Talents Surrendered, Talents Reborn


One of the women who shaped my adolescence was a former fashion model named Vangie. She dressed with bold pizzazz, her stylish clothing and jewelry accenting the colors of her perfect face and hair. Then one day she came to church looking more casual and down-to-earth. “I’ve given up wearing makeup,” she explained. “The Holy Spirit showed me that I’ve been getting my self-worth from my appearance, instead of depending on God.”

For the next several months, Vangie’s face remained bare while she opened herself to the Lord’s leading. Then, gentle touches of cosmetic artistry began to reappear. Her new style of makeup was softer and more sincere.

A few months later, Vangie offered a modeling class for the young ladies of the church. (I was too young to attend, but my sister told me all about it.) Vangie showed them how to walk with confidence. She taught them to use makeup sparingly to enhance their natural beauty without being distracting. She said their clothing should direct attention to a woman’s most important feature: her face.

The girls hung on her every word, because Vangie’s lessons went deeper than style and grooming. By her example, she answered the burning questions that afflict all teenagers: How can I fit in? How can I get noticed? What kind of person should I try to be? Will anyone ever love me?

Vangie’s evolution from fashion-plate to womanly mentor is an example of what God can do with our talents when we dedicate them to His glory instead of our own.