annie agarwal photography | Buford, Georgia Photographer »

dear julia…

I am writing today with a heavy heart, anticipating the events that will occur in a matter of hours, and praying for the family of sweet Julia.  There really aren’t appropriate words at a time like this, only the promise of Hope that we can hold to, for a secure eternity because of  what Christ has done for us. Yet, even though my words don’t seem adequate, my heart yearns to just honor Julia by remembering her life.

You see, I first met Julia almost 5 years ago when we moved to Tampa and my husband and I began teaching with the children’s ministry at FBCTT on Wednesday evenings. I remember her wheeling in with the biggest smile; in fact, I would say she was one of those individuals that could light up any place, whenever she entered. Despite the difficulties that challenged her daily life, she lived with a constant joy that was contagious. She laughed with such expression, she talked with such conviction and boy did that girl love Jesus!

Beyond my time with Julia at church, I also had the privilege of capturing her in front of the camera several times. The first was a surprise for her incredible mother Lisa. I blogged about my experience with her and her older sister Hannah:

“I was humbled as I watched Hannah gently lift and carry Julia to different locations in the gardens, so she could ‘pose without her wheels.’ The love and devotion lived out by this example of selflessness inspired me. Smiles captivated me that afternoon in ways I had never imagined. Laughter ringing through the air mesmerized me. You see, joy speaks in the simplest of ways. Hope, gives even those with heavy hearts moments to sparkle and shine. Faith, holds us tightly and allows us to know there is a greater purpose though momentarily we might not even see it.”

I left that photo shoot inspired to do something bigger, to dream of something larger and to pursue it knowing that only the Lord could pave the way for it to become a reality. Julia was the beginning of that dream and today, as I read those words from almost 2 years ago, they tug at my heart in ways I couldn’t have imagined they would when I typed them.

Joy, hope, faith… all things that today, as we come together to celebrate Julia’s, life, will provide comfort. I can see Julia now- “without her wheels” dancing down the streets of Heaven. She’s healed from her struggles and she’s sitting with her Creator.

And you know what, I can say with confidence this is what Julia would desire for each of us- to place our trust in Christ and to live for Him no matter what.

So today sweet Julia, I will remember and celebrate you with hundreds of people, but in the days to come I will not forget either. I will remember your smile, your joy, your peace, your laugh and your love- that beautiful love for Jesus that spilled right out of your abundant heart and poured out to everyone who knew you.

Thank you Julia for the impact you have had on my life!

All my love,

Mrs. Annie

Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

October 2, 2010 - 2:23 pm

The Dream Calendar » the BIG dream revealed… - […] 5 weeks ago, I wrote about precious Julia, who deeply touched my life. Julia had been in front of my camera, once as a surprise for her […]

October 2, 2010 - 1:59 pm

the BIG dream revealed… - […] 5 weeks ago, I wrote about  precious Julia, who deeply touched my life. Julia had been in front of my camera, once as a surprise for her […]

August 29, 2010 - 8:25 pm

Annie Agarwal - Lisa, you are far too gracious with your words- it was my honor to be a part of Julia’s life. Continuing to lift you up today and in the many days ahead. Love you bunches too!

August 27, 2010 - 12:57 am

lisa: julia's mom - i just love you so much annie and all you have done. these photos and how they were a mother’s day gift will be a memory i will cherish forever. you have a heart of gold. love u bunches.

August 26, 2010 - 10:47 pm

Yvonne - Well said, Annie. What JOY I always saw in Julia. God bless that family. I didn’t cry much tonight at the celebration, but this blog just got me good.

August 26, 2010 - 10:19 pm

a'me - Annie, Thanks for sharing these beautiful moments of Julia! My heart breaks thinking of the pain her family is in but I know she is the happiest young lady in Heaven right now!!

August 26, 2010 - 9:05 pm

Mandy Roden - What a touching post Annie! She’s is a beautiful girl. You’re pictures, I’m sure, will serve as a lasting reminder of what a precious gem she was.

August 26, 2010 - 8:44 pm

Tricia Wilson - She is precious in His sight, and ours!

August 26, 2010 - 8:25 pm

Linda Slater - Thank you so much Annie-I was so proud to be able to know and meet Julia. She was indeed a blessing. She is indeed dancing on the streets of gold.

August 26, 2010 - 8:10 pm

Caroline - It’s awesome to know that she is running and dancing with Jesus. I wouldn’t doubt it if she took a flying leap into his arms. She’s probably playing tag with Sammy, too.

August 26, 2010 - 8:08 pm

Caroline - It’s awesome to know that she is running and dancing with Jesus. She’s probably playing tag with Sammy, too.

August 26, 2010 - 6:10 pm

Shelley - Annie this is beautiful! Such a sweet tribute to her.

August 26, 2010 - 5:48 pm

Nancy Collins - What a beautiful tribute to a special girl who touched lives with her amazing joy and love of Jesus. Your amazing photos capture Julia’s sweet personality. My heart felt sympathy goes out to her family and all who knew her. She is indeed an angel and will be missed greatly. Blessings.

August 26, 2010 - 4:02 pm

Cynthia Atkinson - Thank you for sharing your story about Julia with us. Just as she had a impact on you and I’m sure many others, I’m sure you had a great impact on her and her families as well. You capture people with their true spirit in your photos Annie and I know Julia’s family will treasure that always. I think I’ll wipe my eyes now and go give my own girls a great big hug. God bless.

August 26, 2010 - 3:09 pm

Kim Roberts - What a sweet tribute and memorial of a beautiful little girl! Praising God!!!

August 26, 2010 - 3:01 pm

Kym duMont - I should have know it was you who took these beautiful pics! Thank you so much for sharing. It made me cry to see all those expressions on her face. She really was a sweetheart.

August 26, 2010 - 2:44 pm

Kim - Thanks for posting this Annie…What a beautiful little angel she is!

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