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. 901
    Vicky says:

    Thank you for telling your story. It is a story that needs to be told.

    • 901.1
      Rainie says:

      WOW!! I want to thank Gay for sharing her heart! I’ve been praying for my own little brother Chad who is in the local jail. He turned himself in after an old 12 year warrant. He is an alcoholic. He is just now out of the infirmary at the jail where he was very sick for about 10 day’s. I know God has heard our voices as we have lifted his name before Him for many years. Please pray for our brother, Chad. Thank you so much for sharing your life with us!

  2. 902

    Touching and beautiful…I don’t know how you’ll read all of these comments, but just want you to know.

    • 902.1
      Gay says:

      Theresa — I started at the END tonight and laughed out loud when I saw your post. I expect I will read them one page at a time. Check back with me about a month from now! Lol!! Thanks so much for your sweet comment. They are equally as touching to me.

      Loved you are.

  3. 903
    Mary H says:

    So very nice to meet you Gay. Praying God’s abundant blessings over you. XOXOXOXO as you tell your story.
    God is so very good.

    With much love and respect,

  4. 904
    Michaela says:

    Dearest Beth and Gail, praise be to God for his loving mercy. Gail, “you go girl!” You’re testimony will surely help many others dealing with this issue. Praise God for your 1000 days (and nights and weekends) of sobriety! I am going to go out on a limb and ask if you would consider giving your testimony in person or via streaming video at one of our Celebrate Recovery meetings. Our location: Northstar Church, Saltillo, MS. We are launching the program sometime in May 2012. Celebrate Recovery is a Nationally recognized, Christ-centered program which originated at Saddleback Church in California. If you would be open to reaching more people and spreading the hope Christ has to offer in this way, please contact me. I am looking forward to reading and learning more about your journey!
    Michaela Garner

    • 904.1
      Gay says:

      Michaela — I am stunned at the offer, my fellow Siesta. I’m familiar with Celebrate Recovery, even have the CR Bible and love it. I haven’t worked through that program though. I worked the steps in hardcore AA, pounded with Big Book and 4 meetings a day. That’s right, A DAY!!! Some of us are sicker than others. 🙂 I probably wouldn’t have chosen to do it that way but that is where God PUT ME and I believe that’s where He WANTED ME. It worked and I’m sure CR works as well. It all works, if we work it! Jeremiah 29:14 says something like this, “…and then you will seek me with all your heart and I will BRING YOU BACK FROM CAPTIVITY.” I love those words so much and they are so true. You will have to send me your email address through the LPM offices. They will get it to me. I’m touched beyond words. THANKS!!!

  5. 905
    Lisa says:

    Thank you so much! You give me hope for my own sister. Lord bless you!

  6. 906
    Madalyn says:

    Thank you for sharing your story!

  7. 907
    Sally says:

    Dearest Gay and Beth
    rest assured that you both are in our hearts and prayers.
    We celebrate a God of miracles of which we all are one, each with their own story to provide hope for the ones who have yet to give their hearts to God. Never give up but always give thanks for what God has done!God has many daughters and that makes us sisters too!!!

  8. 908
    Karen L. says:

    Welcome back, Gay! God is with you. 🙂

  9. 909
    Caitlin says:

    Dear Gay and Beth,

    Thank you for sharing…. God got me back too through AA. I have been sober going on 24 years in Febuary.

    Our God NEVER gives up on us…

    • 909.1
      Gay says:

      Caitlin — I am so impressed that I’m almost speechless!! 24 years, that is totally awesome. You go girl! I know it was a lot of work but WORTH IT. Every drop of blood, sweat and tears is WORTH IT. Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!!

      Loved you are.

  10. 910
    To Know Him says:

    Only love here for you… I have a very close family member who is an acoholic (over 15 years) and by the Lord’s grace has been sober for over 7 years… Celebrating with you as you share your story with others who need to know there is a Jesus who heals and delivers 🙂

  11. 911
    Barbara says:

    Gay – Thanks for being honest, open and authentic. We have much to learn from each other and I look forward to what you will have to share with us! Isn’t God’s grace just profound?! I love how He takes all of our junk and mistakes and turns it all around and gets glory for Himself and good for us…………….Amazing!!!! Good thing we’ll have eternity to praise Him for it!

  12. 912
    joni johnson says:

    That is a wonderful testimony to all of us that have our own personal struggles, everyday! Might be food, drugs, love of wealth, don’t matter, we all need JESUS!

