A MODEL'S DEVOTIONAL
Nadine Raphael Photography*
Thinking back on the years of my wonderful career, there have been many experiences, opportunities and bookings. This devotional will record them as I remember. Mostly, however, I hope to record how my life has been guided by the Lord. He prepared me and guided me all these years in this fantastic industry, not just in modeling but my life in general. I hope my life will encourage you!
My life as I knew it took a major turn at 40, when my marriage of 21 years ended. I was devastated. Responding to an ad in the local paper (needed to find a job), I was one of two women hired by Lane Bryant as a fit model. There were 150 women measured and interviewed. I had never modeled although several friends over the years encouraged me to model. But I was too big I thought. I was the perfect measurements for this new career. I was like Goldilocks - just right. There were major sales training videos, fashion media shows recorded in all the stores, travel around the world which included Hong Kong twice a year and much more that you will read about later. This was more than I could've ever dreamed of especially at this time of my life and such perfect justice as one of the reasons that ended my marriage was my size. As a grandmother, a beautiful career began in the Plus Size industry.
Starting a successful nine -year fit model career Lane Bryant's corporate office in Columbus, Ohio, was just the beginning. Lane Bryant wrote: One 'Legend' familiar to us is Terri Murray of Terri Murray Models who began her modeling career in 1994 as an in-house fit model at Lane Bryant in Columbus, Ohio. She is a fit and intimate apparel expert whose services have been utilized around the world. Among other awards and honors, Terri was named the Plus Fit Model of the Year at the Full-Figured Fashion Week in 2011."
This is a great time to be a mature woman and a plus size woman. I know God made something beautiful out of my life. He is my champion and yours!
Isaiah 61:3 Beauty for Ashes
His promise here of beauty for ashes is the very life in His breath. He speaks in Isaiah 61, to assure us that no destructive force in our lives is greater than his plan to redeem it all. “Christ gives his mourners the beautiful garments of salvation, and the robe of his righteousness, and the graces of his Spirit, and his gracious presence, together with his word and ordinances…all which, as they are ornamental to his people, they yield them joy, peace, and comfort: and this is a beauty that is not natural to them, but is of grace; not acquired, but given; not fictitious, but real; is perfect and complete, lasting and durable, and desired by Christ himself, who gives it.” Christianity.com
Lord, you are my champion, always with me, and sustaining me in all circumstances. I will remember all your mighty works! Lord, I thank you that I am not invisible even though I feel it at times and that you love me, see me, know me, and make something beautiful in every situation in my life!
Even though Christmas Eve has passed, my heart is still pondering about Mary when the angel appeared before her and told her of the birth of Jesus. Christmas Eve is the most special day of the year to me. There is just something quiet and sweet.
Thoughts of my trip to Israel return to the day when we visited the place where the angel appeared before Mary. It is a very holy place. While there, I sensed Holy Spirit saying to me, “Won’t you let me make something beautiful out of your life too?” I was reassured and encouraged, and I have never forgotten it. That was in 1992. Last November one of our pastors had a very similar word and encouraged me to read the account in the Bible. That was a confirmation to me.
Yes, I want you to make something beautiful out of my life Lord. Sometimes I don’t feel like my life is very special or beautiful. But I know that when God says something, it comes to pass. Maybe not in my time, but it will. And yes, He has made something very beautiful out of my life. Even when I am in trying and uncomfortable places, I can rest assured that He will come thru. I think on those things.
This is a new year and across the centuries, Holy Spirit still asks us “Won’t you let me make something beautiful out of your life.” Just as He asked Mary so long ago, he’s still near today. A simple “yes” will make it real in His time.
Lord, I trust you to make something beautiful out of my life. Even when I don’t see it right away, I know you are faithful to accomplish that which you purposed and promised. I will remember your promise.
Mary, the Angel and Holy Spirit - Then and Now
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