VOICES IN OUR COMMUNITIES
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Kimberly Thurston-Brown, has developed a really strong passion for being active in her community and encouraging broken women to be made whole. While currently residing in Easton, PA, her heart remains at the starting point of her humble beginnings, where she was born and raised at the Father Rossi Housing Projects of Essex County, NJ.
Defying statistics, having been the daughter of parents who suffer from the disease of addiction. While overcoming, her own personal struggles of emotional illness, depression, teen parenting, dropping out of high school, surviving domestic violence and divorce. Kimberly is motivated by her faith in Christ to helping others become aware of the path that can lead them to understanding.
Finding the desire to obtain her High School Diploma, Kimberly conquered the pull from her environment and went on to further obtain her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts (Essex County College), then moved on to accomplish a Bachelors Degree in Psychology (Pillar College) where it is put into full use as she advocates for anyone suffering with mental and emotional illness, while working as a Support Coordinator for individuals who have developmental disabilities. She currently attends Evangelical Bible Institute where she will become a Licensed Evangelist. She then plans to further her education by obtaining her Masters and Ph.D. in Psychology.
Kimberly returns with a message to uplift and encourage women annually at her “Empowerment Events” which she is known for impacting the community with the ability to unapologetically share her experience, strength and hope. She and her husband are currently in the process of developing K.I.M “Keep It Moving” Mobile Outreach, for Urban Communities. Where they go back into Essex County, NJ feeding the homeless, providing supports to those suffering from the disease of addiction, facilitating “Spa Days” to the Disabled and Elderly who are sick and shut in at Nursing Homes. They also have a creative way to impact at risk youth.
The love of God, Family and Community is her passion and she serves them equally with painstaking excellence. We here at Keep Walking Community Foundation are honored to highlight Kim’s Story of Triumph
Thank God for everything, caused had I not experienced it all I would not be the woman of GOD I am today. I'm a firm believer in, after walking through my first storm, and coming out on the other side with my mind, body, and soul intake was all I needed as my reference for walking through the next one!!! After I internalized that all things that happen in my life happened because GOD allowed them to happen, because, he had already prepared me for the; gave me the hope I needed in the midnight hour to encourage myself, and keep my eyes focused on the hills, and keep walking! Year, 2000, God recused me from insanity, depravity, and death! After using drugs for over twenty years, and at the end of the road being on two methodone clinics and drinking over one hundred milligrams a day, I thought I was going die withdrawing. It took awhile to get a good night's sleep, but when I did, boy o boy, I pledged my new way of life to serving GOD!!!
2002 after having been diagnosed with HIV in 1996, I discovered I was pregnant, my fiance, whom was also HIV we decided to do everything possible for me to take care of myself, and trust GOD with the rest. Nov., 21, 2002- we had medically clear 8lb 12oz baby boy. October 28, 2005, I was celebrating five years of recovery. Driving home with my two and a half year old son, who was safely tucked away in his car seat, we were hit head on by a massive truck. Horrific accident, in the midst of the spinning car I could do nothing but call on GOD, and trust that, he didn't rescue me from the projects in Newark, give me this opportunity to live a new way of life, a young child, a healthy family, to say "sike"!!! No way, instantly, I knew we were gonna be alright. I suffered six broken ribs, a broken sternum, broken femur (the rod is still there today), and a broken hip. My baby suffered a fracture eye socket. I was hospitalized for over a month, and I had to learn how to walk all over again. I told myself I was never going to drive again. But GOD!!!!!! Told me, "we don't live our lives in fear". Until he's ready for me, it's my requirement to live, and shine light in as many dark places that I can find! Needless to say, within a short period of time I was driving again.. First place I went was to my H&I commitment while in wheelchair, then with my walker, then crutches, and finally with the cane. I had to keep walking, and serving, which always helps me get outside of myself, by helping others.
