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. 401
    LPMHawk says:

    Ms. Gay-
    This is incredible! 1000 DAYS! I praise the Lord for your testimony and vulnerability to share with us! You are Living Proof that the Lord truly will break us free from any stronghold.

    I so look forward to reading your testimony and seeing what God will continue to do through your obedience to Him.


  2. 402
    Liz says:

    Goosebumps and eyes welling with tears. HOW GREAT is our God?!

    Gay, THANK YOU for your bravery. Your willingness to tell your story – the good, the bad and the ugly – will be an encouragement to all who read your words. It has most definitely encouraged me tonight.

    I loved what you said: “I believe that in order to LIVE what I have been delivered to I must REMEMBER what I have been delivered from.” THAT IS THE GOSPEL, isn’t it? Praise God!!

    Looking forward to hearing what our amazing God has done for you!

  3. 403
    Colima says:

    Thanks to you both for sharing! I am so looking forward to reading more of your journey with God. Gay, welcome to siestaville 🙂

  4. 404
    Kelley says:

    Thanks Gay for being so willing to share your story!! I cannot wait to hear the rest! Praising God for the great story you have to share! Thankful for you!!

  5. 405
    Alissa says:

    Praise you Jesus for true testimonies of your goodness! Thankyou Gay for sharing with all of us the goodness of our Lord and Father. You have impacted many people because of your honesty. To God be the glory!

  6. 406
    Michele Bone says:

    First of all, 1,000 days! WOW! I don’t know that I have had victory over any one thing for 1,000 days straight with no slips, no sneaks, no mess ups. That is HUGE and I celebrate with you!!!! That is a great accomplishment over such a deep addiction. Praise be to Jesus! You keep on hour by hour, day by day, conquering through Jesus!
    Also, no mumbling or fumbling in your post, I found it to be precise and concise. What a wonderfully well-written and encouraging post. You have so much to share and such a great ministry! I want to send you a huge cyber hug! May God continue to hold you up in His strong and capable arms as you take every day and live it for Him and find victory over this thing, and may your life continue to bring great praise and honor to His name. Jesus Christ is receiving glory because of your obedience.
    Thank you for sharing and we love you! Prayers coming your way in your continued journey to fulfill God’s plan for your life!
    Love in Christ.

  7. 407
    Phyllis says:

    Gay, I am thanking God for you – for your willingness to be open and “go there”. You are living out Matthew 5:16 (“Let your light shine before men so that they may see your Father in Heaven.”) Thank you, thank you for telling your story and in doing so, showing Jesus to others. You are offering hope to sooooo many. You are also a wonderful writer (must run in the family!) God bless you and your ministry.

  8. 408
    Carolyn says:

    Dear Gay,

    Welcome! You are so brave to tell us your story. Just because we know where you get your strength from doesn’t make it easy. Beth is so precious to us all. Thank you for loaning her to us for all these years! I look forward to hearing more from you. I know God will use your words to us in ways we can’t even fathom.

  9. 409
    Emeta K. says:

    Welcome home, Gay, welcome home!

  10. 410
    Anonymous says:

    At our Ladies Bible Study tonight (Mon Jan 16), our leader told us all to read Gay’s story. She was excited as if you were her very own sister…and, of course…you are.

    Consider yourself hugged a few thousand times, Gay.

  11. 411
    Kelly S says:

    WOW! 1000 times (days) Praise GOD! I was at the LPL in KY (Eat, Pray, Love) when Beth shared part of your story. I was overcome then, and I am no less amazed right this minute. Your story increases my faith, thank you for sharing it. This may sound strange, but I have prayed for you several times since that event. I also shared your story that Beth told in KY with a friend that was so discouraged over a loved one. Again, WOW! I thank God for you and pray He continues to bless you and your ministry.
    Much love and welcome to Siestaville!

  12. 412
    Kristin says:


    It is a pleasure to “meet” you. I look forward to reading the rest of your story. May God use your story to bring glory to His name.


  13. 413
    Christy says:

    How defeated satan must be feeling right about now! I’m reminded of one of my memory verses I will be sharing this weekend (can’t wait!): “Haven’t I commanded you – be strong and courageous. The Lord your God is with you wherever you go”. And I expect He will take you to all kinds of places from this moment on. Congratulations! You know, I keep thinking about eliminating the caffeine stronghold from my life and get nowhere. No doubt alcohol must have a million times stronger grip. Strong and courageous, indeed!

  14. 414
    Dalyn says:

    We are all recovering from something…thank you for being brave and willing to share your story. God’s glory and the encouraging of others…well, it’s too bad more of us don’t do it. Lord bless you!

  15. 415
    Diane C. says:

    Thank you, thank you Gay. What an encouragement to read your story thus far as I am praying for my younger sister. I am one who could have written a similar story…as we are a family with alcoholic parents,,both of whom came to the Lord practically on their death beds. My brother has been dry for 20 years and a Christian for 10!! Amazing grace and I truly believe that my sister will join us with her own amazing testimony. She tries so hard, and is in one of those seasons. I am going to try to print your story for her. Thank you again… blessed, blessed, blessed!!

