CHRISTIAN MUSICIAN KIM HILL recently was hanging out with her eight-year-old son, Benjamin, in the cozy backyard of their Nashville home. They were eating and chatting and just sharing some quality mother-son time. Then he started crying.
"He asked me why my parents took down our wedding picture at their house," Kim explains, referring to a photo of her and her ex-husband. "I said, 'Well, honey, because we're divorced. Does it bother you that they took it down?' He said, 'Yeah. I liked looking at it because it helped me pretend ya'll were still married.' So we had to talk through that."
Kim, 41, has had many such conversations with Benjamin and his 12-year-old brother, Graham, since the breakup of her ten-year marriage, finalized within days of the Twin Towers collapse in 2001. "My boys know they can talk to me about the divorce whenever they feel like it. Sometimes I wish we didn't have to keep discussing it, but I know it's healthy for them to be able to process aloud this big thing they've been through. In those moments, I simply have to remind myself it's not about what's comfortable or best for me."
Kim admits nothing about her divorce has been comfortable, even though she says her marriage was rocky from the start. She and her ex-husband got counseling throughout much of their marriage, and then separated three years before the divorce. Kim walked through the entire process with her pastor, who offered to write her a letter explaining there were biblical grounds for the divorce to give to any churches or ministries that invite her to perform. "I think because I've been honest with others throughout my journey, most people have been supportive," Kim says.
Kim, a Grammy-nominated and multiple Dove Award-winning singer/songwriter, began her journey in the Christian music world in 1988 with a self-titled debut that launched two number-one singles. After a successful turn in Christian music, Kim tried her hand at country in 1994. The video for her hit "Janie's Gone Fishin'" reached number one on the Country Music Television and VH-1 country playlists. Her re-entry into Christian music in 1997 coincided with her new passion for worship music and with being tapped to lead worship for Focus on the Family's then-new Renewing the Heart women's conferences. When Focus stopped hosting the conferences in 2003, Kim and two other Renewing the Heart regulars, Lisa Harper and Eva Whittington Self, launched …