This Texas gal gives you a big HOWDY and YEE-HAW!

  19. 669
    Aimee says:

    Congratulations on 1,000 days sober, Gay! That is incredible! So happy to meet you and hear your story. Thank you for being so candid and honest about your struggles. Bless you, sweetheart!


  20. 670
    Leanna says:

    Sweet words of redemption. Thank you for trusting this community and sharing your story. God is flat out amazing!

  21. 671
    Debbie in Tennessee says:

    God bless you! Shine the light, Siesta, shine the light!
    Love and Blessings, Debbie in Tennessee

  22. 672
    Cindy Wincel says:

    Welcome dear sister in Christ!!

    Hearing your testimony made me throw my arms up and praise our God!

    Praise you LORD!!


    I know many many many people with addictions. I have witnessed its stronghold, and I long for the captives to be set free. So every story of victory makes me shout and give HIM GLORY, and pray that much harder for those who are held prisoner.

    Thank you LORD!

  23. 673
    Karen Wondercheck says:

    Thank you Gay and Beth for modeling what it is like to be real, it encourages us so and shows that we are indeed strong in our weaknesses! My father is an alcoholic and the Lord used the 12 steps to bring me to Him. I was attending Adult Children of Alcoholics groups and when I got to Step 3, I stayed there until the Lord showed me HE was the higher power I was looking for and the journey has been worth it, so worth it.

    Please continue to share your story!

    Love in HIM,

    Karen from AZ

  24. 674
    Roxanne says:


    Thank you so much for sharing your story. As the wife of a man who has been delivered form an addiction, I realize the importance of honesty and openness. I also can PRAISE our savior for healing a marriage that seemed beyond repair. I can also sympathize with how hard it can be to share your “secrets”. Keep fighting and keep sharing. Lost and saved people all over the world need to hear how our God delivers!

    Love in Christ,

  25. 675
    Nicole Graves says:

    Hello Gay! Thanks for sharing your heart with us. I grew up with a Dad who was an alcoholic and he is now sober and loving Jesus as well. HE is so faithful and so much bigger than our junk! Praising the Lord for your life and all He will do with your story! Blessings 🙂

  26. 676
    Lisa says:

    Beth and Gay, thank you for the gift of transparency, authenticity, and humility. It paves the way to the cross.

    In Him,

  27. 677
    berni says:

    And a very joyful and blessed 1,001 Day to you, sweet Gay!
    I pray you will taste and see the fruit of your obedience to Him, our Savior forevermore.

    I’m looking forward to your next blog post to us.

  28. 678
    valwoods says:

    Love you already and thanks for sharing this with us all. My sister is an alcoholic and I would love for her to receive healing and freedom from the Lord Jesus. Gay, keep telling your story…you are making a difference for Jesus!Pray for my sister Candace.

  29. 679

    Precious Gay … thank you! I have known two alcoholics … one is still living and I covet your prayers for her (she is dear to me) and another who died (alcohol related liver issues coupled with car accident). Reading your story reminds me that God has an amazing plan to use you because you are still here today! May God continue to bless you … and thank you for stepping out in faith. And thank you, God, for working all things together for good just like you said you would.

  30. 680
    danae says:

    “I believe that in order to LIVE what I have been delivered to I must REMEMBER what I have been delivered from.” beautiful, gay! keep sharing. we’ll be praying!

  31. 681
    Belinda says:

    Sweet Sista Gay,
    Thanks so much for your openness. Will pray for you in the coming weeks, that our God, through the strength of the Holy Spirit will give all the words to share your story of HOPE. Thanks agin for sharing.

  32. 682
    Sherry says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you and Praise God!!

    “There’s victory in the cross.
    I’m breaking free, all my chains are gone.
    I will sing, til my lungs give out!
    I’m gonna’ shout now that I’ve found VICTORY!”
    (Gateway Worship)

    Keep singing and shouting sweet girl, we’re listening to every note and rejoicing with you!

  33. 683
    Stephanie Ward says:

    Hi Gay! I’m fairly new to this blog but have been around your sister’s studies for a long time. In her words I want to say, “Are you ready for the ride of your life?” 🙂 Hang on! You wont’ be disappointed. I will be praying for you!

  34. 684
    Jo Ann says:

    THANK YOU, THANK YOU Gay for sharing. I just read “many” of the 360+ comments to you and you are LOVED much:)
    The enemy has used many strongholds to try and destroy my own life and my family’s but “Great is our Lord and mighty in power (Psalms 147:5b) He is in control and will win!
    Keep sharing and growing….God is with you every step and breath you take!! I (along with many others) need your encouragement and honesty.
    Love you & Beth so much even though I haven’t met you in person. Only God can form that bond:)

  35. 685
    Kathy says:

    Welcome to this community Gay! Thank you for sharing your story with us. We will love you just as we do your sister Beth. I am so thankful for your testimony of God’s grace.

