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My father named me after two disciples etched in glass at my parents' church. When I was four, we moved to the Greater Boston area where I was raised. I was painfully shy in grade school. I went to parochial school until Junior year of high school, at which point I switched to public school so I could see what it was like. It is very nice having girls around. I obtained a BSME from Tufts University. During college, I also studied abroad in England at the University of Sussex. This changed me forever: I've desired a slower pace of life ever since. I am thankful for my parents' sacrifice to send me to a good school.
After college, I traveled with a friend, Biscuit, around the U.S.A. We landed in Seattle and after two months I drove back home, wounded. Back in Boston, I eventually got a good job in Engineering, but felt I needed to prove my worth through drawing cartoons. I started drawing cartoons with a college friend and housemate. We'd draw cartoons to make each other laugh. After a while, he dropped out and I renamed the comic strip to Toon in'...
Toon in'... documented my community and life with friends. Toon in'... was fueled by marijuana use and very late nights. On Saturday, February 22nd, 1997, I became psychotic. I honestly felt like I was dying, so I prayed to God like I'd never before. He saved my life while I ended up in a hospital diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder, which I still struggle with today. Almost instantly I started drawing cartoons about God. After the psychotic experience, I became very depressed for a year and a half. I ended up going to a Church near home and found out who Jesus was, and how close I had come to eternal death. It wasn't easy going through all that, but I am so thankful God saved me. I got a view of eternal death and for me it would have been drawing cartoons about myself forever in the darkness of my unlit bedroom. I learned that Jesus is Lord, and that He died for my sins and rose again to bring me eternal life.
Throughout life, God has blessed me with many things. I've traveled to 39 out of 50 states. Although I doubt I could live anywhere other than Massachusetts, I enjoyed Wyoming and Alaska. The Midnight Sun is amazing to see, and people are very eccentric in Alaska. I've also visited Europe many times: Menton, France is my favorite. As of this writing, I've held 43 different jobs and I've lived 21 different places. I've raised $24,342.11 for different charities over 17 years. The Walk for Hunger, the Avon Walk for Breast Cancer, the Overnight for the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the Run to Home Base to support our troops are just a few fundraisers I've worked with.
Although I have been very fortunate to work the jobs I've had, I've struggled with depression quite a bit. I used to get depressed for 2 to 5 days each month. In 2005, I couldn't stand it anymore so I attempted suicide. I took 116 sleeping pills. I woke up three hours later to pee. I survived with no brain damage, thankfully. This led me to pretty much drop everything, which led to bankruptcy and I lost my condo. However, over the long haul, I have been fortunate to find medicine that really works to minimize the depression. I also learned not to take the depressive anger out on anyone. This led to much better family relationships. They love me for who I am and I don't blame them anymore.
I am very proud that I obtained my Associate of Science in Graphic Design - Print from Mount Wachusett Community College. Although I suffered long depressions each semester, God taught me not to quit and I earned a 3.84 GPA and won the Curriculum Award for highest GPA in my major. I graduated with Highest Honors. I started my own freelance company called, "All for the Lord." Although I did some great work, I struggled with anger and found myself unable to continue the business. I gave it up on February 12, 2012 and never recovered, even though I applied to job after job.
The hardest thing I've learned is how to love myself with the forgiveness and grace that God has toward me. It seemed like it took forever. In 2012, the worst year of my life, I finally learned how to live within my means, which meant no more personal loans. I was living on $24,000 per year, and lived for six months off of food pantries. I cried every day of my life and I was unemployed for six months straight. Even after I found a job, it took two years to recover. Finding medicine that really worked enabled me to focus more on returning to Engineering, taking classes paid for by various state agencies. I was able to hold two full time jobs in Manufacturing, so I know I can work full time now. I was also able to save for and pay for a car with $1500 cash. That was extremely gratifying. Waving $100 bills in front of the seller had a great effect. I learned how to live within my means through attending Dave Ramsey's Financial Peace University. This also improved my family relationships since I stopped asking them for money.
I am thankful to God for having such a good family. I am thankful for the peace with them, and I am thankful for how God blesses my family. As of this writing, I have two lovely nieces and four handsome nephews, with another niece on the way. I try to be the favorite uncle, which basically entails me saying, "yes" every time one of them wants to play. It is so amazing to watch them get older, and to be such an important part of their lives. They are all so adorable to me. I do hope and pray God blesses me with my own wife and children. I think He holds me to a higher standard while waiting and trying to improve myself. As Proverbs 18:22 says, "He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the LORD."
Although life has been hard at points, I feel it is better than ever now. I have a great many family and friends and knowledge of a God who loves me and helps me. All things work toward the good of those who love God. I am provided for. I am thankful for Jesus, who died for me and considers me His friend. It is just amazing that God made the world, and that human beings are in His image. What God is this that will take created beings and elevate them to His equal through faith? It is just amazing.
If you declare with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved. ~ Romans 10:9 (NIV)
It's been a fun life and it is looking like it is going to continue.
All artwork copyright 1996-2017 Jim Bures. All rights reserved.
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