"My name is Nadia Mejia, I'm 20 years old, I'm the current Miss California USA. I frequently lead worship at my church in Los Angeles. I'm a full time model and I love the Lord more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend." That introduction makes it seem like I've got it all together doesn't it? Well... here in Los Angeles, we are professionals at putting up a good front. In today's society, we idolize people for the way they look, how many followers they have on Instagram, what cars they drive, etc. Sometimes it's hard to keep it together and pretend everything is perfect... so when I got asked by my beautiful friend Brandi to share my "not so private parts," a sense of relief hit me.
As women, we need to keep it real so that we are able to support and empower one another when things get rough. If I were to give an honest and more raw introduction of myself... considering all of the things that I go through... things that most people aren't aware of... it would sound more like this: "Hi, my name is Nadia Mejia; I'm a 20 year old who has recovered from, yet still battles Anorexia Nervosa every single day of my life... I am lonely and suffer mild depression because my entire family has lived across the country since I was 17 thus causing me to miss out on many life changing moments with the people who matter most, to due to my career... I am recovering from a breakup because I need to focus on myself as an individual and find happiness by being one with God and need to stop seeking happiness from a man... AND I love the Lord more than anyone will ever be able to comprehend." Not so glamorous anymore now, huh?
Thank God that I'm saved by the grace of God and have Him to get me through every trial and tribulation in my life. I had to hit rock bottom before developing that relationship. Growing up, I was raised in a Christian household. I attended church every Sunday and spoke about how much I loved the Lord, but still did not have that one-on-one "on fire" relationship with God that many of my peers spoke so highly of... at least not until I was broken, slowly killing myself, left clinging to my only hope... the Lord like no other.
Being a full time model, I'm constantly being judged based on my appearance and measurements. Breaking into the entertainment industry so young without my parents being there to keep me grounded and sane was extremely difficult. My mom and dad were going through the process of separating (but their faith in the Lord has kept them together to this day). I dealt with my anger and resentment a bit differently than probably most. I focused all of my energy and heart into my work to distract me from the chaos going on around me. I would focus so much on pleasing my bookers, who body shamed me endlessly, that I went from 132 lbs to 102 lbs in the matter of 2 months. I counted calories endlessly and refused to eat over 1000 cal a day. I ran 4 miles a day and feared food more than anything in the world. Eight months of my life, I struggled with this. But with the support of my family and my faith in God, I was able to overcome what the devil was telling me.
Upon realizing that my self worth should not come from someone else's opinion of me but that it should come solely from the Lord, I was given a new freedom. I am perfectly made in His image. I am never alone because He is always by my side. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. My life isn't perfect, yet I'm not ashamed to share my "not so private parts."
I pray that my testimony will help inspire young girls to love the skin they are in. Today, I'm 130 lbs. I work alongside the National Eating Disorder Association. I am closer than ever to my family emotionally, simply because they were my rock throughout my recovery. I freely share my story with schools, churches, and many others throughout California because God has given me a voice and a reason to spread His light and love.
Remember as woman, we are all worth more than any precious pearl or jewel to the Lord, and we must remind each other of one another's beauty every single day. We are all His unique creation. Embrace who you are.