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. 951
    Julie says:


  2. 952
    lisa tapio says:

    Thank you Gay! WAHOO! To God be the Glory!

  3. 953
    Chris says:

    Beth & Gay,

    I celebrate with you how GREAT our God is! My father drank for 45 years before he allowed Jesus to set him free. I firmly believe in AA and all the support programs available. My dad has been sober for almost 13 years…..all glory to God. I never had a relationship with my father until 13 years ago because all I could remember is him drinking. I now have a very close and meaningful relationship with my dad and I would not trade it for anything.

    Your story is one to be told to give hope not only to those who suffer from addiction but to all of us who are loving family to addicts because the addiction has lasting impact on everyone involved. There is hope in Christ. I know God will use your story in mighty ways…just the beginning has already blessed me.

  4. 954
    BONNIE YOUNG says:

    MS. GAY,

  5. 955
    Esabelle says:

    Thank you so much for sharing what God has done and is
    doing in your life. I can’t wait to hear more of the
    story. There is a song by Jason Gray called “Remind me who
    I am” that I think you would enjoy as he talks about God
    reminding us who we are to Him. I know I often need that
    reminder myself. Take care and God bless you.

  6. 956
    tonia booker says:

    Be blessed you BRAVE sister in Christ! I may never see you this side of heaven but, I so look forward to giving you an enormous hug in heaven!
    YEAH GOD…He has done GREAT things!!
    -tonia booker

  7. 957
    ApronGirl says:

    Beautiful and Powerful!!! Thank you for telling His Story through your life!

  8. 958
    maryrose says:

    Thank you, Gay, for your amazing testimony. Our God is mighty to save! My niece and god-daughter suffered from this terrible disease until the Lord ended her suffering and brought her home in 2007 at the age of 24. I miss her every day. I pray that God will use your testimony in powerful ways, as there are so many who need to hear it.

  9. 959
    Barb says:

    Thank you so much, Gay, for sharing your testimony. I know it will speak to so many. My ex-husband is an alcoholic and has been sober (finally!) for five years. That was an absolute miracle, too. His brother, however, is still fighting to break free. I continue to pray for him, and your story encourages me to NEVER give up! God Bless You and Beth!

  10. 960
    Texas in the Mountains says:

    G.L.O.R.Y. To the LORD MOST HIGH!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I am so happy for you Gay.
    I am SO happy for you Beth.
    I am so happy for you Lord, for you have restored, redeemed and received back one of your own, (one of your favorites;)

  11. 961

    God bless you – what a testimony you have! Thank you for being willing to let us see Christ through you.
    Hugs and prayers!

  12. 962
    Stephanie says:

    Thank you for being so open and sharing your story. God bless you!!

  13. 963
    Nita Daniel says:

    Dear precious Gay thank so much for your testimony it has touched my heart so much today. Gay I am so proud of your walk to freedom and God is going to use you mightily and I will pray for you. You see I too know the effects of alcohol I am not a drinker but alcohol has nearly destroyed my life since I was a small child. My Dad sexually abused as a drunk and he died in car wreck drunk at the age of 26. My grand dad used to beat my grandmother until she could not see drunk and my other grand dad was a drunk that was my whole childhood. Then I was blessed with a Godly man and was taken out of that awful lifestyle but Gay my beautiful 20 year daughter Kandance was killed by a drunk and that is what I have to bear now in my adulthood. I think your story will help people with this problem they can be set free by the awesome mercy and grace of Jesus Christ and lives can be changed you are so brave and I admire you. Alcohol is a horrible addiction and so many people are hurt by it I hate it and will stand against until I don’t have a breath in me. You keep telling your story and God will be glorified and you will be blessed. I love you and I will stand in the gap of prayer for your May God Bless and Keep you and may His face shine on your. Nita

  14. 964
    sheryl says:

    Thank you for sharing your testimony.
    Amen and Amen!

  15. 965
    Ann says:

    Gay, Thank you for opening up your heart and life to us. Our God is an awesome God and He has done an awesome work in your life (as He has done in mine). There is an old song titled He was there all the time….I love knowing that and His amazing grace. Looking forward to getting to know you more.

  16. 966
    Debbie from Mississippi says:

    To God be all Praise and Glory!! Thanks so much for sharing this much of your story. I work in addiction treatment and am overjoyed when I hear about the changed life lived after a life of addiction. It is absolutely wonderful that you not only found recovery, but most of all found redemption and healing through Jesus. I wish that for all the suffering addicts out there.

