Even before un.tied had hit the ground running, I had interest in my first custom order. A friend I had just met asked me if I could make a necklace from her late father's necktie.
I was honored to say the least and excited to create something tangible for her to remember her father by.
After the untying was done and this precious necktie was reclaimed, the final and most important task was yet to be done. What would this very special necklace be named?
Although there were many details of my friends story I did not know, I knew one thing to be true. I knew that she was her father's daughter.
I also knew that from the moment my husband laid eyes on our daughter, I saw a joy and a pride in his face that I had never seen before.
They say that a daughter tugs special, untouchable strings of her father's heart. From what I know of the sweet, kind and lovely woman who will be wearing this necklace, I am certain that her father, Richard, found great and indescribable joy in his daughter and that the name, Abigail was the name I had been searching for.
Thank you, Gina, for giving me the opportunity to play a small part in your story.
Christmas was just around the corner and my dad asked me to make a necklace for my cousin, his Goddaughter.
This necklace would be the first necklace I would make for someone else and the first necklace I would name. This necklace had a story because, the necktie I was making it with had a story.
Just over two years ago, my dad wore this tie as he walked along side his sister's casket as she entered the ceremony that would celebrate her life.
This tie adorned his neck as he stood in front of the church and read the letters his sister wrote to her children.
And, this tie was one of the many breast cancer ties that made up the sea of pink that brightened the church on a cold January day.
This tie held the memories of my Aunt Lou's story.
And now, it was being used to make a necklace for her daughter.
From the beginning I knew that this necklace was to be named after my Aunt Lou, my Godmother.
As I looked up the meaning of her name, tears rushed my eyes as I learned what I had known all along. Louise meant famous warrior. And a warrior my father's sister was. She fought a long lasting battle with grace and strength and has brought our family closer together because of her valiant fight.
She was a true and famous warrior, and I pray that her daughter rejoices in her mother's strength each time she ties this necklace close to her heart.
I used to think I had everything figured out....if I just followed the rules and played it safe, everything would work in my favor.
And it did.
I had a job that most would die for.
I had two healthy sons and an amazing husband.
I had the house I had always dreamed of.
Until I realized that while having everything I had nothing.
I cried on most days and was anxious the rest. I had no idea who I was, or what I wanted in life. I made choices to please others, and I had no idea what would be pleasing to me.
I was broken.
And, I didn't know what to do about it.
So, I sat in it, wrestled with it, and questioned it.
Still in the thick of this journey, I am realizing that it is only in my brokenness that I have started to become whole.
As I have untied myself and my story, bit by bit, piece by piece, I am finding the beauty that lies within myself. I am finding that with each wound there is a glorious chance of redemption and with each lie the possibly of truth.
Slowly, I am putting my true self back together and relishing in the work of art God has designed me to be.
So too, am I taking this journey with each necktie. Bit by bit I am carefully exploring the brokenness and restoring it to be new again....reclaiming the beautiful tie it was once intentioned to be. I am taking something old and broken and giving it new life.
Through my journey, I have realized that sometimes the purest beauty and the richest joy comes from being un.tied, digging through all that is broken and making it new again, reclaiming all that is truly me.
It all started with a necklace spotting downtown. It was grey. It was classy. It was bold. I pointed it out to my friend and forgot all about it.
Fast forward a month or so, when the same friend I pointed the necklace out to, pinned an exact replica of the necklace I had admired, on Pinterest.
Stunned, I discovered that the necklace I so admired was made out of a necktie. I was captivated by this intriguing idea and was determined to make one for myself, even if I had never sewn a thing in my life.
From there I started the journey of making my own necktie necklace. After one broken sewing machine, a run-in with a bobbin possessed by satan and several failed attempts, I had finally taught myself how to sew a straight line.
As I sewed, my mind began to wander and made several stops along the way. One of the stops my mind came to was the thought of each necklace being a unique, one-of-a-kind creation. One that came from a necktie that had a story. A story of happiness. A story of celebration. And, possibly a story of mourning. Because, as we know, in most cases, for many men, the times that neckties are worn are times that are marked by an event to remember.
While still resting at this stop, my mind ventured off to explore the whole idea of a "story". As I wandered deeper into my thoughts, I realized that we all have a story, and that each story is unique and one-of-a-kind. And just as we have a story, we too have a name. A name of meaning, significance, and importance. Our friends call us by name. Our family call us by name. God calls us by name. And together, our name and our story set us apart. They mark who we are in the world.
Naturally, as my thoughts often do, they made their journey toward my heart, the stop where the aching starts to set in, and the injustice of the world becomes crystal clear. I suddenly began to wonder about the baby God was preparing for us. What is our child's name? What is our baby's story?
From here my idea was born. Each necklace I would create would be named. It would represent the orphans and in the world who appear nameless and are desperate for a person to tell their story. Those who have been named all along by a God who is merciful and created them to be his one-of-a-kind child.