It's a surprising story,...my deciding to model.
You see, I've only had one opportunity to model apparel and I skipped out. Around five years ago there was a fashion show planned at our church. The girls (Hallie and Rylie) and I were invited to participate. I begrudgingly agreed.
We went to Dillards where somebody else (who declined to ask about my taste) picked out my clothes. The girls were thrilled, especially Hallie who was given a black and white polka-dotted top with a cute hot pink blazer and some skinny jeans. Rylie could have cared less what she'd be wearing, she was just excited she'd be on stage. Outfits were planned.
The closer the fashion show got, the more nervous I grew. I don't care for being a visual focus. Put some clothes on me that don't suit me and I really don't enjoy being a spectacle.
The day before the show, Hallie came down with a bad case of the flu. And you want to know what? Besides being sad that my baby was terribly uncomfortable, I was secretly relieved that I had an excuse to ditch my modeling gig.
That's it. That's the only time I've had a chance to model (unless pageants count). I was a contestant in The Old Settler’s Reunion Pageant when I was around ten. It was held outdoors in a pavilion the last week of July. In the middle of our parading ourselves in front of judges and the audience, a strike of lightning blew out the electricity. All contestants were summoned backstage where we near melted. I was with my cousin who was also a contestant when we found out that our Granny had just been taken to the hospital.
I cried backstage for a host of reasons. I cried harder when I didn't win.
So here you have a few reasons I despise putting myself out there.
- Fear- What if I'm ineffective? What if I'm ill-received? A laughing stock? What if I fall?
- My avoidance of discomfort- Modeling usually requires I wear something that isn't me. Typically, the apparel is itchy/strange/not me/confining. Modeling is in opposition to one of my favorite pastimes, relaxation.
- It's a contest (of sorts). Will I get picked? (Win the contest/Be adored because my clothes and myself are cute…) If I'm not going to get picked, I'd rather not play.
That's why I guess I was surprised when I opened scripture yesterday and felt a special calling, not only for me to model, but to invite you to do some modeling too.
For we know, brothers and sisters loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not simply with words but also with power, with the Holy Spirit and deep conviction.
You became imitators of us and of the Lord...with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
And so you became a model
1 Thessalonians 1:4-7
Maybe it's more than an invitation. Do we really get to choose if we model or not? People are watching. Rather than choosing whether or not we want to model life in Christ, we choose to be a good model or a bad one. There's no such thing as a closet Christian. You're on stage whether or not you know it.
Sure we’ll face rejection when we speak truth and live it. We may fear others watching us fall when we don't live truth because we’re human.
Modeling Christ can be uncomfortable. It calls us to put on clothes of humility and forgiveness which are often confining.
Often we won't be adored. We’ll lose in an earthly sense when we put ourselves out there with the idea that a life like Jesus’ should be mimicked.
If you're a Christ follower then you've likely been blessed to have observed a good model or two yourself. Either a grandmother, parent, Sunday school teacher or neighbor showed you what it was like to live for Christ. Their comfort, their fear and their need to make life all about themselves lost priority when they experienced the power of serving the Savior. And you saw that.
How can we not follow suit?
The world, our neighborhood, our homes need models, imperfect ones, who point them to the fullness found in Christ. They need to be shown, to be told.
The deepest of joy is often found in the midst of fear and discomfort.
Can we go out on a limb?
To check out my book, click here.