Let me introduce you to my inspiring and dear friend, @melissalingram who I had the gift to meet and art direct a photoshoot with a few years back. She’s a wife, a mother of one beautiful daughter. A model and actress, and mostly importantly a daughter of the King. Before our shoot, she shared with me her incredible and moving story. I was shocked that someone so beautiful like her could have been hurt so badly. I wanted to hug her and let her know, “You are safe.” . And little did I know that when I chose her to model for our shoot, that we would eventually tell the story of her strength, her will to rise up, her path to God, and her story of overcoming. . “As a child, I was abused, I was abandoned, and I didn't know how to value myself because I didn't feel like anyone else saw the value in me. So I pursued love in boyfriends, in abusive relationships, in trying to figure out how to love myself, and none of those things gave me the love that I was so desperate for. I believed a lot of lies about myself. That I was too much or that I wasn’t enough. That I was too loud or that I was too quiet. That I was just a pretty face and nothing more. That I was too smart and that I should hide that. That I was too powerful and that no man could ever love a powerful woman. That I was too small, that I could never be powerful. There was a lot of contradicting lies that I believed about myself and I would hold on to those things as my identity and deem myself unlovable until, of course, I met God and realized that HE IS a God of love. A God of hope. A God that is multifaceted. And as a woman that has felt like she never belonged anywhere because there was too many sides to her, learning the multifaceted Creator of the universe, the fact that He is powerful, that He is soft, that He is strong, and that He is gentle. I then was able to learn to love myself because I now know that I am created in the image of God.” . If you know anyone that could use an uplifting story that could inspire them, tag them below. Share the inspiration. ___ #pursuecollective Photo @jensosa Art Direction & Styling @LuciaPador @pldc_xp Makeup & Hair @lady_dianna Gown @elizabethdye

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