“The imperfection of people is what makes them beautiful. I pray that God would give me the ability to see what is most special about a person, rather than seek perfection.” – Elizabeth
Today on the blog, we are excited to share Elizabeth’s journey.
Take Back Your Hat!
I am Elizabeth Freeman: artist, wife, mother, daughter, teacher, and friend.
Considering the roles we play in life, I imagine a black top hat perched upon my salt and peppered hair. During our life we wear different hats categorizing us as people, many times defined by our duties. From birth, I began this journey as the daughter of Ruth Ann and Tommy, to whom I can credit my being a loyal, loving, and kind friend. Formative years grew my hat to include being an accomplished artist.
However, change is inevitable, and as a young adult, my trajectory was altered unexpectedly when I was diagnosed with Neuro-Lyme disease. My strong brain and fit body were being tested and wasting away by an infection. Having been under attack for over a year, death was real and really near. My spirituality kept me from being scared to perish. Simply being 21 years old causes for confusion, but I was unable to speak, write, read a clock, and count change. Most importantly, I was losing my fine motor skills. I once thought that my ability to create art defined my relevance to the world. This hat didn’t fit, so I disposed of it.
With prayer chains across the South, I was saved by God’s hand. My body and brain were saved by a craniotomy that led to antibiotic. Medical folks have said I have been cured, but 19 years down recovery road, my doctors and I have discovered the fight for my life left residual damage. I ask God why I was spared. During my worse days, I depend heavily on my hunky husband, my college sweetheart. In laying down the foundation for a fantastic life, we created wonderful memories. I knew being Will’s wife was who I was meant to be. Helping him enjoy and live my life with him was a hat I then prayed for.
After college, I stretched my hat, devoting my time and love to children. I still love being witness to the proverbial spark of discovery, when children are successful and know their worth. I always knew I would become an art teacher. This hat I would wear in life was patterned in childhood. Creating art was not as important as my gift of teaching. If I never pick a brush up, I will have given inspiration to the next generation.
Seeing how much I loved children gave me the inspiration to become a mother. I wanted to capture the spirit of children on my canvas desperately. Strangely, my portrait drawings began to change. Through my inability to speak and express as a young adult, I was now able to reign in the beauty of people. The imperfection of people is what makes them beautiful. The unexpected is what is most appreciated. I would pray for God to give me the ability to see what was most special about the subject, not perfection.
Today, a perfect replica is not a goal of mine. My idea of perfection is to recreate the differences among people, what makes them beautiful. I am now able to recognize qualities of myself that are different and celebrate them. I see them and can build upon their beauty.
The Photo Shoot
I had so much fun at the shoot. Kasper’s makeup/artwork was truly amazing. He was able to define my features without being unnatural. I wish he would come to my house everyday to “put my face on.” He made me feel comfortable and pretty.
Brandi was able to pull your essence through the lens. Her ability to make you feel at home was key to our success! I appreciate her help and guidance to accentuate the positive aspects of me. We had fun coordinating outfits that would best suit the camera.
I’ll admit, I was intimidated at first. I wanted to win, but was afraid of investing my hope. 25 years ago I modeled for local businesses. Pictures were taken of me then, but being selected for the BBP helped me feel more confident and even spurred on my taking better care of myself. Physical activity is so helpful to our brains and providing an example for my children to follow is extremely important.
TAKE BACK YOUR HAT!
You are beautiful!
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