    I know that addiction touches the lives of most of us — whether we admit it or not. We have family members, friends, church family, co-workers that are suffering with addiction.

    You continue to tell your story. Continue to bring Strength and Hope to others, and you continue on your road to healing. I am cheering for you!!

  17. 967
    Cynthia says:

    Every situation no matter how dark is redeemable in Christ.Thank you Jesus!

  18. 968
    Paige says:

    You have no idea how much I needed to hear what you said today. Thank you from the bottom of my heart for sharing!

  19. 969
    Karen says:

    Gay, Blessings to you and your dear sister Beth. You BOTH have such a gift for writing and I can hardly to wait to read more from you! In the meantime, you are greatly admired, loved, honored and esteemed by your Siestas!!!!! Glory to God!!!

  20. 970
    denise in nc says:

    1000 days (now 1001 or more)!! How awesome! Miss Gay, you are very brave and strong and, like your sister, a gifted writer!! Thank you for sharing the sweet beginning to your story. I feel so honored to read it and share in praising God for all that He has done. Looking forward to hearing from you again.

    I’m so grateful to the One who redeems and restores and gives life and make all things new! Much love you & Beth & the LPM family!

  21. 971
    Wendy Berenson says:

    Wow!What a humbling and inspiring testimony. Thank you for opening your heart and sharing. Blessings to you!


  22. 972
    Beverly says:

    We are rooting for you Gay. We are rooting for you!

  23. 973
    Shawn Maddox says:

    Thank you for sharing your story and I can’t wait to hear how you came to chose God over alcohol. I am praying my sister, Kim, will chose life with God. Alcohol has control of her. Thank you so much for sharing.

  24. 974
    Lynda Rickey says:

    Dear Beth and Gay,
    What a blessing! I’m so excited to hear about how Jesus has radically changed your life. Unbelieveably exhilarating and scary, but well worth it. I am so thankful that Jesus is the lover of our souls! Can’t wait to hear about the rest of the journey. Love you, Lynda

  25. 975
    jennybc says:

    Sweet Gay; Praise be to the sweet and precious Lord for your 1000 days. Looking forward to reading your story and celebrating with you. I have a family member that has a story similar to yours but has not reached victory yet. Believing I can learn from you and that this community can further inspire you to live an outrageously victorious, live-out-loud, no holding back celebration with your sweet Jesus for thousands and thousands of days ahead. Thanks for the introduction, Miss Beth.

  26. 976
    Tisha says:

    Dearest Gay, I can already tell that you are beautiful!! Your heart for the Lord and your blatant honesty shows such beauty. I have a very close family member who is a full-on alcoholic, dealing with that demon everyday. He is going through a major medical crisis right now unrelated to the alcoholism and I am praying praying praying for God’s grace on his life. Your beginning testimony has already given me hope. Thank you and may God richly bless you!
    Much love,

  27. 977
    Beth Herring says:

    wow. what a story of divine intervention and healing. i can’t wait to read each installment and marvel at the goodness of our God! thank you for sharing your story of His grace with us.

  28. 978
    Barb says:

    Praise the Lord for His mighty power at work!!! It is such an honor to listen to your testimony!!! And it prompts me to claim those promises for my loved ones. Much love to you all!

  29. 979
    Christa says:

    Gay, what a blessing you are to all of us. Thank you so much for your obedience and courage in sharing your story. I am sitting here crying and I don’t even cry that easily! I’m thanking God to have the privilege of knowing your story. I want to hear more when you are ready to share more. XO

  30. 980
    Jean says:

    Gay welcome to Siestaville! Thank you for sharing your story – I have tears in my eyes.

  31. 981
    Julie says:

    It is so incredibly nice to meet you, Gay! I look forward to hearing more from you, and I thank you for sharing with the Siestas. Many hugs, lots of prayers, and much love to you and your sister, our Momma Siesta!!! 🙂

  32. 982
    Kristin says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!!

  33. 983
    Kelly Morris says:

    Beth – thank you for never giving up on your beloved sister. I am even more encouraged to do the same.

    Gay – thank you for being brave enough to share your story with so many. As you begin to cleanse the wounds, it may sting a bit, but only for a while. Once they are clean, you will continue to heal. God will surely use your story to touch and encourage many.

    Blessings to you on this journey. I will be praying…

  34. 984
    Christel says:

    Dear Gay, Thank-you for being so brave, open,honest and transparent in your testimony. My Husband is a functioning alcoholic who struggles daily with this same addiction. Hearing your story gives me hope; congratulations on your recovery and always remember nothing is impossible for the God we serve!

