Spreading the Seeds of God’s Love – The Story of Kim Spangler
Kim Spangler stands as a beacon of hope, strength and love for women who have been stuck in the dark world of poverty, depression, drugs, rejection, grief or abuse. Kim lived the life of a princess as an only child until her mother died at thirteen; she was kicked out of her home by her new stepmother at the age of 15. She became a little girl that looked like an adult woman living on the streets seeking to survive the only way she knew how.
Her father was a functional alcoholic, who worked hard, living in a country club setting where having several drinks after Five was totally acceptable. Her mother was an invalid who died early. Kim grew up with no mothering influence. Her family went to a church that was religious, but was cold when it involved developing warm, caring relationships.
“When my father remarried and I was told by my step mother to leave. I ended up living in a cold-water flat with no heat or hot water,” said Kim. “I went to bed with a hair dryer to keep my feet warm, but was always cold. That is when I first got rheumatoid arthritis. I lived on popcorn and peanut butter for three years.”
In those three years, Kim continued to go to high school until she graduated with honors and earning a scholarship. “I drank and partied away my scholarship,” she said.
Kim did some modeling using speed to stay thin. She did whatever she had to do to be loved and accepted, which led her to a life of drinking, drugging and bed hopping. She got into an abusive marriage and ended up attempting suicide three times. In her third suicide attempt she slit her wrists. She was told she needed to sign herself into a psych ward in order to detox. “Their idea of detoxing was to drug you up,” she said. But in that lonely hospital room I cried out, ‘God if you are real, show me.’
She found a blue Gideon Bible by her bed and opened it to Matthew 28:20 “Low I am with you always,” it said. God spoke to Kim in her deepest hour of need and she knew he was with her.
Like a Sunflower seed planted in the broken soil of her life, Kim began a new life. She divorced the abusive husband and went back to college; sober, straight and focused. She met Colonel Les Spangler, a retired Army/Special Forces Colonel, and married soon after.
A few years after getting married and having their son, they home schooled and developed support groups becoming active politically. Kim really wanted to stay home, bake cookies and home school. “My husband was the catalyst in encouraging me to get involved. Les was 20 years older than I and although he was no longer active, he felt God wanted him to help his wife fulfill her calling,” said Kim.
She worked with the Home School Legal Defense Association Fund and started a lobbying arm for the state. She began working with Kerry Messer of the Missouri Family Network and with Gary Bauer of the Family Research Council which is an arm of Focus on the Family. They branched out from education to other family issues.
After 14 years of battling the legislative process, Kim was burned out and took a break to fast and pray throughout Christmas and New Years holidays of 1999-2000. During that time her husband, Les had been seeing a doctor and was told he only had a short time to live. With the trauma of knowing her husband was dying, Kim cried out to God, “I need my husband.” God’s answer to Kim was, “And Am I Not Enough.”
Kim felt that God was changing the direction of her life with a new plan for her future. At the same time an aunt left her a small inheritance. “I had her belongings shipped down from Seattle and put into a storage unit,” said Kim. “I remember walking into that storage building seeing all her boxes thinking, ‘This is her legacy after 83 years’. I did not want to leave a legacy of a 10×12 storage unit with a bunch of boxes.”
With her husband dying and aunt’s death, Kim began meditating on the legacy she wanted to leave to this world. “There was a need for women to have Godly mentors,” she said. “Women among women. Not teaching that we have to be like men, but as women with the special skills God has given us.”
Kim facilitated a tea time after church one afternoon where she shared with several women her dream of starting a not for profit mentoring program called, “Woman 2 Woman”, or “W2W” as it is often referred to.
“I shared that I had been raped, bed hopped, had an abortion and been beaten up,” Kim said. “Another woman shared how she had been saved from Anorexia Bulimia, the next woman told of being molested by a family member. As we went around the room sharing their stories everything that could be thrown at a woman to destroy her was in that room. We started ‘Woman 2 Woman’ with those ten women and some old office machinery I had used lobbying. Dr. Simpson let us use her old office.”
Today ‘Woman 2 Woman’ has 80 clinics that have helped over 3000 women, getting referrals from DFS and all over the state.
In that psych ward 30 years ago a tiny seed was planted with a little blue Gideon Bible telling Kim Spangler that God would be with her always. Like a Sunflower that grows to be 10 feet tall, Kim has grown spreading the seeds of love into broken soil of women’s souls, watering and nurturing them until they too become strong plants spreading their seeds of God’s LOVE.
(Kim’s husband Les, ‘the Colonel’ went to be with the Lord. “I am so happy for him,” she said. “He suffered long and was a great testimony.” “I have found that ‘God IS Enough’.”)