Brittney Speaks: Rejection. Ridicule. Redemption

In She Speaks by Kristen Dalton Wolfe11 Comments

Brittany Sharaun

“Brittney! There is someone on the phone for you!” My mom yelled from downstairs. As much as she tried to hide who was actually on the phone her big grin nearly gave it away. “Here, hurry up, Answer.” She said as she smiled from ear to ear. I grabbed the phone and answered, “Hello?” “Hi, is this Brittney?” “Yes.” I replied. “Hi this is Sara from America’s Next Top Model; Tyra Banks has watched your interview tape and has selected you as one of the top 30 semifinalist for the show.” Before she was able to get the words out I had fallen to my knees speechless; meanwhile my mom was jumping up and down and screaming. “Thank You Jesus, Oh lord, Thank You!” For a second our family room turned into an old Baptist church as my mom ran back and forth like she had just caught the Holy Ghost. When the phone call ended I joined her as we grabbed hands jumping and screaming. We stared at each other shaking our heads, lost for words. In that moment my mom began to tell me the story that she often told me while rocking me back in forth in her arms with tears in her eyes. For the first time, she retold the story with joy and great confidence in the future; A confidence that I would take with me into the competition.

“Brittney when I found out I was pregnant with you. I was only 19 and your father didn’t want to be in our life. Oh and I had the absolute worst case of morning sickness! I would often run into the closet, vomit in a plastic bag and cry; Contemplating what I was going to do. How would I support us? Although the thoughts went through my head, I loved you too much to put you up for adoption and or have an abortion. But one day while I was in that dark closet, I heard the voice of God for the first time. I was baptized and had been to a few church services but I had never experienced anything like this. The soft voice said, ‘She is my daughter, I have placed her in your womb and I have great plans for her. Many will know her name and she will touch a lot of lives. Don’t worry about how you will provide I will, and you all will never want for anything. I will take care of you. Raise her up in my word and watch my words come to past in her life. I am her father she is my child.’” Although I had heard the story many times I felt as though I was hearing it for the first time.

Even as I write tears are hitting the keys of my orange MacBook. Those same words that brought hope, peace, reassurance, comfort and joy to my 19-year-old mother still encourages the 23-year-old me in my weak times. Let’s face it, no matter how confident you may be you still have times of discouragement, the night of the phone call my mother and I fell asleep in the bed holding each other and woke up with big smiles on our faces. We both knew what we had been through, we both knew our struggle, we both knew the words that God spoke that day in the dark closet when I was still in her belly and it felt really good to see it come to past. The joy in my mother’s eyes made me feel really good, she was so proud and I wanted more than anything to keep her feeling that way. To me, it was the only way I could thank her for being selfless for many years and giving me life.

I was on cloud nine. The goals I had set for myself were finally coming to past; I was crossing off my first long-term goal at 17. My mom and family were so proud of me; my dreams became that much closer; we had just gone on a shopping spree at Wal-Mart and Discovery for clothes for the show, haha! I received approval to leave school in the middle of my senior year and shortly after I was flown out to Los Angeles to appear as a model in my favorite show. I advanced from the top 30 to becoming one of the top 12 finalists. Things were going so well and then … I was eliminated. My biggest fear was staring me in the face. It’s one thing to be rejected in private, but when it happens in the public eye that is a completely different feeling. To make matters worse when the show finally aired the episode wasn’t a true reflection of who I really was. How could God let this happen? The teasing and ridiculing I experienced in grade school and high school seemed like nothing compared to the backlash I received. I felt like the whole world was against me and at the time I was literally depressed.

I felt like being eliminated was the worst thing ever but it turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. As a young naïve 18-year-old girl I really grew up that year, learned a lot about, life, people, myself, the industry and the world. One day while I was lying in bed with a box a Kleenex and flaming hot Cheetos God said, “Go to Elite Model Management’s open call this week, I have something for you. Trust Me.” I was reluctant to say the least, in fact I flatly told God “no.” I wasn’t going to put myself out there again to be rejected. I told him I would consider going after I built a perfect portfolio, the nerve of me. This was the agency I was competing for a contract with on the show I was eliminated from just a few months prior. God simply told me to “get out of bed and go be.” After going back and forth with him for a while, he won and I got out of bed and went. Sometimes when all else seems to fail, you just need to follow God’s instructions and believe. When I went to the open call I didn’t have any photos with me, I wasn’t wearing any makeup, my shoes were two sizes too big, and my weave looked a mess (lol) in spite of all of these perceived to be imperfections they offered me a contract on the spot! Talk about God! I went on to sign with Elite Model Management at just 18 and that marked the start of my professional modeling career.

