Kimberly's Story "The Past 365 Days"

One year. Think about the past year, from this date today, rewind 365 days. Where were you? Just REALLY think about that for a minute. Now, fast forward to right now. Where are you now?

One year ago for me, I was in a very unhealthy relationship. A relationship I had been in for many years. One year ago, I was holding onto to painful memories from my childhood.  One year ago, I decided that I had dealt with pain long enough. I fell to my knees and begged God for help. I turned to family who wanted to help. Though, until I wanted to help myself, they could only do so much.

One year ago, my uncle welcomed my boys and I into his home. He provided a roof, safety, love and hope. My aunt was my saving grace. She never felt sorry for me. She never let me weep in sorrow. She pushed me, loved me, told me everything I needed to hear and nothing I wanted to hear. Her grace and tough love kept me going.

Looking back on the past 365 days brings me to tears. I can't tell you it was easy. I can't tell you it wasn't scary. I will tell you, as I think about all the hardship I went through, it was some of the darkest times of my life. But, I didn't have time to think about how much it simply sucked at times. I had my boys watching me. I stayed positive and kept moving. I was not going to quit. I had so much support from all around me that wouldn't let me give up.

A year ago if someone were to say to me, "Kimberly, you will have more support from acquaintances and strangers than you could ever imagine", I would have laughed at them. Like many of you reading this, I felt alone. I felt ashamed. I felt embarrassed. Why would people I barely knew want to help me? Support me? Be a shoulder, an ear, and a friend?

Unfortunately, we rarely see people genuinely caring about other people. I feel blessed to have witnessed the love, support, and generosity of people the past year. There were a few people who I just knew would be there for me 100% and those few were the ones who disappeared on me. I am not mad at them. I wonder if they had their own struggles and maybe they feel like I disappeared on them? We have to remember that everyone has a story.

If you are like me, asking for help makes my anxiety level go through the roof. It is like a dagger right into my pride. Asking for help makes me feel weak. This was a tough battle for me to overcome. You cannot get anywhere in life alone. You have to reach out for help at times. Sometimes you have to do it on your own. It is balance you have to find. You shouldn't always depend on other people, that is not healthy but In the same sense, you cannot possibly do everything on your own.

Everyone needs help from time to time. In one year, I was able to move on from an unhealthy marriage. I was given a resource to tell my story at www. The founders of 7 Billion Ones, two beautiful souls, Randy and Shannon, allowed me to share my story and free myself. I broke my silence of childhood sexual abuse and an abusive marriage. In one year, I have made many new friends, some who became family. If you are reading this and you had even a minute to do with my journey over the past year...THANK YOU!!!! I love you and I am forever grateful! In one year, I found happiness and peace. I grew as a person, friend, and as a mother.

Today, right now. Set a goal for yourself to be where you want to be 365 days from now. You cannot use any excuses. You have to dig deep, pray, and yes, ask for help from time to time.

God bless you all!

Be sure to read Kimberly's full story "Torn" below

Kimberly's Story "Torn"

I have written my story out so many times, trying to decide what details to share, what details to leave out. I have tried to decide if this is a good idea or a bad idea. Will I hurt someone in the process or will I help someone? My journey in life has not been an easy path. It has had led to heartache, self doubt, worry, pain, loss, depression, and grief. My childhood was not healthy. I was molested from a very young age by a close relative who wasn't much older than me. I endured this for many, many years. I never spoke of it to anyone. It left me numb. I felt unloved, disgusting, embarrassed, and ashamed. I was worried I would never be believed if I spoke of this "unheard" of abuse. I felt alone. I didn't want anyone to know my dirty "secret". I cried myself to sleep many nights as a child, asking God, why?

Once I was able to get away from the abuse, I tucked it away and I never spoke of it. I acted as if the 12 years of abuse never happened. I went on with life and was "happy". I met a boy. We fell "in love". Marriage and babies followed. Every little girl's dream, right? I wish I could stop there. I wish I could say, I had my happy ever after. My story doesn't stop there. I found myself in a toxic and abusive relationship. Mentally, emotionally, and physical abuse. I had never really been treated any different growing up, so I dealt with it. I was right where I thought I was supposed to be. It was the only love I knew. I didn't understand what unconditional love was or how to receive it. I had my boys, who were and are my world. I focused my mind on them. I was driven to be the best mother to my boys that I could possibly be.

After years of being unhappy, torn apart, left alone, and lonely, I knew I had to make a change for not only myself, but my boys as well. They were not going to grow up and witness the things they had already been subjected too. I began to pray, a lot. I needed help, wisdom, strength, a plan. For over a year, I tried to have the courage to leave. I failed, numerous times.

One very hot day in June, I fell to my knees at work and begged God for some sort of direction. I could not mentally or emotionally survive any more if something did not change and change quickly. That very day I went home on my lunch break and packed a bag. I left. Not only did I leave....I did not go back. It has not been an easy journey. In fact it has been one of the most frightening experiences I have had. I was a single Mom to two boys who looked up to me. They needed a strong, stable, and loving Mom.

At times I felt as if I was failing. I fell to my knees daily, asking for strength to continue on. For wisdom to have the right words. I prayed over my boys nightly asking for God to put comfort and understanding in their hearts. Through this journey, I found myself, Kimberly, the girl who loves life and everything life has to offer. I found joy, pure loving joy. I no longer asked God, "Why?" I thank God for every little bump in the road. Every experience, even though, so many were painful, they have taught me to love out-loud. It has taught me that every single person has a story. I have lived in the storm and I conquered the storm. I made it. It has made me a positive person. I take nothing in life for granted.

What I hope by sharing my bits and pieces with you, is that if you are going through this, have been through this, you ARE NOT ALONE. You do not have to allow it. You do not and should not be ashamed. There is help. The steps are scary. The outcome can be even scarier. Our God is a loving God. You pour yourself into Him, you put all your faith into it Him, and I promise you, He will see you through the worst parts of the storm. You have to have faith in yourself first. You have to make the first steps - He cannot make them for you.

I also want to encourage every single parent to practice body safety with their child(ren). You need to be open and honest. You need to drill in there heads you are their safe zone and they can come to you with anything without any judgement. They have to know that anything they bring to you, you will believe them. That you will help them.

I would love to be more raw with anyone who needs to know they are not alone. If I can, I will help you through your storm. There are outlets, there are people who want to help. Please, stand up for yourself and seek the help that you need. I promise to never judge you, your story, or the people in your story.


This story was prepared, written and submitted solely by Kimberly in her personal capacity. The content and opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect the views of 7 Billion Ones, Randy Bacon Photography and/or any members or associates of these organizations.