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”

If you'd like your own pic by your comment, go to Click the first button "Get your gravatar today ->", and it will walk you through a simple process to select a picture.


  1. 851
    Leann says:

    So wonderful to meet you Gay!! You have a kindred spirit for certain. My family has dealt with addiction our entire lives. I feel the pull of it on me daily– Beth has always made the reference that ‘if one is good two is better’–oh that’s me. My twin brother has a huge call on his life and I’ve known it since about the age of 7— but he’s been self destructing for 20 years now. Thank you for giving me HOPE for the seemingly impossible. I love candidness and I can already sense it with you. Praise God for His and your perseverance and I look forward to getting to know you’re soul better. Thanks Beth for sharing your big sis with us!!!

    Leann F.

  2. 852
    Bobbi Graffunder says:

    You have found the Light, now let it shine!!!!!

  3. 853
    Robin in the Sticks of Texas says:

    Amen. Amen that you were comforted…and now you comfort. Amen and Praise the Lord Jesus, Mighty and Strong!

  4. 854
    Cherie says:

    Gay, Praise the Lord for healing. I also walk my recovery road day by day. You are taking a journey that will bless and touch so many. I am praying for you that the Lord will give you the strength you need, day by day.
    Blessings to you

  5. 855

    Bless you, Gay, and thank you for your boldness to share. I pray God’s peace upon you and fullness of joy in His presence as you press on. Your message is sure to inspire, encourage, and provide hope for the hurting. He will use every moment of your suffering and the comfort He has provided so that you may bring comfort to others. I admire your obedience! <3

  6. 856
    Tammy says:

    I was at the conference in KY with my husband when you introduced your sister and shared a small portion of her story. I sat there amazed at how small our world is and how messed up most of us are that live here in it. My sister too is an addict. She has been struggling for 10+ years with her addictions. Just recently she has found herself homeless after her last stint in jail. If you don’t mind even though she is not part of this blog I will be sharing these stories with her in the hopes that she too will find strength and grace in Christ. Thank you both your courage to share her story.

  7. 857
    Dianne R. says:

    PRAISE GOD FROM WHOM ALL BLESSINGS FLOW!! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful testimony. Over the years I have heard Beth allude to her dear loved one so am thankful I have the opportunity to rejoice and cry with you in joy. Our God is awesome – He is amazing – He never gives up. Thank you, Gay, for being open and vulnerable.

  8. 858
    Mercy says:

    Hi Gay, my name is Mercy and i am also an alcoholic. Hardest words I have ever said, but now I say them in freedom. Welcome, I can not wait till here the rest of the story.

  9. 859
    pat says:

    Praise God!! When you reached up, He was still reaching down, during all that time. May God bless you in all you do and quide you as you follow HIM.

  10. 860
    kathypinkbicyclearkansas says:

    Gay, I cannot imagine how difficult this is for you. Thank you for sharing. I have a brother in law that is an alcoholic, still very much addicted. The burdens it has placed on my sister are devestating. They have nothing!! They have a home but it is barely inhabitable.
    Thank you for sharing and I will pray for you.

  11. 861
    linda says:

    so brave of you… so sincere and from the heart… i am touched you would be open and willing to bare your soul to us in order to be obedient to jesus. yours is a testimony that will reach people on a very personal level… thank you for being so real and so available to do what jesus has asked… you will be surrounded by love her, girlfriend! xx

  12. 862
    Crissy says:

    We love you Gay!!! Thank you for sharing your story with us! May God continue to use you for His glory!!!! Hugs:)

  13. 863
    Julie says:

    Welcome Gay! Thank you for sharing your story, for being authentic and honest. Your testimony will truly touch many heart and lives both delivered and waiting for another soul who can truly understand what they are going through personally. So honored to hear, Julie

  14. 864
    Leanne says:

    Thank you so much, Gay and Beth, for giving us a peak at the miracles Jesus has done in your lives. We build up faith in each other when we share our stories. I so look forward to reading the rest of your miracle, Gay.

  15. 865
    Kathy G. says:

    WHAT A PRAISE TO GOD AND A BLESSING TO US!!!!!!! GLORY!!!!I CANNOT WAIT to share this with my own older sister who has been struggling with being an alcoholic for many years now. WHAT a HOPE you are to those who have to sit on the ‘sidelines’ so to speak and watch a very dear loved one on a path of destruction of self.
    Thank you for your truth and honesty! I will be praying for you and our Jesus to have continued success thru your life for His boasting!!!

