Protege’ 4:12 Feb 8-9, 2008

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Hampton University’s Student Christian Association is hosting a youth conference called Protege’ 4:12. It is based off of one of my FAVORITE scriptures 1 Timothy 4:12…below is a blog (long but good) that I actually wrote a couple years ago…but I wanted to revisit what 1 Timothy 4:12 means to me…

I remember in 2nd grade, we were asked what we wanted to be when we grew up. When the turn got to me…with my NAPPY hair, tattered clothes and snaggle teefs, I declared loud and proud, “A model” and went on to support my ideas. I thought I was pretty…I longed to grace the covers of fashion magazines and represent for lil’ girls like me! THE CLASS LAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAUGHED. The whole class…And the teacher just played it off like…”that’s great Nina” and moved right along…

As years past, I grew thicker ’round the thigh area, my hair went through transformations from jheri curls to press ‘n curls to no curl at all and I continued to grow into the woman that I am today…all the while, the dream of becoming a model was still there but as I got older, it began to dwindle. Most models got their start around age 13/14 and there was no America’s Next Top Model to make the dream of a lil’ girl from Kansas come true. As I studied about various supermodels I discovered that many fell into a life of drugs (Hey Kate!!!), alcohol and self hate because of the pressure to maintain unrealistic standards of beauty. By then, I was about 17/18 and figured my boat had sailed…but my dream of working with models was still somewhere within me.

At age 26, I find that my father’s eyes, my mother’s smile (and somebody’s thighs) could still go a long way. I am considered “over-aged” within the fashion industry but I feel as if there are a lot of people that my life can influence if given the opportunity. I would use modeling as a platform to encourage others to live better lives BEGINNING with self love…

Today’s scripture was given to me as homework by my god-mother whom I am also named after. After meeting her for the first time in my adult life, I shared with this White lady from Kentucky some pics of me and she complimented my style and asked if I knew what attributes a real model should exhibit according to God’s word. I didn’t…but after some reading I’ve seen that by simply being in the will of God, I am on the right track. It is my goal to naturally allow my ENTIRE life to be an example for EVERY person that is exposed to my life, directly or indirectly. Within the ministry, I am an exception because of my youth in the physical and also my newness in the Body. In the fashion industry I would be an exception because of my additional years. Paul’s words to Timothy regarding his place within the ministry rang true to me. 1 Timothy 4:12 “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”

In SPEECH: The way I speak as well as the THINGS I say. I am a child of God and the things that come out of my mouth WILL reflect that.

In LIFE: My mere existence WILL be an example to every person that even HEARS about the woman that I was, am and the woman that God is making me to be.

In LOVE: People WILL be able to see God in me by the way I allow HIS love to shine from me. Be it my relationships with my sisters, brothers or even potential mates, I will be the best lover I can be according to 1 Cor 13.

In FAITH: Faith in God…not even the things he CAN do, but HIM. No faith in myself, my beauty, or my abilities…ALL GOD through Christ!

In PURITY: No drunkenness, debauchery, nor fornication, no laziness…nothing will infest my being so that I cannot be used by God. I won’t allow anything to hinder my growth in this world or in the spiritual realm.

Lord, it is always my prayer that your will be done in my life. I pray today that the persons that read this will come to truly understand what it means to be a model and that they will allow you to use their WHOLE life as an example of a true disciple. I pray that you continue to use me the way you’ve been and Lord…do MORE and I gain more of you! I also pray for your success during Protege 4:12 and pray for everyone involved in the conferenc and in the SCA!!! I love you and I praise you Lord, Amen.

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