Freedom is the beckon I feel inside,
The hope I feel even when I try to hide.
A glisten of value I see through my Father’s eyes.
Breaking off the lies and bringing a sweet surprise.
Washed in the truth, refreshed from the creek.
Captivated by purity, bold enough to speak.
New life beckoned through every splash,
Joy re-sparked where hope was last dashed.
Sitting on solid rock and trusting in the One who knows.
In His presence I am safe, my face can glow.
Even in my raw state I can trust in the truth.
Rock solid foundation, releases the breakthrough.
Able to look into the eyes of the One who made me.
Unleashing tears, fully set free.
Washed by the water, my heart is ablaze,
Make up has gone, I see heaven’s gaze.
There in my dark places, I was handed a key.
A key of song, a key of sweet victory.
Unlocking the doors that have been locked for my years.
Unhinged by the courage to face my biggest fears.
The battle is always worth it when joy is on my side.
A golden mark of heaven, I now truly cannot hide!
Bringing out the light that has always been stored up in me.
Opening up the space so I can be the truest version of me.
This is me, set free, to set others free.
Model – Meredyth Mason
Photography & words – Jessica Wilmot
PROCESS OF SHOOT
On a beautiful Thursday afternoon, I wanted to adventure to a spot called Crystal Creek to capture Meredyth. As we arrived I simply wanted to make her feel super comfortable in front of the lens and feel complete freedom to be herself.
From the start, this shoot was one I will forever be marked by. It felt like a true honour to experience the depths and rawness of all that was surfaced in the moment. From the rootedness of the tree and solidity of it’s position, to the flow of the water flowing down the stream from the falls, the beauty of it all was a profound reflection of what each photo was capturing within Meredyth’s heart. The stream was a stunning gift to wash within, cleanse the face and focus on the truth of what her Father thinks about her. I asked her to wash her make up off in the stream as a significant act to represent the beauty and freedom in taking down masks and letting ones true self shine out. We spoke life and truth over her body and skin and had a break out of joy!
I asked her to sit on the rock in the middle of the river and to feel the flow of the water rush past. Then I asked her to do another significant act and to curl up in a foetal position, like in the womb on top of the rock, to reflect a new beginning and a moment of healing right back from the womb when she was created. As it is from the womb that our lives are started to be formed, so often healing can come to us that we needed right back in our Mother’s womb. It was a stunning moment of raw beauty to capture on camera.
How was the shoot for you Meredyth?
“It was so powerful, as soon as a camera comes out so much can be triggered. I felt so many walls come down, I felt so much safety and peace. I don’t think I will ever be the same behind a camera after today.
“It was a canopy of safety the whole time while I was being photographed”.
I have felt an increase of peace and enjoyment of who I am, but there has felt there has been a lingering of un-comfortability which has just come from fear of people’s opinions. But God only makes good things!
What were you expecting from today?
I didn’t have any expectations but I did expect it would be good. When you asked me not to wear make up Jessica, I felt there was something really significant about that. As that has been a theme for me this whole year. Especially as this year I felt God encouraging me to not wear make up for a month, which was so uncomfortable due to my history with make up and how there has always been really mixed messages around it for me, especially due to significant people in my life asking me to wear more. But yet through your photography not only brought healing but also value.
I think that the camera adds value and affirms value. Like “honour affirms value”, the camera is a sense of honour in some ways. As it communicates “this is valuable enough for me to capture it”. I had one moment, where you had asked me to look into the lens and I remember seeing God so clearly, it was as if the lens was the iris of his eye. I felt so connected to the truth that every part of me, because it is made by Him, whether or not it has a flaw or blemish or imperfect edge, it is still good and still worthy of being captured. I felt so much affirmation and safety all around me.
When I asked you to look into the lens and see what God thought of you.
What did you feel Him say?
I heard the words: “You are safe”.
There was a moment you said to me “heaven is proud of you” and it felt really clear in that moment that I could feel the significance of the feminine voices cheering me on and showing me how special I am. As especially today I felt stripped back to my core.
Through today it took my healing journey to this next place, of not only am where am I valuable to be seen but also valuable enough to be celebrated even as an art form, a form of beauty to be photographed!
I AM ART – even when I am balling my eyes out and even when I have no make up on, even when I am raw and feel weak because I am crying, I am strong because Jesus says so.
As the photographer, that was the most incredibly inspiring and brave moment for me to watch you go with the process and not keep your tears in, even in front of the lens. Your ability to let loose and let the process happen and the tears to flow was so stunning. There is so much healing in our tears, so capturing that it was a true honour. When you were washing your face with the water it was so profound and healing. There is something very powerful about doing significant acts to resemble something deeper, so in that moment it was as if you were washing away the lies with the water. Even from the start when you were hugging the tree and how trees represent patience and time due to their rootedness, then when you were in a foetal position on the rock hearing the Father’s voice over you again.
How did it feel for you when I asked you to speak life over your skin, mouth and body?
It was very prophetic and beautiful that you asked me to do that as I have struggled with acne for so long and it is so tempting to allow my perception of my value to be tainted – added to or taken away from – depending on how clear my skin is, when that is so untrue, as my value is set. So it felt like another loud experience – as putting a camera in front of anything makes everything so much more magnified and so much louder. So because the camera affirms value it felt like the Lord was getting in that place and showing me my scars from acne don’t make me any less valuable.
It is one thing for me to say that to myself in the mirror and another thing to be seen saying that and photographed at the same time. It suddenly adds infinite potential audience which adds to the weight of it but beckons me to believe it deeper.
How was it for you having your face painted and dance in front of the locked door with your musical key?
It felt really profound to me as I have a heart for trafficking and slavery and currently discovering my role in justice. So it felt very significant that that is where we ended the shoot. As all of my journey in becoming more free is not void or purposeless, it is for the purpose of me being set up so I can set captives free from far greater bondage that I have ever been in. But I need to be free to be able to step towards those boxes with my key!
I felt very significant that the key was in a the shape of a treble clef as it has been my songs that I have felt highlighted recently.
Yes and you only find keys in your own darkness. As free people, free people.
What was the song that came out of you as you danced again?
“We are breaking out of cages, and stepping onto stages”.
I really liked that you didn’t let me see the pictures during the shoot as it normally comes from a place of control when I want to see them. But then later on the shoot you showed me a few and I felt new levels of celebration in what I saw.
Any last words Meredyth?
It was simply incredible to have Heaven feel so present.
I have never experienced something like this, ever. What was most profound with it all, not that any photographer intended this, but have felt in the past that I have to give something, perfection or the right thing. But sometimes there is an edge of fear on that. Yet today I felt super given to and celebrated in a way that didn’t require anything of me and allowed me to be me. Which was crazy as I ended up dancing with your “Be You” scarf and that has been a huge theme of this year – learning how to accept my unique design and receive who who I am meant to be and be thankful.