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. 101
    crystal says:

    Yay God! Thank you, Gay, for sharing your story. What a blessing it is to see His story through yours. Praying in celebration for your 1,000 amazing days and praying in hope for thousands more. What joy this family must bring our Father 🙂 Looking forward to reading more!

  2. 102
    Lisa says:

    Gay, I’d rather hear someone mumble and fumble their way than to hear how easy and perfect life has been. Can’t wait to hear it. Thanks for sharing something so important and sacred.

  3. 103
    Cindy Hunter says:

    Very moving and honest….thankyou

  4. 104
    Evangeline says:

    Gay my heart rejoices with you sister. Jesus saves and He loves with a heart that is so BIG. He is an amazing GOd full of grace and mercy always wanting to be our cheerleader and advocate for us. Sister HE loved you first and so do I. Congrats on your 1000 day mark this is truly a celebration.

  5. 105
    Debs says:

    Wow! Just, Wow!

  6. 106
    Christina says:

    LORD have mercy!! …many tears here. God bless you Gay and Beth.

  7. 107
    Sandy Bowers says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story with Siestaville, Gay! God bless you for the tremendous courage it took to start typing and sharing. Much love from this and all your siestas in Christ.

  8. 108
    staciehope365 says:

    Gay, Welcome to Siestaville. Tou are loved <3.

  9. 109
    Julie Ratcliff says:

    This is an awesome reminder that God never let’s go of us! Your story is an inspiration and God will use it in huge ways!

  10. 110
    Kim Vest says:

    What a privilege…..gotta type through the tears. I just love you already, Gay.

  11. 111
    Colleen says:

    Praise His Most Holy Name! I’m in tears reading your story. Thank you for pointing the way to The One Who Can Heal.

    I’m looking forward to reading your next installments, Sister in Jesus!

  12. 112
    Lucy says:

    Welcome, Gay! I pray you can feel the love and prayer that goes out to you from this community. And to paraphrase Proverbs 27:17; I yearn that as your words sharpen us, we as well sharpen you. Love you much!

  13. 113
    Molly says:

    Thank you so much for sharing, Gay! I know that God will be glorified through you!

  14. 114
    Angie keel says:

    What a powerful story of What only God can do. My mother is a lifetime alcoholic whom I have no contact with. She has been committed and lives in misery. She left our family when I was a girl and I am thankful. I have no good memories of her. I now have a shred of hope she can be restored. Is there anything besides pray that I can do? I have ‘divorced’ my heart from her so I can live and care for my family well.

  15. 115
    Jenn says:

    Gay, thank you so much for being brave and sharing your story. I am just in awe of what God has done in your life, and I can’t wait to hear more of your story. I am also just giddy with the anticipation of what God is going to do through your words here, and of the women who have never been to this site who will be drawn here, and closer to Him, because of you.

    I was reading John 11 this morning, and as I read your post I couldn’t help but think of the words Jesus said upon learning that Lazarus was sick, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s son may be glorified through it.” I am praising Him that your sickness did not end in death, but that God’s son is being glorified through your trials.

    You are also giving me much hope for my little brother, who has lived a hard life of drugs and alcohol. I have been praying and believing that he will someday be an “oak of righteousness.” I will be praying for you as you continue to share on here; you will certainly be stirring up opposition from the one who wanted you to stay in that pit. But the Siestas are nothing if not prayer warriors when one of our own is in a battle!

  16. 116
    Brandi says:

    Honesty! Yes, I love it. The truth can be ugly, but that doesn’t make it any less true.

    “…and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:32

    Thank you for your courage in sharing the very real way God is working in your life.

    Praise Jesus, from who all blessings flow!

  17. 117
    Dee Bennett says:

    PRAISE GOD!!! Gay and Beth, Bless you!

  18. 118
    Becky says:

    The stones are silent as you share your testimony! Thank you Beth for sharing your sister-I have 2 of my own and have 2 daughters who love being sisters! God is great a greatly to be praised!

  19. 119
    Sue in Grapevine says:

    Bless you, Gay! Isn’t He a mighty God? We may not all have been delivered from the same things, but He has delivered us all from some bondage or other.
    I pray peace & protection for you as you write the rest of your story, as you pour yourself out for a thank offering.

  20. 120
    Chelsey says:

    Thank you Gay for being confident enough to share your amazing and beautiful story the Lord has made special just for you! I cannot wait to hear the rest of the story. My prayer is that your story touches more lives than we can count, actually just the crazy number the Lord chooses! As your sister in Christ, I am so proud of you for stepping out and being vulnerable no matter what the world will say. I know the Lord is smiling down on you! I pray for your recovery that it would continue to impact lives and show even the most desperate person that with Jesus there is HOPE!

