As I sat watching Jim's family, emotionally breaking as they selfishly longed to have him there, but completely understanding that God needed him home - my heart ached for them. My heart ached for his family members, for his friends and for those who never met him. What a gift I hold dear in knowing that because of Jim, truly my walk with God was inspired.
I met Jim and his beautiful true love (and my amazing sister friend) in 2001. When I share knowing Jim & Patty has changed my life. I mean it. From the day they introduced themselves I fell in love with them, both of them. They were a couple not two people I met. They were one. And for the years I've known them, they have always been "as one".
Jim suffered from unthinkable pain due to a back injury. His life was changed and he became home bound. The man who loved to hunt, fish, run, scale walls, play with his kids, drive fast and be silly was limited in his ability to be mobile. His wife, my amazing friend, loved him beyond measure. She quit her job and stayed at home with him. She took incredible care of him. Not only meeting his physical needs, but lifting him spiritually, filling his life with friendship, laughter, support, faith and never ending love. They inspired and continue to inspire me.
When I look at my husband I think of my friends. I think about the love they shared not only for one another, but for Jesus. Their lives were molded in what God had planned for their journey. Jim in his painful state - I never ever heard him say one negative, self doubting thing. He was always positive and always in good spirits. His strength came from his faith. He knew without any doubts, God had a plan for him in life and he would share that with you. He knew that this situation wasn't just a situation, but that God was in the situation and God would be glorified in it. And Patty, I never ever one time ever heard her utter "this is difficult" or "I can't do this" or "Why him, why me". She was concerned only in loving Jim, lifting of him and giving him never ending support. She loved him through it all, every doctor appointment, every surgery, every moment in between.
And so when I look at my husband I think of Jim & Patty and I aspire to show him the love I have been so blessed to witness which my friends share. Their example of placing all of your fears and situations in Christ. Their example of loving without end. Their example of praying one another through everything. Their example of holding on and letting God, and through it all having grace and gratitude to allow His plan to unfold, not only in the good circumstances but equally in the difficult.
My dear friends truly give power to the verse THROUGH CHRIST, ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE, I am so thankful for the gift of being a part of seeing ALL THINGS ARE POSSIBLE with CHRIST if you place Him first and love one another without measure.
Tonight as I reflect on the relationship that touched my heart, I think about my heart being better for it. God is amazing in placing people in our lives to lead us, to touch us, to inspire us. So blessed for the gift of my inspiring, loving friends and the relationship they shared together - and shared with others, unaware.