My memory holds pockets of a vibrant, life-giving little girl who could make the world smile. If I could describe her in words, I would chose provocative sounding words like full of color, vibrancy, and ecstasy. A child fully in her body, aware of her power, and lost in her dreams. This little girl I knew danced instead of walked, felt every emotion with vigor, and filled every room with her laughter.
When did her colorful world change to black and white? What brought the repeated death to abolish the colors one by one? There was not a moment or an event. The shift came in a lifetime of moments. As the colors faded, the passions drowned and were lost somewhere in time. Imagine a toddler swirling every color of paint together in hopes of rainbow magic appearing, instead discovering the blends produced death to all her colors.
The disappearance of color in my life was gradual and unseen. I did not notice my passion had dissolved, my vibrancy turned dull, or my senses numbed. I believe it was the only way for me to endure the loss of life that made no sense. The dreams turned impossible, and I settled into a life of complacency simply to endure, and all the secrets seemed to be hushed.
As life continued, pregnant with the hustle of urgency and demands, the safest way to proceed was through the lens of black and white. The black and white became my safety. My views, my God, my life became bound by the the black and white chains of legalism and definition. These two shades became the boundaries I could stay within. They brought me security and answers. If I could have everything black and white, I would always be in a familiar place. I think I was able to know a part of who I was in these areas, I did not have to think on my own, whoever would walk with me enjoyed the same steady cadence of this safety as well. Decisions were not hard, opinions could not drift out into areas that were unsafe. I knew how to do black and white, I lost my sense of self in the closed area with no threat to sway me into discernible colors. The line between the black and white is so very definitive, no need to question where the contrast is. Where did she go? The once lively girl, never burst into blossom, she died to the vibrant life that once was.
Thirty years of unstretched boundary lines passed before I noticed what I had lost. The dullness was suffocating and change grew imperative. Not until God disrupted all I knew to be true did I notice, and it became evident that I had to find the faded little girl, her life, her sensual self, her seductive self.
Describing her as sensual and seductive is important today. It is part of breaking beyond the black and white boundary walls I created. It is naming a truth for myself, a truth from my story that is disruptive. These words break the shackles of mores, expectations, and rules that once defined me, and they reach far across any words we might use to describe a little girl.
These words paint the way towards freedom, freedom that has color and texture and can’t be contained in a black and white story.
Naming the truth exposed shades that were hidden, including the darkness of my childhood. Accepting the truth has allowed new ideas and questions. Who am I? What do I like to do? A new slate presented itself ready to be filled.
New relationships penetrated my secure walls, and the hues of their colors captivated my eyes and my heart. A group of women entered, and their lives, their stories, their language, their passions exposed all I had hidden.
The vibrant little girl was unafraid and fierce embracing the moments of life. Today, I know I need her color. She beckons to me. I can no longer ignore her invitation to life!
So as I enter years that speak decay and age, I seek color in all I do. Discovering the shades of who I am, what I love, and what I hate is my pursuit. This little girl who holds space in my pockets of memories is teaching me to live. I am learning to dance again.
Kimberly (Kimmy) Hock, enjoys a vibrant relationship with the Lover of her soul as His love has unwrapped a whole new language to her. She is a wife of a Pastor and mother of 4 teenagers. Kimmy has just begun to find a voice in writing, and her passion of unfolding feelings and experiences in words. Life in ministry, healing of trauma, and cancer victory has given her unique perspectives and a colorful freedom to express her thoughts in word.