In January we are going to begin an “i am graceway” series and from time-to-time we are going to share stories from our congregation—stories of redemption, stories of overcoming, and stories of forgiveness. This week you will read a story about one of our staff members, Kellie DeWitt, and how God helped her forgive what many would deem unforgivable.
Kellie’s father left when she was just two years old and she spent her childhood seeing him only for a week or two during the summer months. Her mother remarried when she was eight years old and shortly thereafter, her step-father began to abuse her. The abuse continued for several years and all the time she kept quiet. At age thirteen Kellie was invited to a church revival meeting by a friend. At the revival the pastor began to talk about a loving, heavenly Father; a Father that protects you and makes you feel safe. It was at this event that Kellie came to know Jesus Christ and to know that the Father would be by her side no matter what. Not long after being saved, the abuse that took place in her home ceased. “I feel like it was God’s way of saying I’m here for you; I’m protecting you,” she said.
Even though the abuse had stopped, she still did not feel safe at home so she moved in with her best friend, Bekah Adams, Jeff and Cheryl Adams’ daughter, her senior year of high school. This friend and her family provided a safe haven for Kellie. One night, while sitting on the stairs Cheryl came up and asked what was wrong. Kellie then opened up sharing what all had happened and her feelings of depression. Kellie said, “She didn’t throw Bible verses at me. She listened, she was present. It was like she was in the pit with me with her arms around me just loving me.”
Cheryl was able to counsel Kellie through a difficult time. Through the power of God, at age 19, Kellie did what to many may not seem possible—she was able to forgive the man who abused her as a child. Ephesians 4:32 says, “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” This verse along with 1 John 4:10 were verses Kellie clung to during this time. “Thinking about how God could send his son to die for my mistakes, for my sins, is like the ultimate act of forgiveness. So if God could do that, surely I too can forgive,” she said. “If I wanted to be able to move on, to grow, I had to come to a point of forgiveness.”
Kellie has a powerful story of overcoming adversity and leaning on God during the difficult times. Even though an earthly father had not been present in her life, she is thankful for God as her father; thankful for a God who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we, too, could be forgiven.
We want to continue gathering stories from around our congregation. If you want to share your story with us, contact us here.