Back when I was 16, I wanted to be a high end fashion model.
To you, that may not seem like a groundbreaking dream for a 16-year-old girl to have. But for me it was everything. I didn’t just want to take pretty pictures, I was dedicated to becoming the best model I could be.
I was always in front of a camera. I practiced posing and walking days on end. I begged my mom for money to pay for how-to videos. I read articles. I knew models and photographers and fashion designers by name.
For me, growing up as a black girl with light skin and long hair in the backwoods of Central Georgia at a time when races of people were still socially segregated, I was “too black” to make friends with the white girls yet never really “black enough” to make friends with the other black girls.
I spent most of my time alone.
At a time when I didn’t really fit in anywhere I went. That’s why I loved the modeling world. I thought that would be the place where I would finally feel at home.
My Big Break
When 16-year-old me heard about a huge model casting call that was going to be held in Atlanta, I knew I had to be there. Scouts from 25 of America’s top agencies were going to be there.
This was my chance.
I started making plans right away. I would even come up with creative ways to help my mom save money so we could pay for the trip. (I mean, do we really need to eat three whole meals every single day?)
When we got to Atlanta, there were over two hundred girls there. But I just knew none of them were as prepared as me. I was ready to start living my dream. I was ready to finally belong.
But, as you probably guessed, that’s not what happened.
Every girl who showed up that day got to audition and talk to every scout one-on-one. In total, I got three chances to impress every single scout in the room. That meant I had 75 chances to get everything I wanted. But by the end of the day not one of them chose me. Not one.
I didn’t understand.
I practiced. I gave it everything I had. I was ready. And not one of the agencies thought I was good enough for them.
When I talked to the event organizer afterward, I was told that at 5’5’’ I wasn’t tall enough for the runway. And even if I was taller, I didn’t have “the right look.”
In one afternoon, the one place I thought I would finally belong was snatched away from me. My entire self-image changed. I wasn’t the beautiful girl who loved to be in front of the camera anymore.
Right there in that moment, I abandoned my dream.
When I got home, I threw out all my magazines and I got rid of all my videotapes. I let them go and didn’t even miss them.
I no longer liked taking pictures or being in front of the camera. I no longer wanted to be seen. I lived like this for so many years it became ingrained in me. I would say “I don’t like taking pictures” when the opportunity arose. When asked why, I didn’t even have an answer. I had forgotten why. I just knew I didn’t like it. It wasn’t my thing.
I forgot until February of this year — almost 20 years after giving up and letting it all go.
God makes dreams come true
I got the chance to go to Hawaii for a weekend back in February (2016). I was there for a business retreat with my mentor and a few other women entrepreneurs.
My mentor suggested that shooting a video of myself on the beach would be a good way to grow my brand.
Immediately, I thought NO! I don’t like being in front of the camera. That is just not me. But she challenged me to do it anyway.
I struggled internally for a long time but I decided I’d do it quickly and try not to think about it (rip the Band-Aid off quickly).
On the last day of the retreat, I got up at sunrise and walked down to the beach. If I had to do this, I was going to make sure no one was around to see it happen.
I held my breath and went for it.
As soon as I was finished God said, “Congratulations!”
Puzzled I said what for? I’m just happy this is OVER!
“Congratulations you just completed your first video shoot on a beach in Hawaii.”
Like a crashing wave all of the memories of a dream forgotten came flooding back, overwhelming me. I was speechless.
“Congratulations. You just completed your first video shoot on a beach in Hawaii on your own terms and you don’t need anyone to validate you but Me. You’re my Supermodel”
And I cried. (I cry every time.)
God made my dream come true —A dream that I had forgotten I even had. A dream I had completely given up on. He made my dream come true better than I could have.
If you have a dream don’t give up on it. When you approach it with God by your side anything is possible! If He can do it for me He can do it for you. (Acts 10:34-35)
Give it to God and trust Him with it. He can make your dreams come true better than you ever could. (Ephesians 3:20-21)
Why I started this business
This experience only validated my need to help other women like you and everyone else reading this blog strengthen their relationships with God. I could not have ever been able to give the 16-year-old girl that still lives in me a taste of her dream if it were not for my relationship with God.
I wish I could say that after that day on the beach I became a video-making machine. But that’s not how these things work. That video wasn’t perfect. It wasn’t meant to be. (Click here to see the video)
That video was simply the first “baby step” that pushed me to incorporate more video into my business so I could better connect to people like you who want to be encouraged like God encourages me.
Do you have a dream that you have been working on forever? Or were you more like me?
Did you give up on it so long ago that trained yourself to forget you ever wanted it?
If that’s you, you should consider reaching out to me right now! I’d love to see what dreams we could make come true together. I’d love to be the one to help you like God and my mentor helped me.
Of course, I can’t help if I don’t know that you’re out there.
Be Blessed. Be Encouraged.
For The One