This whole session felt like it was meant to be. When I was facebooking about my trip to Texas, my friend Jene who now lives down east, wrote me right away, wondering if I might be anywhere close to her sister who lives in Texas. I had met Julie and Jeff years ago, before they moved to the Lone Star State as they used to be on staff with the church family in WA that we are now a part of. Are you confused yet :)?
Julie is fighting cancer. She and Jeff made the drive up to meet me so that I could photograph them and I was so happy to do it. They are walking out this unexpected path and battle so amazingly. Julie is open about what she's dealing with and I think her frankness gives others a place to both stand with them and also feel comfortable to process as each person needs. Jeff is so warm and caring with his wife and the love that they have for each other is deep and strong.
They couldn't stop talking about how grateful they were for the support they've received from family and friends and Julie's school where she works. They are full of the kind of joy that true faith in a loving God brings, where there is real comfort and hope.
She'd lost her hair from chemo and so she sported a bunch of lovely hats, given to her from people that love her. I know she's feeling the physical effects of both her disease and treatment but what shines through clearly is her lovely and strong heart and brilliant smile. My daughter walked in as I was editing and said, "Who is she? She's really, really pretty." She is truly beautiful. And Jeff, with his shaved head in support of his wife, is pretty awesome too.
Has she every got a fun laugh.
Julie and Jeff, I left our time together feeling so refreshed and encouraged. You are a shining example of what real love looks like. I am praying with you for complete recovery and for Julie to have every one of the days that God has already numbered for her. Much, much love.