– by Kimberly Dewberry


Surrendering my past to God is the only way I have received real healing in my life.


As a child of an alcoholic I spent years fighting a losing battle: trying to control the uncontrollable. That is, until God used some powerful circumstances to ask me to surrender everything to Him.


Dad’s addiction to alcohol hit high gear not long after I turned 15. I dealt with the normal issues every teenage girl suffers through. Struggles with popularity, awkward growing phases, self-esteem issues, and peer pressure. But added to those were confusion, embarrassment, and the lack of trust addiction brought to my home.


As I matured into an adult, Dad separated from Mom and eventually became homeless. I stuffed the pain of Dad’s addiction deep within me.


My lack of trust and desire to control all aspects of my life were a driving force for the choices I made. Trying to control people, situations, and outcomes became my normal.


Although I invited Jesus into my heart to be the Lord of my life in my late twenties, the source of my peace and contentment, became a distant memory into my thirties. (Image via Pixabay)


Homeless bedding under a bridge

While Dad lived under bridges and in homeless shelters in Dallas, I kept all my plates spinning.


After my second failed marriage, I reunited with my high school sweetheart, Patrick. A year after our reunion, Patrick and I married, bought a home, and set up our life together.


I learned quickly that Patrick liked to drink, but I tried to reason his drinking away. He worked at a high stress, demanding job. So I told myself that was the reason he drank like he did.


Blinded by denial I started taking control of things, again. I used shopping to fill a God-sized hole and I desperately attempted to hold on to my marriage through control.


Then in July 2015, seemingly out of nowhere, God sent a virtual tornado into my life. (Image via Pixabay)


My estranged, homeless dad turned up in a local hospital. He had fallen and broken his hip. While treating his hip, doctors had discovered he had terminal cancer.


My lesson on surrender began . . . and I decided to bring my dad into my home for his final days on earth.


I had not been walking the Christian walk. I had not been to church for over ten years and I rarely opened a Bible. I had drifted away from Dad over the years, but more importantly, I had drifted away from God. But God never moved away from me.


To surrender to God is to trust He WILL do as He promises. We cannot always comprehend what He is doing, but we can be assured it is for good.


Romans 8:28 (CSB) says,

We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.


He has a purpose for everything he allows to happen. We may not understand it, but we aren’t supposed to. To truly surrender is to fully trust Him. He knows what is best for us.


Psalm 62:8 (CSB) says,

Trust in him at all times, you people; pour out your hearts before him. God is our refuge.


It didn’t come easy, and I even fought against it without knowing it. But once I completely surrendered and poured out my heart to God, He saved me.


Because I surrendered all my past hurt, grief, and shame, I was able to move forward. Only through His mercy and redemption am I able to tell this story.


God has blessed me with the ability to reflect on how things once were, to praise Him for how they are now and to see how God’s love remains faithful and true through it all.


This post was written by Kimberly Dewberry.

Kimberly is the author of Three Weeks to Forgiveness: God’s Redemption in the Dark Places of Addiction and blogs at Transforming Normal.