By Lonnie Wilkey
Editor, Baptist and Reflector
GREENBRIER — By her own admission, Kim Harmon led a “fairy tale” life.
She was reared in a pastor’s home and later married and became a pastor’s wife.
And even though she had chosen a career in law enforcement which can have its “ups and downs,” Harmon had not experienced a true crisis in her life.
At least not until she received a phone call on Jan. 10, 2010 that would change not only her life, but the life of her family as well.
Harmon learned from her then sister-in-law that her brother, Kirk Jordan, had been shot and killed. It was “news that would kick me in the gut,” she acknowledged.
But that would prove to be just the beginning of a family tragedy.
After getting together with her parents, Herman and Doris Jordan, and other family members, they learned that her nephew Curtis was going to be questioned about the death of his father. He would later be charged in the death of his father and pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter.
Harmon relates the story of that ordeal and how she learned to forgive her nephew in a recently published book, When Life Knocks You Down, Fall Forward: A Story of Struggle, Strength, & True Forgiveness.
Harmon, whose husband Randy is now pastor of Rock Springs Baptist Church, Greenbrier, (they were serving a church in East Tennessee when her brother was killed), said she wrote the book to encourage others.
Bad things are going to happen, she said. “It’s not a matter of if, but when.”
She observed that whether it is a diagnosis of a major health issue, a death, or a failure, “life happens. When it does, you have to decide whether to fall down and stay down or to fall forward.”
Her husband described their experience as “a real life tragedy that you always think happens to someone else.”
Kim Harmon said she wanted to write the book “from the heart of someone” who has been through a traumatic situation without “sugarcoating” it. “I want to encourage others in difficult times to find their source of strength through prayer,” she said.
A day or two after her brother’s death, Harmon said she went to the church where her father was pastor and bowed on her knees at the altar and “poured” out her soul to God with Randy at her side. “I know God hears us when we pray anytime but I needed to get as close to Him as I could,” she wrote in her book.
She challenges churches and Christians to walk with people who are going through difficult times. Harmon said she is grateful for the response of First Baptist Church, Dunlap, (where Randy was pastor at the time). “They gave us room to grieve. We were surrounded by people who were understanding and caring, but not smothering,” she recalled.
“When you go through a tragedy, you never get over it,” her husband observed. “But you develop a ‘new norm’ and with God’s help you move forward,” Randy Harmon said.
Kim Harmon said she reminds others now that “it’s okay to cry, but it’s also okay to laugh.”
She admits that the book has continued the healing process. “Helping others helps me to continue to heal,” she said.
Harmon offered several suggestions for how to live life in the final chapter of her book. Among them: be a giver, count your blessings, tell people you love them, live life to the fullest, read your Bible to hear God’s voice, and pray to bare your soul and ask God for wisdom.
Above all, “when life kicks you in the gut, fall into the arms of your heavenly Father. When life knocks you down, fall forward. Make something positive from the nightmare. Beg Him for wisdom and peace. Walk humbly with your God.”
Harmon is available for speaking engagements. To contact her or order a copy of the book, visit www.RescuedByHim.com.