  21. 121
    Susan Allgood says:

    Thank you for helping me see a new perspective. Awesome story and I look forward to reading more!!! God Bless!!!

  22. 122
    Lauralee Courtney says:

    I can’t wait to hear more….thank you for being so BRAVE! You encouraged me so much!

  23. 123
    Leah Adams says:

    Dear Gay, can you hear me applauding? I know how hard that was and how much courage it takes. Many of us, at one time or another,have been addicted to something or, Lord help us, someone. My addiction was to being thin and I nearly starved myself to death. I wrote about it over at my blog a few years ago and it was healing.

    God will use you to comfort others with the comfort you have received. Talk on, dear one!! Someone needs to hear it so they can talk about their 1000 days one day. He is smiling down on you!! A ton of congratulations from North Georgia!!

  24. 124
    Hope in WA says:

    Just tearing up… Beautiful story. Thank you for the honor and privilege of hearing it. May God speak to you louder than any other as you relive it. May the story inspire many to the hope there is found in Jesus Christ. The sweet smell of redemption and victory that only our King can bring. The One who willingly give it… The only One worthy to save us from ourselves. You are beautiful. (Ever think you’d hear that while in the throws of addiction?!?) Praise God you can “hear” it now.

  25. 125
    cindy says:

    Thank you for your courage, Gay. I am already blessed to be introduced to you and honored to hear your story. I pray you will be and feel completely safe here.

  26. 126
    Kimberly says:

    Gay… words are so lacking to what my heart feels for you, and your story! The Love and Grace of God… I thought of this verse for you…. “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper and not to harm, but to give you a hope and a future”. He surly is giving ALL of us a glimpse into your future! He is so kind, and loves so lavishly!!! Well done!!! I love you, and so pray and cheer you onward!! You are adored here, and very loved. Tell your story courageous one,we are all ears, and hold you on our hearts!! I look forward to each writing!! I’m sure He does too, for His glory!! Stay at it soldier!!! I love you…Kimberly M.

  27. 127

    Oh wow, now I’m crying too. BAWLING even. Thank you thank you thank you for your willingness to share your story, HIS story. And thank you for the way you describe His pursuit of you, of all of us…it is so humbling and true and such a reminder!

  28. 128
    Kim Safina says:


    I remember your sweet sister, Wanda Beth, sharing that she had a family member whom she had prayed for year after year!
    It just brought me to tears as I heard in her voice how much love she carried for this family member.
    Some how, that family member kept coming into my prayer time. It was as if the LORD kept adding this person to my prayer list.
    “Kim, don’t forget Beth’s family member.” So, I would add this unknown person to my daily prayers. I have prayed for this (YOU) person for years.
    Little did I know, that YOU would bless me more than you can ever imagine. It was last year that I had flown to Houston to meet some friends. Some things happened that caused me sadness. I wanted to attend your sisters last bible study. I ended up going into those double doors alone, sad, confused, lonely, and of all the women within those walls, Only ONE CALLED OUT MY NAME WITH OPEN ARMS AND WRAPPED HER ARMS AROUND ME WITH THE MOST LOVING HUG I HAVE EVER RECEIVED.. IT WAS YOU, BEAUTIFUL GAY TUTTLE. 🙂
    You invited me to sit with you during the study. I was so overwhelmed that I went into the ladies room and cried my eyes out. By the time I wiped the mascara, blew my nose,brushed my hair etc.. the praise & worship had begun in the sanctuary and I couldn’t see where you were sitting. So, I sat alone in the very back pew. I thanked THE LORD for the hug you gave me and then realized that YOU were the person I had prayed all those years. I had to leave early due to the situation but as I walked out those doors in Houston, I looked up and said, “THANK YOU LORD for Bringing GAY tonight.” When I got home, there was a fb friend to carry to this day.

    With “Heaven Bound” Blessings,
    Kim Safina


  29. 129
    Renee says:

    Oh my! This hit close to home.My older brother led a very similar life. We got a call that if we did not come get him he would be homeless so we did. Had not seen him for years as he was a drifter.So glad to be now be a part of his life. However, it was only for a short while. The best part of the story is that he lived long enough to be saved.(died of cancer only five months after we reunited) He accepted the Lord before he knew of his diagnosis! Made his home going so sweet. Just soo sad of our short time together.I truly believe that the Lord let him live long enough to come to know Him.PTL!!!!!!

  30. 130
    Karene says:

    Bless you, dear Gay. Thank you for being so brave to trust your story to us. You have brought tears to my eyes. Jesus’ love is so powerful!

  31. 131
    Michelle says:

    Thank you for sharing Gay and Beth. As the Psalms command us – Praise the Lord. Thank you for being bold enough and obedient enough to do it. May we all be as faithful with our stories. Praying for you as you continue to share and praying for those who will find courage in hearing it.