  35. 985
    Jeannette says:

    Welcome back to the flock. I am encouraged by your testimony.
    I am currently frustrated with my lack of words. Sometimes I think it is great for people to recognize they are alcoholics. And that there are several programs out there to help them mend fences and to get sober and stay that way. Hopefully.
    I struggle, sometimes daily, sometimes hourly with a variety of sins. And for me I try to follow a phrase my preacher has pounded into us. Read the word daily. Attend meaningful relevant worship services. Serve our community is some way. Be held accountable to a small group of people. He also wants us to follow Micah 6:9. What does the Lord require of you, but to do justice, love mercy and to walk humbly with my God.
    I am thankful for you Gay and your testimony. I know we all struggle somewhere in our lives and your testimony gives me hope and maybe for a lot of others.

  36. 986
    Susan Stephens says:

    Thank you so very much for sharing. Look so forward to hearing more of your life story of God’s working in your life. So very proud of you but my words are nothing to how I know God must feel right now knowing you have taken this step and taken it for Him. I wish I had a sister like Beth has to be so very proud of. Praying for you in the days ahead as God uses you in a mighty way. You have even given me hope in a situation I am in, although different but in a way the same.

  37. 987
    Rebecca in SC says:

    Hallelujah, what a Savior! This is precious. Keep telling your story. My sweet sister just got her 3 year chip a few months ago – I am so proud of her! And proud of you, as I am sure Beth is. Our God is Mighty to Save!

  38. 988
    patty swinford says:

    wish you could see me now…BIG grin, streams of tears, and a bit giggly. Wooo Hoooo!!! What Christ sets free is free indeed INDEED! You are so blessed to have this anointed platform from which to hollar from the bloggers’ roof tops “Jesus heals!” Can’t wait to read more, loving you from Alabama, thanking God for His unimaginable indescribable love! Gay, I’ve got several years sobriety and am always so grateful when God opens a door for my story to touch someone, as you know, it’s healing for both! You are in my prayers and I am praising God for your restoration.

  39. 989
    Betsy Roberts says:

    moving. overwhelming. welcome “siesta” … I can’t wait to grow to love you as much as I do your sister!! (((HUGS)))

  40. 990
    Kim says:

    Bless you Gay! You are so loved and I welcome you and thank you for sharing your sweet heart with us. Thank you for your transparency, the world need to see REAL! And you are it girl! Keep going, we are listening and supporting you.

  41. 991
    Sharon says:

    What an incredible blessing you are! Thank you Lord!
    It is an honor and a great pleasure to meet you Gay.

    With all of the comments I don’t know how you could possibly read them all or how mine could possibly make a difference, but…I just felt compelled…I just had to.

  42. 992
    Jacqueline Warren says:

    I am new to being a member of this blog, but have been a fan for awhile! All I can say is….AMEN! Gay, your story is already so inspiring! God is good….ALL the time!!


  43. 993
    Linda says:

    I am truly looking forward to hearing how God has worked in your life and continues working in your life today. Thank you for having the courage to share. 🙂

  44. 994
    Holly Sox says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story, Gay. My name is Holly and I, too, am an alcoholic who has been delivered by God into a life of recovery. My sister (one of those normal people) and I attended Beth’s Charlotte, NC conference last July, and I am still HOLDING FAST. Thank you both for being available to God and for ministering to me.

  45. 995
    joy4mom says:


  46. 996
    Martha Williams says:

    Wow! What a blessing your story will be to all of us. I can hardly wait for the next chapter to unfold. Thank you so much for sharing. Thank you, Jesus, for your love and mercy to all of us.

  47. 997


    “Thank you” is such an understatement. When I started reading, I had chills. And now I’m just a hot mess of tears.

    I am absolutely honored to read your story. His story for you. You have overcome sister, by the blood of the Lamb and the word of your testimony.

    I cannot wait to hear more.

  48. 998
    Lisa S. says:

    You are safe here. What a priviledge to know your story. Love!

  49. 999
    Judy from Clarks Hill says:

    It is honesty with ourselves that leads us to Jesus and it is complete surrender that keeps at his feet.

    Thanks for the “honest” post. 😉

  50. 1000
    Lisa says:

    Praise the Lord..and Thank you for being “YOU”, and sharing. I can’t wait to see what the Lord is going to do with all this.

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