Between the Liner Notes
Kim Hill: How God Loves the Broken
By Lori D'Augostine
Associate CBN.com Producer
In 1991 Kim Hill’s first album, Braveheart, earned a Grammy nomination for Best Christian Rock record. Early in her career, this Memphis hopeful was on the fast track, climbing Christian music charts and opening tours for artists like Amy Grant.
Her Cinderella story did not end there.
Kim departed the Christian music scene to get married and have two boys. Having grown up with loving parents and actively involved at church and Christian school, Kim says she mastered the art of the Christian storybook life.
“Looking back, I think so much of my growing up I was taught to be good and work hard for the Lord," Kim tells CBNmusic. "It was just a lot of performance based things -- religious trappings. I was trying to earn his affection and favor.”
A self-proclaimed “musical task master,” Kim tried her hand at several music genres in her 18-year career. First switching between country music and rock in the '80s and '90s, then landing on inspirational. Within this last decade, Kim has been leading worship for Focus on the Family’s "Renewing the Heart" women’s conferences.
Kim says she was doing a lot of “good” ministry for the Lord out on the road, but all the while, things weren’t adding up at home.
“I found myself in a difficult marriage, and there weren’t easy answers. I realized [that] it’s not always so black and white. I was feeling very hopeless and thought the Lord had abandoned me.”
For this woman of ministry, divorce was a scarlet letter she wanted to avoid. She realized it might cost her career, but walked in faith, under the counsel of her pastor. She says, “The reality was I thought I might have to work at the GAP. I never did anything other than singing and worshipping.”
Even the place she felt the most comfortable growing up felt unsafe at times. She explains, “Church was the hardest place for me to go when I was in the middle of my divorce. I was just feeling so judged and feeling like if you really love God, you wouldn’t be divorced, so you shouldn’t be here.”
It was in a place of complete “brokenness” that Kim says she learned the true meaning of God’s love. “I think this simple message is so needed for people to hear. Until you really live out believing that God loves you no matter what, you can’t truly understand His love.”
Kim’s latest album, Broken Things, relays this message to the world. Her personal journey of healing mixed in with the testimonies of other widows and divorcees she has met on tour with Focus on the Family provides the inspiration for her songs. Coming full circle in her career, this CD combines Hill’s mature wisdom of going through the hard knocks along with her child-like freedom to rock out. Yet, unlike the early ‘90s, it’s not just teenagers bouncing to her beats. Sixty-year-old women are waiting in line to buy this one.
Why the mass appeal? Kim says, “I took a risk with this one. This message is universal. I think that most of us put on a brave face. I don’t know of many that really have it all together. I’m continually amazed from the emails I get from people saying, 'I can relate to you… I lost my dad; I went through a divorce; my mom has cancer.' We all have brokenness. It’s the reality of the world we live in.”
There is something for everyone, even for the man struggling with homosexuality. He is identified and understood in the song, “You Don’t Belong Here.” The penetrating lyrics of “Just the Same,” originally written and sung by her favorite artist, Kate Miner, addresses our performance-based questions: “If I did more for you, would you still love me?” Kim first fell in love with the song 20 years ago and finally sings it with the depth and maturity it deserves.
“I don’t think I would have gotten it 20 years ago like I get it now. Especially now that I’m in front of women [at Focus on the Family conferences] who beat themselves up. We need to get [that] if I do absolutely nothing today, God still loves me. He loves me just because He loves me.”
Broken Things (2006)
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