I recently lost my big brother Jim.
We were alike in a lot of ways. He was 6 years older than I and quickly became my hero and my cheerleader.
We loved to talk about our visions, dreams and current goals, understanding and supporting each other without judgment or negativity. No matter how many years separated our visits, when we could get together, we would comfortably fall into our usual routine of chilling and talk, in fact, our favorite CD and movie was ‘The Big Chill’. That movie exemplified who we were.
Jim was my savior many times throughout my life. Rescuing me from pitfalls of desperation through love and support. I did this for him as well. When he became sick and could no longer participate in his passions, during one of our chill times he looked at me with hopeful eyes and said simply, ‘Julie, you are living my dream.’
Even in death, he continues to be my ‘knight in shining armor’.
With his recent passing came my inspiration to finally do something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. Jim would be pleased and in awe. Confirmation that I could impact the world.
For years, I have wanted to take my mom’s fifty plus years of journals and do something with them. Recently retired and moving to a new country, mom ceremoniously gave me her plastic tub full of writings. Not knowing what to do with all of this, and feeling quite overwhelmed with the responsibility, I spent the first 8 months of my retirement indecisively trying to form a plan. Do I write a book? My family is scared to death I might do this (evil laughter inserted here). How do I incorporate mom’s life with mine? Nothing I came up with seemed to encompass everything I wanted to share. My mother entrusted me with her precious journals and I had no idea what to do with them.
At the point where my indecision was affecting my moods, Jim passed away. I was devastated and beside myself with grief. It got so bad my husband Skip finally said to me, “Jim would not want you to be like this. He would want you to live your dream.”, and as corny as that sounds, he was right.
With lots of prayer and Jim’s spirit surrounding me, in a matter of days, my purpose finally became clear. So clear that I knew, without a shadow of a doubt, what God wanted me to do.
‘Faith and a Large Family’ – this website!
With Mom’s journals, my journals, being raised in a faith-driven large family, our gifts, our talents, everything we have experienced and learned from life, all rolled into one huge purpose of encouraging others with their own family lives. It all made sense now. God wanted me to share my life to inspire others. Not because my life is exemplary, but because Mom and Dad were faithful servants and left a legacy for God to use to help others.
Thank you, God. Thank you, Jim.
I love you bro, and will miss our wonderful talks and will always treasure ‘The Big Chill’. You are and always will be my hero and support. I can not wait to see what you accomplish in heaven!
Your friend in Christ,