  16. 866
    Sandy in Texas says:

    Bless you…bless you, dear sweet sister…Siesta! Tears fell, but my heart rejoiced as I read your testimony of God’s great love, mercy & grace towards you. Throughout your sharing, the song, “Love Lifted Me” came to mind. I remember my own pit, well, there have been several! As your wonderful sister has shared about her own, I, too, decorated mine and moved in furniture. We were probably neighbors and didn’t know it. But “When nothing else could help…His…love lifted me!”
    You are loved & welcomed here among “siestas” who can sing this same song.
    Blessings to you!

  17. 867
    Denise B says:

    I have two verses that live deeply in me – Deuteronomy 31:8 and Isaiah 40:31 – both of these lift me higher and encourage me to take flight. Let God lift you and let your wings unfurl. It’s time to take it and let God use it. Good on you for doing so at this time.

  18. 868
    Suzanne G says:

    What a Blessing you ARE and WILL be to many! Thank you for sharing your story:)

  19. 869
    jackie says:

    Beth, thank you for sharing your sister with us. I hope we may get a chance to meet her inperson this weekend!

    You brought me to tears. God bless you, dear sister. There is no doubt God has a wonderful plan He is even yet completing for your life.

    Jackie from MO

  20. 870
    Julie Foglio says:

    To God be the Glory!! It gives us all hope when we hear the stories of what God is doing and can do.Plus, it shows us that it is never to late. Thank you for sharing!!

  21. 871
    Elaine Johnson says:

    I feel the Lord has been laying on my heart that I am going to HAVE to share my story – the whole, ugly story in order to help others. Because He does have me, all of me. The scripture He has given me for 2012 is “For to me to live is Christ and to die is gain”. Phil 1:21 If I’m living, it has to be Christ living in and through me. When I saw this post I thought – oh gosh, this is what I am going to be doing in the near future. Thank you both for sharing your lives with former pit dwellers.

  22. 872
    Barb Lanktree says:

    Gay, Thank you for listening to the Lord our God, stepping out to give Him the Glory and for your courage to share.l
    Blessings as we share this journey. Barb

  23. 873
    Michelle says:

    Thank you for trusting us! Praise Jesus!
    Can’t wait to hear what the Lord has done.
    Speak it! Love you both.

  24. 874
    CandiMcD says:

    THANK YOU Beth for trusting your sister with us and THANK YOU Gay for being real!!!!!!! I’m honored to be part of this community…as a siesta who is struggling through her first steps of ‘Stepping Up’…your honesty and faithfulness spur me onward!!!

    Much love!!!!! Candi

  25. 875
    Kendra says:

    1000 days. Glory to the ‘most Mysterious Jesus God.’ Praise and Honor and Glory be to His awesome name. So wonderful to meet you Gay. Your enthusiasm and excitement for Him are contagious and make me want to live a God-centered life all the more. Looking forward to hearing more. Praise Him. Oh, praise Him!

  26. 876
    Kay says:

    Bless you, sweet siesta! Praise the Lord God, for He has done great and unimaginable things. I’m not an alcoholic, but I am an -aholic. And I’m smart enough (now) to know the only difference is the coping mechanism of choice. I, too, am “clean” for a good portion of time, but Jesus fights a daily battle with me, for me.

    I welcome your story. Bless you.

  27. 877
    mary says:

    Gay-from the bottom of my heart thank you so much for sharing your story and your faith. What a sweet, sweet Jesus we have!!

  28. 878
    Diane in Flagstaff says:

    Oh my friends, Beth and Gay, thank you SO MUCH for taking a chance with us siestas to share such extraordinary hope and light! I am crying tears that defy description, except to say my God is mighty!!! Mighty indeed! I can’t wait to hear more of your journey and be encouraged by His love and redemption. Oh, how our dark world needs this message SO MUCH! May God bless you both!

  29. 879
    WendyB says:

    Dear Gay,
    I’ve typed and erased for a solid half hour, and decided finally that there are no adequate words. Praising Him for 1001 days. Begging Him for one more, a thousand and one more for you. Knowing He’s all. Praising Him that He alone is stronger than our pain. I lost my marriage to alcohol. You and so many Siestas have lost even more, yet He has given so much back to us! I am so eager to hear the rest of your story. Thank you for sacrificing your privacy to bring it to us.