The next time God had to tell me to “Go Be” was two years later when I had to overcome my fear of failure and moved out to Los at the age of 20. My mother and I packed up our SUV and drove over 3,000 miles from Chicago. After spending a week with me I dropped her off at the airport and immediately went to mountains Griffith Park. I was sitting on the top of the mountain next to the Hollywood sign with nothing but my journal, a bible and a pen. The whole week my mom was worrying herself crazy but I maintained my confidence and faith in hopes of strengthening hers. But as soon as she left I broke down. Hikers walked passed me staring as I looked like a crazy person in a skirt sitting Indian style at the edge of the mountain talking to myself. I was scared. “God you have me in this big city where I don’t know anyone. I don’t have a clue what I’m going to do. Show me I need to see the next step.” I prayed with a humble and surrendered heart. And it was on that mountain that Burgers and Bibles was conceived. I always had a heart for the homeless and always knew I would have some type of nonprofit but never had a seen vision god gave me on that mountain. Like before I gave him all of the reasons why I wasn’t qualified to do it, I didn’t know a thing about nonprofit management, however in my times of “buts”, God said again “Just Be” and I did. I was busy trying to disqualify myself for something God had already qualified me for.

Fast forward to two years later I am still modeling and Burgers and Bibles has fed and ministered to over 10,000 homeless men and women on Skid Row in Los Angeles and Orange County. A lot of the times when God was calling me to do something I felt like I needed to be perfect to do it. “Let me get experience modeling first before I go on Americas Next Top Model” I begged God. “Let me get the perfect photos for the open call then I will Go God; let me save more money, have a job first, and then I will move God please; let me go back to school to learn about nonprofit management then I will start it.” I didn’t realize this pursuit of perfection pattern until just now. Haha! The Beautiful thing about God is that he doesn’t need us to be perfect in order to use us. God’s love is not a human, conditional love; He loves unconditionally. He allows things to flourish in its timing. God’s instruction in so many words was often times stop trying to be and “Just be”. “Just be” what? Be you!

I’m so far from perfect but the good thing is that we don’t need to be. The only thing God wants you to be is you! Authentically You! He will make the necessary changes or do the perfecting. Stop focusing on your imperfections the messed up thing you did yesterday and be the beautiful spirited person God has created you to be. We can’t play God. I tried to, failed miserably and got worn out! He’s happy when your happy and being authentically you! He has given you some pretty cool gifts, talents, skills and a really unique personality it’s time to let that shine! This is what he told me as he resurrected a childhood dream of mines that I buried years ago in fear. “You know that dream you had that you thought was crazy? I want you to go after it. I have a plan” You can and will overcome the thing you’re facing. Let go of your fears, face them head on, have faith, and Just Be!
I am more than excited to do so and see his plan unfold as I resurrect the longtime dream and journey towards being crowned Miss USA. I am happy to announce that I am now an official contestant for Miss California USA.

What dream needs to be resurrected in your life? Comment Below and tell me about it and then Go Be!

Comments

  1. Nicole Vega

    Brittney, reading your story could not come at a better time for me. Your words deeply touched my spirit, as I am dealing with what’s next in my life. What really impacted me was when you wrote, I was trying to disqualify myself from something I was qualified by God to do. Wow, I realized how quick I am to do that as well, and it’s something I’ve gotta stop. Thank you for helping me to just stop and remember these biblical truths that I so quickly forget amidst my daily thoughts and struggles. As a pageant titleholder here in FL, I wish you all of the best at Miss CA USA. I am sure you will blow the judges away… Thank you again!

    1. Brittney Sharaun

      Nicole,

      Thank You so much for taking the time to not only read the post but comment. Your comment is so encouraging for me and It really made my day to read that you were touched by the post. Isn’t it funny how we ask God to use us then when he places things in our heart we disqualify ourselves and shrink back out of fear? The key is to ask yourself why and pinpoint exactly what the fear is. Fear of Failure? Fear of not measuring up? When I asked myself that question I realized that I still had a fear of rejection that I needed to be healed of (Although I was convinced I already was! HaHa) . Recognizing that was the first step to me overcoming it. So I encourage you to do the same! We can do it! Thank you for again for your words of encouragement and support! There will be many more blog post on this topic and others, that I will be posting to my personal website BrittneySharaun.com. Please visit the site and and follow me on social media to follow my journey and read upcoming blog Post.

      I love you as my sister and look forward to staying connected!
      xo, Brittney Sharaun

      [email protected]
      @BrittneySharaun (Twitter,Instagram)
      BrittneySharaun.com (Website)
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaun
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaunBrown (FanPage)
      Facebook.com/BurgersandBibles
      BurgersandBibles.org

    2. auntmama

      Love the stories and inspiration. We try and fail as long as we have breath in our body. It’s the grace to keep moving that keeps us in the light.
      Great work!

  2. Miss Teen Captivating

    WOW. This is such an inspiring read. I am a girl dreaming of just simply making a difference in this world. I have dreams and everything is falling into place because of my growing faith in God and his plan. I love how you connected so many events happening with your career to God. I loved this post, and I love the She is More Blog! I am competing for Miss Ohio Teen 2014 this year. WOOO to pageant girls:) I was third runner up last year. Thanks again for this amazing post.

