Julie Hull sums up her daily goals succinctly. “In our house, we say that love is the highest order of the day. Not perfection, but love.”
Those in the Inheritance of Hope family who know and love Julie will recognize that this is exactly how she approaches everything–from her position as IoH Volunteers Manager to each interaction with the families we serve. Julie is transparent in her compassionate way of striving to best love those in her path. Mom to a rising high school senior, Julie, her late husband Ken, and their son Sam were introduced to IoH in November 2011 when they attended the New York Legacy Retreat. She is not one to shy away from the painful realities of grief and single-parenting, and is refreshingly honest in telling other families that while her path has not been easy, she finds hope everyday to continue being the best parent she can be.
|The Hull family at their NYC Legacy Retreat in 2011.|
Adamant that there is no “how-to” manual or formula, Julie says that her secret, if you can call it that, is to make an active choice each day to pray and let go. “You are not expected to do the heavy lifting. I know I am not going to do everything perfect, so I have learned to let go. I mostly want Sam to know that while I don’t have all the answers, I will be there and stand by him every day.”
In her private counseling practice and role at Inheritance of Hope, she shares much of the same message–that our fears and shortcomings can be covered by grace and love. After Ken passed away in 2013, Julie began volunteering for IoH. Her first retreat was the February 2014 retreat to Orlando. She stretched herself by speaking to families such as her own, and realized her presence was a message of hope in itself. She agrees with one of her favorite authors, Henri Nouwen, who offers this perspective on serving others, “In our own woundedness we can become a source of life for others.” Eventually going back to school to complete a master’s in counseling, Julie takes a pastoral approach to helping hurting people, and within our IoH family openly shares the source of her hope and strength.
|Julie paying it forward at a Legacy Retreat in NYC.|
Her unique perspective as family member turned volunteer, then Coordinator, allows Julie to identify and understand families’ needs in a deeper way. In her new position, she will interview each volunteer applicant, pair them with a family, and work to address any need a volunteer might have. In describing her role, Julie says, “We are going to come in together and lock arms to serve these families, and I want to help personalize the experience for volunteers and make sure they know I am there for them.”
Her perspective also allows her to speak directly to the hope she sees for each family. Recently, when Sam floated the idea of going to school in Australia, the mother-son pair looked at each other with understanding, “Sam told me, ‘the worst that could happen already has, and we are still here. God has been faithful,’” Julie remembers, adding, “and that is the source of my hope and the only reason I am still here today.”
|Inspiring hope in Orlando!|
Angie Howell graduated from Davidson College, where she met Inheritance of Hope Co-Founder Kristen Grady Milligan the first week of their freshman year. In 2010, the two former hallmates got back in touch, and Angie became involved in IoH shortly afterwards. Angie has served as a Legacy Retreat volunteer, Coordinator, and now, as Communications Manager, Angie helps tell the stories of IoH. She is constantly inspired by the people she meets in the IoH family. Read more Inheritance of Hope blogposts >>