  32. 132
    Crystal from Way Up North WI says:

    i am humbled … i am blessed … thank you!

  33. 133
    PunkyT says:

    Thank you, brave sister! Thank you!
    O, the deep, deep love of Jesus!
    xo – P

  34. 134
    Emily says:

    Oh, I am so looking forward to hearing the rest of your story…to hearing HIS story! Thank you for your willingness to share!

  35. 135
    katherine says:

    I don’t ever respond on this blog after reading it but I feel led to respond to you Gay. Congrats on your 1000 days! To those like me who understand the destruction of an addiction, those days are as vibrant as the ones mamas start counting after their child is born. Thank you for sharing your story, GOD’S STORY. Know that he has carried me through 8 years or recovery/true sweetness with Him. Keep walking one day at a time and before you know it your 1000 will be 2000 and on. I’m thanking him for you now. Enjoy his goodness Gay!

  36. 136
    Ashley Honea says:

    Dear Gay,
    I have tears in my eyes as a I comment. I was crying before you even started writing because I just know how thankful Beth is to the Lord for what He has done in your life. Which is now doing something in our lives. I praise God for what He has done in your life and the miracle of sobriety in you! Hallelujah! We are so honored to hear your story sweet sister. I commit to pray for you when I think of you. Congratulations on your 1000th day and God bless you over and over again. HE is worthy of our praise!

  37. 137
    Renee says:

    So sorry for the terrible grammar.I was writing this while shedding many tears.Gay,I would love to know you and I would hug you with much joy!!

  38. 138
    Dawn says:

    Wow God you never fail.

  39. 139
    Christie says:

    Thank you for being so brave to share with us so that God can be glorified! Beautiful! Can not wait to hear more!

  40. 140
    Jackie says:

    We all need hope. We all need Jesus….and I can’t wait to hear the amazing story of your rescue. From one person suffering w/ an addiction (eating disorder) to another walking in freedom and recovery. Come and offer us the living hope- can’t wait to hear the next installments. He’s BIGGER and BETTER than it all.
    Congrats on 1000 days….I hope to have a day like that with my eating some day!
    Praying for you in this.
    love you, jackie 🙂

  41. 141
    MiChal says:

    This post = courage + humility. Thank you for stepping into them. You didn’t have to, but I’m so glad you did.

  42. 142
    Julie says:

    I just LOVE a good story/testimony of HOPE!!

  43. 143
    lindsey says:

    Gay, Praise God for your story! What a mighty work He has done in your life and giving you the courage to bear your soul in sharing your story, it’s an honor for us to hear. Thank you so much for your words. There is power, healing and proof of God’s amazing love for all of us in your journey. It’s obvious that God has given you a powerful testimony and I thank you for your bravery.

  44. 144
    Beverly says:

    Thank you for your courage to tell yours & His story!! I have already forwarded this part on to someone in a very similar situation (also for a very long time) whom I have been praying for and sending some of Beth’s resources. This ongoing story of yours will add a depth of God owning the narrative, to show even more of what His mercy and grace and relentless love can do….
    Blessings to you and may you rejoice each and every moment of your journey!

  45. 145
    Karla Wasion says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you. I look so forward to hearing the rest of your God story!

  46. 146
    jill says:

    Dear Gay,
    Some of the most powerful words I have ever heard are the words, ” Hello my name is ____ and I am an alcoholic.” When you opened with that phrase, I just started crying. The bravest, most courageous folks I know are my sweet precious friends that have wrestled the stronghold of alcoholism. Keep in mind Siestas they grew up in homes with no alcohol and went to church every Sunday. Alcoholism is a disease, and not just a matter of getting a hold of one’s self. I am so looking forward to Your story. May your story have a mighty impact in kicking the stronghold of alcoholism to the curb!!

  47. 147
    Ginny says:

    Oh my! I am so thankful to hear your story, Gay. Don’t ever, ever, ever stop telling it! There are many here who have walked a very broken road. We need to hear that He continues to heal and restore and sustain. Praise Him! And the best part is that, as sisters, you and Beth have found each other again in a new way. I just recently reconciled with my own sister and we are walking with the Lord together. It is the most precious gift I have received in a long time. I am just so excited, I could jump right through this screen for both of you! Much love and prayer!

  48. 148
    Michelle says:

    May God himself receive all of the glory. You have brought tears to my eyes and chills to my skin with your willingness to be transparent. I pray that God will continue to strengthen you, for His service and His glory, as you continue to take one day at a time.

  49. 149
    Stephanie Techau says:

    WooHoo!!!!Praise Jesus!!! Thanks for sharing your story Gay. I can’t wait to read the rest!

  50. 150
    Rita says:

    Thank you for allowing us to share in you awesome testimony and what God is and has done in your life. Looking forward to you next blog post. Rita

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