SPOTLIGHT: Kimberly Smith

When I first met Kimberly Smith, she had landed in my Community during a storytelling challenge I was leading called Storyweek. 

I fell in love with her from the start because I could sense there was much more to her than originally met the eye. In the challenge, she was dipping her toe in the water of "getting visible" with her story. 

Turns out, it was the beginning of Kimberly going 'all in' and writing her memoir. 

Kimberly later came back to me, with her book in hand and when I began reading it.... I was blown away. This was not the same Kimberly that showed up for our challenge!! 

This was a raw, vulnerable, totally exposed Kimberly who was sharing her story so openly it took my breath away! 

Her new book, Beautifully Broken, is a gorgeous account of how she was rescued from a life of abuse, brokenness, and heartache when she met her friend Jesus on the journey of recovery. 

This isn't a bible-beating type of story. This is a one woman's open journey back to self-love, self-acceptance, and a whole lotta grace. 

These days, Kim continues to build her ministry and speak to women about their own beautiful brokenness, and pours into them with her tools and teachings sharpened from her own story!
APRIL: Your story is one wild ride. Give us an overview of how your story begins and the transformation you've been through to writing your book. 
KIM: Going through a horrific murder at ten, sexual abuse as a young girl, destructive relationships, "date" rape as they call it while in college, two marriages ending in infidelity, and loved ones gripped by addiction, you could say walking into my forties I was on trauma overload. The kicker being I never recognized or looked at the role I played in so much of my carnage. Certainly not all of it, but I allowed tragedy and pain to run my thoughts, beliefs, and behaviors. It wasn't until my darkest night that I finally cried out to God to fix ME. Not him, not the situation, but me.

Over time and hard work, He did. Jesus led me through the most beautiful journey of healing. Today, I minister to women experiencing the same pain and shame I went through. Our stories are all different, but our desire to overcome, to heal, to become the women God created us to be is all the same. I believe we all have the grit and the grace it takes. I believe God wants to redeem every heartache. That is one of the things he does best, bring beauty from ashes. Thus, my ministry Beautifully Brokenx3.
APRIL: If you could name a few highlights from your journey you're incredibly proud of, what would they be? 
KIM: I spent 16 years building a nonprofit helping hurting teens, which grew from a grassroots operation in one high school to a million dollar agency working in multiple high schools across North Texas. I developed a curriculum called "Livin It Loud" for teens. And most recently, I authored my first book this year, Beautifully Broken, Forged through Fire, Up from Ashes.
APRIL: What does being a LIGHTbeamer mean to you? 
KIM: OH goodness, so much!! What a beautiful community! I felt embraced from my very first post. I love the idea of being a light. Encouraging others. Loving like Jesus hopefully. Sharing hope.
APRIL: What have you learned or discovered the most about storytelling and your story?
KIM: That there is a method to it. I'm great at rambling on, so help in defining my ARC and mustering the courage to go live has been a game changer for me.
APRIL: What's been the hardest part about learning how to share your story? 
KIM: Staying out of the details or knowing how much to share for one. Tapping into the emotions I felt in past seasons is hard at times. I'm really good at compartmentalizing and talking about trauma from my past without any feeling or emotion, but I've learned connecting on that level with your audience is critical.
APRIL: What is one piece of advice you'd give to another woman about using her voice and sharing her story? 
KIM: IT'S SO IMPORTANT!!! Too many people think they struggle or suffer alone. When in reality we're really all walking around with hurts and junk from our past. Sharing your story of overcoming, of hope, can empower someone else to try counseling or get the help they need. Your joy and resilience can prompt someone else to want what you've found, to want to know how you found it.
APRIL: What do you love most about your work?
KIM: Hearing the stories of women wanting to heal and be whole. Watching so many women support and encourage each other, to love like Jesus in a world that's brutal at times. I love seeing connection and the ah-ha moments.
APRIL: What are you busy creating now? 
KIM: A study guide for my book, and a Women's conference in 2021.
APRIL: How do you relax after a busy week? 
KIM: I love to be outside! Any way that I can get sunshine or fresh air, and I'm there. I love spending long mornings with Jesus and my coffee.
APRIL: What kind of things do you like doing outside of work? 
KIM: Being with my husband and kids feeds me. Cycling is new but I love it! Reading and writing.


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