  16. 416
    Kim says:

    Gay, I’m thrilled to meet you! Thank you for your honesty and courage. The LORD has pulled you out of the depths of darkness to share a mighty powerful story of REDEMPTION and FREEDOM. You are a blessed woman!!

    “…declare the praises of HIM who called you out of darnkess into HIS wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9b

  17. 417
    Katie Riedinger says:

    Thank you for sharing. I have been thinking about and praying for a family member of mine tonight. This is a reminder of the hope that God gives us. Thank you again and God bless you both!!!

  18. 418
    Penny says:

    THANK YOU, Gay for sharing your heart. What a blessing! May God continue to bless you.

  19. 419
    crimeanmsnry says:

    My eyes are full, my nose is running, and my heart is about to burst. I’m feeling so much for the both of you dear sisters, Beth and Gay. Thank you again for being willing to share.

  20. 420
    Susan says:

    Welcome and thank you. Honesty is always so refreshing. As a recover(ed) anorexic and bulimic I know well the struggle of addiction…and the miracle of healing! As a mother of a 2 1/2 year old little girl and one more darling girl due any day, I thank you for your candor–we all need to remember just how flawed we are and how GLORIOUS the love and grace of Christ is. Bless you, thank you, and can’t wait to read more!

  21. 421
    Karen says:

    Welcome, Gay, and thank you for gracing us with the honesty of who you are and who you have been. I have a story too, we all do. Different pit, mine of depression, but the same mighty, delivering God! Our Jesus, who came and still comes, to save. Beauty for ashes, gladness for mourning, praise for despair.
    I look forward to learning from you, sweet Siesta. We love your sister, Beth, and are so honored to have the opportunity to get to know her sister. My heart is stirred, open and very thankful for how we will see Jesus in you, through your story.
    Hugs to you, Siesta Gay!

  22. 422
    Ali Key says:

    God bless you Gay! Thank you for your boldness in sharing your story which will reflect HIS story of love and redemption for all. I am so excited to see how your journey unfolding on this blog will become a bridge for others. I can’t wait to read it.

  23. 423
    Carole Thomas says:

    Oh dear one, we do care and are so looking forward to listening to your story. You have already touched my heart…

  24. 424
    Michelle Yeager says:

    Praise you Jesus!!!!

  25. 425
    elizabeth says:

    Profound and wonderful. Thank you.
    We love you!
    God loves you!

  26. 426
    Donna Attaway says:

    Gay, appreciate your open and honest words. How awesome what God has done in your life….look forward to your continuing story.
    God bless you …

  27. 427
    Robyn Cooper says:

    Bless You Gay! For your courage! For your journey! I understand parts of your story, from Beth’s side…..the sibling. If you have time, please read the following blog I just wrote this week on the 2nd anniversary of my “little” brother’s death.

  28. 428
    Tosha says:

    Thank you. I will be thinking, praying and looking forward to your posts. I have someone in my family who has struggled for many years. But I know we serve a great God and I love and trust Him dearly. I’ve never read Beth Moore’s blog post before. I have heard her speak only a few times (which is a little strange, I know). For whatever reason, as I lay here in my bed tonight on my iPad, the thought came to journey over to see a Beth Moore blog. So, I’ll be here waiting for your posts and seeing what God has to teach me. Thanks again for your love for Jesus and your desire to be faithful with all He’s given you. He will and is being glorified. What a Savior.

  29. 429
    Angel says:

    Praise Jesus HE never gives up on us. My mother was an alcoholic, always in and out of treatment centers, in jail, hospitals, ended up being murdered. PLease stay sober, stay glued to Jesus. Keep telling others to have hope. Never give up!

  30. 430
    Donna says:

    God bless you. What a wonderful testimony of God’s faithfulness.

  31. 431

    Welcome Gay. And thank you for telling your story. As I read this post, my heart kept singing… He’s a God who redeems. I’m so thankful that He is the God of Redemption.

  32. 432
    Sally says:

    Thank you Gay for your courage in vulnerability. I am reading Addictions and Grace right now and I believe we are all addicts. Your testimony will set many prisoners free. God bless you and your ministry.

  33. 433
    angela says:

    Praise God! Thank you, sweet sister in Christ, for sharing. We have a family member that has suffered from alcoholism for about 30+ years too. Keep going strong… may His will be done! Love and blessings to you…

  34. 434
    Karina says:

    Dear Gay, thank you so much for sharing your story here, and to be bold in your obedience to the call to share. I am really looking forward to experiencing the great rescue God performed second hand by reading more of your story! Our God is SO wildly huge and amazing. I praise Him for His extravagant love in Jesus, and for the myriad of ways He performs His miracles. May God reward you richly for your courageous step, and may we be part of that blessing to you in loving you here 😉

  35. 435
    Amanda M says:

    Thank you for sharing your real life testimony for the One that loves us-all of us. He is using all of you in such a powerful way. I pray for your continued strength and walk with Jesus

  36. 436
    Michelle Howard says:

    My heart rejoices for you all! This is wonderful news for those of us that have family members that eventually lost their battle with alcoholism! It is such a blessing to me to hear your testimony. We just started Jesus-the One and Only at my church. One of the first questions Beth asked was “what’s a long standing prayer request that you have had” I rejoice with your family tonight knowing that a long standing prayer request has been answered! Praise our Lord and Savior!

