Personal journal entry dated January 24, 2008
I decided today to set a goal to enter the Mrs. Utah Pageant next year. Orientation is in February and the Pageant is in May. I have set this goal once before 3 years ago, but never told anyone about it. Today I told Shelby about it and she is totally supportive of me doing it. What happened 3 years ago? Well, I set the goal to compete in 3 years (that would be this year), but never did a thing to try and achieve it. I think I wasn’t in the right place emotionally to take it on, but the thought has resurfaced. I think it’s something I need to do. I don’t have high hopes of winning because I’m really not physically “beautiful of face”, but I have such a deep desire to be a person of substance and grace and I think having the goal to compete will help me reach my other goals. It will give me a deadline and a curriculum to work from. I have held a stagnant position for a long time and I think that season is at an end. I can’t be and do what God requires of me in m current state. I really need to begin to emerge from hiding and touch those things God would have me touch.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about courage. This entry was written nearly ten years ago. I was in such a place of insecurity and so emotionally burdened with life and plagued with feelings of ugliness, I can’t believe I even considered such a thing! To commit to doing a pageant took a tremendous amount of courage! Had you asked me then if I thought I was being courageous I surely would have said no. I would have probably said I was a little crazy or irrational, or misguided even. But my soul knew better. It was exactly the venue I needed to force my soul to question the faulty web of lies and beliefs that had been spun over my heart throughout the years. It was the perfect venue to force me to begin healing some very heavy things.
Now, I don’t think a pageant is the perfect venue for every woman. I once spoke with a lady after giving a presentation who said the pressure of pageantry ruined her life, turning her bulimic, and causing deeply scarring emotional and health issues. In fact, adding an extremely stressful life event, such as a pageant, to an already overwhelmed and overburdened state could be detrimental to some, but God knew it was right for me. He knew how I would approach it, and what I would gain from it, AND that I had the strength to do it (though at times I wanted to quit).
Sometimes we get these crazy thoughts or impressions to do something good, but so incredibly stretching that our soul recoils at the very thought. Sometimes it’s a simple thing that requires very little preparation, like talking to someone we don’t know. Sometimes it’s huge, like getting on a stage in a swimsuit and heels and walking around while being judged! But in each instance the Lord is trying to bless us (and others) by stretching us out of our comfort zone. He loves us each enough not to let us stagnate. The question is: Do we have the courage to follow those good, but crazy thoughts and impressions? Do we trust Him enough to act? Even if it doesn’t make sense?
I have competed in 3 stage pageants. Preparing for, participating in, losing, and winning at pageants has changed me. I have learned things about myself I could never have learned in any other way. Again, the point of this entry isn’t to promote pageantry. The point is to acknowledge that God knows our hearts, so He whispers and prompts us to do uncomfortable things because He wants us to grow, to shine, and to become the very best version of ourselves that we can become. Such a process is only for the courageous in heart. How do we become courageous in heart? We act. Just one little step in a direction that peels back the layers of safety we’ve covered ourselves in. Just one little effort to erase the lies we tell ourselves about who we are and our potential. Just one little what if breathed into the night. Do you dare to believe?
Who are you? What are you capable of? What has He been whispering to you?
What if. . .