Kim’s Story: Beyond WinShape College Program

by Sarah Beth McCloud

Former WinShape College Program student Kim Hawkins knew her calling early on; what she didn’t see coming was the journey God would take her on to see it fulfilled.

When Kim visited Berry College for a campus tour, WinShape College Program was nowhere to be found on her radar.

With no prior knowledge of the program, Kim became more intrigued as she learned that it was actually a discipleship program – one that offered something she knew might change her life forever.

It was quickly decided. Kim applied for WinShape College Program and began a discipleship journey that would last long after her four years at Berry College.

“I think the Lord just said, ‘…Everything you thought you knew about me, let me reshape it,’” Kim says.

Halfway through her sophomore year, Kim embarked on DreamCasting Trip with the rest of the second-year WinShape College Program students. Held in Washington, D.C. each year, the trip is designed to help students uncover their strengths, creating their own life purpose statement and unique understanding of who God created them to be.

It was on that trip that Kim realized she wanted to pursue law. The calling stayed with her for the remainder of college, leaving Kim with one prayer as she neared the end of her four years:

“Lord, I don’t care where you take me; just take me to the darkest place.”

And that He did.

Kim would soon go on to attend law school – a place that would test and try her faith like never before. Even still, she never lost sight of her purpose statement she had created with WinShape College Program:

“I was created to alleviate, defend and restore the broken and oppressed by bridging multicultural gaps and facilitating the adoption of orphans.”

Kim’s dream was to live out that purpose statement by working for the International Justice Mission (IJM), but one of her law school professors was quick to shut it down.

Though discouraged, Kim wouldn’t be defeated.

After finishing law school, Kim moved back home to Atlanta to study and take the Bar exam. While waiting for results, Kim made a trip back to Berry College and ran into one of her old professors.

As it turned out, the professor was heading into a meeting with the International Justice Mission. Kim was quickly invited to join her, and a series of life-changing interactions began to unfold.

After the meeting, Kim connected with a man named Will. He was from IJM, and she began to share her passion for racial reconciliation within the context of the gospel. The conversation led to a few emails back and forth – resources shared here and there – but nothing more at the time.

Two weeks later, Kim would learn that she didn’t pass the Bar exam. While devastated, she was confident God was still at work.

“I said, ‘Lord, I’m still brokenhearted right now, but I believe You are Who You say You are, so come meet me in this,’” Kim says.

And again, He did.

Kim spent that next season as a women’s ministry coordinator for her church, spearheading a new gathering that brought in biblical counselors to facilitate discussions around challenging topics. What began as a women’s event quickly evolved into a movement of vulnerability and growth, and Kim began to see how God was answering her prayers in the midst of rejection.


“[God] has done more than I could have ever expected…to the point where I was able to stop and say, ‘Lord, if I failed for the sake of these women experiencing true freedom, then it was worth it.’”

But God still wasn’t done.

Kim eventually – and unexpectedly – received an email from Will, the man with IJM she had met months before. Just a simple check-in, Will asked Kim where her career had taken her since the bar.

Kim responded and explained everything, from failing the Bar to the ministry she was leading. Will’s response would be God’s promise fulfilled.

“Your ministry sounds really refreshing,” Will wrote. “That’s incredible work you’re doing. Would you like to come work for me in Ghana?”

Kim received the opportunity with open hands.

“The Lord was faithful,” she says.


“And even in the times when I wasn’t being still and I wasn’t trusting Him fully, He could handle it. He could handle my doubt…my fear…my anger…all in His goodness – not because of anything I did, not because I earned anything, but just because He’s a good God that cares and truly loves us.”

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