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by Kim Stevens September 13, 2017


On Monday morning, Kim opened the Shop at Thistle Farms for the first time as Manager. Today, she is thankful for her fellow survivor leaders for pushing her into a position where she could grow into the woman she wanted to be.

“I feel like a kid at the age where they have growth spurts. I was so comfortable in my work before. I did not want to leave manufacturing. I found a role where I was comfortable and confident in what I did. Change is uncomfortable, but necessary. All my life, I’ve had safety nets. Ty and Tracey, the Manufacturing Managers, were my safety nets. My mom was a safety net. I’ve always had someone I could lean on.

I’ve always been a great team player, but never had to be my own leader. I never wanted to think or make decisions by myself before. Someone else always did that. But the leadership at Thistle Farms approached me, and in the last hour, I finally applied for this opportunity: The Storefront Manager of Thistle Farms.

Thistle Farms constantly pushes me to grow in areas I sometimes don’t believe I have the ability to grow in. They have confidence in me, which makes me have confidence in myself- where I did not have that before. God has put the opportunity on my plate where I can grow into a more loving, inviting person.

I’m an introvert, so I’m the type of person where I like to observe rather than interact. I was always envious of my more outgoing sisters, like Ty or Tracey. I never had the confidence or the trust to do that. I always assumed people have ulterior motives to wanting to get to know me.

Coming here, I learned that people don’t have motives. There are very genuine people in the world who will love you when you do not love yourself. I must have the confidence to receive that in order to recover from my past. My lack of trust held back my journey here. Today, I actually speak my mind and claim my space.

Being in this new space, it will help me be more personable, and I’m really excited to warm up to people. Having a community is helping me, too. I know regardless of what I go through, it’s going to be alright. I never have to go through anything by myself. It took me a while to utilize my community. I can finally let it all out and it’s okay. After three years, I trust them..

My favorite part about Thistle Farms is seeing the women come in and transform. They open up like flowers bloom; they’re gorgeous. Women survivors come in one way and throughout their journey, I see them grow into who they are supposed to be. I have to give them grace and mercy. I was once new, too. You have to love without judgement. They’re new to this program. I get it. I want to be there for them. I’m not used to being there and accessible to other people. I used to be so selfish, and it was always about me. I would never worry or have concern for other people until I met my sisters here.

I want people to know the Shop is warm and inviting. When you come in, it’s like a “welcome home.” I want people to come in and cry, laugh, and rejoice. It’s so warm in this space. It IS home. When you come in, you’ll get the hospitality that you would get if you walked into my home.”

- Kim S. 

Kim Stevens
Kim Stevens