It has been my goal to be able to say “it is well with my soul.” At the end of my journey I want to hear “well done, my good and faithful servant.” But I have been tested recently. I’ve questioned if it was well with my soul and if I was doing well. One incident has reared its ugly head with discontentment over the last week and a half. So here I am to address the elephant in the room of “what went wrong” at the Sweeps pageant on March 17th.
I have laid awake. I have replayed every second of both pageants. I have been asked repeatedly “what went wrong?” I have a list of what I could have done differently, and I have a conclusion as to what happened.
Here’s what I could have done differently.
I could have practiced my dance more.
I could have done mock interviews even though I felt prepared because I am opinionated and teach therefore talk for most of my week days.
I could have failed to mention my autoimmune disease in my interview.
I could have said that the invention I would want to change the world was world peace, or a cure to cancer, or no more bullying…instead I chose teleportation…because I mean, teleportation…how cool would that be?
I could have said the obstacles I overcame to compete was something simple, not a list of the ways I actually have struggled and fought and come back stronger in the last year.
I could have not made a face when I was asked what was the step to fixing the gender pay gap, but every part of the sarcastic side of me wanted to say “maybe, I don’t know, respect women and not treat them like inferior beings or possessions?”
I could have said the way to fix gun violence in schools was something like anti-bullying or mental health training, not to learn the difference between a gun ban and gun control and to arm more officers who want to protect teachers and students.
I could have come up with a better reason that my least favorite book was “the Sun Also Rises” other than I don’t find Hemingway to be an impressive writer. (but I don’t, and you asked)
I could have gone further into my explanation of rape culture and victim blaming in my OSQ and not gone Sandra Bullock at the end stating how men and women accused of sexual assault should be charged, go to trial, and be convicted…I just have a lot of feelings about the subject because I don’t think we should have to have a #metoo movement, I think I should have been comfortable telling someone, should have pressed charges, and he should be sitting in jail.
I could have spent a lot more money on my swimsuit instead of wearing one that I felt great in that came from target.
I could have not winced during my dance even though I felt like cutting my foot off since it was two times the size it should be from the autoimmune flare I was having.
I could have changed my dance to something more “pageanty” but I really loved the dance that had served me well for years and I hoped it shone through as I performed it.
I could have changed my gown instead of wearing the one that I fell in love with a year ago for fear that it made me look short.
I could have gone to my doctor earlier about my foot, but I had work to go to and students to teach.
I could have taken the pain medication he gave me at regular intervals instead of trying to feel like I was in control of my health.
I could have not prayed for months that if God intended a title for me that He let it be, but if He didn’t He would not open the door and would show me where He wanted me to go instead. I could have asked for my own will to be done over His, and I could have charged forward with my own plans instead of His that will far outweigh mine.
I was myself. I wasn’t chosen. The judges chose other girls to be part of the Miss North Carolina class of 2018.
I read a devotion this morning, and at the risk of it being prosperity gospel, it told me that the plans God has for me are far more than I can imagine and I believe that. Doors are already opening that I could not have gone through if I had a title. My health needs more attention than I expected it to need at this point, and the opportunity to go back to Miss NC and promote my platform would have been awesome, but now I can decide what I do that will be best for my health and the plan He intends for me.
I don’t need a crown to be a servant. I was created with a servant’s heart and it will be used with a shiny hat or not. Someone told me this weekend exactly what my heart needed to hear to be encouraged: having a crown is not what made me a volunteer or a good volunteer, I had that already. I felt a little like Dorothy being told that what she needed was in her all along, she just had to use the power within her to get where she wanted to be. God built a really wonderful network for me in my time as Miss Capital City, and I know He will continue to use me for the purposes He intended even if it isn’t in the way I originally thought. He has more planned for me than I could begin to imagine and he says “Daughter, is that all you thought I could do? Don’t limit the power I have, child.”