Two thousand nine, June 4, (2009)my thirty-nine year old favorite baby brother had to have emergency brain surgery. After an thirteen hour surgery he was placed in the neuro critical care unit with very little brain activity. I lived at his bedside day and night reading to him, talking to him, praying over him, lotioning him etc. Then on June 9th, he was placed on life support. I continued my commitment to God & my brother. I left only to fulfill my service commitment, and make meetings. A few days later we were told his brain level had gotten worse, and we should decide on what to do next. They decided to remove him from left support on the sixteenth, against my wish. I truly believe I had saw some reactions from him over the days I spent with me. I argued with my parents, sister, and brother, I disagreed with there decision. I believe he needed more time, since, I had a friend that came out of a coma after six months. I believe in miracles. I was heartbroken, upset, and blamed them for his death for awhile. However, the very next day, my son graduated kindergarten. I was there with a smile, balloons, flowers etc. I had to keep walking.
Two thousand fourteen, July, my husband was complaining about terrible backpain. After five emergency room visits, numerous doctors appointments, at which he was given every kind of medication possible. Finally, they discovered he had a tumor the size of a grapefruit on his spinal cord, that had already shattered his spinal cord. Throughout his rib cage he multiple tumors. He was diagnosed with stage four bone cancer and was admitted into the hospital. One day on my trips back and forth he asked for his telephone. Now, I'm not the type of woman that checked phones and all that other drama. But, this day was different. The phone would not stop buzzing. So I opened it and discovered tons of, "I love you", "I miss you", "where are you" texts. I tried not to say anything cause he was suffering tremendously, but my will did not allow me to stay quiet. I brought him home, and told him I knew; I remembered my vow, and commitment I made was not to him but to GOD. So leaning on my eleventh step, I decided to take care of him. I had to shower him, change him(butt), feed him, while taking him back in forth to treatment. At the same time as, taking care of my twelve year old son, and myself. He passed away May, 2015. I was there to tell him that I forgave him, to please forgive himself, and to ask God for forgiveness.
To date I'm still walking and serving GOD. My son is still grieving terribly, and is receiving treatment for it. I'm here watching my hero, my dad, fight cancer. I'm doing the best that I can with keeping my health in order. I remain grateful through it all, and spiritually refreshed and glad to be alive.
I love and respect this foundation you started. I pray it reaches many.
“Yes I am ready to serve”. I am 48 years old and I am the mother of two children ages 18 and 20. I have been a single mom since 1999 and although it has not always been a smooth journey it has been a continuous one. Where if we can just keep our feet moving forward and remain focused though tired; we will get to where we desire to be. I have not always had this mindset and it took a lot of praying, talking to positive people (those I saw something in and knew I wanted to possess what they were carrying) , falling, getting back up again, and just being honest with myself. I have been employed by the Paterson Board of Education since 1999 and am currently enrolled at Ashford University as a full-time student. I am studying Behavioral Science with a minor in Justice Administration.
I was married to my children’s father and walked away from the marriage in 1999. The relationship was not healthy as it was physically and verbally abusive. Being beaten and reminded of not being of much value only heightened the negative feelings I had; one being low self -esteem along with the feelings of worthlessness, ugliness, less than, and just not wanting to be alive. I was broken and afraid and in a very dark place with two small children and ashamed to tell anyone what I was going through; so I put on “a face” but wanted so badly for someone to see past my ”face” and see the pain. There were times I had been told that I was worth more and deserved better but I did not know how to get to the place where I felt and knew it for myself. I saw women that walked in confidence; proud of who they are, spoke with boldness, laughed with a heartiness that seemed to generate from their core and I longed to experience that. I somehow found a spark that ignited my desire to live and be free. Free from the brokenness, shame of my past, I wanted to love myself. I have found peace and sleep very well and night. I have not arrived and realize I am still a work in progress. I realize that as long as I keep listening and obeying the voice of God that alone secures my safety on this road of life. I am in love with Jesus and I love ME… I am confident in who I am and know to whom I belong. I stand firm on the word of God and know I am the head and not the tail, I am above and not beneath, and the lender and not the borrower. Every day is not a mountaintop experience however, I know there is a mountaintop.
My purpose and desire for wanting to be a part of this committee is to help other women that may be at the point of brokenness or on their way to taking back their lives by serving them in any capacity. I am fully aware that regardless of the direction we are traveling we all want to be served and appreciated. We all want to be met” where we are, we all want a genuine smile, despite our shortcomings, where we have been, or where we may find ourselves in life.