Oshlianna Stewart is beautiful, kind, strong and inspiring. Oshlianna is an example of the future of a “Created Woman” who has come through great challenges and holds faith as the center of her dreams. I had the amazing opportunity of meeting Oshlianna while helping with the Dell Children’s Hospital Blood and Cancer Center Prom. I remember hearing her story almost four years ago, my first year in helping them, and knowing that she was already making an impact on others.
Our passion for fashion brought us together this past year. She designed and outfitted me for an event, designed three amazing looks that were featured in the Dell Children’s Hospital Blood and Cancer Center Fashion Show last summer, and continues designing with hopes of creating her own fashion line labeled, Oshlidreamel. She also hopes to move forward this year with a foundation she has dreamed of for a while that would benefit children and their families dealing with illness, and the struggles that come with it.
With time, I have been able to get to know her and her loving family. We have become very supportive of one another and can honestly say we have become like family. She is always smiling and encouraging others, as is her mother, who is always by her side, walking with her in her journey with such strength. Her story has been one of struggles, but also one of so much faith, perseverance and beauty. We are so honored to have her share with us her heart and her dreams in becoming the woman that God created her to be.
[title subtitle="Oshlianna’s Story"][/title]
Hi, my name is Oshlianna Stewart, and I am eighteen-years-old. I adore traveling and being as adventurous as possible, fashion, coffee, reading, writing, discovering unique boutiques and cafes, meeting new people, and shopping, of course! The list goes on and on.
I am a cancer survivor of 6 years! The thought of me having cancer had never occurred to me or my family. We didn't know what the outcome would be, but we decided to trust in God and let him take hold of the situation. Due to the rare cancer, I had my leg amputated in March of 2010 and before then, I couldn't participate in certain activities such as running, skating, or playing with the other kids anymore because the pain in my leg was so unbearable.
As a child, I was devastated. But, to this day, I am still alive and cancer free! I knew deep down inside that God wasn't finished with me yet, and that he has a great purpose for my life. I am a living testimony of His goodness and mercy. I always say that having my leg amputated was not necessarily a loss but a gain, because I truly believe that something great will come out of it, and give me the amazing opportunity to inspire and encourage others!
Created Woman's vision is to empower women to walk in their passion and follow their dreams.
What are your passions and dreams?
Fashion, writing, giving back, and empowering people in their individual strengths are some of my greatest passions. I believe that they are my calling in life-something that I feel is destined for me to do. Becoming a Fashion Designer has been a dream of mine ever since I was a little girl. I devoured fashion magazines and ecstatically imagined what it would be like to have my designs featured in New York Fashion Week. Ever since I can remember, fashion has always been something that I've had a HUGE passion for. I love exquisite designers, and showcasing my personality through my style.
Secondly, I am passionate about writing. I got into writing at a very young age. As a child, I would write poems and make up these little funny, unrealistic stories. I have always loved words, and the way they have the ability to move and inspire you. I actually started a blog recently. something that I had been aiming to do for a while, and it has really given me the opportunity to share my heart, offer words of encouragement, and to really just connect with other young people.
Over the years, I have realized that loving, encouraging, and investing in people can bring you so much joy in life. One definite life-goal of mine is to encourage and to inspire people to pave their own path to greatness. I want to be a world changer, and reach as many people as humanly possible.
Each and every one of us were created for a very unique God-given purpose. I want to encourage others to know that they are so much more capable than they could have ever imagined in achieving great things in their lives. My soul desire in life is to just be used however God chooses and to glorify Him in all that I do. It is our duty to be a light to others on earth, and I want my life to reflect HIM in every way possible.
Where do you get your inspiration?
I have several wonderful people in my life who have truly invested in me and have mentored me in some way. My mom is my first and most influential mentor. She encourages me daily to never let go of my dreams, to stay strong in my walk with God, and to put my whole heart into everything that I do. She has also taught me how to love people. Everyday her life is made up of helping others, sacrificing self at all costs. This is something that I truly try to emulate in my life. I have really been blessed with extremely supportive parents, and I am eternally grateful for them.
"The Challenged Athletes Foundation" has also played a huge role in my life. As an amputee, they helped me gain a new perspective on life by showing me that anything is possible with faith and belief in yourself. They taught me how to live a life without limitations, and to never stop chasing after my dreams. I am forever grateful to God that He placed them in my life when He did.
The second mentor in my life, Mrs. Aysa Province, has really taken me under her wing, and has mentored and encouraged me. She has been so supportive in helping me pursue my dream in fashion design, and she constantly inspires me to be the best person that I can possibly be. I am eternally grateful for her.
Also, I look up to all the wonderful ladies who are involved with the "Created Woman" Foundation. They have really made a great impact on my life and in many other lives as well. I know that there are many other women out there that are passionate about what they wholeheartedly believe in. "Created Woman" encourages them to go for it! I truly admire everything that it stands for.
There is a great deal of many others who have been a great inspiration to me and have made an impact on my life in some way. The list goes on and on!
Where do you see yourself in the future?
This is the year that I graduate from high school. (Praise the Lord, it’s finally here) After that happens, I am aiming to pursue my childhood dream of becoming a fashion designer, which hopefully, will someday be a reality! I've already been given the amazing opportunity to get started on it. I am forever grateful to God for that. I also dream of starting my own foundation one day. My heart yearns to give back, and to encourage other kids and young people who are battling cancer or may have a disability.
I envision having a place, sort of like a retreat, where they can have a chance to have fun, hang out with other young people they can relate to, and just be able to take their minds off treatment and medicine. I feel in my heart that this is something that God wants me to do for sure. I am excited to see where He will take this goal of mine.
I honestly don't know what the future holds for me, but God knows everything and HE holds my future. So, I will continue to trust in his plan for my life, and trust that He will let everything fall into place.
What is your message you want to share?
I want to encourage others to never stop chasing after their dreams. If you have something in life that you are really passionate about, pursue it! Always keep a perspective on why you love what you love, and never give up. Fear is one of our biggest obstacles in life. Don't let it keep you from pursuing your dreams. I have struggled many times with thinking: "this is far beyond me; I can't do it " or "what if I am not capable?"
If God has truly called us to do something, then why should we be afraid of it? God has a specific purpose for each and every one of us. So we should stay strong, be courageous and believe in who He created us to be.
Please visit Oshlianna’s blog for more of her heart filled messages: