Martina, The Faith-Filled Fashionista. In this interview Martina shares her journey from growing up in the church to drifting from God but ultimately returning. She shares her modeling journey along with some great advice for any women out there who may feel like they can’t come back to God.
Bianca: Tell me about yourself
Martina: Hmm okay, so I feel like I’m pretty simple. I just love food, I love Jesus, and I love people. But I’m an introvert, so I like to be alone sometimes. And I DO NOT like talking on the phone. I dread it! I much rather text!
Bianca: Did you grow up in church?
Martina: I did, actually. I had an on-again, off-again relationship with church but I was going since I could remember. I loved doing the Easter and Christmas plays. And I loved watching the choir. It’s weird but instead of worshipping, I was studying the singers and I would daydream about being up there with them. I think I did that because I love music, but I should’ve been loving on Jesus in those moments.
And my dad was a preacher. So one time while he was preaching he said I screamed “THAT’S MY DADDY!” like I was the proudest daughter in the world. I don’t know why I decided to do that, but that was me in church as a little girl!
Bianca: What’s your journey with God been like?
Martina: Sigh, it’s been a long journey but honestly now I can say that He’s my best friend. I grew up in church my whole life but did not truly give my life to Jesus until I was 22. Now I’m 24 and I literally do not make a decision without asking Him first. I even ask Him small things like “what should I eat?” or “what should I wear today?”
It’s important for me to do that because I’ve learned that God is very intentional and He delights in every detail of our lives. The Bible says “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.” And I really try to do that. I am telling you, life is so much better that way and God can use you more that way.
For instance, one time I felt led by God to wear a t-shirt that said “God’s plan.” As I was walking to my car I felt God urging me not to leave and then He lead me to a walkway. As I walked down this path, this random man walked up to me and was like “I was just talking to God about His plan for my life. And your shirt was confirmation.” So God needed me to walk that path, in that shirt, to be a sign to that man.
And there was a time I was fasting and I wasn’t eating meat. So naturally, my body was not getting the nourishment it was used to. After my fast, God randomly told me to eat steak and chicken because my body really needed protein. I don’t usually like steak but I listened because I trust that He knows what’s best for me and my body. I have so many stories like this but girl, I was not always this way. I used to do whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted, and with whoever I wanted. But that ended up costing me a lot and causing a lot of pain.
Bianca: I see you’re pursuing modeling, how’s that journey been?
Martina: Honestly, it has been one of the most rewarding parts of my career. But it is definitely out of my comfort zone because growing up I NEVER felt pretty, even though oddly my childhood nickname was “Pretty Girl.” I HATED taking pictures, hated my body, and hated my smile but God has taught me how to love myself.
So when I go model, not only do I get to travel, which I love, but I also get to speak to other models who may be struggling with the same issues that I overcame. Literally, at almost every modeling gig that I have been to, God has used me to pray for other women and uplift them. So I am a fashion model but I’m also a “role” model to other women on how to love themselves and heal. I usually do that with prayer, advice, a hug, and encouraging words.
Bianca: If you could give one piece of advice to a woman who feels lost and far from God what would it be?
Martina: I would say “Give God the best of you and He’ll restore the rest of you.” I only say that because a lot of times we feel lost and far away from God because we feel like we’re not good enough for Him, or that He hates us. Sometimes we feel like we have to get ourselves together before we come to Jesus. And none of that is true. He will get you together! TRUST ME!
When I finally decided to give my life to God, one of the first things He said to me was “I love you, even though you think I don’t.” I immediately started crying because I truly did feel like God didn’t love me because of my lifestyle. Since I grew up in church I knew my lifestyle was sinful so I felt like God was disgusted with me. But then He said “I have a life for you, you just have to release some things.” So I did. I wanted the life He had for me because my life back then was not cutting it. I was literally depressed and I cried almost everyday. I promise you, I looked in the mirror and I did not know who I was. And that moment scared me.
So I released whatever God asked me to release. That included my sex life, my sorority, my job at a Fortune 500 company, and a bunch of other things. I realized that I had to give those things to Him because they were hurting me, not helping me. And He has kept His promise. He’s been revealing to me the life He planned all along and He has been helping me heal from my past. The process is not always easy but it’s worth it. I’m much happier now than I was back then. That’s why I’m glad I gave God my best. And He’s given me back much more and I know He has even more waiting on me. So I’m excited.
Bianca: Where do you see yourself in the next 3 years?
Martina: Wow, in 3 years I see myself thriving professionally, personally, and spiritually. Maybe even with a new car and a house! Let me go ahead and call that forth! But most importantly, I just want to be happy! I never want to feel like I used to feel. I never want to be in that dark space again. So in 3 years, I just want to be at peace with God and with myself. I’m not really worried about the rest.
God loves you more than you know,
I love you and remember you’re Chosen!