I actually thought that I was ready for this and this blog was going to be a nice way to finish off my time as part of the pixels2Pages team. Wow was that really six years? I thought I knew what I wanted to say but so much has happened in these last weeks that all I feel is heartbreak.

Each morning as I walk through the streets of Toamasina where we have spent the best part of two years. In a beautiful country of beautiful and gentle people and one which we are currently preparing to leave. I come back from my walk, having cried and feeling a great sense of loss combined with a deep longing to stay, or at least return.

My favourite little patient, Sasimeny and her big brother were set to leave this week and that is breaking my heart too. What I really think is happening is that everything in my life (other than family!) is under a rather large and very emotional change. As I write that, I realise that even our family is about to change!! At the end of May, Annabelle is graduating from school and heading home to Australia.

As you will be aware my time with pixels2Pages has come to an end. What an amazing journey that was. I have learnt so much about myself, about business, building websites, designing content … and so much more! I have enjoyed being a part of creating not only a fabulous business but an amazing family environment. That is what I am going to miss most. I know that it won’t be completely lost, it will just be different. Our team of pixies is an incredible family. I tell my team more than I tell anyone else other than Dave or my girls, and they are quite often the first people I think of to share anything with! We have shared so much, laughed and cried and been such an fabulous support for each other through so much of our lives in the last 6 years and more.

I can say that it has been hard but incredibly rewarding and really fulfilling all at the same time. It has certainly been an adventure in more ways than one!

Not only is there the sense of family felt in our team, it extends out into our community. We are family and that will never change. I feel so incredibly privileged to share my life with you all, to watch children grow up, family members pass on, milestones achieved and photography skills improve! Many friendships have been developed and when I receive a message that says that “I feel like I am losing a friend” I fully recognise what a special community that we have created. I know that this wonderful community will continue and I will continue to be a part of it, just in a different capacity!

I have been reminded twice this week that “joy and pain are not mutually exclusive” and that is just another beautiful reminder of life and all that it offers. All of the good, hard, painful and beautiful when mixed together creates a beautiful tapestry that can be enjoyed by many.

If you miss me and want to keep up to date with our adventures or support our work in any way, you can do so via our family blog.

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29 Responses to Blog: The hardest blog

  1. sistersunshine says:

    Dear Justine, Peace & joy, I know it’s been a while since you posted this blog, but I have to say I don’t handle change very well… and during my annual trek to Mackinac Island, I tend to miss things… this year I missed this post and am only now getting a chance to read and reflect on what has been going on… I’m so glad that I DO READ EVERYTHING on this site… eventually!… It was amazing to have been able to meet you in person and share a bit of MY favorite place to be… I am so glad for all the photography tips you have given over the last years… my photography has improved… (still has a long way to go… but it HAS improved lol). I continue to lift your family up in prayer as you continue to serve God and your fellow man. (SO glad you posted a link to your family blog… going to mark it as a favorite and will be visiting you soon … let me get caught up with p2P first … found 4 other posts I’ve missed, so going to go through them ALL from April 14 on… just to be sure I haven’t missed more of them.) Blessings on you *U* Kathleen

  2. Kaye Rhodes says:

    You will be missed, Justine! I’ve enjoyed following your adventures with the ship and of course, your photos! Thanks for all you’ve shared. God bless you and your family.

  3. Liz Propst says:

    Love you Justine……and I so enjoy following along on all your adventures. That won’t change! Be BLESSED!

    • Justine says:

      Love you too Liz! I’m so thrilled that I met you and spent time with you In Lutheridge and then got to spend some time with John, Austin and Tanya in Madagascar!!! That still amazes me how God pulls the pieces together 🙂

  4. gayneal says:

    Justine, You will be missed. Having the advice of a wonderful photographer was an added bonus to my scrapping! Off to find your blog.

  5. Ruth Bell says:

    I will really miss you on the p2P team. I will miss your blogs about your work on the Mercy ship and in Madagascar. You can tell by the blogs that you are making a difference. I saved the link to your personal blog and will be checking in on you as your journey of faith continues.

  6. Karen says:

    Thanks so much for the great six years Justine. I have loved your Blogs, your photos and your comments. All the best to you and your family.

  7. Jan says:

    Thank you, Justine, for being you – for reminding me what’s really important and for being such a role model of a life well-lived. I’ve loved getting to know you these past seven years and I am honored to call you my friend and it’s been a pleasure to work with you on pixels2Pages. I am sure we will be forever connected spiritually, no matter where we are physically. I will be thinking of you as Annabelle moves on to her next adventure, and will always hold the whole Forrest family in my heart. xx

  8. Deanna says:

    I will really miss your posts. Thanks for the link to your other blog, I bookmarked it. I shall also miss seeing your pages and your amazing photos here. You have a style I identify with. God bless you and keep you in your continuing journey.

  9. Anne says:

    Of course this is making me so teary that it was hard to finish. It’s amazing how all of our lives have changed over the course of 6 years isn’t it? I treasure the few days that you visited NC 3 years ago. I can’t wait to see where you’re heading now. Love you Juzzi.

  10. Asmaan says:

    I have stayed away ’cause it’s difficult to handle changes but have to face them one day! Feel as if everything is slipping away…. 🙁

    • Justine says:

      Oh Nandini! Lots of changes, but as always with change of any kind there is always lots of great things that come from it. It always makes me thing of forest/bush fires that can be so devastating but in the “aftermath” if you look closely, there is massive new growth and strength and beauty that comes from that. All will be well, and as we’ve all said things are different but friendships and many other things still remain. Big hugs to you x

      • Asmaan says:

        <3 You are a phenomenal photographer! You can see inner beauty in everything and every person and you artfully show this in your photographs! Love your work! I am so glad I have learnt so much from you!

  11. Janice says:

    So much is happening right now, so much has happened these past 6 plus years and so much is going to happen in the future. One thing I know for sure is that we will always be friends and in touch with each other’s lives. I still plan that road trip up the coast, and I’m not doing that until you are back and settled. It’s been an amazing ride, one I treasure always and have photos , stories and printed proof to look back on. Love you and your gorgeous family!

  12. Kerrianne says:

    I am hearing you Juzzi! It’s been a great ride though!! xx

  13. Jan says:

    I will have to wait until I can see before I can share what’s in my heart. xx

  14. Tameka says:

    Oh Juzzi. I am happy to say I have had the pleasure to actually meet you. It only made me love you more. While I feel a great sense of loss, In my heart I know you will be there and I plan to guard our friendship. I am wishing you the best and look forward to this new phase in our friendship.

  15. Cindy Rold says:

    Good luck with all the changes. A lot is happening in your life. I will miss you as part of the p2P team.

  16. Mary says:

    My heart hurts too Juzzi. I am however joyful knowing our friendship remains! We will stay in touch and hopefully I’ll be visiting Australia again in a couple years! This time with Rick in tow! Hugs across the sea!

  17. Lori Morris says:

    Thanks Justine for all you have done and taught me about taking pictures. I am so glad that I was able to meet you when you visited Naples. I have enjoyed following your travels and the amazing work you are doing. Thank you for everything you have given to the pixie team. I will miss you. Best luck to you and your family….

  18. Alison says:

    Beautifully put Juzzi! You have made an enormous contribution to p2P and to all of our lives in so many ways. Thank you for your heartfelt honesty in this blog post, as in all the others. You are facing lots of very big changes, but you do so with a clear sense of purpose and faith – and that will carry you through it all.

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