    1. Brittney Sharaun

      MIss Teen Captivating,

      Woo Hoo to pageant girls! Congratulations on competing for Miss Ohio Teen 2014 and for being persistent and not giving up on your dream! Your persistence, passion courage and heart is so inspiring! I can totally relate to just wanting to make a difference and we will! That passion is a hint that we are on the right path and have been called to do so. As you continue to grow and your faith, follow Gods plan and remain surrendered to him God will continue to elevate and bless you. He awes me everyday with his provisions and blessings! Expect the best! Have Faith! Never give up! Be authentically you and continue to keep him first and watch what happens! Everything that has happened and my life and that will happen is truly God. I am just the pencil in his hand, a girl who said yes and Im so elated to see you doing the same! Im rooting for you and you have my support!
      Like I told nicole, there will be many more blog post on this topic and others, that I will be posting to my personal website BrittneySharaun.com. Please visit the site and and follow me on social media to follow my journey and read upcoming blog Post.

      Remember, God doesn’t want you to be perfect, He wants you to be You!

      Lets Stay connected and support each other on this journey! Woo Hoo to sisterhood!

      xo, Brittney Sharaun

      [email protected]
      @BrittneySharaun (Twitter,Instagram)
      BrittneySharaun.com (Website)
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaun
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaunBrown (FanPage)
      Facebook.com/BurgersandBibles
      BurgersandBibles.org

  3. ..the other Brittany (R) lol

    The was an amazing and beautiful read to wake up to. Today I turned twenty-five and reading this took me back to that moment as a 19 year girl who went through the same feelings of ridicule and rejection and those feelings of insecurity.But God always makes a wake for us. Although modeling wasn’t my path, it was definitely yours! To see you persevere and live out your dream is such an inspiration! I am rooting for you as always and pray for nothing but the best for you. As always keep being yourself, love ya! Cycle 11 <3

    1. Brittney Sharaun

      Britt!!!!!!

      I miss you sooooo much! You more than anyone can relate to what that whole experience was like because you experienced with me! I can write a book on what we experienced and all of the after elimination stories! lol Maybe one day and will share the juicy stuff on my blog. lol Despite the feelings of insecurity, rejection and ridicule we left with, there were many lessons learned that molded and shaped us to the women we are today and I am grateful for that! Happy Birthday and thank you taking the time to read and comment! I’ve always felt connected with you and now thanks to social media I feel like I talk to you everyday as I stalk your facebook page! Hehe Lets Definitely stay connected and talk more. I miss you and your spirit!

      P.S Your Daughter is adorable!

      -Brittney

      [email protected]

  4. Susan Swanson

    Brittany, the first time I met you in Mpls for Glamorama I knew you were something special. God clearly has a plan for you, and bravo for your ability to see and hear it. At almost 50 I too am going through transitions that have me wondering what my path should be. Your story inspires me to sit quietly and listen. Thank you for the words of encouragement, your story reaches a diverse audience. When you are Miss USA, remember me if you need a MUA! Blessings, Susan

    1. Brittney Sharaun

      Susan!!!!

      So sad I didn’t get to see you in Minneapolis this year! Thank you so much for your kind words, your so sweet! It’s the continuous support from people like you that has helped me over the years! No matter where you live, what you’ve come from, the color of your skin or age God has a specific and unique plan for each and everyone of us! Asking and seeking is the first step! His word said ask and it shall be answered, seek and you shall find, knock and the door will be opened! As you continue to seek he will reveal more and more of it to you everyday according to what you can handle! Let me encourage you by honestly saying how you have such a beautiful spirit, you bring life, joy and happiness every where that you go! You are so encouraging, so supportive and are always quick to help and love on those around you! You are so talented and see beauty in people that others don’t! You are able to pull out the best out of people and thats rare! You have such a serving spirit! That says a lot! People envy the joy that you have! Don’t let anyone kill that. You are often times misunderstood but that ok, a lot of great people are! Just like a lot of people who have a serving spirit do, don’t forget about you! Doing makeup is just a physical expression of what you do spiritually! Im excited for you and what God is going to speak to you!

      And yes, If it is in Gods will for me to be Miss USA and I win, you are at the top of my list as my MUA. I wish you were in Cali, Girl I need you now!!!!!! lol

      Love You!
      Brittney Sharaun

      Tell your daughter and all of her friends about me and have them follow me on social media and website! I have heart for teens and a lot of my blog post while applicable for people of all ages will be geared towards them and things they deal with as teen girls!

      [email protected]
      @BrittneySharaun (Twitter,Instagram)
      BrittneySharaun.com (Website)
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaun
      Facebook.com/BrittneySharaunBrown (FanPage)
      Facebook.com/BurgersandBibles
      BurgersandBibles.org

  5. Joshua Moore

    Thanks so much for sharing!! It’s so encouraging to hear how God is blessing you to fulfill the plans He has for you, despite how unqualified you feel. That’s exactly where I’m at right now. Thanks Again! 🙂
    Joshua

  6. Michelle

    Brittney
    Wow it’s is amazing that I have bumped to this blog 4yrs later .. Your story/testimony has really ministered and strengthed my faith in God, most of all it has challenged me to be more attentive To God’s voice and instructions and break out of fear of failure
    God bless you

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