As an 18-year-old model working in France and staying in what she and other girls referred to as the dungeon, Kathy Ireland shared in an “I am second” video that her mother had snuck a Bible into her suitcase. “It was the middle of the night and I had jetlag. Unbeknownst to me, my mother had snuck a Bible into my suitcase. I had never read a Bible in my life. It was out of jetlag and boredom and loneliness that I picked it up. I randomly opened it up and turned to the book of Matthew. I was a rebellious teenager, questioning authority. Who really knows the truth? Who really knows what is right and what is wrong? I knew what I was holding in my hands is the truth.”
Even though the modeling industry sounds glamorous, Ireland said she struggled with loneliness as she was getting started and living in “an old French apartment at the end of a dark hallway nicknamed “the dungeon” with her housemates,” according to a recent story in Fox News.
“In my industry, at that time, it was filled with a lot of really sketchy guys,” she told Fox News in a recent interview. “I was drawn to how powerful Jesus was. How loving and honoring he was of women. It gave me such comfort. And so, he became my lord and savior. The experience forever changed my life.”
Ireland shared that though she gave her life to Jesus, she struggled with total surrender to him until she was about 44 years old. She told “I am second” that she was a baby Christian for a very long time. Rather than surrender, she tried to make God fit who she wanted him to be in her life. She would read the same passages over and over.
“I believed the lie that it was too complicated or that I didn’t need it. Yeah if you ask me I was a Christian, he was in my life, but I was trying to mold God into who I wanted him to be instead of allowing God to mold me into the person he made me to be,” Ireland said in her I am Second interview.
Ireland has been outspoken about her faith since then, sharing her testimony on I am Second where she explained, “When I was a teenager, my mom got saved. My mom was really quiet about her faith in the beginning but I was noticing this transformation in her and I liked what I saw.”
She shared with Fox that “The message that I just felt pounding in my heart was, ‘Put me first. And I’ll give you more time, better time with your kids.’ So I started to set my alarm for 15 minutes [every morning] for a quick prayer. Those 10 minutes of prayer and reading turned into an hour and more. It’s not a duty. It’s a joy. It’s my daily bread and water.”
Putting God first sets her life on the right path. Her morning devotions set the course of her day and strengthen her faith and help her to prioritize God first. “And on days that I don’t do that, it’s not a good idea. Because if I open my mouth to say something, I’ll be apologizing before 8 a.m.”
Today, she has a husband, three kids, a business representing thousands of products called Kathy Ireland Worldwide, and an estimated net worth of over $400MM. She’s also using her influence in various ways including supporting charities.
She told Fox, “I cannot compromise my faith. I’m just so thankful for God’s grace because I have made so many messes in my life. And he gives us a perspective – an eternal perspective.”
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