This is a blog about Styling and Fashion, two things that I love and am passionate about. That said, every stylist and fashionista has a story bigger than the images they share on their site and social media. As a stylist, a perfectionist, and someone who has insecurities like everyone else I always think about presentation and tend to share the photos that I feel look like the best version of me (through my own eyes). I doubt I stand alone here. We all want to show our “best angle” and no one scrambles to take a selfie of their bad hair day. The reality is we all have bad days, experience tragedy and feel pain, but I rarely read about it on a fashion blog or see photos that paint a picture of any less than the perfect outfit, perfect wardrobe, perfect hair day, and ideal lifestyle.

For this post I’m going to change it up, because the truth is life is messy. Styling, fashion, image, insecurities, and all things materialistic put aside. I am going to share what it means to be stripped. This is my personal experience and I am sharing it to encourage any one else that may also be facing something out of their control.

stripped image2

By definition stripped means “to remove all excess detail from; reduce to essentials.” For me it has never rang more true than on my Birthday this past Saturday, April 26th. I just so happened to be in my closet talking about styling and fashion with a close friend who is also a photographer. We were discussing ideas for an upcoming photo shoot when all of the sudden something unexpected occurred, and in that moment everything changed. I instantly felt stripped. 

In that moment I fell apart. I was embraced by my dear friend who witnessed a personal moment that I will never forget. She saw me in my rawest form. Broken and desperate. Crippled by fear in an instant. Stripped of everything I was sure of. At that moment nothing else mattered besides having my husband at my side. My friend was there to comfort and remind us that we serve a God who is bigger than any circumstance.

At that moment I wasn’t thinking about, nor did I care about appearance or anything else. I was stripped down to nothing more than sheer dependency on my Creator. A living God who gives us access to His peace that transcends all understanding. I felt a desperation like I’ve never felt before. Desperation to keep focused on hope, desperation for positive results, desperation that my faith would rise to the occasion and I could be strong in knowing that my God has the last say, desperation to feel His peace.

With uncontrollable sobs that created a mascara streamed face I felt nothing but shock. Then a silent car ride to the ER where I didn’t care who was looking at me or what people were thinking. I was raw and exposed with my emotions on display. All that mattered was having my husbands hand over mine and family. After being sent home to wait, there was more pain and more fearful moments, but I refuse to give in. I refuse to give in to the fear, I refuse to listen to any negative voices, words or reports and I refuse to think anything other than hopeful, positive thoughts. I am stuck waiting for a couple of days and having patience is not something I am good at. This is a time where my strength is being tested and I may not be patient but I am a fighter. An encouraging Bible verse sent to me from a friend says this: “The fear of man lays a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is safe.” – Proverbs 29:25

To anyone else out there who may be going through a battle that is out of your control I want to say to you be strong. Do not give in to fear, cling to hope. Find a support system. Lean on your friends and family. Know there is a God who loves you and wants nothing but the best for you. Even if you are not a believer reach out to someone who is so they can stand beside you in faith.

I have to believe that everything happens for a reason, good or bad. We can only become stronger from these humbling moments in life. We become more understanding, more compassionate, more loving. I have a renewed appreciation for my husband, my family and my friends. I already love them dearly but being stripped down in an instant to the essentials in life gives me clear perspective. For this I am grateful. Sometimes we need a wake up call to remind us of what’s most important.

This is still a delicate situation without a definitive outcome so I am not revealing all of the details at this time. I do, however, ask for your prayers and positive thoughts as I cling to hope while I wait. I will know more in the next couple of days and will decide what to share at that time.

I hope that you have found some inspiration that can help you in your journey. Life is precious. Life is a gift. Cherish the ones you love and in all situations remain thankful. There is always something to be thankful for.

As I said earlier we generally only share photos when we look our best. So I want to end this post with a picture of reality. This is me, the morning after a day filled with more emotions than I thought I could ever handle at once. These are raw images…no makeup, unedited, unfiltered. Just emotional me, in my husband’s t-shirt.

xo,

Erica

stripped stripped3

 

Advertisements