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The Kaleidoscope – Chaplaincy Experience

Unveiled & Untangled

When people learn that I’m a Chaplain, I often hear, “Wow, it must be hard to be around death so much.” Often, they think Chaplains are Grim Reapers and represent gloom and death. Is it challenging and heartbreaking to be a Chaplain? Of course.

It is so much more though.

Being a Chaplain is having someone hold out a withered, crooked hand for you to hold and grab your heart in the process.

It is about raw emotion. The removal of the veil of “strength” we think everyone should wear. It is the moment when people demonstrate true strength, as they allow expression of emotions they’ve never known. Emotions they’ve always wanted to express but could not.

It is witnessing the courage to say “I’m afraid.”

It is watching a single tear, or flood of tears, pour from that part of the soul that loves deeply, and hurts even more.

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Charlie

Charles Gordon III – A Witness to the Resurrection 

 September 25, 1969  – October 3, 2017

 Ginny Owens:

“There were lots of days when my mom would remind me that there will be times in life for you and for all of us when Jesus is our only friend and you need to embrace it. There is more to life than trying to hide the things that are wrong with us but God tells us that we can go to Him in the pieces that we’re in, and with the flaws that we have, or the embarrassing things that we have that we don’t like about ourselves. We can take all of these things to Him. He weaves those things in with His grace & makes just a beautiful story.” Ginny Owens

Much like me, Charlie had a story of struggle he could tell. He also had a story of God’s grace and mercy weaving through it all to write a beautiful story.

Charlie was fun. He named me Kimmer. Called me Kid even though we are one month apart in age, therefore we claimed to be twins. I certainly thought of him as a brother. Charlie was a precious friend, a true gentleman to me, and embodied love of the Lord. Charlie cared about salvation and faith of others. He made an impact on my life. On my faith.

In my silk dress and high heels I climbed a hill on the way to work to get a rock.

At the time I worked for an Orthodontist, and we were experiencing an uncertain time.

Habakkuk 2:2-3 states “2And the LORD answered me: “Write the vision; make it plain on tablets, so he may run who reads it. For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay.”

My friend, Charlie, told me once, “Kim, your faith should be so strong that you write your prayers in stone.” This advice was based on the above Scripture in Habakkuk.  I wrote my prayers based on this verse in a journal.  After months went by I read the journal and realized over 40 prayers had been answered…in abundance of what I asked. They were not all answered the way I thought was best, but were all answered in God’s divine will and wisdom. Journaling my prayers helped me to realize God’s active part and power in my life. God acts. He will and he does act in our lives.

So, on our rock I wrote “Lord, we believe you will…” and invited everyone to write their prayers. My associates looked at me strangely at first, but throughout the day prayers appeared all over that rock. That rock became a special prayer tool for all of us. We demonstrated our faith, prayed together, and celebrated God answering prayers and working in our lives.

I have spoken about that verse and wisdom Charlie shared with me at churches, children’s ministry, and on the air. Charlie has touched more people, and planted more seeds that will grow in relationship with the Lord than we will ever know.

Charlie cared. That is what matters in the end of life. I know everyone who knew him, knows without a doubt he cared for and loved them. 

He will be missed by all of us who were so blessed by him. 

Save me a seat Charlie!

Kim (Kimmer) Crawford

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Growing Wings – Updated Back Cover

I updated the back for a little better info.

Amazon.com

Thank you for all the awesome support!

Kim

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Double Oak Community

Such an incredible blessing to serve with Matt Allen, Mark Phillips, and James Spann today in their incredible children’s ministry. Always a blessing to see a gifted team working together and planting seeds in young hearts. 

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Kim’s Story about Writing Growing Wings

Kim Crawford was born October 21, 1969, but did not breathe for 11 minutes at birth. Doctors told her mother she would have severe brain damage, but to their surprise she thrived and was a completely healthy little girl. Having this miraculous beginning in life has always reminded Kim that God has a plan and purpose for her. She feels part of this purpose is to share her relationship with God, and loves to express this journey through writing.

Kim worked in the funeral home industry for many years. During this time, she was told by her manager that she had special gifts in supporting those in grief. She wrote a poem entitled, Growing Wings, after going through 16 losses from 2000 – 2009, with each bringing a unique grief experience.  The seed her manager planted grew, and she realized her calling to Chaplaincy. As a Board Certified Chaplain, Kim witnesses people in chronic sickness, acute illness, and trauma. She focuses on helping her patients and their families to express their own personal journey, emotions, and find coping mechanisms within their own beliefs, abilities, and gifts.

As she worked with families, she witnessed children being told not to express their emotions and to sit still and be quiet in the midst of tragedy. This experience helped her realize her poem, Growing Wings, was a children’s book about this matter and pursued publishing. In 2016, Lighthouse Christian Publishing did offer to publish the book.

Her heart for Growing Wings is to help children express their emotions, validate those emotions, and normalize that people do come and go in their lives, yet they can hold that love in their hearts and make meaning of every relationship.

An extra bit of fun information is that the little girl in the book “Growing Wings” is modeled after Kim’s granddaughter, Lily Mae. She is a vibrant, beautiful, funny, creative, and very smart little girl. She is expressive, which Kim encourages and hopes Lily will continue to grow in as she experiences life and continues to grow her own wings.

Kim and Lily
She is Board Certified through the Association of Professional Chaplains, endorsed by the Baptist General Convention of Texas, serves at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Birmingham, AL, is an Instructor of Laughter Yoga, and available to speak to adults and children.

Kim may be reached at:
psalm40.123@gmail.com

To read more of Kim’s writings, visit her website:

unveiledanduntangled.com

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Tuesday, Sept 12, Wdjc 93.7, 7:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m.

So excited to join Roxanne and Chris to share my heart about writing Growing Wings and the message of relationships, loss, and the impact of these relationships on our hearts. 

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Read the most current issue of Birmingham Parent | Birmingham Parent

Thank you Birmingham Parent Magazine for announcing my book, Growing Wings, page 8.