Competing for an Audience of One

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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.

© Bailey Kennon and Bailey Kennon, 2018. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and Bailey Kennon with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

A Healer For The Broken

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Today I was driving home from Birmingham- I live there about half the time now so I spend a good amount of time in the car going back and forth between there and Orange Beach. But today’s drive was a bit different than most.

I put on some worship music and decided to spend some time in prayer since I haven’t done as good of job lately as I should about spending time with the Lord. I was kinda catching up with Him, like you would with an old friend. I was praying about all the transitions and changes in my life lately and I just started crying. I’m not much of a crier, much less a weeper, but that’s what I was doing. Like, uncontrollably weeping.

This might sound strange, but in that moment I had a vision or something similar. That doesn’t happen very often for me, but I’m guessing that’s what it was- God was trying to show me something. In whatever this was, I saw classrooms of students. Through my pageant platform, I spend a lot of time in schools, clubs, and churches speaking to kids so it was a familiar sight. But none of these kids were smiling, they weren’t crying or visibly upset, but I could feel sadness in them. I felt the word “broken” on my heart as I was seeing these kids. Then, I began to cry even more.

I felt so heartbroken for these students. I feel that I’m a pretty empathetic person and identifying with others is a strength I have, but this was unlike anything I had felt before. I started telling God, “Please use me. Please let me help these kids, I don’t want them to hurt, I don’t want them to feel broken. Please Lord, please.” Speaking these words turned to yelling them because it just hurt my heart so bad. I didn’t understand why God showed me that or why He put it on my heart. But as I continued praying, I understood.

He was breaking my heart for what breaks His.

I’m so guilty of being wrapped up in myself. Being more concerned about school and my social life to not see what’s right before me. I think we are all guilty of that sometimes, we get caught up in ourselves and in deadlines to not see the bigger picture. We as Christians bicker with each other and get frazzled over meaningless things instead of just being vessels for God’s purpose.

We’re supposed to bring broken people to the ultimate Healer. We’re supposed to help people when the world fails them, because we aren’t of the world and neither is our Savior. Instead of bickering between denominations or churches, we should be coming together as communities to give hurting people hope. We’ve been given the greatest gift in the world- How could we get so busy with ourselves that we forget to share it?

My boyfriend Charlie introduced me to a show called Last Chance U a few weeks ago. I didn’t really want to watch it because it was a documentary on a football team and it didn’t sound interesting. But, when you’re in a relationship you learn to take turns with what you watch on Netflix (millennial relationship probz). I definitely don’t recommend this show for kids because there is far too much bad language; however, after getting through the first episode I was hooked and I think there is a lot to be learned for adult viewers. The players in this documentary impacted me so much and I binge-watched every episode in like 3 days. After finishing it, I was telling everyone I knew that they needed to watch it- because it made a difference in my life and impacted me for the good.

I use this example because that’s how Christians have to be with Jesus. Whenever you hear a new song or see a new movie you like, you share it with everyone you know. You want them to have the same experience with it that you did. I wanna be that way with Jesus- I want to share Him with every person I know. I want my heart to break for what breaks His.

So I want to challenge you- Are you living in your own little world? Are you too busy with yourself or your Christian bubble to not see hurting people? Remember the first time you heard your favorite song- take that feeling and apply it to your relationship with Jesus. Then take that application and share Him with every person you meet.

“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”- Psalm 147:3

© Bailey Kennon and Bailey Kennon, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Bailey Kennon and Bailey Kennon with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.