One of my lifelong dreams and goals was to be a model. I honestly cannot remember the first time this bright idea popped into my head, but I do remember my first pageant as early as age 16. More than the pageant itself, I recall that I lost. This loss was preparation for the rest of my career and life.
When I first started modeling I did so right out of high school going into college. At first it wasn’t something I was too terribly invested in, therefore if I won some great, if I didn’t, no big deal. Through a move to another state, life, school and other transitions I made a decision after a while to put this attempted career on the shelf. Fast forward to present time, and I really felt as if God laid it on my heart to pursue it again. The same attitude I had at 18 was pretty much the same attitude I had this time around, if it works great, if not what do I have to lose? Jobs and auditions have come in on a regular basis all praises to God, but that’s not my point right now. You see it was an amazing moment to share with my friends and family that an advertisement I was in made it’s way into a national magazine. That was a dream come true! Everyone praised God and rejoiced with me of His faithfulness, but what most may not have realized are all the rejections I had to go through in order to get a breakthrough. Dozens of auditions, castings, and go-sees where they looked at me and in a sense said, “You’re not good enough.” Whether you’re too tall, too short, too thin, too thick, too brown, not brown enough…I’ve been through the gamut. As a result I know that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was. Experiencing rejection after rejection, “no” after “no” and then one day you get a “yes”.
This industry will either build your self esteem as you grow more confident in your strengths and aware of your weaknesses, or it will completely tear you down because you continue to compare yourself to others, or feel as if you don’t make the cut. There were times in modeling and quite frankly in life, where being the underdog felt awful, like the end of the world, but then I learned something. I began to understand that when the expectation of you is low, God has so much more room to show off. I recently did a hair show and all the stylists were looking at me and my naturally curly hair and they didn’t want to say it out loud, but I could see it all over their faces, “How are we going to tame that?” They were all completely skeptical and even treated me funny every time I showed up, as if they would include me in the show as a favor. Once they got to work on my hair, coloring, straightening and then cutting, it ended up being one of the hits of their show. So much so that they sent some other people home and created an additional segment for me to take part in. They were all raving about the hair and complimenting the stylist. One more point for the underdog.
The truth of the matter is we will all experience some form of rejection maybe not in an overt way like an audition, but in family, career, church, ministry, friendships or relationships. There will always be someone who says, “You are not enough”, but I am so glad that even if I’m an underdog with everyone else, it doesn’t change that I am an overcomer with my King. I love Chris Tomlin’s lyrics to his song “You are my King”; he says that because Christ was forsaken, we are forgiven, because He was condemned, we are accepted. I’m so glad my Savior is not fickle like man (kind), I am truly grateful that no matter if the world rejects us, the underdogs find acceptance in Him.
Ephesians 1:6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.