“Addiction robs us of the things (and people) we care about the most.”
Bill W, Founder Of Alcoholics Anonymous.
“Family was foremost to Dad.” (Dewberry, p.18)
Three Weeks to Forgiveness: God’s Redemption in the Dark Places of Addiction delves lovingly into the confusing messages and home life children of alcoholics. This book tells what children find themselves faced with daily without whitewashing the truth of addiction’s hold on an entire family.
Told with kindness, Kimberly’s story twists and turns in unexpected ways through a maze of adolescent feelings into womanhood, marriage, family and the finality of life. Is this gripping story marred by addiction or redeemed by it?
Reminding me of King David’s own story, Kimberly’s poor choices fill her heart with pain and questions.
The Turning Point In Addiction
Kimberley describes her Dad as a powerful man with “majestic, Hispanic features and black wavy slicked-back hair”. He deeply loved his wife and children watching over them like a lion over his pride, recounts Kimberly. Then as Kimberly began budding into a young woman something changed. Her beloved family-loving father slipped back into the bottle.
Kimberley’s story opens with the confusion, abandonment and the fear that children of alcoholics internalize immediately.
As children of alcoholics tend to do, I blamed myself for Dad’s drinking. In my young mind, Mom asking me to help find and pitch alcohol bottles confirmed my distorted thinking. (Dewberry, p. 21)
Although Kimberley and her Mom were confidants in an effort to control her father’s drinking the family secret remained just that, a well-guarded secret. Struggling to figure out who she is at the age of 15 and why her father no longer takes time with her, Kimberly begins to believe she caused her father to relapse.
What caused Dad to start drinking again? Was I to blame? I had convinced myself it was my fault. I was the cause. I vowed that night, as I did many nights, to stop my selfish behavior and control my rebellious mouth. I held myself hostage with the guilt I felt. I rehearsed in my mind over and over again how awful I was to be able to cause someone to turn to alcohol for solace. (Dewberry, p. 22)
Shame and Guilt
I wish somebody still loved me. (Dewberry, p. 127)
This is the heartbroken cry of the addict and the family that surrounds them. As the founder of AA said, addiction will cost the addict everything they hold dear. The family pays a similar price. The overwhelming pain, shame, and constant need to pretend “that all is well” makes it difficult to tell truth from fiction.
The foothold is laid, the open door awaits and who should appear?
In the early years, I imposed blame upon myself with the help of Satan’s lies telling me it was my fault Dad turned back to the bottle. The enemy repeated to me I was too much to handle, so Dad had to pop the top on his first can soon after I turned fifteen. (Dewberry, p. 22)
Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Peter 5:8)
Do you feel in a state of insanity today? (Dewberry, p. 43)
Just like Biblical King David, Kimberly’s choice came home to roost on her weary shoulders.
Jail. DUI conviction. Adultery. Another divorce. Who had I become and why? What was causing this out of control behavior? (Dewberry, p. 66)
Kimberly could have stopped here. Fed her pain with another addition. Looked around for someone or something to make her numb. But God… But God’s ways are not our ways and his plans are not our plans. With truly little background in the Holy Scriptures or church community or prayer or mediation, God broke into Kimberly’s life.
It occurred to me that I had been my biggest accuser. Not one person in my life had accused me of anything. I had been the one torturing myself for the past month and a half. The epiphany struck me and in that moment the sun slowly began to peek through the dark clouds within. (Dewberry, p. 135)
The gentle loving heart of God drew near to Kimberly. Wrapping her in his loving arms Jesus came to reside in Kimberly’s heart. Was the crisis and chaos over? No. Life on life’s terms was still happening around her. Does she know what path to take all the time? No. But God… she is no longer alone, no longer drowning in despair.
An Invitation to Forgiveness
Kimberly’s gripping tale told with courage and honesty invites the readers into one of God’s greatest gifts, forgiveness.
For God has not given us a spirit of timidity, but of power and love and discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)
Each turn of the page of “Three Weeks to Forgiveness” dares its readers to turn the next page. Do not be timid! Borrow the courage from Kimberly to hear the whole story of pain, love, redemption and finally surrender. Jesus gave us clear understanding. Hearing the truth will set us free–freedom to hope, freedom to love, the freedom to begin again.
“The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” (Psalm 34:18)
Want to learn more about Kimberly and her ministry. Find all kinds of resources on her blog.
Want to do something to truly improve your marriage today? It only takes 30 seconds a day. You can do this on your own without agreement or meetings with your spouse.
Want to start today trusting your marriage to the only one who can save it no matter what the circumstances. Are you up for a 14-day challenge?
Dropped into your email box every morning. Just like a deep breath a prayer to reset your mind. Stand in agreement with Jesus for 14 Days. See what happens!