Erica's Story

Each of us has a story to share. A story that is purposeful, and powerful.

Each of our stories are different and no doubt have brought us through a journey that is unique to our individual lives, but oh, how are stories need to be shared. We need one another's stories to encourage us and to remind us that we're not alone. 

This is a part of my story.

Growing up I was a happy, thriving little girl. My world was full of joy, and I was raised by an amazing mother who would have gone to the ends of the earth for her little girl. My joy was surely her joy, and my happiness was her happiness.  

Fast forward to me as a young teen (around the age of 13) my perspectives and views about life started to shift. More specifically, the way I viewed my own life started to change; in fact, it got to a point where I didn't even want to continue living. I wanted to call it quits, and I attempted to do just that.

I was 14 years old when I tried to take my own life. My world had become dark, and I had become lost.

All of us will go through seasons of hurt, pain and confusion. I'm so thankful at that very young age my family was there to pick me back up and help me walk through that fragile season.

Not long after during my freshman year in high school I met a boy who quickly became the epicenter of my life. Having grown up with my dad coming and going throughout my young life, I never knew what it was to have that constant and steady love of a man that clearly I was looking for, and longing for. 

Well, I became pregnant at the age of 16. Talk about a wake-up call, in more ways than one! I was still a baby, about to have a baby! I would soon learn, in many ways, that life as a teen mom would not be easy. But, there was no turning back. I had my son, Nicholas, at 16 and was married at 17 as a Junior in high school. 

One thing that was quickly drawn out of me as a young mother was resilience, something that had been inside of me all along. My son inspired me to try, and try harder. He motivated me to want more for my life and my once tattered and shattered view of life shifted to one of hope, and possibility.

I had arrived at a new place. 

After finishing high school, I went on to earning two degrees from Phoenix College, and then transferred to ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism where I earned my bachelor's in journalism. 

There's no doubt in my mind that by the grace of God my life was saved on that summer afternoon in 1994 when I thought I would be closing my eyes for the last time. The reality is, if I had known then what I know now, I would have understood that I was created to make a difference in this world. I was never created to live depressed, defeated, guilty, condemned, ashamed or unworthy – but was created to be victorious.

And so are you.

When I began inspireHER 5 years ago, my mission was to share my story of hope with those who needed it, one story and encouraging t-shirt at a time. 

Each of us has a story so unique...not worthy of comparison. Each of us is 100% original and we are so, so very loved by a Father who carries us through it all...the good, the bad and everything in between. 

My message to HER...to you...

You are loved, you are seen, you are known and you belong.

Never be ashamed of your story because it's going to help heal someone else. Friend, God created us to LIVE and THRIVE! There is a plan for your life, you are valuable and when others say or suggest that you believe otherwise, allow yourself the permission to freely and wholeheartedly dismiss their version of who they say you are.

Your best days are ahead. 

Love, 

You are not alone. If you are struggling or need someone to talk to, dial 1-800-273-TALK (8255) to be connected with a Lifeline counselor 24/7/365.