As Miss Alabama week draws near, I’ve been really reflecting on my year as Miss Leeds. It has been such an incredible year and I’m so thankful to my Leeds family for welcoming me into their community and helping me prepare for my journey to Miss Alabama.
This will be my third year competing and each year I’ve tried to set a goal for myself. I would love to be Miss Alabama more than anything, but in addition to the goal of the Miss Alabama title, I’ve tried to set personal growth goals to make sure I’m continually being challenged and changed for the good.
This year has been different for me than the past 2 years of competing. Every year I’ve given my best- but this year I have given it everything I have. I’ve worked very, very hard to be able to present the best Bailey possible on that stage and I’m so excited for competition week because I’m proud of the work I’ve done to become the person I am today.
However, even though I’ve put in the time and given all the effort I have- there is still the chance that I may never take home the crown. I can continue to compete for another two years until I age out and I still may never be Miss Alabama. Although that’s extremely sad to think about- it’s given me some perspective.
My goal for this year was to learn to compete for an audience of One. In life, I’ve found that people love to speculate. If you continually live and thrive off of people’s speculations or expectations, it will eventually get to you. Complements are wonderful in the moment, but criticisms can crush you when other people’s opinions are all you consider and take to heart.
I’ve questioned myself a lot during my time in pageantry. I’ve questioned whether or not I am good enough to be Miss Alabama. But over the course of this year, I’ve learned to let it go. I’m no longer questioning or wondering what my capabilities or worth are. Because I’m not competing to prove myself or my value, I’m not competing to impress others, I’m not competing to prove anything- I’m competing because I know this is where the Lord wants me. When I walk on that stage, every bit of me is competing for one person and one person only- that person is Jesus.
I’ve fallen in love with Jesus this year in a way I haven’t before. He’s become my best friend and my shelter. I’ve learned to not do things to please other people- but to do things to honor Him. As long as I am making Jesus proud, it does not really matter whether I take home a crown or come in dead last- because I will have fulfilled my purpose.
So, I want to ask you this- are you living your life to please or impress others? Or are you living your life to honor Christ? The latter is far easier and much more fulfilling than the former. I want to encourage you to learn to lean totally on Him instead of the opinions of others because people are fickle and they change constantly. However, our Heavenly Father is always constant and His desire for our good never changes.
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