He had left Nashville where he was known as a premiere guitarist and noteworthy vocalist and song writer when his family life began to unravel.
He moved to a small town on the coast of Southwest Florida, attempting to salvage what he could. Shortly thereafter, he found himself divorced with full custody of his young daughter.
He took a job in the pest control industry which paid little, but offered the best schedule for all his single parent responsibilities. It was a drastic change from the glamor of playing for various artist at the Grand Ole Opry and on national televised late night shows like Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien. As well as touring around the country and as far away as Bangkock and Hong Kong.
Alone and humbled, he eventually took his guitar out of its case and began playing for an audience of One. It didn't take too long before his music was heard regularly on the local FM radio station and he became the worship leader at a rather large church in the area.
The General Manager of the station, Joy Clark, was surprised at such impressive talent in the small community. Her husband was the pastor at the church where Jimmy led worship music. The husband and wife team were well known for successful and high profile events in the area.
The the unthinkable happened. Jimmy and Joy fell in love. The kind of love you can't shake off no matter how absurd it is.
With such a scandal, the two were shunned from the church, obviously. There was a very dramatic sanctimonious exploitation of their ungodly deeds!
With wounded and bruised hearts from the trauma drama and their own self inflicted guilt, as Christmas came around, the two collaborated on a song about the gift they needed to understand most, the gift of mercy. Even if it was a gift they needed to give to themselves. A new dimension about the season of Christmas came into focus. People can't always follow the rules. People need mercy. That's why there was a Christmas story.
And whether you believe in it literally or just theoretically, the Christmas message is that of a God who would go through extraordinary measures to reveal His inclination toward mercy. The original Christmas story was so significant in history, it began a new calendar era, i.e. B.C./A.D.