  13. 913
    Susan says:

    Oh, Gay. I’m very honored to meet you. Thank you so much for sharing with us.

  14. 914
    all shall be well says:

    Thank you so much for your courage and honesty Gay, and thank You Abba, for what You have done and are doinig!


  15. 915
    Sarah Miller says:

    Gay you are both strong and courageous. Freedom in Christ … there is nothing like it. Praise God for your life and recovery and ministry. Thank you for sharing and blessing so many. God does good work. 🙂 He is our Redeemer.

  16. 916
    Rhonda Sue says:

    No one has it all together. The bigger the test, the greater the testimony.
    I think you’re beautiful and very courageous.

  17. 917
    Elizabeth says:

    Hi Gay. Blessings on you! I look forward to hearing all you are compelled to share.

  18. 918
    Angie says:

    Wow! Honestly that is all I can say. That really spoke volumes to me. I am so proud of you Ms Gay and I pray that God gives you strength on this journey. I know Ms Beth is blessed to have a sister like you. We all mess up, I know that full well, but I hope you don’t mind me keeping you in my prayers as you continue on this journey. God bless you and Ms Beth. Much Love!

    • 918.1
      Gay says:

      Oh Angie, PLEASE KEEP ME IN YOUR PRAYERS!!! You are so precious. I want to CONTINUE on this journey, you bet I do. Thanks so much for your comment and your future prayers.

      Loved you are.

  19. 919
    Lindsey says:

    God bless you. Thank you for sharing xo

  20. 920
    Amy Toney says:

    Beautiful courage and faith flow through your words, Gay. Thank you for being willing to share your story…all of it, even when it’s difficult.

    Thank you, Beth, for trusting all of us to shower your sweet sister with “lavish affection”. I’ve got two sisters myself and can imagine how much you want to protect her heart.

    Love you both!

  21. 921
    Casey says:

    Thank you for sharing your story! God is using you to speak to people and can’t wait to see where God takes you. Hugs Siesta!

  22. 922
    Genevieve says:

    This is sweet and tender. I love Isaiah 61:1-3. That says it all right there. Welcome home, Gail. God Bless you!

  23. 923
    Amy says:

    Maybe we’ll get to 1000 comments of encouragement and thanks! I usually only comment to post my memory verses, but just wanted to add to the number saying your story has blessed me today and I can’t wait to hear more.

    Thank you so much for sharing!

  24. 924
    Victoria Duncan says:

    Ah Gay I am so blessed to have you in my walk and am so proud of your 1000 days and I know you know I know what a struggle even 1 day is…It is a flat out miracle and we are the blessed ones who not only got sober BUT WE GOT A SECOND CHANCE WITH OUR KIDS…Is not God so awesome to have worked that miracle for us?…I am in tears right now just typing it…I promise promise promise I will be up to stay with you BEFORE MAY…we have so much to talk about…KEEP 12 STEPPING THERE ARE SO MANY WHO NEED TO KNOW THERE IS HOPE, THERE IS FREEDOM,

  25. 925
    Suzanne Morton says:

    God bless you Gay! We are so blessed to hear your story and that God is so great!!! He hears us, He knows us and most of all He loves us!!! Thank you for sharing something that brings tears of joy to my eyes! You are a precious gal!

  26. 926
    Cynda Baldini says:

    I am so proud of you and love you to death!! I, also, don’t have a lily-white testimony but Jesus delivered me from myself and destruction 34 years ago and I still love HIM with all my heart, soul, mind and strength!! Praising Him for you!!
    P.S. Can’t wait to hear more!! Thank you for your realness!

  27. 927
    jeanette says:

    🙂 we all have something sister. glad to know beth has a sister…. hope to hear more from you. Jeanette

  28. 928
    Deborah says:

    I applaud you Gay. I have a neice who was addicted to alchohol and narcotics and has been in recovery now for 6 yrs. I have wept with her and I have tears for you now as well. God is AWESOME…. I will keep you in my prayers.
    In HIs Service,

  29. 929
    Cheri says:

    Gay, consider yourself hugged and welcomed from another prodigal daughter!!!