  30. 880
    Deb Weaver says:

    It took courage for both of you gals to hop on the blog and share what is dear to your heart. Thank you for doing so. Our Jesus–that sweet, sovereign soul-rescuer–pursues us with such passion and persistence and then redeems and uses us! Amazing! Your life stories radiate that truth!

  31. 881
    Linda Scott says:

    thank you brave lady you will bless a lot of lives as you have blessed mine God bless you

  32. 882
    Sarah says:

    Thank you for sharing! God is so good!!!

  33. 883
    Krystle says:

    Oh thank you for sharing. Thank you for being vulnerable and letting God use you!!

    You are welcome and loved here!!!!!!1

  34. 884
    Courtney says:

    AWESOME story, don’t stop writing!!!!

  35. 885
    Laurie says:

    Thank you Gay for sharing your healing with us. I lost my Dad, a VERY addicted alcoholic, 5 years ago. I really don’t ever remember him sober. He lost everything as well but never embraced the saving grace of Jesus. Never recognized or acknowledged his problem. I have a knot in my stomach even now over the unconditional grace and mercy that was offered to him over and over and rejected. So, that makes your story of victory even more miraculous to me. I know the power of the bottle! I know how seductive and jealous it can be. Praise God, you are free and willing to bring that hope to others. God bless your ministry. I look forward to every chapter. Worthy is the Lamb! Laurie

  36. 886
    Tracy from Westland says:

    What a sweet and tender blog today. Beth, I love how you love and protect your sister. I have 3 sisters and feel the same way towards them.
    Gay, thank you so much for leaving your comfort zone to share with us. Know that your words have offered hope and healing and I really look forward to hearing from you again.
    You have much to celebrate and I am celebrating along with you!!! We give Him the glory!!!!!!

  37. 887
    Amanda Carter says:

    Thank you. As a wife of an alcoholic, I thank you for sharing your story. For giving me hope. For reminding who my God is. Thank you.

  38. 888
    Nancy says:

    Thank you for sharing your heart with us. Can’t wait to get to know you even better in the days to come. You are much loved!!

  39. 889
    Carrie says:


  40. 890
    Terri says:

    First of all, congradulations on the 1,000 days of sobriety. I would so love for you to talk with my brother-in-law who’s at a rehab there in Texas. This is his 5th rehab. He also has lost his marriage, kids, jobs, etc. and still can’t seem to pull himself out of the pit. He is not a believer and we both know until he is his ability to have a life of sobriety will not happen. He’s torn this family apart in many ways and we just can’t help him like Jesus can.

  41. 891
    Cathie Bedor says:

    Thank you for being authentic! Rejoicing with you in your God Size story!

  42. 892
    Patrice McKinney, Midland, TX says:

    I’m looking forward to reading more of your story. You, too, are a gifted writer. Praise our God! His light shines through every word you wrote.

  43. 893
  44. 894
    Cynthia Barks says:

    Our God is an awesome God! I work with an addiction/recovery group at my church and am amazed at God’s love and power revealed in recovery. I think we are all addicted to sin in some area of our lives, some just not obvious. Thank you for your and His story.

  45. 895
    Cori Kehn says:

    Gay! Thank you. From the deepest recess of my own heart and inner wo-man for this honest, clear, true testimony. I cannot tell you the NEED for more like this! HUGE! Publically, there are so many women I know in my own ministry that NEED to identify with redeemed, free, rightesous women such as yourself who are bold enough to not only say “alcoholic” but be vulnerable to be used by Him for His Glory. He is using this, mightily, Gay! I am spreading this to all those women I know that struggle with this same addiction and need to KNOW there is a PLAN for deliverance! Amen amen, amen!

  46. 896
    Sandy says:

    God bless you Sweet Lady! God is good!!

  47. 897
    Heather says:

    WOW! He blows me away!!! Shout it from the mountaintops!

  48. 898
    Cynthia Barks says:

    Our God is an awesome God! I work with an addiction/recovery group at my church and am amazed at God’s love and power revealed in recovery. I think we are all addicted to sin in some area of our lives, some just not obvious. Glad He is the great Healer! Thank you for your and His story.

  49. 899
    Valerie Robertson says:

    Better than a Hallelujah!! God is so GOOD!

  50. 900
    Siesta Susan says:


    Words are not enough to express what I am feeling after reading the introduction to your story!

    So, consider yourself warmly hugged!!!!

Leave a Reply

To receive a daily digest of comments on this post, enter your email address below: