The night of February 25, 2015, became the night I entirely picked up the cross and started walking towards God. No longer was the cross a “thing” that I allowed to drag across the ground. But, the cross became a symbol to guide my path and define my every being.
That night, I was attending a youth service, in which I was one of the leaders. During the week leading up to the service, God had been tugging on my spirit about my desire to look towards others for admiration. Every message I heard, every devotional I did, I found myself reminiscing on the concept of dying to one’s self. I knew exactly what God was getting at, but wasn’t sure if I was ready to let go.
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Since my junior year of high school, I had always done modeling on the side. It gave me a sense of identity, and the admiration that followed built my self-confidence. I was looking towards the world for approval. This led me to compromise my moral standards into doing what I believed would gratify man. My eyes unconsciously became fixed on the things of the world.
As I walked into church that Wednesday night, I looked down at my phone to see an e-mail concerning a one-year contract with a well-known modeling agency. This contract sat in my inbox for twenty-nine days as I was contemplating if it was God’s plan for me to progress with modeling. That night was the last night I was given by the agency to either decline it or sign on.
I went into the service with the intentions that I would sign the contract when I returned home.
The topic for the night was “I Have Issues.” The main point of the service was that our body is like a manikin in a display window. When people walk by the display are they seeing Jesus? Or are they seeing a girl entangled in what the world tells her she should be? This idea about us being a manikin directly correlated with my modeling. The images of me showed sensuality and lust. Either my modeling would bring me closure to my goal or tear me away. My goal is to place God above all and point others to the cross. Every choice we make in life either leads us closer or distances us from God.
“And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” – Romans 12:1-2
That very night, I made my priority God and surrendered my modeling career. That was the day that I started walking towards God like never before.
The following day I received a phone call from my mother that her friend had been praying for me the night before. Her call was confirmation from God that I had listened to His spirit, and He was pleased.
The fact is “we” have issues. It all comes down to our willingness to be intentional in picking up the cross and taking daily steps towards God’s likeness. If we waste our time with the things of this world, it will only take that much longer to reach the goal. God can only use what we are willing to give Him. If we are unwilling to surrender everything, then our body is of no use to Him. He wants all of us, not just part.
“For God bought you at a high price: So you must honor God with your body.” – 1 Corinthians 6:20
Now that I’m walking towards God I will no longer will man define me, my identity is in Christ. He has made me in His image and called me to walk in His likeness. I am not of this world, therefore; I have no business comparing myself to it.