Please welcome my guest, Kimberly Dewberry. I invited her to share her story so I could spend a little time working on another project.
Adult children of alcoholics need recovery too. You will want to visit her website for more of, “This is My Story“
Kimberly Dewberry struggled for 25 years to cope with the pain, hurt, guilt, regret, unworthiness, and shame brought on by her father’s addictions. As her life devolved into a predictable pattern of poor choices caused by the dysfunctional thinking of an alcoholic household, Kimberly’s image of God was skewed by an inner turmoil only he could heal. Because of the loving grace of Jesus Christ, she has broken free from the shackles of rebellion and anger, and made it her life’s mission to share her journey through courageous prose. Her heart’s desire is to help other adult children of alcoholics identify and overcome unhealthy cycles of destructive living that the specter of alcoholism leaves behind. Kimberly often testifies at recovery meetings about the serenity and peace of God’s redemption, which are keys to personal wholeness. She also shares biblical insights to everyday problems through her devotional blog, This is My Story. Kimberly and her husband Patrick are the parents of 6 grown children between them and live in the Dallas area with their three furry friends. When not working as vice president of secondary mortgage operations at a North Texas bank, Kimberly enjoys writing, reading, Bible art journaling, participating in Bible studies, and dating her husband.
FINDING GOD’S GIFTS IN THE MIDDLE OF MESSES
My daughter usually calls me as I am driving home from work. This is typical. A little bit of normal in my hectic life. The call, that hot summer day, was anything but typical. She had something very important to tell me and she didn’t know how I would respond.
“Mom, we know where Papa is.”
That call, those words, made my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. No time to prepare, no time to think, no time to respond. I quietly listened to her tell me where my dad had been found. In a local hospital. Broken hip. Cancer.
This turned my world upside down because I hadn’t seen or heard from Dad in over five years. You see, Dad was an alcoholic. His alcoholism caused the good life he had with Mom to turn upside down. After they agreed to separate years ago, he eventually wound up in homeless shelters and under bridges. I had been living my life safely tucked into my bed at night while he had been living his, on the tough streets of Dallas. I’m sure he didn’t expect his life to turn out like that any more than I expected to hear my daughter’s words that day.
Stage four stomach cancer, the doctors said. Hospice remained the only option. Hospice for a homeless man, really? Although he had been living with some “friends”, those friends had not been seen or heard from since dropping him at the hospital with a broken hip two weeks earlier. Without time to really think it through, I made the decision to go see him and the next few days turned my life into a whirlwind.
God decided I needed a wake-up call. Although I had been saved in my late twenties, the last fifteen years or so, I had not walked in that salvation. Instead, I thought I knew better. I had everything under control, right? I soon found out God knows best. And so the rewrite of my story began.
God is our teacher. He taught me many things over the course of the three weeks Dad lived under hospice care in my home. I learned about grace, mercy, love, and forgiveness. He opened my eyes to my husband’s alcoholism. He also opened my husband’s eyes to it.
Although Dad left this world for his eternal life, the short time given to me by God was a blessing. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to see the blessing in the middle of the mess, but once the fog clears I am able to see God’s goodness shine through. Although I may walk through darkness, His mercies are new every morning. Lamentations 3:22-23 tells me this is the absolute truth.
The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
The gifts God gives me are sometimes evident, but there are other times when I have to look a little closer to see them. Through Dad’s illness and eventual death, God gave me the precious gifts of forgiveness and peace. I couldn’t see them through the tears, but one early morning in the midst of my grief, I felt his gentle tug at my heart. Soon after, I found His forgiveness, which I thought I had lost long ago and I found peace in His loving arms.Even though we may leave the embrace of God for a season, He shows up in His perfect ways, in… Click To Tweet
Even though we may leave the embrace of God for a season, He shows up in His perfect ways, in His perfect timing, to give us His perfect blessings. The blessing of forgiveness and recovery for me, when I didn’t realize I needed it. The blessing of recovery for my husband, when he couldn’t admit there was a problem. The blessing of the restoration of our marriage, when we ignored the issues. The blessing of a home and love for Dad, because God knew we all needed it even if just for a little while.
Listen to my podcast interview with Kimberly Dewberry HERE