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Kimble uses life experiences to strengthen families

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Co-founded Joshua’s Friends after son was born

By Becca Owsley

Through hardships and triumphs, Dr. T.J. Kimble said everything in his life led him to where he is today.

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He is the child and family counselor with Your Best Life Now Counseling in Radcliff and is co-founder of Joshua’s Friends for Exceptional Families.

His journey began when he was 6 years old. Kimble was in a bicycle accident that resulted in a compound skull fracture. Because of the crash, he was held back in first grade and attended a special needs class. There, he saw the difficulties and challenges faced by other students.

Kimble remembers telling his mom he wanted to some day help kids like him.

When he was 10, his father died. After his mother remarried, Kimble said he became familiar with abuse. At age 17, he dropped out of high school because of learning problems. He ran away from home.

Kimble was homeless for about a year. At his lowest point, he was searching dumpsters for meals. At that time, he didn’t realize he suffered from depression, but knew there had to be something more to his life.

Kimble found himself on his knees.

“God, if you are out there and you’re really real and care about someone like me, then send someone to tell me about your love,” he said.

That was 26 years ago. Three days after his prayer, a woman came to the trailer where he was living and invited him to church with her family. He began attending and the youth pastor took him into his home, where he stayed for about two years.

From there, Kimble earned his GED and went on to college, eventually earning master’s and doctorate degrees in clinical pastoral counseling.

In his Your Best Life Now Counseling practice, Kimble uses a temperament profile during his office sessions.

Through this form of counseling, his wife, Liz, said Kimble often sees results within 12 weeks. The temperament profile gives Kimble more information before counseling sessions begin, she said.

He also conducts Moments with Micah workshops on behavioral intervention. He hosts eight to 10 sessions a year to teach families non-punitive behavioral intervention methods.

Kimble has three sons, but when his middle child, Joshua, was born about 17 years ago, the family’s life changed in many ways.

Joshua has Down syndrome.

“Joshua has been the inspiration for everything we do in Joshua’s Friends,” Kimble said.

Kimble knew he wanted to find a way to support and provide resources to families with special needs children.

In 2008, the Kimble family officially started Joshua’s Friends for Exceptional Families as a nonprofit agency.

The ultimate goal for Joshua’s Friends is to raise money to create a retreat center for families called Joshua’s House Family Life Dream Center to “empower families to live beyond disabilities and challenging life issues,” Kimble said.

To do this, he shares the “Joshua Factor” story.

“It has been instrumental in setting miracles in motion in my own life,” Kimble said.

He said Joshua’s life rescued him from clinical depression. He was at the point of being suicidal when he saw Joshua had greater limitations but was living a life beyond those limitations.

“Joshua has Down syndrome, but Down syndrome doesn’t have Joshua,” Kimble said.

Becca Owsley can be reached at 270-505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com.

Getting to know T.J. Kimble:

  • Hobbies: Fishing and reading
  • Favorite movies: He likes films based on true stories. The last movie he went to the theater to see was “Lincoln.”
  • Fun fact: He is an Abraham Lincoln enthusiast and likes reading books about Lincoln’s battle with depression to look back at his life to see where his depression came from and how it affected him.
  • Favorite musician: Andrew Peterson
  • Pets: He has two fish aquariums
  • Favorite TV: News and political shows
  • Websites: www.yourbestlifenowcounseling.com and www.joshuasfriends.org

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