Wednesday, February 26, 2014

longing for Love.

There is so much to be said about love. Adorable movies invite me to believe that loving somebody is a passionate, always-exciting-butterfly-filled experience that takes over my whole world. Hollywood teaches me that love is a feeling and I am to always trust my feelings. All these divorces lead me to think that love is something that may or may not "happen" to somebody depending on how life pans out for them. The bruised and aching suggest that love has never been real to begin with. New relationships remind me that love is exhilarating, old relationships remind me that love can grow deeper than I've ever experienced, and broken relationships remind me of the work it takes to maintain love. My selfishness makes me wonder if I could ever genuinely love someone at all, and my unsatisfiable hunger for love continues driving me to find it.

Fashion Week in New York City was an incredible experience. Never before do I remember seeing God move so mightily in such seemingly insignificant moments. This was my seventh experience of going to Fashion Week with the motivation of sharing the love of Heaven with professionals in fashion and entertainment, and it was by far my favorite. As always, I entered into this trip with the mentality of a working professional. My role there is to work backstage dressing the models before they hit the runway. I am hired by people who know full-well the faith that I profess, but for the sake of professionalism I am strictly advised to "check my religion at the door". Makes sense. I am in a privileged position and the last thing anyone wants is controversy.

I would say the same thing if I were in their shoes.
But then there's this whole love thing.

Because even though there's a lot to be said about love, and sometimes it can get confusing, there is also this one story about love that I can't get off my mind. It's the story of a lover, who loved his bride so fiercely, that even though she went off and cheated on him over and over again, he still pursued her with his whole life and gave all he had to win her back. His love saved her, healed her, and by the power of his unconditional love for her, she was able to become a faithful lover too. His fierce love led her to be a fierce lover too. Its hard to fathom. But its beautiful. Because her actions didn't taint his love, but his faithful loved transformed her actions.

Thats the story that changed me. The Lover is God. The bride is us.
And the Love is one so vast that it can't be "checked at the door".

Because even though I can keep quiet about my "religion", this Love speaks for itself.

Its that Love who makes mundane things miraculous. The same Love who turned water to wine 2,000 years ago, is the One who didn't stay outside when I walked backstage in New York last week. That Love is the one who allowed me to speak kind words to multiple celebrities in unexpected moments- like when I was leaving a venue and a woman of great influence remembered me as "the girl who looks like Lauren Conrad but prays to Jesus like Annette Funicello" and then she proceeded to ask for prayer right there on the spot. Its Love who provided for me to bring $5 Starbucks cards to my models, and its Love who drove those same girls into my arms for hugs and encouragement at the end of their long days. Its Love who caused models from years past to remember me simply "because of the way I looked at them", and its Love who led multiple girls to meet me for coffee throughout the week so they could share their lives with me and allow me to speak a few words of wisdom and hope into their bleak circumstances. It is Love who enabled me to joyfully serve stressed-out people that yelled for no reason and treated me like garbage, and it was the same Love who reminded me to serve my MFC volunteers with humility, because Love treats others as better than ourselves.

The ultimate act of Love came in the form of a God who lived to serve and died to save. So though I may not technically be able to speak of His Love when I am working backstage at prestigious fashion events, I can live His Love through serving, giving, encouraging, praying, and excelling in all I do. And in a world that is just as hungry for Love as I am, I can be confident that the words will come later.

Because true Love is fiercely powerful... and when we see It... we can't help but long for It.

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& now for some iphone photos from my time in NYC... here's what you'll see:
some photo-worthy sights. 
other wonderful Models For Christ volunteers.
my beautiful little sister, my roommate for this trip.
a model i've loved since i first met her 6 seasons ago.
new friends i made backstage.
some amazing university students who invited me to their dorm one evening to share my story with them. 
more photo-worthy sights.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

25 things.

25 things. Because I have been 25 for 6 months. & I have 6 months left of being 25.

1. I still love being 25.
2. I am in New York City.
3. Shaunny leaves for China tonight.
4. We will be apart for 17 days.
5. I am working backstage at Fashion Week everyday this week.
6. I sincerely hope that I will be used by God this week to encourage hopeless hearts.
7. My younger sister, Meredith, is here in New York with me.
8. Today a handome guy from Sweden that is volunteering with us shared about his experience backstage. He said that he was looking out at the young beautiful models and realizing that they were worth so much more than they knew. He said that his heart broke for them, because they don't know how precious and valuable they are. They are treated more like objects, a tool used to sell a product. They are needed one day and dismissed the next, all because of their physical appearance. He was moved with "the poverty of their hearts" because he saw that without an understanding of who they are in Christ, they are hopeless. // It was sweet to hear his words. I have thought them often, but it carries a different weight when it is coming from a man.
9. I think Shaun is getting more attractive as he gets older.
10. I am insecure a lot of things. They vary on the daily. ((ie. Clothes. Hair. Skin. Body. Marriage. My ability to lead. Friendships. My ability to be a wife. Aging. Intelligence. Education... or lack of education... you name it. I face it. Just so you know.))
11. I like coffee. I know for sure because I gave up caffeine and still wanted the taste of coffee so I drank decaf. Interesting. ((No, I am not pregnant. I was just fasting caffeine because I felt too dependant on it.))
12. I don't love dogs. But I understand dog-lovers. My sister is a dog lady. So I feel sad for dog-lovers when their pup dies... even though I still don't quite comprehend why it feels so sad. I'm trying.
13. I have a tattoo on my foot. I got it when I was 18. It's in white ink though so it only shows up on occassion.
18. I just skipped 14-17.
19. I pray for professionals in fashion & entertainment often. I believe they lead our culture. Lately I've been praying a lot for Kelly Cutrone, Cara Loren, & Eminem (random but I just think he is SO gifted).
20. You can learn a lot about someone's future by the friends they have and the books they read. I have told you that before but I think it is worth reminding ourselves again. Do our friends bring out the best in us? Do they sharpen us, encourage us, and challenge us when we are living like bums instead of living the rich, potential filled life we were made for? Hmmm... good questions Jess... good questions...
23. I skipped 21 & 22.
24. I want to teach you all how to pack light. I've become extra good at it in my recent years so I think its time I share my insights. ((This thought inspired by a photo on Instagram of adorable Hillary Duff travelling to NYC for 2 weeks and packing more than I own. With the cost of checking bags on airplanes being sky high ...mwahaha pun intended... there is no way I could pack like that and still have money to eat.))
25. Things are going to be okay. Even when it all feels out of control, we don't have to give in to those feelings of anxiety & hoplessness. Just breathe. Pray. Do what you can. && trust that God will take care of the rest.

Just some thoughts on a Thursday.

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& a sweet treat before bed! goodnight friends!