  36. 686
    Beth says:

    oh hallelujah to Jesus, sweet sister, for blessing me with the begining of your, now His, story!!! Even though I have been spared the alcohol, I know the pain of the wilderness – thank you for being brave in His strength and speaking truth in His Love!! looking forward to more chapters in days to come!! thank you thank you!!

  37. 687
    Barbara Head says:

    Oh, Gay, yes my sweet one, I do want to hear your story. It doesn’t have to be alcohol to be a ravaging addiction. I also, many years ago, struggled with addictive behavior. But for the Grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, I would be “lost in my affliction”. You are so brave and I commend you, BUT, I also know that NOTHING is impossible with our Mighty, Awesome GOD! Thank you for your story.

  38. 688
    Amanda says:

    Praise God that Gay is here to share her story! I have already cried and cried at what I have read and been awesomely blessed by it, and the telling hasn’t even really started yet! Beth said: “Her rescue and revival flooded over into mine. God used her healing to add to mine.” And isn’t that true of all of us who are in the family of God??

  39. 689
    Nancy Scott says:

    Gay, Your story was so encouraging to me this day. Thank you for sharing. I am praying for 2 family members to be delivered from their addictions. Thank you for reminding me what a HUGE God we serve! He is able!! Praise Jesus!

  40. 690
    Jacque F says:

    Hi Beth, and Gay. I just wanted to say thank you Gay for speaking out and telling your story. My mom is a “full blown” alcoholic. She too has hit the bottom, but so far has not found her way back up. I have not talked to her in 2 years. As soon as I started reading your intro I started crying. I know that if Christ can help you up out of the hole he can help my mom, she just has to accept his help. I pray for her everyday, but your story has started to give me hope.
    Thank you and can’t wait to read more.

  41. 691
    Leslie Olson says:

    TRIUMPH! Mercy reigns!

  42. 692
    Bree says:

    Dearest Gay,
    Thank you for sharing your story with us. So inspiring and full of courage. I’m just elated that I have the oppertunity to read your writing. God bless you today and everyday my sister!

  43. 693
    Robin Wight says:

    What a blessing to my Tuesday! You are the living testament of God’s great love and grace, and I am so glad you will be sharing your story. I need it and I’m sure others will, too.
    You are awesome!!!

  44. 694
    Valerie says:

    I embrace you and thank you for the honor of listening with not only my mind but my heart of your journey to God. We are all fallen and only by His Grace and Mercy can we put one foot in front of the other and know with certainty that He is standing next to us every step of the way. Thank you so much for doing this. With love to you!!

  45. 695
    Vickie says:

    Sweet Gay,

    Sweet Sister,I wish I could hug your cotton pickin neck!
    I’ve been speechless, prayerful, thankful, worshipping Our Savior since this was posted. Just look what you’ve done….the honor and glory that you’ve bestowed upon Jesus in sharing your/His story…’s scandalous,just like our Father in heaven. Now….I’m singing/shouting out,”Oh, praise Him, He is Holy”. When we choose to love Him and others enough to pour out our heart and soul….to share our greatest weakness(es),so others may see Him working in us,so others may know His love, His hope, His peace…..what we pour out, God replaces with pure Jesus. Gay, it’s so obvious in your words,(even between the lines), HE, the Lord of Glory is “IN” you. Breaking to pray and stop crying…..
    Welcome gurlfriend, siesta…..we are so honored!

    P.S. I hope you don’t mind if I print this off and place it in my brothers reading/bath room. He suffers this addiction and hates it. Thank you just doesn’t seem to cut it but that is all I have and I mean it sincerely.


  46. 696
    Joan says:


    Welcome to this wonderful place called Siestaville. You are welcome with open, loving arms, just as each of us were. We are all here because we love Jesus. “Rejoice with me, I have found my lost sheep.”

  47. 697
    April Jones says:


    I have followed this blog and Beth’s ministry for a long time and never posted. However, today I could NOT resist! Thank you so much for your willingness to be God’s mouth, hands and feet in this way! I look forward to reading about your journey. The verse that continues to run through my head as I read your post and all the others here is this: Matthew 19:26 “Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’”

    I love a good “but God” verse, don’t you! Keep up the good work! Nice to finally meet you!


  48. 698
    Joyce Watson says:

    Oh, how precious our God is! What a beautiful tesitmony and how grateful we are to know that God is still wooing us back to Him. It brings tears of happiness and overwelming joy to know how God is working in your live in such a loving way,Gay.
    Thankful to know that God can restore us through our hurt, our shame and our most painful moments_He removes all that. God brings healing and I love Him for that.

  49. 699
    Nancy D. says:

    We love you already, Gay!

  50. 700
    Kathy D says:

    thank you for sharing your story with us, Gay – I pray God continues to bless you in your recovery! you go, girl!

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