  30. 930
    april says:

    Dear Siesta Gay,

    What an honor to meet you!!!!! Congratulations on your 1000th day of sobriety 🙂 OH GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!! Thank you for ABSOLUTELY BLESSING MY HEART TODAY. I look forward to hearing more of your story in the days to come. I lost my father 22years ago who also battled alcoholism. Thank you so much for opening up to us and sharing your beautiful story of God’s redemption in your life.
    Love in Christ Jesus,
    April Lopez

  31. 931
    april lopez says:

    Hello Siesta Gay,

    What an honor to meet you!!! God absolutely blessed my heart today by reading your testimony. Congratulations on your 1000th day sobriety!! I lost my father 21 years ago who also battled alcoholism. Thank you so much for opening yourself up to us and sharing God’s beautiful story of redemption. I look forward to hearing more of your journey.
    Love and Blessings,
    April Lopez

  32. 932
    Marcia says:

    Thank you Gay and Beth. I can’t even find words to express how excited I am to hear your story. I am encouraged already and look forward to the rest of the story.

    Love you.

  33. 933
    God's not-so-little Dutch girl says:

    Gay, it is an honor to meet you. Thank you for the courage to tell your story. I believe you are already well-loved here on the blog! We take care of our own here in Siestaville! Looking forward to hearing from you again whenever you can. Joan

  34. 934
    Tarah says:

    All glory to God for what He has done in your life. I am so very happy to meet you, and can’t wait to read every bit of your testimony!! I can only imagine the tears, prayers and joy involved. CAN’T WAIT!

  35. 935
    Michele says:

    Thankyou for sharing. I have a nephew who is still struggling with his addiction. Your story encourages me as I pray for him, to find his freedom in God.

  36. 936
    Cary says:

    Beautiful !

  37. 937
    Laurie B. says:

    Beth and Gay…

    Wow…praise God…glory to God!!!! Can’t wait to hear all the story…and Brennan Manning is my second fav author too 😉

    Much love in and through Him…sistas in Jesus…Laurie

  38. 938
    Brenda B says:

    Dear Dear Siesta Gay….Praise God who holds us all, alltogether! I rejoice in your day by day victories!!! Sadly, I have several family members who did not win thier battles with alcohol and i know it is vicious. I am excited to know that the Lord is going to minister powerfully in the proclaimation of your testimony.

  39. 939
    Jessica says:


    God is so good! <3

  40. 940
    Karen says:

    Just want to say I am so proud of you! I know God is doing the miracle, but you, dear lady have persevered and walked the path he laid out for you. 1000 days is HUGE! Thanks for being brave enough to share your story. (Beth, you get a hug too, for braving to share your sister.) I can’t wait to hear the lives changed by your vulnerability.

  41. 941
    Penney says:

    Thank you for your open and honest words. You are correct – so many people are hurting and struggling and need new or refreshed hope and faith in God. I being one of them. Please know that I will be praying for you each and every day. And would certainly accept all prayers for me. Your testimony has touched my heart!

  42. 942
    Jill says:

    Love you.

  43. 943
    Leigh says:

    Hi Gay! Thank you for having the courage to share with us. And thank you for your sacrifice of serving others.

  44. 944
    Stacy says:

    Dear Gay,
    Thank you! It takes courage to share so openly with others–especially when it is your story, and you’ve been so personally touched by it. Being the child of an alcoholic has impacted my life. Your willingness to share your story openly is much appreciated! I am confident that your testimony will bring understanding and healing to many. Blessings upon you as you begin this journey!

  45. 945
    Susan McClung says:

    Wow…. I can’t wait for the next “installment” of your story. You are so brave to share with us. Blessings on you!!!

  46. 946
    jeannie says:

    Thank you, Gay, for sharing. You give me hope for my sister.

  47. 947
    Kristina Foster says:

    Thank you Beth for sharing your sister with us, and thank you Gay for sharing such a personal story! God bless you both!!

  48. 948
    Marie says:

    Welcome to the most wonderful blog world Gay. I am always in awe of God and love him even more every time I hear of lives so radically changed as yours. Thank you for sharing your heart with us and I so look forward to more.

  49. 949
    Michelle says:

    Thank you, Gay, for for courage in sharing this with us. I am looking forward to hearing more of your story in the coming weeks. I never was much of a drinker but I know what it’s like to have addictions. So you are already an example to me that God can set me free too.

    – Michelle in Maine

  50. 950
    Louise Denton says:

    Welcome to the family of Siesta’s


Leave a Reply

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