“My life is so confusing, it’s hard to piece it together.” She says with a giggle. “There’re so many different seasons and I’m only 37.” In a very Short time, this woman has done a lot of living. Many lead a congregation at this age and even younger, but most of these people still have their lives untested. Rev. Lindeman’s trials are no secret. She is always willing to share, especially with those in similar situations.
Born in rural South Carolina, Rev. Rev. Kimberly “Kimi” Lindeman lived the formative years of her childhood in a Nomadic fashion. “From age two through six, we spent most of that time living in motels or in a car on in parks or things like that. I do have memories of a couple of homes or a couple of places we stayed but for the most part, it was from place to place.” Rev. Lindeman says of her early days.
“There was no God in our household,” Lindeman says, emotionally recalling the times when her parents had once been in one place long enough, that a church bus had been able to come and her and her brother to Sunday school every Sunday. Young Kim enjoyed the attention the grownups from the church gave her. The love given to her by the church people supplemented by her own loving parents was edifying.
She didn’t come to know God until her nomadic parents moved them back to Hillsborough, North Carolina. “Once we moved to North Carolina, we were never homeless again.” She says recalling the years she spent there. She had moved there when she was 8 until the age of 15. Her grandmother took charge of her on the weekends and she would take Lindeman to church with her.
She came to Jesus at around 9 she had accepted salvation, but between then and 15 she had no discipleship or leadership. At 15 she had found a church that offered her discipleship and with that her confidence in herself began to grow. She had always been so poor and bullied that her confidence level was non-existent.
The decision to follow God turned to piety. “Once I got that confidence, it turned into Judgmentalism. I don’t know how else to put it. It was so simple, this is what God says, and if you don’t do that then there’s something wrong with you and I can’t deal with you.”
Lindeman saw other kids her age and judged them as immature because she always had to be responsible. She had to grow up fast. She paid the bills made sure her little brother was fed and electricity. She had gotten her first job at eleven as a babysitter for an apartment complex. When she was paid, that money went to her father so that he could pay some bills. “I started working at the diner when I was 15, I worked the same shift as my nanny. (grandmother) I was a dishwasher, and I would come in at 8 o’clock on Saturday morning, and there would be a little Pepsi Bottle and two eggs over easy sitting on my counter waiting for me. Oh, that’s such a great Memory.” Lindeman says with a wistful smile.
Her mother left her father when she was around 16, sending her life in a whole different direction. Her father moved her to New Bern, North Carolina, where young Kimberly Boos met a youth leader named Timothy Lindeman who was a marine stationed at Cherry Point. One year and a half later, they were married. Soon they had two beautiful boys, and Lindeman’s life was far from what it had been. But soon, however, Cracks began to appear.
Her father had once been an alcoholic and had stopped drinking when Lindeman was six years old. So Lindeman put off drinking for a long time. While her marine husband was stationed at Quantico when she was 27 years old, Lindeman partook in alcohol for the first time. “The feeling I got from, the freedom I felt, I remember it was amazing. I was able to not be afraid to sing in front of other people, and I didn’t care what anybody thought about me.” Lindeman said of her fall into addiction. “All the years of trying to be perfect for everybody…and trying to portray this successful image […] it all (the bullying) washed away and that was such a great feeling I never wanted to let it go. Instead of depending on God to give me that confidence it was just so much easier to drink.”
Over the course of 8 years, the drinking was worse. Lindeman was not happy unless she had drunk. “It makes me stronger, it makes me smarter, it makes me more capable… that’s what we all think when we are drinking.” Lindeman says of alcoholics. She had many factors all at once that made her dependence on drink stronger, but Rock Bottom came one day when she had decided that she had to die.
“I planned to kill myself,” She says tearfully. “I poured myself some wine and told it. I don’t want you. I had a conversation with a wine glass, and I told it I don’t want you. And I was crying and I was praying and imagined the words hitting the ceiling and falling.” She fell asleep and the next morning she woke up, without a craving, and she got rid of all of the alcohol in the house. She went through the Detox alone, with her two boys there with her. Her children didn’t even know that she was going through this. “They didn’t know any better.”
In the years since she has moved back to Quantico for her husband’s final duty station after 6 weeks sobriety, she has received a Bachelor of Arts in Christian Ministries, a Master of Arts in Human Services Counseling, and is currently working on a Master of Religious Education. She is also a University of Valley Forge commuter Campus’s adjunct faculty and administrator. A faith-based university in Woodbridge, Virginia.
She has also with the endorsement of the North Star Network, become an ordained minister and is Currently an associate pastor at Triangle Baptist Church, in Triangle, Virginia. It is something she doubted, and when she felt the call she did not heed it at first. “My end assignment was women in ministry.” She said of the moment that cemented this path to the ministry for her. “I wasn’t even supposed to get that class. I was supposed to have a different assignment but my instructor couldn’t teach the class. So My end assignment ended up being the one to prove to me that I can be a female and teach about the lord and it is not heresy or blasphemy.”
Lindeman’s humble beginnings make her ministry and service, one of deep empathy and compassion. “The smartest people I know are alcoholics,” she says with a giggle. “And I look back at how I had to maneuver my life around my drinking, and I thought, if I could put that ability into running the church and Running the University, I’m good to go, and that’s why I am good at it.”
Lindeman would be the first to say that there is still much work in her to be done, but God has led her to this place for a reason. “God wants who you are to come to him, he doesn’t want the mask, he doesn’t want who I created. He doesn’t want the girl who has to drink to sing. He doesn’t want the girl who has to work a million jobs so that people see that she’s smart. He just wants… He wants that girl who wanted to take the pills. He wants to show how important and how valid I am.”