  37. 437
    Sharla says:

    Well, AMEN! That’s the only word that kept running through my head & off my tongue as I read your story, Gay…A-MEN! He is just spectacular, isn’t He?! My heart is just pounding thinking about His unfailing pursuit of us!!!

  38. 438
    Cindy says:

    Cindy, DIberville, MS

    Welcome to Siestaville my sweet sister in Christ! Thank you for your boldness to tell your story. I am looking forward to your posts! I come from a family ridden with alcoholism. Thank you Beth for sharing your sister with us!! Love you both!

  39. 439
    Sue says:

    Gay, thank you so much for sharing! I already love you. 🙂

    I am full-on crying myself right now- because I am so happy for you and your family and also because I have someone dear to me who is struggling mightily with alcoholism and has for many years. We know he needs a miracle. Thank goodness we believe in them. 🙂 I can’t wait to hear more of your story. Thank you again for sharing it. I hope God blesses your socks off. XXOO

  40. 440
    Fran says:

    What an absolute privilege to meet you! It takes such tremendous courage to share such an intimate part of yourself in order to help others. What a gracious and loving woman you are! The Lord’s Spirit is so evident in your writing and I know He is SO VERY proud of your 1,000 days of sobriety!!! What a way to glorify Him…by sharing with us! Thank you, thank you, thank you and I so look forward to future writings.
    In Him,

  41. 441
    Evie says:

    Gay, what a powerful genuine introduction! Thank you for sharing. I can relate somewhat at a personal level. Lord knows there are some seasons in my life that had it not been for the hand of God I may have lost my family. Thank you and welcome!

  42. 442
    Lindsay says:

    Thanks for sharing with Siestaville, Gay! We have such a good Father who takes care of His girls & redeems the years the locusts ate. By sharing your testimony, lives may be touched for eternity. Hugs to you, sweet sister.

  43. 443
    Kathy says:

    Welcome, Gay! I look forward in the coming weeks to reading your story. Thank you so much for deciding to share it with us. You will make it. God bless!

  44. 444

    Gay, That was BEAUTIFUL ! Thank you for sharing and I look forward to hearing much much more from you <3

  45. 445
    Karolyn says:

    Hi, hi, hi- PRAISE the Lord for His work in your life! My sister celebrated one hundred days of sobriety last month and my Dad is about to have 24 years. It is all I can do to keep from falling down in tears of gratitude constantly. SOOO excited to hear your story- I can only imagine the prayers lifted up on your behalf! God bless you immensely!

  46. 446
    Rhonda says:

    Dear Sweet Sister-in-Christ Gay, thank you for being brave enough, and trusting us enough, your sisters, with your story. I’ve been told so many times that God doesn’t waste pain. It’s obvious He has plans to use your pain for His glory. Can’t wait to hear more of your story. I know God will use you to minister to many. You are loved!!!

  47. 447
    Elizabeth says:

    I applaud you Gay for having the courage to speak up out of obedience & I applaud you Beth for sharing your beloved sister Gay with us. I’m leading a women’s conf in a short 3weeks to do just this. Sharing our God stories is not always easy but def necessary. My greatest healing came from others having the courage to share what God has done for them. I pray God’s strength and am really excited to hear what God is doing in your lives. If I could ask for your prayers as well as God is using me. I’m praying for boldness to share only what the Holy Spirit prompts and that I can stay out of the way. I’m even going to thank you ahead of time for your candidness. I’m praising God for both of you!

  48. 448
    Robin Duncan says:

    What a testimony! What a blessing. I look forward to reading what the Lord has done in your life. Thank you for being open and honest. The Lord will honor your faithfulness to tell what He has done in your life and He will use it for His glory.

  49. 449
    Rebecca Cain says:

    Dear Gay,

    You make me want to be a better person.

    Hungry, desperate, longing for Jesus….all the day long and into the quiet of the night–

  50. 450
    Susan Kolb says:

    What a perfect day to become a new Siesta! Gay, I look so forward to reading your posts and learning your story – feel free to ramble all you want, as I’m anxious to know all the details! I have been in jail ministry for three years and how I’ve come to love those women! I’ve just begun doing Breaking Free with them and they are so rapt, you could hear a pin drop in there if Beth wasn’t so loud… I’m so interested to hear about the roles of Breaking Free and of The 12 Steps in your recovery (if the Steps played a role at all.) What I’m hearing from the ladies is their excitement over what they see as a powerful interaction between what they are learning about Jesus in BF and how the Steps are helping them to cling to Him day-by-day. Can’t wait to hear your story! My prayers are with you as you tell it. Love, Susan

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