As a freelance model, I had attended a casting for a show and while we were all walking around in circles I wasn’t feeling massively moved by the show I was casting for. After the whirlwind of models had all casted and done their many walks in circles before the directors of the show, I presented them with my portfolio. This all felt pretty new to me, so the whole process felt particularly strange yet needed for them to know how and who to pick. Once we were finished and whilst they moved onto the next group of models, I saw an open doorway in the building we were in, that I believed led to the runway space. So I walked through it and sat down in one of the seats in the audience. While watching them do a run through I had a strange urge inside to ask if they might need an extra model for the show. So once there was a break I went to find the director of the run through and asked that exact question. Expecting a solid “no”, I was immensely surprised to hear them reply with “there is a chance we actually might, as one just pulled out”. They asked me about my availability for that night and once I had explained I was available they suggested I came to the next run through in an hour or so. With excitement buzzing in my bones, as I personally thrive off spontaneity and adventure, I went to grab some early dinner and then walked back to the event space.
I was given my dress and heels and we did a walk through for the show. I was expectant and excited for what it would be like. This was my first official show and the heels I had to wear felt pretty high. The other models in the line I began to chat with backstage and we slowly all began to connect.
Fast forward another hour or so (there is a lot of waiting around in shows), our make up had been done and we were runway ready. While putting all our dresses on I began to just freely dance and laugh with the girls. I saw their expressions change and a new lightness flood into the room. Pressure lifted and we began to dance all together. Joy spilt over and we became like children. It was a moment of such pure, tangible joy. One of the girls I was sorry for as her skin had reacted to something and had become red and blotchy. We didn’t get to speak at the time but later we did.
Backstage, as we waited for my turn to walk, my heart began to race. I tried not to focus on the idea that it could go so wrong but just imagined I would see Jesus in the crowd. It was extraordinary, because once I stepped out there, I don’t remember seeing the audience at all, I simply remember seeing God’s eyes at the back of the room and His pleasure in me. That might sound crazy, but it is true. He was beaming and so proud of me. I felt like a princess in His presence, dressed in a way that He made to me be. It was such a pure moment where I saw a glimpse of the power of purity and the power of deciding where I put my eyes. The dresses we were wearing were couture and intricately made. Mine was a light blue with detailed patterns. For me I love to use my imagination and through that I find that I have amazing moments with God. It was through that I got to block out everyone else in the room and saw the value that God gives each of His children!
After the show was a wrap and we were all exhausted and starving, they provided an after party for the models and designers. I piled up my plate high with food and began to chat with some of the other models we had walked with. One girl I began chatting with was the one that I had previously noticed having an issue with her skin. I began to tell her all about my wild adventures and how in the world I ended up in New York on my own, for my first ever time there and first Fashion Week! I couldn’t help but describe all the crazy God encounters, connections etc and her face just began to change as I shared. At the end she so gently and boldly shared with me “I have to tell you that I was meant to be wearing the dress you wore tonight, so when I saw you were wearing it backstage, I had an anxiety attack and my skin went red and blotchy. But now I have heard your story I believe that maybe in fact you wore the dress so I could meet the guy you are telling me about” (Jesus!). I was stunned on two accounts after hearing her share this. Firstly, I had no idea that the model they said had pulled out had come back again and secondly I was so touched that she could see beyond the shallowness of the dress and see the heart of God wanting to speak to her through the very person she had thought had taken her dress! That is so His nature and for me was the highlight of the whole show. I got to share with her the freedom God had brought to me in my greatest areas of weakness, anxiety and fear and got to share the extent of pursuit He goes to to speak straight and powerfully to my heart. It was such a stunning encounter to watch this girl see something of truth for the first time and so easily accept the man I was introducing her to, through my wild stories.
I will never forget our interaction. She was a gift to me and I was a gift to her, given in a way one could never have expected or planned.