Have you ever done something that scares you? Yeah? Me too, on more than one occasion.
I believe it was 1997 or 1998. I went with a dear friend to a local skydiving 🪂 place where she was redeeming a birthday gift certificate for her fist ever jump out of a perfectly good airplane. I wore a denim dress with white Keds (remember those?) The furthest thing from my mind was taking that leap for myself. I was simply along for the ride to witness my dear friend fulfill an item on her bucket list.
When she spoke the invite to join her, I was not prepared; but looking back on that day now, I believe it was the lack of planning and the spontaneity of the moment that changed the trajectory (literally) of my day. Within minutes I was supplied with appropriate apparel and gear, and before I knew it I was sitting in the belly of a small plane, door open, side by side with my dear friend, the bunch of us ascending into the heavens.
Did I take the leap?
I have taken many leaps in my life and am confident, each and every leap, especially those taken in blind faith, are the ones that resulted in the greatest impact on my life.
From a fairly young age, I had no idea what career path I wanted to embark on. I have always had a wide variety of interests and that fact about me was confirmed in a high school aptitude test. My high school counselor shared with me that because I showed interest in so many career paths, it was difficult for him to help narrow down a solid path toward my future. I have had many interests over the years, things that sounded “fun”! I’ve daydreamed about becoming an ER doctor, firefighter/EMT, veterinarian, police officer, artist (starving most likely), teacher, missionary, and there are probably many others that just don’t come to mind at the moment. From about that same age, while I had no idea what career I wanted to pursue, I was confident about one thing. I was certain I wanted to be a wife and mother. I absolutely love children and have an apparent gift for connecting with them, from infants up to about the age of 7-8. In fact, at the age of about 14 I took on the role of Sunday School teacher for the two year olds in my church. I spent countless hours baby sitting and to this day, I still work with and even advocate for children. I digress…
Fast forward to a naive young woman, fresh out of high school, still sans career path, I applied for and was accepted to a small university just a couple of hours from my hometown. Making that move was a leap of faith for sure. I was in the midst of a relationship with an amazing young man that I met via blind date, set up by my older sister. Leaving him behind was so hard, as I truly loved him and knew the challenges of a long distance relationship. Move in day to the dorm, my new home away from home, was heartbreaking. Hugging my parents and watching them leave was absolutely one of the most difficult things I had ever experienced.
College was a leap and a time to spread my proverbial wings, right? But from my perspective, I crashed and burned. While I made new friends, was gifted a “promise” ring by this young man I had been dating, and even pledged a sorority, I was homesick and was not living the life of the honoring the person I knew my young self to be. Homesick for my family, my boyfriend and the stability of home. I was not performing well in my classes and my newfound freedom out from under the protective covering of my parents roof and wings proved to be too much. Feeling like a failure, I moved home.
Within months of returning home, I took another very difficult leap. The leap of myself and my family’s relocation to Florida for my Dad’s career. With that news, my boyfriend pleaded with me to stay behind so our relationship could continue and we could eventually get married. I was heartbroken and certain I broke his heart. But at 19 years old, I was still very naive, yet somehow wise enough to discern that I was not ready to fly the coop, let alone get married. I knew long distance relationships were difficult at best, only now, the 3 hour distance would be 12 hours at best. We gave it a good run, but the distance proved to be too much for too long. A couple of short years later, I learned he had met and married another young woman. I was still flailing around in this big pond called life, with no idea where I was headed; but God had a plan!
In the spring of 1992, at a place my parents claimed, “I would “You’ll never meet a “nice guy” in a bar, I was spending time with friends on a Tuesday night at a local night club in central Florida called “Barracuda’s”. I had been in and out of a few relationships, some ending upon mutual agreement, others at “his” choosing because of my choosing to not engage in sexual activity before I was married… also a conviction of mine. I was not a drinker, and admittedly still almost always decline. Every once in a while I’ll partake of a delicious beverage a dear friend makes for me, but that is about the extent of my alcoholic beverage consumption.
Focus Kimmy! Back to this “nice guy” at the night club. That’s the exact label I tagged him with. He was incredibly nice and kind and from first impressions and as I grew to know him a little better, he was a genuine gentleman. At the time, he was about six feet tall (me too!), with clean cut, soft brown hair, and a beautiful smile. Attractive for sure, but, he didn’t fit the mold for the image of the man I was supposed to be with; but God broke the mold! Every moment I spent with him, my mind and my heart grew more fond of him. Days turned into weeks, weeks to months, and in December of ’93 he proposed. If you know me, you most likely know I said “YES” and that was the beginning of my, post leap of faith, into living out my dreams of being a wife and mother.
Paul is his name and as we approach 29 years of marriage, three children, and a whole host of life experiences, I am living my best life, with him, and in many ways because of him.
As most relationships/marriages go, life sometimes appears to be boring and mundane; but God has used every moment of my beautiful, boring, amazing life to bring me to the “ME” I am today. Paul and I live in a beautiful home, our three children are all young adults, venturing out to begin/continue making their own choices, living their own lives.
Life has taken me on a beautiful journey, not without the mountains and valleys, winding paths lined with beauty and the lonely desert roads lined with both solitude and beauty.
I have taken many leaps of faith in my life and this is only about a few of them. As I write, my eyes have filled with tears many times. Some tears of joy and some, not of regret, but of prayerful contemplation and reflection on the many choices I have made along the way.
Just reflecting on my journey, I notice that in some way, I have lived a little piece of each of my childhood daydreams. I haven’t been an ER Doctor or a firefighter; but I have spent time as a volunteer EMT. I haven’t been a veterinarian; but I have worked in a vets office and have cared for many of God’s creatures.
I have not been a police officer; but I have been a police dispatcher. I have been a teacher. Not formally trained; but I did teach art for a couple of years and have worked many years inside multiple classrooms as a teaching assistant. And I currently volunteer as a Guardian ad Litem, advocating for children that have been neglected or abused.
I know in my heart, as a teacher, a guardian and even just as Kimberly by serving children in my community, I am, in some way, impacting the life of at least one child. I have always been and continue to be an artist.
Did I take the leap? YES I did. The one out of the plane and so many more! I took those leaps, not knowing, and often unaware of what was ahead, but trusting in the moment that my great Navigator was and is, always with me.
I have lived an amazing, beautiful, challenging, and incredible life these 50+ years. The hard parts, the valleys, the ugliness, the summits, the wonder and the beauty have all brought me to this point, to who I am today, right into the leap of faith of into the heARTofkimmy.
May the road rise up to meet you. May the wind be always at your back. May the sun shine warm upon your face, the rains fall soft upon your fields. And, until we meet again, May God hold you in the palm of His hand. -Irish Blessing
As usual your post is very inspirational ! Enjoyed reading . Love you Sweet girl ❤️
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I love you to Mom! 🧡