Pageant dresses…high-heeled shoes…sparkling tiaras…it is easy to get caught up into the glamorous whirl of Provincial Pageantry. This is my first pageant experience and I am learning that the pageant world is a culture all in itself!
Our world is obsessed with beauty. We chase the North American dream of unrealistic beauty and are driven to invest our time, money and emotions into becoming the world’s idea of success. In our culture, the car you drive, clothes you wear, person you marry, house you live in and career path you choose measure success. We consume unnecessary amounts of material goods to satisfy our longing for greatness and solidify our “identity”, validating our existence. Beauty pageants live at the height of this distorted culture. We marvel at the beauty of pageant queens or celebrities who model luxurious evening gowns paired with glistening chandelier earrings and the trendiest new shoes yet we are unwilling to sacrifice our “No- fat, extra foam Chai Tea Latte” for something of greater substance.
Everyone is searching for a purpose to his or her life. I believe that there are specific reasons why each of us is on the planet; we are not here by accident. I have been a Christian for the past sixteen years of my life, yet only in the last two years have I begun to learn what that means. God has set out steps before me than I have yet to discover and understand. It is not about me, my life or the plans that I choose for myself- I am apart of something greater than myself.
Therefore everyday I have to remind myself of my focus; it is not to become famous, rich or to validate myself through the title of a “Beauty Queen”. Jesus validates me. I do not have to do anything to prove myself to the world. Who I am is not measured by the prestige of pageant titles or the number of charities that I support, my identity is found in the fact that I have been blessed with the gift of abundant life and called to the earth for a purpose.
For years I have allowed fear to keep me from living the life that God had set aside for me. I originally entered this pageant because I was tired of living in fear. Being fearful is not who I am called to be; “ For God did not give [me] a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline” (2 Timothy 1:7). I refuse to allow fear to keep me paralyzed any longer, standing in the way of all that God has for me.
Because I said, “Yes” to God and took the risk of stepping out, trusting that God’s faithfulness will come through, He has taken me on a transforming journey and is daily revealing new things to me as I learn of His heart for the world through the experience of this pageant. Yet even with all the incredible new things I am learning it is still hard sometimes to keep my focus and not be swayed by the culture of pageantry.
My desire to live God’s will for my life consumes me, drives me and pushes me to live past my fear and in a life where, ultimately, others are inspired to do the same.