31 People: Kimberly Wallace

This post contains graphic descriptions about suicide and it’s associated traumas.

31 People Kimberly Wallace

Kimberly Wallace is a forced to be reckoned with!

She was another obvious choice for my 31 People Who Inspire, Influence, Impress list.

Kimberly Wallace is one of my dearest friends – she is also my former boss, a fellow foodie, a chef, a survivor, a Prophet, a missionary, a businesswoman, a widow, a counselor and a Reverend…..just to name a few things!

She is not what people expect, she is ‘outside the box’, she is different “in a good way”, she doesn’t conform to society’s norms and pushes the envelope! She does these things, not because she wants to be seen as something special, or to stand out, but because she is directed, guided and instructed by God and she lives to serve Him about all things.

I am very grateful for Kimberly’s influence on my life for many reasons – but particularly because she introduced me to Captain America and for that I will never be able to thank her enough!

Kimberly Wallace has an incredible story to tell, and believe me when I tell you that what you will read here is only about 5% of it. I could list a few of the other highlights but I know that would embarrass her if I gush about all that she has achieved over her years.

Please read her story and know that however awful and horrific the past few years have been for Kimberly she is stronger now than any of us, including her, thought was possible. I have walked alongside her though this season of her life and I am so proud of how she has and is handling it, how she has taught the rest of us to process our grief as she is learning to process her own – this is just one of the reasons why she made my list. Read and learn from her experiences:

Name: Kimberly Wallace

Age: 58

Status:  Widow

Occupation: Reverend/Counselor/Coach

Describe a typical day in your life:

I don’t know that I have EVER had a “typical” day in my life… Maybe it would be best to say that a typical day in my life is never typical!

Tell us about a defining moment in your life:

“It was Saturday night March 10, 2012, I had been at church conducting a missions meeting during the Saturday evening service. I returned home, but could find my husband nowhere in the house, though his car was home. I called a friend and spiritual daughter (Ruth) wondering if she and her then-boyfriend (now husband, Todd) had gone to dinner with him. No, they hadn’t seen him that night.

I called one of my spiritual sons who also lived with us, asking him if he was with Rob. No, he wasn’t. We continued to talk on the phone as I walked into the office. Rob wasn’t there. I went upstairs to check our bathroom and bedroom, Rob wasn’t there. I noticed a sheet of paper on my side of the bed. I was still talking to my son on the phone. I picked up and immediately I knew it was a suicide letter. I screamed into the phone, “I’ve found a suicide letter.” I ran downstairs and immediately ran outside to the backyard and I saw him hanging by his neck, from the side of our house. Through my tears I asked my son to come as soon as possible, and then I called the police.

I had to cut him down from his noose he tied to our balcony on the side of the house. I remember I couldn’t find scissors to cut the rope. I remember screaming, “You will live and not die!” over and over and over, attempting to raise him from the dead, until I was finally able to cut him down. I couldn’t breathe too well right then. I thought, Lord give me your peace that passes all my own understanding, as only you can do.

I wonder if my heart will ever feel whole again from the pain of Rob`s suicide. I believe that I would feel so different if my husband had died from illness, accident or something other than self murder and suicide. Clinically I understand that there is nothing I could have done differently. Emotionally I replay over and over whether I could have done more. I will never understand why he chose to end his life and turn from the invitation of redemption. I am trying to accept that he couldn’t receive his redemption from the Father.

I now have a grid for grief, inconceivable, inconsolable grief. I know what despair feels like, I’ve experienced that once in my life. When I lost my baby going into my 3rd trimester, the 7th month, I despaired the loss of my child. But I overcame that sadness and despair. I don`t understand depression or the spiral of it long term. I understand it clinically, but again, I do not understand it experientially.

Everyone around me thinks I am this very strong woman of God. But I am not. I am weak. I cry. I am reminded that my weakness is made perfect in His strength!!! I have been crying so much in this past month, almost as much as I did when Rob first died. Even now, tears come flooding my face down my cheeks as I write. I pray. I ask God to forgive me of my sins in asking why Rob chose to end his own life, and for my anger in that he chose to do so and leave such a financial mess. God is a merciful and gracious God. I keep reminding myself, that in His being merciful, gracious and loving toward Rob, He must be just as much toward me…” *Excerpts from the book “Indescribable” by Kimberly Anne Wallace

Who or what inspires you?

Jesus Christ inpires me how to live my life, Francis Anfuso inspires me to continue to seek wholeness through Jesus Christ, and my husbands suicide inspires me to answer the daily invitation of redemption and to offer the invitation of redemption to those around me.

Who or what is the greatest influence in your life?

The obvious answer and may seem trite, is Jesus Christ. I will have to add that my grandmother was probably one of the greatest human influences in my life! She taught me much about life and people.

What is your greatest quality and why?

Perseverance, compassion, and generosity! All of which are because of the testimonies that Jesus Christ has written on my life.

What is a struggle for you and what are you doing to overcome it?

“I have been quietly processing great contemplative questions my Pastor adjured me to consider. His words did not fall on deaf ears; his love was felt in my spirit. I am reminded, God rebukes those He loves. In this time of redefinition I have allowed insecurity to weave itself into my life. This is a new experience for me in these last 22 years of my life. Who I am has changed drastically through my husband’s suicide. I have been divorced and know the pain of divorce. The hidden rejection in it. In surviving suicide as a spouse, there is a feeling of blatant silent rejection that you can never address. I have felt the most rejected in this experience, even more rejected then being given up for adoption. There are so many unanswered questions. Too many, in fact. And they play with your mind. Especially security.

In my husband’s suicide, I not only lost my husband, but also all financial security with much debt that I have been working my way to pay off.  Many of my relationships have changed through this journey of surviving suicide. Many that I thought were solid life-long friends don’t call or can hardly bear to spend time with me or look me in the eyes. I own my part, in that I have not taken the energy or time to call or reinvest in relationships. When it is all said and done, there is no energy left when you are a survivor of suicide. You must be intentional with maintaining relationships, even if others aren’t. I had begun to think that I had nothing to share and that I was worthless and so I desperately rode in on others’ coattails looking for affirmation and acceptance I so desperately needed, but could not ask for. This doesn’t work.

I need to be honest with myself and remove the subtle mantle of delusion camouflaged as emotional stability. I am a weak, fragile and broken person. I need affirmation and acceptance. Please forgive me for trying to find my desolate needs met in people instead of you, Lord. Thank you, God that I can receive all that I need in my identity from you. In Christ alone!” *Excerpts from the book “Indescribable” by Kimberly Anne Wallace

When people look at your life, what do you hope they will see?

Someone who is honest without pretense that continues to live out the testimony of her life through Jesus Christ!

Kimberly – you are an incredible woman of God and I am delighted to call you friend!

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