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Kim Hill, Part 1 
She lived in shame
For forty more years than she should have
Losing the days
To fire and brimstone and "could haves" 
The words to Kim Hill's song "Wide" from her album Broken Things reflect the heart of a woman who is revered as one of the most effective ministers to hurting women today. You know Kim Hill the singer/songwriter, perhaps you are a lady who has attended one of the women's conferences at which she has served as a worship leader, but she is so much more than that. 
Kim Hill wants to make sure that Christians are known for loving people from all walks of life whether they be divorced, homeless, gay or drug addicts. She believes that the church doors should be open to welcome them all. "The church should be a place of comfort that cradles all sinners no matter what the sin," she said.
I have gone on record as saying that Broken Things is a Dove Award caliber CD. The album is full of songs that not only are great folk/rock tunes but should act as the social conscience for the church of 2006. 
Hill said that the song "Wide" is, "born out of one of the things that break my heart. (Often) women in their sixties or seventies will come up to me and tell me that they have lived in shame about their divorce for (perhaps) forty years. Maybe they were divorced when they were nineteen and were remarried when they were in their early twenties. (Now) they have a beautiful family and grandchildren yet there is still this thing that they are so ashamed of. Sometimes even their best friends don't know they were married before and divorced. They feel like they can't be a real leader in the church. Maybe they can serve in the nursery and that's about it. Women tell me that story over and over again."
At the conferences where Hill ministers the women attending confide in her, 'God didn't throw Kim away so maybe he didn't throw me away either.' She says, "They are set free from that lie that they have lived for so long. I literally have prayed and cried with women and I am completely amazed that they have lived in shame for that long. It just breaks my heart."
The personable songwriter says, "I had an idea to write a song ("Wide") about these women and when I talk to them how I wish I could go back and talk to them forty years ago to tell them what I know of who God is. He doesn't throw them away."
"Wide" was co-written with Margaret Becker. "We wrote the song so fast that we both laughed. We couldn't have written that song fifteen years ago because we both had to live life, have our own hills and valleys before we could write a song like that," she said.
"A Million Pieces" is a continuation of the same theme. The melodic rock tune talks about trying to pretend there is no hurt associated with crisis events like divorce. Despite an alarming and escalating rate of divorce within the walls of the church the talking heads of various church groups would rather turn their heads and look the other way. 
"She did everything she could/To hide the pain away" Hill sings. While women of her mom's generation and before suffered in silence and tried to put on a happy face as struggles appeared in marriages. They might have been in abusive situations or even found themselves divorced but the pressure was there to ignore the pain.  Hill is thankful that today, "A lot of women are getting help and are becoming whole people because they are able to address the reality of their lives instead of shoving it away and pretending its not there. Our generation is so much more vocal about things in our lives that don't turn out so great." 
In many cases Hill believes the message that women are hearing from the Christian community is, "You are going to make God look bad or your family look bad so don't talk about these things." Hill's song "Just The Same" penned by Kate Miner delivers a soft gentle message to those hurting women. The singer barely above a whisper sings, "Oh You love me just the same."
If you have ever been on the receiving end of an ex-spouse's public relations campaign or perhaps the rumor mongering of those who are on the outside but pretend they are in the know then you will be able to relate to what the singer's friend told her, 'I know you want to go put flyers on everybody's car at church one Sunday morning but you can't.'
"My pastor said, 'Kim you have to trust God with your reputation. Time and truth walk hand in hand. You just have to put your head down and walk.' That was the hardest thing in the world for me to do because a lot of times all you have is your reputation and what people know of you. That was a very difficult time for me," she says. 
"I talk to women all the time whose husbands have walked out on them and left them or whose fathers left them. It is such a foundational issue in their life that they have to deal with for years. I think God is not like an earthen husband or father in that way. He doesn't leave. For women to get that is really huge."
One of the most difficult things for people experiencing loss of any type including the death of a loved one is the sense of isolation. Hill said, "So many people give lip service (and say), 'We really care about what is going on with you.' And I am as guilty as anyone; so many times we really don't want to know. Life is very messy. In my situation things were very messy. I think people are trying but I think the church has a really hard time with things that are messy. They don't know what to do with it. Over and over again I felt that the lesson I learned was I wore everybody out, the pastors, counselors and my friends. The truth that I felt God was saying over and over to me is, 'Kim you can't wear me out. Pour your heart out to me, run to me. I will never ever leave you.' As simple as that truth is when you are in crisis that is one of the most important things in the world to believe and remember is that He really will never let you go. He really will never leave you," she said.
In the second part of this two part series Kim Hill talks about living a victorious life in Christ as a single mother and how worship draws her closer to God.
By Joe Montague, exclusive rights reserved

Joe Montague is an internationally published journalist / photographer. His ministry is dedicated to the memory of his late son Kent David Montague who went to heaven at the age of 18. All copyright and distribution rights remain the property of Joe Montague. 


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